Monday, November 30, 2009

Things we can be grateful for

That Obama's administration has actually done.

Now if this guy had a Muslim name....

As David Neiwert points out, he'd be all over the news. But because he's just a homegrown white domestic terrorist, we can ignore him.

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio – Following a pipe bomb explosion Monday night, police and federal law enforcement officials are trying to figure why a Center Avenue man turned his apartment into a bomb factory.

Police said no charges have been filed against Mark Campano, 56. Police found 30 completed pipe bombs in his apartment along with components to make more, plus 17 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Campano is in an Akron hospital with injuries received when one of the bombs exploded.

Thank god no one got hurt by this idiot.... except him.

Climate change email scandal!!1!

Leaked emails expose the fact that scientists were complaining about bad scientific processes and how much work they had to do and stuff:
Climate change is real and man-made. Period, end of story. But recently, some emails have leaked that conclusively prove that climate scientists... are really pissed off that a well-funded industry exists that subverts and denies their work.

A "hacker" obtained a bunch of emails from climate scientists at the University of East Anglia and posted them to some website, and for some reason Matt Drudge and the right-wing media have decided that these emails are proof of a massive conspiracy to make up global warming, for fun. The emails are mostly scientists complaining about political pressures and people they dislike and things that make their job—and their job is attempting to reconstruct climates of hundreds or millions of years ago based on fucking ice floes and tree rings—harder.

Maybe if people actually READ the emails before commenting on them..... um... be right back....

Update: Scientific American and Mother Jones have replies.

Update 12/1: Via Mahakal in comments, Will Bunch of Attytood has a good overview.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

May this strike fear into the Bush administration

War crimes are always prosecutable.
MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) – John Demjanjuk, an 89-year-old former Nazi camp guard, is due to stand trial on Monday on charges of helping to force 27,900 Jews into gas chambers in 1943.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

There are no dentists in foxholes

They've developed a gum that will brush your teeth for you while you are in the war zone:

With the help of a gum chomping machine and years of careful chemistry, University of Kentucky researchers have developed a chewing gum that can help replace toothpaste and a toothbrush, thus improving the health of soldiers in the field as well as children in poor countries.

Seriously. Gum.

In what is known around the UK College of Pharmacy by the ever-so-catchy title of "the military gum project," an antimicrobial, known as KSL, is infused in chewing gum. KSL is anti-adhesive and abrasive agent that disrupts and helps dissolve plaque.

As every toothpaste commercial has told us for years, fighting plaque is key to good dental health.

Since World War I, thousands of American soldiers have suffered from the extreme form of gingivitis that can result in painful ulcers, infection and bleeding gums. You've probably heard it called "trench mouth."

Now if they could only get something to floss for you....

Caturday.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Blog sprinkles

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  • Rumpus over nuclear warheads in Pakistan:
Nuclear fallout rocks Pakistan
By Syed Saleem Shahzad

ISLAMABAD - Sharp differences between Pakistani leaders over safeguarding the country's nuclear arsenal are placing increasing pressure on the embattled administration of President Asif Ali Zardari.

Zardari is already seriously at odds with the military establishment over dealing with the Taliban-led insurgency and there is a strong likelihood that his government will face a make-or-break test within weeks in the form of mass street protests.

Pakistan has reacted strongly to an article in The New Yorker by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh on November 16, "Defending the arsenal", in which he claimed that Pakistan was discussing "understandings" with the US that could even see specialists take sophisticated nuclear triggers out of the country to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.









It's obvious that the world needs this:

The Brits are asking the hard questions

In the Chilcot inquiry:
The inquiry will consider the period from the summer of 2001 to the end of July 2009, embracing the run-up to the conflict in Iraq, the military action and the aftermath. The inquiry committee members are Sir John Chilcot (chairman), Sir Lawrence Freedman, Sir Martin Gilbert, Sir Roderic Lyne and Baroness Usha Prashar
And whether it was justified.

Do you think we could do the same thing?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Watch the US go down the tubes

As we lose job after job...

h/t to Bryan of Why Now?

If this is how you feel

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Read Phila of Bouphonia's Friday hope posting.

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Because we are so desperate for soldiers?

Army Sends Mom to Afghanistan, Infant to Protective Services

A reminder of who we had in the White House

During the Bush administration:

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Glenn Greenwald
:
Jonathan Schwarz notes that in 2005, Donald Rumsfeld traveled to Lithuania and visited a museum in Vilnius which once housed a KGB prison, where the Soviets tortured prisoners. That museum exhibits "solitary confinement rooms which were used to break down the prisoners and make them confess." Shockingly, "the walls are padded and soundproofed, made to absorb the cries and shouts for help," as it was the site of barbaric acts like this:

Prisoners either had to stand in ice-cold water or to balance on a small platform. Every time they got tired they fell down into the water.

After his visit, Rumsfeld released an "Open Letter to the People of Vilnius," in which he solemnly observed that "the museum was a stark reminder of the importance of preserving our liberty at all costs." Schwarz asks: "Did Rumsfeld Tour KGB Torture Museum to Pick Up Useful Tips?"

I wouldn't doubt it. Remember, they went down to Guantanamo to watch. And Rumsfeld complained that standing wasn't torture:
Forced Standing: "I stand for 8-10 hours a day," Donald Rumsfeld wrote in a 2002 interrogation memo. "Why is standing limited to four hours?" Rumsfeld would probably feel a little differently about this if he had to stand in place for 8-10 hours, which can cause ankle swelling, bruising, and excruciating pain.
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House Finance Committee actually did something!

The Washington establishment suffers a serious defeat
By Glenn Greenwald
Something quite amazing happened yesterday in Congress: the House Finance Committee -- in a truly bipartisan and even trans-ideological vote -- defied the banking industry, the Federal Reserve, the Democratic leadership, and mainstream Beltway opinion in order to pass an amendment, sponsored by GOP Rep. Ron Paul and Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson, mandating a genuine and probing audit of the Fed. The Huffington Post's Ryan Grim has the best account of what took place, noting:
In an unprecedented defeat for the Federal Reserve, an amendment to audit the multi-trillion dollar institution was approved by the House Finance Committee with an overwhelming and bipartisan 43-26 vote on Thursday afternoon despite harried last-minute lobbying from top Fed officials and the surprise opposition of Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who had previously been a supporter.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Headlines

Twittering into history: 5 Famous Last Status Updates

The Ten Most Influential Internet Moments of the Decade

Slate's: The Going Rogue Index, TPM's Sarah, Plain And Lying

Strange Crocs of the Sahara has some fantastic dinosaur era animation. Also: Dung helps reveal why mammoths died out

Pirates!: Increased Violence on the High Seas

And this: College Students Arrested For Refusing To Pay Tip

To those who want to control a woman's right to choose

Because they have problems with women in general and sex specifically... some have had enough:
JOINT STATEMENT OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS ON STUPAK AMENDMENT

Catholics for Choice, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Clergy Network, the Religious Coalition on Reproductive Choice, and the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing represent more than ten thousand religious leaders and tens of thousands of people of faith who believe that abortion must be safe, legal, and accessible. We come together to condemn the passage of the Stupak amendment, which if passed by the Senate will effectively deny coverage for abortion services to women covered by the new federal health care plan. We are appalled that religious leaders intervened to impose their specific religious doctrine into health care reform, not recognizing that women must have the right to apply or reject the principles of their own faith in making the decision as to whether or not abortion is appropriate in their specific circumstances. Further, we decry those who sought to use abortion as a way to scuttle much needed health care reform. We call on the President and the United States Senate to ensure that the final bill that passes does not include any specific prohibition on the use of federal funds for reproductive health care services. We pray for a renewed commitment to relational and reproductive justice for all.
Natasha Chart of Open Left talks about a pregnancy that could have killed her. And how the doctor said she would do nothing. And then links to a list of things that can go wrong in a pregnancy.

Fuzz on fuzz attack

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The reason why the Republicans are afraid of Gitmo prisoners...

Is because we'll finally find out that most of 'the worst of the worst' detainees have been a bunch of Afghani farmers, foot soldiers of the Taliban, or confused impressionable teenagers along with a few hardened criminals.

We'll find out these scary terrorists are nothing to be afraid of and that all this time... for eight long years... the real terrorists were in the White House.

Bryan of Why Now? explains the US prison system to those poor terrified Republicans.

Feeding an alien encroaching into your territory?

Obviously the animal world is liberal!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bush's legacy

More American households had difficulty putting enough food on the table in 2008

In 2008, 85 percent of U.S. households were food secure throughout the entire year, but 14.6 percent of households were food insecure at least some time during that year, up from 11.1 percent in 2007.

This is the highest recorded prevalence rate of food insecurity since 1995 when the first national food security survey was conducted.

Teabaggery: The gift that keeps on giving

(pic from the archives, just for memory's sake:)

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The top ten conservative idiots.

To hell with diplomacy and careful deliberation

We need a manly manish man of a president man to do stuff in a manly way!



(sarcasm rich, yes.)

Support our soldiers

Right now, in a disgraceful move, Sen. Tom Coburn is single-handedly holding up some very important veteran legislation. Sen. Coburn is trying to block S. 1963, “The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2009.” While this is a legal move, we think it is morally wrong for Sen. Coburn to hold up any veterans benefits during a time when our men and women in uniform are giving so much to our country.
Sign the petition and send Coburn a message.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Worth a rerun?

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Sarah Palin rides in to the rescue!

Obama is daring to think the detainees in Guantanamo are actually human beings. Palin shoots off her six shooters:
If we are stuck with this terrible Obama Administration decision, I, like most Americans, hope that Mohammed and his co-conspirators are convicted. Hang ‘em high.
God, this sounds so familiar....
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush pledged anew Friday that Osama bin Laden will be taken "dead or alive," no matter how long it takes, amid indications that the suspected terrorist may be bottled up in a rugged Afghan canyon. The president, in an Oval Office meeting with Thailand's prime minister, would not predict the timing of bin Laden's capture but said he doesn't care how the suspect is brought to justice. "I don't care, dead or alive — either way," Bush said. "It doesn't matter to me."
Or this:
"Bring 'em on," President Bush declared, when asked about guerrilla attacks on US troops in Iraq.
Because acting tough is always better than actually being tough and making tough decisions.

*edited for clarity and because if I didn't correct it, the grammar police would kick down my door.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thank you, sirs, for your service to our nation

The antigay Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., routinely disrupts military funerals, holding bright-colored signs that read "God Hates Fags" and "God Hates America."

The presence of the Patriot Guard, however, seems to deter such intrusions. At the funeral of Merced, Calif., Army Pfc. Lukas Hopper last Saturday, the Patriot Guard Riders were there at the Hopper family's request — and the protesters were nowhere to be seen.

In solemn silence, the slightly grisly veterans stood in rigid formation bearing American and Army flags. They joined the 45-minute procession from Merced to Catheys Valley Cemetery.

Their flags, their bikes and most of all their daunting presence was the first thing a passerby may have noticed. By mourners, they were probably hardly noticed at all.

Born out of protests that threatened to disrupt the 2005 funeral of 19-year-old Carrie French, and later that summer, the funeral of Edward Myers, both killed in Iraq, the Patriot Guard Riders banded together to ensure that fallen heroes are honored with respect and dignity.

Since its formation, the Patriot Guard Riders has grown into a national organization with a membership of more than 170,000, including members in Merced and Mariposa counties.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hope springs eternal

Because of Phila of Bouphonia's hope post.

And the promise of comfort in warm places....

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Friday Kittens in a box



Kittens-Coca Cola Box - video powered by Metacafe


Brought up from the archives because it makes me laugh.

“Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars.” Les Brown

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Water on the Moon.

Re-burka-ing women

Read the headlines and then wonder which century we're in:

Catholic Church Powering Their Way Into Politics
The most disturbing element of the Stupak amendment fight is the outsized influence of the Catholic Church, particularly the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, who insistently lobbied on the health care bill as it wrapped up in the House.
And this:
Republicans Are Shocked The Public Is Mad At Them For Voting Against Franken’s Anti-Rape Amendment
And this:
Stupak: It's All the Liberals' Fault!

Forcible rape only, no date rape, no marital rape, no Roman-Polanski style rape. Presumably because a girl or woman in any non-forcible rape situation would have been "asking for it" anyway. Which leads to another question--how in the hell would that be enforcable? A woman would have to provide a police report with her insurance claim? Bart Stupak isn't only a misogynist, he's a piss poor legislator.
Have a coathanger sent to the 'pro-choice' Democrats who voted for Stupak's stupid amendment.

Update: Chris Matthews' bizarre thoughts on abortion.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Glub glub blub berbble bubble....

The Greenland ice sheet is losing its mass faster than in previous years and making an increasing contribution to sea level rise, a study has confirmed.

Published in the journal Science, it has also given scientists a clearer view of why the sheet is shrinking.

The team used weather data, satellite readings and models of ice sheet behaviour to analyse the annual loss of 273 thousand million tonnes of ice.

Melting of the entire sheet would raise sea levels globally by about 7m (20ft).

[snip]

Another analysis of satellite data, published in September, showed that of 111 fast-moving Greenland glaciers studied, 81 were thinning at twice the rate of the slow-moving ice beside them.

This indicates that the glaciers are accelerating and taking more ice into the surrounding sea.

Melting on the ice sheet's surface acts as a feedback mechanism, Dr van den Broeke explained, because the liquid water absorbs more and reflects less of the incoming solar radiation - resulting in a heating of the ice.

"Over the last 10 years, it's quite simple; warming over Greenland has caused the melting to increase, and that's set off this albedo feedback process," he told BBC News.

Attack of the fuzz

Red panda cubs:

Look what high taxes on energy can do

In Denmark:



Could we possibly do it here?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blog sprinkles

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Bryan of Why Now?
remembers the veterans.

Dogs and kids welcome back home returning soldiers while Senator Tom Colburn (R-OK) blocks a veteran's care bill. Losing vets who don't have health care.

David Horsey's cartoon is fantastic as usual:

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Excellent interview with Vice President Gore about his new book.

The good, the bad, and the horrific about sex workers.

Blackwater's crimes beginning to be defined:



Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly comments on the collapse of the Senate as a functioning legislative body:
Facing extraordinary crises and challenges, the United States has a legislative branch that is barely able to legislate at all. The system can see the problems, but is struggling badly to address them. The first step in changing the way Congress operates is creating the demand -- most of the public has no idea that the Senate no longer operates by majority rule. Public frustration can lead to proposals, which can lead to debate, which can lead to solutions.
Phila of Bouphonia on the stupid Stupak amendment:
The idea that a woman must play second fiddle to a fetus, on the grounds that some enterprising sperm cell planted a man's flag inside her -- as though it were a submarine claiming drilling rights in the Arctic Circle -- is scientifically illiterate, theologically dubious, ethically unworkable, and morally incoherent. And I'm sick unto death of the idea that the ever-so-precious tax dollars of these oh-so-sensitive control addicts mustn't be spent on abortion. Especially since my equally strong feelings don't entitle me to opt out of funding two grotesque wars, or detention centers and border fences for immigrants, or the state oppression of women and gays; or paying the salary of a reactionary fuckhead like Bart Stupak; or providing high-quality healthcare to politicians who refuse it to others.
Phila's wonderful flag imagery reminds me of this:



Canadian teenager survives three days on an ice floe.... with polar bears.

Also from the Guardian:
The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit, according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying.

The senior official claims the US has played an influential role in encouraging the watchdog to underplay the rate of decline from existing oil fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves.

The allegations raise serious questions about the accuracy of the organisation's latest World Energy Outlook on oil demand and supply to be published tomorrow – which is used by the British and many other governments to help guide their wider energy and climate change policies.
Steve Bates of The Yellow Doggerel Democrat keeps an eye on the promised closing of Gitmo.

15 funny pet videos.

Monday, November 09, 2009

No, WE object.

To your assholic behavior, Republicans. And boy, we will play these YouTubes over and over again when you run for reelection.

Media Matters:



And another variation from TPM:


Sunday, November 08, 2009

Not sure how gay marriage threatens the institution of marriage ...

But why can't the wingnuts who are so threatened by gay marriage change THEIR OWN terminology of marriage? So they can go around with an arched eyebrow and a curling sneer and say,"Well, we're CHURCH SANCTIFIED married..."

Then they could even work in their own church as kind of an advertisement: "Well, we're HOLY ROLLERED CHURCH OF POINTY CELIBATE HATS SANCTIFIED..."

Just think of all the fun we could have... fighting in the aisles, pie throwing...

Don't look behind you!

Zombies are everywhere!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Republican health care bill

Creates high risk pools for pre-existing conditions. And a wonderful catch-22:
...high-risk pools would be able to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions that made people eligible in the first place. So people would be forced into the pools because of their pre-existing conditions, but the pools wouldn’t pay for treatment of that condition.
Just die quickly. It's easier.

Escape the day filled with sound and fury

And read Phila of Bouphonia's hope post.

And admire his new fur acquisition.... (hint: looks like one of these but cuter!)

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Looking at the good things

Because everybody is focusing on the not done, shouldn't do, won't do, why hasn't it been done, must do right now, can't do or can do of President Barack Obama.

Eugene Robinson: Step back for a moment, though, and look at Obama’s record so far.

Let the sunshine in

Hint, it ain't a grassroots movement, you guys. Who's funding the Conservative Movement?

Monday, November 02, 2009

Above the fray

Or at least above the Los Angeles smog. Vacationing in the mountains. Water rationing here too. Summer-like heat even though we optimistically brought jackets.

Will blog when I can. I still need my therapy of yelling at the news.