Saturday, September 02, 2006

WIND DOWN YOUR DAY WITH THIS

D-day will like this song choice....'cause he sent it to me.
Thanks, DMan

Neil Young, Old Man


mirth




For our friend, Tyree...

"some yrs back thier was a song out by some country singer,i forget his name , but it was long after my momma died , the name of it was my mommas hungry eyes, and it brought back memmories of walking on main street here in evansville i was maby 8 yrs old my hand held by my mother wed stop and look at the pretty dresses and bonnets on the maniqins in the store windows and i looked at mom and noticed the sadness on her face , momma i asked her why are you so sad? she looked at me and squeezed my hand gentely and said because im hungry , and later in life i knew what she ment ,it wasnt a hunger you felt when you needed food shed ment hungry for the nicer things in life like the pretty dresses the pretty hats that she knew she could never have, then she said son poor people have poor ways, guess thats why i loved the grapes of wrath the old gal in it tom joads mother reminded me of mom , allways only thinking of the kids first!"
tyree | 09.02.06 - 1:19 pm


Merle Haggard - Hungry Eyes


From all of us.


Buck




LITTLE MISS CAN'T BE WRONG.....HEY I KINDA LIKE THAT HANDLE!!!

Rockin out to the yard to do some gardening. Enjoy the day!!!!!!!!!

Spin Doctors-Little Miss Can't be wrong


Question Girl




FBI ROLE IN TERROR PROBE QUESTIONED

The Miami Five........ these guys are so not terrorists. They were so broke they couldn't pay attention!


By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 2, 2006; Page A01

Standing in an empty Miami warehouse on May 24 with a man he believed had ties to Osama bin Laden, a dejected Narseal Batiste talked of the setbacks to their terrorist plot and then uttered the words that helped put him in a federal prison cell.

"I want to fight some jihad," he allegedly said. "That's all I live for."



Full story here


Question Girl




GOP HOPEFUL CAN'T KEEP HIS DYSTOPIAS STRAIGHT


Guest post by the gifted Vagabond Scholar, Batocchio

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has just called stem cell research "Orwellian." (His specific language seems to apply to in-vitro fertility treatment as well.) Reuters reports:

"I believe it crosses a very bright moral line to take sperm and eggs in the laboratory and start creating human life," Romney told reporters. "It is Orwellian in its scope. In laboratories you could have trays of new embryos being created."


It's of course ironic for any Republican to invoke Orwell, since were Orwell alive today, he would be absolutely skewering them. Many a smug conservative over the years has tried to characterize Animal Farm and 1984 as solely critiques of the Soviet Union, but these are shallow readings that allow conservatives to pat themselves on the back while ignoring any reflection about themselves or about our own systems of governance and the media. Orwell, of course, was anti-bullshit above and beyond anything else, and the abuse of power has never been limited to only one nation or ideology. And while 1984 was intended as a cautionary tale, Karl Rove saw it as a how-to manual.

But it's unfair to lump Romney entirely in with all the Bush crew, since his views have never exactly coincided with theirs. However, for about a year now, he has attempted the interesting balancing act of trying to maintain his moderate credentials in liberal Massachusetts while simultaneously pandering increasingly to social conservatives in the national audience.

But I shall not oppose Romney's presidency due to his latest pandering. No, I shall oppose him because of his ignorance of classic science fiction. We must draw the line somewhere!

Romney talks about stem cells as "Orwellian," a term that most often refers to the future society depicted in 1984. However, 1984 deals primarily with the use and abuse of language, media and social structures, all to better control the perception and thought of the populace in a future totalitarian society. Romney really should have said "Huxleyian," referencing another famous dystopian novel, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. In Brave New World, society is stratified into a caste system according to genetic make-up, with "Alphas" ruling the roost over "Betas" and others of "inferior" genetic stock. The government, of course, regulates all human birth and grows everyone in labs, with quotas for how many Alphas versus Betas they make, and with normal sexual intercourse and reproduction an oddity.

How could Romney possibly have missed this? Did he really think that "Huxleyian" doesn't send the same dire chill down the spines of reactionary social conservatives, who Fox News tells us is one of the most literate and well-informed demographics in our large, diverse nation? Can such a man really be trusted with the future of our nation?

While I fully expect that the majority of Americans will be ignorant of science fiction, if Romney wishes to make it as a national candidate, it would behoove him to bone up on the subject. Nor should he regulate himself only to the classics. Pulpy science fiction, and flat out bad science fiction, both provide a wealth of ideas undreamt of by the comparatively unimaginative Orwell and Huxley. Reagan seemed to believe his missile defense project, "Star Wars," would create something akin to a science fiction force field. These days, it's instead a "bullet hitting a bullet," but missile defense continues to be the pointless mammoth pork project that will not die, regardless of how many failed tests and rigged demos the manufactures provide. That is a legacy, and true national leadership. Similarly, clearly someone in the White House is not afraid to read really bad science fiction. Who can forget Bush's call to send a man to Mars? Who can forget his dire warnings about the encroaching terror of human-animal hybrids? Who can forget how the nation rallied to him over both these initiatives, giving him a sizable boost in the polls, and cowing the Democrats? Democrats must only read Danielle Steel, or something equally useless, like Dickens, evidenced by their continual, tiresome whines about the plight of the poor and the need for a decent living wage. Who can be bothered with such matters when there are foreign lands to invade? What's the point of having the coolest military toys on the planet if we can't show them off? Why should we bother talking about universal health care, when we should outfitting sharks with laser beams on their frickin' foreheads?

Are you listening, Governor Romney? We must keep attentive to the crucial science fiction gap. When we stop reading science fiction, the terrorists win.

Reuters also reports that Romney has followed in the ranks of other Republicans by offering "an amendment that would have banned the creation of embryos for research purpose." This is, of course, a political pander offering a solution for a non-existent problem. No embryos need to be created for research, and no one has proposed this, not only because it would be unethical, but because there's a vast supply of embryos from fertility clinics that would otherwise be discarded (most reports put the number at about 400,000). Romney's move, consequently, is actually much more "Orwellian" than what he decries, since what he's really offering is the same old politician's bullshit.

Laser beams, Mitt. I'm tellin' ya.

(Literary and cultural ignorance seems to be a recurrent theme for conservative political pundits and politicians. When then-candidate for Chief Justice John Roberts said his favorite film was Doctor Zhivago (based on the celebrated novel by Boris Pasternak), Fox pundits expressed concern that "it was a little Commie." Of course, Zhivago, like Pasternak himself, was a victim of the Communists! But all things Russian must be bad, and all Soviet-era novels must praise the Soviet state, goes the thinking – why bother reading the book, watching the movie, or even reading a summary? Bush claims to have read Camus' The Stranger and "three Shakespeares" this summer, but he's not the only Republican who needs to brush up on his reading. However, in the meantime, terrorists can vie with Martians for who hates "our freedoms" the most, or who most direly needs our women.)


Question Girl




Judge throws out voter registration rules

M.R. KROPKO
Associated Press

CLEVELAND - Volunteers and paid canvassers in voter registration drives across Ohio can go ahead with their efforts over the Labor Day weekend without concern about new state rules, a judge said.

U.S. District Judge Kathleen O'Malley issued an order from the bench Friday, saying she recognized how important voter registration efforts tend to be over the holiday weekend, and immediately set aside several provisions of a recent Ohio election reform law. A detailed written order is expected next week.

The rules seem to set up barriers against registering voters and appear to violate the First Amendment, the judge said.

A coalition of voter advocacy groups and Democratic lawmakers had sued the state, arguing the regulations should be thrown out. The plaintiffs claimed the rules were intimidating and impaired their registration drives, particularly in low-income and minority areas, because the rules carry potential criminal penalties.

"Anybody who even reasonably helps someone else register to vote could face criminal prosecution," O'Malley said. "Anybody would be chilled in these circumstances."

Voters should ignore references to criminal penalties on the registration forms effective immediately, the judge said Friday. She gave the secretary of state's office five days to remove references to the rules and penalties on its Web site.

"Voting rights in Ohio have just been emancipated and now, our goal is to replace fear with enthusiasm," said the Rev. Tony Minor, one of the plaintiffs who has led voter registration efforts in the city's black community.

The rules required those who register people to vote to submit the forms in person or by mail to the local board of elections. They also mandated online training for those who are paid to register voters.

The state said the rules were needed to guard against voter fraud and did not stop anyone from registering to vote.

Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, the Republican candidate for governor, plans to comply with the order and not appeal, said Larry James, an attorney for Blackwell's office. Blackwell had said previously he had to abide by the intent of Ohio law.

"We are glad this matter is cleared up and we are prepared to move forward with the voting registration process," James said.

Blackwell told The Associated Press that he didn't expect political fallout from the decision. "Our campaign efforts were indifferent to the judge's decision. We were ready to get our job done regardless of what the rules of play were," he said.

O'Malley discounted Ohio's claim that the rules are designed to guard against fraud. She also said the Ohio registration rules seem to go against the spirit of the National Voting Rights Act of 1965 that government should "assist in reducing barriers to registration wherever possible."

She said the training requirements would seem to add to administrative burdens and that the registration process generally is not complicated and is self-explanatory.

The ruling applies only to the parts of the election law dealing with voter registration. The rest of the law was not affected.

O'Malley's order comes just days after a federal judge in Miami declared a Florida voter registration law unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz said penalties for violations threatened free speech rights and said political parties were unfairly exempted.

link


Strike up another one for the good guys!

"We were ready to get our job done regardless of what the rules of play were" - Ken Blackwell, Republican candidate for governor

Call me flip but I don't think one should refer to voting law as 'rules of play'. I suppose people with little or no respect of such things have no qualm doing so.


Buck




Rumsfeld targeted in midterm election fight

· Democrats seek vote of no confidence in politician
· Strategy comes as Bush defends Iraq policy

Oliver Burkeman in New York
Saturday September 2, 2006
The Guardian

The US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, who has so far survived mounting calls for his resignation over Iraq, is to be pitched into the centre of the American midterm election fight by Democrats who are convinced that he is the Bush administration's achilles heel.

Senior Democratic members of Congress say they will seek a no-confidence vote in Mr Rumsfeld, who is under fire for a speech this week in which he compared opponents of the Iraq war to those who supported the appeasement of Adolf Hitler before the second world war.

Rahm Emanuel, a high-profile member of the House of Representatives, plans to introduce the motion in the presence of 12 retired generals and other officers, who have lent the weight of their military experience to the campaign to force the defence secretary's resignation.

Democratic senators are discussing a similar move. Such a vote could not compel Mr Rumsfeld to quit, but it would be highly embarrassing to the governing party.

"Secretary Rumsfeld's stewardship of this effort is a failure, and he has let down our armed forces," Mr Emanuel told the Washington Post.

The Democrats are mounting an attempt to seize control of Congress in November's midterm elections by engaging the Republicans on their turf - national security and defence issues.

The strategy comes in response to a new effort by George Bush and Mr Rumsfeld to defend the administration's foreign policy record. In a string of speeches this week the president has sought to bundle Iraq and Afghanistan with crises over Iran and Lebanon, describing current events as "the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century".

story here


Dems "engaging the Republicans on their turf"... IS ABOUT TIME!


Buck




N Korea accuses US over missiles

North Korea has accused the US of threatening war by conducting a missile defence test and vowed to strengthen its self-defence in response.

The US was increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula with its test and by holding military drills with South Korea, a North Korean statement said.

Hours earlier, the US military said it had successfully intercepted a dummy long-range warhead over the Pacific.

In July, Pyongyang test-fired several missiles, raising regional tensions.

The US Missile Defence Agency (MDA) said a target missile launched from Alaska was successfully shot down by an interceptor sent up from California on Friday.

"What we did today is a huge step in terms of our systematic approach to continuing to field, continuing to deploy and continuing to develop a missile defence system for the US, for our allies, our friends, our deployed forces around the world," Lt Gen Henry Obering, the MDA's director, said.

full article


Great! Just what we need, more stress, more tension. And when that bubble goes to pop, look out! Is what we get for being stuck between a N Korean madman and Bush... madman, American version.


Buck




Friday, September 01, 2006

ROCK 'N ROLL

I love music. One style or another is usually playing at my house. Some songs will play in the background and only occasionally will I stop to pay attention. What causes me to pause is usually good enough to make my fingers snap and I'll sing along and the damn good ones, well, there's no choice, I have to dance. Extraordinary music has the opposite effect. Maria Callas, for instance, stills me and brings tears to my eyes. With her it's an emotional ride on the magnificence of her voice. ThePoetryMan and I share a fondness of Rachmaninoff. Miles and Cannonball and Webster are perfect for quiet evenings and lazy Sunday mornings. Tyree once commented that most of today's popular music didn't interest him and the same is true for me. The first time I listened to songs of the 60s and 70s I thought Yep, this is it! This is what I like! And before that, Oh Baby, early Rock 'n Roll. Jump, Jive, Boogie, Rag, Swing, Big Band, Jazz, Bebop, Doowop, R & B...it all led to Rock 'N Roll. I went looking for some of this early influence. In very general terms what I found most pleasing, beginning in the 1930s, was rooted in the South and migrated up the Mississippi to Chicago and Kansas City. A modern rendition of this early music is Stompy Jones. Another take from today is Rock Me by Ray Collins Hot Club. Here's some of the real stuff:
Louis Jordan, Caldonia. Amos Milburn, Down The Road A Piece. Big Joe Turner, Shake Rattle And Roll. Louis Jordan, Beware. Benny Goodman, Why Don't You Do Right with Peggy Lee and Sing Sing Sing and a 1973 Moonglow and a 1937 Medley. Jack Fina, Bumble Boogie. Kaye Kaiser, A Rookie And His Rhythm. Cab Calloway, Jumpin' Jive and Blues In The Night and this deeelicious Back To Charleston Blues. Johnny Long, The Boogie Man. Lionel Hampton, Cobb's Idea. A sweeeeet Ella Fitzgerald, A Tisket A Tasket. Count Basie, Take Me Back Baby. Glenn Miller, In The Mood. Sarah Vaughan, Thinking Of You. Ethel Waters, Taking A Chance On Love. Dinah Washington, Only A Moment Ago. Louis Armstrong and Bille Holiday, Farewell To Storyville. Lena Horn, Paper Doll. Artie Shaw, Everything Is Jumpin'. Louie Jordan and Dinah Washington, What A Difference A Day Makes.
Well, I could go on and on...
Moving on, here's a sample of what the earlier music morphed to:
Bo Diddley, (I don't know the song name). Doowop collections, 1 2 3. Gene Vincent, Be-Bop-A-Lula. Little Richard, Lucille. The Temptations, My Girl. Chuck Berry, You Can't Catch Me. Fats Domino, Blueberry Hill. Big Bopper, Chantilly Lace. Del Shannon, Runaway. Muddy Waters, Got My Mojo Working. Gene Vincent, What'd I Say. Elvis Presley, Blue Suede Shoes.
I would be remiss not to give you hep cats this:
How To Jitterbug


mirth




LETTERMAN'S TOP TEN BY KYRA PHILLIPS (ick)

Kyra Phillips delivers Letterman's top 10


Question Girl




TRANSCRIPT OF OLBERMANN'S COMMENTARY ON RUMSFELD

Bat sent this to me. His favorite line in the whole thing is also my favorite line! I've highlighted it. What a wonderful piece of work this is. Thank you Keith Olbermann.....for speaking the truth.


The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.

Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.

Mr. Rumsfeld’s remarkable speech to the American Legion yesterday demands the deep analysis—and the sober contemplation—of every American.

For it did not merely serve to impugn the morality or intelligence -- indeed, the loyalty -- of the majority of Americans who oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land. Worse, still, it credits those same transient occupants -- our employees -- with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither common sense, nor this administration’s track record at home or abroad, suggests they deserve.

Dissent and disagreement with government is the life’s blood of human freedom; and not merely because it is the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as “his” troops still fight, this very evening, in Iraq.

It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile it is right and the power to which it speaks, is wrong.

In a small irony, however, Mr. Rumsfeld’s speechwriter was adroit in invoking the memory of the appeasement of the Nazis. For in their time, there was another government faced with true peril—with a growing evil—powerful and remorseless.

That government, like Mr. Rumsfeld’s, had a monopoly on all the facts. It, too, had the “secret information.” It alone had the true picture of the threat. It too dismissed and insulted its critics in terms like Mr. Rumsfeld’s -- questioning their intellect and their morality.

That government was England’s, in the 1930’s.

It knew Hitler posed no true threat to Europe, let alone England.

It knew Germany was not re-arming, in violation of all treaties and accords.

It knew that the hard evidence it received, which contradicted its own policies, its own conclusions — its own omniscience -- needed to be dismissed.

The English government of Neville Chamberlain already knew the truth.

Most relevant of all — it “knew” that its staunchest critics needed to be marginalized and isolated. In fact, it portrayed the foremost of them as a blood-thirsty war-monger who was, if not truly senile, at best morally or intellectually confused.

That critic’s name was Winston Churchill.

Sadly, we have no Winston Churchills evident among us this evening. We have only Donald Rumsfelds, demonizing disagreement, the way Neville Chamberlain demonized Winston Churchill.

History — and 163 million pounds of Luftwaffe bombs over England — have taught us that all Mr. Chamberlain had was his certainty — and his own confusion. A confusion that suggested that the office can not only make the man, but that the office can also make the facts.

Thus, did Mr. Rumsfeld make an apt historical analogy.

Excepting the fact, that he has the battery plugged in backwards.

His government, absolute -- and exclusive -- in its knowledge, is not the modern version of the one which stood up to the Nazis.

It is the modern version of the government of Neville Chamberlain.

But back to today’s Omniscient ones.

That, about which Mr. Rumsfeld is confused is simply this: This is a Democracy. Still. Sometimes just barely.

And, as such, all voices count -- not just his.

Had he or his president perhaps proven any of their prior claims of omniscience — about Osama Bin Laden’s plans five years ago, about Saddam Hussein’s weapons four years ago, about Hurricane Katrina’s impact one year ago — we all might be able to swallow hard, and accept their “omniscience” as a bearable, even useful recipe, of fact, plus ego.

But, to date, this government has proved little besides its own arrogance, and its own hubris.

Mr. Rumsfeld is also personally confused, morally or intellectually, about his own standing in this matter. From Iraq to Katrina, to the entire “Fog of Fear” which continues to envelop this nation, he, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and their cronies have — inadvertently or intentionally — profited and benefited, both personally, and politically.

And yet he can stand up, in public, and question the morality and the intellect of those of us who dare ask just for the receipt for the Emporer’s New Clothes?

In what country was Mr. Rumsfeld raised? As a child, of whose heroism did he read? On what side of the battle for freedom did he dream one day to fight? With what country has he confused the United States of America?

The confusion we -- as its citizens— must now address, is stark and forbidding.

But variations of it have faced our forefathers, when men like Nixon and McCarthy and Curtis LeMay have darkened our skies and obscured our flag. Note -- with hope in your heart — that those earlier Americans always found their way to the light, and we can, too.

The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense, and this administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the terrorists seek: The destruction of our freedoms, the very ones for which the same veterans Mr. Rumsfeld addressed yesterday in Salt Lake City, so valiantly fought.

And about Mr. Rumsfeld’s other main assertion, that this country faces a “new type of fascism.”

As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew everything could get everything wrong, so too was he right when he said that -- though probably not in the way he thought he meant it.

This country faces a new type of fascism - indeed.

Although I presumptuously use his sign-off each night, in feeble tribute, I have utterly no claim to the words of the exemplary journalist Edward R. Murrow.

But never in the trial of a thousand years of writing could I come close to matching how he phrased a warning to an earlier generation of us, at a time when other politicians thought they (and they alone) knew everything, and branded those who disagreed: “confused” or “immoral.”

Thus, forgive me, for reading Murrow, in full:

“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty,” he said, in 1954. “We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.

“We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular.”

And so good night, and good luck.


Question Girl




CLUSTER BOMBS KEEP LEBANESE FROM RETURNING HOME

What Israel is doing in Lebanon and Palestine is just W R O N G!!!! The fact that they dropped most of these cluster bombs in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when it was known a resolution was coming, shows how very evil they are. And like the actions of George Bush and his gang.....no consequences for the Israel government. The people of Israel, like the people of the United States, will be the ones to suffer the consequences. Through more hatred towards them and more terrorist threats to them. These two governments are the CAUSE of the terrorism that abounds today.


YUHMOUR, Lebanon - The fighting stopped two weeks ago, but it’s still too dangerous for Abdullah Ziaeddine to move back into his war-blasted home, much less start to rebuild.

Like hundreds of fields, houses and roads across Lebanon, his yard is littered with unexploded bomblets from an Israeli cluster bomb attack that spewed the small and deadly metal canisters. One step in the wrong place risks injury, loss of a limb — or death.


Full story here


Question Girl




KOFI ANNAN VISIT PROVOKES ANGER IN BEIRUT

By Chris Marsden
1 September 2006

Kofi Annan’s ongoing visit to the Middle East has thus far been a humiliating one. It not only served to confirm how discredited the United Nations has become in the eyes of the Arab masses as a result of its readiness to abide by the dictates of the United States, but also its continued impotence when it comes to even the most minimal efforts to rein in Israel.

During a visit to Beirut’s devastated southern suburbs in the Haret Hreik area with Siniora, Annan was booed by a crowd chanting pro-Hezbollah slogans “Death to Israel” and “Long live Syria.” A group of women denounced the UN for its collusion with Israel. One laid a portrait of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah down on the windscreen of one of the moving vehicles. One resident told the press, “To hell with the United Nations and Annan. Let him look at what the UN and the United States have done and at all this destruction. This is their work.”

Annan was forced to leave after only 10 minutes.

Read the rest here


Question Girl




OSAMA BIN LADEN IS KICKING GEORGE BUSH ASS

A great read over at the Huffington Post by Bill Cusack:


An ass kicking isn't just getting bitch slapped, it's getting viciously, relentlessly pummeled to the point where you are forever changed.

To get a handle on how badly George Bush's ass is being kicked recquires going back at least as far as the early 1990's.


Continue reading here


Question Girl




BARBARA BOXER ON OLBERMANN LAST NIGHT

Speaking about Rumsfeld's comments, Boxer stated: It's very clear that he was aiming at the American people. It's time for the American people to make it clear that this incompetent idiot be given walking papers.

Barbara Boxer Interview - Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann


Question Girl




Off the Beaten Path

TIME.com Cartoons of the Week


Funny and (sadly) true.


Buck




IT'S ALL ABOUT THE OIL........

Japan wants oil left out of any sanctions imposed on Iran. Russia rejected sanctions. China is "uneasy" about Iran sanctions. And India, trying to hash out the Iran/Pakistan/India gas pipeline project with Iran, would more than likely want resolution without sanctions. And while we're on India, why is it that Bush thinks it's ok for India to get nuclear materials again without any effort to insure they won't make weapons???

These sanctions mean next to nothing. A 1997 study by the Institute for International Economics found that since 1970, unilateral U.S. sanctions had achieved foreign policy goals only 13 percent of the time. The study also concluded that sanctions are costing the United States $15 billion to $19 billion annually in potential exports.

Sanctions have not led to democratic changes in Cuba, Iraq or Iran, and the unambiguous threat of sanctions did not deter India and Pakistan from testing nuclear weapons last year.


From an August 2005 Baltimore Sun article written by Gal Luft:

Oil puts Iran out of reach (Let's hope Gal Luft is right about this!)

WASHINGTON - Iran's decision to resume its uranium conversion activity in defiance of Europe and the United States raises the specter of sanctions imposed against Tehran by the U.N.Security Council.
Sanctions always have been a favorite punishment against the rogue state. But as the Iraqi case shows, they are easily breached and do little to bring about behavioral change. With no realistic military option, economic sanctions are always the fallback. In Iran's case, economic sanctions may be a double-edged sword. Before we tout them we must carefully assess whether they would be effective and who would be the prime casualty of such a policy.
No doubt, Iran is heavily dependent on petrodollars. Oil revenues constitute over 80 percent of its total export earnings and 50 percent of its gross domestic product. The country earned more than $40 billion from oil exports this year, an increase of 25 percent over last year. Denying revenues to Iran would no doubt hurt its economy and might even spark social discontent. But the Iranians know that oil is their insurance policy and that the best way to forestall U.S. efforts in the United Nations is by getting into bed with energy hungry powers such as Japan and the two
fastest growing energy consumers, China and India. China and Iran entered into a $70 billion natural gas deal last year that Beijing views as critical to its continued economic expansion. China has already announced that it will block any effort to
punish Iran in the Security Council.
Against U.S. advice, India seems to have decided to strengthen ties with Iran by embarking on a gas pipeline project that will create a strong economic bond between the two countries. Japan, which joined the Security Council this year, also has a stake in Iran.
Last year, a Japanese consortium signed a deal to develop the Azadegan oil field, Iran's biggest oil discovery in 30 years. Fully developed, Azadegan is expected to supply up to 6 percent of Japan's oil imports. With over a third of humanity becoming dependent on its energy, no wonder Tehran is unfazed by the prospect of economic sanctions. Difficult as it may be to accept, Iran's influence on the world's economy makes it virtuallyuntouchable. It is the second largest oil producer of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries after Saudi Arabia and holder of 10 percent of the world's proven oil reserves. It also has the world's
second largest natural gas reserve after Russia.
The oil market suffers from unprecedented tightness. In recent years, the world's spare production capacity dwindled to historically low levels. Absent a mechanism of liquidity, and at a time when oil prices have already reached $66 a barrel, the world oil market cannot sustain any significant drop in supply. Removal of oil from the market immediately translates into a spike in prices. Iran is fully aware of the power of oil. Its supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned in 2002:
"If the West did not receive oil, their factories would grind to a halt. This will shake the world!" His reference at the time was to suspension of oil exports because of the West's support of Israel.
Threatening Iran with sanctions may well force it to flex its muscles by cutting its oil production and driving oil prices to new highs in order to remind the world how harmful such a policy could be. Should Iran choose to cut production, or should its biggest consumers agree to participate in sanctioning it, the impact of such action on the U.S. economy could be severe.
Iran currently exports roughly 2.5 million barrels a day. Recent studies and simulations have shown what could happen to the U.S. economy if such an amount of oil would be removed from the market over an extended period of time: gasoline prices could double, more than 1 million jobs could be lost and the current account deficit, a large portion of which is already caused by oil imports, could surpass $1 trillion. If sanctions were enforced, there would also be long-term implications for the oil market. Iran's oil fields are declining by 8 percent to 13 percent a year, which amounts to 300,000 to 500,000 barrels a day, and are in urgent need of upgrading. Tehran is counting on billions of dollars of foreign investment to ramp up its production capacity. Economic sanctions will make it difficult for
international companies to invest in new oil field development.
With global demand for oil projected to grow by 50 percent in the next two decades, any delay in development of new fields means less Iranian crude available to the global market when the world will need this oil most.
Most of the countries with which the United States and, increasingly, the rest of the free world are at odds are oil producers. If we ever want to have leverage on them, it behooves us to take a good hard look at our energy policy and lead the world toward reducing dependence on oil. The failure to do so increasingly will lead to such dead-end situations as just described.


Gal Luft is executive director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and co-chair of the
Set America Free Coalition.


Question Girl




Lawsuit questions Ohio voting rights

New case does not challenge ’04 outcome
JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU

COLUMBUS — A federal lawsuit filed yesterday accuses Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and unnamed elections officials and vendors of conspiring to undermine the voting rights of urban, African-American, and younger voters in 2004.

The suit asks U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley to declare that disproportionately allocated voting machines, new provisional ballot rules, purges of registration rolls, and other practices targeted communities during the presidential election.

“Unless there are public findings and official acknowledgment of the manifest voter suppression and vote rigging in the 2004 presidential election, that experience and the continuing official indifference to it is likely to have a chilling effect upon those ... who were targets of such tactics,” the suit states.

The lawsuit does not challenge the official tally of the 2004 election in Ohio, which handed President Bush a narrow victory over John Kerry.

But the plaintiffs, representing African-American and college-age voters, plan to ask Judge Marbley, a Clinton appointee, to issue an injunction next week to prevent destruction of the 2004 ballots, which the plaintiffs continue to study for potential irregularities. Federal law allows the destruction of such ballots 22 months after an election.
...

Though not mentioned in yesterday’s lawsuit, John Marshall, one of the voters’ attorneys, said those who have inspected ballots cast in 2004 have found indications some may have been pre-punched, a move that would negate the ballot when a voter punched it a second time for a different candidate.

This year, no voter will cast a punch-card ballot. All counties will have converted to either computerized touch-screen machines or optical-scan devices.

Although Mr. Lee said the secretary of state’s office won’t stand in the way of another review, Mr. Marshall said he fears individual counties may destroy the ballots without intervention.

story link


Switching from punch card to computerized systems sure makes me feel better - NOT!

Voting is the most basic tenet of our democracy. No matter how it's done, when just one American citizen is disenfranchised, you are no longer living in a democracy!

People that have in any way hampered or halted another person's right to vote, in my opinion, are traitors. And should be treated as such.


Buck




AWOL soldier surrenders after 19 months

ANGELA K. BROWN
(AP)

KILLEEN, Texas -- A year and a half after going AWOL before his second deployment to Iraq, a soldier surrendered at Fort Hood on Thursday with a dozen war protesters by his side.

Army Spc. Mark Wilkerson said he was tired of running and sought help from Cindy Sheehan's protest camp in nearby Crawford, which helps educate soldiers about their rights as war resisters.

"I just could not in good conscience go back to a war I felt was wrong," Wilkerson, 22, of Colorado Springs, Colo., said at Sheehan's camp before the 40-mile trip to the post near Killeen where he had been stationed.
...

Wilkerson went to Iraq at the start of the March 2003 invasion and returned to the U.S. a year later. He said his views of the war changed, so he applied for conscientious objector status a few months before finding out his unit would return to Iraq.

His request was denied and he was told his appeal would not be considered until his unit came back. He said he then fled during a two-week leave before the January 2005 deployment.

full article


"His request was denied and he was told his appeal would not be considered until his unit came back."

Until his unit came back... What friggin' sense does this make? Applying for conscientious objector status means absolutely nothing then, right?


Buck




MUST SEE TV

Try to catch NOW on PBS this week. They will be interviewing Eric Boehlert, author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush. Eric is also a contributing editor at Rolling Stone Magazine and a regular blogger on The Huffington Post.

From the introduction to his new book, Lapdogs:

It must have been an awkward encounter when Bob Woodward sat down for two hours at his Washington, D.C., attorney's M Street office on November 14, 2005, to answer questions, under oath, posed by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Woodward, of Watergate and Washington Post fame, was the most famous reporter of his generation, and Fitzpatrick, by the fall of 2005, was the most talked-about investigator in America. Appointed to uncover who inside the Bush administration had leaked the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA operative married to a prominent war critic, Fitzgerald's media-centric investigation had already put one New York Times reporter, Judith Miller, behind bars. His probe had also issued subpoenas to half a dozen influential Beltway reporters as well as most members of Bush's inner circle. Fitzgerald's pursuit had become the most fevered Beltway whodunit of the Bush presidency. More here

NOW schedule on PBS here

Sent in by the roving blogger Bat


Question Girl




Thursday, August 31, 2006

WIND DOWN YOUR DAY WITH THIS

Ry Cooder, Maria Elena


mirth




SALT LAKE CITY MAYOR CUTS LOOSE ON BUSH

Looks like a great turnout in the "reddest state in the union."

Salt Lake City mayor leads anti-Bush protest


Question Girl




NEWSED OUT FOR AWHILE.......

One of my favorite songs......

Into The Mystic


Question Girl




WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

Responding to a UN Security Council's 8/31 deadline to accept a short-term suspension of its nuclear program, an Iranian government spokesman has said "Nothing has changed. We will continue our research activities, but we want understanding and dialog." Iran's answer is expected to divide the response of member countries. Russia is building nuclear facilities in Iran and China must protect its energy interests there. Their veto powers would likely stall or prevent sanctions.

*****
A guide to countries possessing weapons of mass destruction here
Status (1999) of nuclear powers and their nuclear capabilities here
States possessing, pursuing or capable of acquiring weapons of mass destruction (2000) here

*****

The Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) strives to combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by training the next generation of nonproliferation specialists and disseminating timely information and analysis. CNS at the Monterey Institute of International Studies is the largest nongovernmental organization in the United States devoted exclusively to research and training on nonproliferation issues. CNS Nonproliferation Databases here

The Monterey Nonproliferation Strategy Group is an international body of distinguished nonproliferation analysts and veteran policy practitioners working to craft responses to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threats around the world. Its members aim to develop innovative and practical policy recommendations to thwart the proliferation of WMD and to sustain nonproliferation norms and regimes. Members of this group here


mirth




"THE SCREAM" RECOVERED...JUST IN TIME FOR THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS!


OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian police recovered "The Scream" and another stolen masterpiece by Edvard Munch on Thursday, two years after the works were seized from a museum by gunmen.


Read here

Sent in by Bat


Question Girl




TOMLINSON CITED FOR ABUSES AT BROADCAST BOARD


By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 30, 2006; Page C01

A year-long State Department investigation has found that the chairman of the agency that oversees Voice of America and other government broadcasting operations improperly used his office, putting a friend on the payroll and running a "horse-racing operation" with government resources.



More here and more on this here

Thank you Bat


Question Girl




20 MILLION FOR BETTER PR OUT OF IRAQ

I got news.....there isn't enough money in the world to make the news coming out of Iraq good!!! If it ain't there......it ain't there.

U.S. offers $20 million for better PR on Iraq

The Washington Post
Published August 31, 2006


WASHINGTON -- U.S. military leaders in Baghdad have put out for bid a two-year, $20million public-relations contract that calls for extensive monitoring of U.S. and Middle Eastern media in an effort to promote more positive coverage of news from Iraq.

The contract calls for assembling a database of selected news stories and assessing their tone, according to a statement of work attached to the proposal.

The proposal, which in part calls for extensive monitoring and analysis of Iraqi, Middle East and U.S. media, is designed to help coalition forces understand the "communications environment."

Its goal is to "develop communication strategies and tactics, identify opportunities and execute events . . . to effectively communicate Iraqi government and coalition's goals and build support among our strategic audiences in achieving these goals," according to the statement of work that is publicly available.

A public-relations practitioner who asked for anonymity because he may be involved in a bid on the contract said military commanders "are overwhelmed by the media out there and are trying to understand how to get their information out. They want it [news] to be received by audiences as it is transmitted [by them], but they don't like how it turns out."

As an example, he said, there are complaints that stories from Iraq sometimes quote Shiite cleric and militia leader Moqtada Sadr more than military commanders.

The proposal calls for monitoring "Iraqi, pan-Arabic, international and U.S. national and regional markets media in both Arabic and English," including broadcast and cable television outlets, the Pentagon channel, two news services and three U.S. newspapers -- The Washington Post, The New York Times and Los Angeles Times.


Question Girl




AID FOR LEBANON, CRITIQUE FOR ISRAEL

On Wednesday, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said his government would pay $33,000 compensation per destroyed house to help displaced Lebanese return to their homes. Some 130,000 housing units were destroyed in the Israeli military campaign. Hezbollah had already begun handing out $12,000 to each family whose home was bombed.

And we, as a "super power," can't rebuild New Orleans...... go figure.

Representatives from dozens of potential donor countries are gathered in Stockholm on Thursday to raise aid money for Lebanon. Meanwhile, reconstruction is beginning in the war-torn country.

While the United Nations continues trying to get as many peacekeepers into southern Lebanon as possible to ensure that the cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah holds, Lebanon itself has changed its focus to rebuilding. The bill looks to be pretty steep -- and the battered country will need all outside help it can get.


More here


Question Girl




NUMBER OF POVERTY STRIKEN PEOPLE IN SOUTH FLORIDA RISES AMID ECONOMIC BOOM

Ok, what's wrong with that headline? The economic boom could be in the minimum wage jobs, perhaps? And I'm here to tell you.... living on a minimum wage here in South Florida is next to impossible. Housing costs are astronomical, insurance rates are over the top, electricity bills have risen due to prior hurricanes, gas prices are high. I'm sick of hearing how the economy is booming. For who? Here's for who...

The reason for the disparity has not been determined, but one theory is that high-income residents may have been the primary beneficiaries of the economic upturn

By Bill Hirschman
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted August 31 2006


Nearly 50,000 more South Floridians were living in poverty in 2005 than in 2004, despite state unemployment rates and job creation that are the envy of the rest of the country.

Even adjusting for growth in the population, the actual percentage of people living in poverty increased slightly in South Florida counties and the rest of the state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.


Full story here


Question Girl




Poll Shows Harris Leads GOP Senate Race


BRENT KALLESTAD
08.31.2006

Congresswoman Katherine Harris holds a double-digit lead in the race for Florida's Republican U.S. Senate nomination less than a week before the primary, according to a poll released Thursday.

However, the poll also indicates that a large number of Republicans haven't settled on a candidate, and about a third of those supporting Harris said they still might change their minds.


Democrats have their Lieberman. Rethuglicans have their Harris. Napolean had his Waterloo.


Buck




HOWARD DEAN ON COUNTDOWN

Olbermann questions can a secretary of defense be impeached??

(TheBlueState.com) Howard Dean on Countdown


Question Girl




Alaska's Stevens Put a Hold on Pork-Barrel Transparency Bill

After activist blogs get denials from 97 other senators, his office says his role was no secret.

Joel Havemann
Times Staff Writer
August 31, 2006

WASHINGTON — Ending a mystery that had captivated conservative and liberal Internet activists, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) emerged Wednesday as the senator who secretly held up action on a bill to create a searchable online catalog of federal grants and contracts aimed at helping the general public find out who receives government support.

The acknowledgment by Stevens ended an innovative exercise in Internet-based political activism. Several blogs had urged readers to call senators and ask whetherthey had placed a "hold" on the legislation to create the online database. Many activists believed the catalog would make it easier to root out pork-barrel spending.

As of midday Wednesday, the blogs had been able to obtain denials from 97 senators that they had placed the hold, which under unwritten Senate rules prevented the legislation from moving to a floor vote. With the suspects narrowed to a small group, Stevens' office acknowledged that he had blocked the bill.

Way to go, bloggers! The internet can (and does) make a difference.

The bill was drafted by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) in response to public concerns about the size of the federal deficit generally and, more specifically, the tendency of lawmakers to earmark funds in spending bills for favored projects back home.

"Why shouldn't the American people know where their money is being spent?" Coburn asked in defense of his bill. He predicted that lawmakers would approve less spending if voters knew what the spending was for.

Big thumbs-up to Coburn here. The people should know!

Stevens' spokesman, Aaron Saunders, said Stevens merely wanted the bill delayed until he could be convinced that it would not create another unnecessary layer of bureaucracy.

"We explained our position to Sen. Coburn," Saunders said. "From our perspective, it hasn't been a secret hold."

Stevens took advantage of a Senate tradition that allows a member or group of members with concerns about legislation to put a private hold on it by issuing a request — anonymously, if desired — to their party's Senate leader.

The petitioners do not have to tell the sponsor of the legislation they are challenging, and the leader keeps the bill from coming to a vote until the concerns are met.

full article

So Stevens was worried about "another unnecessary layer of bureaucracy". Sounds like bull-plop to me. Bull-plop!


Buck




ANNAN CONDEMNS ISRAEL'S USE OF CLUSTER BOMBS IN LEBANON

Gee Annan, aren't you concerned about the depleted uranium used?? Can you say war criminals??

News agencies Published: 08.31.06, 15:10
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan condemned Thursday Israel's use of cluster bombs in Lebanon saying, "We need to be severely careful during wars." In a press conference held by Annan in Jordan, he demanded that Israel reveal where it used them so that they may be cleared as soon as possible.

Annan said that such bombs should not have been used in populated areas. "I call for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, which should not be used as targets," He said.


Read more here


Question Girl




IRAQI POLITICIANS HOLIDAY AMID CHAOS ANGERS CITIZENS

I guess Bush realllly is spreading our type of democracy in Iraq!!!

All Things Considered, August 30, 2006 · With daily sectarian and insurgent violence, an economy in ruin, a health care system in crisis, corruption, sabotage, and chronic shortages of gas and water, the Iraqi government has more than its fair share of problems to overcome.

But just a few months into their first year in office, most of the nascent government went on a monthlong vacation. Widespread criticism followed, from religious leaders and everyday Iraqis.


More here


Question Girl




IRAN WELCOMES SHOWDOWN ON DEADLINE DAY

TEHRAN, Iran // U.S. and European officials appeared ready to push for low-level sanctions against Iran like travel bans Thursday as country's president made clear he would not compromise on the day of a U.N. deadline.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not directly address the deadline but maintained Iran's right to nuclear technology in a speech to a cheering crowd of thousands in Orumiyeh in northwestern Iran.


"They claim to be supporting freedom but they support the most tyrannical governments in the world to pursue their own interests," he said, referring to the United States.

"They talk about human rights while maintaining the most notorious prisons," he said. "Those powers that do not abide by God and follow evil are the main source of all the current problems of mankind."


Makes sense to me....

Full article here


Question Girl




FIRST THE FLOOD, NOW THE FIGHT


If only there were such nit picking over military contract spending! Again, someone explain to me why we can dole out billions of dollars to rebuild Iraq, and Lebanon (after we gave Israel the weapons to destroy it), yet we can't come through for one of our own??? Oh wait....there's no oil in New Orleans.......


By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 30, 2006; Page A01

Someone had to pay to remove 3,000 dead trees in New Orleans. The trees, insisted the Federal Emergency Management Agency, couldn't have been killed by Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters because they weren't toppled to a certain angle. New Orleans would have to pay.


Read more here


Question Girl




CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORIAN LEONARD LEVY DIES

By Ronald K.L. Collins
First Amendment Center scholar
08.30.06
Leonard Williams Levy, noted educator and American constitutional historian, died last week. His death, previously unreported, was confirmed by his friend and co-author, UCLA Law emeritus professor Kenneth L. Karst. Levy died at his home in Ashland, Ore.

More here


Question Girl




OLBERMANN ON RUMSFELD


Watch it here........ enjoy!!!! Man that Olbermann is a hottie.....


Question Girl




Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A LITTLE LATE NIGHT BLUES

I loves me some Etta and I loves me some BB.....

Ain't Nobody Business - Etta, Chaka and Gladys


Question Girl




PEACE ACTIVISTS TO OCCUPY OFFICE OF DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS THURSDAY

GO GET EM CODE PINK!!!

SACRAMENTO – Democratic Party lawmakers here who failed to support, as
promised, legislation calling for the return of the state National Guard
from Iraq will be targeted for protests in their Capitol offices Thursday
by war critics and the families of troops stationed in Iraq. Protestors are
expected to "occupy" the offices.

A news briefing will be held THURSDAY, 9:45 a.m., on the West Steps of the
Capitol, where peace advocates from Sacramento and the Bay Area will gather
before going to, and occupying, the offices of the lawmakers.


Full story here


Question Girl




LONDON BROIL

This is an interesting read.....

The New Republic
September 4, 2006


London, England -- On New Year's Eve in 1999, Islamist militants had plenty to celebrate. At the Taliban-controlled Kandahar airport, a planeload of hostages was being swapped for terrorists held in India. The hijackers -- Kashmiri militants -- had managed to secure the freedom of three key allies. Two, Maulana Masood Azhar and Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, were Pakistani; but the third, a man named Omar Sheikh, was the scion of a wealthy British Pakistani family and had studied at the London School of Economics.



More here


Question Girl




CHAVEZ/ASSAD PLEDGE TO BUILD NEW WORLD FREE OF U.S. DOMINATION


DAMASCUS, Syria - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Wednesday that he and Syria would "build a new world" free of U.S. domination.

"We have decided to be free. We want to cooperate to build a new world where states' and people's self-determination are respected," Chavez said after a 2 1/2-hour meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad at his presidential palace in Damascus.


More here


Question Girl




GOOGLE OFFERS FREE BOOK DOWNLOADS


This is news you can use!

By Antone Gonsalves
TechWeb

Aug 30, 2006 03:38 PM

Google on Wednesday started offering free downloads of out-of-copyright books from its library partners, which include Harvard, the New York Public Library and the University of California.

The complete work of such classics as Dante's "Inferno" and Isaac Newton's "Principia" are available in PDF format through Google Book Search.


More here


Question Girl




WIND DOWN YOUR DAY WITH THIS

Mark Knopfler, What It Is


mirth




HURRICANE JOHN HEADS FOR MEXICO

Hold off on that trip to Acapulco!

Mexico's Pacific coast is on alert as a strengthening hurricane approaches with its fierce winds set to start hitting land from Wednesday night local time.
Hurricane John is now a category four storm with maximum sustained winds of 215km/h (135mph), US forecasters say.

article here, additional info here


mirth




VENEZUELA TO SEIZE GOLF COURSES

The mayor of Venezuela's capital Caracas says he plans to expropriate two exclusive golf courses and use the land for homes for the city's poor.
Mayor Juan Barreto has said playing golf on lavish courses within sight of the city's slums is "shameful".
Mr Barreto, an ally of President Hugo Chavez, has been trying to address a dramatic housing shortage in Caracas. But critics say property rights are being eroded in Venezuela, where farms and ranches have also been seized.

article and related links here


mirth




WIKIPEDIA

"Wikipedia is considering introducing a form of prior restraint on edits. Bill Thompson wonders what this means for its users."

BBC article here...scroll down to read the author's update


mirth




POTTY BREAK MIC SNAFU

It's wrong to laugh at the misfortune of others. Right?

Today, CNN’s Kyra Phillips got caught, well, with her skirt down. Someone in CNN left her mic open and on the air as she went to the loo in the middle of President Bush’s speech commemorating the Katrina anniversary. So instead of getting the president’s remarks, CNN’s audience got that and Phillips in some girl-chat.

article and video here, transcript here


mirth




YALESHMALE

If you read at least one of these Net news sites,
CTV.ca
UPI
latimes
Reuters
Canada.com
then you have heard of Lakehead University in northern Ontario.
I liked the BBC article the best:

A small Canadian university has sparked controversy with its recruitment drive by using posters and a website mocking US President George W Bush.
Lakehead University in northern Ontario set up www.yaleshmale.com in a bid to attract potential new students.
It shows a picture of Yale graduate Mr Bush with the caption: "Graduating from an Ivy League university doesn't necessarily mean you're smart."


the yaleshmale site is here


mirth




SHUTTERS UP....SHUTTERS DOWN


Busy getting shutters down and back to normal today. Smell ya later....


Question Girl




Increase in workers drives household median income higher

Dennis Cauchon
USA TODAY

The nation's median household income rose last year for the first time since 1999, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

Median household income climbed 1.1% to $46,326 in 2005. That means half of U.S. households earned more and half earned less. Per capita income rose 1.5% to $25,036, the Census Bureau said.

The income jump hid some somber news. Earnings actually fell for people working full-time. Household income rose because more people worked in the households, albeit at lower paying jobs. Median earnings of men declined 1.8% last year. For women, the decline was 1.3%.

"It tells us the economy is still not generating the higher-paying jobs we'd like to see," says Douglas Besharov of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington. He says some of the earnings decline reflects demographic changes found in an aging population: older workers cutting back on hours and more women entering the workforce as their children grow up.

link


We all know how this'll get spun. November's coming up quick!


Buck




Gasoline prices could keep falling

James R. Healey
USA TODAY

Gasoline prices are falling fast and could keep dropping for months.

"The only place they have to go is down," says Fred Rozell, gasoline analyst at the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS). "We'll be closer to $2 than $3 come Thanksgiving."

Travel organization AAA foresees prices 10 cents a gallon lower by the end of next week. It reported a nationwide average of $2.84 Tuesday, the lowest since April 20.
...

Behind the current drop:

The end of summer. Driving slows, reducing demand for gasoline.
Sluggish demand. Gasoline use in the first eight months of the year is up 1% vs. a year ago, less than the 1.5% to 2% growth that's typical...
Petroleum traders, worried that prices are too high to last, are selling their holdings. That pushes prices down.

article here


I'm sure the upcoming November elections are a factor too. Big oil and rethuglicans aren't JUST bed-buddies... they're one and the same!


Buck




What a Bastard...

Rumsfeld: Bush critics similar to Nazi appeasers

Julian E. Barnes
Los Angeles Times

SALT LAKE CITY — Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld compared critics of the Bush administration to those who sought to appease the Nazis before World War II, warning Tuesday that the United States is confronting "a new type of fascism."

Rumsfeld, speaking before the American Legion convention, delivered some of his most explicit and extended attacks yet on the administration's critics, provoking criticism from furious Democrats who accused him of "campaigning on fear."

By comparing U.S. foreign policy with World War II and the Cold War, Rumsfeld sought to portray skeptics of Bush's foreign policy as being on the wrong side of history. Rumsfeld again ridiculed U.S. officials who, before World War II, wished to negotiate with Adolf Hitler.

"I recount that history because, once again, we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism," Rumsfeld said. "But some seem not to have learned history's lessons."

He continued: "Can we truly afford to believe that, somehow or some way, vicious extremists could be appeased?"

His use of the word "appease" was particularly notable, clearly tying administration critics to the failed efforts of the pre-Churchill British government to mollify Hitler.
...

Rumsfeld's speech drew sharp complaints from Democrats.

"It's a political rant to cover up his incompetence," said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., a former Army officer and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., renewed his call for Rumsfeld to be replaced.

"Secretary Rumsfeld's reckless comments show why America is not as safe as it can or should be five years after 9/11," Reid said. "If there's one person who has failed to learn the lessons of history it's Donald Rumsfeld."

link


Buck




Tuesday, August 29, 2006

PENTAGON REALLY KNOWS HOW TO THANK RETURNING SOLDIERS.....
N O T!!!!

Clueless at the Pentagon
By Boston Herald editorial staff
Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What could the brass at the Pentagon be thinking by insisting the 150 members of a Massachusetts-based Army Reserve unit end their current tour of duty with a 20-hour bus ride home?

The 220th Transportation Company had been on active duty in Iraq for at least a year. They were being demobilized at Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh, Ind., when they were informed they would be bused home.

A few of the quick-thinking soldiers phoned Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), a member of the Armed Services Committee. Kennedy sent a letter to Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey saying, “With air service such a viable option, I don’t believe putting these soldiers on buses for an extended overnight ride is the most appropriate way for the U.S. Army to show its gratitude for their considerable sacrifices.”

And don’t you know the Army managed to find a charter plane to take them home - a tribute to Kennedy’s clout and to his well-regarded constituent services.

But you’d think that a military that is having trouble recruiting and retaining personnel might want to do better by its own people.


Question Girl




ALL FLIGHTS GROUNDED IN MIAMI

This birdie walked all the way down the street...in the pouring rain.....guess he's looking to hunker down somewhere!!!


Question Girl




WIND DOWN YOUR DAY WITH THIS

This one is for my Big Sis...peaceful music and beautiful images of coastal Thailand. Be safe, Question Girl.

Smooth Wave
Ko-Samed, Ko Chang


mirth




100 IRAQI SOLDIERS DEFY ORDERS

The U.S.'s Sepoys? It's bound to happen.......

By Stewart M. Powell
Hearst Newspapers
Posted August 29 2006

WASHINGTON · An investigation is under way into an apparent mutiny by about 100 Iraqi soldiers who defied orders for their predominantly Shiite Muslim unit to move into Baghdad as part of a security crackdown in the Iraqi capital, the commander of U.S. military advisers said Monday.

Army Brig. Gen. Dana Pittard, commander of the U.S.-led Iraqi Assistance Group, said the disobedience by about 20 percent of an Iraqi combat battalion underscored the difficulty that U.S. military advisers face as they try to forge a cohesive national army from regionally recruited Iraqi troops with fierce sectarian loyalties.



Full article here


Question Girl




CHENEY TO VETERANS: U.S. SAFER BECAUSE OF BUSH'S SOUND POLICIES

I find it hard to believe that all these Veterans think Bush's policies are sound. The Veterans I know sure don't think so. They are realllllllly pissed about the situation in Iraq, and our going there to begin with.


By MARTIN GRIFFITH
ASSOCIATED PRESS

RENO, Nev. (AP) - The United States has not been struck by terrorists since the Sept. 11 attacks because of the Bush administration's "sound policies," Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday.

Speaking to about 6,000 people at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Reno, the vice president maintained the U.S. has made "tremendous progress" in the war against terrorism.


The rest of the bullshit here


Question Girl




UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN

Fugitive Polygamist Leader Arrested

The fugitive leader of a polygamist Mormon sect has been arrested in southern Nevada.
Warren Steed Jeffs, 50, was taken into custody after he and two other people were pulled over late Monday by a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper on Interstate 15 just north of Las Vegas, FBI spokesman David Staretz said.
The leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was wanted in Utah and Arizona on suspicion of Sexual misconduct for allegedly arranging marriages between underage girls and older men.
Since May, Jeffs has been on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list, with a $100,000 reward offered for information leading to his capture.

Links in this article here. More about this bastard here



An excellent documentation of polygamist sects within our country is the book Under The Banner Of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer. Centered around the 1984 murder of a woman and her infant daughter ordered by polygamist leaders, the book's information will both stun and infuriate you. It should be required reading.
A jacket blurb reads:

"Jon Krakauer’s literary reputation rests on insightful chronicles of lives conducted at the outer limits. He now shifts his focus from extremes of physical adventure to extremes of religious belief within our own borders, taking readers inside isolated American communities where some 40,000 Mormon Fundamentalists still practice polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these Taliban-like theocracies are zealots who answer only to God."

more about this book here

more about FLDS here


mirth




HERE WE GO.....ELECTIONS IN FLORIDA, BUSINESS AS USUAL

By Anthony Man
Political Writer
Posted August 23 2006

When Wally Eccleston got his ballot at the Coral Springs early voting site Monday, he knew it was wrong. The one candidate he absolutely had to vote for -- his wife, state House hopeful Amy Rose -- wasn't listed.


Article here

A great site to keep track of voter fraud is the Brad Blog


Question Girl




LET'S DANCE

Lou Bega - Mambo #5


Question Girl




ERNESTO APPROACHES


SATELLITE LINK I'll post pics as I can. Wind is picking up now.


Question Girl




GONZO VISITS IRAQ


US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a key architect of US policy on the treatment of prisoners and the rule of law in Iraq, has arrived in Baghdad.
Mr Gonzales, a former senior legal adviser to Mr Bush, is to meet Deputy PM Barham Saleh and visit the Iraqi High Tribunal to meet officials there.


Wouldn't it be nice if he stayed there? Wouldn't it be nice if someone over there could wipe that sickening smirk off his facce? Do you think he's telling them...hey...you guys aren't torturing enough!!! C'mon....get with the fucking program here!!!!

Article here


Question Girl




Ernesto Update

(CNN)


Buck




RUMSFELD KEPT UP AT NIGHT BY TERRORISTS "MANIPULATING THE MEDIA"

Associated Press
Posted August 29 2006


FALLON NAVAL AIR STATION, Nev. -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday that he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in "manipulating the media" to influence Westerners.
"That's the thing that keeps me up at night," he said during a question-and-answer session with about 200 naval aviators and other Navy personnel at this training base for Navy and Marine Corps pilots.



You know what keeps me up at night? The militarism of this country. The lies and secrecy with which they operate. Wondering why Americans, for the most part, aren't alarmed by the spending created by our military actions and support of Israel's military actions ( we just sent billions to rebuild Lebanon), yet they aren't alarmed that our Gulf Coast sits in shambles a year after a disaster at home. What alarms me is how this administration is bankrupting this country and no one is screaming about it. Alot of things keep me up at night Mr. Rumsfeld.....and the terrorists manipulating the media isn't one of them!!

Article here


Question Girl




Iran's leader calls for TV debate with Bush

CNN
August 29, 2006

TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called on U.S. President George W. Bush to participate in a "direct television debate with us," so Iran can voice its point of view on how to end world predicaments.

"But the condition is that there can be no censorship, especially for the American nation," he said Tuesday.

Ahmadinejad blamed "special concessions" granted to the United States and Britain as "the root cause of all the problems in the world."

"At the Security Council, where they have to protect security, they enjoy the veto right. If anybody confronts them, there is no place to take complaints to."

His comments came during a news conference, currently taking place in Tehran, during which he is expected to respond to a United Nations ultimatum to suspend uranium enrichment or face possible sanctions.

Although he has yet to directly address the U.N. deadline, Ahmadinejad said '"nobody can prevent" Iran from its right to a "peaceful, nuclear program."
...

A day earlier, Ahmadinejad officially opened a heavy-water production plant that he said would serve medical, agricultural and scientific needs. (Full story)

Video broadcast on Iranian television showed the president touring the plant in the central Iran city of Arak along with Gholamreza Aghazadeh, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization.

Heavy water is used in preparing uranium for nuclear weapons, but it is also useful for medical purposes, such as nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, according to Reuters.

"No one can deprive a nation of its rights based on its capabilities," the agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying in his speech to inaugurate the project.

story link


Ya gotta love the balls here...


Buck




MANY U.S. IRAQ KILLINGS BURIED

This is no surprise. We'll never know of the war crimes and horrors that have occured in Iraq.

CAIRO – The number of cases involving civilian killings by US troops in Iraq represents only the tip of the iceberg as many such crimes go unreported or investigated, senior US military officers and experts have said.

"I think once people started seeing the reality of what can happen, when something did happen, they wanted to bury it," former commander of the 3rd Platoon in Iraq Lt. Erick Anderson told The Washington Post on Monday, August 28.


Full article here


Question Girl




U.S. MD SHIP SAILS INTO JAPAN

A U.S. cruiser equipped with an advanced missile defense system docked in Japan on Tuesday, as concerns linger over North Korea's missile program.

The USS Shiloh, a cruiser equipped with Aegis technology, which is geared toward tracking and shooting down enemy missiles, sailed into the port of Yokosuka.


Article here


Question Girl




Assembly approves universal health care

Passage of bill seen as election-year test for Schwarzenegger
Lynda Gledhill
Chronicle Sacramento Bureau
Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sacramento -- The Democratic-controlled Legislature is on the verge of sending Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger a bill that would create a state-run universal health care system, testing him on an issue that voters rate as one of their top concerns in this election year.

On a largely party-line 43-30 vote, the Assembly approved a bill by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, that would eliminate private medical insurance plans and establish a statewide health insurance system that would provide coverage to all Californians. The state Senate has already approved the plan once and is expected this week to approve changes that the Assembly made to the bill.

Schwarzenegger has said he opposes a single-payer plan like the one Kuehl's bill would create, but the governor has not offered his own alternatives for fixing the state's health care system. As many as 7 million people are uninsured in the state, and spiraling costs have put pressure on business and consumers.

"We know the health care in place today is teetering on collapse," said Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, D-Los Angeles. "We need to do something to improve it, to reform it, and this is what we are bringing to the table."

Schwarzenegger's office said it had no official position on the bill. The governor has said he would propose solutions to the state's health care crisis in his State of the State address next January if he is re-elected.

"I don't believe that government should be getting in there and should start running a health care system that is kind of done and worked on by government," Schwarzenegger said in July at a speech at the Commonwealth Club. "I think that what we should do is be a facilitator, to make the health care costs come down. The sad story in America is that our health care costs are too high, that everyone cannot afford health care."

more...


Doesn't Ahnuld sound truly sympathetic to the plight of the uninsured in that last paragraph?!

I think you should be a facilitator too. How long have you been governor of CA now? In all that time, why haven't you 'facilitated', Ahnuld?


Buck




Poll: 65 percent of New Jerseyans say country on wrong track

Newsday.com
August 29, 2006

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) _ These are the dog days of summer for President Bush in New Jersey, as 65 percent of residents say the country is on the wrong track and 57 percent disapprove of the way the president is handling his job, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released Tuesday.

Those opinions vary sharply along party lines, with only 11 percent of Democrats and independent voters saying the country is headed in the right direction. Fifty percent of Republicans say the country is on the right track.

As for Bush's job ratings, 63 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of independents gave him a "poor" rating, while 63 percent of Republicans gave Bush a "good" or "excellent" score.

When asked about the war in Iraq, 57 percent of Republicans said the military effort there is going "fairly well" or "very well," but 73 percent of Democrats disagreed, along with 63 percent of independents.

The poll of 651 registered voters was conducted by telephone from Aug. 21 to 27 and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Poll director Peter Woolley said it is unusual for a foreign policy issue to create such a partisan divide.

"The president wanted to define his term by the war on terror, and later defined the war on terror by intervention in Iraq," Woolley said. "But as people view the war in Iraq as distinct from the war on terror, they judge the war and the president more harshly."

Democratic strategist Rick Thigpen said Iraq has become a difficult political problem for any Republican running statewide in New Jersey.

"It is increasingly clear that President Bush has lost independent voters on Iraq," Thigpen said.

"This fall, President Bush may just turn out to be the best friend Democrats have in New Jersey," Thigpen added.

But Republican strategist Mark Campbell said "media coverage of the conflict will likely never portray anything but bad news coming from the region."

"As a result, liberal Democrats can sound like moderates and get away with it," he said.

link


Hey, Mark... could it be because there's no friggin' good news to be had?! Idiot.

And why the hell are Bush's numbers still high? And in New Jersey of all places!


Buck




Monday, August 28, 2006

NO MORE MONEY FOR THE GULF COAST

This is unbelievable to me. When I think of all the money we've spent in Iraq and Afghanistan..... and how much money we've shelled out to military contractors....it just makes me sick. I can't imagine how it makes the residents of the Gulf Coast feel..... I hope they remember this on election day!!!



Bush Sees Renewal After Katrina

By JENNIFER LOVEN
Associated Press Writer
Posted August 28 2006, 4:55 PM EDT


GULFPORT, Miss. -- President Bush suggested Monday that Washington may not be willing to send more than the $110 billion already approved for a Gulf Coast still struggling to come back from Hurricane Katrina's battering, and said a full recovery is likely to take years.

Of the $110 billion in hurricane aid approved by Congress since Katrina struck a year ago Tuesday, just $44 billion has been spent. The Bush administration has released $77 billion to the states, reserving the rest for future needs.


Article here


Question Girl




EARLY VOTING HALTED IN BROWARD, PALM BEACH COUNTIES

I never liked this early voting thing. In Illinois, I don't recall there being any early voting. I think it just leaves more room to fuck with the vote. Zman...if you're out there....do you know if there's early voting in Illinois?

By Brittany Wallman and Josh Hafenbrack
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted August 28 2006, 6:54 PM EDT


Early voting has been suspended in Broward County for at least Tuesday.

Broward elections officials agreed Monday to put a halt to early voting at least for one day, while government offices and libraries, where voting was taking place, are closed.


Here's the thing that REALLLLLLLLY BUGS me!!!

"We want to assure the public that those of you who have cast your vote, or will do so tomorrow, you should not fear," Anderson said. "Your vote will be secure. My staff will go out and retrieve all the cartridges from the voting machines. Those cartridges will be replaced when early voting is resumed."


Full article here


Question Girl




WIND DOWN YOUR DAY WITH THIS

Elvis Presley, Little Sister


mirth