Thursday, August 31, 2006

Not Cool

With his own President. It's a start, however. A good start.
California made a bold move to curb global warming by passing on Thursday the United States' first bill to cap man-made greenhouse gas emissions which state leaders hope will be emulated across the country.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, frustrated by lack of action by fellow Republican President George W. Bush on reducing heat-trapping gases, teamed up with the state's Democratic majority on the landmark bill and will sign it next month.

The bill cleared its last legislative hurdle in the State Assembly in a 46-31 vote, with opposition from Schwarzenegger's own Republican Party.

The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 puts California at the forefront of the fight against climate change along with the European Union, and increases pressure on Washington to place mandatory caps rather than the voluntary ones favored by Bush.

California aims to reduce its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, a cut of around 25 percent. The biggest sources of heat-trapping gases, like power plants and cement makers, will be required to report their emissions.

Good News

& champagne.
Edvard Munch’s paintings “The Scream” and “Madonna,” which two armed robbers yanked from the wall of a museum here in August 2004, were recovered in relatively good condition in Norway on Thursday.

More on Edvard Munch here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

German Wolves


Good news for Europeans. See, I'm not an isolationist.
A century after they were wiped out by hunters and a burgeoning population, wolves have returned to parts of eastern Germany as factories close down, businesses fail and people move out.

A few dozen wolves have formed a beachhead in Germany's Brandenburg state just west of the border with Poland and enjoy special protection from authorities delighted by the return of the shy animals so deeply entrenched in German folklore.

It's a surprising comeback in one of the world's leading industrial nations where 82 million people are squeezed into a country the size of the U.S. state of Montana.

*These wolves are living in the Bavarian forest.

The Twins

Photographic evidence.

Dad & Baby

The Other Baby Alone (Relatively Speaking)


Money Problems

It looks like candidate Green will be a bit lighter in the wallet. I wonder how much of this half-million dollars came from Tom DeLay?

Naguib Mahfouz, R.I.P.

I read him several years ago. You ought to, as well. His work gives a good window into Arab life. That's something we all need right now.

Mr. Mahfouz’s city was teeming Cairo, and his characters were its most ordinary people: civil servants and bureaucrats, grocers, shopkeepers, poor retirees, petty thieves and prostitutes, peasants and women brutalized by tradition, a people caught in the upheavals of a nation struggling through the 20th century.

Around their tangled lives, Mr. Mahfouz chronicled the development of modern Egypt, and over five decades wrote 33 novels, 13 anthologies of short stories, several plays and 30 screenplays. It was a body of work hailed by the Swedish Academy of Letters as “an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind.”

Mr. Mahfouz, a slender, modest, shy man who once described himself as “a fourth- or fifth-class writer,” was often called the Egyptian Balzac for his vivid frescoes of Cairenes and their social, political and religious dilemmas. Critics compared his richly detailed Cairo with the London of Charles Dickens, the Paris of Émile Zola and the St. Petersburg of Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Twin Cities Twins

So I was able to hold Lucy Mae this a.m. She's pretty darn cute, but that has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with the Kid & Son-in-Law, who happens to be celebrating his b-day today, a day after his daughters' b-day. That's kind of cool. The twins are doing fine, Maringny is doing better today, her O2 is higher & she can leave the isolette for short times. That's good, since the Kid is freaking & she has to keep her blood pressure down, preenclampsia issues. Back to the baby I was holding: she has this cute way of opening only 1 eye to look at me, probably because two eyes would be too much, given my general too much beard & ugliness. It was way cool. More later.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Planning? What Planning?

Via Altercation, we get this:
The story of success in Afghanistan was always more fairy tale than fact -- one scam used to sell another. Now, as the Bush administration hands off "peacekeeping" to NATO forces, Afghanistan is the scene of the largest military operation in the history of that organization. Today's personal email brings word from an American surgeon in Kabul that her emergency medical team can't handle half the wounded civilians brought in from embattled provinces to the south and east. American, British, and Canadian troops find themselves at war with Taliban fighters -- which is to say "Afghans" -- while stunned NATO commanders, who hadn't bargained for significant combat, are already asking what went wrong.

The answer is a threefold failure: no peace, no democracy, and no reconstruction.
The Bush administration often deliberately misrepresents its aid program for domestic consumption. Last year, for example, when the President sent his wife to Kabul for a few hours of photo ops, the New York Times reported that her mission was "to promise long-term commitment from the United States to education for women and children." Speaking in Kabul, Mrs. Bush pledged that the United States would give an additional $17.7 million to support education in Afghanistan. As it happened, that grant had previously been announced -- and it was not for Afghan public education (or women and children) at all, but to establish a brand-new, private, for-profit American University of Afghanistan catering to the Afghan and international elite. (How a private university comes to be supported by public taxpayer dollars and the Army Corps of Engineers is another peculiarity of Bush aid.)

Emphasis mine.

Hey, Hey All You Ashland, Wisco, Progressive Politicos

Wellstone Action
has a five step program for winning. We need more progressive voices on the city council. Neighbor to neighbor sounds about right. Do it!
As the 2006 election season ramps up, one crucial tool in electing progressive candidates and winning on issues is the ability to organize communities on a local level to become engaged in the process.

A neighborhood voter contact program is just that – a plan implemented by a campaign, organization, or grassroots group to register voters, identify supporters, recruit volunteers and get out the vote. However, a good precinct voter contact program utilizes local talent from specific communities at the precinct level to surface new leadership, develop a long-term infrastructure, and build the base. Well organized, a precinct voter contact program also saves your campaign precious resources – time, money, and people – by spreading the responsibilities for contacting voters over many volunteer leaders responsible for small universes and centralizing that information at the campaign level. In this way, your campaign is able to have the necessary conversations with voters while also being better connected to local issues and intelligence through your precinct leaders.

From The Heights Of The Sublime

To this shit from Rummy the Rummy. what planet are these criminals from? The twins have a lot of work ahead of them.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday the world faces ''a new type of fascism'' and likened critics of the U.S. war strategy to those who tried to appease the Nazis.

In unusually explicit terms, Rumsfeld portrayed the Bush administration's critics as suffering from ''moral or intellectual confusion'' about what threatens the nation's security. His remarks amounted to one of his most pointed defenses of President Bush's war policies and was among his toughest attacks on the president's critics.

What a son-of-a-bitching low-life bastard. But I'm not too upset, I did not use any unecessary captital letters. Good on me.

They Are Here

The Kid+2 is now simply the Kid, once again. She went into serious labor early this a.m. & all concerned made the right decision to take the babies via c-section at about noon today. There are two new lefties on planet earth today, two new lefty GIRLS! Which are exactly what I had hoped for.

Mom & babies are doing well. The babies will be in the neo-natal intensive care unit for a few weeks yet, although they appear fine, all dark & pink &, well, like newborn babies. One weighed 3 pounds 13 ounces & one weighed 4 pounds 6 ounces.

While they do differ in initial weights, it also appears that they are identical. Their names are:

Marigny Elizabeth & Lucy Mae


It's Going To Be A Great Ride

Monday, August 28, 2006

Pollworkers for Democracy

If you want change, you have to work at it. Here's an opportunity in Wisco to do something about election fraud.
Welcome to Pollworkers for Democracy, a non-partisan election integrity project of Mainstreet Moms, Working Assets, VoteTrustUSA and affiliated groups.

Wisconsin needs your help at the polls! Pledge here to work in your municipality beginning with the September 12th primary election, or the November 7th general election.

One Year Later

Again, via Mrs. coldH2O, but this time with the help of Environmental Defense Action Network.

Estimated death toll from Katrina, making it the deadliest storm to hit the U.S. since 1928.

1 Million Number of people displaced by the storm, seeking refuge in each of the 50 states.

80Percent of New Orleans that was flooded, some places under 20 feet of water. Flood waters remained in parts of the city for 43 days.

48 Football Fields Amount of coastal Lousiana wetlands that disappear to open water every day.

118Square miles of coastal wetlands that were converted to open water after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

2.7Miles of coastal marshes and wetlands between New Orleans and the open ocean needed to reduce storm surges by 1 foot.

$500 Million Amount needed annually for 30 years to restore coastal marshes and wetlands to fully protect New Orleans in the future.

$80 Billion Amount of federal spending designated to rebuild New Orleans post-Katrina.

0.125% Amount of these federal dollars designated for Gulf Coast wetlands restoration.

NRDC Blocks Drilling in Redrock Wilderness

Via Mrs. coldH2O & NRDC.

In a major victory for Utah's spectacular Redrock canyonlands, a federal court has ruled that the Bureau of Land Management broke the law by rushing to sell oil and gas leases on 16 parcels of wilderness-quality lands. NRDC and our partner, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, filed a lawsuit to block the sale after the agency failed to consider the potentially devastating environmental impacts of putting oil and gas rigs in parts of Desolation Canyon, the Book Cliffs and the Flat Tops wilderness areas, among other fragile wildlands. Our court victory underscores more than ever the need to permanently protect the Redrock Wilderness, which provides important habitat for cougars, bighorn sheep, bald eagles and other wildlife. BioGems Defenders are urging Congress to pass "America's Redrock Wilderness Act," which would safeguard millions of acres of southern Utah's most spectacular mountains, canyons and rivers.

B.S. Biden

He's bragging about Delaware being a slave state? One more reason why he won't be elected President. Here's another.

Kid+2 Update

Things have slowed way down. Tests have shown that the babies' lungs haven't matured sufficiently, so they're in some sort of staging area for birthing. They will probably be there for a couple of weeks. Ah, the long hospital stay, anyone jealous? Please report. Later.

Asleep At The Wheel

David Sirota reports from Montana. This ought to be a no-brainer for the Democratic leaders, but they really seem so out-of-touch. I wonder if it's a corporate reason?
As the diarist writes, “You hear that, you timid DLC Democrats? You hear that, you populist-message-averse moral midgets of the ‘centrist’ left? That’s the horsey’s own mouth talking.” In other words - Democrats have to stop dancing around the issue, and directly connect the Republican Party to Corporate America and its mistreatment of ordinary citizens.

Consequences, Indeed

Thoughtful post here.
The debate on Iraq is just awash in this. The war gets discussed as if it's a metaphor of some kind. A good opportunity to demonstrate resolve or commitment, or else the lack thereof. A place where our stick-to-it-iveness will show how strongly we feel that democracy is good. A shadow theater wherein we send messages to al-Qaeda or Iran or what have you have. But, of course, Iraq is a real place. The soldiers and civilians in that country are real people. They shoot real bullets and detonate real explosives. And so the question has to be, what, actually, is being achieved? What more might realistically be achieved? What are the consequences -- not intentions, not desires, not hopes, but consequences -- of our policies?

Go Watch

Via RLK.

Had enough?

Sunday, August 27, 2006


So, the kid's water broke early this afternoon. She's up in the hospital right now, waiting on a test about how advanced the babies' lungs are - yes, twins. She's early, so they need to know about the lungs. The son-in-law was just getting home, so I, as all guys do, went out & continued sanding a cabinet. Well, what was I supposed to do? Anyway, it appears that we have hours, many hours to go, but they are not going to stop the process. The kid's midwife looked so familiar, but then it dawned on me, I have passed the pre-geezer status, entered the geezer status, thus, I've probably seen a lot of people that look the same. I'll keep y'all posted on the kid+2's progress. I'm still not so sure about this grandfather thing, however. Talk about red-diaper babies.

Iraq - Remember


Froomkin, Other

This is not only sad, it clearly shows the problem with the media in the good old US of A. With Bu$hCo treating the Congress & Judiciary in a manner fitting cock-a-roaches in the kitchen, we really need a press corps that believes in this country. But, not so much.
"And while every major Washington bureau should have, in addition to a White House correspondent, a White House investigative reporter -- someone who won't suffer from ruffling a few feathers, and who'll dig, dig, dig -- in the meantime, you'll have to make do with the dynamic duo of the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh and the National Journal's Murray Waas ."

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Frank Rich, Man I Wish He Wasn't Behind the New York Times Wall Of Money

Via The Raw Story.
"New Orleans was Iraq redux with an all-American cast," Rich writes.

Excerpts from Rich's column:

As an opening act, Bush met on Wednesday with Rockey Vaccarella, a Katrina survivor who with much publicity drove a "replica" of a FEMA trailer from New Orleans to Washington to seek an audience with the president. No Cindy Sheehan bum's rush for him. Bush granted his wish and paraded him before the press. That was enough to distract the visitor from his professed message to dramatize the unfinished job on the Gulf. Instead Vaccarella effusively thanked the president for "the millions of FEMA trailers" complete with air-conditioning and TV. "You know, I wish you had another four years, man," he said. "If we had this president for another four years, I think we'd be great."

...It was up to bloggers and Democrats to report shortly thereafter that Vaccarella had run as a Republican candidate for the St. Bernard Parish commission in 1999. It was up to Iris Hageney of Gretna, La., to complain on the Times-Picayune Web site that the episode was "a huge embarrassment" that would encourage Americans to "forget the numerous people who still don't have trailers or at least one with electricity or water."

That is certainly the White House game plan as it looks toward the president's two-day return to the scene of the crime. Just as it brought huge generators to floodlight Bush's prime-time recovery speech in Jackson Square a year ago -- and then yanked the plug as soon as he was done -- so it will stop at little to bathe this anniversary in the rosiest possible glow.


Booman discusses this in a interesting post today. Go read it, but first read this:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Wrong Hardly Begins To Explain

Mark Steyn is a hero to neoconservatives.
I came across this column written by Steyn on May 4, 2003:

This war is over. The only question now is whether a new provisional government is installed before the BBC and The New York Times have finished running their exhaustive series on What Went Wrong with the Pentagon's Failed War Plan. . .

On the other hand, everything that has taken place is strictly local, freelance, improvised. Many commanders have done nothing: they're the ones I wrote about, the ones so paralysed by the silence from HQ that they're not even capable of showing the initiative to surrender; they're just waiting for the orders that never come.

Others have figured the jig's up, discarded their uniforms and returned to their families. Some guys have gone loco, piling into pick-ups and driving themselves into the path of the infidels' tanks. A relatively small number have gone in for guerrilla tactics in the southern cities. . . .

It takes two to quagmire. In Vietnam, America had an enemy that enjoyed significant popular support and effective supply lines. Neither is true in Iraq. Isolated atrocities will continue to happen in the days ahead, as dwindling numbers of the more depraved Ba'athists confront the totality of their irrelevance. But these are the death throes: the regime was decapitated two weeks ago, and what we've witnessed is the last random thrashing of the snake's body.

By the time you read this, Tariq Aziz and the last five Ba'athists in Baghdad may be holed up in Fisk's Ba'athroom, and he'll be hailing the genius of their plan to lure the Americans to their doom by leaving his loo rolls on the stairwell for the Marines to slip on.

But, for everyone other than media naysayers, it's the Anglo-Aussie-American side who are the geniuses. Rumsfeld's view that one shouldn't do it with once-a-decade force, but with a lighter, faster touch has been vindicated, with interesting implications for other members of the axis of evil and its reserve league.

Unbelievable, you say, no, entirely believable. & we've not heard one peep from Steyn saying he really screwed the pooch on the war. Remember, saying you're sorry is for wimps.

The Chimp-In-Chief

...could maybe, possibly, no I guess not, learn from these guys.
The noise came from the trees: crack, crack, crack.

As the researchers and their village guides crept closer, they saw something that was not supposed to be happening in the Ebo forest in the central African nation of Cameroon: chimpanzees using rocks as hammers to break open tough-shelled nuts.

Previous research had found that kind of tool use only in chimps 1,000 miles away, across the wide N'Zo-Sassandra River in Ivory Coast. Researchers thought the behavior was either a genetic trait or maybe a learned skill passed from one generation to another.

The discovery of tool use among chimps in Cameroon, separated from their cousins in Ivory Coast by the "information barrier" of the river, suggests that the skill was invented independently in each place, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Current Biology.

Excellent Headline

This Chicago Trib headline writer deserves a Pulitzer for

As Bush returns to New Orleans next week for the anniversary of the hurricane that hit Louisiana and Mississippi one year ago Tuesday, observers say, his year-old pledge to rebuild New Orleans and his promise "to confront this poverty with bold action" and "rise above the legacy of inequality" are far from fruition.
"The very word, 'Katrina,' is one they are trying to get over. They dread this anniversary," said Douglas Brinkley, a historian at Tulane University and author of "The Great Deluge," an account of one of the most devastating hurricanes in American history. "The Bush administration, post-Katrina, has been all windup and no pitch."

Friday, August 25, 2006

Too Late, After Too Little

Clusterfuck is more like it. Now, after we dithered while Israel bombed the crap out of Lebanon, now, we are all concerned about armaments. Jeez, Louise.
The US State Department has opened an investigation into Israel's use of US-made cluster bombs in southern Lebanon and whether it violated pacts Israel had made with the United States, a newspaper report said Friday.

'We have heard the allegations that these munitions were used, and we are seeking more information,' department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos told The New York Times without giving further comment.

Israel made secret agreements with the United States in return for being sold the weapons, which spray bomblets over wide areas. News reports over the years have said that in the pacts, which began with the cluster-bomb sales to Israel in 1976, Israel agreed to only use the munitions against organized Arab armies and clearly defined military targets.

About Time

After years of political, not scientific, stalling, the Bu$hCo regime is finally forced to make the correct decision.
By the end of the year, American women will be able to walk into any pharmacy and buy emergency contraceptive pills without a prescription as a result of a Food and Drug Administration decision announced yesterday.

The decision means women will not have to go to a doctor first as long as they can prove they are 18 or older to a pharmacist, who will keep the drugs behind a counter.

We're #1, PBR Edition

As a lifelong Wisco resident, & someone who can remember beer bars & an eighteen year old age of majority (for beer only), & someone who gained thirty-five pounds between graduating high school & attending college three months later this is no surprise.

Well, you get the idea.

Mystery Solved

Thanks to RLK, I spent a bit of my precious time, OK, OK, my time this a.m. trying to figure out what the hell fly-tipping was all about. I thought RLK had come to his senses & had taken up fly fishing rather than building renovation, but nooooo, I was wrong. Nothing new about that.
"Fly-tipping" is a British term for illegally dumping trash somewhere other than an authorized trash dump. It is "the illegal deposit of any waste onto land i.e. waste dumped or tipped on a site with no licence to accept waste". Fly-tipped waste generally consists of large items of rubbish that are dumped illegally on land instead of being disposed of properly at a landfill site or tip. Some people refer to this as "dumping".

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Just Stupid

& mean. How petty can Bu$hCo be, this petty:
Evolutionary biology has vanished from the list of acceptable fields of study for recipients of a federal education grant for low-income college students.
That the omission occurred at all is worrying scientists concerned about threats to the teaching of evolution.
“I am not at all certain that the omission of this particular major is unintentional,” he added. “But I have to take them at their word.”

I wouldn't trust them with an empty coffee cup.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What Gives... Grantsburg, Wisco?
Aug. 9, Darlena Glonek, Grantsburg, was cited for battery after biting and trying to choke her husband while serving him with divorce papers. (Must have been a heckuva marriage. ed.)

Aug. 7, Bonnie S. Shoquist, Siren, reported the theft of a 1989 Evinrude 9.9 HP motor as her boat was tied to a dock at Mudhen Lake. The motor and a marine battery, also taken, were valued at $810. (Apparently you don't dock your boat at Mudhen Lake. I thought that was in Toledo, anyway. ed.)

Fighting Bob Fest

Go here for more info & more good progressive stuff from Wisco, including our close, geographically speaking, John Smart.

Ned Lamont

From the LamontBlog:
The regional director of the United Auto Workers union says he's appalled that Senator Joe Lieberman has qualified to get on the November ballot as an independent.

Bob Madore says Lieberman is selfish and is only out for himself and that's why his union is backing Democrat Ned Lamont.

It's great to see the labor movement, apparently minus the CT leadership, continue to do the right thing.

Recruiting Rapes

A few rotten apples, eh? Go listen. It seems like these apples are in every branch of the service, at every level. It does seem, however, that the high ranking thugs escape from any form of accountability. These particular rapists, however, need to be severely punished. But, usually, they leave the service with a less-than-honorable discharge. Some serve a minor amount of time, minor for the rapes that occurred. Semper Fi this:

Here is part of the article as printed here, at Capitol Hill Blue.
A six-month Associated Press investigation found that more than 80 military recruiters were disciplined last year for sexual misconduct with potential enlistees. The cases occurred across all branches of the military and in all regions of the country.
A pattern emerged. The sexual misconduct almost always takes place in recruiting stations, recruiters apartments or government vehicles. The victims are typically between 16 and 18 years old, and they usually are thinking about enlisting. They usually meet the recruiters at their high schools, but sometimes at malls or recruiting offices.

These recruiters have access to these young women & men because of the No Child Left Behind Act, or as I can it, the No Child Left Untouched Act, pushed into law by Bu$hCo. Rod Paige, the true non-savior of the Houston,TX, school system. Here's the relevant section of the NCLB Act.


(1) ACCESS TO STUDENT RECRUITING INFORMATION- Notwithstanding section 444(a)(5)(B) of the General Education Provisions Act and except as provided in paragraph (2), each local educational agency receiving assistance under this Act shall provide, on a request made by military recruiters or an institution of higher education, access to secondary school students names, addresses, and telephone listings.

(2) CONSENT- A secondary school student or the parent of the student may request that the student's name, address, and telephone listing described in paragraph (1) not be released without prior written parental consent, and the local educational agency or private school shall notify parents of the option to make a request and shall comply with any request.

(3) SAME ACCESS TO STUDENTS- Each local educational agency receiving assistance under this Act shall provide military recruiters the same access to secondary school students as is provided generally to post secondary educational institutions or to prospective employers of those students.

(b) NOTIFICATION- The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall, not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, notify principals, school administrators, and other educators about the requirements of this section.

(c) EXCEPTION- The requirements of this section do not apply to a private secondary school that maintains a religious objection to service in the Armed Forces if the objection is verifiable through the corporate or other organizational documents or materials of that school.

(d) SPECIAL RULE- A local educational agency prohibited by Connecticut State law (either explicitly by statute or through statutory interpretation by the State Supreme Court or State Attorney General) from providing military recruiters with information or access as required by this section shall have until May 31, 2002, to comply with that requirement.

Amur Tiger Time

It's a slow a.m. here in coldH2Oland. The chimney sweep is replacing the flue tiles with a stainless steel liner, we had a chimney fire last fall, & I'm relegated to herding dogs in & out & around, so the guys can get the job done. I've brushed my teeth & combed my hair, but I know that the sight of my geezer body will only send the workers into either gagging horror or uproarious laughter, both of which will delay the job, I'm going to chill out this a.m. & not take a shower, which is located in the basement, site of much of the work. Here are some Amur tigers for your pleasure & wonder.

Bonus pic: Amur Leopard Kittens


But this one doesn't involve Fords, unless that's your last name.
The increase comes as the U.S. Marine Corps is preparing to order thousands of its troops to active duty in the first involuntary recall since the early days of the war

My emphasis.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Spike Lee

Along with Scout, I would urge my loyal four readers to watch the Spike Lee documentary on Katrina. It starts tonight on HBO. I'll be taping it, so should you, then have a showing in your house for your cable/dish deprived friends & raise some money for something good.

UPATE: I was unable to record the shows. I was blocked by, apparently, HBO. So, I'll have to wait for the DVD & guy it, or not.

Say What?

How can a normal person argue with this?
We have always had our covert enemies, but their numbers were few until the 1960s. But then the elite young men who declined to serve in the military during the Vietnam War set out to write a narrative in which they, rather than those who obeyed the call to duty, were the heroes.
Barone is such an idiot that he doesn't even know what he is saying. Let's see:

Those who served in the armed forces during the 1960s:

John Murtha
John Kerry
Al Gore

People who didn't serve in the armed forces in Viet Nam:

George Bu$hCo
Dick "Five Deferments I Had Other Priorities" Cheney
Don Rumsfeld

Michael Barone is the worst kind of tool, a stupid tool, a dumb tool.

UPDATE: More from Sadly, No!:
Gavin adds: And Karl Rove, and John Bolton, and Tom Delay, and Dennis Hastert, and Bill Frist, and Newt Gingrich, and…Michael Barone?

My emphasis.

Really Fast

Holy crap, I'm glad they aren't they aren't the size of pine squirrels.

Pine, OK, Red Squirrel

The trap-jaw ant's scientific name may be ponderous, Odontomachus bauri, but this hunter can clamp its mandibles shut at between 78 mph and 145 mph, according to a report in Monday's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Trap-Jaw Ant

Great Lesson... the classroom, really bad lesson outside the classsroom.


The Pope & I can agree on something.
Benedict quoted the saint as advising pontiffs to "watch out for the dangers of an excessive activity, whatever ... the job that you hold, because many jobs often lead to the 'hardening of the heart,' as well as 'suffering of the spirit, loss of intelligence.

Agreement is a good thing.

"President on Another Planet"

Eugene Robinson gets it.
Surprise would be a start, since it would mean the Decider was admitting novel facts to his settled base of knowledge and reacting to them. Alas, it seems the door to the presidential mind is still locked tight. "I don't remember being surprised," he said at his news conference yesterday. "I'm not sure what they mean by that."

I'm guessing "they" might mean that when you try to impose your simplistic, black-and-white template on a kaleidoscopic world, and you end up setting the Middle East on fire, either you're surprised or you're not paying attention. But that's just me.

As for George Bush, what on earth is on his mind?

Even conservatives have begun openly assessing the president's intellect, especially its impermeability to new information. Cable television pundit Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, devoted a segment of his MSNBC show to "George Bush's mental weakness," with a legend at the bottom of the screen that impertinently asked: "IS BUSH AN 'IDIOT'?"

It's tempting to go there, but I'm not sure we'd get very far. While we have the president on the couch, I'm more interested in trying to understand his emotional response -- or lack of response -- to the chaos he has spawned.

According to the Iraqi government, 3,438 civilians were killed in July, making it the bloodiest month since the invasion. The president was asked yesterday whether the failure of the U.S.-backed "unity" government to stem the orgy of sectarian carnage disappoints him, and he said that no, it didn't. How, I wonder, is that possible? Does he believe it would be a sign of weakness to admit that the flowering of democracy in Iraq isn't going exactly as planned? Does he believe saying everything's just fine will make it so? Is he in denial? Or do 3,438 deaths really just roll off his back after he's had his workout and a nice bike ride?

"I hear a lot of talk about civil war" in Iraq, he allowed -- much of it apparently from his own generals, who have been increasingly bold in using the once-forbidden phrase -- but all that talk doesn't seem to penetrate very far. To the president, is all the bad news from Iraq just "talk" without objective reality?

Here's another line from the president's news conference: "What's very interesting about the violence in Lebanon and the violence in Iraq and the violence in Gaza is this: These are all groups of terrorists who are trying to stop the advance of democracy."

Now, whatever you think about George Bush's intellect, he knows full well that the Hamas government in Gaza was democratically elected. He also knows full well that Hezbollah participates in the democratically elected government of Lebanon, or what's left of Lebanon. And so he has to know full well that U.S.-backed Israeli assaults on Gaza and Lebanon -- even if you believe they were justified -- had the impact of crippling, if not crushing, two nascent democracies of the kind the Bush administration wants to cultivate throughout the Middle East.

He also knows that the Iraqi government has real sovereignty over only the Green Zone in Baghdad -- a fortress made secure by the presence of U.S. troops -- and assorted other enclaves where American and British troops enforce the peace. He has heard the leader of that nominal government praise Hezbollah and denounce Israel.

So when the president lauds democracy as the magic elixir that will cure the scourge of terrorism, is he really putting faith in his favorite mantra rather than his lying eyes? Is his view of the world so unchangeable that he dismisses actual events the way he dismisses mere "talk''?

My emphasis.


The Toledo Blade may be a fine newspaper, but all good-hearted people will support the unions in their disputes with the paper's management. This will be the last link I provide from the Blade until the labor situation is resolved. & by resolved I mean that the union remains a vital part of the paper.

Bu$hCo & Health Care

Here's an idea, how about affordable, accessible health care, not more information.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Judge Throws Out Charges in Padilla Case - New York Times

Just think of all the time & money being wasted on this. It's not just the incompetence, but the willful incompetence & criminality exhibited by these clowns. It comes all the way down from Bu$hCo to these hapless prosecutors. Anyway, the judge doesn't seem to happy with them.
A federal judge has ruled that the government brought overlapping and redundant charges against Jose Padilla, a former “enemy combatant” linked to Al Qaeda, and she dismissed one that could have resulted in a life sentence.

The judge, Marcia G. Cooke of Federal District Court in Miami, said constitutional problems were raised in the charges that Mr. Padilla and two co-defendants were in a conspiracy to support violent jihad campaigns overseas.

All three charges related to one conspiracy to support terrorism overseas, Judge Cooke said.

“Charging the defendants with a single offense multiple times is violative of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment,” she wrote in a decision dated Friday and released on Monday.

A Reminder

RLK sent this along. It is good to remember a little history.
Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
–Hermann Goering

Read about Goering here.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Slowly Rebuilding

As you can see, I'm slowly rebuilding the blog. Actually, it's kind of fun, plus I'm learning a bunch of stuff. I have a new Firefox button, restored the WWOZ button, go & donate y'all, then listen. The Sitemeter stats are now at the bottom of the page. I have requested the code for the Drinking Liberally button, plus I also requested that we become "official", we'll see. Later, gator.


So, I switched to the new beta-Blogger, as if I had a choice. Plus it sounds like one of the meds I take for my heart. The blog still need tuning up, since I lost all my links & stuff, but it'll get figured out & done. So, loyal four readers, take heart, not my heart, but mine isn't that bad, I only had a mind heart incident. Yeah, right. Later.

Violent Crime

Let's see: illegal war of choice, that's a starter. Then we have the outing of a covert CIA agent by the Vice-President of the United States, not to mention the possible drunken shooting of a hunting partner. Good role modeling Dick. We also have Haditha & the murder of two dozen civilians. & the Marine in charge at the time thought the murders were just baseless. I could go on & on, but it gets harder & sadder to do so. This article in The Boston Globe tries to understand the rise in violent crime in the U.S. There is a growing frustration in the country, fueled, I believe, by leaders who don't lead, but do everything they can do to stay in power. Joe Loserman's refusal to accept the clear votes of the Democrats in CT is a prime example. If you don't win, well, figuratively just blow your opponents head off, then you can run in an uncontested race. I'm not sure where all of this is going, but a dark, unhappy future awaits us, an eye-patched future, rather than an exciting, cashless future, where using the human capacity for compassion, a lot of compassion, has wonderful outcomes. & wonderful outcomes doesn't necessarily mean you don't use force when it is needed.

The Boston Globe article points out more:
In a shift from trends of the past decade, violent crime is on the rise, fueling criticism of Bush administration policies as a wave of murders and shootings hits smaller cities and states with little experience with serious urban violence.
Explanations vary -- from softer gun laws to budget cuts, fewer police on the beat, more people in poverty and simple complacency. But many blame a national preoccupation with potential threats from abroad.

"Since September 11, much of the resources that were distributed to crime-fighting efforts in Boston and other major cities were redistributed to fight terrorism," said Jack Levin, director of the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict at Northeastern University.

"The feds had supported after-school programs. They had supported placing more police officers in crime hot spots in major cities. These federal efforts were reduced," he said.
"It isn't gang or drug violence, it's just people getting violent," said Mark Williams, an assistant district attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. "A lot of them are minor disagreements and people using guns to settle them."

From the expiration of a federal ban on assault rifles to tougher restrictions on databases that identify gun owners, gun laws have weakened in the past five years, said Daniel Vice, an attorney with the Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence.

"The top five states with the highest gun death rates are five states with incredibly weak gun laws," he said, listing Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Cowboy Diplomacy

Well written.
But what you never see is that when the hero rides into the sunset, the real work of rebuilding a society is left behind.

The Deadwood hero leaves bodies in the thoroughfare, while the reality hero tries to prevent the bloodshed in the first place. The Deadwood hero is a vigilante, while the reality hero understands the inherent value of a society dictated by the rule of law. The Deadwood hero is impulsive, aggressive and macho, while the reality hero is a rational consensus-builder with an intelligent plan of action.

Under a curtain of fear from terrorism, we have been manipulated into thinking that our national security depends on casting our lot with a Deadwood hero, when in fact it lies with the other.

Emphasis added. Wouldn't it be great if Bu$hCo had the attributes that are highlighted? If only....

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Katrina & The 2006 Election

Digby has a good post up. As an aside, a way out aside, I'm listening to Chuck. E. Weiss. Yes, that Chuck E. Ian will be hip to it, so will many others. Now back to Digby & the racist ReThugs & the 2006 election.
And then there's Senator George Felix "Macaca" Allen. He's just a stone racist, but I think it's worth noting nonetheless that he knew he could play the race card among his supporters in "the real world" of Virginia. You didn't have to know what "macaca" meant to know what he was saying (and I would guess that more than a few of his supporters know very well what it meant.) His face in that video shows a barely leashed anger, the tight smile, the sarcastic edge --- and his supporters all got the point, laughing and tittering at his nasty little aside. Nobody has asked what purpose it served for Allen to point out this guy videotaping the event in the first place. I assume Allen's supporters thought he was with the campaign not with Webb, and even if they did I doubt they would have thought much about it. But Allen, either out of personal pique or political calculation (or both) brought this lone dark-skinned person to the attention of his audience and identified him with the opposition. He did that for a reason and I suspect it's because the word has gone forth that race is on the table in this election. (The fact that he's even more braindead than Bush is what did him in --- he pulled it on a guy who was videotaping him. Jesus.)

This is happening because the Republicans are on the run and they have to pull out all the stops to GOTV. Mostly, however, I think it's an attempt to neutralize Katrina. Let's face it, there is nothing the Republicans can do to improve their image when it comes to their performance last September. It was a national disgrace and we are going to relive the whole awful scene in living color on the first anniversary. Their only hope is to stoke enough under-the-radar racial resentment to mitigate the damage. I suspect they have been thinking about this for the past year and carefully laying out all the little racist signposts we've been seeing over the past few months.

Katrina remains very damaging for Republicans unless they can find some way to kick in the racist lizard brain. They are very good at tickling the primitive, tribal side of human nature --- in fact, that's all they are good at. Subtly and not so subtly playing the race card is one of their specialties and I think it's pretty much all they have left in their hand to play this time out. (Immigration is another racial card for this cycle although I think it's really aimed at '08.)

The question will be whether there are still enough of the old school racists left who will recoil at the idea of the uppity Conyers and Rangel in power. And it remains to be seen whether they can find a way to touch once again that deep, unexamined part of the American psyche that Katrina revealed --- not hatred, but fear of African Americans. Fear, after all, is the GOP's stock in trade.

Emphasis added.


So I'm watching a movie about Elvis returning to live performing in, what, 1970 & I must say that he sure could sing & man, was he good looking or what? This was, of course, way before the pasty whale in Las Vegas. A great tragedy, among many.

What A Waste Of Time & Money

The War on Drugs has done absolutely nothing to stop the flow of drugs into the country. We've wasted billions, spent billions by locking up non-dangerous drug USERS, & have listened to so much bullshit moralizing that I feel like puking everytime I fry an egg. When will they ever learn.
The latest chapter in America’s long war on drugs — a six-year, $4.7 billion effort to slash Colombia’s coca crop — has left the price, quality and availability of cocaine on American streets virtually unchanged.
Heckuva job, Bu$hCo

Rules & Agreements

Don't apply to Israel or the bu$hCo administration.
Both any resupply of weapons and the raid itself appear to constitute violations of the cease-fire resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council.
We know the Israelis went into Lebanon with this raid. They produced no credible evidence, however, that there was any resupply going on. Evidence is alway handy in these situations, but as we know, if there's no evidence IOKIYAR or IOKIYAI.

More here.

American Values

Football over accountability. Figures.

Remember Afganistan?

Not so much.
Less than a year ago, this was a city on the rebound after years of conflict, drought and political isolation. Business was booming with an influx of international development aid, shops stayed open late, markets burst with locally grown fruit and traffic snarled hopelessly much of the time.

Today Kandahar is a ghost town, braced for the next suicide bomb and full of refugees from rural districts where Taliban insurgents are battling Afghan and NATO forces. Streets are all but empty of vehicles, foreign aid offices are reduced to skeleton crews and shoppers hurry home before dark instead of lingering at tea shops.

As 10,000 NATO troops fan across southern Afghanistan seeking to contain and quash the rapidly growing insurgency, Kandahar -- both the religious birthplace of the Taliban militia and the homeland of President Hamid Karzai -- seems to symbolize the dashed hopes and angry confusion that have gripped much of Afghanistan's Pashtun tribal belt.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Hey, Joe The New Guy

Get some Legos & you & the grandchildren can build one in Wisco.

Oh, Oh

Things aren't going well here, either. What is Bu$hco thinking? Not much.
President Hamid Karzai condemned a US airstrike yesterday that Afghan officials said killed 10 border policemen. Sixteen other people died in violence around the country, including an American soldier killed by a Soviet-era land mine.

Some Justice

But not enough.
A civilian CIA contractor accused of beating an Afghan detainee who later died in custody was found guilty of assault yesterday, becoming the first person affiliated with the spy agency to be convicted in a post-Sept. 11 abuse case.
But human-rights organizations said prosecutors had failed to hold higher-level CIA and military officers accountable, focusing instead on low-level soldiers and operatives.

``They are just investigating the goons and the muscle. They are not investigating the brains," said John Sifton, a lawyer with Human Rights Watch.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


It's a start.
Fox News reports a federal district court in Detroit has ruled that the Bush administration’s NSA warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it.

Holy Mary Mother Of God In A Wet T-Shirt

Dirty hippies. Who knew?
Nobody's said much about the results, or the details of the exercise scenario. But a newly-published DHS PowerPoint presentation on the exercise reveals that the real terrorist threat in cyber space isn't from obvious suspects like al Qaida types or Connecticut voters; it's from anti-globalization radicals and peace activists.
I think you can see now why the vegans are in the government's sites, especially vegans who feed the homeless. They simply can't be trusted. And where there are vegans there are peace activists. (Why do you think they handed out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at that anti-Halliburton rally the Pentagon monitored instead of ham and cheese like real Americans?) You have to keep an eye on all of them.

I'm afraid this is one situation where we are going to have to fight them here so we don't have to fight them over there --- or something.

I am speechless & must take my medications since my head is exploding again so goodbye for now & upcoming will be pics from the Feingold listening session I attended yesterday. Well, well, my head apparently did explode since I forgot to hit publish on this post. But I'm back & I've fed the horses, picked some cucumbers, mowed some lawn & brought Paddy Boy, our intrepid deer chaser away down from the garden. It's clouding up here in coldH2O land, I can only hope.

For Sure

And anyway, as we all know, you cannot be wrong and be a conservative at the same time. (Certainly, no real conservative can be shrill, immature or uninformed.) Therefore, anyone who is wrong must be, by definition, a liberal-leftist-commie-terrorist. That's just how it works.

Unintended Consequences

Real sad.
The father-in-law of disgraced Tour de France winner Floyd Landis has committed suicide, police said on Wednesday.
Via first draft.

& They Probably Wonder

Why no one takes them seriously anymore. Bu$hCo, as the local county sheriff said to me yesterday, uses fear as a political tactic. & by the time some of us find out the truth, it's no longer front page news, but people are scared & still believe. It's despicable.
Three Palestinian-American men who were found with nearly 1,000 cellphones were charged yesterday with federal fraud conspiracy and money laundering after a county prosecutor backed off from terrorism charges filed earlier.

Maruan Muhareb, 18, Adham Othman, 21, and Louai Othman, 23, all of the Dallas area, were charged in Bay City with conspiracy to defraud consumers and telephone providers by trafficking in counterfeit goods. They also were charged with money laundering on suspicion that they used proceeds from the counterfeit cellphone transactions to buy more phones.

Magistrate Judge Charles Binder ordered the men held at least until a detention hearing tomorrow. They were arrested Aug. 11 after buying dozens of cellphones at a Wal-Mart store in nearby Tuscola County.

A Michigan prosecutor, Mark E. Reene, had charged the three with collecting or providing materials for terrorist acts, and surveillance of a vulnerable target for terrorist purposes.

But Reene yesterday asked a judge to dismiss those charges.

Nabih Ayad, a lawyer for the three men, called the charges ``outrageous" and accused state and federal officials of ``scratching each other's backs" by shifting jurisdictions.

``This is a clear indication of racial profiling: picking someone up and holding them for days and trying to find something to charge them with," he said. ``It's supposed to be the other way around."

Good Riddance

But I'll bet Bu$hCo is in  mourning.

"Presidential power grab"

More of the same.
PRESIDENT Bush's quest to extend control over National Guard troops for disaster relief should be short-stopped in Congress. That's not just our opinion: Governors of all 50 states and Puerto Rico feel the same way, according to their letter to congressional leaders.

With good reason, the governors are up in bipartisan arms over a provision in a military authorization bill before Congress that would give the President the authority - without state consent - to federalize guard troops in the case of a disaster.

"This provision was drafted without consultation or input from governors," the letter says, "and represents an unprecedented shift in authority from governors … to the federal government."

After 3 1/2 years of overextending the National Guard to prop up the stumbling military effort in Iraq, Mr. Bush, himself a former governor, should have a greater appreciation for what these 440,000 citizen soldiers can reasonably be expected to accomplish.

Instead, the President seeks more autocratic control, in sharp contrast to the guard's historic origin as state militias, ready to respond to local emergencies under the governors' control. Little wonder that some state chief executives resisted Mr. Bush's order last spring to supply troops to assist federal agents with immigration security at the Mexican border.

Emphasis added.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Once Again

Here's another big reason PBS has some problems. Bu$hCo's minions have really hurt a once completely vibrant alternative to coporate teevee.
"It seems to me that it is a big mistake for the program and PBS — no matter what the Labor Department says — not to make her other full-time association clear to viewers in some fashion," Getler wrote. (Earlier, we reported that show host Bonnie Erbe said the government told her Czarnecki could not be identified as an official.) "If they don’t want to change the on-screen captions, then Erbe ought to at least describe the association verbally to viewers, and state that [Czarnecki] is not speaking for the department. Viewers can understand that."

Tough Guy

Fair chase my ass. Another American sporting hero - these guys must really have self-esteem problems.
The charges said Gentry killed the bear with a bow and arrow in October 2004 while it was enclosed in a pen on Greenly's property.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Why I Hate Insurance Companies

Except for one. How is "wind driven water" damage different from damage from "high winds"? Apparently this federal judge knows. The victims of Katrina contiue to be victimized. So much for compassion.
U.S. District Judge L.T. Senter Jr. ruled that a Mississippi Gulf Coast couple cannot collect damages from storm surge caused by Katrina because Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.'s policies do not cover wind-driven water damage.

Senter said Paul and Julie Leonard of Pascagoula could be compensated for damage that they could prove was caused by high winds, however.

Jeebus died for insurance company's sins, but that doesn't help people of the Gulf Coast.

Russ Feingold

He's going to up in Northern Wisco, Marengo to be precise. I'm going over to see him. Here are some things he said last Sunday on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos":
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you heard Secretary Chertoff there. He says that the war in Iraq is making his job easier, making it easier for him to protect the homeland. What's your response?

SENATOR RUSS FEINGOLD: Well, that just can't be true. I - I heard him say that somehow Iraq distracts the terrorists. You know, it's just the other way around. It's distracted us. It has sapped us of our resource. I think Osama bin Laden and all his lieutenants and sympathizers are absolutely thrilled that we continue to stay in Iraq for an indefinite period of time as they conduct these operations and get others to conduct operations all the way from Indonesia to Turkey to Madrid to London. We are playing into their hands by having an indefinite commitment in Iraq. It has made us weaker. It's time to recognize that and focus on the kind of thing that was uncovered this week and I want to congratulate the â€" the British and those who helped them on that success. That's what we should have been focusing on all along.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Lieberman thinks that your approach will strengthen the terrorists and it's a victory for terrorists. What's your response?

SENATOR RUSS FEINGOLD: Well, I like Joe Lieberman but I support Ned Lamont because Joe is showing with that regrettable statement that he doesn't get it. He doesn't get it. The fact is that we were attacked on 9/11 by al Qaeda and its affiliates and its sympathizers, not by Saddam Hussein and unfortunately Senator Lieberman has supported the Bush administration's disastrous strategic approach of getting us stuck in Iraq instead of focusing on those who've attacked us. I mean, look at the places that have been attacked, India, Morocco, Turkey, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Somalia, Spain, Great Britain, what does this have to do with Iraq? And Senator Lieberman is stuck on that point. Ned Lamont and I believe that we should refocus on those who attacked us on 9/11 and not simply try to cover our tracks because this was such a very poor decision in terms of the overall battle against the terrorists who attacked us.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think Senator Lieberman should get out of the race?

SENATOR RUSS FEINGOLD: Well, you know, I think that's his own decision. It would be better for the Democratic Party. I think it'd be better for the people of Connecticut. It would be better for the country if he did it, not because he hasn't been a good senator, not because he isn't a good man, but this is a critical time and we have to change course. We have to focus on those that attacked us on 9/11 and get away from this very mistaken policy in Iraq so it would be helpful if he would do it but obviously Joe will have to make that decision for himself.

Morning Martini, Anyone?

OK, Pissed Off Patricia, you let the inching down pass by, but I wonder if you'll be able to pass this up?
The same chemical in the body that is targeted by the drug Viagra® also helps our brains "boot up" in the morning so we can process sights, sound, touch and other sensory information. The discovery could lead to a better understanding of major brain disorders, according to researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
Gives us a whole new understanding of morning wood, as well.

Very, Very Cool

The French, yes, the French, made this interesting discovery concerning the brain. Evolution as we speak.
A discovery by researchers at the Brain Mind Institute of the EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) shows that the brain rewires itself following an experience. The research further shows that this process of creation, testing, and reconfiguring of brain circuits takes place on a scale of just hours, suggesting that the brain is evolving considerably even during the course of a single day.

Scientists know that the strength of the connections between neurons changes to shape memories. They also know that the developing brain has a high level of plasticity as neurons forge connections with other neurons. This new research, published in the August 7, 2006 early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, goes further, investigating how neurons choose their connections with neighboring neurons. Researchers Henry Markram and Jean-Vincent Le Bé found that connections between neurons switch rapidly on and off, leading to a form of adaptive rewiring in which the brain is engaged in a continuous process of changing, strengthening and pruning its circuitry.

Give Them An Inch File

No wonder the Bible-thumpers hate science so much.
All the atoms in the universe just got looser,....
It's the damn liberal's fault. I'm a liberal, so it's my fault.  Still, I'd like to meet a couple of these loose atoms.

Good Grief

Digby's said it before & now quotes Bu$hCo, the President of the United States, our President. I am so sorry, so embarassed, so sad.
The world got to see -- got to see what it means to confront terrorism. I mean, it's a -- it's the challenge of the 21st century, the fight against terror.

A group of ideologues, by the way, who use terror to achieve an objective -- this is the challenge.

And that's why in my remarks I spoke about the need for those of us who understand the blessings of liberty to help liberty prevail in the Middle East.

And the fundamental question is: Can it? And my answer is: Absolutely, it can. I believe that freedom is a universal value. And by that, I mean I believe people want to be free.

People want to be free. One way to put it is I believe mothers around the world want to raise their children in a peaceful world. That's what I believe...