Saturday, August 26, 2006


Gaza City, Gaza Strip

Israeli aircraft fired two missiles early Sunday at an armored car belonging to the Reuters news agency, wounding five people, including two cameramen, Palestinian witnesses and hospital officials said.

story here


More to share


Rep. Katherine Harris of Florida has gone off the deep end

From the To The People blog site...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.) said this week that God did not intend for the United States to be a "nation of secular laws" and that the separation of church and state is a "lie we have been told" to keep religious people out of politics.

"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," Harris told interviewers from the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention.

"we have to have the faithful in government" because that is God's will. Separating religion and politics is "so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers," she said.

"And if we are the ones not actively involved in electing those godly men and women," then "we're going to have a nation of secular laws. That's not what our Founding Fathers intended, and that certainly isn't what God intended."

Stick a fork in her, SHE'S DONE!



John Williams & Yo Yo Ma



"Everyone in Iraq knows Bush is a d**khead. He's the boss' kid. Everybody I know who has a successful business who has a kid - the kid is always a f**khead. Have you ever noticed that?"

Her husband's wee story here



This is Barack Obama painting a house in the new Musicians' Village in NOLA. This project, in partnership with Habitat For Humanity, to provide homes for displaced musicians was organized and is chaired by Harry Connick, Jr and Branford Marsalis. The goal is to build 300 homes in NO's Upper Ninth Ward. More info is here.

The Dave Matthews Band has issued a $1.5million challenge to help build Musicians' Village.

Another effort to replaced ruined homes in NO Upper Ninth Ward is The Baptist Crossroads Project. It is especially pleasing and heartening to see their true principles of Christanity put into practice.

Another photo of these new homes can be found to photo #2 of 8.

NBA Hornets have also partnered with Habitat For Humanity with plans to build 15-20 NO homes within the next year. "Hoops For Homes" here.

Operation Home Delivery is the largest project ever undertaken, worldwide, in the history of Habitat For Humanity. In the past year, a list of their accomplishments following the Katrina devastation:

* Nearly 1,600 structurally sound homes have been cleaned out.

* More than $125 million has been pledged and donated.

* More than 32,000 volunteers have registered.

* 340 panelized house-in-box frames have been completed and shipped to the Gulf region.

* 120 families are now living in newly completed homes.

* 230 homes are now under construction.

* 700 lots have been acquired.

Additional HFH news of NOLA/Gulf news is here


Bus driver suspended for alleged racism

Saturday, August 26, 2006

COUSHATTA, Louisiana (AP) -- A Louisiana school district suspended a white bus driver while it investigates complaints that she ordered nine black children to sit at the back of the bus.

No previous complaints have been lodged against the driver, who has worked several years for the Red River Parish school district, school Superintendent Kay Easley said Thursday. She refused to reveal the driver's name.

"I'm trying to get all this straight, and settled, so we can all move on," Easley said.

Two mothers, both black, sparked the investigation with a complaint on Monday that their children and the other black children had been ordered to sit in two rows of seats in the rear of the bus. ( Watch the stunned reactions of parents and community leaders -- 2:13 )

"In all these years, I've never had a problem like this," said Janice Williams, whose four children ride public school buses.

One of her children, Jarvonica Williams, 16, said the bus driver allowed many white students to have seats all to themselves while some blacks were forced to stand or sit in others' laps.

Iva Richmond, whose 14- and 15-year-old children were on the bus, said Thursday that they previously had a black bus driver, but their bus assignment changed this year. When school started this month, the white driver told them she had assigned them seats, with the black children at the back of the bus.

Richmond said she complained to a local principal, who told the driver that if any children were assigned to seats, all would have to be.

Early last week, the driver assigned black students to two seats in the back of the bus, Richmond said.

"All nine children were assigned to two seats in the back of the bus and the older ones had to hold the smaller ones in their laps," she said.

The women said their complaints to parish school officials were not immediately addressed.

Easley said she wanted to settle the matter. She said the driver had been suspended without pay, and she would announce the results of the district's investigation at a school board meeting on Sept. 5.

NAACP District Vice President James Panell told The Times of Shreveport that he would give federal attorneys details of the situation this week.

Coushatta is a small farming town in northern Louisiana. The school district has about 1,600 students, Easley said.


It's a damn shame so much wasted energy has to be spent on fighting flat out ignorance and bigotry. Imagine how much more productive we humans could be if not for such utter stupidity.



At the end of a work day when an employee is no longer on company time, does the boss still have control over that individual?
If, for instance, away from work the individual smokes cigarettes and risks injury to both their health and their boss's insurance premiums, should BossMan be able to terminate employment?
Most of us would answer Hell No! They get our time and our abilities while we're on the clock and when we leave our lawful actions are not subject to company authority.
What if those off-clock actions are distasteful to our Liberal minds? Does our committment to personal freedoms weaken when, say, an off-duty policeman is active in a legal organization we don't like?

Neb. Tries To Oust Trooper Linked To KKK

FYI: In celebration of their 50th anniversary, on September 1, 2, 3, the KKK will bring their "message of hope and deliverance" to Harrison, Arkansas. If you are a "white national" you are welcome to attend.


Shock of all Shocks!

U.S. may bypass U.N. on Iran: LA Times

Sat Aug 26, 2006

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration has indicated it is prepared to form an independent coalition to freeze Iranian assets and restrict trade if the U.N. Security Council fails to penalize Tehran for its nuclear enrichment program, The Los Angeles Times reported on Saturday.

A Security Council resolution gives Iran until August 31 to stop uranium enrichment, which could provide fuel to produce electricity or possibly atomic weapons, or face penalties.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said in an interview late this week that the United States planned to introduce a resolution imposing penalties such as a travel ban and asset freeze for key Iranian leaders soon after the August 31 deadline, the Times reported.

It said Bolton seemed optimistic that Security Council members China and Russia, which have been reluctant to impose sanctions, would agree to it once they saw the text. "Everybody's been on board," the Times quoted him as saying.

But on Friday Russia rejected for now efforts to impose sanctions after Tehran agreed to continue talks, but refused to halt enrichment.

In case Russia and China do not accept the resolution, Washington is working a parallel diplomatic track outside the United Nations, Bolton said.

Analysts say the strategy reflects not only long-standing U.S. frustration with the Security Council's inaction on Iran, but also the current weakness of Washington's position because of its controversial role in a series of conflicts in the Middle East, most recently in Lebanon, the Times said.

Under U.S. terrorism laws, Washington could ramp up its own sanctions, including financial constraints on Tehran and interception of missile and nuclear materials en route to Iran, Bolton said, and the United States is encouraging other countries to follow suit.

"You don't need Security Council authority to impose sanctions, just as we have," he said. The United States has had broad restrictions on almost all trade with Iran since 1987.

The Times said Bolton and U.S. Treasury officials refused to provide details on which countries might be interested in joining in sanctions, citing the "sensitivity" of the talks.


[sarcasm: on]

It's just not like the Bush administration to deviate from previous strategy.

[sarcasm: off]


Public Service Announcement:

Apparently some problems with Blogger this morning.

Our apologies.


Friday, August 25, 2006

Just had to share...



Jim DiSpirito, Some Monk Funk
Jim was percussionist for Rusted Root



Ratings for the CBS television show, Survivor, are crashing, and the producers have decided to play the race card to regenerate viewer interest. Next month Survivor: Cook Islands will have 20 contestants and they will be divided by race into groups of White Tribe, African American Tribe, Asian American Tribe, Hispanic Tribe.

MoJo blog has this: "Out-Wit, out-last, out-race! Literally."



Tropical Depression Nears Storm Strength

Storm Tracking Map



Optical Illusions

An Exercise For Observing And Reducing Visual Hemispheric Dominance


Evolution Major Vanishes From Approved Federal List

The New York Times
August 24, 2006

Evolutionary biology has vanished from the list of acceptable fields of study for recipients of a federal education grant for low-income college students.

The omission is inadvertent, said Katherine McLane, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education, which administers the grants. “There is no explanation for it being left off the list,” Ms. McLane said. “It has always been an eligible major.”

Another spokeswoman, Samara Yudof, said evolutionary biology would be restored to the list, but as of last night it was still missing.

If a major is not on the list, students in that major cannot get grants unless they declare another major, said Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. Mr. Nassirian said students seeking the grants went first to their college registrar, who determined whether they were full-time students majoring in an eligible field.

“If a field is missing, that student would not even get into the process,” he said.

That the omission occurred at all is worrying scientists concerned about threats to the teaching of evolution.

Mr. Nassirian said people at the Education Department had described the omission as “a clerical mistake.” But it is “odd,” he said, because applying the subject codes “is a fairly mechanical task. It is not supposed to be the subject of any kind of deliberation.”

“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.”

Scientists who knew about the omission also said they found the clerical explanation unconvincing, given the furor over challenges by the religious right to the teaching of evolution in public schools. “It’s just awfully coincidental,” said Steven W. Rissing, an evolutionary biologist at Ohio State University.

Jeremy Gunn, who directs the Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at the American Civil Liberties Union, said that if the change was not immediately reversed “we will certainly pursue this.”

Dr. Krauss said: “Removing that one major is not going to make the nation stupid, but if this really was removed, specifically removed, then I see it as part of a pattern to put ideology over knowledge. And, especially in the Department of Education, that should be abhorred.”

full article

Inadvertent? The gullible thirty-something percenters might believe you but I sure as hell don't! I think it's about time the Dept. of Education got an overhaul.

"If we just stop people talking about racism, it won't exist!"

"If we can just shut up the scientists, global warming and evolution won't exist!"

"If we don't keep saying, 'stay the course,' the terrorists win! And if we can just shut up Iraq critics, then the occupation will go swimmingly!"

(Hat tip to Batocchio for the story link and quotes)


A moron speaks!

Survivor thanks Bush, in person
President says milestone is a time to recommit aid; Democrats cite lack of services

Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The approach of Hurricane Katrina's one-year anniversary next week is churning up memories of death, destruction and the admittedly sluggish government response.

Mindful of the dark reminders, the White House extended its counter-message to a third consecutive day Wednesday with the folksy arrival of a New Orleans-area businessman. He delivered a thank-you to President Bush.

Rockey Vaccarella, a fast-food chain manager, drove from his storm-scarred state to the District of Columbia in a mock-up of the Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer he has inhabited in his front yard with his family since Katrina wiped out his house in Meraux, La.

"My mission was very simple," said Vaccarella, 41. "I wanted to thank President Bush for the millions of FEMA trailers that were brought down there. They gave roofs over people's heads."

Vaccarella, who once ran for local office as a Republican, chatted with Bush privately for 30 minutes in the Oval Office and appeared with the president on the South Lawn driveway. He said he'd like to see Bush serve a third term.

full articla

No time to speak to Cindy Sheehan but plenty of time for this bozo.


Those silly Rethuglicans...

(From the Sen. Allen Apologizes for 'Macaca' Jibe story, Forbes)

Allen on Wednesday tracked down a phone number for Sidarth at the University of Virginia, where the 20-year-old had returned for his senior year, and apologized to him, said campaign manager Dick Wadhams.

"Senator Allen made a heartfelt apology," Wadhams said. "He told Sidarth he thought he would see him on the campaign trail, but Sidarth had headed back to U.Va., so we Googled his name, found his number and the senator called him this morning."

Thank God for Google! No phone number, no apology. No apology, no presidential run. No presidential run, no chance to rule earth.

Wadhams on Saturday had sent a memo to Republican leaders decrying a media "feeding frenzy" over the remark, saying it "did not warrant coverage in the first place," and accusing Democrats of trying to "play the race card."

Very effective rethuglican strategy here. No matter what illegal or shameless act, accuse your opponents of being somehow worse at it. Oh, and finger point... finger point!

GOP strategists agreed it was damaging but said it need not doom Allen politically.

"Senator Allen needs to make it clear that he made a mistake, that this was obviously something he should not have done," said Mike Mahaffey, a former Iowa Republican Party chairman.

Iowa's nominating caucuses rely on one-to-one politics, giving Allen a chance to personally appeal to voters and convince them the incident was an aberration.

"If he can come across as sincere in that regard, it will not hamper him in Iowa," said Mahaffey, a GOP activist with a law practice in Montezuma, Iowa.

Those Rethuglicans... what role models they are! Commit a crime/heinous offense - apologize days/weeks later - finger point! - have another well-known rethuglican (one who has not yet committed a crime/heinous offense [well, one not yet brought to the public's attention]) proclaim on teevee that you have God's ear - run for president - smear/swiftboat your opponent - lose but have a handful of judge-friends proclaim you as winner - rule earth, start illegal wars and bankrupt America.


Ky. governor cleared in hiring scandal

Fletcher agrees to a settlement

Roger Alford
(AP) August 25, 2006

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- A judge dismissed all charges against Governor Ernie Fletcher in a state hiring scandal yesterday after the governor and attorney general agreed to a settlement that involves zero punishment for Fletcher personally.

The Republican governor took responsibility for his administration in the settlement, but he did not admit any criminal wrongdoing.

"The governor acknowledges that the evidence strongly indicates wrongdoing by his administration with regard to personnel actions with the merit system," the judge said in a five-page order dismissing the charges.

Fletcher's administration was accused of illegally giving protected state jobs to political supporters. Several current and former state employees testified before a grand jury investigating the scandal that they were passed over for promotions, transferred, demoted, or fired because of their political leanings.

Fletcher was indicted in May on misdemeanor charges of conspiracy, official misconduct and political discrimination. He issued a blanket pardon for anyone else in his administration who might be charged.

Under the settlement agreement, four Fletcher appointees to the state Personnel Board will have to resign to avoid any appearance of a conflict in future cases.

David E. Melcher, assigned to the case as a special judge, said the governor acknowledged that actions in the administration were inappropriate, he regrets their occurrence and accepts responsibility for them as head of the executive branch of government.

"This sincere expression of ultimate responsibility, however, is not an admission in any way of any criminal wrongdoing by the governor nor directly on behalf of the governor," the judge wrote.

Melcher dismissed the charges with prejudice, meaning they can't be brought again.

By settling the matter, Fletcher can seek reelection without the shadow of criminal charges looming over him.

full article

How touching. A crooked rethuglican judge pal helps out a crooked rethuglican governor buddy in his time of need. Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?!


Thursday, August 24, 2006


Eagles, Hotel California



Israel May 'Go It Alone' Against Iran

Israel is carefully watching the world's reaction to Iran's continued refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, with some high-level officials arguing it is now clear that when it comes to stopping Iran, Israel "may have to go it alone," The Jerusalem Post has learned.



Judge To Rule If 'Meowing' Is Harassment

Meow. A district judge has been asked to decide whether that word is a harmless taunt or grounds for misdemeanor harassment. Jeannette police charged a 14-year-old boy for "meowing" whenever he sees his neighbor, 78-year-old Alexandria Carasia.

story here



Women may buy the morning-after pill without a prescription, but only with proof they're 18 or older, federal health officials decided Thursday. The Food and Drug Administration ruling culminated a contentious three-year effort to ease access to the emergency contraceptive.
Girls 17 and younger still will need a doctor's note to buy the pills, called Plan B, the FDA told manufacturer Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc.
The compromise decision is a partial victory for women's advocacy and medical groups which say eliminating sales restrictions could cut in half the nation's 3 million annual unplanned pregnancies. Opponents have argued that
wider access could increase promiscuity.
The long delay had ensnared President Bush's nominee to head the FDA. On Thursday, two senators said they would lift their blockade, making confirmation of Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach as FDA's commissioner likely next month.

story here



After a tumultuous week of clashing over the essence of the cosmos, the International Astronomical Union stripped Pluto of the planetary status it has held since its discovery in 1930. The new definition of what is and isn't a planet fills a centuries-old black hole for scientists who have labored since Copernicus without one.
For now, membership will be restricted to the eight "classical" planets in the solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
Much-maligned Pluto doesn't make the grade under the new rules for a planet: "a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit." Pluto is automatically disqualified because its oblong orbit overlaps with Neptune's.

Instead, it will be reclassified in a new category of "dwarf planets," similar to what long have been termed "minor planets." The definition also lays out a third class of lesser objects that orbit the sun, "small solar system bodies," a term that will apply to numerous asteroids, comets and other natural satellites.
story here
For Pluto size comparison, check this
Other Pluto articles of interest can be found here and here and here.
Beloved by all, Disney's Pluto retains status. He first appeared in The Chain Gang (1930). Again that year in The Picnic he was Minnie's dog named Rover. Finally, also 1930 in The Moose Hunt, he got his rightful name and since then Pluto has been Mickey's dog.


Take THAT, bible-thumpers!

Scientists Harvest Stem Cells Without Destroying Embryo

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In what could prove to be a medical milestone, researchers have succeeded in generating new lines of human embryonic stem cells without destroying the embryo.

The breakthrough may enable scientists to circumvent the ban on federal funding of stem cell research, paving the way for gains in treating or curing diseases such as diabetes, spinal injury and Alzheimer's disease.

Lanza was cautiously optimistic, although he said the final say on whether this strategy could widen U.S. embryonic stem cell research depends on politicians, not scientists.

"The approach described here does not involve the destruction of an embryo, nor does the biopsied cell ever develop into an embryo at any point. Therefore, we hope this method can be used to increase the number of stem cell lines available for federal funding - and thus give the field a badly needed jump-start," Lanza said. "But I guess we'll have to see what the President and Congress have to say about it all."

full article here

"But I guess we'll have to see what the President and Congress have to say about it all."

There you have it, folks. Your healthcare rests in the hands of your doctor and your government. Medieval government thinking produces medieval medicine. Leeches, anyone?


Man says he whispered 'pump,' guard claims it was 'bomb'

How embarrassing...

Chicago Sun-Times
August 24, 2006

The female airport security guard held the small, black, squeezable rubber object she'd just plucked out of Mardin Amin's backpack, and eyed it suspiciously.

Standing next to his mother, an embarrassed Amin whispered out of one corner of his mouth that it was a "pump" -- as in a penis pump. The guard misunderstood the Iraqi man and thought she heard the word "bomb," Amin's attorney told a Cook County judge Wednesday.

"He told her it's a pump," attorney Eileen O'Neill-Burke said as a cluster of burly, snickering police officers watched the court proceedings. "He's standing with his mother. Of course he's not going to shout this out."

But after listening to the female guard testify she heard Amin "clearly" say the word bomb during the Aug. 16 incident at O'Hare Airport, Judge Gerald Winiecki decided there was enough evidence for the case to move forward. Amin, 29, is charged with felony disorderly conduct and faces up to three years in prison if convicted.


From activist judges to dodo judges.

It all boils down to his word against that of a security guard. And, sadly, we all know the outcome. Only a well-known, wealthy, pill-popping, limp-petered, arrogant, rethuglican radio show fat ass could skirt said situation.


Involuntary Call Ups Begin for US Marines

Gene Byrd
Aug 24, 2006

The US Marine Corps said Tuesday that it would begin involuntary call ups for Marines to recall soldiers back to active-duty service to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Marine commanders will call up formerly active-duty service members now classified as reservists because the Corps failed to find enough volunteers among its emergency reserve pool to fill jobs in combat zones. The call-ups will begin in several months, summoning as many as 2,500 reservists at a time to serve for a year or more, reports the Los Angeles Times.


Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
’relax,’ said the night man,
We are programmed to receive.
You can checkout any time you like,
But you can never leave!

Eagles - Hotel California


Lieberman secures enough signatures for Nov. ballot

Hartford, Conn. - U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, who relaunched his campaign as an independent after losing the Democratic primary, has enough valid voter signatures to secure a spot on the November ballot, the secretary of the state announced Wednesday.

Lieberman far exceeded the 7,500 signatures necessary to be certified as a third-party candidate, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said.

His name will appear on the general-election ballot under his newly created party, Connecticut for Lieberman. By creating the party, Lieberman secured a position higher on the ballot than he would have had as an independent.

"We are happy to have cleared this hurdle, so we can focus on bringing people together in Connecticut for a new politics of unity and purpose," said Dan Gerstein, Lieberman's campaign spokesman.

Lieberman lost the Aug. 8 Democratic primary to Ned Lamont, a Greenwich businessman who criticized Lieberman for his support of the Iraq war and perceived closeness to President Bush. Lamont's 10,000-vote victory was seen as a referendum on an unpopular war.

story link

Yep... Rove is loving this.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Bill Withers, Grandma's Hands



Last night here at NewsYouCanAbuse, d-day made this comment on the Keith & Mick music thread:

Not a whole lot of C&L love here Barocchio.
Shrill voices got to be a regular thing for awhile there. Then they became sitemonitors!
D-day 08.22.06 - 10:34 pm #

Also last night, d-day left a one word - "test" - comment on a 9-month-old C&L thread. This morning this is what he found on that C&L thread:

[Not a whole lot of C&L love here... Shrill voices got to be a regular thing for awhile there. Then they became sitemonitors! D-day 08.22.06 - 10:34 pm - you're still busted, dude. - shrill C&L site monitor.]
Edited By Siteowner
D-day 08.23.06 - 4:17 am #

To make this clear:
The C&L "monitors" censored d-day at C&L for a comment he made at this blog.

A personal question:
John Amato, an action such as this has your approval?
A personal comment:
Crooks and Liars Nazis, this blog champions free speech. The likes of you, in particular RR, are not welcome here.
Stay the fuck off this blog!

The opinions expressed in this post are mine alone and do not, necessarily, represent the views of this site's owner or other contributors.


Karr's family offers book, movie rights

AP Special Correspondent

LOS ANGELES - John Mark Karr's relatives offered the movie and book rights to the family's story Wednesday in hopes of hiring a high-level attorney to defend the schoolteacher against charges he killed 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey.

Karr's father and brother hired actor, author and producer Larry Garrison to represent them in any media deals and to help them find a top attorney to represent Karr, who is in a Los Angeles jail awaiting transfer to Colorado to face allegations he killed the girl in 1996.

Garrison told AP that while the family's film and book rights are secured, no money has changed hands yet. He said he promised the Karrs a portion of any money made by the effort.

"I can tell you they proclaim his innocence," Garrison said. "They feel he was not there at the time, that some of the statements made by the press are absurd."

He said the family is not looking to get rich off the story.

"These people are spiritually coming from the right place," Garrison said. "They're really good people. They're family oriented. They're not greedy. They're looking for the spin to stop."

full article

Can't say that I blame them. Karr evaded trouble in Thailand. He'll most likely walk away fom this too... rich and famous. I can't really say I blame the media either. They're only giving the people what they want.
We're to blame. Us. We, who cannot stomach to see our young boys return home from Iraq in body bags and coffins, willingly lap up every minute of teevee time that's dedicated to such drivel.

We've gotten what we deserved.

(Hat tip to Batocchio for the article)





There is a connection between what happened that terrible day and Iraq.

Lance Cpl. Michael Glover, 28, and Capt. John J. McKenna IV, 30, were each shot in the head on Wednesday while together on foot patrol in the volatile Anbar province, the Pentagon said.
For Glover, the tie between the war in Iraq and the terror attack on the World Trade Center ran in the family. His uncle, former FDNY Chief Peter Hayden, oversaw operations at the trade center's north tower on Sept. 11, 2001.

story here



Meconopsis (from the Greek mekon, poppy, and opsis, appearance) is a genus of about 50 species of annuals, biennials and short-lived perennials. Meconopsis is unusual in that between the different species all three primary colors (true red, blue, yellow) are represented in the flowers. Grown all over the world, yellow and orange poppies are native to western Europe, the blue varieties to the Himalayan ranges of Nepal, Tibet, India, Bhutan.
Three stunning photos of blue poppies are
here and here and here
Unlike Afghanistan poppies, Meconopsis do not produce opium. Its seeds are used in foods and also have medicinal properties, here. They are especially delicious in breads and other baked goods. You can order edible blue poppy seeds here.
Tips on growing blue poppies are here and here.
"Try to imagine the view of 6000 Meconopsis plants blooming in a field in the middle of Sweden," here
If you enjoy, as I do, well-written books about other places, other cultures and other times, stories that wrap around you and keep you reading to the last page, a recommendation is Blue Poppies, by Jonathan Falla. Another book that I haven't read but will soon is In The Land Of The Blue Poppies, by Frank Kingdon Ward.

In these dark times, a reminder of beauties in the world.


TIME & Hillary... 'nuff said.


Poll: Opposition to Iraq war at all-time high

What's this garbage about government being the employees and your everyday citizens being the employers? What about the will of the people?

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Opposition among Americans to the war in Iraq has reached a new high, with only about a third of respondents saying they favor it, according to a poll released Monday.

Just 35 percent of 1,033 adults polled say they favor the war in Iraq; 61 percent say they oppose it -- the highest opposition noted in any CNN poll since the conflict began more than three years ago.

Despite the rising opposition to the war, President Bush said the U.S. will not withdraw from Iraq while he is president.

article link


Conservatives ask FBI to investigate hotel porn

August 22, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) -- Pornographic movies now seem nearly as pervasive in America's hotel rooms as tiny shampoo bottles, and the lodging industry shows little concern as conservative activists rev up a protest campaign aimed at triggering a federal crackdown.

A coalition of 13 conservative groups -- including the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America -- took out full-page ads in some editions of USA Today earlier this month urging the Justice Department and FBI to investigate whether some of the pay-per-view movies widely available in hotels violate federal and state obscenity laws.

The coalition also is trying to draw attention to, a directory of hotels and motels nationwide that pledge to exclude adult offerings from their in-room entertainment service.

"These are places that you take your family -- these are respectable institutions," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. "Anything that brings porn into the mainstream is a concern. It just desensitizes people."

full article

Pronunciation: 'An-al-ri-'ten-tiv
Function: adjective
: characterized by personality traits (as frugality and obstinacy) held to be psychological sequelae of toilet training.


Poll: Most think bin Laden planning another U.S. attack

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

As the five-year anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks approaches, nearly three-fourths of those responding to a CNN poll said they believe Osama bin Laden is planning another significant attack against the United States.

Seventy-four percent of the 1,033 adult Americans polled said they believe an attack is being planned, according to the poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of CNN.


I'm sure if CNN, FOX News and others had spent the last five years bombarding us with tales of cheddar, 74% of Americans would be convinced the moon was made of cheese.
Simple game plan: you have an agenda, you push that agenda, you brag the results of your efforts.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Keith & Mick...Wild Horses



Activist Ava Lowery's Fan Mail

Part One here

Part Two



In case you missed them on Saturday



Mid-term Elections
For Democrat control of Congress:
15 net wins are needed in the House
6 net wins are needed in the Senate
key states here

The Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has identified six vulnerable Republicans:
VA - George Allen
MO - Jim Talent
NJ - Tom Kean
PA - Rick Santorum
MT - Conrad Burns
OH - Mike DeWine
info here

State primary schedules are here and here
Interactive guide for congressional seats is here
Interactive guide for state elections is here

A roundup of general key issues in all states here



This cloud over the Atlantic was created by a series of smoke flares released by an Air Force C-17 Globemaster 111 jet, which you see on the right. The circular eyes are caused by air spiraling off the plane's wings and are known as wingtip vortices. Why the pilots so this, I do not know. Perhaps they are just having fun.


Lieberman and others, take note:

Sugar Land mayor quits District 22 race

Wallace, saying GOP should be united in write-in campaign, backs Sekula-Gibbbs

Houston Chronicle

SUGAR LAND — Citing his desire to support the Republican Party in its difficult write-in campaign to hold the congressional seat vacated by Tom DeLay, Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace withdrew from the race Monday.

The move leaves Houston Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs as the sole Republican write-in candidate — a condition, Wallace said, for $3 million in campaign funding from the national GOP.

"Now is the time for all Republicans to unite around one candidate and preserve our conservative voice in Congress," (emphasis mine) Wallace said during a news conference at Sugar Land City Hall.

full article

Through everyday common sense, we know that there's strength in unity. The republicans learned this lesson quite some time ago, and it serves them well. Will the democrats ever? Recent events, such as the Lieberman calamity, tells me no.

If we're going to take back anything this November, we're going to have to get a little smarter, people!


California minimum wage to go to $8 an hour

August 21, 2006

• Governor, Legislature reach agreement
• To be phased in

California’s minimum wage would rise to $8 an hour in two steps under a deal reached Monday between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders.

It would be an increase of $1.25 an hour.

Once the agreement is signed into law, the minimum wage will increase by 75 cents in January 2007 and by 50 cents in January 2008.

The deal replaces two earlier proposals – one by the Legislature which would have increased the minimum to $7.75 an hour but tied it to the cost of living so future increases would be automatic, and the other by the governor to increase the minimum to $7.75 an hour with no automatic increases.

"I have always said that when the economy was ready, we should reward the efforts of California's hard working families by raising our minimum wage,” Mr. Schwarzenegger says Monday in a written statement. “Since January, I have been working with my partners in the Legislature to find a common sense solution that will lead to a higher wage for working Californians without negatively impacting our jobs climate."

The California minimum wage is currently $6.75 per hour, a level it reached four years ago. It’s the same as in Hawaii but lower than the minimum wages in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. The federal minimum is $5.15 per hour.

The formal announcement of the agreement is to be made Tuesday.


CA must be nearing election time...


Bush Says Iraq Straining Nation's Psyche

Terence Hunt
(AP) 08.21.2006

President Bush said Monday the Iraq war is "straining the psyche of our country" but leaving now would be a disaster.

Many Democrats want to leave Iraq "before the job is done," the president said. "I can't tell you exactly when it's going to be done," he said, but "if we ever give up the desire to help people who live in freedom, we will have lost our soul as a nation, as far as I'm concerned."

Bush said he was frustrated by the war at times.

"War is not a time of joy," he said. "These are challenging times, and they're difficult times, and they're straining the psyche of our country. I understand that. You know, nobody likes to see innocent people die. Nobody wants to turn on their TV on a daily basis and see havoc wrought by terrorists."

Bush said he would not question the patriotism of someone who disagreed with him - although Vice President Dick Cheney said recently the Democratic primary election victory of anti-war candidate Ned Lamont over incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman, a defender of the war, might encourage "the al-Qaida types."

Bush also urged patience about the rebuilding of New Orleans and other gulf communities ravaged by Hurricane Katrina a year ago. The federal government has committed $110 billion to help. "I also want the people down there to understand that it's going to take awhile to recover," the president said. "This was a huge storm." He suggested the federal government had done its part and state and local officials should move faster.


One hell of a speech. Ripe with fallacies, inaccuracies and out-and-out, boldfaced lying. "Who was that man?" Why, that's our president! *beaming, proud smile here*


Monday, August 21, 2006


I'm one of the few people who loved the movie Duets.

Gwyneth & Huey do a fine Cruisin'



Funny and Scary



Noam Chomsky

Before you slit your wrists, note that he says the decision is ours.



Nice art set to music by La Tigre

The videos here are mostly offensive, but check out the 5th one down - Hamifkad.



Painting of Jesus Is Stolen From School, but Legal Fight Goes On

August 21, 2006

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va., Aug. 20 — A legal battle over a painting of Jesus hanging in a high school here is continuing, even though the painting was stolen last week.

Two civil liberties groups, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia, filed suit in June to remove the painting, “Head of Christ,” saying it sent the message that the public school endorsed Christianity as its official religion.

The Harrison County Board of Education said last week that it would fight the lawsuit, promising not to spend public money in defending itself. The Christian Freedom Fund raised more than $150,000 for a defense fund, including $6,700 raised by students at the school. The board selected the Alliance Defense Fund, a national legal organization founded in part by the Christian group Focus on the Family, was selected as its lead counsel.

“We have decided to step up to the plate here,” said a school board member, Mike Queen. “This is important to us and reflects what our community wants in the schools.”

Communities across the country are fighting to keep Christian monuments, crosses and portraits in place, encouraged by the Bush administration’s conservative appointments to the United States Supreme Court, said Douglas Laycock, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Texas and an expert in separation of church and state cases.

“Schools are considered the most sensitive location because with children, personal matters like religion are to be left to parents, not government,” Mr. Laycock said.

“I think what you’re dealing with is a small group of rabble-rousers that only want to live with people who live as they do,” said Andrew Schneider, executive director of the A.C.L.U. of West Virginia. “My answer to that is go to a private school, go to a parochial school; don’t go to a public school.”

Pattae Kinney, a parent in Bridgeport, a town of 8,000 people and 40 churches, says she does not understand why her daughter’s school is being singled out.

“My take on this is that our country was founded on Christian principles,” Ms. Kinney said. “It’s on our money — ‘In God We Trust’ — it’s in our Pledge of Allegiance, it’s a part of our lives. I know our community, and we’re very in favor of keeping this painting.”


“My take on this is that our country was founded by toothless forefathers,” Ms. Kinney said. “There's sugar in our cupboards - 'By God it's good stuff!' - there's chewing tobacco filling every jaw, it’s a part of our lives. I know our community, and we’re very in favor of keeping this community toothless.” There... Fixed that for ya, Pattae!


Time poll good news for Hillary Clinton

WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) -- A Time magazine poll suggests that U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., would be a convincing Democratic presidential candidate in 2008.

The survey found Clinton fared better in a match with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., than either Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., or former Vice President Al Gore. Among registered voters, McCain ran ahead of Clinton by 2 percent, while he beat Gore by 9 points and Kerry by 10.

More than half of those surveyed, 53 percent, had a favorable impression of Clinton, while fewer than half looked favorably on Gore, Kerry or former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C.

Clinton had lower negative ratings than any of the others except Edwards, who had many voters saying they did not know enough about him to form an opinion.

Clinton is running for re-election in November, and is expected to have an easy win.

I know this is a silly question but does anyone else feel like we're being set up by Time?


Republicans toss ousted Democrat a lifeline

Toby Harnden
August 21, 2006

SENIOR Republican strategists have thrown a political lifeline to Joe Lieberman, the Democratic senator ousted by a left-wing challenger over the Iraq war, by supporting him through a military veterans group.

Mr Lieberman's 18-year Senate career appeared to be at an end after Connecticut's Democratic primary earlier this month when he was narrowly defeated by Ned Lamont, a millionaire newcomer who ran on the single issue of opposing the Iraq war.

But his new strategy of running in the November Senate elections as an independent who would appeal to Republican voters is already paying off after the White House declined to back the official Republican candidate and a poll last week gave Mr Lieberman a 12-point advantage over Mr Lamont.

In an increasingly bitter election, the new Veterans for Freedom group has begun running advertisements for Mr Lieberman and senior Democrats have warned he risks being shunned by his former colleagues in Washington if re-elected.

The group hopes to split the Democratic vote in Connecticut — traditionally a staunchly liberal state — and give the Republicans a better chance of winning.

Angry Democrats are comparing the veterans' group and its campaign to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an organisation that cast doubt on former presidential contender John Kerry's Vietnam War record.

George Jepson, a senior Lamont aide, said the veterans' group aimed "to make opposition to the war in Iraq somehow unpatriotic".

full article

Hello?... Lieberman IS in the lead! Complaining that your opponent fights dirty won't help you. Has it ever before?
I think it's time we rolled up our sleeves and dipped our hands deep into the mud also.


Sunday, August 20, 2006


Too much Too little Too late

Lieberman Calls On Rumsfeld To Resign



Manhattan Transfer
On A Little Street In Singapore



This video in both sound and content is wonderful.
The song is featured on Neil Young's Living With War.

Kris Kristofferson, In The News:

~thanks to lafin gas~



The activist in this video describes how it is for the citizens of Israel and the similarities between there and here are striking. "The assumption that we live in democracies" and "The hijacking of the scene by the power mongers" apply equally to people of both countries. In Israel as in the United States, the few dictate the agenda for the many without first determining the will of those they represent and then continuing at our direction. Likewise, there as here it has become nearly impossible to think and act outside the established body of thought and ideas that guides a society and perpetuates the status quo of the ruling class.


$10 million verdict overturned in fraud case

Judge rules contractor cheated Iraq’s provisional government, not the U.S.

Updated: 3:36 p.m. ET Aug. 19, 2006

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A federal judge has overturned on a technicality a $10 million jury verdict against a military contractor accused of defrauding the U.S. government in the first months of the Iraq war.

The award, levied in March against Fairfax-based Custer Battles LLC, had been the first civil fraud verdict arising from the Iraq war.

A former Custer Battles employee had sued under a whistle-blower statute, alleging that the company used shell companies and false invoices to vastly overstate its expenses on a $3 million contract to assist in establishing a currency to replace the Iraqi dinar used during Saddam Hussein's regime.

The verdict reached $10 million because the law calls for triple damages, plus penalties, fines and legal costs.

But U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III, in a ruling made public Friday, ruled that Custer Battles' accusers failed to prove that the U.S. government was ever defrauded. Any fraud that occurred was perpetrated instead against the Coalition Provisional Authority, formed to run Iraq until a government was established.

Ellis ruled that the trial evidence failed to show that the U.S. government was the victim, even though U.S. taxpayers ultimately footed the bill. (emphasis mine)

article link

"...even though U.S. taxpayers ultimately footed the bill."

Geez... Sinister government contractors now have nothing to fear. Just friggin' great!

I suppose if one is sinister and is 'in bed with' our sinister government, then it's only par for the course.


Iran tests short-range missile

Action could create new tensions with West

Updated: 2:26 a.m. ET Aug. 20, 2006

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran on Sunday test-fired a surface-to-surface short-range missile a day after its army launched large-scale military exercises throughout the country, state-run television reported.

"Saegheh, the missile, has a range of between 80 to 250 kilometers (50 to 150 miles)," the report said.

It said the missile was tested in Kashan desert, about 150 miles southeast of Tehran, the capital.

Saegheh means lightning in Farsi.

Iran has routinely held war games over the past two decades to improve its combat readiness and to test equipment such as missiles, tanks and armored personnel carriers.

But the new tests, in the wake of the Lebanon-Hezbollah fighting, seemed certain to create new tensions with the West.

State-run television said the missile was built based on domestic know-how, although outside experts say much of the country's missile technology originated from other countries.

State-run TV showed video showing 10 missiles being launched from mobile launching pads.


And we are to blame them for trying to defend themselves? Wouldn't that make us hypocrites? WAR BEGETS WAR!


Ruling against wiretaps deepens partisan divide

Federal judge struck down domestic surveillance as unconstitutional
Jonathan Weisman
The Washington Post
Updated: 5:54 a.m. ET Aug. 19, 2006

A federal judge's ruling that the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping is unconstitutional set off a flurry of political responses yesterday, as Republicans tried to keep control of the national security debate amid signs that their own party's ranks may be breaking under the pressure of the Iraq war.

President Bush concluded a discussion on the economy with a challenge to Democrats, many of whom had hailed U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor's ruling that the NSA's wiretapping efforts violate both the Bill of Rights and federal law.

"Those who herald this decision simply do not understand the nature of the world in which we live," Bush said after meeting with his economic team at Camp David. "This country of ours is at war, and we must give those whose responsibility it is to protect the United States the tools necessary to protect this country in a time of war."

full article

We understand, Mr Bush. We understand clearly. What we don't understand is why you deliberately avoid any legal route to get what you want (which ARE there, in place, and at your disposal), instead opting for underhanded, unconstitutional methods.

Why not try answering that one sometime?