Sunday, February 27, 2005

Sunday Hippo Blogging (just this once)

Friday, February 25, 2005

A Fable

Once upon a time there were two boys, we’ll call them Dickey and Georgie. Dickey was the smart one. Georgie was, well, challenged. Dickey had some friends, Rummy and Wolfie. Dickey, Rummy and Wolfie had a gang they called the Gang of Three. Georgie wanted to be in the gang but they said he was too dumb. Truth be told, he was. The Gang of Three used to meet in their club house. This was a little shack they built along the river that was sort of unusual in that, when they finally finished it, the shack had five sides. Go figure.

One day the Gang of Three stole a book from the Big House in the valley. This was a very old book that told everyone how they were supposed to behave. It was called The Constitution. At first the Gang of Three was very pleased with itself for having carried off such a daring adventure. But then, the reality began to hit them. There wasn’t anybody in the whole, wide world that would buy The Constitution. It was too hot.

Now Georgie really wanted to be in the Gang of Three, but Dickey, Rummy and Wolfie still thought he was too dumb. They hit on a brilliant idea. They would let Georgie in if he would find a buyer for The Constitution. But, since everyone in the Big House in the valley knew what was in The Constitution, and someone might discover that they were the thieves that stole it, they changed it. Yes sir, they got out their pencils and changed The Constitution. In any case, The New Constitution would be easier for Georgie to sell

And Georgie was delighted. He also made them change their name to The Gang of Four. And he already had a buyer for The Constitution (he didn’t know it was changed). But we all know who the buyer was, and what happened then, so we won’t go into it. It gets a little bloody.

And Dickey was delighted too, because that’s how The New Constitution was foisted on his own retard.

Friday Crab Blogging

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth

In the United States, the usual oath required of all those who will give witness in court asks: "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?"

[Interestingly enough, one of the first links on a Google for "Oath in Court" gave the above link about the oath in Cambodia and:
In the Cambodian legal system, an oath to tell the truth is also required. Because Buddhism--the prevailing religious belief in Cambodia--does not believe in a god, the oath is typically sworn to Buddha, the spirits of the courtroom, or the ghosts of famous Khmer warriors. The wording threatens dire punishments for those who would testify falsely:

"If I am home, let fire destroy my house for 800 reincarnations; if I am in a boat, let it sink for 800 reincarnations; when I become a ghost, let me eat bloody pus, or swim in boiling chili oil for 800 reincarnations."
We can return to this.]

In my humble opinion, Truth is the single most important commodity in the polity. When Truth starts to bend too far, the basic social contract starts to disintegrate into chaos.

However, many people assume that the human state is one where people tend to lie. I guess that I will take exception to that but maybe it should be qualified.
Lying increases the creative faculties, expands the ego, and lessens the frictions of social contacts.
Clare Booth Luce
US diplomat, dramatist, journalist, & politician (1903 - 1987)
There has to be some Truth out there. What would happen if the nurse reported every temperature on her shift as 37 degrees? First off, I would be suspicious. Secondly, I would have a tough time doing my job. So, maybe there are degrees of Truth, as there are degrees of murder, and University degrees. I'd opt for a Third Degree Truth (if it wasn't extracted using the Third Degree, referring, I guess, to an unusually stringent questioning.)

Maybe it is just politics that admits to bending the Truth. So, it is with a great deal of irony that one observes the Attorney General of the United States approving torture, ostensibly to get at the Truth of what the inmate knew (presumably Attorney Generals take an oath to tell the truth from the word go; they don't have to take one at every session of court. Maybe they should.)

As we all know, though, confessions obtained under torture are notoriously unreliable. In this case, unreliable means not truthful. [It will be interesting to see if the current prime suspect, 23-year-old Ahmed Abu Ali has his confession from Saudi Arabia used against him. The court doesn't want to look at his back with its marks of torture. They aren't interested in the Truth. This should be very a very interesting trial. Sorry, Michael.]

But the real place that Truth should appear is in the press. It makes absolutely no sense to report a story as the Truth when it is not. Skeptical reporting, i.e. investigative journalism, may be the backbone of our democracy. It is the very nature of politicians to dissemble and only holding their feet to the the fire will keep them even slightly honest.

The Truth behind Watergate was essential. It led to dire consequences for a number of men. And the real crime was that Richard Nixon lied. The same attempt was made to pillory Bill Clinton on his supposed lie about sex. [I say supposed because I cannot imagine a sane adult who has never bent the truth about sex. Maybe some Saints, and I don't mean those that play for New Orleans. There is no Truth in this arena.]

So, where does that bring us? I think that we are in a very bad state when it comes to the Truth. There are many out there, especially in blogland and talk radio that feel that the Truth is something that, well, can be finessed. The appellation of "reality based" comes from the assertion by an administration official that they "created" their own reality. Excuse me, reality is not created as some would mold playdough. Reality comes shooting down the pike from that place called the Future. It usually is overwhelming and, in spite of a million prophets, and that includes all those cranky old men with beards in the Bible and Koran, NO ONE can predict the future. NO ONE.

It is just not possible for our country to continue to function if, at its core, there is a lie. The irony, of course, is that these people who are doing the lying are ostensibly Christians.
JOHN 8:332 NKJ
32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Isn't Freedom something that we seem to be dispensing pretty regularly recently? At the end of smart bomb, but dispensing anyway.

I just can't see where we are going. Maybe I am a lemming, way back in the pack. What I would like to be is going the other way, shouting "excuse moi."

Can you imagine George W. Bush saying:
"If I am home, let fire destroy my house for 800 reincarnations; if I am in a boat, let it sink for 800 reincarnations; when I become a ghost, let me eat bloody pus, or swim in boiling chili oil for 800 reincarnations."

I can't.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Project 60: A Day-by-Day Diary of WWII

I have continued to find this review of WWII on a day by day basis fascinating. We can thank BartCop for the link. Here are two quotes from the current link without comment:
Franklin Roosevelt celebrates his fourth inauguration at a luncheon meeting where cold chicken salad is served and he makes a 15 minute speech promising to continue to work for victory and making the world peaceful and secure.

American soldier Private Eddie E. Slovik was shot by firing squad for desertion. He was the first American executed for desertion since the Civil War and the only one to be executed in WWII.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Obeying the Professor

Instructions from my master:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don’t search around and look for the “coolest” book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.

Pediatric Clinics of North America Vol 51 #6 (2004)
p. 1523 (no 123)
"An understanding of normal cardiovascular hemodynamics and a knowledge of the cardiac cycle are necessary to understand the more complicated hemodynamics and flow patterns of specific cardiac abnormalities."

Let me just add that one of the more interesting heard murmurs (what this is all about) is the "mammary arterial souffle"

Onward and upward with the Star Fleet.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Someone addressing an earlier CPAC

Bits and Pieces

Probably the most significant issue raised by the JimJeff Gannon affair is the lack of coverage in the main stream media. There is no doubt in my mind that if this had happened in the Clinton White House, we would already have Ken Starr sniffing at various behinds. Why has our press decided not to do its job?

An equally baffling lapse in the media is condemnation of Michelle Malkin for racism. She is the author of "In Defense of Internment: The Case for 'Racial Profiling' in World War II and the War on Terror." Today is the annual Day of Remembrance which points to the treatment of the Japanese in America during WWII (poignantly described in "Snow Falling on Cedars.") Liberal Avenger points us to this excellent article in the LA Times showing how racism never dies.

The Conservative Political Action Conference is in full swing. This Nuremberg Rally is reviewed in Salon. In the presence of, among others, the Vice President of the United States, a speaker made the following, unchallenged statement:
"We continue to discover biological and chemical weapons and facilities to make them inside Iraq."
If you don't think this is scary, then scary doesn't mean anything to you. "Other attendees included: the Swift Boat Veterans, venomous CPAC regulars like Ann Coulter, Oliver North and Michelle "In Defense of Internment" Malkin."

Billmon is back on the air and as acerbic as ever. He's either the brightest guy around or he has an infinitude of time. His posts are a series of quotes, all pithy and, at least to my feeble intellect, devastating. I particularly liked his parsing of George Orwell's 1984 a la 2005

Finally, I am baffled by the inability of Democrats in both Congress and the Maryland General Assembly to come to terms with the reality that is America. Maybe focusing on Social Security and slot machines has achieved the Republican's desired goal; distraction from the real issues.

I see so many people hunkering down for the long haul.

Friday, February 18, 2005


Of Squirrels and Men

First thing off, we have to deal with the age old concept of a free will. Consider, for the moment, a concert pianist. There is absolutely no way that each of the thousands of notes that goes into playing a Beethoven Sonata could be the end result of a decision of free will. Allow me a gigantic leap and we can dispense with the overwhelming majority of human actions, from walking to kissing, as the neurological response to an external stimulus. Complicated? You bet. Understood? Not in my lifetime. But a response just the same.

Where free will might come into play is in actions that a human makes as a result of perceived situations, that is, in predicting the future. But even then, one can make an argument that, just as a squirrel stores nuts for the winter, this action in view of a future situation may be a simple response. Sophisticated? You bet. But a response just the same.

Now the above argument is just the bare bones of a more in depth analysis of human response. But it gets me to where I want for a consideration of the current political hysteria in Maryland and D.C.

Consider, for the moment, taxation and slot machines. Deep in their chambered hearts, Republicans believe in free will. They believe that the riches they enjoy are the result of their superior decision making in the tournament of life. Consequently, because they made these decisions of their own free will, what they have is theirs. Property. Goodies. Money. You name it. As their leader Boy George reiterates ad nauseum, they own it.

Furthermore, they believe that some people (a hell of a lot in my county) are poor because they made the wrong decisions. And they don't have property, goodies, money, you name it, because free will is the great administrator. They hardly own a thing.

Taxation in this scheme of things is taking something from those who won and giving it to those who lost. (Never mind that taxation is, as many have pointed out, integral to our civilization.) For the Red of Heart taxation is the negation of free will and it is a moral issue. We will return to this in the future vis a vis corporate taxation.

But slot machines are not taxes in this scheme. One supposedly approaches a slot machine with a free will. One inserts the quarter and pulls the handle, hoping beyond hope to outsmart the laws of chance and hit a jackpot. Slot machines are a desperate measure for the poor. [It would be informative to see how many rich Republicans actually play the slots. Why would they? There is no desperation.]

But, in my mind, this may not be the way it really is. As outlined above, pulling the arm on a slot machine is the equivalent of storing up Hickory nuts in your lair. It is a reflex generated by, in this case, desperation. It does not involve free will. Furthermore, as many have pointed out, it may be the same driving force to squander your few quarters on slots as to squander them on the lottery. The end result, in terms of revenue, would be a wash.

The distribution of wealth in Maryland is horribly unequal and becoming more unbalanced every day. Slot machines are a tiny band aid that take advantage of human nature's reflex desire for a free lunch. We need to make the tax code more equitable.

Friday Crab Blogging ("we gona git ya")

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Taking a Stand

Finally, we are starting to do something. Paul Krugman says it best:
For a while, Mr. Dean will be the public face of the Democrats, and the Republicans will try to portray him as the leftist he isn't. But Deanism isn't about turning to the left: it's about making a stand.

And who and what are we standing against? Who are the bad guys? Pharyngula (and SKB) tells us:

1. Glenn Reynolds (and who knows how he got to where he is) agrees with an article that states:
This newly ever-growing Western left, not only in Europe, but in Latin America and even in the US itself, has a clear goal: the destruction of the country and society that vanquished its dreams fifteen years ago. But it does not have, as in the old days of the Soviet Union, the hard power to accomplish this by itself. Thanks to this, all our leftist friends’ bets are now on radical Islam. (emphasis added) What can they do to help it? Answer: tie down America’s superior strength with a million Liliputian ropes: legal ones, political ones, with propaganda and disinformation etc. Anything and everything will do.
[ed: Sorry, this is a load of crap]

2. and this from Hindrocket:
Jimmy Carter isn't just misguided or ill-informed. He's on the other side.
[ed: Carter makes Reagan look like the phoney he was.]

3. and this:
MSNBC host Keith Olbermann and former Social Security associate commissioner James Roosevelt Jr. examined how FOX News Washington managing editor Brit Hume and other pundits distorted a quote by Roosevelt Jr.'s grandfather, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in order to claim that the former president would have supported privatizing Social Security.
[ed. Bush is going to lose big on this.]

and so on....

South Knox Bubba lists 11 "hits," any one of which should make a true Democrat's blood boil.

It would all be quite exciting if if weren't so tragic.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A few Billion here, a few Billion there

Apparently the President has submitted a little request, just a little one, mind you, to Congress to tide him over in his little adventure in that little country over there that begins with "I" (no, not Iran Dr. Rice). In any case, here is a little exercise I had to do so I could pass the No Child Left Behind Test in Maryland:

US Population in 2000 = 281,421,906
MD Population in 2001 = 5,311,508
Voila! Maryland has 1.9% of the US population.

Since we are a Blue State, we pay more of our share, but let's just assume its proportionate: we are coughing up $1.55 Billion for the country formerly known as Iraq.

Our Medicaid Budget (most of which goes to the oldsters, though everyone thinks it goes to kids) = $2.6 Billion.

Now, lemme see. Hmmm. 1.55 divided by 2.6, carry the one:

Uncle George is asking for 60% of our Medicaid Budget.

Gee, ain't arithmitic fun.

[Oh, by the way, Maryland. you're going to have to trim that budget a weenie bit. Fiscal responsibility, you know]

Paging Dr. Eberle; Dr. Eberle

Robert R. Eberle, Ph.D is now in the building.

Don't Ask the Media Who's Winning the War
by Robert R. Eberle, Ph.D.
31 March 2003
A reporter asked Secretary Rumsfeld: "Is it possible that you've miscalculated the desire of the Iraqi people to be liberated by an outside force and that because of their patriotism or nationalism, that they'll continue to resist the Americans, even after you prevail militarily?"
Secretary Rumsfeld responded, "Don't you think it's a little premature -- the question? (ed. comment: No)
The topper was a question asked to Secretary Rumsfeld about numbers of killed and wounded soldiers: "The casualty figures currently officially released by the U.S. military show 28 dead and 40 wounded. Now the proportion of wounded and dead would be -- would seem to be historically way out of skew, because the number of wounded is usually far more than the number killed in action. Is there -- can you explain why that would be, or -- and is there any effort to either unreport or underreport casualties from the battlefield?"

With that question, even the usually unflappable Don Rumsfeld was left in a stupor. He responded by saying: "Oh, my goodness! Now, you know that wouldn't be the case. There's no -- no one in this government, here or on the ground, is going to underreport what's happening. That's just terrible to think that. Even to suggest it is outrageous. Most certainly not! The facts are reported." (ed comment: the facts? Anyway, the ratio now is like 1,200:10,000:100,000(Iraqi Civilians))

But stroll along through the paths of yore to:
Kerry's Anti-War Record Discussed at White House Briefing
2/10/2004 | Jeff Gannon

JEFF GANNON (Talon News): Since there have been so many questions about what the President was doing over 30 years ago, what is it that he did after his honorable discharge from the National Guard?

but you know the quote
And in a comment:
To: Jeff Gannon
How did you get your Cahones past the metal detectors???

Yes, Jeff. How DID you get your Cahones past the White House metal detectors?

Two Years Ago

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Where we're at

Every now and then we should all sit back and try and put the pieces together.

Politics has never seemed so close to our lives as now. I suspect that this is a function of the media, first television and now the InterNet. I am not sure that it is good for someone who is not directly in politics to be so immersed in what is happening on a day to day basis. But, that is what has happened for a lot of us.

For instance, while John Kennedy's assassination is one of the dominating images of my college days, the political ramifications of this event (the ascendancy of Lyndon Johnson; the Great Society programs that flowed from that momentum; etc) were pretty much lost on me. Many Americans don't realize that, as a president, Kennedy wasn't very effective. Glamorous, yes. Effective, no. Esquire magazine ran a piece that caused big stir after his assassination called "Kennedy without Tears."

It wasn't until the Vietnam War was in full swing (1967-68) that many of us became politically involved. Even then, our political protest was unorganized, at least until the 1968 election.

One of the more interesting events I remember during those times (1965) was a formal debate about our involvement in Vietnam that took place between an American team and a team from Oxford. The American team was composed of, among other notables, Bob Shrum, my classmate at Georgetown and late of the Kerry team. I think McGeorge Bundy was involved too. At that time, we all supported the American intervention there. Sort of like the support that many Americans gave George Bush for Iraq.

I feel that, at that time in the 1960's, we all were still under the sway of anti-Communism. Graduates from High School in the 1950's were given a copy of J. Edgar Hoover's "Masters of Deceit." We looked for fellow travelers under every rock. But then, gradually, not in small part a result of so many of us being drafted, and dying, things began to change.

The vanguard of the change in the late 60's was the youth. Again, one can be cynical and say it was because their ox was being gored. There is no doubt in my mind that, if the draft was reinstated, you would once again see a youth revolution. While there are certainly many die hard Republican youths around, just as I had friends that that were Goldwater Republicans, the natural tendency of youth is to be liberal, unless they are brainwashed. Of course, this is a debate that we should engage in: is the youth of America today brainwashed? I don't think so. Remote, maybe. Brainwashed, I doubt it.

I focus on the late sixties because it is the only place I can see hope for our battered country. While there was violence in the youth and peace movement (see Medium Cool)in comparison to other societies that changed rapidly, that violence was paltry. When one thinks of the violence and force that was needed to change German and Japanese societies during WWII, the change in America during the late sixties, early seventies was benign.

Unfortunately, as opposed to societies in Germany and Japan, the change was not lasting. We did not renounce State violence as a means to an end. The same ideological fervor that drove Hoover and Nixon I see recapitulated in Rove and Bush (unintelligent leaders always have their Svengali's and Rasputins).

But, we have the potential in our society to change. We have demonstrated it. And, there are at least 50 million of us in this country that want to alter our course. The question, as always, is how to do this.

As we grew up, in the naive 50's and early 60's, we believed that the business of America was accomplished by the people of America working through a democratic government. There just wasn't any question in our minds that this was the way things were. And, believe it or not, things may well have been, at least a little, like that.

No longer. I cannot believe that we live in a true democracy. The last two presidental elections have been a farce. There is ample evidence that the 2000 election was stolen and there is mounting evidence that the 2004 election was deeply flawed. Furthermore, when 50% of the population does not agree with what you are doing, one cannot claim, as Bush does, to have a mandate.

So, what to do? Where do we go from here? How do we change this abberation that America has become back into a country that espouses the ideals of its founders and reflects the true soul of the American people?

I don't know. But I am going to find out.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Here comes the Death Sta.....sorry, Social Security Reform

Friday Crab Blogging

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Is This Funny?

"Attorney General Alberto Gonzales started his first week on the job. Remember those two naked statues that John Ashcroft had covered up when he took the job?

Well they're naked again but now they have leashes around their necks."

--Jay Leno

This is not funny.

Swift Boats for Ehrlich

I realize that politics is dirty. But, Martin O'Malley is a cool guy. He actually leads a band (O'Malley's March) that played for a street party last summer in our little town. He is someone whom I would like to see as our Governor here in Maryland. He is a good Democrat. But then, of course, the Karl Rove surrogates get to work:
BALTIMORE — Mayor Martin O'Malley yesterday denounced rumors of infidelity, as his wife stood by his side and described how the rumors spread on the Internet by an aide to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. were affecting their children

I am sorry, this is it. This is not about Martin O'Malley, this is about the slime machine that reaches all the way from the White House into every home in America. This is War on the American people. We stood by while they destroyed Kerry, we are not going to stand by while they destroy O'Malley.

To the barricades.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Thick as Sludge

There is no doubt in my mind that the story of Jeff Gannon could not have been invented even by our most intrepid writer. Now this tidbit has come to light from Kos:

White House-credentialed fake news reporter "Jeff Gannon" from fake news agency "Talon News" was cited by the Washington Post as having the only access to an internal CIA memo that named Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a covert CIA agent. Gannon, in a question posed to Wilson in an October 2003 interview, referred to the memo (to which no other news outlet had access, according to the Post). Gannon subsequently has been subpoenaed by the federal grand jury looking into the Plame outing.

So, this guy who turns out to be an idiot, who can't keep a job, who owns a gun but lives on Capitol Hill (illegal), who got a daily pass to Scotty's press conference and could always be counted on to ask the softball question, who did ask the softball question to Bush recently, is now implicated in a serious breach of national security. Jeesh!

The most intersting thing, though, is that Kos has his Kossacks running around like ten thousand Sherlock Holmes getting the skinny on this turd. Wow!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Hold the pickles!

Its hard when you are used to Dinty Moore Beef Stew to appreciate truly great food. And then there's this:
After 11 years as White House chef, Walter Scheib III has been pushed out of the kitchen by First Lady Laura Bush. While Scheib says he wants to leave on a positive note, insiders say that the 'top toque' was unhappy at the Bush's insistence that he give up all French recipes and cooking techniques, and create an elaborate inaugural menu paying tribute to the brand names of a dozen top Bush campaign and GOP donors.
While Mr. Scheib was gracious in his parting words, saying that it had been an honor to serve the first lady, sources close to the chef say that his relationship with the first family had grown increasingly tense since he was asked to stop using French recipes and cooking techniques after France refused to support the US-led invasion of Iraq.
Tensions were further exacerbated, say sources close to the chef, by White House orders that Scheib create a special inaugural menu to honor the brand names represented by more than a dozen top GOP and Bush campaign donors. Scheib was reportedly vocal about his unhappiness over having to create dishes that featured such ingredients as Coca-Cola, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Pilgrim's Pride Whole Butter Basted Turkeys.

The menu that Scheib ultimately composed, served at three candlelight inaugural dinners, is a testimony to the chef's ingenuity. He brined the Pilgrim's Pride turkeys in Coca-Cola, before stuffing them with sweet-and-savory stuffing made from Dunkin Donuts old-fashioned cake doughnuts. (Emphasis added)

Excuse me, excuse me, EXCUSE ME, but
Krispy Kreme Donuts are not Dunkin Donuts!

Jesh, what kind of idiots are running our country?
I bet they don't know a Shiite from a Sunni.

And Fried Rice will never convince the French to love her.

Monday, February 07, 2005

From the people who brought you Fallujah

This by way of South Knox Bubba:

Ethical Rules “Non-Binding”— No Standards to Protect Infants and Fetuses

Washington, DC —In a notice slated for publication in the Federal Register, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will formally adopt an open door policy of accepting experiments conducted by pesticide companies and chemical manufacturers using human subjects, according to a draft posted by EPA late last Friday. At the same time, the agency is indefinitely delaying development of ethical rules to protect test subjects, instead relying on its political appointees to flag immoral or unsafe practices on a “case-by-case” basis.

“At the request of chemical companies seeking to justify higher exposure limits, EPA will sanction dosing of infants, pregnant women and other vulnerable persons with commercial poisons,” stated Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) Executive Director Jeff Ruch....

I wonder if Jenna and NotJenna would volunteer. This way they could avoid the draft.

I don't know how you all feel, but it is starting to unravel.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Good Ideas from "Meat Ax" Cheney?

Maybe Social Security is a smoke screen. What they are really trying to do is Afghanistanize America:

The budget seeks savings from about 150 programs, including Amtrak, environmental protection, American Indian schools, farmers' subsidies and Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the poor and disabled. (italics can't vote)

Pathetic, I say. Pathetic. Really shows those "family values."

Darwin was Wrong

There is no evolution, at least of intelligence in America.

I was looking for a succinct summary of the Social Security ballyhoo and, as usual, Krugman has it here:
A few weeks ago I tried to explain the logic of Bush-style Social Security privatization: it is, in effect, as if your financial adviser told you that you wouldn't have enough money when you retire - but you shouldn't save more. Instead, you should borrow a lot of money, buy stocks and hope for capital gains
Then there is more:
So people are expected to take a loan from the government and use it to buy stocks, and if that turns out to have been a mistake - well, too bad.
Do you believe that we should replace America's most successful government program with a system in which workers engage in speculation that no financial adviser would recommend? Do you believe that we should do this even though it will do nothing to improve the program's finances? If so, George Bush has a deal for you.
If this idiocy gets through Congress in the present form, as well it might, we will be entitled to all the scorn intelligent life elsewhere can heap upon us.

Maybe the Creationists are right: God blessed America with dumbness and it ain't going to change.

(Oh, and I have a Bridge for sale)

Saturday, February 05, 2005

The New Science

There's some really bright guys out there. Then there's Toby Alexander (by way of Pharyngula by way of TBogg):

I knew that DNA controlled every function in the body, but when I found out that DNA was originally composed of 12 strands instead of the current 2, I became very interested in learning how to activate the 10 dormant strands. I studied many works from different sources about this, and decided to go through the activation process myself first, before I incorporated it into my healing practice.

I first studied all of the Human Genome papers to get science's current knowledge and understanding about our 2 strand chemical DNA - which isn't a whole lot since they only studied 1.2% of the actual DNA inside the body and ignore the other 98.8% that they call "junk DNA". Science still thinks we evolved from pond scum and chimpanzees! I then came across progressively more advanced and detailed information from pre-ancient texts that described the histories of various human races and the DNA that these races had. This then led me into the study of 15th dimensional unified physics and the structure of universal dimensions, planetary merkabas, and how our holographic reality is actually created from our DNA.

As my frequency got higher..........

Well, you get the idea.

Oh, I forgot to tell you, he's the next Science Advisor to the POTUS. Frisssbe! I wanted that job.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Lemme on this list

This just in:

Some Barred From Bush's North Dakota Speech
Friday, February 4, 2005; Page A08

Not everyone was welcome, apparently, at President Bush's speech in North Dakota yesterday.

The Fargo Forum reported that a city commissioner, a liberal radio producer, a deputy Democratic campaign manager and a number of university professors were among more than 40 area residents who were barred from attending the Bush event. Their names were on a list supplied to workers at two ticket distribution sites.

Spreading freedom around the world (not so fast, there, North Dakota).

Watch Georgie Boy put our First Amendment into the wood chipper.

For want of a nail.....

After all the rhetoric, just as in the presidential election, it all comes down to a few votes. Wampum reminds us that if we want to defeat the insanity of private accounts, we need at least six Republican Senators to go against their party. At least two of the six are already leaning towards this, Snowe and Specter:

Those ten Republican Senators, Snowe, Specter, Chaffee, DeWine, Warner, Voinovich, Smith, Collins, McCain, and Hagel, will determine whether or not Democrats need to resort to a filibuster to defeat private accounts in the Senate.

Let's not let another Ohio occur. For want of a nail.....

Friday Crab Blogging

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Nuremberg Precedent (IV)

We need go no further than this quote from 1999 to see how far we have fallen:

Nuremberg has never fulfilled its brightest promise -- a permanent international tribunal for war crimes. Various efforts have been made in the ensuing half century, but all have languished. Only recently, with the establishment of the U.N.'s International Criminal Tribunal that is addressing war crimes in the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, have the ideals set at Nuremberg taken a tangible form.

The final business of Nuremberg remains unfinished

George W. Bush is adamantly opposed the the International Criminal Court (though to be fair, the first vote against it occurred during Clinton's administration). However, it gets worse:
In an unprecedented diplomatic maneuver on 6 May, the Bush administration effectively withdrew the U.S. signature on the treaty. At the time, the Ambassador-at-large for War Crimes Issues Pierre-Richard Prosper stated that the administration was "not going to war" with the Court. This has proved false; the renunciation of the treaty has paved the way for a comprehensive U.S. campaign to undermine the ICC.

In addition:
...the Bush administration negotiated a Security Council resolution to provide an exemption for U.S. personnel operating in U.N. peacekeeping operations.
...the Bush administration is requesting states around the world to approve bilateral agreements requiring them not to surrender American nationals to the ICC. The goal of these agreements ("impunity agreements" or so-called "Article 98 agreements") is to exempt U.S. nationals from ICC jurisdiction. They also lead to a two-tiered rule of law for the most serious international crimes: one that applies to U.S. nationals; another that applies to the rest of the world's citizens.

Through thick and thin, Americans have always felt that our civilization was the rule of law. With George W. Bush, Condelezza Rice, and Alberto Gonzales, this rule has been fractured beyound repair. The Spirt of Nuremberg has been water-boarded.


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Nuremberg Precedent (III)

The Nazis were masters at propaganda. They had had two decades of observation of the first modern Total-propaganda State, Bolshevik Russia. They learned their lessons well. So it is no wonder that we encounter statments in December, 1945, at the Nurember Trials such as the following:

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS (Chief Prosecutor for the United Kingdom): .... Hitler, the leader of the Nazi conspirators who are now on trial before you, is reported as having said, in reference to their warlike plans:

"I shall give a propagandist cause for starting the war, never mind whether it be true or not. The victor shall not be asked later on whether he told the truth or not. In starting and making a war, not the right is what matters, but (in) victory the strongest has the right."

Recently, many have castigated Senator Boxer for having stated that Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) were the only reason why the Bush Adminstration took us to war. Unfortunately, as loyopp has pointed out, (January 27, 2005), while this may have been true in the minds of many, including the Senators who voted for the resolution, it may not have been the actual case. This is discussed in great detail by Mad Kane.

However, in reading Rice's comments, one must be struck by the propagandistic tenor of her contentions which she must have known were inflated.

Surely Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld, etc. felt that these inflated contentions would disappear in the aftermath of finding even one WMD and their invasion would be "justified." After all, Hitler did have some more or less valid issues with Poland and the rest of Europe (especially the treatment of Germany after WWI).

The only important factor here is the InterNet. In less than 100 years the world has gone from domination by propaganda to the ability to skewer such propaganda in a moment. Unfortunately, the unconnected masses (and I include Senators) have yet to learn.

Ann Coulter on a date