Thursday, May 31, 2007

Simple Amazing!

Cleveland - 109
Detroit - 107

In Double Overtime

Three Cavs key players, including 2 starters, fouled out but Lebron was SERIOUSLY Jordanesque with 48 points.

One of the greatest performances in NBA history. Period.

Wow

Goodnight.

Media's Military Mindset

Amy Goodman has an insightful piece on the firing by CBS of retired Army Maj. Gen. Batiste. The incredibly obvious point which this For Profit Industry's new leadership consistently ignores is that advocates ARE analysts who have come to a conclusion based upon their findings. The so-called "analysts" they choose to maintain are those who merely look at the singular element of Military tactics and strategy.

This is, of course, completely missing the essential point that War is, before all else, a Political phenomenon.

Network censors dissenting general
AMY GOODMAN

---
In 1999, when the U.S. was bombing Yugoslavia, I asked Frank Sesno, vice president of CNN: "Why pay these generals? And have you ever considered putting peace activists on the payroll? Or inviting them into the studio to respond to the drumbeat for war?" He replied: "We've talked about this. But no, we wouldn't do that. Because generals are analysts, and peace activists are advocates."

That's not far from the reason given by CBS for firing Batiste. According to a blog on cbsnews.com, CBS News Vice President Linda Mason explained, "We ask that people not be involved in advocacy." Generals, it seems, are analysts when they agree with the war plan, and advocates when they oppose it. Political blog the Horse's Mouth reported that CBS News consultant Michael O'Hanlon clearly advocated for President Bush's troop surge but didn't get tossed. O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, told the Horse's Mouth he "would be personally gratified to see Batiste back on CBS."

[Read between the NewSpeak]

I don't doubt it. Whatever O'Hanlon's views on Iraq, I've found that the Brookings Institute has generally been fairly objective in their analyses, including vis-a-vie the American MSM.

The bottom-line is Goodman's line, "Generals, it seems, are analysts when they agree with the war plan, and advocates when they oppose it." Unless they want the government holding them accountable for the effects of their influence on popular culture by limiting monopolistic tendencies in the industry, our one-time Fourth Estate is going to do all it can to lick the hand that feeds it.

While trying to find the Horses Mouth, trying to find the info on O'Hanlon, I found another Horse's Mouth and something the money hungry MSM must find shamefully embarrassing.

Enjoy. She's my favorite singer-songwriter, with no equivocation possible.

Mmmmm... Sarah... {-;

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Touched By An Arab

OR: "I thought he was a Mexican!"

This morning I got to wake up laughing. Thanks Jackman!


Jack provided two links. This is the second, and it's a cool little bit o' insight from some Arab comedians.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

8 Factoids


Hmmm... I know I've been kinda slackin' in the blogosphere recently. I finally re-replaced my maintenance meds with some of the prescribed variety and I'm not yet quite sure what to make of the change. I know losing the former is a good move, but it's the latter which has m' noggin' itchin'.

Here's hoping I make the most of it.

Here's also some thanks to Chip for taggin' me with an 8 Facts deali-O. I'm taking it like a dead-line; something I find is one of the more effective motivators for me.

The Rules:

* Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
* Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
* Players should tag eight other people and notify them that they have been tagged.

1) I had my first girl-friend in kindergarter. Kathy B's sisters and my own decided we were "just too cute" together. From what I recall, we held hands and rode bikes, but otherwise had no idea what more there might be for 6 year olds to while "going together". lol

2) Stickin' to a theme.. Hmmm, first kiss came by 2nd grade and I think her name was Crystal. This was another case of someone else hooking us up. This early trend may have something to do with why I've trouble making first moves.

3) Until a couple of years ago, I've not worn pajamas since I was maybe 8 or 9. Got two pair for xmas though and will probably buy more once these are worn out. Especially nice in Winter!

4) Without goin' into the why's of it, I was seriously contemplating the catholic priesthood in 7th grade. Thank goodness Fr W went wacko ballistic on a couple of guys who'd brought condoms to school. Dude was kind of a hero for me at the time, and his outburst of ninkumpoopery on the evils of contraception really made me start questioning Catholicism. Within two years, I was no longer a christian.

5) Being able to relate to Both Sides (or more) of any issue is both my most debilitating handicap and the thing about me of which I'm most proud.

6) I truly believe that getting a grip on #5 is my Obi Wan Kanobi.

7) I could do just about ANYTHING for myself with the proper motivation from a woman I love, but not just for myself.

8) I still fantasize being a star player on my favorite teams.

:)

--- Note the 3rd rule is player should tag eight other(s). Screw the shoulds for right now, eh. {-;

And the pic at the top? I just liked it so had to share.

Enjoy!

Monday, May 28, 2007

In Defense Foremost of Liberty

Unlike so very many ideologically necessitated Deaths since that time.

We must first remember that men and women and children have been brutally torn to shreds; that they have killed to save themselves and their fellows; that, regardless of the reasons, they existed in one of the purest forms of Hell imaginable and did so with all of the honor, courage and determination they could muster within their singular human forms.

We should stand up to our LEADERS and Demand that our fellows Not be ordered to kill and die and perpetuate hell for ANY cause where our lives are NOT being threatened.

On this Memorial Day, 2007, let us remember that these past 4 years of Hell in Iraq were initiated based-upon the Lies of the Administration of President George Walker Bush.

Is such a legacy something in which anyone can find a cause for pride?


Peace

Friday, May 25, 2007

Not Quite...

Patience Bleeding

It's extremely sad but all too true that human beings react emotionally and choose leaders like we choose our lovers; based on emotions rather than reason. George Bush was elected because he made folks feel better than the stiff and intellectual Al Gore (well, a little judicial cook-bookery certainly had a part to play.) Americans supported the illegal (according to our binding commitments to the United Nations) invasion of Iraq thanks to the lies of the Bush administration which effectively used Saddam's cruelties and dictatorial murderousness to equate his secular insanity with bin Laden's religious insanity in their fearful and ignorant minds.

With this week's seeming Congressional capitulation on War Funding without pull-out deadlines, those of us who support Peaceful conflict resolution, even between extremely violent parties, feel like we've been punched in the solar plexus by the Democrats whom we elected with the simple mandate to End The War.

E. J. Dionne, amongst others certainly, has managed to retain reason - as a Good Reporter must - in describing why this horrifying situation, one which will necessarily result in at least dozens if not hundreds of more dead American service personnel, is really the best solution to be achieved on the road to Peace.

America still has much to do to assure ourselves of freedom from the religiously and politically motivated terrorists throughout the world. We must take a more rational and less fearful look at the effects - both benefits and deficiencies - of our culture's Wealth and Power in this ever evolving world.

For now though.. well. Here's a snippet from Dionne's very well-reasoned WaPo story.
See You in September
Friday, May 25, 2007; Page A19

*****
(Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.)) notes that the agreement to go forward with the funding bill passed yesterday (a majority of House Democrats, Pelosi among them, opposed it) included a promise to take up his withdrawal amendment this fall. This gives teeth to Pelosi's pledge -- "we'll see you in September" -- to continue to battle Bush on the war.

As a tactical matter, it could have been useful for the Democrats to move another bill containing timelines to Bush's desk for a second veto, simply to underscore the president's unwillingness to seek bipartisan accord on a change in policy. But these are the brute facts: Democrats narrowly control the House but don't have an effective majority in the Senate since Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) votes with the Republicans on the war and Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) is still too ill to vote.

Democrats, in short, have enough power to complicate the president's life, but not enough to impose their will. Moreover, there is genuine disagreement even among Bush's Democratic critics over what the pace of withdrawal should be and how to minimize the damage of this war to the country's long-term interests. That is neither shocking nor appalling, but, yes, it complicates things. So does the fact that the minority wields enormous power in the Senate.

What was true in January thus remains true today: The president will be forced to change his policy only when enough Republicans tell him he has to. Facing this is no fun; it's just necessary.

[Patience doesn't have to bleed us all to death . . .]

Thursday, May 24, 2007

How "Great" This Ape?



Well, as the author of the vid, Michael Greenwell, points out, we're not so great that we take responsibility for our actions vis-a-vie our cousins in the wild. Gorillas are almost gone from our planet, and a large part of the blame goes to folks who have all the knowledge and evidence that is needed to see how closely related to each other we really are refusing to acknowledge that simple fact.

Instead, survival of the fittest continues on despite our species mastery of nature's bounty to create technologies which give us such an enormous advantage over all competition that we think we are invincible. That nothing can stop us. Truth is that we still very much fear holding ourselves back and showing restraint in our ability to manipulate nature and our neighbors of her evolving. We are still very much enslaved by our instinct to Conquer all so that nothing may threaten us.

In so doing, we seem far more likely to destroy all that might yet make us truly great.

I highly rec Michael's post - Your Ancestors Were Sheep. It's actually more about the devastation which awaits us vis-a-vie Global Climate Change and is well-linked to solid sources on that phenomenon. The video was a way of tying in human beings inability to believe very obvious facts when those facts confront our prejudices and much loved and comfortable beliefs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Health More Important Than Wealth

They didn't call gout the "rich man's disease" for nothing.

If Americans truly want the American Dream for ourselves and our children, we're going to have start emulating our cousins across the pond.

Again.
Bad Health Care, Deficient Welfare Keep Americans Short

For decades, it has been clear that average European heights have been increasing while those on the other side of the Atlantic have not. But why? A new study says it might have to do with health care and the social net.

This is the kind of "common sense" which a die-hard belief in "the one with the most toys wins" makes appear nonsensical. People give up family, introspection, and geographic community for the sake climbing the ladder of capitalist society. Even their Churches take their wealth, often for ridiculously capitalistic reasons (ie, building a bigger church!) and give little but platitudes and delusional fairy tales in return.

How often do you hear someone who has everything complain about someone "getting an unfair advantage"? Or complaining about Taxes and that they don't want to pay for "those lazy bastards'" health care?

I hear way too much of it; usually in a lowered tone of voice because, while folks may be "emboldened" by the likes of Rush & Bill O', they do still have their grandparents' values of human dignity and conscience inside them. They've just been peer-pressured and beaten down with fear and way too many hours working for someone else's capital gains to realize that We Are All In The Same Pale Blue Boat.
A new study published in the current issue of the Social Science Quarterly by researchers from Princeton University in the US and the University of Munich in Germany indicates that the difference may have to do more with politics than biology. Specifically, the study, which involved the statistical analysis of demographic and health data collected between 1959 and 2002, concludes that the spotty US health-care system and weak welfare net could explain why Americans have stopped growing.

"We surmise that the health systems and high degree of social security in Europe provide better conditions for growth than the American health system, despite the fact that the system costs twice as much," said study co-author John Komlos from the University of Munich in a statement. "There are also indications that American diets are deficient in several areas."

From the Colonial times until roughly the 1970s, Americans were the tallest people in the world. But then, growth stagnated while Europeans spent the second half of the 20th century growing like weeds. Now, the average Dutchman is six centimeters taller than the average American -- "almost an exact reversal of the relationship in the middle of the 19th century," Komlos says.

[The Rich Can't Care Enough...]
They're way too busy trying to make more meaninglessness in their own lives to afford to.

Fittingest Falwell Farewell

WWJD if he got invitations to both Jerry's funeral and a Teletubbies bash to be held at the same time? Click away . . !

H/T to Carol of Atheists' World for reminding me 'bout this site.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Grab Your Popcorn (and Barf-Bags)


Via the same PDPBR newsletter, a Mark Fiore Production on Mother Jones.

Compare. Contrast. Convulse...

Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review FOR MAY 15-16
by John H. Brown

“$2,000”

--Compensation for each fatality of 19 Afghans killed when a Marine Special Operations unit opened fire on a civilian crowd in March; cited in Jon Tracy, “Sometimes in War, You Can Put a Price on Life” (New York Times, May 16)
LINK

“$647 million”

--“Forbes: Apple CEO Steve Jobs highest paid U.S. CEO last year at $647 million” (MacDailyNews, May 16)
LINK



From my favorite daily email...

High Crimes and Misdemeanors 4 Sale

I've been kind of quiet with posting lately, so it was no surprise that the new comment I found in my Inbox this morning was left on an older post. Since its relevance is solid vis-a-vie yesterday's Senatorial timidity, I'd like to thank that anonymous commenter and repost their message here.

Thanks Nony-migo. I think we all feel as if our efforts are futile at times. Reading the comments from that link helped take off the edge of frustration just a wee bit.

Have you heard about HR 333? I urge you and your readers to take a few minutes to look at:

http://www.usalone.com/cgi-bin/transparency.cgi?paper=1&qnum=pet45

It's a list of the 25 most recent comments made by real Americans participating in an online poll/letter-writing campaign concerning the impeachment charges recently filed against Vice President Cheney, which are now being evaluated by the House Judiciary Committee. Comments can be sent to elected representatives and local newspapers at your option. The participation page is at:

http://www.usalone.com/cheney_impeachment.php

Since this campaign began, some members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors, in part due to hearing from their constituents. Has yours? Make your voice heard, and let others know!
Anonymous, at Thursday, May 17, 2007 1:33:00 AM

The 2nd link is to a page where you can Vote yourself and let both of your U.S. Senators and your Rep be notified of your take. My comment following a YES vote follows.

Historically, "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" is a phrase meant to include criminal negligence not spelled out specifically in preceding laws. It applies only to political representatives in the government, such as the President and Vice President, who have circumvented normal Legal policies and committed harmful and dangerous acts against the nation.

If our current Administration's admitted activities

- spying on U.S. citizens w/o F.I.S.A approval,
- the Valery Plame (un-admitted) scandall
- the "yellowcake from Nigeria" affair
- assertions of WMDs
- no bid contracts to Haliburton
- going against our legally binding commitments to the U.N. to invade Iraq while
- Afghanistan was not yet secured,

do not qualify, then the phrase might as well not even be in the Constitution.

Start with V.P. Cheney, then the facts asserted and fully disclosed in his Impeachment will condemn our criminal President as well.

Americans are losing our integrity and opportunities in the future political world with every day these Fascist hegemonists remain on the Public payroll.

The only problem I have with the above procedure is that Sen Voinovich has said his office will no longer accept anything via such services. He's whining about "information overload" and how it's just too easy for cranks to swamp his staff with useless requests.

Guess I'll need to meet with him at a nice $1500 per plate dinner from now on. {sigh}

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

"To the moon, Alice!"

OR: What we suffer for love.



Just have to share these once in a while. :) I do love teh Trudeau, but haven't been reading daily lately.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Aint' Gonna Happen . .

. . for a while yet, anyhow.



Still, Heheheh...

{-;

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday morning . .

Talk Amongst Yourselves

I'll blame it on my self
cuz I can't keep anything down
anything down
however hard I do try

So talk amongst yourselves
while I try to figure it out
figure it out
I'll let you know in my time

-And there's nothing to say
--cuz I won't go through it
-And there's nothing to do
--'til I put myself to it


Sasha and Grand National

Friday, May 11, 2007

Hide & Seek

This is one of the most interesting cosmological questions ever: where is the rest of the matter? This new theory goes a long way towards sewing up one seriously loose end on the nature of the our universe.

Galaxy collision reveals missing matter
* 19:00 10 May 2007

Baby galaxies growing from the debris of a galactic traffic accident have been hiding a lot of extra matter, new observations suggest.

If so, galaxies like our own could contain vast quantities of invisible gas that outweigh their stars and other visible material – and these gas stores could represent some of the "missing" normal matter astronomers have been puzzling over.

--snip--

... (T)idal dwarf galaxies should only contain a few percent of dark matter.

Ultra cold

That is because they form when gas sprayed out in galaxy collisions clumps together under gravity. The unusual properties of dark matter make it difficult for it to clump back together after being disturbed, and simulations show that these newly formed galaxies end up containing little dark matter as a result.

The researchers say the most likely explanation is that the unseen material is mostly hydrogen gas that is only a few degrees above absolute zero. Such cold gas is very difficult to detect.

The work suggests normal galaxies may contain a lot of hidden, cold gas, too, since the dwarf galaxies are just debris stolen from medium-size galaxies like the Milky Way.

"The disc of our galaxy might be two or three times more massive then we actually think it is," team member Elias Brinks of the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, UK, told New Scientist.

[More than meets the thermometer...]


Just wanted to share this find because, if the new theory pans out, it'll be just another example of the true nature of misunderstood reality being far simpler than anyone had ever imagined.

It does indeed happen all the time.

Cool...

:)

Nature and Nurture

This is funny, though I guess not so surprising.
Gene switch helps mice fix their own broken hearts
By Julie Steenhuysen

-----
Heart cells in mice, and in humans, stop regenerating after birth. If the heart is damaged by a heart attack, it cannot create new cells to repair the damage and hearts become less efficient at pumping blood.

"Heart cells don't divide at all in the mammal heart, and that's why we have so much mortality and morbidity," said Dr. Hina Chaudhry, whose study appears in the journal Circulation Research.

Chaudhry and colleagues studied the gene cyclin A2, a gene that is active in embryos, but shut off in adult mammals.

"We genetically engineered these mice to keep expressing this gene that becomes silent after birth," she said in a telephone interview.

The researchers then induced a heart attack in the mice.

At three months, the mice whose cyclin A2 genes had been switched on had 77 percent better heart function than the other mice.

"The mice who did not carry the gene were progressing to heart failure and dying," she said. "We didn't lose any of the mice that carried the gene. They had much better survival."

"We're the first study to show a sustained improvement in cardiac function by any kind of molecular or cellular manipulation," she said.

What thoughtless natural physical exertion does for the brain, - where we've only recently discovered that new cells are made and integrated relevantly - thoughtless (on the part of the critter) artificial genetic manipulation can actually do for the heart.

Effin' eh! I gots ta keep on running!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Oh... fucking hell already . .

. . Ancillary.

It's 6 o'clock. I don't care. I'm going anyway.

Up the flights of simple, derelict thoughts and into the sizable, though not too, chamber where the hostages are kept. For future need, of course. It's often not even the point whether or not I get it. It's just that I have to go, and going means not worrying 'bout whether or not.

Just go.

This time the only difference is that I seem to have got the hang of leaving these particular things up in the air for no one to find. It's like the time when she said no, but I wasn't the one doing it. I didn't have to stop, but of course I did.

Of course it didn't help.

And now it's not so bad that I forget her name.

Ok now, don't even look around. Just grab what's needed for later and slide down the modified pole in the floor. With a slight twist, just... there. I swing around the other things, that stuff I wouldn't even have left there (mostly cuz I wouldn't have bothered with 'em in the first place) and under the shard that always never falls. Around the dumpster and into the front seat where the night has the engine already warm and ready for cold gas to burn hot, leaving tire, smoke, all that isn't behind.

It's time.

It's almost over.

Then.. well, then, of course, perhaps I'll be finally able to get started.

Or not . .

"Mr President, you have not listened."

I don't recall any time in History where so many former Military leaders have stood up to decry the policies of their Commander in Chief.



Anecdotally one can find support for just about anything. Statistically is where reality is accurately described, and the data pronounce GWB a liar; first and foremost.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Uri's Bogus Fury

I gotta love the occasional story brought to my inbox via the Electronic Frontiers Foundation.

This one, as many do, got my ire up pretty quickly, though I'm thinking it'll pretty quickly get turned right back down. In Bu$hCo's "Ownership Society" though, that may not be as done a deal as the law does recommend.

Spoon-Bending 'Paranormalist' Illegally Twists Copyright Law

Uri Geller Makes Bogus Copyright Claims to Silence YouTube Critic


San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
filed suit Tuesday against Uri Geller -- the "paranormalist" famous for seemingly bending spoons with his mind -- on behalf of a YouTube critic who was silenced
by Geller's baseless copyright claims.

EFF's client, Brian Sapient, belongs to a group called the "Rational Response Squad," which is dedicated to debunking what it calls irrational beliefs. As part of their mission, Sapient and others post videos to YouTube that they say demonstrate this irrationality. One of the videos that Sapient uploaded came from a NOVA program called "Secrets of the Psychics," which challenges the performance techniques of Geller.

Despite the fact that only three seconds of the over thirteen-minute video contain footage allegedly under copyright owned by Geller's corporation Explorogist Ltd. --
a classic fair use of the material for criticism purposes -- Geller filed a takedown demand with YouTube under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). That violates the DMCA requirement that copyright holders only send takedown
notices for infringing content.

"Uri Geller may not like it when people question his paranormal abilities. However, he is not allowed to stifle public criticism by misusing the law," said EFF Staff
Attorney Marcia Hoffman. "If the publication of a video does not infringe his copyright, then he cannot block its use -- it's as simple as that."

[Check Out Teh Frontier]
Here's hoping the court quickly tells B.S. Seller Geller to get bent!

It Can Happen

I really just feel the need to share some of the Good News happening in our world. This definitely qualifies as an intractable human insanity where sanity is gaining traction.

Thanks Goodness.

Historic day for Northern Ireland
Bitter rivals Paisley and McGuinness agree to govern co-operatively

May 09, 2007 04:30 AM
Olivia Ward

Working for peace in Northern Ireland for 12 years, (retired Canadian Lt. Gen, John) de Chastelain heads an independent international commission that monitors the disarmament of paramilitaries. The Irish Republican Army gave up armed struggle in 2005, and two major Protestant paramilitaries have softened their stance, but not yet handed in their weapons.

"One has rejected paramilitarism and criminality, which is a very positive step," de Chastelain said in a phone interview from Ottawa. "It's indicative of the general mood in the North."

Long-term observers agree.

"We've come full circle from the hysterical to the historical," said Chris Anderson, a journalist and author of The Billy Boy, about the death of a feared Protestant paramilitary leader.

"You have those who killed, maimed and bombed their way to respectability hand in glove with those who hated them the most. Most people welcome a devolved assembly – but they just can't get their heads around this."

[from the hysterical to the historical]

Like The Rolling Stones

These Grannies ain't into gatherin' no moss.
Published on Tuesday, May 8, 2007 by the Boston Globe
Protesters Favor Soft Hats, Tough Lyrics
by Brian MacQuarrie

They operate with a sense of outrage, a commitment to nonviolence, a love of song, and an irreverent brand of humor. Meet the Raging Grannies, feisty women of a certain age who protest war, nuclear power, bio hazards, degradation of the environment, and a panoply of other causes.They protest with a smile while wearing outlandish hats and singing self-composed ditties that take biting, acerbic aim at the powerful.

“I know for a fact I was born with a gene for justice,” said Susan Gracey, a 72-year-old grandmother of two from Brookline, who dates her activism to a plea for better playing fields for the girls in her elementary school.

The Grannies unabashedly seek attention, and they usually succeed. Founded in 1987 in British Columbia by women whose targets ranged from nuclear submarines to clear-cut log ging, the Raging Grannies have expanded to a worldwide movement of more than 60 autonomous chapters, or “gaggles,” which include a Boston-area chapter with about 18 active members and a Western Massachusetts gaggle with 40.

Their activism has led to arrests — dozens of times for a few members — as the Grannies spread their message around the region at sites such as Army recruiting offices, high schools, and the gates of nuclear power plants. And while they use humor to attract attention, the members of this loosely organized group are deadly serious about their concerns

[Just cuz it's cool that they keep on keepin' on in the ways that they do...]

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Days Fly By Like teh Speed of Light . .


. . So I may as well do something enjoyable with those flashing seconds.

Last night we ran for nearly two hours, but it seemed more like barely one. On my way home, I still had the feeling I was missing something. Well, more like missing out on something. Luckily, what I'd just learned from Sensei DCS is that it wasn't really there anyhow!

Seriously.

What I know and what I feel are so often light years apart. Even as they switch places in the focus of my consciousness. This is, well, despite the amount of morosity I so frequently create from that fact, really quite amusing.

So I'm a keep on running.

On the ground.

In my skin.

Where my fears and desires can fight it out amongst themselves while I get my shit together and enjoy the moments.

They fall behind too damn fast.

And if I ever need one back, well . .

Memories are for later.

Monday, May 07, 2007

"Not Enough" is All We're Gonna Get

New Orleans' Rebuilt Levees "Riddled With Flaws"
Joel K. Bourne, Senior Editor–Environment, National Geographic Magazine
for National Geographic News
May 6, 2007

Almost a year ago the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers declared that it had restored New Orleans' levees and floodwalls to pre-Hurricane Katrina strength.

But the system is actually riddled with flaws, and a storm even weaker than Katrina could breach the levees if it hit this year, say leading experts who have investigated the system.

[National Geographic took a look for themselves. Go see what they've found.]


So raise your hands if you're at all surprised by this piece of news. Come on now. Don't be shy.

{sigh}

Dear America

I know that even though you aspire to the New Testament maxim of "turn the other cheek" as opposed to the Old Testament's "an eye for eye" that it is difficult, and sometimes we have no choice but confront like with like. We've a right to defend and protect ourselves, and that is for sure no matter what any peacenick idealists may suggest*.

Still, I wonder what kind of person it takes to think that this is "ok".

Here is a measure of the state of the war in Iraq: The number of Iraqis dying each month now rivals the total number of people who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
How many eyes must be taken before we're even?

Shankar Vedantam looks scientifically at one of the most intractable problems of human personality when it comes to leaving behind archaic instincts such as an eye for an eye.

Really, why can't we all just along?


* Oops! Neglected to mention that such would, like, totally include yours truly. ;-}

Friday, May 04, 2007

Governing is So Easy When You Ignore Those Pesky FactsSeriously though, if he didn't use the Veto he'd simply have attached another record-setting signing statement...

Reason from the SCOTUS

It's About! Freakin'! Time!

SCOTUS says you can't patent something if others have been using it for some time already.

Steven Vaughan-Nichols - eWEEK

Thu May 3, 5:10 AM ET (Via Yahoo News)


Now, as Pamela Jones, editor of the intellectual property law news site Groklaw, noted, "The standout paragraph" in the decision written by Supreme Court Justice

Anthony Kennedy read:
"We build and create by bringing to the tangible and palpable reality around us new works based on instinct, simple logic, ordinary inferences, extraordinary ideas, and sometimes even genius. These advances, once part of our shared knowledge, define a new threshold from which innovation starts once more. And as progress beginning from higher levels of achievement is expected in the normal course, the results of ordinary innovation are not the subject of exclusive rights under the patent laws. Were it otherwise patents might stifle, rather than promote, the progress of useful arts."
Jones, a paralegal, observed, "The court has raised the obviousness bar, or as they probably view it put it back where the founding fathers meant it to be."
The emphasis there is mine.

The rest of the story indicates that, because of the costs of initiating a patent case, we're not likely to see a tonne of such in the near future. The bigger issue IMO is that the SCOTUS has finally made a rational decision in regards to an OBVIOUS situation: people getting patents on things which A LOT of folks have doing for years.

My inner optimist hopes this points to less support for the kind of Top Down hegemonic sadism Justices Roberts and Alito represent with their conclusions about the powers of the Chief Executive. I know that's a wee stretch (lol!) but when straws are all one's got, one had better get graspin' at 'em.

American Monarchy?

Well I hope Rep. Pelosi has plenty to think about this morning. I never did get through last night but am taking it as a sign that there were plenty of folks who did and am certainly hoping that she got one strong and succinct message: Impeach this criminally incompetent President for his High Crimes and Misdemeanors and restore Honor and Integrity to the United States Government.

Since I've not been to the pond in a few days, my first blogospheric stop this morning was to go wish our froggy friend a hearty Congrats on his B-ballin' Warriors domination of the #1 seed from the NBA West. Wouldn't ya know it? Kvatch was - as usual - on his game and utterly relevant to the need for making those phone calls to the Speaker of the House.

I had no idea that Article II of the U.S. Constitution essentially gave our President the only thing he really needs in order to rule as He sees fit! Guess I should've taken those danged Evely Wood course when I had the chance, eh Frogster? {-;

At any rate, Kvatch's source from study of our founding document is FindLaw and they provide a more in depth legaleeze assessment and discussion than my own site of choice, which does a wonderful job of showing the historical context of the framers cultural mindsets, though without going as far into lawyer-speak as the FindLaw.

This brings us to a definition of Impeachable Offenses which, though the Congress may frequently (generally) find reason$ not to look at it thi$ way, is of such integral importance in restoring our Federal Government to one which is factually and functionally representative of the interests of Liberty, Justice, Peace and, lest we forget in our culture's Gimme Gimme Gimme, I want miiiiiine!!! comsumerism, Posterity.

Every freedom we lose for the sake those in power is one less our future generations will have to cherish.
Impeachable Offenses

(Par 2) Treason is defined in the Constitution; 764 bribery is not, but it had a clear common-law meaning and is now well covered by statute. 765 High crimes and misdemeanors, however, is an undefined and indefinite phrase, which, in England, had comprehended conduct not constituting indictable offenses. 766 In an unrelated action, the Convention had seemed to understand the term ''high misdemeanor'' to be quite limited in meaning, 767 but debate prior to adoption of the phrase 768 and comments thereafter in the ratifying conventions 769 were to the effect that the President at least, and all the debate was in terms of the President, should be removable by impeachment for commissions or omissions in office which were not criminally cognizable. And in the First Congress' ''removal'' debate, Madison maintained that the wanton removal from office of meritorious officers would be an act of maladministration which would render the President subject to impeachment.* 770 Other comments, especially in the ratifying conventions, tend toward a limitation of the term to criminal, perhaps gross criminal, behavior. 771 While conclusions may be drawn from the conflicting statement, it must always be recognized that a respectable case may be made for either view.
Ed's note: I've come back to do a wee bit of emphasizing, as well to touch up a few typos. I hit publish before such clean-up was performed as it was time to move my car off the Bus Route street on which I park. The lalternative is a stiff fine and/or towing. No thanks.

Please also note that the numbers in the FindLaw paragraph above are link with footnotes on the linked site.

* Sound familiar?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Impeach Now!

It's 8:08pm Thursday night and Peacechick Mary just left this comment on the last post.
Speaker Pelosi is taking a phone survey regarding Impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

Call Now!!!!
1-202-225-0100

A human will answer or a message just say, “I wish to register my support for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney."

They will say, "Okay"

Hangup.

Please call and please help slam them and help get the word out to everyone you can.

I'm on hold because the Speaker's voice mailbox is full! If they drop my call, I'll try again. Hope you get the chance to call as well.

Justice may yet be served upon George Walker Bush.

namaste