Friday, June 30, 2006
Thursday, June 29, 2006
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that President Bush overstepped his authority in ordering military war crimes trials for Guantanamo Bay detainees.
The ruling, a strong rebuke to the administration and its aggressive anti-terror policies, was written by Justice John Paul Stevens, who said the proposed trials were illegal under U.S. law and international Geneva conventions.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
“While Jim Webb and others of George Felix Allen Jr.’s generation were fighting for our freedoms and for our symbols of freedom in Vietnam, George Felix Allen Jr. was playing cowboy at a dude ranch in Nevada. People who live in glass dude ranches should not question the patriotism of real soldiers who fought and bled for this country on a real battlefield,” Jarding said.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
The San Miguel County Commissioners voted unanimously on Wednesday to join a formal “notice of intent to sue” the federal government.
After the bird’s delisting, San Miguel County Commissioner Art Goodtimes explained, he felt it was time for action.
“The Fish and Wildlife folks did [the Bush] administration’s political bidding, while ignoring the science,” he said. “For me, that was the last straw.”
I don't think I bash Christians too often, mostly because I know some good and smart people who belong to that club, and I try to keep that in mind when I hear the worst coming out of that quarter. But their funerals--if they're all like the sort of stoically boring Midwestern Protestant numbers I get invited to--could make me reconsider. It's not so much that the blandishments don't match the situation, although around ten-fifteen minutes in I always start to feel like I'm floating on a cloud of pure nonsense, like watching a version of Peewee's Playhouse that isn't meant to be funny. It's that the sales pitch, or what must be, from the opposite perspective, the constant need for reassurance never seems to stop. The fact that someone you loved is DEAD is a reason to believe in God's bountiful love as revealed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The fact that the loss hurts like hell is a reason to believe in God's bountiful love as revealed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The answer to those eternal questions that plague your mind at times like these is...well, you're ahead of me by now. I mean, I believe in Gravity, but if I fall off a ladder I want painkillers, not some friendly words about the scientific method.
Here's the other story I don't believe. Now, I'm all in favor of a father helping out a kid, but to somehow, with a staight face, claim that a Barbie fishing pole & a six-year old landed a 28 inch walleye, well that just stretches the imagination a bit. BTW, I'm objectively pro-child, I have one myself. So there.
Emphasis added.There is an exhibit of Darwin in the American Museum of National History. I now own a Darwin mug and finger puppet because I'm sick of ignorance masquerading as science. PZ Myers I'm not, but I'm a college educated adult male. I've spent my life dealing with facts. When some wingnut talks about intelligent design, we're talking faith. I have no problem with faith, just don't call it science.
The GOP has gone to the bullshit well one too many times. While Americans die in Iraq, they debate gay marriage. This isn't 2004, 2500 people are dead in Iraq, including many Kansans. People want their kids to come home. Alive, and without brain trauma. People want raises, real raises. They're tired of being scared. And all they hear from the GOP is catering to the crazy people from the church down the road.
Enough is enough. Even in Kansas.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Ouch. As we've noted many times here, GOP uber-operative Grover Norquist used his nonprofit Americans for Tax Reform to wash money for Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed. Reed didn't want it known, remember, that he's "kind of like hypocritical." The story is memorably told by Abramoff's emails and various players' testimony to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
In its heartland, snow that fell a quarter of a million years ago is still preserved. Temperatures dip as low as 86 degrees below zero. Ground winds can top 200 mph. Along the ice edge, meltwater rivers thread into fraying brown ropes of glacial outwash, where migrating herds of caribou and musk ox graze.
The ice is so massive that its weight presses the bedrock of Greenland below sea level, so all-concealing that not until recently did scientists discover that Greenland actually might be three islands.
Should all of the ice sheet ever thaw, the meltwater could raise sea level 21 feet and swamp the world's coastal cities, home to a billion people. It would cause higher tides, generate more powerful storm surges and, by altering ocean currents, drastically disrupt the global climate.
Climate experts have started to worry that the ice cap is disappearing in ways that computer models had not predicted.
By all accounts, the glaciers of Greenland are melting twice as fast as they were five years ago, even as the ice sheets of Antarctica — the world's largest reservoir of fresh water — also are shrinking, researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Kansas reported in February.
Zwally and other researchers have focused their attention on a delicate ribbon — the equilibrium line, which marks the fulcrum of frost and thaw in Greenland's seasonal balance.
The zone runs around the rim of the ice cap like a drawstring. Summer melting, on average, offsets the annual accumulation of snow.
Across the ice cap, however, the area of seasonal melting was broader last year than in 27 years of record-keeping, University of Colorado climate scientists reported. In early May, temperatures on the ice cap some days were almost 20 degrees above normal, hovering just below freezing.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006
Giant Galapagos tortoise Harriet has died of a suspected heart attack.
She was a star attraction at Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo since the 1980s and even features in the Guinness Book of Records for her longevity.
Her history is as colourful as the hibiscus flowers she lovingly munched on.
It is believed Harriet was one of three animals naturalist Charles Darwin brought back from his trip to the Galapagos Islands in 1835 and which led to his theories of evolution and natural selection.
A few years later, Sir Charles gave them to a Brisbane-bound friend.
For about 100 years Harriet was mistakenly thought to be a male.
At 176, Harriet was recognised as the world's oldest living chelonian - a reptile with a shell or bony plates.
Mr Irwin said he considered Harriet a member of the family.
"Harriet has been a huge chunk of the Irwin family's life," he said.
"I have grown up with this gorgeous old girl and so have my kids.
"She is possibly one of the oldest living creatures on the planet and her passing today is not only a great loss for the world but a very sad day for my family.
"She was a grand old lady."
A signature piece of evidence for global warming -- a compilation of data showing that a sharp rise in temperatures made the late 20th century the warmest period in 1,000 years -- is probably true, a national panel of scientific specialists concluded yesterday.
A graph of the data has become an icon of global warming and is often referred to as ``the hockey stick" because of its shape: A shaft that shows a long period of relatively little change in Northern Hemisphere surface temperatures, and then a spike upward during the last 100 years or so that resembles the blade.
Since the first version of it was published in a scientific journal in 1998, environmentalists have seized on the graph as powerful evidence of human-induced climate change, while some critics have called it alarmist, questioning its methodology and the accuracy of its temperature data.
Last year, the dispute catapulted into the national political arena after Joe Barton, a Texas Republican who is chairman of the House Energy Committee, asked the three authors of the 1998 study -- including a University of Massachusetts professor -- for a detailed accounting of their government and private funding, data, and methods. A range of scientists and other legislators blasted the request as an intimidation tactic, contending that other researchers would be reluctant to embark on such studies if they knew they would be under such scrutiny by members of Congress.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
The U.S. Army, aiming to make its recruiting goals amid the Iraq war, raised its maximum enlistment age by another two years on Wednesday, while the Army Reserve predicted it will miss its recruiting target for a second straight year. People can now volunteer to serve in the active-duty Army or the part-time Army Reserve and National Guard up to their 42nd birthday after the move aimed at increasing the number of people eligible to sign up, officials said. It marked the second time this year the Army has boosted the maximum age for new volunteers, raising the ceiling from age 35 to 40 in January before now adding two more years.
She and others are trying to organize what is believed to be the nation's first union of foster parents, and they hope to win the right to bargain with state government.
They want to establish higher training and education standards and create an experienced, professional corps of foster parents. They also hope to secure better compensation, including retirement benefits and perhaps medical insurance.
That, in turn, could reduce the high turnover in their ranks that results in youngsters being bounced from one foster home to another, they said.
"We have had debates on gay marriage, we have debates on flag burning, and we have debates on estate tax," Kennedy said. "We're saying that it's time we take action to increase the minimum wage."
The intensity of the complaints, raised in a closed meeting of GOP lawmakers, surprised Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and his lieutenants, who thought the path was clear to renew the act's key provisions for 25 years. The act is widely considered a civil rights landmark that helped thousands of African Americans gain access to the ballot box. Its renewal seemed assured when House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders embraced it in a May 2 kickoff on the Capitol steps.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
We've known for years now that George W. Bush received a presidential daily briefing on Aug. 6, 2001, in which he was warned: "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." We've known for almost as long that Bush went fishing afterward.
What we didn't know is what happened in between the briefing and the fishing, and now Suskind is here to tell us. Bush listened to the briefing, Suskind says, then told the CIA briefer: "All right. You've covered your ass, now."
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
The Rocky Mountain region saw a 292 perent increase in carbon dioxide emissions between 1960 and 2001, the largest percentage increase of any other region in the country, according to a study released Tuesday by the Montana Public Interest Research Group.
Violence begets violence. Inhumanity and cruelty bring more of the same. The whole world is watching and we don’t have the right to claim the moral high ground so long as those responsible for the abuses at Guantanamo and detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan go unpunished, the policies stand uncorrected and the Pentagon continues to prevent the media from learning the facts first-hand.
This is huge news folks, for many reasons (explained below), and a sign that prominent members of the CT Democratic family are rallying behind Ned’s campaign. We’ve always had the overwhelming grassroots edge, it’s tremendous to see prominent establishment figures joining the movement. George Jepsen, the immediate past chairman of the Connecticut Democratic Party and the former state Senate majority leader, is set to endorse Ned at 2 P.M. today on the North steps of the State Capitol in Hartford.
Without trucked-in bees, New England's $121 million crop of cranberries, blueberries, and apples would likely crash because there aren't enough wild bees to pollinate all the fields. But the honeybee is locked in a two-decade battle with a parasite that has sliced the nation's commercial hives by one-third and appears to have wiped out much of the wild honeybee population. Now, frustrated with the parasites' ability to develop widespread resistance to the chemicals designed to kill them, the US Department of Agriculture, scientists, and beekeepers are racing to develop new weapons.
The Army said yesterday it has charged three soldiers with premeditated murder and other criminal offenses for shooting to death three unarmed Iraqis last month and then later threatening to kill a fellow soldier if he revealed details to investigators.
The three defendants -- Private Corey R. Clagett , Staff Sergeant Raymond L. Girouard , and Specialist William B. Hunsaker -- are accused of killing three males of ``apparent Middle Eastern descent" at the Muthana Chemical Complex north of Baghdad by shooting them at close range, according to the official Army charges made public yesterday.
The topic was the largest defense procurement scandal in recent decades, and the two investigators for the Pentagon's inspector general in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's office on April 1, 2005, asked the secretary to raise his hand and swear to tell the truth.
Rumsfeld agreed but complained. "I find it strange," he said to the investigators, on the grounds that as a government official "the laws apply to me" anyway.
It was a bumpy start to an odd interview, as Rumsfeld cited poor memory, loose office procedures, and a general distraction with "the wars" in Iraq and Afghanistan to explain why he was unsure how his department came to nearly squander $30 billion leasing several hundred new tanker aircraft that its own experts had decided were not needed.
We'd better not turn away just yet from the suicides of those three detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The rest of the world clearly isn't ready to move on. And with good reason.
In many newspapers around the globe "Guantanamo" is much more than the name of a beautiful harbor on Cuba's southern coast. It has become shorthand for a whole litany of American excesses in George W. Bush's "global war on terror," the most visible example of how the United States blithely ignores the values of due process and rule of law that it so aggressively preaches, if necessary at the point of a gun.
The point here isn't to go all bleeding-heart over three men who may well have been the type who gleefully slaughter innocents in the name of a warped religiousness. The point is that when our government mocks transparency and tries to conduct this war of ideas in the shadows, away from prying eyes, we defeat ourselves.
Four journalists -- from the Charlotte Observer, the Miami Herald and the Los Angeles Times -- who happened to be at Guantanamo on other business and whose reporting could have independently confirmed the Pentagon's version of the suicides were unceremoniously put on a plane home last Wednesday. The Pentagon's rationale -- that it was unfair to allow the reporters to stay, because others who wanted to come and cover the story were being turned away -- is one of those masterpieces of faux logic for which Donald Rumsfeld is justly famous. Wouldn't the solution be to let other journalists in, rather than kick those four out?
Monday, June 19, 2006
Motorcycle fatalities involving riders without helmets have soared in the nearly six years since Gov. Jeb Bush repealed the state's mandatory helmet law, a newspaper reported Sunday.
A Florida Today analysis of federal motorcycle crash statistics found "unhelmeted'' deaths in Florida rose from 22 in 1998 and 1999, the years before the helmet law repeal, to 250 in 2004, the most recent year of available data.
Total motorcycle deaths in the state have increased 67 percent, from 259 in 2000 to 432 in 2004, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics.
Representative John P. Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat and Vietnam War veteran pushing for a quick withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, on Sunday mocked Karl Rove, the president's senior adviser, for championing the war while "sitting in his air-conditioned office on his big, fat backside."
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Despite the findings, General Formica recommended that none of the service members be disciplined, saying what they did was wrong but not deliberate abuse. He faulted "inadequate policy guidance" rather than "personal failure" for the mistreatment, and cited the dangerous environment in which Special Operations forces carried out their missions. He said that, from his observations, none of the detainees seemed to be the worse for wear because of the treatment. "Seventeen days with only bread and water is too long," the general concluded. But he added that the military command's surgeon general had advised him "it would take longer than 17 days to develop a protein or vitamin deficiency from a diet of bread and water."
Friday, June 16, 2006
Ancient roots and bones locked in long-frozen soil in Siberia are starting to thaw, and have the potential to unleash billions of tons of carbon and accelerate global warming, scientists said.
This vast carbon reservoir, contained in permafrost soil in north-eastern Siberia, contains about 75 times more carbon than the amount released into the atmosphere each year by the burning of fossil fuels, the researchers said.
Modern birds--the rulers of the sky--appear to have gotten their start in the water, scientists say. The fresh insights derive from the fossilized remains of a bird that lived some 110 million years ago and was preserved in the soft muddy bottom of an ancient lake in what is now the Gansu province of northwestern China. The amphibious, ducklike creature--named Gansus yumenensis--is the oldest known member of the so-called ornithuran group that includes modern birds.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
In response to Bush’s management agenda, the agency has recently developed and begun implementing the “Green Plan,” a strategy that calls for systematic consideration of outsourcing more than 75 percent of Forest Service jobs nationwide. Jobs in everything from fire fighting to communications, from scientific data collection to engineering, and on down the line are on the block. The Green Plan, which national officials say is still in draft form and hasn’t officially been released, even though implementation has begun, represents an aggressive next step for an agency that has in recent years begun attempting to transform from its traditional, decentralized format into a lean, mean forest-managing machine. Gone are the days of rangers who handle everything in their necks of the woods, a method the Green Plan sterilely calls “job fragmentation,” with the critique that “although positions with multiple duties have provided extreme workforce flexibility and have served as an organizational strength, it can be perceived as inefficient, and adds extreme complexity to…competitive sourcing studies.” Welcome to the modern era, where public lands management is being molded to fit the private-sector cast.
MR. SNOW: It's a number, and every time there's one of these 500 benchmarks people want something.
Exactly. The establishment would obviously like to do away with primaries. They would prefer to simply tell the plebes for whom to vote and just take their money. But, that's not the way it's going to work anymore. It's not just that politics have taken a parliamentary turn, which is quite true. It goes to the heart of why so many Americans don't trust Democrats to lead: the spineless factor. It's why the Democratic terrorists are going to take the radical step of trying to elect someone who doesn't publicly kiss George W. Bush on the lips every chance he gets.
UPDATE: David Sirota has joined the bandwagon.
Joe is finally learning that there are consequences to selling out his party.
Emphasis happily added.
The electronic Diebold voting systems used in the special run-off election last week for California's 50th U.S. House district were effectively 'decertified' and invalidated for use in the election after massive security breaches in the storage of those systems were sanctioned by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, ....
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Here's the video that Springsteen played when he sang City of Ruins at Jazzfest. Powerful. Copy and paste the link into your browser.
A lot of people in Kansas are feeling lost right now," said Parkinson, 48, who was invited onto the ticket by popular Democratic incumbent Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. "I decided I'd rather spend time building great universities than wondering if Charles Darwin was right."
Well, he could just wake up & realize the a person can build great universities & know Darwin was correct. I mean, Kansas is a prime example. Here's the leader of a religion that found its beginnings in the dumbassness of the Kansas school board.
"Guantanamo should be closed. This is an occasion to reiterate that statement," said Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the European Union commissioner for external relations, as she arrived for a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg. Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Guantanamo weakens the fight against terrorism.
Britain's Guardian newspaper compared Harris' portrayal of the deaths as "the demented logic of Dr. Strangelove." Syria's Tishrin newspaper likened Guantanamo to a Nazi detention camp, and an editorial in the Saudi Arab News urged U.S. officials to try the suspects or free them.
A rule designed by the Environmental Protection Agency to keep groundwater clean near oil drilling sites and other construction zones was loosened after White House officials rejected it amid complaints by energy companies that it was too restrictive and after a well-connected Texas oil executive appealed to White House senior advisor Karl Rove.
The new rule, which took effect Monday, came after years of intense industry pressure, including court battles and behind-the-scenes agency lobbying. But environmentalists vowed Monday that the fight was not over, distributing internal White House documents that they said portrayed the new rule as a political payoff to an industry long aligned with the Republican Party and President Bush.
In 2002, a Texas oilman and longtime Republican activist, Ernest Angelo, wrote a letter to Rove complaining that an early version of the rule was causing many in the oil industry to "openly express doubt as to the merit of electing Republicans when we wind up with this type of stupidity.
This Angelo fellow who called the EPA rule "stupid", a rule with the force of law, is the Chair of the Texas Public Safety Commission. It's role in the life of Texans is
- promoting the importance of public safety and law observance.
This year, she was locked up for more than 30 days with children accused of murder and rape and robberies because case managers for the state-run Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare could find no placement for her.
Abused and neglected children who have not committed any crime - most of them in their teens - increasingly are being locked up in the juvenile secure detention facility, records show.
"We are locking up kids who run away, with murderers and sexual offenders. Homeless adults don't go to Waupun or Taycheedah," Malmstadt said. "People who commit crimes go to those institutions. Most of these kids have a long-term abuse and neglect history. What are we doing to find them placements?"
He said that if Milwaukee County began billing the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare for children's daily care while in detention, "they wouldn't be there."
Monday, June 12, 2006
But the commander of prison operations at the camp called the suicides, "not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us."
"Taking their own lives was not necessary but it certainly is a good PR move to draw attention," he(sic) said."
The pair were Abbott and Costello shitkickers....
Harper’s subsequent public necking sessions with Quebec premier Jean Charest....
Another troubling cabinet choice was to entice the impossibly thick-headed David Emerson to stumble across the floor so he could continue with the International Trade portfolio.
Harper’s silliest cabinet choice is that he clearly believes that Rona Ambrose is both an intellectual and a looker, even though no one can seem to find a photographer who doesn’t make her look like a tow-truck driver in drag. Beyond this, unfortunately, is a person without any more qualifications than a tow-truck driver, and an issue—how to respond accurately to global warming—that transcends national and partisan political values. I’d prefer someone with more common sense than ideology to deal with this delicate issue,....
...Senator Margory LeBreton, whose chief qualification is that she was still licking Brian Mulroney’s boots after the other 93 percent of Canadians had wised up. Ambrose and LeBreton have so far teamed up on the ludricrous attempt to convince us that Mulroney was an environmentalist, an attempt that was justly met with giggling disbelief.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Three detainees at Guantanamo Bay apparently committed suicide amid protests of the U.S. military prison by inmates, the Defense Department said Saturday. They were the first reported deaths at the detention center for suspected terrorists.
A large springtime offensive by Taliban fighters has turned into the strongest show of force by the insurgents since American forces chased the Taliban from power in late 2001, and Afghan and foreign officials and local villagers blame a lack of United States-led coalition forces on the ground for the resurgence.
Three years of past efforts to accomplish those goals have largely failed. Billions of dollars have been spent on both electricity and security, yet residents of Baghdad get only five to eight hours of power a day, and the American ambassador acknowledged on Friday that the city is "more insecure now than it was a few months ago."
Friday, June 09, 2006
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Food shelves in Twin Cities suburbs -- even affluent ones -- are suddenly busier than they've ever been, according to a report to be released this morning.
A state study that is undertaken only twice each decade will reveal a huge jump in visits in places such as Eden Prairie, Minnetonka and Golden Valley, according to Hunger Solutions Minnesota, the organization that coordinates the work of the shelves.
Emphasis added.Hosting the 2008 Republican National Convention here would cost taxpayers about $85-million, event organizers said Monday.
That’s roughly two-thirds of the estimated total cost of $124-million, according to the bid package a Tampa delegation presented to the Republican National Committee in May. Nearly $22-million would come straight out of local tax coffers.
Read the story.
In a race to save amphibians threatened by an encroaching, lethal fungus, two conservationists from Atlanta recently packed their carry-ons with frogs rescued from a Central American rain forest — squeezing some 150 to a suitcase — and requested permission from airlines to travel with them in the cabin of the plane.
Monday, June 05, 2006
The "humiliating and degrading" treatment at Abu Ghraib, the torture at Bagram and Gitmo and god knows where else, the kidnapping and renditions, and yes, the massacre of civilians including children, is not a matter of incompetence or misunderstanding or the fog of war. It's the plan.
Van Hollen is a local boy making bad. What a moron.J. B. Van Hollen, who last month was claiming that Wisconsin was a hotbed of international terrorist training and targeting, is now suggesting that Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager ought to stop enforcing environmental, workplace safety and consumer protection laws in order to meddle in the work of the Milwaukee Police Department. Referring to recent outbreak of gun violence in Milwaukee, Van Hollen demanded, "The attorney general is the chief law enforcement officer in Wisconsin. Where the hell is she?"Oh, did we mention that Van Hollen is not merely an interested observer? He's a candidate for the Republican nomination to challenge the attorney general in November. And he's sparing no hyperbole, or obscenity, in his hunt for votes. If Van Hollen were to pay as much attention to criminal justice issues as he does to trying to profit politically from the pain and suffering of Wisconsinites,....
If these shitbags think we're cowering, they should think again.Jean Rohe's speech at the New School was not about peace and love, but why Osama's head wasn't on a pike, while Bush chased his manhood in Iraq. That's the problem. Osama being free while we murder Iraqi children and let the Heritage Foundation play government with other people's lives.
Multiculturalism is what happens when you live in the world and not behind a gate.
The mere mention of love bugs, or Plecia nearctica, gets them talking about what the little flies feel like (tiny needles), what they taste like (petroleum products) and how to wash them off your hog (wipe with Bounce dryer sheets, then apply water).
Sunday, June 04, 2006
I want to write this review so every reader will begin it and finish it. I am a liberal, but I do not intend this as a review reflecting any kind of politics. It reflects the truth as I understand it, and it represents, I believe, agreement among the world's experts.
Global warming is real.
It is caused by human activity.
Mankind and its governments must begin immediate action to halt and reverse it.
If we do nothing, in about 10 years the planet may reach a "tipping point" and begin a slide toward destruction of our civilization and most of the other species on this planet.
After that point is reached, it would be too late for any action.
Emphasis added. Via BuzzFlash."Bill Kristol was discussing recent comments made by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khameni -- then, in mid-comment, Kristol stopped himself and said, with no hint of irony, "Maybe we should have Supreme Leader Bush. I kind of like the sound of that."
Emphasis added.A decade-long drive to permanently repeal the estate tax is about to come to a head, but proponents are finding it surprisingly difficult to get their political football into the end zone.
Either way, the upcoming Senate debate is a pivotal moment for a coalition of wealthy families, small-business lobbyists and farm groups that has already accomplished a remarkable thing over the last decade: making a national political issue out of repealing a tax that applies to less than 1% of all taxpayers, including some of the richest people in the U.S
Which of the punk Bush supporting smear artists, virtually none of whom has ever served in uniform, who parade to the talkies to accuse almost anyone of being traitors, even cares about this: What kind of leaders send our troops to battle, unconscionably, so lacking in armor protection and equipment that the Marine Corps pathologist concludes, in the third year of the war, that 70% of the casualties were preventable? And then allow some of our wounded troops to return home and be charged for their sacrifice, and then pursued by debt collectors because they cannot afford to pay, and then be victimized by a Veterans Administration led by a former Republican Chairman that falls dramatically short of serving our heroes while creating the mammoth violation of privacy of veterans in the history of computers?
Think about this: America is engaged in a great battle of ideas against an enemy that murders children in houses of worship and cuts off the heads of the innocent, and our leaders have failed to win this battle even against an enemy so hideously evil.
And what is the response of Bush and Rove? When they are not demonizing the gays, they are waving the flag, preparing to challenge the patriotism of political opponents who prefer supporting those who wear that flag on their shoulder to using the flag as a partisan weapon in the endless political wars that will be the sad legacy of those who never learned that we are, indeed, in this together.
The reason America stands on the brink of an epic election is that this President, his party, and his apologist have let loose dark forces of division and dishonor that have divided our country, alienated much of decent opinion around the world, hurt our military, abused our freedoms in the name of a politics of fear and let loose in the land a kind of politics that violates the cardinal rules of two hundred years of the American family.
In this dark and demeaning vision of political war, anything goes, to win. A heroic Senator who will spend his life in a wheelchair as the price of his heroism is slandered by a guy who never served. A recipient of the bronze and silver stars is smeared because he is in the wrong political party. A Marine Corps hero who is one of strongest supporters of the troops who ever served in Congress is called a coward on the Floor of Congress. A Chief of Staff of the Army is demeaned by ideologues and partisans who were hell bent for a war they knew nothing about.
Six courageous retired Generals speak out with conscience and the editorial page of the Washington Times prints the statute on sedition. The cable talkies run segments with titles such as Hollywood Hates America. When the topic shifts to the atrocity of Haditha one of America's leading right wing mouthpieces says these things always happen in way and cites, shame, shame, shame, shame and infamy to him, the Marines who took Iwo Jima and the Army heroes who took Normandy with the slander that they too committed acts that were comparable to Haditha. Who in the hell do these bums think they are?
The infamy of Abu Ghraib, the wrongs of Guantanamo, secret government abusing secret prisons with secret injustice, and the Attorney General of the United States says the Geneva Convention is some quaint and outmoded relic which in my humble opinion were the most dishonorable, despicable and ignorant words ever uttered by anyone entrusted to preserve, protect and defend justice in America.
The man who sits where Washington sat, where Jefferson sat, where Lincoln sat, claims he has the unilateral, inherent power to abrogate even the Bill of Rights The man who put his hand on the Bible with the trust that the laws are faithfully executed claims he has the unilateral, inherent power to violate the laws of the land at his personal whim, and at this writing, there are more than 700 laws that he asserts the right to violate today. The man entrusted with the legacy of Founding Fathers who were among the greatest and most timeless visionaries who ever walked the earth, claims he can operate beyond the reach of courts, beyond the reach of Congress, without the knowledge of the American people.
Emphasis sadly added.
Biodiversity of global ecosystems has decreased as global population has increased, said Tilman, because diverse ecosystems such as forests and prairies have been cleared to make way for agricultural fields, buildings and roads.
The research shows that ecosystems containing many different plant species are more productive than those containing only one species. A return to biodiversity may prove to be the key, Tilman and his colleagues believe, to meeting energy needs for the growing number of people on the planet and for restoring global ecosystems.
"Diverse prairie grasslands are 240 percent more productive than grasslands with a single prairie species," Tilman said. "That's a huge advantage. Biomass from diverse prairies can, for example, be used to make biofuels without the need for annual tilling, fertilizers and pesticides, which require energy and pollute the environment. Because they are perennials, you can plant a prairie once and mow it for biomass every fall, essentially forever," Tilman said.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Spec. Maxwell Ramsey made small kissing sounds as he tried to coax Wylie, a muscular black Percheron horse, over to the platform where the soldier stood. He swung the metal and plastic limb that is his new left leg over Wylie's back and sat down in the saddle.
"Relax your leg. Take a deep breath. Remember you are sitting on a big old cushion," Mary Jo Beckman, a therapeutic riding instructor, said to Ramsey as he and Wylie headed out into a dusty yard at Fort Myer.
The black and white horses that usually pull caissons during military funerals at neighboring Arlington National Cemetery are helping soldiers such as Ramsey in their long struggle to learn to walk again, to regain strength and to believe in their new limbs.
"It gives me the confidence to know that I lost an arm and a leg but not the ability to do certain things," 1st Lt. Ryan Kules, 25, a Tempe, Ariz., native who was injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq in November, said Friday.
A scientific journal plans to retract a 1997 study submitted by a PG&E Corp. consultant that suggested a contaminant released by the utility had no links with cancer.
The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine will note that the connection of parties with vested interests in the study was not disclosed at the time.
The study involved the groundwater contaminant hexavalent chromium. The release of that substance in Hinkley (San Bernardino County) was at the heart of the widely publicized lawsuit against PG&E in the mid-1990s recounted in the film "Erin Brockovich."
Child care advocates were disappointed -- and puzzled -- because such rating systems are used by 20 other states.
This one was specifically designed to prepare children for Minnesota's kindergarten standards, they said.
Minnesota has one of the highest percentages of working mothers in the nation. Parents have little information to rely on when choosing their licensed child care, even for infants, a Star Tribune investigation found last year.
When he bought the venerable Grolier Poetry Book Shop in April, poet and professor Ifeanyi Menkiti took a leap of faith. It will take a lot of that to make the store succeed in a publishing world where poetry inhabits a tiny corner.
Menkiti is undaunted.
``I have a strong sense of hope and belief that poetry can help our world," he said. ``The sense of a world together has formed a very important part of my own poetry, and I'm hoping the Grolier can organize programs to keep that spirit alive."
For 79 years, the little box on Plympton Street near Harvard Square, where bookshelves share wall space with framed photos of such friends and patrons as Allen Ginsberg, T.S. Eliot, and Marianne Moore, persisted under only two owners -- founder Gordon Cairnie and, since 1974, Louisa Solano. It's one of only two all-poetry stores in America; the other is Seattle's Open Books.
New video footage released yesterday showed the bodies of several Iraqi civilians, including children, who were apparently killed during a US raid on a house in March, but Pentagon officials said an inquiry into the case had found that US forces used appropriate force in the attack on what they called a terrorist hideout.
Iraqi officials condemned the event in March, but it had faded from view until yesterday, when video images of the aftermath of the US operation in the northern town of Ishaqi set off a new round of criticism of American treatment of civilians on the battlefield.
Friday, June 02, 2006
I'm In Trouble - Rick Tobey
Down In Mississippi - North Mississippi Allstars
People You Love - John Carey
Respect - Aretha Franklin
Hell In Harlem - Anders Osborne
I'm Just A Fool To Care - c.c. Adcock
Stompin' My Foot - North Mississippi Allstars (go figure random)
Tell It (Like It Is) - Cyrille Neville
Main Street Blues - The Red Slick Ramblers
But despite the media blackout, indications continued to emerge that something deeply troubling had taken place in 2004. Nearly half of the 6 million American voters living abroad(3) never received their ballots -- or received them too late to vote(4) -- after the Pentagon unaccountably shut down a state-of-the-art Web site used to file overseas registrations.(5) A consulting firm called Sproul & Associates, which was hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six battleground states,(6) was discovered shredding Democratic registrations.(7) In New Mexico, which was decided by 5,988 votes,(8) malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots.(9) Nationwide, according to the federal commission charged with implementing election reforms, as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment -- roughly one for every 100 cast.(10)