Friday, November 30, 2007

Don't Eat Fruit

At least not Chiquita or Dole fruit.Via The Kid, over at The Twins' Place, I am reminded of my youth, more precisely, a Sociology 101 course I took, way, way back in the day. We were required to read 12 texts for those 3 credits & the one I remember, oddly enough, partially concerned bananas & criminal corporation. The author of that book has since, sadly, become a right-wing idiot. & he apparently blames his right-wing odiousness on the fact that his parents, actual working people (teachers) wouldn't let him watch such classic fare as Pillow Talk. Now it surprises me that the author to the previously mentioned book would cite these two as reasons to become an idiot, given Rock's clearly left-wing gayness. & Doris, well, she became one of those animal lovers who actually set up a foundation that gives money to poor areas of the U.S., the socialism of it all! Well, back to bananas. The worthless corporation that is Chiquita, don't but their bananas, buy organic, fair-trade bananas at your local food coop, has been sued for doing what it's been doing for over a hundred years. This is one more reason why capitalism is evil.
Victims of the bloody paramilitary conflict in Colombia are suing the US banana company Chiquita, accusing it of funding and arming guerrilla groups blamed for torture and thousands of killings.

The lawsuit, filed in New York, seeks $7.86 billion (£4 billion) on behalf of 393 victims and their relatives. They accuse Chiquita Brands of complicity in hundreds of murders carried out by the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia, a right-wing paramilitary group known by its Spanish acronym AUC.

The company has courted controversy for more than a century amid claims about the aggressive tactics that it has used to influence the politics of the Central American countries in which it operates. In 1975 a US investigation revealed that it bribed the Government of the Honduran President – and military dictator – Oswaldo López Arellano to get banana export taxes reduced.

The company even spawned the term “Banana Republic”, first coined by the American humourist O. Henry in 1904, in reference to the American conglomerate United Fruit and its actions in Honduras. The company had dominated Central America since 1899 and changed its name to Chiquita Brands International in 1989.

This year Chiquita admitted that it had paid off rebel groups in Colombia, including the AUC, which is accused of carrying out massacres during Colombia’s long-running civil war before it began to disarm in 2003.
Don't buy their god damned bananas, or any other of their blood stained products.

& as long as we're on corrupt fruit companies, don't buy any Dole shit, either. Stop & think, of all the labor in the world, who gets screwed the most, those that actually do the agriculture that feeds us, farm workers. Profits before people, indeed. From the Organic Consumers Organization.
Already, courts in Nicaragua have returned more than $600 million in judgments against Dole and other companies, according to lawyers for the workers - judgments that have proved impossible to collect so far. The verdicts announced Monday marked the first case of foreign farmworkers prevailing in a U.S. court against Dole and Dow over harm from the pesticide, DBCP.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Big Game Update 2

5:15 3rd Quarter - Grant runs it in from the one. Packers 24 - Cowboys 27

---
Another really bad call by the refs that led to a Cowboys TD. I'm pissed.

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5:03 4th Quarter - Crosby just kicked a 51 yard field goal. Packers 27 - Cowboys 34

Big Game Update

No. 1
11:36 1st Quarter - Crosby field goal. Packers 3 - Cowboys 0

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No. 2

8:23 1st Quarter - After a really lousy call by the refs, the Cowboys kick a field goal & tie the game.

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No. 3

3:15 1st Quarter - Another field goal for the Cowboys. Packers 3 - Cowboys 6
Let's hope the offense does a bit better this set of downs.

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No. 4
1:14 1st Quarter - Cowboys score after an interception of Farve. Packers 3 - Cowboys 13
This is not good. I'm beginning to think I am causing this by watching, so may decide to turn the channel. I hope Farve doesn't have a game like, well, you know.

---
:01 1st Quarter - Huge run by Grant for a touchdown. Packers 10 - Cowboys 13
Maybe I'll keep watching. Maybe not, screwed up on-side kick attempt.

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13:20 2nd Quarter - 3 plays & a TD pass for the Cowboys. Packers 10 - Cowboys 20
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8:23 2nd Quarter - Favre is on the sidelines & Rogers is in. It's now Packers 10 - Cowboys 27. Things are not good. I'm going to the basement.

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:31 2nd Quarter - Touchdown pass to Jennings, from Rogers. Packers 17 - Cowboys 27

The Big Game

From The Kid, over at The Twins' place.
God asks Peyton Manning first: "What do you believe?" Peyton thinks long and hard, looks God in the eye, and says, "I believe in hard work, and in staying true to family and friends. I believe in giving. I was lucky, but I always tried to do right by my fans." God can't help but see the essential goodness of Manning, and offers him a seat to his left.

Then God turns to Tony Romo and says, "What do you believe?" Tony says, "I believe passion, discipline, courage and honor are the fundamentals of life. I, too, have been lucky, but win or lose, I've always tried to be a true sportsman, both on and off the playing fields." God is greatly moved by Tony's sincere eloquence, and he offers him a seat to his right.

Finally, God turns to Brett Favre: "And you, Brett, what do you believe?" Brett replies, "I believe you're in my seat."
&, then there is this, also from The Kid.
John Elway, after living a full life, died. When he got to heaven, God was showing him around. They came to a modest little house with a faded Broncos flag in the window. "This house is yours for eternity, John," said God. "This is very special; not everyone gets a house up here." John felt special indeed, and walked up to his house. On his way up the porch, he noticed another house just around the corner.

It was a 3-story mansion with a Green and Gold sidewalk, a 50-foot-tall flagpole with an enormous Packers logo flag, and in every window, a Cheesehead.

John looked at God and said "God, I'm not trying to be ungrateful, but I have a question. I was an all-pro QB, I won 2 Super Bowls, and I even went to the Hall of Fame."

God said, "So what do you want to know, John?"

"Well, why does Brett Favre get a better house than me?"

God chuckled, and said "John, that's not Brett Favre's house, that one's mine."

Man Crush Time

A quote from Anthony Bourdain. Mr. Bourdain, whose Travel Channel teevee show, No Reservations, is great to watch.
The whole thing is about the restaurant and hospitality industry in New Orleans. What happened, how it is now, is it recovering. Man, I tell you, every single person we talked to for the show, every single person, at some point started crying on camera. Anyone who is telling you that New Orleans is back and that New Orleans is better and everything is fine is lying. That town was abominably fucked over. It's like everybody had a simultaneous nervous breakdown, and the sense of betrayal, everything you believe was proven to be utterly false.
Via Norwegianity. You know, we've had many people comment on New Orleans, like Peter King.
What I saw was a national disgrace. An inexcusable, irresponsible, borderline criminal national disgrace. I am ashamed of this country for the inaction I saw everywhere.
If you can't believe a cook & a sport's writer, who are you going to believe?

Another Fine Example

...of racism in America. As long as our political chatterers can discuss a southern strategy & states' rights, in terms of electing a president, we will all suffer this outrage.
Still, there are just seven minority coaches in the 119-team Division I-A level, a percentage that's so disgustingly abysmal (5.9), the collective schools can't possibly claim an interest in being progressive or diverse. And the numbers haven't improved this offseason.
My emphasis.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Yikes

Looks like the predatory market forces will do more than make a lot of people homeless.
The deepening housing crisis will cut economic growth by more than 25 percent in 143 U.S. metropolitan areas next year and by more than a third in 65 metro communities, according to a new forecast for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The new report prepared for the mayors by financial forecaster Global Insight warns of cascading problems caused by falling home prices, an expected 1.4 million foreclosures and the pending reset of millions of adjustable-rate mortgages. The mayors are to release the report Tuesday.

Yeah, greed is good. My emphasis.

UPDATE: It's going to cost the San Francisco Bay area $5.4 billion.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Learned Something New Today


I never knew about the Cross River Gorilla. Now find out that it is the most endangered primates in the world.

Laugh, Laugh, I Thought I'd Die

I remember watching this with Mrs.coldH2O. I don't believe we ever laughed so hard together in our married lives.



Via that NOLA blogger, Adrastos.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Everything He Touches

Turns to shit, here's another example. Heh.
...the end of the era came with a slap in the face: In addition to losing the prime minister post, he was only the second sitting prime minister since 1929 to be kicked out of his own parliament seat in his home district.
Too bad someone can't slap Bu$hCo's smirking face. I mean, of course, an affectionate slap. Yeah, that's my story & I'm sticking with it.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Go Do It

Shutterwi did it, if you know what I mean. This appears to be a great program, & relatively reasonable in price.
One Laptop Per Child extends promotion until year's end

By RODRIQUE NGOWI

The Associated Press

12:10 AM CST, November 23, 2007

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — A promotion in which a customer buying a $188 computer in the U.S. and Canada automatically donates a second one to a child in a developing country was extended until year's end, organizers said Thursday.

The "Give One, Get One" program will now run through Dec. 31, instead of ending on Nov. 26, according to the One Laptop Per Child Program, a nonprofit spinoff from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The program said customers in the U.S. and Canada will pay $399 for two laptops, with one going to the buyer and the other to a child in such countries as Rwanda, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Haiti and Mongolia.

"In the past 10 days, we've experienced an outpouring of support from the public that is truly gratifying and encouraging," said Nicholas Negroponte, the program's founder.

Negroponte said they decided to extend the program because "so many people have asked for more time to participate either individually or in order to organize local and national groups to which they belong."

"We want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to act upon the giving spirit of the holiday season," he said.

The laptop has a homegrown user interface designed for children, boasts built-in wireless networking, uses very little power and can be recharged by hand with a pulley or a crank.

———

On the Net:

One Laptop Per Child:http://www.laptop.org

Give One, Get One promotion:http://www.xogiving.com

From The Chicago Tribune.

FYI, the Mr. Negroponte mentioned in the article is NOT the murderer that Bu$hCo hired.

Department Of Duh?

This is a big problem for the Chequamegon Food Coop & many other stores that offer good, organic foods. As long as government on every level keeps supporting factory agriculture, the poor & elderly will continue to suffer. As usual, the diet of an American is not always an uniformed choice, but a forced nightmare.
In this land and season of plenty, low-income and rural Americans continue to have difficulty finding healthy foods that are affordable, a new study finds.

One study shows that low-income Americans now would have to spend up to 70 percent of their food budget on fruits and vegetables to meet new national dietary guidelines for healthy eating.

And a second study found that in rural areas, convenience stores far outnumber supermarkets and grocery stores


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Thursday, November 22, 2007

10-1

Packers 37 Detroit Lions 26

Hopefully the injuries won't be debilitating for the Pack next week against the baby Cowboys, yes, they are still complaining about The Ice Bowl. Talk about not moving on.

There Is No Crisis

Just another attempt by the ReThuglican Party to make us afraid, of everything. Social Security is fine, & in fact, we could start offering an earlier retirement option that wouldn't force us to eat canned cat food. Just ask Stanley Logue.
To his surprise, the Social Security investment won out: $261,372 versus $255,499, a difference of $5,873.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Death Day, Apparently

But this is a death that I am happy about.


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Ernest "Doc" Paulin, R.I.P.

He was a hundred years old. Obit here.

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Racism, Again, It's Alive

The Slidell, LA, city government did the right thing in firing this cretin. But read the story & wonder how a supervisor kept a couple of nooses hanging on his door for six years? There has been progress, but not as much as we think.


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Hero

Milo Radulovich, R.I.P.

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What An Ass

Bu#hCo calls Musharraf a democrat. We are ruled by a moron.


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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mrs. coldH20 Glowing In The Dark

This MST3K vid is in honor of Mrs. coldH2O sitting alone in the bedroom this weekend, glowing. She took the radioactive iodine treatment yesterday, so I've been slavishly making lunch, breakfast, dinner & putting it on the floor by the bedroom door & then knocking on the door & running away. This video shows a 1963 Chevy Impala, the car Mrs. coldH2O drove when I met her. Sadly, we sold that car for $150.


This Blog's Reading Level

Well, well, the level of discourse on this blog is:

cash advance

Congrats to my loyal four readers.

Don't Buy Dead Cow At Whole Foods

Whole Foods, an upscale "natural" food selling supermarket chain is selling dead cow meat with drug residues that exceed federal limits, & those are federal limits under the corrupt Bu$hCo regime. This comes via Organic Bytes, a neat little online newsletter about healthy foods & justice & sustainability. Hat tip to The Kid, the good stenographer over at The Twins' website.


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Friday, November 16, 2007

New Orleans

Scout Prime posts on the lack of true progress in New Orleans. The Kid, over at The Twins' place got me watching Top Gear on BBC-America. It's a fun show & this is what they said about America & the lack of rebuilding in New Orleans:

A year had passed since Katrina had blown through, and we sort of assumed that after 12 months the wealthiest nation on earth would have fixed it. But we were wrong. How can the rest of America sleep at night knowing that this is here?

That was from a year ago. Nothing much has changed. Scout Prime:

In March of 2007 little had changed from the previous visit. A few homes on the block had been demolished and now there were more empty lots. And on my latest visit in August of 2007 I saw a few more homes had been demolished. More empty lots. And I wondered if in August of 2005, would Americans have thought the measure for progress in the rebuilding of New Orleans 2 years out would be --empty lots. Yet that is nearly the only thing I could report in terms of progress for this block. Well nearly.... but first regarding those empty homes and lots.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Racism, Alive & Well In America


Via Altercation, go read the whole thing, we get:

Forty-five percent of black children whose parents were solidly middle class in 1968 -- a stratum with a median income of $55,600 in inflation-adjusted dollars -- grew up to be among the lowest fifth of the nation's earners, with a median family income of $23,100. Only 16 percent of whites experienced similar downward mobility. At the same time, 48 percent of black children whose parents were in an economic bracket with a median family income of $41,700 sank into the lowest income group."
....
This is true across the board, but it is at the bottom rung where the failure of the American system is most apparent. In the Nordic nations, for instance, three-quarters of those on welfare had moved up and out of the system by the time they reached their 40s, but barely more than half of their American counterparts had. As the editors of The Economist (subscription required) put it, "In other words, Nordic countries have almost completely snapped the link between the earnings of parents and children at and near the bottom. That is not at all true of America." In Britain, too, fully 70 percent of those enmeshed in the welfare system had moved out within a single generation, again -- a higher percentage than in America. The magazine points to the generous tax and welfare provisions for families as "the obvious explanation for greater mobility in the Nordic countries ... especially when compared with America's."
....
Author Andrew Hacker notes that in studies of black and white job-seekers with identical résumés who apply for publicly advertised jobs, we find incontrovertible evidence of "systemic discrimination that cannot be attributed to differences in skills between comparably educated blacks and whites."
....
All of these problems contribute to the horrible situation in which we find ourselves, in which black ghettos constitute a permanent underclass and breeding ground for social pathologies that are then exploited by the likes of Murray, Peretz, Sullivan, and Podhoretz, together with the Glenn Becks, the Imuses, the Rush Limbaughs, etc., to ensure that our society remains one where the poorest are the victims of the poor and near poor -- and vice versa, while the wealthy live behind gated communities, retaining all available privileges for themselves, all the while preaching the virtues of hard work and "playing by the rules."


I have never believed that racism is simply a way to excuse bad behavior, racism is a real thing, a real existential problem for the U.S. & we continue to ignore it at our peril. My emphasis.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

No Surprise Here

Did Blackwater murder innocent people? The FBI believes it is true. & who am I to argue with the FBI, after all, to do so would only encourage our enemies & I would, of course, be a traitor, who ought to be waterboarded.
Investigators found no evidence to support assertions by Blackwater employees that they were fired upon by Iraqi civilians. That finding sharply contradicts initial assertions by Blackwater officials, who said that company employees fired in self-defense and that three company vehicles were damaged by gunfire.


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The Stakes, My Friends...

...are very high. Go read this press release from the Brennan Center For Justice regarding voting rights in America. It makes sobering reading. It also makes me mad, but right now I'm having a difficult time getting my blood up. Still, as the headline of the release indicates, if you are an African_American, a low income voter, a student, or a senior citizen, the ReThuglican Party DOES NOT WANT YOU TO VOTE! It's no surprise, really, they have never trusted people with real-life problems. As I have stated several times in the past, this is not the America I envisioned when I was a youngster. Stand up Democrats, or else merge with the ReThugs.

# 21.8% of black Indiana voters do not have access to a valid photo ID (compared to 15.8% of white Indiana voters - a 6 point gap).

# When non-registered eligible voter responses are included - the gap widens. 28.3% of eligible black voters in the State of Indiana to not have valid photo ID (compared to 16.8% of eligible voting age white Indiana residents - a gap of 11.5 percent).

# The study found what it termed "a curvilinear pattern (similar to an upside down U-curve)" in the relationship between age and access to valid ID - younger voters and older voters were both less likely to have valid ID compared to voters in the middle categories. 22% of voters 18-34 did not have ID, nor did 19.4% over the age of 70. (compared to 16.2% of Indiana voters age 35-54 without valid ID and 14.1% for 55-69 year olds).

# 21% of Indiana registered voters with only a high school diploma did not have valid ID (compared to 11.5% of Indiana voters who have completed college - a gap of 9.5%).

# Those with valid ID are much more likely to be Republicans than those who do not have valid ID. Among registered voters with proper ID, 41.6% are registered Republicans, 32.5% are Democrats.

Via TPM.

On Bu$hCo's Newest Veto

First it was stem cells that the idiot-boy vetoed. Then came the hell with the poor kid's health veto. Now we have news from ntodd on the latest veto. He also quotes our Congressman, Dave, I Have An Explosive Temper, Obey. This time Obey has it spot on.

Well, It's ComeTrue

Rick Santorum was right. All I can say is poor dog.


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Saturday, November 10, 2007

37-21

Wisconsin beats the Michigan Wolverines. Ha!

Well, Good

It looks like the evil Minnesota Vikings have reversed their assholism. This time, at least.
The Vikings will in fact pay WR Troy Williamson his game check for the No. 4 game against San Diego, reversing an earlier decision to withhold it after he missed the game to plan his grandmother’s funeral.
& in a real class move, a move the Vikings ought to emulate, Williamson did this:
Through his agent, Williamson said he will donate the game check — $25,588.24 — to charity in memory of his grandmother.
The Vikings ought to match this donation, it would be a great way to atone.

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Norman Mailer, R.I.P.

Obit here. I remember well his important essays on the war in Vietnam & Muhammad Ali, who, BTW, IMHO, is one of the greatest people to ever have lived. Someday I'll post about my young life tuning in some Chicago radio station on am AM radio in my family's kitchen trying to get to listen to his fights. This occurred in far northern Wisco.


More here.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

One More Good Reason To Really Hate The Evil Vikings

Yeah, football represents the best of American society. Yeah, we're going to crush these heartless dickwads on Sunday. The Hon. Dr. St. Rev. Bradley S. Rocket, Esq, PhD, MD is surely correct about the Vikings' unmitigated assholism.

Here's an email addy you can use if you want to express your valued opinion about this. &, you know, people wonder why no one gives a shit anymore.
vikings.com@atomicplaypen.com

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Feeling Safer?

Even the loony is trading at about $1.10. Looks like my trip around Lake Superior on the Harly next summer may not happen, well, the high loony & the ripoff involved in getting an American passport.
The investigators' findings? The government's $30 fee was roughly double the actual cost when imposed in 2002. The Postal Service, which operates 5,382 locations where people can apply for passports, estimated its costs at $13.31 in 2002. The State Department, which operates 14 passport offices, said its costs were $16.20 at that time.

"This is not supposed to be a profit-making venture," Dorgan said. "They charge 30 bucks just for passing something across the counter."
Oh, BTW, here are how two other currencies are doing relative to the dollar. These numbers have been rounded up.
Euro - $1.50
Pound - 2.10

UPDATE: More here.

Economic Theory Of The ReThugs

Via Atrios, we get this little nugget from Paul Samuelson:
Recessions also have often-overlooked benefits. They dampen inflation. In weak markets, companies can't easily raise prices or workers' wages. Similarly, recessions punish reckless financial speculation and poor corporate investments. Bad bets don't pay off. These disciplining effects contribute to the economy's long-term strength, but it seems coldhearted to say so because the initial impact is hurtful.
Emphasis mine. Coldhearted is an understatement. & these are the people & the ideology that rule the country these days. Fuck it is disheartening.


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Monday, November 05, 2007

Feingold's Statement

On the guy who can't decide whether waterboarding is torture.
I will vote against the nomination of Judge Mukasey to be the next Attorney General. This was a difficult decision, as Judge Mukasey has many impressive qualities. He is intelligent and experienced and appears to understand the need to depoliticize the Department of Justice and restore its credibility and reputation.

At this point in our history, however, the country also needs an Attorney General who will tell the President that he cannot ignore the laws passed by Congress. Unfortunately, Judge Mukasey was unwilling to reject the extreme and dangerous theories of executive power that this administration has put forward.

The nation's top law enforcement officer must be able to stand up to a chief executive who thinks he is above the law. The rule of law is too important to our country's history and to its future to compromise on that bedrock principle.
More info here.

Some Good News

The Senate races look good, but what the hell is wrong with Maine?


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Sunday, November 04, 2007

RocknRoll

So I scored a 34 on The Almost-Impossible Rock & Roll Quiz. How did you do? BTW, a 34 means I'm a WHIZ, which I took to be an insult, you know, "I'm going to take a whiz off the deck." More scores here.


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Huh?

So I guess there is something good in Alaska besides the rainbow trout.

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7-1

Packers win again. Farve continues to play great. Oh, Packers 33, Kansas City Chiefs 22.





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Friday, November 02, 2007

Go Listen

...then report back. I liked, of course, Etta James, then Whitey, then Astrid Gilberto. I am not a fan of the others, at least not tonight. Go here for the playlist.

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No Spine Democrats Strike Again

I don't know what to say, so I'll let BooMan say it & then say it again. He led me, & therefore my loyal four readers to this & I agree. No civility for spineless creeps.

Another Drowning Victim

Poor children, The Everglades, who cares? Veto them all. Worst President ever. Goddamn, I'm glad The Twins woke up smiling. Two little bits of happiness in a world Bu$hCo is continuing to destroy. Spine, Democrats, spine.


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Thursday, November 01, 2007

First Video Upload

I took this short video of The Twins earlier today. Let's see how it works with the Blogger upload feature.


video

Foreign Policy

This is the kind of leadership we apparently desire? Thanks again, Ralph.
In a series of internal musings and memos to his staff, then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld argued that Muslims avoid "physical labor" and wrote of the need to "keep elevating the threat," "link Iraq to Iran" and develop "bumper sticker statements" to rally public support for an increasingly unpopular war.


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