Friday, November 30, 2007

Man Takes Hostages At Clinton Campaign Office

 
Okay, I know this is a serious situation - but I've also realized from this event that the material the Internet comes up with puts Letterman, Leno, et al, to shame.
 
If the police negotiate with him the way the Dems like to negotiate the kidnapper will get a crate of weapons, unlimited transport, and he'll be able to keep the hostages.  
 
Whereas, if the police respond like Repubs, they will read a children's book for a few minutes, then storm the wrong building.  And then waterboard the hostages for valuable information.  Or they'll barge in there with half the cops actually necessary, kill everyone in the office, and then forget how to get out of the building.

Poll finds more Americans believe in devil than Darwin

http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSN2922875820071129?sp=true

Ron Paul spam

Sorry, but I read this post about the growing Ron Paul movement and really liked it.  A similar one could be written about Kucinich - but not so about practically any other candidate.
 
 
"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts." -Abraham Lincoln

Are those who somehow aren't yet aware of the Ron Paul movement or know only what the mainstream media have painted of it having that nagging feeling you get when the checkbook just won't balance? Something a little like that persistent agitation of hearing a familiar song and struggling to remember who the artist is?

Something is clearly amiss, or at the edge of memory, but you just can't quite put your finger on it.

There's an underdog campaign that has set a GOP fundraising record – and all from small, individual contributors – which is also receiving the most contributions from military men and women of any presidential campaign while inspiring a true 'rainbow coalition' to join up with a commitment and passion undreamt in modern political history.

But something is wrong.

TV news keeps assuring us that it's just a fringe movement while they report with glee on a brothel owner's 'endorsement'. They go all out over some neo-nazi screwball paypaling $500 to the campaign website (who even knew who this guy was until the media broke it as a story?) all the while more or less ignoring the college campuses all over America abuzz with creative energy and ideas to further the movement.

In fact, attacking the supporters seems to be all they have – usually it's a candidates record or checkered past that's put under the microscope. That it's the supporters getting the media black eye in many cases should tell you a great deal about Ron Paul's impeccable record over ten terms in congress. In my research I've only been able to confirm one 'flip-flop' and this was on capital punishment which he no longer supports for the unfair manner in which it is meted out.

John Stewart quipped on the Daily Show, "You're known as an honest man of integrity and principle….American voters don't usually go for that." And Bill Maher, not known for endorsing republicans, said recently that Ron Paul is "his new hero."

From USC to Harvard to MIT to U of M and OSU, we see a spectacular display of patriotism and democracy vibrating with a cool intensity and determination. From the planes flying over Wolverine Stadium to the planes flying over St. Petersburg Florida to the rooftops of Manhattan and now to the airship - all 200 feet of her - something very unexpected and very big is going on in America.

And yet, inexplicably, our alphabet soup of media is curiously silent about the phenomenon when not openly mocking it.

Why?

We hear of Mitt's flip-flops, Giuliani's mistress's cab fare, Huckabee's likeability and Hillary's plausible deniability but these campaigns are a yawn for the most part when there's not fresh dirt – there is little to nothing new being offered us and we Americans clearly want change! They report with enthusiasm every spat and squabble like they're looking for a rousing chant of "Jerry, Jerry..." but on a real and genuine movement expanding exponentially we hear only that a fringe element of the internet has made some noise. "Don't look over there" they tell us, "it's just some cyberpunks, skinheads and prostitutes." They've even made the complaint that too many of us are voting in their polls!

Why?

And then I watch the CNN debate - Tancredo and Hunter are still there and stranger still, they're getting more face time than Ron Paul despite Ron Paul polling 4th in New Hampshire, and nearing double-digits in Nevada and Iowa. It gets worse when CNN spits up their selected question to Ron Paul and from the 5,000 or so video questions submitted it's an odd question about conspiracies. We find out immediately after the debate that the man given a microphone and perhaps more airtime than Ron Paul at the debate is co-chairman of a Hillary Clinton steering committee.

Why?

I suspect that many are beginning to realize - if only at the periphery - that there is some injustice going on and they are not getting the whole story and that, somehow, they're being manipulated rather than informed.

I believe very strongly that there are those who feel we'll all be better off if they do the thinking for us.

And so I issue a call to those who still do their own thinking: Join us and let liberty, peace and prosperity be the adjectives of our age and our legacy to those who will follow us.


We cannot long continue plodding along more or less unchanging – tweaking a few subtleties here and there - as we continue to count the casualties on both sides in the middle-east while making new enemies faster than we kill the old ones, push near 10,000,000,000,000 in national debt while the dollar collapses, legislate away our freedoms for, ostensibly, security, and watch the last American manufacturing job disappear over the horizon.

Who will answer the call?

Some might simply feel too old for revolution and so take comfort in its media dismissal. I say you're never too old for a worthy and admirable revolution! I call to those who cling to status quo government as the panacea to an uncertain world – you don't need more government, you need more freedom! I call especially to those who identified themselves with a party at some point and stopped caring really where that party is heading - what that party has become. If you view everyone opposed to your views as either a lefty loon or a neo-con, I'm talking to you. Join us – it's better over here!

I believe we're at a precipice in US history and as a nation and a people we need to take a collective intellectual walkabout and ask the questions: What would Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin and Paine think of our republic in 2007? What would they say of our stewardship of The America Experiment? What is it we love most about America? What do we as Americans and even the rest of the world admire most about the idea of America?

And why are we not standing up for it?


Consider this: 70% of Americans are opposed to the war in Iraq and presidential and congressional approval ratings are at historic lows and yet media darlings - and so, it follows, front-runners - Giuliani, Romney and Hillary are for expanding our middle-east military blitz and are more or less status quo party insiders. It seems fair to say that the only changes we can expect from them are positions on issues in the run-up to the election. Romney goes as far as refusing to condemn torture carried out in the name of America!

"Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us." -John F. Kennedy

There's a disconnect here and it's a serious one. On an issue as profound and important as war, many people seem to prefer comforting lip service, partisanship, or worse, escalation, to a peaceful revolution and change.

How can this be?

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." -James Madison

If you're for empire America and all the death, misery, isolationism and staggering resources that entails you'll do fine with the candidates brought to you by CNN and Fox.

But, if you believe as our founding fathers – that playing favorites with nations and entangling alliances are the road to corruption and ruin, that "commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto" and that "that government is best who governs least" – there is only one candidate:

Ron Paul.

Google George Washington's Farewell Address of 1779 for a far more prosaic expression of this warning against favoring nations at the expense of others than I could ever hope to compose.

Carl Sagan once said that the people of the world want peace and someday governments are going to have to get out of their way and let them have it.

Sounds like something Ron Paul would say.

Head of Rove Inquiry (and Bush appointee) in Hot Seat Himself

Mr. Bloch had his computer's hard disk completely cleansed using a "seven-level" wipe: a thorough scrubbing that conforms to Defense Department data-security standards. The process makes it nearly impossible for forensics experts to restore the data later. He also directed Geeks on Call to erase laptop computers that had been used by his two top political deputies, who had recently left the agency.

This is ludicrous.  You don't need an L7 wipe just to remove viruses - and there don't seem to be indications of those other two laptops being "infected" either.  I hope this guy goes down hard for destruction of evidence and obstruction of justice, and takes any other guilty parties (at any level) along with him. 

Sudan protesters: Execute teacher

 
This is one of the most unbelievable, disappointing stories of the year to me.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The CNN/YouTube Republican Debate - Ron Paul

 
Good post-interview with Ron Paul - this debate format was the most shameful so far, and it was the most time I felt I wasted unproductively all week (and I can waste some pretty good time).  It's amazing that CNN was a journalistic standard less than a decade ago, and has now fallen so far.  Ron Paul handles it with great integrity and presidential authority - and to the audience's credit this time, I was glad to see them aware of the invalidity of McCain's attempted positioning during that exchange.
 
Here are Paul's clips from the debates (there were actually several non-Paul moments worth watching, both by Huckabee and Giuliani - which I was surprised by, but still doesn't outweigh all the strikes against him):
 
 
 
 

Monday, November 26, 2007

lib•er•tar•ian

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/23/AR2007112301299.html

'Muhammad' teddy teacher arrested

 
Beyond the idiocy of this particular issue (I'll defend freedom of religion when it deserves it, but this isn't one of them), one thing I don't really get: What about all the guys named Muhammad, aren't they also insults to the prophet and shouldn't their parents also be arrested for their "insult"?
 

Give Me Liberty

 
Great post in my opinion.

Hero cops save 12 from fire in 2 Bronx homes

 
I'm just always glad to send on any "police as a force for good" stories, despite their infrequency (maybe because they're not as sensational).
 

Short of Funds, G.O.P. Recruits the Rich to Run

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/26/us/politics/26recruit.html?ex=1353733200&en=c03efdea1904cf10&ei=5118&partner=rssaol&emc=rss

Enemy Of The State, coming soon to a neighborhood near you

 
Despite Rocky Rhodes' best efforts...

Stephen King: It's time for somebody to discuss the difference between real news and fake news

 
It's only relevant reading down to the "I'll pass your suggestion along", but great up until then.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Edwards’ pro-war posture in ’04 raises serious credibility questions

 
Normally I'm against political sniping, but hey I'm on a Kucinich roll and he's 100% right on each of these points.

Dennis & Elizabeth Kucinich on The Early Show (disgraceful host)

 
Great showing of class by both of them in the face of the early morning pandering towards Idiocracy - I like how quickly Dennis set a more appropriate stage for true discussion.  Great lines by each of them at the end, too. :-P

Dennis Kucinich blasts Democratic leadership, says the vow from his party's leadership is "total fraud"

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/28909

Let's hear what Ronald Reagan has to say...

I don't know how I managed to stumble across this gem, but I am morally and/or entertainmentally obliged to pass along this video...
 

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Re: Bush 'involved' in CIA leak case

Nice - Dodd again stepping up to the plate.
 

Kucinich Spreads an Unapologetically Liberal Message

 
I think he's spot on the money on almost all of the issues, and he would have all sort of funds to cover the ones I don't if he worked on getting us out of Iraq.  On a separate note, funny line at the end (obviously taken out of context, but I'm not disagreeing).

Bush 'involved' in CIA leak case

Current White House press secretary Dana Perino said: "The president has not and would not ask his spokespeople to pass on false information."

Riiiiiight... (I won't say the I word)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Man To Sue Highway Patrol After Traffic Stop Tasing

 
Sickening - and it didn't even mention anything about the illegal search at around the 8:30 mark in the below video  (start from about 2:15 here if you want to see the gory details, largely uneventful till then):
 
 

Iran virtually free of U.S. dollar in oil revenues

http://www.guardian.co.uk/feedarticle?id=7088101

Decoy Election Websites Pretend to Root for Your Candidate

http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/2007/11/spoof_forums

Yeesh - if it's a blatant parody (Onion-style), I'm all for it - but this just promises to undermine the promise the Internet holds...

GQ Dark Horse of the Year: Ron Paul

http://men.style.com/gq/blogs/gqeditors/2007/11/gqs-dark-horse.html

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

11/19 Dennis Kucinich - Elizabeth at the Mercury Café

 
Yeesh, Elizabeth Kucinich sounded better than most of the candidates out there.  Sure, we don't know what her stances on gun control, immigration, etc., but sounds like she might be another worthwhile voice in the fray.

Obama Voices Support for ODF

Great to see - any candidate that actively commits to transparency in government gets bonus points to me.
 

Re: Ron Paul Wins Nationwide Zogby Blind Poll

Funny (but sad) related forum post:

It will be over something as stupid as the Dean Scream brouhaha. For example: RP will collect his mail one morning, and look through the Victoria's Secret catalog as he walks back to the house.

The following day, there will be close-up photos of him looking at the magazine. The headline will proclaim "RON PAUL OGLES PORNOS DURING CAMPAIGN!!!"

For the next week, the talking heads will be all atwiter, asking important questions like:

  • Can Ron Paul be trusted with your daughter?
  • Is Ron Paul too obsessed with vaginas to run the country?
  • What does Ron Paul's wife think about his porn addiction?

By the time it's over, RP's campaign will be deader than interstate roadkill.

Ron Paul Wins Nationwide Zogby Blind Poll

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/november2007/191107_zogby_poll.htm

Kucinich Protests Army Training School

 
Jeez, I never even knew this place existed, and I thought my database was pretty good at this point - yet Kucinich is miles ahead and taking action.  I can't help but like this guy more every day.
 
 

Monday, November 19, 2007

Crossing America Day 13: El Dorado, Kansas

 
 
Mrs and Mrs Kerns spoke glowingly of Mr Obama's speeches, his intelligence and his education. They appeared to care not a whit about his colour. But they won't vote for him. Why? They think he might be a Muslim.
 
 
Another thing I keep hearing is opposition to Hillary Clinton. Some say openly it's because she's a woman, often citing the need for a president to be able to deal with Middle East leaders. Others ask how if she couldn't control her husband then how can she control the country. Certainly, some women are going to vote for her because she's a woman, but my hunch is that these votes will be outweighed by the anti-woman votes.
 
 
Freaking hell - not even diving into the actual content and rebuttals to the above bits, I'm tired of this type of "average American" and their perception of what are important qualifications for our next President.
 

Censured! Senator Dianne Feinstein Gets Severe Rebuke

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/11/19/03028/267

The True Cost of Taxing and Spending, By Congressman Ron Paul

 
Not his strongest speech, as I wish he'd emphasize that the taxing isn't the issue - it's the spending.  Good essay nonetheless.
 

If $3.5 trillion is the true cost of these military adventures, $11,500 is the amount every man, woman and child in this country pays. So, a family of four would pay $46,000 just for this war. This is an especially painful number to me, as the median household income of my constituency in Texas is just $43,000 a year. In other words, war has cost more than an entire year's worth of income from each middle class Texas family.

What about the impact of these costs on education, the very thing that so often helps to increase earnings? $46,000 would cover 90% of the tuition costs to attend a four year public university in Texas for both children in that family of four. Obviously, it would far outpace the cost of a community college degree, so vital to so many in the workforce.

But, instead of sending kids to college, too often we're sending them to Iraq , where the best news in a long time is they aren't killing our men and women as fast as they were last month.

For Democrats, Iowa Still Up for Grabs

The top three Democratic presidential contenders remain locked in a close battle in Iowa, with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) seeing her advantages diminish on key issues, including the questions of experience and which candidate is best prepared to handle the war in Iraq, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) draws support from 30 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa, compared with 26 percent for Clinton and 22 percent for former senator John Edwards (N.C.). New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson received 11 percent. The results are only marginally different from a Post-ABC poll in late July, but in a state likely to set the tone for the rest of the nominating process, there are significant signs of progress for Obama -- and harbingers of concern for Clinton.

 

US prison system 'costly failure'

 
The US prison population has risen eight-fold since 1970, with little impact on crime but at great cost to the taxpayer, researchers say.
 

The Future of Reading(?)

 
Interesting bet by Bezos/Amazon - the technology has been viable for the last few years, but whether people will adopt it...

OPEC interested in non-dollar currency

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/OPEC

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday that OPEC's members have expressed interest in converting their cash reserves into a currency other than the depreciating U.S. dollar, which he called a "worthless piece of paper."

"They get our oil and give us a worthless piece of paper," Ahmadinejad told reporters after the close of the summit in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. He blamed U.S. President George W. Bush's policies for the decline of the dollar and its negative effect on other countries.

Sadly, he's probably not that far off from the truth in any of those statements...

House snubs Bush on spying

http://capitolhillblue.com/cont/node/3814

Good summary of this issue (except that they didn't mention that illegal acts by a sitting President warrants impeachment ;-)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Questions About Carville and CNN

 
Man, the hits just keep on coming from just that one debate. 
 
Maybe it's because they were fighting on an uneven playing field, but that debate had some very good performances by the other players to me - I enjoyed it even despite all the underlying snafu's.  It will be interesting to see if CNN and other news networks put more effort into fair, high-quality debates going forward, or if it will be business as usual.
 
 

Kucinich and Paul, ring the bell

 Oh man, watch out world - we'll see if this bears any fruit... ;-)

we should propose to both Kucinich and Paul, respectively, that the two of them should embark on a cross-country debate tour, Lincoln-Douglas revivial style. i'm sure that both would relish the press coverage that it would create and the fact that it would call america's attention to the real issues, not the idiot-style debates TV.


Exactly. They don't have to wait for the media to host. As a president you take the lead, you don't subject yourself to media approval.  I can see volunteers putting up their debates on youtube and other video hosting sites. Getting exposure for their efforts is not an issue.


Many major news programs are featuring mega-popular YouTube links now. I can see the media putting the youtube debates on msnbc and other news channels. I don't think exposure is an issue either. What IS stopping them?


 
 
 

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dennis Kucinich ABC news interview

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5PgaiAQZ_c

Re: Reid may hold pro forma Senate sessions to block Bush recess appointments

Catching up on older news - looks like this is one of the recess appointments that will be blocked.
 

23andMe - genetics just got personal

 
Welcome to 23andMe, a web-based service that helps you read and understand your DNA. After providing a saliva sample using an at-home kit, you can use our interactive tools to shed new light on your distant ancestors, your close family and most of all, yourself.
 
I implemented my company's software at a client whose function was to produce a similar chip used in the service above, but it was more for research purposes and wasn't aimed at individuals being able to purchase for themselves (and the social factor this site has incorporated).  I'm curious how many of you would either embrace or refuse to use this technology. :-) 
 
If I were single and had $1000 laying around, I'd love to participate and spend my free time actually putting my biochem degree to work, overriding my general concerns about the privacy aspect (which would hopefully be mitigate by awareness and laws).

Who has the oil?

 
It took a minute to digest how the map is laid out, but I like it (the map is adjust for who's got the biggest reserves).

Sane Officers Oppose Cheney (opinion piece, but I believe a good one)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/uc/20071115/cm_uc_crjcox/op_454396

The Untold Story Of The Apollo 11 Silicon Disc

 
Interesting history I'd never heard.

Ruling Blocks Challenge to Wiretapping

 
While still a defeat, it's excellent to see the beginning of the courts questioning Bush's constant "state secret" excuse.  At minimum, the logic is clearly flawed: if the President breaks the law, and declares the evidence for it "state secrets", that evidence then can't be introduced in court and thus dramatically decreases their chances of getting convicted of any wrongdoing - does no one see a problem with this setup, regardless of the particular topic?
 
Despite it being disappointing that the Sealed Document wasn't admitted, this will hopefully end up boding well for the end of warrantless wiretaps in addition to the use of the "state secrets" excuse.  I just can't believe it's still taboo to talk about impeachment.
 
 
Full text from the 9th Circuit's website:

Cop walks into restaurant and, without provocation, tasers the owner in the temple, causing him to bleed profusely, convulse and bite off part of his tongue

http://www.wbbm780.com/Tinley-Park--Cop-Sued-For-Taser-Shooting/1219787

House passes Restore Act with no telecom immunity provision

 
Good news, and kudos to Chris Dodd for pretty much single-handedly stopping the retroactive immunity from going through.  Hopefully this makes it both past the Senate and Bush's pen, but we'll see.

Re: Not The Daily Show, With Some Writer

This one too... ("men's" site, a little risque):
 

The "Diamonds Or Pearls" flap, and the rest of the CNN media coverage structure

http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/11/diamond_v_pearl_student_blasts_1.php
 
 
Moral of the story to me is that the debate structure could be significantly improved all the way around - equal time for all candidates deemed worthy of being on the stage, stop the intentional positioning of the chosen candidates in the middle of the stage each time, etc.  It's always easy to second-guess what you'd do in the same situation as this girl (assuming you were asked to pose such a meaningless softball question instead of one you wanted to), but few of us think quickly enough on our feet to question authority and then come up with a superb counter-response.
 
However, this flap does also remind of another angle criticizing Wolf Blitzer I had read: http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/28761
 
 
Overall, I'm just glad I only get maybe 20% of my news from the MSM, the benefits of this approach outweigh the costs in my opinion.

Reid may hold pro forma Senate sessions to block Bush recess appointments

 
Whoa now - Harry Reid showing a semblance of a brain.  Of course, it could just be that when Congress re-adjourns, the spinelessness in the course of approval hearings could continue its merry trend anyway, but hey, it's a first step...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Obama In SF

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/11/obama-in-sf.html

A sick graph

http://www.solarpowerrocks.com/solar-trends/a-sick-graph-2/

Rudy Giuliani's ties to Fox News

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/11/15/regan/?source=whitelist

One candidate to transcend them all

 
This is an epic-ly (epically?) long article, but I liked a lot of the context it laid out.  It missed some key considerations about each candidate, but I still thought it was good overall and had unique points.

The Bush Administration Plans to Blame You for Iraq

 
In warfare, the people's will is an indispensable component of a nation's warfighting "trinity" (that also includes the government and the military). It's exceedingly difficult to prevail in a major war, if a leg of this triad is hobbled. By choosing not to mobilize the people's will, by telling us to go about our normal lives as others were fighting and dying in our name, the Bush administration actually hobbled its own long-term efforts. Now, they are getting ready to claim that it was all our fault. We were the ones who lost our patience and will to victory. This is rather like the boy who killed his father and mother, only to throw himself on the mercy of the court as an orphan.

So let me be clear: If we lose in Iraq, the American people will not be to blame. We cannot be accused of lacking a will that was never wanted or called upon to begin with. Yet the stab-in-the-back myth gains credibility precisely because so few high-level people either in government or the military are being held accountable for failures in Iraq.

Land of the Free

 
This is the most badly awesome Ron Paul video yet, but it made an interesting point I hadn't heard before - when driving around my town, the only bumper stickers I've seen are Ron Paul '08 or Barack Obama '08, but I've seen five or so of each of those.  Guess that means I'm living in the right town for me...

Not The Daily Show, With Some Writer

 
This was actually a pretty good clip.

The Early Word: Clinton Back on Her Game

 
Seriously?  I thought she didn't do well at all, on at least three different occasions when she was put on the defensive.  I get that she(unfairly) gets support for being a woman, and I get that she benefits from additional support from the Republicans wanting her to be the one they can beat after the primaries, and I get she gets additional support for being married to Bill Clinton (overall, though that's also a cost for the family-values/no-forgiveness crowd), but I really don't think her answers were the winner on almost any question. 
 
Take this one for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBypp2hqxaQ 
 
Sorry I couldn't find a non-wacko-YouTube-guy version anywhere, but I thought this answer was just plain horrendous, and if she were anyone without the three non-merit-based factors above, she'd have been out of these debates faster than Mike Gravel.  During the debates, the video above was preceded by the other candidates coming down on NAFTA/CAFTA/etc pretty hard, albeit without going into as much detail as I would have liked, while acknowledging the original intent under Clinton/Gore.  I would have liked to hear what Hillary had to say as she had a unique perspective here, but instead got a complete avoidance of the question and no insights into her stance.  The only two reasons I can think of that this occurred are: 1) she's not up to speed on the issue, or 2) she knew her answer wouldn't please the public or her base.  Either way, I disagree that last night was a strong or satisfactory performance by her.

Feingold to offer amendment striking telecomm immunity.

 
His NYT letter from that article is a good read too, and I like the way a forum reader put it: "I don't know how people swallow the 'they haven't done anything wrong, but we need to give them immunity' line. It's like telling my wife that I haven't cheated on her, but I want her unconditional forgiveness and a pack of condoms."
 
Feingold's consistently one of my favorite Congress members (of course, you only have to be competent and not a partisan hack to be one of my favorites, but that still narrows the field considerably).  He's also young enough that he'll hopefully be sticking around and fighting the good fight for a while.  Matter of fact, I'd love to see him take over Harry Reid's job.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/11/14/scisurf114.xml&CMP=ILC-mostviewedbox

Obama's innovation plan a Christmas list for the geekerati

 
Good move by Obama, and smart way to take mindshare away from Ron Paul (who has an overlapping supporter base, but who on this topic would likely have proposed none of these, as he'd rather the government just didn't get involved).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

China's trade surplus jumps to a monthly record

 
"When China awakes, the world will tremble."
- Napoléon Bonaparte

The Dinosaur Conspiracy Theory

 
Wow.  Who'd have thought - dinosaur extinction was an inside job. (sorry)
 
On another note though, it doesn't really tie these two events (asteroid and volcanos) together, potentially because there's no proof yet.  However, have you ever whacked a pillow in the sunlight?  Notice all the dust that results that was expelled from within the pillow?  You heard it here first...

Two lives blurred together by a photo (note: tearjerker warning)

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/marlboromarine/la-na-marlboro11nov11,1,5154619.story?coll=la-news-marlboromarine

Friday, November 09, 2007

FBI Hoped to Follow Falafel Trail to Iranian Terrorists Here

 
Bwahaha, I knew there was a reason I don't really like falafels - they're terrorist food!!  (oh but wait - what group is most known for their falafels...?) 
 
I really hope we never experience an attack from Italy, Vietnam, or Thailand, or my food trail will most certainly brand me as a terrorist...
 

"You can't be the president and the head of the military at the same time"

 
Yes, he actually said it.  I hope it's a very, very, very long time before we have someone so ridiculously unqualified as President again.
 
As for the article content, this whole Musharraf/Bhutto/Pakistan fisaco just once again emphasizes to me how much better off we would be if Barack Obama were President.  (or heck, maybe Ron Paul, as we wouldn't be involved to begin with ;-)

FOX Anchor Calls for Terrorist Car Bombings In Iran

 
Content like this really gets to me - what's most concerning is the amount of people that watch this channel. 
 
Let's be absolutely clear - this is a blatant call for state-sponsored terrorism by our government, and I doubt that the audience of this show would understand the implications of that.  "Terrorizing the terrorists with our brand of terror" immediately and very visibly invalidates the biggest facade of reason for our invasion of the Middle East.  Since this host is now clearly both a right-wing chickenhawk and a terrorist, we might consider giving him a good waterboarding and see if he changes his tune on the various issues which he undoubtedly holds the "tough" positions on.
 
I guess it's also worth pointing out again that Iran was one of our biggest supporters after 9/11, and that their troops were fighting the Taliban right beside us in Afghanistan - but expect this would largely fall on deaf ears for the audience of this show.  And history has shown what a great idea it is to arm a resistance who is a questionable ally, anyway - guess we'd better start looking forward to the Shia version of Al-Qaeda in 20 years or so if we go this route.

"The Vacuum" (twisting of quotes)

 
Not a bad video, though long (you can get the main idea in the first 2:30).  It points not so much to a conspiracy to me, but instead to a lack of full understanding/information (possibly through blind acceptance) by our representatives.  Also that there is a better way to play this situation when provided the full information, that would take more advantange of multilateral efforts and wouldn't destroy our economy in the process.

Senate confirms Mukasey as attorney general

 
Good representation of the conflicting approaches within the Democratic party, the ongoing Republican push, and the end result of both factors (for better or worse).

Why Moderate Republicans Wield Newfound Clout

 
Long ignored when their party was in control, moderate Republicans are the new power brokers in an increasingly bitter series of veto confrontations between President Bush and the Democratic Congress.

NIDIS (new government drough monitor tool) launched

This is a new drought-tracking site launched that seems very handy.  Figured I'd pass it along.
 

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

CNN: Price of Iraq war 10 times pre-war predictions

http://rawstory.com/news/2007/CNN_Price_of_Iraq_war_10_1102.html

Re: Times declares Bush Pakistan policy 'spectacular' failure

Oh and hey, let's not forget this character: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Qadeer_Khan
 
In January 2004, Khan confessed to having been involved in a clandestine international network of nuclear weapons technology proliferation from Pakistan to Libya, Iran and North Korea. On February 5, 2004, the President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, announced that he had pardoned Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who is widely seen as a national hero. [1]

Times declares Bush Pakistan policy 'spectacular' failure

For more than five months the United States has been trying to orchestrate a political transition in Pakistan that would manage to somehow keep Gen. Pervez Musharraf in power without making a mockery of President Bush's promotion of democracy in the Muslim world. On Saturday, those carefully laid plans fell apart spectacularly.
 

Monday, November 05, 2007

Barack Obama on Saturday Night Live

 
Mildly painful, but better than lots of other sketches I've seen in recent years.

Dead Certain: The Imperial Presidency

But there is another, less attractive part of the Bush persona: the mean-minded frat boy. At the 1992 Republican National Convention, Senator John McCain was about to speak for the re-election of Bush 41 when young George came up to him and said, according to Draper, "You've gotta hammer Clinton on the draft dodging." That from a man who had weaved his way out of serving in Vietnam. McCain replied, "Sorry, that's not my thing."

On Jan. 31, 2001, soon after taking office, Bush held a cabinet meeting. When he entered the room, one chair was empty: the secretary of state's. "Lock the door," Bush said. A few minutes later Colin Powell could be heard trying the doorknob. The room "erupted with laughter." Then Bush ordered the door unlocked. He "had made his point," Draper says; Powell was "not the big dog any longer."

...
 
He says next to nothing about what I think will be seen, along with the Iraq war, as the most important legacy of Bush's presidency: his effort to enlarge the unilateral power of the president. Invoking the "war on terror" as a reason, Bush has worked relentlessly to unbalance the balance of powers — the separation of the government into three branches — that James Madison, the father of the Constitution, thought was its fundamental safeguard against abuse of power.

 

Friday, November 02, 2007

Obama stepping back up to the plate

Good leadership stance on both of these issues - I hope he's getting his sea legs back, as he was strong for a while and then seemed to lose his momentum.  If he leads to his potential, he'll likely have my vote in November 2008.
 
 
 
 

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Health vs. Pork: Congress Debates the Farm Bill

This is an interesting comparison - any perspectives on this?
 

Scholar links Bush's US and Hirohito's Japan

 
Here was the impetus for my prior post - thoughts?

Bush's fuzzy history

I'd never heard of this - it's continually amazing how ill-suited our leadership is...
 
Here's a (mangled) video that captures the audio...