April 2009 Archives

Photo
1 of 1Full Size

"The conservative right is wondering if same-sex marriage is as potent an issue politically as it was in the past," he said. "So for them to have a different spokeswoman who comes at this from a different background, they probably see this as a really positive development."

GIRL FROM VISTA

California is often characterized as a liberal state for politics in Los Angeles and San Francisco, but Prejean comes from a small town, Vista, in conservative San Diego County.

The 21-year-old is not a permanent spokeswoman for the National Organization for Marriage, but in recent weeks she has appeared on TV shows reaffirming her views on gay marriage, and on Thursday she joined the group to launch the TV ad.

"I think that Carrie's story is resonating incredibly," said Maggie Gallagher, the group's president. "Because she comes across as what she is, she's just a genuine, decent, honest person who stood up for truth and gave up the tiara."

In the 1970s, another beauty queen named Anita Bryant, a former Miss Oklahoma, became a voice against homosexuality after leading a campaign to repeal a Miami-area gay rights ordinance. She was famously quoted as saying, "If gays are granted rights, next we'll have to give rights to prostitutes and to people who sleep with St. Bernards and to nail-biters."

In contrast to Bryant's bluntness, Prejean has said she means "no offense," a phrase she used at the Miss USA pageant while answering a question from gay celebrity blogger Perez Hilton by stating, "in my country and in my family, I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman."

Keith Lewis, the co-executive director of the Miss California pageant, said Prejean was attended to by gay beauty experts before the Miss USA contest, and that he always knew her to be friendly to gays like himself.

But Lewis said he was disappointed with her stance against same-sex weddings, and that while she keeps her crown as Miss California, she is speaking for herself on gay marriage.

From ASA

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

President Obama has made it clear that, when creating policy, his administration will hold science over political ideology and value the input of people like you.

TAKE ACTION NOW to demand the Obama Administration honor these words when considering policy on medical marijuana policies!

There is a scientific consensus that cannabis can control symptoms of serious and chronic illness. In the past decade alone, clinical research has demonstrated that cannabis and its constituents can safely and effectively treat nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, pain and spasticity. And a growing body of literature suggests that cannabis may hold the key to unlocking new treatments for HIV/AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, cancer, and many other conditions. Year after year, the research has been twisted or ignored to suit a political ideology.

The federal government is lying when it states that the therapeutic use of cannabis has no accepted medical value in treatment in the United States and ASA, time and again, has called them to task on this lie. Now, we need YOU to weigh in!

Last month, the President signed a Memorandum on Scientific Integrity affirming that policy decisions that are made are done so with facts and data, not political agendas. Yesterday, the Office of Technology and Science Policy (OTSP), the agency responsible for overseeing the scientific integrity pledge, created a way for you to provide feedback.

This is your chance to tell the White House what you think about the Government's long-standing refusal to acknowledge the medical benefits of cannabis and its obstruction of medical cannabis research.

Visit www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/Scien tificIntegrity 

Ed Show

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

April 28, 2009
Bernie Sanders on the Need for a Single Payer Health Care System
(Clip courtesy of Video Cafe)

Bernie Sanders: ... We can guarantee every man, woman and child health care
with a single payer system.

Ed Schultz:  Senator, that is what just boggles my mind. We have, right now,
a political moment in this country. The president has high approval ratings;
you have the people out there; town hall after town hall I hear it, they
want single payer; you're close to the super majority depending on how...

Sanders:  Ed, what are you forgetting in that equation?

Schultz:  Well, I'm forgetting the filibuster I guess.

Sanders:  And you're forgetting the power of the insurance companies...

Schultz:  Yes. Right.

Sanders:  The huge amounts of money they spend; the power of the drug
companies, and if you think that every member of the Democratic caucus is
prepared to stand up to those guys, you're mistaken.

****

Sanders:  But the bottom line here, Ed, is, you're absolutely right; we have
a Democratic president, a strong majority in the House, sixty votes in the
Senate. If we can't deliver on energy, on health care, on workers' rights,
then what's the sense of it all. The answer is people have got to put
pressure on Congress to have the guts to stand up to the insurance
companies, the drug companies, the banks, the military-industrial complex.

Schultz:  Well, who's going to put pressure on them?

Sanders:  We're going to need a strong grassroots movement to make that
happen.


Schultz:  So you think the people can be heard on this.

Sanders:  Absolutely. Absolutely they can.

****

Schultz:  I think this is a real moment for the president. What if the
president comes out tomorrow night at the press conference... I would love
to hear President Obama come out and say, "Look, I don't have all the
answers, but everything is on the table." And this idea that single payer is
not politically achievable, Mr. President, respectfully, I think you're
wrong on that. I think it is politically achievable, because the people want
it.

Video clip (7 minutes, 41 seconds):
http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/ed-show-bernie-sanders-need-single-payer-health

Hemp Traders Announces

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Hemp Traders Announces
Its New Tree Free Hempboard™ 


Hempboard™ Available for Sale Following Five Years of Development

Tree Free Hempboard Logo
Los Angeles, CA - April 30, 2009 - Hemp Traders announces their long awaited Hempboard™ is now available to the general public.  Hempboard™ is a unique type of particleboard made from the core fiber (hurds) of the industrial hemp plant.  It is similar in strength and weight to medium density fiberboard (MDF) but contains no wood products and is completely environmental. It can be used for furniture, shelving, sub-flooring, and just about any application which uses traditional medium density fiberboard or particleboard.
 
Save the Trees!  Use Hempboard™

Hemp is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet.  Its core fiber is similar to wood chips.  Harvested annually, it provides four times as much biomass per year as the average forest.  By using Hempboard™, builders and manufacturers are directly conserving trees.  

To order a sample of Hempboard™, please click here.

And folks like the Native Americans, Aboriginal Australians, mountain and traveling folks of all types, and lately, Palestinians.

IMF Protests/Beatings

| No Comments | No TrackBacks


  1. Police Brutality: @20th and Penn, police broke a protester's leg; another has gone to GW Hosp. for pepper spray; blood from beatings. #gja
  2. Wrap up on street actions: One protester being taken away in ambulance. no other details as of yet. #imf #gja
  3. RT @oxfam Act now! Demand the #IMF abolishes itself and lets democracy grow from below! People's Economic Forum to replace IFIs
  4. @studentactivism check out info on our Forum happening today. Education panel featuring student radicals at 3pm, video will be available.
  5. WHOSE STREETS! Well they were ours for 3 hours, now we're going to get our Anti-Capitalist Learning on. Come join! globaljusticeaction.org
  6. People's Economic Forum @ 1pm @ 1525 Newton St. NW @ St. Stephen's Church: Learn how global capitalism works and see alternative models #gja
  7. IMF/World Bank protests: Bank window broken, streets taken for 3 hours, only 2 arrests, pepper spray, protesters report "having fun" #gja
  8. Anarchist Martha Stewart: Pepper Spray Meringue Pie It's a good thing! Class @ Murrow Park on Penn b/w 18th and 19th #gja
  9. Megatron Police says Super Group marching is now verbotten, enforcing rules with pepper spray, beatings, dull lectures on morality #gja
  10. everyone at murrow park, people have been pepper sprayed but are okay. #gja
  11. @iavanzini let me tell you, the press room at the IMF isn't having half the fun we're having in the streets. and they get lame swag
  12. RT @iavanzini: IMF Press Room having too much fun this morning!
  13. 20th and Penn group has been surrounded by police, confirmed #gja
  14. Correction: 20th and Penn NW. Megatron attacking Super Group :-( Send support! #gja
  15. Sorry for rapid updates. Twitter had a hiccup. #gja
  16. East on I heading to 10th. Super Group moving fast! We need a better name!#gja
  17. Legal: "2 arrestees are at 16th and V"
  18. A contest is now open to name the Super Group march of blackblocers, street blockers, and spandex-clad disco dancers. prizes available! #gja
  19. It's been confirmed from several reliable and nonprotester sources:Super Group march HAS taken the streets! Police trying to get banner #gja
  20. Officer Harold looks like Ron Jeremy playing Buck Rogers, whacked out on Ritalin stolen from Twiki and crushed by boredom of modernlife #gja
  21. Officer Harold, MPD protest liason, has been spotted! Unruly children near 21st and I! Run Harold, Run! #gja
  22. Megatron has released most of the autobots held at 18th and I. Remainder of robodiscoforces headed west on Pennsylvania. #gja
  23. "people backed into an ally are being dispersed one by one, around 18th & I, legal observers say things are ok" #gja robot rescue cancelled?
  24. AUTOBOTS CONVERGE ON WORLD BANK. VOLTRON ALSO EN ROUTE. BADLY DUBBED ANARCHIST RESCUE MISSION IN PROGRESS #gja
  25. group @ world bank surrounded. One march @ 18th+H. Another march @ 19th+I. Converging TO FORM COMMIE VOLTRON AND URINATE ON EVIL #gja
  26. @trendspotter we're pretty sure that was actually a banker trying to break out of the bank, the existential dread too much to bear #gja
  27. RT @trendspotter2 windows at PNC bank @ 14 and P St taken out http://twitpic.com/3yicv
  28. Legal reports 2 arrests. More info coming soon #gja
  29. another anti-cap bloc has left mcpherson square. #gja
  30. an anticap bloc is cornered by police at murrow park, requesting help #gja
  31. another anti-cap bloc has left mcpherson square.
  32. an anticap bloc is cornered by police at murrow park, requesting help
  33. @mjb when you say the cops say this, where'd did the info specifically come from? thx!
  34. RT @mjb Cops say 14 windows of a PNC bank taken out w bricks, plus red paint. #gja
  35. Dance Party Super Group on move
  36. Dance Party and Blockade Folks HAVE converged. Are asking for all people to converge at area of 21st and L . Press too, ya rubes <3 #gja

fivethirtyeight.com

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Why Marijuana Legalization is Gaining Momentum

Back in February, we detailed how record numbers of Americans -- although certainly not yet a majority -- support the idea of legalizing marijuana. It turns out that there may be a simple explanation for this: an ever-increasing fraction of Americans have used pot at some point in their lifetimes. The following chart details marijuana usage rates by age as determined from a 2007 survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:



The peak time for pot usage occurs at or about age 20 -- a period known to most of us as "college" -- before declining fairly rapidly throughout one's 20s and then plateauing from roughly age 30 through age 50.

More important to the policy debate, however, may be the fraction of adults who have used marijuana at any point in their lifetimes. This is a dual-peaked distribution, with one peak occurring among adults who are roughly age 50 now, and would have come of age in the 1970s, and another among adults in their early 20s. Generation X, meanwhile, in spite of its reputation for slackertude, were somewhat less eager consumers of pot than the generations either immediately preceding or proceeding them.

The key feature of this distribution is how rapidly lifetime usage rates decline after about age 55 or so. About half of 55-year-olds have used marijuana at some point in their lives, but only about 20 percent of 65-year-olds have.

There is not, of course, a one-to-one correspondence between having used marijuana and supporting its legalization; one can plausibly support its legalization without having ever inhaled, or vice versa. Nevertheless, I would venture that the correlation is fairly strong, and polls have generally found a fairly strong generation gap when it comes to pot legalization. As members of the Silent Generation are replaced in the electorate by younger voters, who are more likely to have either smoked marijuana themselves or been around those that have, support for legalization is likely to continue to gain momentum.

indictbushnow.org

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Yesterday, John Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and thirteen of his Judiciary colleagues formally appealed to Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a Special Prosecutor. This dramatic action in Congress is a direct result of the pressure generated by you and millions of other people. The letter to the Attorney General reads: "there can be little doubt that the public interest will be served by appointment of a special counsel. The authorization and use of interrogation techniques that likely amounted to torture has generated tremendous concern and outrage in this country, and has harmed our legal and moral standing in the world." 

Please make an urgently needed donation to help us carry out this critical work. We have hundreds of volunteers but we must continue to raise the funds to help this movement continue to grow. 

Click this link to make a donation. 


More than 400,000 people have signed petitions calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a Special Prosecutor. A coalition of civil rights and human rights organization presented 250,000 petition signatures to the Attorney General last week. More than 150,000 people have signed the petition at IndictBushNow. 

The people of every country must see that We The People of the United States are uniting to demand accountability for those who committed great crimes in our name.  

The crimes are too great to let pass. Secret prisons, extraordinary renditions and torture, massive spying on the people of the United States and waging an unprovoked war of aggression on Iraq based on lies and deceit. 

People are coming to Washington DC on June 25 from all over the country to say loud and clear: No One Is Above the Law! 

Please organize a June 25 IndictBushNow committee in your local area to bring people to Washington DC or, if you are to far away, organize a local June 25th action at the Federal Building or in another central location in your city or town. 

stopfakereform.com

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Dear DSCC & DCCC --

We read that you have chosen to accept President Obama's ban on fundraising from PACs and lobbyists, but only for June 18 - the day he headlines a fundraiser for you.

This isn't just hypocritical - it defies common sense that you'd think the public would believe this was a principled stand against special-interest influence.

For 364 days a year, your rules would allow members of Congress to leave a hearing about regulating Wall Street and then walk straight to the DSCC and DCCC offices to "dial for dollars" from Wall Street lobbyists who want more bailout money and less accountability to taxpayers. Most Americans would find that conflict of interest repulsive.

We call on you to ban PAC and lobbyist contributions 365 days a year, just as President Obama did.

This is actually the least you could do to take on special-interest influence.

Will the DSCC and DCCC reject donations from executives of bailout recipients such as AIG, the way you did for Enron? Will you require candidates you support to publicly endorse the real solution to special-interest influence: public funding of congressional elections?

The public is tired of political gamesmanship. Please recognize that your "one day of reform" is absurd on its face and, if left standing, an embarrassment to your organizations. We urge you to announce a 365-day ban of PAC and lobbyist contributions - at a minimum.

Sincerely,

Great Image

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

April 27, 2009 in News by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos | 4 comments

Apparently, the pen is so mighty, that we can't even risk certain foreign journalistsflying in our airspace.

According to reports over the weekend, an Air France flight to Mexico was diverted because of one passenger, Franco-Colombian writer Hernando Calvo Ospina, who works for the Le Monde Diplomatique, a left-wing French-based newspaper. Apparently, Ospina has written extensive critiques of the current Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and the U.S-fed drug war in Latin America. According to his publisher, he was on his way to Nicaragua, to research his current project, a book about the Central Intelligence Agency.

A spokesman for Mr Ospina's French publisher, Le Temps des Cerises, said: "Hernando, who was heading to Nicaragua to research a report, thus found out that he is on a 'no-fly list' that bans a number of people from flying to or even over the United States." (snip)

The publisher accused the Central Intelligence Agency of being behind Mr Ospina's blacklisting, pointing out that the journalist was currently researching a book about the spy agency. "It shows to what degree its paranoia (has reached)," it said.

Air France said that as the flight was not due to stop in a US airport, it had not sent US authorities the passenger manifest. However, it sent one to Mexico, which apparently sent the list on. The crew were informed of the ban as they approached US airspace.

Mr Ospina, who has written several books and contributes to Le Monde Diplomatique, the left-wing French political monthly, said that he was informed of the order to divert the flight by its co-pilot.

"I was speechless and my first reaction was to ask, 'Do you think I'm a terrorist?'," he said. "He replied 'no' and said that was why he told me about it, adding that it was extraordinary and the first time it had happened on an Air France plane."

Due to the secrecy of the Department of Homeland Security's "no-fly list," no one really knows how many names are on it, or who.  Fliers snagged up in the list have limited recourse for appealing their situation under current laws. Legislation has been introduced in Congress -- but so far not moved -  to make the process more transparent.

According to reports and public statements, there are approximately 400,000 unique individuals on the FBI's consolidated terror watch list, and more than one million names. In October 2008, then-DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff told reporters there were 2,500 individuals on the no-fly list and 16,000 on the "selectee list," which directs airlines to send someone to secondary screening at airport checkpoints.

Let me cut down to the chase. We have just learned that a number of Israeli peace activists have had their computers confiscated, have been called for interrogations, and have only been released upon signing agreements not to contact their political friends for 30 days.  We are asking you to contact the Israeli Attorney General to demand an immediate stop to this harassment.

The activists targeted are members of New Profile, a group of feminist women and men daring to suggest that Israel need not be a militarized society. They are being wrongfully accused of inciting young people--like the shministim--not to enlist in the army. The charge is not true. While New Profile does not tell youngsters not to enlist, they certainly support those who do not: pacifists, those who oppose the occupation, and others. New Profile informs them of their rights and gives them legal support when necessary. But Israel is a country that does not acknowledge the basic human right to conscientious objection.


The Profiteers of Suffering

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

The Top 10 Enemies of Single-Payer

Most people, when they arrive in Washington, D.C., see it for what it is -- a cesspool of corruption.

Two reasonable reactions to the cesspool.

One, run away screaming in fear.

Two, stay and fight back and bring to justice those who have corrupted our democracy.

Unfortunately, many choose a third way -- stay and be transformed.

Instead of seeing a cesspool, they begin seeing a hot tub.

The result -- profits and wealth for the corporate elite -- death, disease and destruction for the American people.

Nowhere does this corrupt, calculating transformation do more damage than in the area of health care.

Outside the beltway cesspool/hot tub, the majority of doctors, nurses, small businesses, health economists, and the majority of the American people -- according to recent polls -- want a Canadian-style, single payer, everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital, national health insurance system.

Inside the beltway cesspool/hot tub, the corrupt elite will have none of it.

They won't even put single payer on the table for discussion.

Why not?

Because it will bring a harsh justice -- the death penalty -- to their buddies in the multi-billion dollar private health insurance industry.

The will of the American people is being held up by a handful of organizations and individuals who profit off the suffering of the masses.

And the will of the American people will not be done until this criminal elite is confronted and defeated.

(Remember, virtually the entire industrialized world -- save for us, the U.S. -- makes it a crime to allow for-profit health insurance corporations to make money selling basic health insurance.)

Before we confront and defeat the inside the beltway cesspool/hot tub crowd, we must first know who they are.

To wit, we present the Top Ten Enemies of Single Payer (listed here in alphabetical order):

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)

AARP, one of DC's most powerful lobbying groups, has worked inside the beltway for years to defeat single payer. Why? AARP makes about a quarter of its money selling insurance through its affiliate, United Healthcare Group, the nation's largest for-profit insurance company. AARP must defeat single payer - which if enacted, would wipe out that revenue stream.

American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)

The private health insurance industry. Public enemy number one. The health insurance corporations must die so that the American people can live. Of course, facing the death penalty, AHIP is the most aggressive opponent to single payer. No compromise with AHIP.

American Medical Association

With a shrinking base of doctors (only 25 percent of doctors nationwide belong) -- the AMA is the most conservative of the doctors' organizations. I just returned from a health care policy forum at the Center for American Progress. As usual, not one of the panelists mentioned single payer. Only during the question period did a self-identified patient/citizen ask the single payer question. And a pit bull-like Nancy Nielsen, president of the AMA, ripped into the questioner. "Sounds more like a statement than a question," Nielsen said. "And clearly you have a point of view about that. And I don't happen to share that point of view." Clearly she doesn't. But just as clearly, the majority of doctors, probably even a majority of doctors who belong to the AMA, support single payer. Nielsen is in denial and must be defeated.

Barack Obama

He was for it when he was a state Senator in Illinois. Now, ensconced in the corporate prison that is the White House, he says single payer is off the table. To get off the list, Obama needs to put single payer back on the table.

Business Roundtable

Dr. David Himmelstein, co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), was at a health care forum a couple of years ago sponsored by the Business Roundtable. And the moderator asked the audience -- made up primarily of representatives of big business -- to indicate their preference of health care reforms. And the majority came out in favor of single payer. Why then is the Business Roundtable opposed? Himmelstein put it this way: "In private, they support single payer, but they're also thinking -- if you can take away someone else's business -- the insurance companies' business -- you can take away mine. Also, if workers go on strike, I want them to lose their health insurance. And it's also a cultural thing -- we don't do that kind of thing in this country."

Families USA

A major inside the beltway liberal foundation and long-time foe of single payer. It's chief executive, Ron Pollack, was once an advocate for single payer. But no more. In November 1991, Pollack was at a Washington hotel debating Yale University professor Ted Marmor in front of then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton. Marmor was making the argument for single payer. Pollack against. A November 1994 article in the Washington Monthly, co-authored by Marmor, reported the result this way: "After the two advocates finished, Clinton looked thoughtful, pointed to Marmor and said, 'Ted, you win the argument.' But gesturing to Pollack, Marmor recalls, the governor quickly added, 'But we're going to do what he says.' Even considering the Canadian system, everyone in the room agreed, would prompt GOP cries of 'socialized medicine' -- cries that the press would faithfully report."

Health Care for American Now

The largest coalition of liberal groups promoting a choice between a public plan and private insurance companies. "They are saying - we can't do single payer because Americans don't want it," said Kip Sullivan of the Minnesota chapter of PNHP. "That's based on junk research conducted by Celinda Lake for the Herndon Alliance. It is bad enough to say we can't do single payer because the insurance industry is too powerful to beat. But it is just plain insidious to say we can't do single payer because the American people don't want it. In fact, polling data indicates that two-thirds of Americans support a single payer system. And that level of support exists despite the fact that there is little public discussion about it."

Kaiser Family Foundation

One of the most prestigious liberal inside the beltway think tanks on health reform policy. Saul Friedman is a reporter for Newsday. In February, Friedman wrote an article for Newsday arguing that single payer is suffering from a conspiracy of silence. And he says Kaiser is the most culpable of the co-conpsirators. Kaiser, funded initially by insurance industry money, regularly keeps single payer off the table, Friedman says. When single payer advocates released a study in January asserting that Congressman John Conyers' single payer bill (HR 676) could create 2.6 million new jobs and would cost far less than the private insurance currently paid for by individuals and employers, "the Kaiser Family Foundation's daily online report on health care developments at kff.org didn't mention it," Friedman reported. "Nor has Kaiser, the most comprehensive online source of health care information, made any mention of single-payer or the Conyers bill since it was introduced in 2003, despite widespread support for such a plan according to Kaiser's own polls." After a number of insistent inquiries, Kaiser told Friedman that they would publish charts in March comparing the Stark and Conyers bills. They never did.

The Lewin Group

The go-to consulting firm for health reform studies. The most recent study, released last week and widely quoted in the press, of the public plan option, showed that the insurance industry would lose 32 million policy holders if a public plan is enacted. Lewin's health reform policy guru, John Sheils, told the Associated Press: "The private insurance industry might just fizzle out altogether." What the mainstream press didn't report was that The Lewin Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ingenix, which is in turn owned by UnitedHealth Group, the nation's largest health insurance corporation. Lewin Group has conducted studies on single payer at the state level -- and their studies consistently show that single payer is the most efficient cost saving system. But Lewin Group has never done a study on HR 676 -- which would create a single payer for the entire country and drive The Lewin Group's parent -- UnitedHealth Group -- out of business. When asked why Lewin Group never has done a study on HR 676, Sheils said -- "the President didn't propose single payer, did he?" No, he didn't. That's why he too is on this list. (Sheils says The Lewin Group has studied national single payer. He points to a recent comparison of the different health reform proposals floating on Capitol Hill -- including one by Congressman Pete Stark (D-California). Stark's bill would give every American the option of opting into Medicare. But that's not single payer, because it keeps the private insurance industry in the game. Sheils counters that he modeled the Stark bill as single-payer. "The employer coverage option under the Stark bill is made so unfavorable that no employer would do it. We have everyone in Medicare, with the resulting savings." Sheils says that of all the plans studied, the Stark bill saves the most money.)

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association of America (PHRMA)

PHRMA chief executive Billy Tauzin says that under single payer, the government would become a "price fixer." By which he means, the government, as a single payer, will have the power to negotiate drug prices downward, thus costing the drug corporations millions in excess profits. In recent years, PHRMA has infiltrated liberal sounding groups like America's Agenda -- Health Care for All. PHRMA's Vice President for Government Affairs and Law, Jan Faiks, now sits on the board of America's Agenda and PHRMA contributes money to the group -- which has worked in recent years to undermine single payer at the state level. (America's Agenda Mark Blum won't say how much money PHRMA gives to his group.)

We have met the enemy.

And they ain't us.

Russell Mokhiber is editor of Corporate Crime Reporter and founder ofsinglepayeraction.org Read other articles by Russell, or visit Russell's website.

Very Curious Piece

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
It's titled, "The Road to Jenin" and it's a response to "Jenin, Jenin" (which was not entirely accurate in and of itself).


Now, while I might admit that there was some fabrication going on on the Arab side (first casualty of war is always the truth), if you can watch this obvious propaganda piece and *not* question HOW this guy got some of his apparently 'hidden' footage, you aren't paying attention.

On some of the other footage, it's very apparently footage that the IDF shot while prosecuting the war.  I think their wartime priorities in filming are somewhat suspect.

Now, whether or not the folks in "Jenin, Jenin" lied is one thing.  They may well have merely misunderstood things and reported their misunderstanding as 'fact' (like most humans do).

There's a difference between going out with a camera and capturing inaccuracies on film, and going out with a camera *in order* to capture inaccuracies.

One has to wonder if (for example) the guy who seems to be coaching a woman to lie on camera to the 'news' has somehow *missed* the other guy with a camera who is recording his deception.  You'd think he'd notice, as the other guy has a better camera (video folks note those kinds of things).

From the wiki:

On July 31, the UN issued its report indicating at the time the report was issued 52 Palestinians killed had been verified and it's possible that as many as half of them were civilians.[56] The UN criticized the Palestinians and the Israelis for having exposed civilians to danger. 

In early May, Human Rights Watch completed its report on Jenin. The report said there was no massacre, but accused the IDF of war crimes.[68] On April 18, Derrick Pounder, a British forensic expert who was part of an Amnesty International team granted access to Jenin, said: "I must say that the evidence before us at the moment doesn't lead us to believe that the allegations are anything other than truthful and that therefore there are large numbers of civilian dead underneath these bulldozed and bombed ruins that we see".[37]

NorCal ISM

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

We need office and field volunteers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. You can help provide protection during non-violent demonstrations, resist home demolitions and land confiscations, accompany children and patients to school and hospital, remove roadblocks, or just share time with Palestinians, listen to them, witness, and help ensure that their voices are heard. 

A Training Program for Volunteers will be held all day Saturday, June 6, 2009 in Berkeley, California. 

See our flyers available for download. Copy and Distribute. ColorBlack&White

More info:          solidarity@norcalism.org   or call 510-236-4250


In the trainings you can expect to work collaboratively to address topics including those listed below and more:

* The meaning of non-violent direct action in Palestine.
* The logistics of planning a trip to Palestine.
* How to cope with stress and trauma.
* Affinity group formation and consensus decision making for solidarity work.
* Cross-cultural issues for U.S. internationals traveling to Palestine
* How to do successful, productive Media work

Please contact us for information on the next training.

Sponsorships

The International Solidarity Movement Support Group of Northern California is offering partial travel sponsorships for individuals interested in going to Palestine with the ISM. The minimum length of stay to receive a grant is three weeks.

People of color, older people, and people with financial hardships that prevent them from being able to travel to Palestine are strongly encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to activists with special skills (media, medical, Arabic language skills, grassroots organizing skills) or people who are able to stay in Palestine longer term (at least one month).

The goal of the sponsorship Program is to broaden participation in ISM to work in solidarity with the non-violent resistance movement in Palestine. The ISM is a Palestinian-led coalition of International and Palestinian activists who take non-violent direct action to confront the Israeli occupation.

To receive an application, please send a request and a short description of yourself and why you are interested in traveling to Palestine to: solidarity@norcalism.org

The Miniature Earth

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Δτ

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
The real question, in my mind (physics-wise) is what is the Δτ (change over time) unit as it relates to time?

In essence, "What is one time?"

If you can't address that, you're blowing smoke.

If you can, then, "What's a unit mass?"

Family Guy 420

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

PeterBrianCleveland and Joe become annoyed when Quagmire starts spending more time with a cat he just got than with them. While Quagmire is out, the guys decide to shave the cat as a prank, but it backfires when Peter accidentally kills the cat with a razor. Peter and Brian go to hide its body with the intent of telling Quagmire it ran away. They are pulled over by the police, who completely ignore the fact Peter murdered something and is also driving drunk, but when they see Brian in possession of pot, they arrest him without question. Brian is bailed out by the family and put on probation for drug use. Joe arrives for a urine sample just after Brian starts smoking marijuana. Brian attempts to use Stewie's urine, only to be caught by Lois, who tells him that if he's going to sink that low as an excuse for smoking pot, then "it's time to change." Instead of quitting pot, Brian decides to start a campaign to legalize marijuana in Quahog. He and Stewie perform a full length enthusiastic musical number ("Bag o' Weed," sung to the tune of "Me Ol' Bamboo" from the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang[3]) in a park about the joys of smoking pot, and soon after the entire town rallies behind them in their cause.

Mayor West passes a law to legalize marijuana, and everyone starts smoking it. Brian points out that the town has improved as a result, with a decrease in crime and increase in productivity. However, Lois's father, Carter, is losing money in the timber industry now that hemp is being used to manufacture many things, and bribes Peter with a yo-yo to help him produce videos for an anti-marijuana campaign. Lois, however, points out that their methods are uninspired, explaining that Brian only succeeded because he was passionate about legalizing pot. Carter decides to bribe Brian to join his cause by publishing and shipping his novel, Faster than the Speed of Love, and putting an Oprah sticker on it. Brian resists, but Stewie, knowing how bad the novel will turn out, suggests he at least sing a song about the evils of pot. Brian reluctantly complies (though only the last line of the song, "And that's why pot is bad," is heard), and pot is illegal once more. Brian's novel is shipped but does not sell a single copy after being panned by critics. Brian laments that he sacrificed everything he believed in for nothing, but Lois says that by getting pot banned, he at least did something. The episode ends with Quagmire at the Griffins' doorstep saying he has raised the reward to $50 for finding his cat, which he still believes to be missing, no questions asked. Peter nonchalantly takes the $50, admits he killed his cat, and slams the door on him.

from: killing Jesus' family

Jesus was part of an extended family. The Bible says he had brothers and sisters. Some churches try to spin that these were only cousins, or Joseph's from a previous marriage, but Mary, Jesus' mother, was probably not an only child. At the very least, Jesus had cousins, Aunts, and Uncles.

For the purpose of this discussion, we do not need to go into the question of whether Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and had a family.

But the fact is that Jesus had kinfolk; blood relations, at least on his mother's side.

Those kinfolk had children. Those children had children. Those children had children. And so forth.

Modern genetics testing has demonstrated that modern-day Palestinians have a direct genetic trail back to the biblical Israelites.

So here is the deal. Some of the people walking around Palestine, Gaza, and the West Bank are blood relatives of Jesus. Distant blood relatives, but still blood relatives. Given 2000 years, it is possible that the vast majority of present day Palestinians are remote relatives of Jesus.

Israel is killing them.

And YOU are paying for it, which means you share the guilt. YOU are paying for the weapons used to kill the modern day family of Jesus. The moment you sign that 1040 form, you sign a confession, admitting before all the world that you are an accessory in the murder.

Think you are going to get into heaven after an insult like that?


Amnesty: NATO must be held accountable for 1999 Serbia bombing of state TV headquarters

DUSAN STOJANOVIC
AP News

Apr 23, 2009 10:29 EST

An international human rights group demanded Thursday that NATO be held accountable for civilian casualties in the bombing of Serbia's state television headquarters a decade ago, calling the attack a "war crime."

Sixteen civilians were killed and 16 others injured during the attack on April 23, 1999, on the headquarters and studios of Radio Television Serbia in central Belgrade.

Amnesty International called on NATO and its member states to ensure independent investigations, full accountability and redress for victims and their families.

A NATO official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with standing regulations, said the U.N.'s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia had already assessed those allegations and found the alliance had no case to answer.

"The ICTY has looked into this. They did not accept Amnesty's arguments at the time," the official said. "The accusations have been dealt with."

At the time of the bombing, NATO officials said the TV headquarters was a legitimate target because of the station's relentless war propaganda that contributed to the ethnically-inspired bloodshed in the Balkans.

The bombing was a part of a 78-day air-raid campaign against then-President Slobodan Milosevic to halt his onslaught against Kosovo Albanian separatists in the former Serbian province.

"The bombing of the headquarters of Serbian state radio and television was a deliberate attack on a civilian object and as such constitutes a war crime," Sian Jones, Amnesty International's Balkans expert, said in a statement.

"Even if NATO genuinely believed RTS was a legitimate target, the attack was disproportionate and hence a war crime," Jones said.

The families of the victims gathered in front of the bombed TV headquarters early Thursday to demand why there was no advance warning that the attack would occur.

They believe top Serbian TV officials deliberately sacrificed their staff for propaganda purposes, even though they knew the building would be attacked.

Amnesty International said in the statement that NATO officials confirmed that no specific warning of the attack was given, even though they knew many civilians would be in the RTS building.

Sad State of Affairs

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
I thought I'd check into the availability of parabolic reflectors for solar stuff, since I just came across this really cute article about how to make a parabolic mic out of an umbrella hat and a paint roller.


The Assembled Mic


So, what I found was the largest solar reflector on Earth.  It's not American (of course), but it might be funded with American dollars.  It's actually pitifully small, if you consider it (this looks to be about fifty to sixty feet across in my guesstimate):

Anger vs. Indignation

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
There's some fine lines that people cross.

Like the lines between having tastes, preferring your tastes to others', denigrating others' tastes, ridiculing others' tastes, and regulating others' tastes.

Many of the folks I meet here are working on ways to erase that final distinction so as to more completely achieve a sort of 'organic' fascism, as I understand it.

Now, I personally enjoy a glass of wine with my BBQ (and plenty of salt), and if it's an outdoor restaurant, I'd even consider a cigar.  Those are my tastes.

There are teetotalers who don't eat meat (or salt) or smoke, just like Adolph Hitler.  While I personally find this preference state peculiar and provably outside of the norm for human cultures, I don't find it objectionable.

But when they take that to the next level, and start mis-representing fact in order to sway people (when it becomes a religion, in other words), it's objectionable.

Meat is not 'murder', it's 'slaughter'.  Even most killings of humans isn't really even murder, if you noticed.  It's extremely presumptive and rude of someone to utter that phrase, since it's terribly offensive (and meant to be so).

Likewise, it's extremely presumptive and rude of someone to take any kind of offense at someone standing on a street with cars going by smoking anything.  A human simply can't make the level of exhaust that a motor vehicle can, and the exhaust of a car is *far* more deadly.

And it's terribly presumptive to make all one's dishes w/o the use of the common flavoring item that other countries use with relish, salt.  Especially french fries.  That has got to be the most brain-dead presentation I've come across, and it's pretty common here.

It's not rude, but it's not tasty.

I tried another local shop for lunch on Friday.  Their meat was a bit peculiar tasting (sour and not too salty for ham).  I noted that the 'extras' on the menu were mainly high-water content items, and then, I realized what it is that many folks here really want to subsist on: bread and water.

They just want the water encapsulated inside a little crunchy green package.

The more I consider the whole question of 'buying locally' (which I do still try to do from time to time), I have to wonder whether I'm beating a dead horse.  For the opportunity to experience 'local flavor', I paid almost double what I'd pay at a fast food joint, and got less tasty food.  Fast food sucks, generally (and Ukiah's no exception to that), but it's cheap.

There's no decent pizza or italian in this city, the Mexican is all some variant of 'Cali-Mex' (read, these people are more scared of peppers than of salt), and most of the oriental foods here are so heavily doused with oyster sauce that it's rare that I even go to get other dishes in-house, due to the smell.  I can't imagine what those folks who go to the places with raw fish are getting (leastways, the ones I've been to that featured both raw fish and that smell).

For those of you who haven't actually experienced this, (fresh) raw fish smells like meat (exactly--save for a faint sea-salt taint).  Go to the water, get one, take the skin off, and take a whiff if you don't believe me.

Bad fish (fish that should be used to fertilize corn, for example) smells like fish.

I bet that if Whole Foods was to try to open a store here that the locals would try to do a 'buy local' thing to keep them out.

Buying locally only works when local production is at least passably an equivalent to the import.

That's why the American auto industry has gone down the tubes, if you hadn't noticed.

Neno V.

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
I knew a man from Zagreb, Croatia, who I worked with at Origin.  He was a musician whose specialty was MIDI music (essentially, turning a computer into a player piano, except you can change the piano into an organ, or a tuba, or a guitar, etc.).

He told me about how they hated one another there (the background to the last war over there).

During WWII, the Croatians, supported by both the Nazis and the Roman Catholic Church, went on a pogrom, but it wasn't against Jews (mainly), but Orthodox Catholics (and dissidents).

He told me about how they would have fake priests who would pretend to pray, and would start by blessing themselves with the "Sign of the Cross", and if they crossed the close shoulder before the far one, they were killed.

Lovely folks.

Here's a photo:

...In this photograph Ustashi are torturing an Orthodox Serb with a saw prior to executing him. Somewhere in Bosnia, in 1943. The photograph was found in the pocket of a dead Ustashi in 1945.

(End quote).


Here's some links:

Ustashi atrocities

Jasenovac at the Wiki

Amazon books about Jasenovac

Roman Catholic Nazi priests and bishops page

Link to a post mentioning a book from 1997 called "Jasenovac Then and Now: A Conspiracy of Silence" (which doesn't seem to exist anymore)

Gen11

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
If anyone gets that title, please send a post listing both the book (unlikely you caught that detail from the movie, though it was on last Roman Easter), and the pun I made.

From the giant system of pipes that provides us with those spigots of bytes, a collection of 'genius' quotes (I was looking for the Seneca quote to add to the post below).

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Great ideas often receive violent opposition from mediocre minds. 

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. 

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Highly developed spirits often encounter resistance from mediocre minds. 

ALEXANDER HAMILTON: Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have lies in this; when I have a subject in hand, I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it. Then the effort that I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought. 

ANNA GARLIN SPENCER: The failure of women to produce genius of the first rank in most of the supreme forms of human effort has been used to block the way of all women of talent and ambition for intellectual achievement in a manner that would be amusingly absurd were it not so monstrously unjust and socially harmful. -- Woman's Share in Social Culture, 1912 

ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, SR.: Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius. 

BRUCE FEIRSTEIN: The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success. 

CARL SAGAN: But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. 

DOROTHY THOMPSON: The kind of intelligence a genius has is a different sort of intelligence. The thinking of a genius does not proceed logically. It leaps with great ellipses. It pulls knowledge from God knows where. 

ELBERT HUBBARD: Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped. 

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING: Since when was genius found respectable? 

FULTON J. SHEEN: Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius. 

GEORG C. LICHTENBERG: Eveyone is a genius at least once a year. A real genius has his original ideas closer together. 

JEAN BAPTISTE HENRY LACORDAIRE: We are the leaves of one branch, the drops of one sea, the flowers of one garden. 

JOE THEISMAN: The word "genius" isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein. -- NFL football quarterback and sports analyst 

MADAME DE STAEL: Society develops wit, but its contemplation alone forms genius. 

OSCAR LEVANT: There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line. 

ROBERT G. INGERSOLL: In the republic of mediocrity genius is dangerous. 

SENECA: There is no great genius without some touch of madness. 

THOMAS ALVA EDISON: Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. 

WILLIAM JAMES: Genius means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way. 

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART: Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.

On Sex

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
At the party, after the item below, I happened back inside and ran into one of the other people who I've been picking on on the air for that ridiculous Navy circus affair.

I pointed out that I'd just been told that I was the only environmental activist in the county who still smoked (which is quite incorrect--I'm apparently the only remaining one who will still hang out with these folks, though).

He went off into a little spiel about 'helping' me.  I find this condescending approach less than polite, but I'm used to it in this realm of chipped shoulders.

The funniest part was when he pointed out that I wouldn't get any of the girls to kiss me.

Now, given that the level of attractiveness of the females in that room as a composite value between 1 and 10 was about four, that was kind of a ludicrous statement to start with.

Given that I've actually met and spoken with a number of them at length enough to know that many of them are as homely inside as out (the cause of the outward unattractiveness, I'm sure), it was somewhat hard not to giggle.  

In fact, that's been pretty much the story here all round.  I met girls, then I got to know them. End of story.  I've not met a girl within a thousand miles of here that still actively intrigues me (in a romantic sense).

Of course, nobody really actively intrigues me much anymore, anyway.   All I've got to do is consider that they have to be somewhat crazy to be attracted to me.  It's an amazing fact to have to work with.

But it's the 'waking up alone' feature that's the hardest to displace.  I've enjoyed not having anyone around *so* much that it would take a lot to even think of relinquishing that simple pleasure.

When his significant other showed up, he did give me a decent description of a 'healthy' relationship: complimentary pathologies.

He didn't know that I personally prefer smokers as girlfriends (but no indoor tobacco smokers).  I guess that's a 'complimentary pathology'.

I also prefer strong women.  Clever and lazy are good, too.  Honesty, self-awareness and self-acceptance, and integrity past self-interest are also requirements.  Weak and fearful women give the gender a bad name; I wouldn't be caught dead with one again.  She should be as pretty or prettier than my sisters, too (hard task, there).

On Religion

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
I ran into the problem in a nutshell last night.

You see, there are many kinds of 'believers' in the world.  It doesn't really matter what they 'believe', the method is always the same (thanks, Eric).

Now, I'm in an organic farming community. 

I was speaking to the local Green Party organizer and newspaper publisher (the one who published that incorrect article about militarization of the ENTIRE WEST COAST!).

I told him that I had a decent article at this point about this radioactive fertilizer stuff.

I prefaced it with the part about the tobacco studies.  

He told me that he didn't believe it (that tobacco wasn't carcinogenic).

I told him that was beside the point, that the article was about radioactive ORGANIC fertilizer that was commonly available, even though we know it's hot.

He told me that he didn't believe tobacco wasn't carcinogenic, and so he wouldn't carry that kind of story.

When I tried to point out that this was *not* a matter of belief, but of science (one would presume a geiger counter has no religious affiliations), he stated it again, and made it clear that continuation of that topic would result in his becoming angry.

Thats how news doesn't happen.

Science is often trumped by religion.

I met a Man ...

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
I kid you not, last night, I met a man at the MEC party that was afraid of carbon.

He pointed out that carbon was in smoke, and smoke was bad, so carbon was bad.

Now, this occurred in the midst of another conversation about polonium 210, and I really wasn't expecting that a carbon-based life form capable of rationality could come to the conclusion that carbon was a toxin, and it took a minute while this sunk in.

Then, when he went off into how smoked meat was carcinogenic in order to supplement his theory.

When I couldn't pull the word 'nitrosamine' out of thin air in an instant, it 'proved' it for him (that really it was the carbon).

If you look at the wiki article on it, it seems that the theory that nitrosamines in meat cause cancer was extended from the theory that tobacco causes cancer, so they might well be harmless, too.

Chain of Fools

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
I didn't *just* come back from the KMEC fundraiser, I've drunk a bottle of wine since. 

I was apparently the only one who asked for the proper spelling of DJ Sister Yasmine's name.

In any event, Mike on the Mike and I agreed there wasn't enough crowd to support the station on any kind of 'sliding-scale' basis (Mike actually donated quite a bit more than myself).

One could hope that the auction brought in more money, but at my last survey (ten pm) it featured a great deal of empty pages.

One  could hope for a large attendance, but then, one generally has to *tell* people about a party (secret parties are always small).  A survey of the local calendars early Friday in relation to the UDJ story showed we were entered in exactly *zero* community calendars (including our own on our web site).  

I counted about forty people in attendance at the peak I saw (I left at ten).

Yeah, I bet I get some kind of smarmy letter telling us all how good we did (motivation is important when inspiration is lacking).

They are theoretically changing over to the MEC, where they have two kegs of beer donated, but it sure sounds like they are letting AutoDJ run, instead of trying to get folks over the radio to come and get free beer.

Go freakin' figure.

I just called the donor for the beer to point out that the event itself was going unadvertised, though we had a radio station with which to advertise.

General Had a Good Point

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
If Cheney thought it was OK to torture, why did those army folks go to jail?

This is *too* funny

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Wendell Berry books
poetry, fiction, and essay author Wendell Berry


Truth Activism

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
That's really what I try to do (if you look at the tagline at the bottom of the Ouique, it's always there).

There's an *awful* lot of BS out there.

And it seems to show up just when we need to attend to other, more pressing, issues.

I think I'm starting to apprehend a larger pattern here.

Via Troll

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Yesterday I was buying a 2 large bags of Purina dog chow at Walmart for my dogs Dexter, Gypsy, Sky, & Blade. I was about to check out when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog. (What did she think, that I had an elephant?)

Since I had little else to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, and that I was starting the Purina Diet again, although I probably shouldn't because I ended up in the hospital last time. On the bright side, though, I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of every hole in my body and IVs in both arms. I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet, and that the way it works is to load your pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry, and that the food is nutritionally complete so I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in the line was enthralled with my story by now.)

Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food had poisoned me. I told her no - I had stopped in the middle of the parking lot to lick my butt and a car hit me.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack, he was laughing so hard! Walmart won't let me shop there anymore.

The Sheriff of San Jacinto County has resigned after admitting he operated a marijuana trap on heavily traveled U.S. 59 as well as subjected jail inmates to water torture to gain confessions and testimony.

James C. Parker, 47 years old, entered the guilty pleas Friday to an extortion charge and two Federal civil rights violations before Federal District Judge Gabrielle McDonald. Mr. Parker, who could have been sentenced to a total of 40 years on the charges, agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a recommendation of three-year terms for each of the civil rights violations and five years of probation for extortion.

Times Are Tough:

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
My Resume"
My Resume" magnify

David Backman 302 West King Street 
Boone, NC 28607 
Home: 831 917 3920 
Cell: 831 917 3920 
moondancer622003@yahoo.com 

The Daily Urinal

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Absolutely FABULOUS.  I wouldn't have asked for a more appropriate example (though I've got plenty) of the incompetence of our local 'repeaters' (repeaters are only good when they get the statements right).

So, the press release sent said:

Mendocino Environmental Center presents EARTH DAY benefit dance with Rootstock  and DJ Sister Yasmen

7 PM  April 24  at Saturday Afternoon Clubhouse   107  S. Oak ST. Ukiah For info call 468- 
1660

They listed it as:

ROOTSTOCK AND DJ SISTER YASMIN   Mendocino Environmental Center  Earth Day benefit dinner, auction, and dance;.......



They are *so* past spell and grammar checkers.  Not only do we have to post someone at the MEC to redirect them to the SAC, but we have to consider whether we need to provide food for the poor suckers who thought there was a dinner at the dance.

Short Show

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Great way to start the morning of our 'big day' eh?

The batteries on the front door lock at the radio station are dead.

At The Guild in ABQ

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
APRIL 25 & 26 (SATURDAY & SUNDAY): 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.

THE 5000 FINGERS OF DR. T

Dir. Roy Rowland - 1953 - 92m

This incredible technicolored music fantasy is the only film ever written by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel). Young Bart (Tommy Rettig of TV's Lassie) detests his piano lessons with the fanatical Dr. Terwilliker (Hans Conried). As with Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Bart falls into a dream world in which the piano teacher--renamed Dr. T--is ruler and children are hunted down to have piano lessons. Worse yet, Dr. T has magical control over Bart's mom (Mary Healy). Featuring Oscar-nominated songs and superb art direction , this 1950's classic creates a truly magical world (and the world's longest piano). Plus, Dr. Seuss's love for language stays intact.

What Really is Happening?

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

RADIO SHOW INFO

WHATREALLYHAPPENED GCN RADIO SHOW
MON-FRI 5PM CENTRAL TIME, CHANNEL 2
CALL IN NUMBER 800-259-9231
(Outside the US & Canada, 651-289-4333 ext 125)

SATURDAY 11AM TO 1PM CENTRAL TIME!
CALL IN NUMBER 800-259-9231
(Outside the US & Canada, 651-289-4333 ext 125)

CLICK HERE FOR STREAMING FEED!
M-F Channel 2
SAT Chan 1-4. (Second Hour Chan 2 and 4) 

MOST RECENT SHOWS!   PODCASTS!


But I think it might be the Democrats.

I can't abide with the concept of government mandated, individually supplied payments to companies that can pay dividends.

Now, *that* is slavery.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclipse_cycle

It, of course, doesn't apply to eclipses of third objects (really occultations, I'd suppose).

I should have thought that through all the way.

Anyway, here's a cool pic of a lunar eclipse in time lapse from the wiki:


Just in case weird people with little meters are poking about your back yard like they were mine.

They're legit.
Giant mystery blob found near dawn of time
The Associated Press
6:39 PM EST April 22, 2009
This image of the Himiko object, the most massive object ever discovered in the early universe, is a composite shown here in false color.
© M. Ouchi et al. / Astrophysical Journal

A strange giant space "blob" spotted when the universe was relatively young has got astronomers puzzled.

Using space and ground telescopes, astronomers looked back to when the universe was only 800 million years old and found something that was out of proportion and out of time. It was gaseous, big, and emitted a certain type of radiation, said study lead author Masami Ouchi, an astronomer at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, Calif.

Scientists don't even know what to call it. So they just called it a radiation-emitting "blob." They used that horror-film staple 34 times in their peer-reviewed study, which will be published in next month's edition of the Astrophysical Journal. More formally, they named it Himiko, after a legendary ancient Japanese queen.

The photo of it is beyond fuzzy.

"The puzzle is - what is it?" said California Institute of Technology astronomer Richard Ellis, who wasn't on the research team but praised the find. "Often a puzzle leads to a breakthrough. My nose tells me that this object is rather special."

Ouchi and Ellis said one possibility is that by chance, astronomers captured the moment a galaxy was forming in the early universe - something that never has been seen before.

As astronomers gaze deeper into space, they are looking farther back in time. What Ouchi found was from 12.9 billion years ago. Only three other objects have been seen that are from deeper in time and space.

Giant mystery blob found near dawn of time

But what's most remarkable about this blob is its size: It's 55,000 light-years long, which is comparable to the radius of the disk-shaped Milky Way. According to many theories of the universe, nothing was supposed to be that big at that time in the universe. The other objects from that period are far smaller, Ouchi said.

Ouchi said it also could be two colliding galaxies, or might have something to do with a black hole.

Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire on Tuesday accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" policies in annexed east Jerusalem, where the municipality plans to tear down almost 90 Arab homes.

[Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire speaks during a press conference in the Silwan neighborhood of east Jerusalem. Maguire on Tuesday accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" policies in annexed east Jerusalem, where the municipality plans to tear down almost 90 Arab homes. (AFP)]Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire speaks during a press conference in the Silwan neighborhood of east Jerusalem. Maguire on Tuesday accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" policies in annexed east Jerusalem, where the municipality plans to tear down almost 90 Arab homes. (AFP)
"I believe the Israeli government is carrying out a policy of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians here in east Jerusalem," said Maguire, who won the 1976 Nobel prize for her efforts at reaching a peaceful solution to the violence in Northern Ireland.

"I believe the Israeli government policies are against international law, against human rights, against the dignity of the Palestinian people," she said at a news conference.

It was held in a protest tent erected by residents of east Jerusalem's Silwan neighbourhood where 88 Arab homes are under demolition orders.

The Israeli authorities say the houses were built or extended without the necessary construction permits. Palestinians say the planned demolitions aim at forcing them out of east Jerusalem.

If the demolition orders are carried out 1,500 people would be left homeless in one of the largest forced evictions since Israel occupied mostly Arab east Jerusalem in the 1967 war and later annexed it.

Israel considers Jerusalem to be its eternal and undivided capital, while Palestinians want to make east Jerusalem the capital of their future state.

The Israeli human rights group B'Tselem says that since 2004 the Israeli authorities have torn down more than 400 homes in east Jerusalem.

KMEC Board Members

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Congratulations to Tonya DiAndrea and Hannah Bird, the two newest members of the board of directors of the Mendocino Environmental Center.  They join Steve Scalmanini, Jenny Shakman, Sid Cooperrider, Jessica Clark, and Dennis O'Brien in rededicating the MEC and its radio station to our core mission of protecting the environment.
 
We hope to see you all Friday at our fundraiser at the Saturday Afternoon Club, fearturing DJ Sister Yazmin and Rootstock.  The music starts at 6:30.  Stop The Mall!!
Thanks to the hundreds of thousands of people who have helped spread the word, there is now a firestorm of grassroots support for investigation and prosecution. 

Today, a coalition of organizations is presenting more than 250,000 petition signatures to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder requesting that he appoint a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute Bush-era officials responsible for torture carried out under the Bush Admnistration. 

More than 134,000 people have signed the referendum at IndictBushNow. Let's make it a million signatures -- you can help by spreading the word to your friends and family. 

Click this link right now to sign the IndictBushNow petition to Eric Holder. 

Click this link
 to encourage your friends and family members to sign by forwarding them this message - it only takes a second. 

In breaking news, a newly declassified document released by the Senate Intelligence Committee discloses that the authorization for acts of torture was being directed from high ranking administration officials including Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. 

It is impossible that George W. Bush was not involved. 

Paperback Believer

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Absolutely brilliant, beyond belief brilliant, no kidding. Beatles/Monkees mash-up. I'd embed it, but it won't not auto-play.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ58qh6UL7Q


Here's the audio:


paperbackbeliever.mp3

Saving Grace

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Today on DNow! they are doing a bit on WR Grace and Co. and how they killed off all their workers with mesothelioma and such.

Now, I know these guys.  They're bad.

They killed my best friend when I was in elementary school.

You can read about it in "A Civil Action" if you are curious.
In the BBC translation, the word 'Jew' only occurs once, and it's an indirect object.

This is the full text of the speech Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave at the Durban Review Conference, a UN conference on racism, in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday, 20th April 2009.

Protesters interrupted the conference before Mr Ahmadinejad could start his speech. He refers to the incident in his opening sentence.

I would like to ask all honourable participants to forgive them. They are ignorant.


In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Thanks to God, the Lord of the worlds, and peace and praise be upon our master and prophet, Muhammad and his immaculate progeny and true followers. O God, hasten the reappearance of the Hidden Imam and grant him health and victory and make us his true companions and believers and those who testify to His rightfulness.

Praise belongs to the just, merciful, and compassionate God. May God's blessing be upon the prophets, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and the last prophet His Holiness Muhammad Mustafa, who called for monotheism, fraternity, kindness, human dignity, and justice.

Mr Chairman, Honourable Secretary-General of the UN, Honourable High Commissariat for Human Rights, Ladies and Gentlemen, following the Durban anti-racism and discrimination conference, we have gathered here to examine the current situation and to find practical solutions for this humane and sacred campaign. In the past centuries, great injustice was inflicted on mankind.

In the Middle Ages scholars and scientists were sentenced to death. And later on slavery and the hunting down of innocent people, separating them from their families and taking them in millions to Europe and America in the worst conditions, was popular. These were dark ages where lands were occupied and their sources were looted, and innocent people were killed and made homeless. Years passed until people rose. They paid a high price in order to drive occupiers out and establish independent and national governments; millions of people were killed. Those in power imposed two major wars in short periods of time on Europe and parts of Africa and Asia. These were wars which took about 100 million lives and resulted in destruction of a lot of countries and regions. Those who won these wars considered themselves conquerors of the world and considered other nations defeated. And by the imposition of oppressive laws and arrangements they ignored and violated other nations rights.

Ladies and gentlemen, look at the Security Council which is the legacy of World War I and II. Based on what logic have they been given the right to veto? With which human and divine value is this logic compatible? Justice, equality in the eye of law and human dignity or discrimination, injustice, violation of human rights and belittling the majority of nations and countries? This Council is the most supreme decision-making centre for maintaining peace and security in the world.

When there is legal discrimination and the law-making centre is a source of bullying and force instead of justice and fairness, how can one expect to achieve justice and peace? Seeking power and selfishness is the source of racism, discrimination, aggression and tyranny. Today many racists condemn racism in their slogans and speeches but when some powerful countries give themselves the right to make decisions for other countries, using their discretion, and based on their own interests, they can easily trample on all rules and human values. As they have already proven.

After the Second World War, by exploiting the holocaust and under the pretext of protecting the Jews they made a nation homeless with military expeditions and invasion. They transferred various groups of people from America, Europe and other countries to this land. They established a completely racist government in the occupied Palestinian territories. And in fact, under the pretext of making up for damages resulting from racism in Europe, they established the most aggressive, racist country in another territory, i.e. Palestine.

The Security Council endorsed this usurper regime and for 60 years constantly defended it and let it commit any kind of crime.

Worse than this is that some Western governments and America are committed to support genocidal racists while others condemn the bombardment of innocent human beings, the occupation of their land and the disasters that took place in Gaza. Even before they kept silent, not responding to all the crimes of that regime, and supported it. Dear friends, ladies and gentlemen, what has been the source of recent wars such as the Americans' attack on Iraq or the wide military expedition in Afghanistan? Has it been anything else than the selfishness of the American government of the time and the pressures by those in possession of wealth and power to expand influence and hegemony, support weapon manufacturers, destroy a great culture that is thousands of years old, destroying possible and potentials risks by the countries of the region against the occupying Quds regime, and looting the energy resources of the Iraqi people?

In fact why were one million people dead and injured and a few million people forced to leave their homeland? Why were hundreds of billions of dollars worth of damage inflicted on the Iraqi people and hundreds of billions of dollars of costs for the military invasion imposed on the American people and America's allies? Was attacking Iraq not orchestrated by the Zionists and their allies in the previous ruling government of America which was on the one hand in power and on the other the owner of arms manufacturing companies?

Did peace, security and prosperity return to Afghanistan by military intervention? America and its allies were not even able to stop the production of narcotics and during their presence it increased several fold. The main question is this: What was the role of the previous ruling system in America and its allies? Were they the representatives of the world nations? Were they elected by the world nations? Do they have representation by the world nations to interfere in the affairs of all parts of the world and especially our region? Don't these actions, the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, count as examples of selfishness, racism, discrimination and violating the dignity and independence of other nations?

Ladies and gentlemen, who are the people in charge of the crisis-hit economy of the world? Where did the crisis start? Did it start in Africa and Asia or American and then Europe and their allies?

For a long time, using their political influence, they [West] imposed unfair economic laws on international economic transactions. They set up financial and monetary systems without provisions of international supervision and imposed those systems on countries that did not have the smallest role to play in the processes and policies adopted.

They do not even allow their own nations to supervise. By taking away morality from their actions, they have established laws in a way that they serve the interests of certain powerful people and capitalists. By giving a specific definition of free market and competition, they took away many opportunities from others and imposed their problems on others.

Today, with dozens of thousands of billions of dollars of debt and thousands of billions of dollars of budget deficit, those waves of crisis have come back to them.

Even today in order to improve the situation, they have started injecting hundred billions of dollars of unsupported money from the pockets of their citizens and other nations into banks and companies and financial markets which were close to bankruptcy and they have made their people even more indebted and they have made the problem more complicated.

They are thinking of maintaining their power and wealth. And the people of the world and even their own people are of no value to them. Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the true root of racism is the lack of human understanding as God's chosen creatures and deviation from the true path of human life and human missions in creation. Due to negligence in worshipping God with awareness and pondering on the philosophy of life and the path towards human perfection - which leads to the natural outcome of being committed to divine values and mankind - the horizon of human insight has declined. And limited and temporary interests became the criteria of evaluation and actions by human beings. Therefore, the seeds of evil power took their shape and by neglecting fair chances for others' growth, it added to the boundaries of its development.

In such a way that it changed to an ugly and uncontrollable racism that today it is threatening the global peace as the most dangerous factor. And it is an obstacle on the way of achieving peaceful life in the world. Undoubtedly, racism should be recognised as the symbol of ignorance of the depth of history and a sign of dogmatism against mankind's general growth. Therefore, we should look for the signs of racism under conditions and situations in a society where poverty of knowledge and lack of understanding would be spread. Therefore, the main means of fighting such symptoms is to promote general awareness and deepening public understanding towards the philosophy of mankind's existence and the truth about the human-oriented world. Its requirement or outcome is a return to spiritual and ethical values and human virtues and finally the belief in God. The global society should start a united cultural movement for enlightening certain suffering and undeveloped societies as much as possible and uproot this hideous and evil phenomenon.

But dear friends, today the human society is facing a kind of racism which has an ugliness that has completely distorted the honour of mankind at the verge of the third millennium and it has made the global society shameful. The global Zionism is the complete symbol of racism, which with unreal reliance on religion has tried to misuse the religious beliefs of some unaware people and hide its ugly face. But what should be seriously considered are the goals of certain superpowers and those in possession of major interests in the world; those who try their best through economic power and political influence and wide media means, to lessen the crimes and ugliness of the nature of the Zionist regime. Here, the main issue is not ignorance and therefore, cultural movements on their own, are not sufficient to fight this evil phenomenon. But we should try to put an end to the misuse of international means by the Zionists and their supporters. And by respecting nations' demands, we should motivate the united governments to eliminate this clear racism and step on the path of reforming international relations 0and mechanisms with courage.

Undoubtedly, you are all aware of the extensive efforts by the institutes of global power towards creating a deviation on the path of the real mission of this important conference. Unfortunately in the literature supporting the Zionists, a clear participation and cooperation in their crimes can be noticed. And this adds to the responsibilities of the respectful representatives of nations in revealing this antihuman issue and improving relations and behaviours. We should be aware that to keep a huge global capacity, such as this conference, away from its real intentions, means helping to continue the most hideous sense of racism. Today the necessity of defending human rights is firstly, to defend the rights of a nation to be free to make decisions regarding important global affairs without the influence of certain powers; secondly, to take action to improve international structures and relations. Therefore, this conference is the arena of a major test and we will be judged by the world's public opinion today and tomorrow.

Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, the world's general condition is rapidly moving towards basic changes. Power based equations have become very weak. The sound of the pillars of global tyranny breaking can be heard. Political and macro economic structures are falling. Political and security crisis are growing. And the growing global economic crisis, for the resolution of which there is no bright horizon, makes all sorts of quantitative and quality aspects of change on the way very impressive. I have emphasised the necessity of getting back from the wrong path that today's absolute global management is following and I have warned about the critical outcomes of delaying to do so.

Also now, in this valued conference, addressing you managers, thinkers and all the world nations who are thirsty for peace, freedom, progress and prosperity, I would like to say that the unjust ruling of the world is reaching its end. This deadlock was inevitable since the logic behind this imposed management is tyrannical. This is because the logic of the mass movement of the world is divine, purposeful, humane and God-centred. It is a movement which opposes any policy or plan which is not in line with the interests of nations. Victory of truth over vice and the bright future of humanity and the establishment of a just global system is the promise of God and all prophets, and a common hope of all communities and generations. Achieving such a future justifies the reason behind creation, is the belief of all those faithful to God and the very high status of the human beings.

Formation of a global community, the practical possibility of a common global system materialising and finally involving thinkers, managers and people of the world to actively and justly participate in the macro and principle decision makings is the main path to this great destination.

At the moment, scientific and technical capabilities as well as information and communication technology have created a mutual and comprehensive understanding of the global community and have created the necessary ground for a common system to materialise. .

Now, this is a grave responsibility that the world's scientists, elites and officials across the world should shoulder by playing a historic role through faith in this definite path.

Now I want to stress on this fact that western capitalism like communism has reached the end of its path because it does not see the world and humanity as they are. It has tried to impose a self-constructed path and destination and instead of paying attention to human and divine values, justice, freedom, compassion and brotherhood it has set fierce competition for gaining individual and collective materialistic interests as a basis for life.

Now we should collectively try to learn lessons from the past and understand the necessity for correcting this path by considering today's conditions. And on the same note and as the final word I would like to draw your attention to two important points.

First point: The improvement of the current international condition is hundred per cent possible. But we should know that this cannot be achieved without the cooperation of all the governments and nations. Therefore, we should benefit from the capacities of international cooperation to the maximum. My presence in this conference indicates my respect for this important issue, and the essential issue of human rights and support for nations' rights against the evil phenomenon of racism and cooperation with you, the thinkers.

Second: Considering the lack of efficiency of systems and international political, economic, security and cultural relations is necessary. In view of divine and humanitarian values and the true and real definition of human beings and based on justice and respect for the rights of all human beings across the world, confessing to the wrong management in the past and changing the views and performances, measures should be taken to reform the current structures. Therefore, a speedy change in the structure of the United Nations and the elimination of the discriminatory right to veto and a change in the financial and monetary system of the world must be on the agenda. Obviously, the lack of understanding for the urgency of this change will result in heavier costs due to any delay.

My dear friends, you should know that moving in line with justice and human dignity is like moving quickly on a stream of water. Let's not forget the valuable elixir of love and compassion. The guarantee for a clear future for human beings is a great asset that can keep us more aware and more hopeful than ever before. It can enable us to create a world full of love and blessing and can be free from poverty and hatred. We will also be able to profit from the blessings of God and have the advantage of having a decent management of a complete human being.

Let us all have a share in this important issue, and hope for that bright and beautiful day. I would like to sincerely thank the President and the UN Secretary-General and all of you for your patience, wishing you dignity and success.


Yes, We Can

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
yeswecan.mp3

NORML says so

Raw Milk Fix?

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Raw milk trendy

NEW HOLSTEIN, Wis. (UPI) -- Raw milk is gaining popularity among people who say its health benefits outweigh its risks, officials say. 

Officials say the practice was made illegal because unpasteurized milk can carry deadly pathogens. But a few farmers, some of whom have been drinking raw milk for generations, say it's safe and legal to provide to the public on a limited basis. 

Wisconsin state law says farmers cannot sell or give away raw milk, but they can consume it themselves from cows they own. So to meet the legal requirement, farmers are selling shares in their dairy and providing raw milk to shareholders for a handling fee, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday. 

Wayne Craig's dairy is one of about a dozen farms in Wisconsin providing unpasteurized milk to the public. The newspaper said the Craig farm in New Holstein, Wis., has had 1,000 members. 

"They're trying to get back to natural, unprocessed food for the health benefits," Craig said. 

One of the dairy's members, Linda Conroy, said drinking raw milk has boosted her energy level. 

"I have never been sick from it," she said. "In fact, just the opposite is true. My health is a lot better." 

While the leadership of the Democratic Party remains silent on Obama's refusal to hold torturers accountable, activists are demanding a special prosecutor and calling on Congress to impeach Jay Bybee.


In the Sunday New York Times, the paper's editors call for the impeachment of Judge Jay Bybee, author of one of the now infamous torture memos released last week. Bybee is now a federal judge. In its editorial, "The Torturers' Manifesto," theTimes argued:

[The] investigation should start with the lawyers who wrote these sickening memos, including John Yoo, who now teaches law in California; Steven Bradbury, who was job-hunting when we last heard; and Mr. Bybee, who holds the lifetime seat on the federal appeals court that Mr. Bush rewarded him with.
These memos make it clear that Mr. Bybee is unfit for a job that requires legal judgment and a respect for the Constitution. Congress should impeach him. And if the administration will not conduct a thorough investigation of these issues, then Congress has a constitutional duty to hold the executive branch accountable. If that means putting Donald Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzales on the stand, even Dick Cheney, we are sure Americans can handle it.
Of course, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Cheney, Bush and a slew of others belong on trial with Bybee, not just as witnesses in his case and the Times should be calling for that as well.  But let's remember, this is the paper that the Bush administration used as a conveyor belt for its deadly lies so expectations of it should be low.

In a recent piece for Slate, "Impeach Jay Bybee: Why should a suspected war criminal serve as a federal judge?," Yale law professor Bruce Ackerman lays out some of Bybee's history:

"Jay Bybee is currently sitting on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. As assistant attorney general in President George W. Bush's Justice Department, he was responsible for the notorious torture memos that enabled the excesses at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and other places. While John Yoo did most of the staff work for Bybee, Yoo was barely 35 years old - and his memos showed it. They not only took extreme positions; they were legally incompetent, failing to consider many of the most obvious counterarguments. Bybee was 49. He was the grown-up, the seasoned jurist. He had been a law professor and had served as associate counsel to President Bush. When he was promoted to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, he became the final judge of legal matters within the executive branch. Yet his opinion on torture was so poorly reasoned that it was repudiated by his very conservative successor, Jack Goldsmith."
David Swanson, the ever vigilant crusader for holding Bush era criminals accountable for their crimes, has started a website ImpeachBybee.org which contains resources on Bybee and how people can sign a petition calling for his impeachment.

While Obama has made clear that he does not intend to prosecute CIA torturers and their bosses and lawyers, saying it is "time for reflection, not retribution," not everyone in his party is in agreement. As previously reported, Representative Jan Schakowsky, has been outspoken on this issue, as have Senator Russ Feingold and Representative Jerrold Nadler. But the leadership of the Democratic Party has, predictably, been silent. Indeed, Nadler was the first Democrat to call for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor. On Friday, Nadler released a statement, saying:

"These memos make it abundantly clear that the Bush administration engaged in torture. Because torture is illegal under American law - as the U.S. is a signatory to the Convention Against Torture - we are legally required to investigate and, when appropriate, to prosecute those responsible for these crimes.
"I commend President Obama for his unequivocal rejection of torture and for his resolve to move forward. The President's intentions are honorable, but don't go far enough. All history teaches us that simply shining a light on criminal acts without holding the responsible people accountable will not prevent repetition of those acts.
"I have previously urged Attorneys General Gonzalez and Mukasey to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the torture abuses of the Bush administration, and now I will convey that same necessity to President Obama and Attorney General Holder. We sorely need an independent investigation that will provide accountability for these terrible crimes.
Meanwhile, Bob Fertik at Democrats.com is circulating a petition to Congress with five primary demands:

1. Demand the appointment of a Special Prosecutor by Attorney General Eric Holder for torture, warrantless wiretapping, and other heinous crimes of the Bush Administration.
2. Prohibit the use of any taxpayer dollars to defend government officials who committed such crimes against lawsuits, or to pay for judgments against them.
3. Impeach Judge Jay Bybee, the torture memo author who serves on the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California.
4. Protect human rights by restoring Habeas Corpus and the Fourth Amendment (search and seizure), including repeal of the Orwellian-named Protect America Act, U.S.A. Patriot Act, the FISA Amendments, and Military Commissions Act.
5. End secret government by prohibiting use of "State Secrets," "Sovereign Immunity" and "Signing Statements."
The Obama administration has a moral and legal responsibility to prosecute Bush era criminals. The UN has indicated that Obama's refusal to prosecute torturers may be a violation of International law. As for US law, Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights said, "Whether or not to prosecute law breakers is not a political decision.  Laws were broken and crimes were committed. If we are truly a nation of laws ... a prosecutor needs to be appointed and the decisions regarding the guilt of those involved in the torture program should be decided in a court of law."

Comments like "reflection not retribution" and "look forward, not backwards," are insulting to the rule of law and the cause of justice.

Jeremy Scahill is the author of the New York Times bestseller Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. He is currently a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at the Nation Institute. 


 
Addressing a UN anti-racism confab Iran's president minces no words in calling Israel 'a totally racist government' formed on the back of 'military aggression'. 

Snubbing Monday warnings by the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the post-World War II military invasions on Palestine which preceded the propping up of the entity, were explained by 'Jewish suffering'. 

"They resorted to military aggression to make an entire nation homeless under the pretext of Judaism," he said. 

"They sent migrants from Europe, the United States and other parts of the world in order to establish a totally racist government in the occupied Palestine." 

Kouchner had earlier warned that all European envoys would leave the UN anti-racism summit, should Ahmadinejad level 'racist or anti-Semitic accusations' against Israel. 

Ahmadinejad's comments were followed by the walking out of the delegates from several European supporters of Israel. Iran's president, however, continued his speech and was applauded by the audience. 

France, which had sent its representative to the event, also reportedly condemned the presentation as a 'hate speech' after the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed those who had boycotted 'this festival of hate'. 

Following hectic Tel Aviv efforts to criminalize the event, the United States was the first to impose the boycott opposing the language the conference's draft document used to characterize Israel 

The two had also slammed the previous conference held in Durban, South Africa in 2001, for being anti-Semitic because it brought into focus Israel's ill-treatment of the Palestinians and attempted to pass a resolution likening Zionism to racism. 

A protesting European official was quoted by DPA as saying that the delegations were offended by the 'inflammatory remarks'. 

As the president was walking up to the podium, some three clown impersonators attempted at obstruction shouting 'racist, racist'. 

They were ejected by the guards and Ahmadinejad commenced his presentation saying, "I would like to ask the respected audience to forgive these people. They are misinformed." 

"Coercion and arrogance is the origin of oppression and wars. Although many of proponents of racism today condemn racial discrimination in the words and slogans, a number of powerful countries have been authorized to decide for other nations based on their own interests and at their own discretion and they can easily violate all laws and humanitarian values as they have done so," the Iranian president had said earlier in his remarks.

From NoMegaMall.com

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

MARI RODIN

Published: Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 3:00 a.m.

Mari Rodin is a member of the Ukiah City Council.

Mari Rodin is a member of the Ukiah City Council.

 

 

Ukiah, and Mendocino County at large, should be concerned about the recent announcement by Mendocino Tomorrow, an offspring of Developers Diversified Realty, that it is circulating a petition for a ballot initiative to allow a zoning change (from industrial to retail/mixed use) at the former Masonite plant in Ukiah.

Developers Diversified, or DDR, is one of the country's largest developers of shopping malls. The proposed zoning change would allow it to override Mendocino County's ongoing general plan update, giving it the green light to develop a 500,000- to 700,000-square-foot mall just outside the city limits of Ukiah -- perhaps without any environmental review.

Since DDR purchased the property, its representative, Jeff Adams, has been attempting to change the zoning to allow for retail use.

Adams began more than a year ago, at a time when a majority of the Board of Supervisors was favorable to the zoning change. In November, however, two new supervisors were elected (Carre Brown and John McCowen), and there is now at least a 4-1 board majority opposed to the project.

DDR's project was a major campaign issue, and there has been significant community mobilization in opposition to it. The reasons for opposing the project include:

• Sprawl development right outside historic downtown Ukiah is bad for the environment and bad for small, locally owned businesses.

• The project would support mostly low-wage jobs. We should reserve the site for industrial land uses that provide jobs at a living wage.

• Depletion of sales tax revenue for the city of Ukiah would lead to a severe cutback in public services to the county seat.

DDR's petition for a ballot initiative changing the zoning of the former Masonite site to retail/mixed use ignores the fact that Ukiah Valley voters have already expressed opposition to the project by electing supervisors Brown and McCowen. Moreover, DDR is sure to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a campaign to convince voters that a mega-mall is in our best interest.

In fact, DDR began this campaign almost a year ago by sending attractive mailers about the mall on brown recycled paper, appealing to Mendocino County residents' "green" values. More recently, DDR has conducted telephone surveys around the county, gauging our values so they can spin their message in a way that they believe will win their cause.

Infusing large sums of non-local corporate money into a campaign that undermines the general plan process, with its environmental controls and public input, usurps local control and self-determination. We must firmly oppose this strategy.

I predict that Mendocino Tomorrow's initiative will galvanize opposition to its mall project. Mendocino County is a very progressive place, full of activists, grass-roots organizers and independent thinkers. We are wise to the ways of large corporations in their efforts to try to sell us something that the majority of us do not want.

We were the first county in the country to ban genetically-modified organisms. We did this through a ballot measure, overcoming strong opposition from Monsanto, whose campaign outspent the local one 6-to-1.

I plan to actively oppose this ballot measure and will rally voters around the county by educating them on the facts of this project. Once you look closely at the proposal, I am sure you too will agree that a Masonite mega-mall is bad for Ukiah and bad for Mendocino County.


Hot Ralston

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Ralston Hot Cereal 12ct
 
 

Ralston Hot Cereal 12ct

Other products by Ralston

Price:$34.25
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Hometown Favorites.

2 new from $34.25

Product Features

  • 100% Wheat Hot Cereal
  • High fiber, Cholesterol free, less than 1 gram of fat per serving
  • Tom Mix favorite!
  • Be sure to visit Hometown Favorites Storefront for hundreds of other "hard to find" food favorites!
  • 12/20 oz. boxes



Tom Mix-Hero

Tom Mix originally became known as the great American Cowboy in silent movies.Tom Mix

He appeared in over 300 silent movies, primarily as the "good guy" cowboy known for doing his own outrageous stunts.

In 1933 Tom Mix began endorsing Ralston® 100% Wheat Cereal through the Tom Mix Straight Shooters Club and the world-famous radio series.

Millions of listeners faithfully tuned in to "live" the adventures of Tom Mix. Children incorporated the secret handshake and password into daily life and saved box tops and their hard-earned quarters for such items as the secret decoder ring, good luck charm, invisible ink pens and other promotional items.

Seconds?

Men W/O Hats

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Safety Dance

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
This is *never* a singer I'd suggest paying the extra buck at iTunes to get the video version of the song, but my god, has she got a throat.  It's entirely worth the download time.

BTW, Simon (and the other two judges) agree (at least on the talent part, dunno how they feel about watching her again).  It's kind of like watching Mr. Hankey sing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxPZh4AnWyk

For my Spook friends

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Your *job* is to work for *me* (and the rest of *us* that are the USA).

Your boss is our employee, too.

If you know he's misbehaving, it's *your* job to be 'disloyal' to him.

Your *loyalty* if you recall, is to us, as his is.  You took an oath, if you recall.

So, if you are breaking the Geneva Convention in my name because someone *told* you to, your *job* is to say no, and then say "know" (to us).

If you 'just follow orders' or help cover-up out of some mis-placed loyalty, you're a war criminal, too.

Leastways, that's what we said when we were holding the trials.

From Alan at OVC

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
The Election Technology Council (ETC) is a trade association or consortium composed of the major voting system vendors: ES&S, Sequoia, Diebold (now calling themselves "Premier") and Hart InterCivic.  They recently put out a paper titled, OPEN SOURCE: Understanding Its Application in the Voting Industry [1].  Ostensibly, the paper is to help policy makers understand "open source."  As you may have guessed, it's full of obfuscations, half-truths, and outright lies.

At one point they cite Open Voting Consortium's legislative efforts and say, 

    Based on the lack of currently viable open source developed 
    voting technology, it is clear that advocacy groups are 
    encouraging a disclosed software model rather than a true 
    open source requirement.

They know that we've promoted software disclosure as a precursor to true open source.  The software we've developed is all true open source -- free software with a General Public License.  Why would they lie about this?

I will write an open letter to ETC and publish that on our web site.  In the mean time, I have been discussing this online at Dan Wallach's blog [2].  

Feel free let others know about this, and let ETC know what you think, too.  Thanks!

Alan Dechert
p.s., we need your support.  Please contribute at http://openvoting.org
__________________________
[1] http://www.electiontech.org/documents/opensourcefinalonline.pdf
[2] http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/dwallach/open-source-vs-disclosed-source-voting-systems
Link isn't noisy like the video was.

Hooves?

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Claim:
  The number of hooves lifted into the air on equestrian statues reveals how the riders died.

Status:   False.

Origins:   Folk wisdom has it that equestrian statues contain a code whereby the rider's fate can be determined by noting how many hooves the horse has raised. The most common theory has it that if one hoof is raised, the rider was wounded in battle (possibly dying of those wounds later but not necessarily so); two raised hooves, death in battle; all four hooves on the ground, the rider survived all battles unharmed.

The hoof code mostly holds true in terms of Gettysburg equestrian statues, but there is at least one exception. James Longstreet wasn't wounded in this battle yet his horse has one foot raised.

Even the most cursory look at the statues around Washington, D.C. quickly disproves that the hoof code at all holds sway in that locale. 

statue.gif

Stop30Billion.com

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Albuquerque Billboards

 

Stop $30Billion to Israel Coalition Puts up 10 Billboards!

Old War Criminals Don't Die

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
They just fade into statuary (some rather garish):

Conquistadores

Conquistadores by LuisDS.



I wonder if they have a guard for his right foot.  The one on this statue's been cut off with a hacksaw:


From "Onate's Right Foot" by Margaret Randall:

Following his exploits in what is now New Mexico, Oñate was tried for his excessive abuses at Acoma, fined a large sum of money, briefly imprisoned, exiled from Mexico for four years and banished forever from New Mexico. His titles were taken from him. He would never again gain favor with the Spanish Court nor be allowed to take part in the conquest. He ended his days as a mining inspector with only his personal memories of misadventure for company.

Comments On Wendell's work

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Now, there were plenty, and Wendell himself replied to them (see link).

I dunno if he's still up for one, but I've got one.  Take his list:

1. The new tool should be cheaper than the one it replaces.
2. It should be at least as small in scale as the one it replaces.
3. It should do work that is clearly and demonstrably better than the one it replaces.
4. It should use less energy than the one it replaces.
5. If possible, it should use some form of solar energy, such as that of the body.
6. It should be repairable by a person of ordinary intelligence, provided that he or she has the necessary tools.
7. It should be purchasable and repairable as near to home as possible.
8. It should come from a small, privately owned shop or store that will take it back for maintenance and repair.
9. It should not replace or disrupt anything good that already exists, and this includes family and community relationships.

So generally, the computers have been cheaper than the previous models, and have gotten smaller, as well as faster and more feature-rich.  The vast majority of machines come with a plethora of energy saving features, and of course, the solar power feature is just one of the latest innovations.

Unfortunately, most people can't put a 'clean-room' environment together so that repair of the devices could really be accomplished, but aside from those elements, the items themselves (most chips) can be popped in and out at will, and evidence has shown clearly that all sorts of normal people can be trained to use a digital probe to diagnose and repair the boards.

Now, many computers can be purchased from a small, privately owned shop, but *really*, there's not a whole lot of difference between most small shops products and most large vendors products, except that the small guys go out of business and leave you hanging more often.

And as I see it, the computer is the most positive force for improvement of earthling's existences (which include the human families and communities) that's ever been created.

It's allowed for a world-wide communication phenomenon, bypassing governments and borders (for the most part).

It's too bad that the intellectually slow (by preference or nature) want this to 'all stop' (so they can 'get off').

But the ride is *only* going to get faster and bumpier from here.

And thank *GOD* we've got the ability to finally start discussing the issues as a world culture.

So, if Wendell wants to hang on his farm with his ground up dead trees and his Royal typewriter (and his wife), that's fine by me.  I wish him no ill will for desiring to be some kind of neo-Mennonite.

But if he wants to get all sanctimonious and preachy, his horse isn't high enough.

If you want to be a member of a church, you need to specify that you are offering a religion, IMHO.

I personally think it's far more appropriate to build from stone what was previously made from death wherever possible.

I don't think I'm closer to god for it, but I think it makes more sense to have news-readers rather than newspapers.

BTW, Steve Jobs is working on what I hope will be the DynaBook (bigger than the iPhone, smaller than the laptop).

As I understand it, the goal Apple's working with is to have a completely recyclable item.

Field Observations:An interview


WHY I AM NOT GOING
TO BUY A COMPUTER

by
Wendell Berry

A Luddite?


Like almost everybody else, I am hooked to the energy corporations, which I do not admire. I hope to become less hooked to them. In my work, I try to be as little hooked to them as possible. As a farmer, I do almost all of my work with horses. As a writer, I work with a pencil or a pen and a piece of paper.


My wife types my work on a Royal standard typewriter bought new in 1956 and as good now as it was then. As she types, she sees things that are wrong and marks them with small checks in the margins. She is my best critic because she is the one most familiar with my habitual errors and weaknesses. She also understands, sometimes better than I do, what ought to be said. We have, I think, a literary cottage industry that works well and pleasantly. I do not see anything wrong with it.



A number of people, by now, have told me that I could greatly improve things by buying a computer. My answer is that I am not going to do it. I have several reasons, and they are good ones.


The first is the one I mentioned at the beginning. I would hate to think that my work as a writer could not be done without a direct dependence on strip-mined coal. How could I write conscientiously against the rape of nature if I were, in the act of writing, Implicated in the rape ? For the same reason, it matters to me that my writing is done in the daytime, without electric light.


I do not admire the computer manufacturers a great deal more than I admire the energy industries. I have seen their advertisements. attempting to seduce struggling or failing farmers into the belief that they can solve their problems by buying yet another piece of expensive equipment. I am familiar with their propaganda campaigns that have put computers into public schools in need of books. That computers are expected to become as common as TV sets in "the future" does not impress me or matter to me. I do not own a TV set. I do not see that computers are bringing us one step nearer to anything that does matter to me: peace, economic justice, ecological health, political honesty, family and community stability, good work.


What would a computer cost me? More money, for one thing, than I can afford, and more than I wish to pay to people whom I do not admire. But the cost would not be just monetary. It is well understood that technological innovation always requires the discarding of the "old model"--the "old model" in this case being not just our old Royal standard. but my wife, my critic, closest reader, my fellow worker. Thus (and I think this is typical of present-day technological innovation). what would be superseded would be not only something, but somebody. In order to be technologically up-to-date as a writer, I would have to sacrifice an association that I am dependent upon and that I treasure.


My final and perhaps mv best reason for not owning a computer is that I do not wish to fool myself. I disbelieve, and therefore strongly resent, the assertion that I or anybody else could write better or more easily with a computer than with a pencil. I do not see why I should not be as scientific about this as the next fellow: when somebody has used a computer to write work that is demonstrably better than Dante's, and when this better is demonstrably attributable to the use of a computer, then I will speak of computcr with a more respectful tone of voice, though I still will not buy one.


To make myself as plain as I can, I should give my standards for technological innovation in my own work. They are as follows:-


1. The new tool should be cheaper than the one it replaces.
2. It should be at least as small in scale as the one it replaces.
3. It should do work that is clearly and demonstrably better than the one it replaces.
4. It should use less energy than the one it replaces.
5. If possible, it should use some form of solar energy, such as that of the body.
6. It should be repairable by a person of ordinary intelligence, provided that he or she has the necessary tools.
7. It should be purchasable and repairable as near to home as possible.
8. It should come from a small, privately owned shop or store that will take it back for maintenance and repair.
9. It should not replace or disrupt anything good that already exists, and this includes family and community relationships. 


1987

Hideout of the Assassins

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
At least, till the Mongol Hoards took them out.


Hassan-i Sabbāh (Persianحسن صباحArabicحسن الصباح‎ Hassan aṣ-Ṣabbāḥ, c. 1034-1124) was a PersianNizārī Ismā'īlī missionary who converted a community in the late 11th century in the heart of the AlborzMountains of northern Iran. The place was called Alamut and was attributed to an ancient king of Daylam. He founded a group whose members are sometimes referred to as the Hashshashin.

Simple Machines

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Usually the term refers to the six classical simple machines which were defined by Renaissance scientists:[4]

They are the elementary "building blocks" of which all complicated machines are composed.[3][5]For example, wheels, levers, and pulleys are all used in the mechanism of a bicycle.

In themselves, three are composites of the other three.  The basic machines are the inclined plane, the lever, and the wheel.  The composite machines are the pulley (wheel & lever), the wedge (lever and plane), and screw (wheel and plane).

That said, in computers, the same basic breakdown happens (at least on the human level).  We have the building blocks of logic: AND (true if both are true), NOT (true if false), and OR (true if one is true), and the composite logical elements: XOR (true if one or the other, but not both, are true) and XNOR (true if one or the other, but not both, are false), however, it turns out that on the chip level, what would seem to be the final 'composites' NAND (true if "both are true" is false) *or* NOR (true if "either are true" is false) are the *actual* building blocks of logic chips.

Here's logic building with 'NAND':

NAND

This is a NAND gate; trivially, just a NAND gate is used to realise it:

Desired GateNAND Construction
Image:NAND ANSI Labelled.svgImage:NAND ANSI.svg
Truth Table
Input AInput BOutput Q
001
011
101
110

[edit]NOT

A NOT gate is made by joining the inputs of a NAND gate. Since a NAND gate is equivalent to an AND gate followed by a NOT gate, joining the inputs of a NAND gate leaves only the NOT part.

Desired GateNAND Construction
Image:NOT ANSI Labelled.svgImage:NOT from NAND.svg
Truth Table
Input AOutput Q
01
10

[edit]AND

An AND gate is made by following a NAND gate by a NOT gate as shown below. This gives a NOT NAND, i.e. AND.

Desired GateNAND Construction
Image:AND ANSI Labelled.svgImage:AND from NAND.svg
Truth Table
Input AInput BOutput Q
000
010
100
111

[edit]OR

If the truth table for a NAND gate is examined, it can be seen that if any of the inputs are 0, then the output will be 1. However to be an OR gate, if any input is 1, the output must also be 1. Therefore, if the inputs are inverted, any high input will trigger a high output.

Desired GateNAND Construction
Image:OR ANSI Labelled.svgImage:OR from NAND.svg
Truth Table
Input AInput BOutput Q
000
011
101
111

[edit]NOR

A NOR gate is simply an OR gate with an inverted output:

Desired GateNAND Construction
Image:NOR ANSI Labelled.svgImage:NOR from NAND.svg
Truth Table
Input AInput BOutput Q
001
010
100
110

[edit]XOR

An XOR gate is constructed similarly to an OR gate, except with an additional NAND gate inserted such that if both inputs are high, the inputs to the final NAND gate will also be high, and the output will be low. This effectively represents the formula (A OR B) AND (A NAND B).

Desired GateNAND Construction
Image:XOR ANSI Labelled.svgImage:XOR from NAND.svg
Truth Table
Input AInput BOutput Q
000
011
101
110

[edit]XNOR

An XNOR gate is simply an XOR gate with an inverted output:

Desired GateNAND Construction
Image:XNOR ANSI Labelled.svgImage:XNOR from NAND.svg
Truth Table
Input AInput BOutput Q
001
010
100
111


Hmmm....

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
I must have glossed over this story in class (or perhaps, it was just not listed in my required readings).

It's right between 'render unto Caesar' and 'which is the greatest Commandment?':

23 The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,

24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother:

26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.

27 And last of all the woman died also.

28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.

29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,

32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

Freaky Friday Redux

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Ok, it's admittedly an eight-minute setup, but the joke at the end is worth it, and the setup's pretty funny on it's own.


The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Nationwide Tax Protests
thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

I would also recommend the follow-up video at the end, with Brit John Oliver interviewing Tea Protestors.  There is an awful lot of indignation on the part of Mr. Oliver that these folks thought that the Obama administration compared to King George III.  After all, George *did* have thumbscrews, and he had them used, though one would have to wonder what kind of terror they inspired:

Thumbscrews from an ATX personal computer case

Lighthouse at Alexandria

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

It just boggles the mind to try to imagine the data storage capabilities.  I suppose you'd call it 'tetranery' (not binary, nor even trinary).  I wonder how many others they've yet overlooked?

New Nucleotide In DNA Could Revolutionize Epigenetics

ScienceDaily (Apr. 17, 2009) -- Anyone who studied a little genetics in high school has heard of adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine - the A, T, G and C that make up the DNA code. But those are not the whole story. The rise of epigenetics in the past decade has drawn attention to a fifth nucleotide, 5-methylcytosine (5-mC), that sometimes replaces cytosine in the famous DNA double helix to regulate which genes are expressed. And now there's a sixth: 5-hydroxymethylcytosine.

In experiments to be published online April 16 by Science, researchers reveal an additional character in the mammalian DNA code, opening an entirely new front in epigenetic research.

The work, conducted in Nathaniel Heintz's Laboratory of Molecular Biology at The Rockefeller University, suggests that a new layer of complexity exists between our basic genetic blueprints and the creatures that grow out of them. "This is another mechanism for regulation of gene expression and nuclear structure that no one has had any insight into," says Heintz, who is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. "The results are discrete and crystalline and clear; there is no uncertainty. I think this finding will electrify the field of epigenetics."

Genes alone cannot explain the vast differences in complexity among worms, mice, monkeys and humans, all of which have roughly the same amount of genetic material. Scientists have found that these differences arise in part from the dynamic regulation of gene expression rather than the genes themselves. Epigenetics, a relatively young and very hot field in biology, is the study of nongenetic factors that manage this regulation.

One key epigenetic player is DNA methylation, which targets sites where cytosine precedes guanine in the DNA code. An enzyme called DNA methyltransferase affixes a methyl group to cytosine, creating a different but stable nucleotide called 5-methylcytosine. This modification in the promoter region of a gene results in gene silencing.

Some regional DNA methylation occurs in the earliest stages of life, influencing differentiation of embryonic stem cells into the different cell types that constitute the diverse organs, tissues and systems of the body. Recent research has shown, however, that environmental factors and experiences, such as the type of care a rat pup receives from its mother, can also result in methylation patterns and corresponding behaviors that are heritable for several generations. Thousands of scientific papers have focused on the role of 5-methylcytosine in development.

The discovery of a new nucleotide may make biologists rethink their approaches to investigating DNA methylation. Ironically, the latest addition to the DNA vocabulary was found by chance during investigations of the level of 5-methylcytosine in the very large nuclei of Purkinje cells, says Skirmantas Kriaucionis, a postdoctoral associate in the Heintz lab, who did the research. "We didn't go looking for this modification," he says. "We just found it."

Kriaucionis was working to compare the levels of 5-methylcytosine in two very different but connected neurons in the mouse brain -- Purkinje cells, the largest brain cells, and granule cells, the most numerous and among the smallest. Together, these two types of cells coordinate motor function in the cerebellum. After developing a new method to separate the nuclei of individual cell types from one another, Kriaucionis was analyzing the epigenetic makeup of the cells when he came across substantial amounts of an unexpected and anomalous nucleotide, which he labeled 'x.'

It accounted for roughly 40 percent of the methylated cytosine in Purkinje cells and 10 percent in granule neurons. He then performed a series of tests on 'x,' including mass spectrometry, which determines the elemental components of molecules by breaking them down into their constituent parts, charging the particles and measuring their mass-to-charge ratio. He repeated the experiments more than 10 times and came up with the same result: x was 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, a stable nucleotide previously observed only in the simplest of life forms, bacterial viruses. A number of other tests showed that 'x' could not be a byproduct of age, DNA damage during the cell-type isolation procedure or RNA contamination. "It's stable and it's abundant in the mouse and human brain," Kriaucionis says. "It's really exciting."

What this nucleotide does is not yet clear. Initial tests suggested that it may play a role in demethylating DNA, but Kriaucionis and Heintz believe it may have a positive role in regulating gene expression as well. The reason that this nucleotide had not been seen before, the researchers say, is because of the methodologies used in most epigenetic experiments. Typically, scientists use a procedure called bisulfite sequencing to identify the sites of DNA methylation. But this test cannot distinguish between 5-hydroxymethylcytosine and 5-methylcytosine, a shortcoming that has kept the newly discovered nucleotide hidden for years, the researchers say. Its discovery may force investigators to revisit earlier work. The Human Epigenome Project, for example, is in the process of mapping all of the sites of methylation using bisulfite sequencing. "If it turns out in the future that (5-hydroxymethylcytosine and 5-methylcytosine) have different stable biological meanings, which we believe very likely, then epigenome mapping experiments will have to be repeated with the help of new tools that would distinguish the two," says Kriaucionis.

Providing further evidence for their case that 5-hydroxymethylcytosine is a serious epigenetic player, a second paper to be published in Science by an independent group at Harvard reveals the discovery of genes that produce enzymes that specifically convert 5-methylcytosine into 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. These enzymes may work in a way analogous to DNA methyltransferase, suggesting a dynamic system for regulating gene expression through 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. Kriaucionis and Heintz did not know of the other group's work, led by Anjana Rao, until earlier this month. "You look at our result, and the beautiful studies of the enzymology by Dr. Rao's group, and realize that you are at the tip of an iceberg of interesting biology and experimentation," says Heintz, a neuroscientist whose research has not focused on epigenetics in the past. "This finding of an enzyme that can convert 5-methylcytosine to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine establishes this new epigenetic mark as a central player in the field."

Kriaucionis is now mapping the sites where 5-hydroxymethylcytosine is present in the genome, and the researchers plan to genetically modify mice to under- or overexpress the newfound nucleotide in specific cell types in order to study its effects. "This is a major discovery in the field, and it is certain to be tied to neural function in a way that we can decipher," Heintz says.


Journal reference:

  1. Skirmantas Kriaucionis and Nathaniel Heintz. The Nuclear DNA Base 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine Is Present in Purkinje Neurons and the BrainScience, 2009; DOI:10.1126/science.1169786
Adapted from materials provided by Rockefeller University, viaEurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
Email or share this story:   
 APA

 MLA
Rockefeller University (2009, April 17). New Nucleotide In DNA Could Revolutionize Epigenetics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090416144639.htm

Jim Berkland is a retired geologist who worked many years for the U.S. Geological Survey. He was also the first County Geologist for Santa Clara County (in northern California) and was in that position for twenty-one years. He has published over fifty scientific papers. He has been a popular guest on many network news programs and talk shows on the subject of earthquake prediction. Berkland claims he has developed a method for predicting earthquakes, and on his web site and in a monthly newsletter, he lays out a detailed set of signs and precursors that he uses for his predictions. He also lists dozens of major earthquakes he claims to have predicted.

Berkland was suspended for 2 months from his Santa Clara County geology position in late October, 1989 after an article appeared in the Gilroy Dispatch (Gilroy, California) on October 13, one day before the start of Baseball's 1989 World Series. In an interview with the reporter, he made a prediction that a major earthquake would occur in the San Francisco Bay Area during the series. The Loma Prieta earthquake occurred onOctober 17, just before the start of the third game of the Series. Berkland claims that the government told him not to make any more predictions fearing mass panic.

Critics counter that the majority of other predictions he has made are much less specific than his 1989 prediction, and that he has since been unable to make a public prediction of that significance before an event.

Berkland predicted an earthquake for January 9-14, 2009 [1].

Hahahahaha

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Continue reading page ||2

Video: Which of these women is the most attractive?

Yeah, tell us all about it.


One has to wonder what might have caused this mass beaching?

For those of you who are going to point out that there were *machines* back then, though we don't have photographs, here's an engraving from 1577:



From the Wiki:

Species

Every year there may be beachings adding up to 2000 animals.[1] Although the majority of strandings will result in death, they pose no threat to the species as a whole. Of all of the species of cetaceans, only about 10 species are frequently involved in mass beachings, with a further 10 species rarely being involved. All of the frequently involved species are toothed whales (Odontocetes), meaning that none of the baleen whalesare regularly involved in beachings. These species share some characteristics which may explain why they beach. Body size does not normally affect the frequency, but both the animals' normal habitat and social organization do appear to influence their chances of coming ashore in large numbers. Odontocetes that normally inhabit deep waters and live in large, tightly knit groups are the most susceptible. They include the Sperm whale, a few species of Pilot and Orca whales, a few beaked whales and some oceanic dolphins. Solitary species are naturally excluded from mass strandings. Cetaceans that spend most of their time in shallow, coastal waters are almost never mass stranded, with porpoises being essentially immune.

...

"Follow-me" strandings

Another possibility is that a proportion of strandings may be caused by larger cetaceans following dolphins and porpoises into shallow coastal waters[citation needed]. The larger animals may be familiar with faster moving dolphins in their area and become habituated to following them. If an adverse combination of tidal flow and seabed topography is encountered, the larger species are at much higher risk of being trapped.

Sometimes it may work the other way. A recent example of this occurred when a local dolphin was followed out to open water by two Pygmy sperm whales that had become lost behind a sandbar at Mahia Beach, New Zealand.[6] The possibility of training dolphins to lead trapped whales out to sea is an intriguing one in areas where frequent mass strandings occur, such as New England or Florida.

An interesting observation is that pods of killer whales, predators of dolphins and porpoises, are very rarely stranded. There may be two explanations for this - firstly that heading for shallow waters may be a very effective anti-predator mechanism for dolphins and that the killer whales have learned not to take the risk, or else that the killer whales have learned how to operate in shallow waters, particularly in their pursuit of seals. The latter is certainly the case in Península Valdés, Argentina, where a particular pod of killer whales pursue seals up shelving gravel beaches to the edge of the littoral zone[citation needed]. The pursuing whales are occasionally partially thrust out of the sea by a combination of their own impetus and retreating water and have to wait for the next wave to take them back out.

According to Joseph Bigler,[1] the quotation first came from a certain Robert J. Hanlon as a submission for a book compilation of various jokes related to Murphy's law published in 1980 entitled Murphy's Law Book Two, More Reasons Why Things Go Wrong.[2]

A similar quotation appears in Robert A. Heinlein's 1941 short story "Logic of Empire" ("You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"); this was noticed in 1996 (five years before Bigler identified the Robert J. Hanlon citation) and first referenced in version 4.0.0 of the Jargon File,[3] with speculation that Hanlon's Razor might be a corruption of "Heinlein's Razor". "Heinlein's Razor" has since been defined as variations on Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don't rule out malice.[4] or ... but keep your eyes open.[citation needed] A variant, Grey's Law (influenced, no doubt, by Clarke's third law), posits "Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice."[citation needed]

Observations on the sway of human error over malice occur in various works. Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) mentions "...misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent." A probably apocryphal quote from Albert Einstein deals with the power of stupidity: "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe." Compare Schiller's "Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain." Asimov's novel The Gods Themselves was named after Schiller's quote. Similarly, Elbert Hubbard said, "Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped."[citations needed]

A similar epigram has been widely attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte ("Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence."). It is also attributed to William James among others.[citation needed]

A practical observation on the risks of stupidity was made by the German General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord in Truppenführung, 1933: "I divide my officers into four classes; the clever, the lazy, the industrious, and the stupid. Each officer possesses at least two of these qualities. Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for the highest staff appointments. Use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy however is for the very highest command; he has the temperament and nerves to deal with all situations. But whoever is stupid and industrious is a menace and must be removed immediately!"[5]

[edit]Cock-up theory

A common (and more laconicBritish English version, coined by Sir Bernard Ingham, is the saying "Cock-up before conspiracy". The full quotation given by Sir Bernard is "Many journalists have fallen for the conspiracy theory of government. I do assure you that they would produce more accurate work if they adhered to the cock-up theory."[6]

[edit]See also

30:22 Moreover Mar-Yah spoke to Mosha, saying, 30:23 "Also take fine spices: of liquid myrrh, five hundred shekels; and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, even two hundred and fifty; and of fragrant cane, two hundred and fifty; 30:24 and of cassia five hundred, after the shekel of the sanctuary; and a hin of olive oil. 30:25 You shall make it a holy anointing oil, a perfume compounded after the art of the perfumer: it shall be a holy anointing oil. 

It's from the Peshitta (Syriac Bible)

BTW, this is specifically the same heresy that divides the ZZCO from the Christians (the understanding that all existence is the incarnation of God, which they are just starting to apprehend).  From the wiki:


The most plausible theory of the origin of the name Druze is that it derived from the name of Anushtakīn ad-Darazī, one of the early leaders of the faith. However, the Druze consider ad-Darazī a heretic[17] who practiced ghuluww (Arabic, "exaggeration"), which refers to the belief held by some Islamic sects that God was incarnated in human beings, especially 'Ali and his descendants. Ad-Darazī was a dā'ī ("missionary") who first preached an unorthodox version of the faith to outsiders in 1016. He claimed to be the true leader of the faithful rather than Hamza ibn 'Ali (the appointed leader) and also that al-Hakim and his ancestors were incarnations of God.

Although he is considered a renegade by the Unitarian community, the name "Druze" is still used for identification and for historical reasons. Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah executed ad-Darazi in 1018 for his teachings.[9][17]

Lovely Tie In

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Ok, so I'm looking for the *other* nutjob faction over in Yisrael (the Yisrael Beiteinu party).

These guys are what are called 'revisionist' Zionists.  The Likud want only the land west of the Jordan, so they are 'moderate' in this. The YB's want this:


The British Mandate of Palestine comprised Palestine(today's Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza strip) andTransjordan (today's Kingdom of Jordan). Revisionist Zionists claimed this entire territory as part of the Jewish state. Therefore, for many decades after the creation ofIsrael they did not recognise the existence of Jordan, a claim formally dropped only in the 1990s.
Now, it's unlikely that they will manage to keep Jordan.
That said, the interesting thing is that this group produces a number of 'great' Yisraelis, specifically, the ones who came to light for their work with Irgun (Jewish death squads), like Menachem Begin, who (as an Irgun leader) shares responsibility for the Deir Yassin massacre, which brings us to Albert Einstein's letter:

The Einstein Letter

Albert Einstein and 27 other prominent Jewish intellectuals (including Hannah Arendt and Sidney Hook wrote a letter attacking Menachen Begin's fundraising visit to the United States which was published in the New York Times on December 4, 1948.[38] Specifically condemned was the participation of Begin's group Irgun in the attack on Deir Yassin:

"Attack on Arab Village: A shocking example was their behavior in the Arab village of Deir Yassin. This village, off the main roads and surrounded by Jewish lands, had taken no part in the war, and had even fought off Arab bands who wanted to use the village as their base. On April 9 (The New York Times), terrorist bands attacked this peaceful village, which was not a military objective in the fighting, killed most of its inhabitants - 240 men, women and children - and kept a few of them alive to parade as captives through the streets of Jerusalem. Most of the Jewish community was horrified at the deed, and the Jewish Agency sent a telegram of apology to King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan. But the terrorists, far from being ashamed of their act, were proud of this massacre, publicized it widely, and invited all the foreign correspondents present in the country to view the heaped corpses and the general havoc at Deir Yassin."

The letter ends with the warning:

"The discrepancies between the bold claims now being made by Begin and his party and their record of past performance in Palestine bear the imprint of no ordinary political party. This is the unmistakable stamp of a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs, and British alike), and misprepresentation are means, and a "Leader State" is the goal."

Altalena and the War of Independence

Altalena on fire after being shelled near Tel-Aviv

As the Israeli War of Independence broke, Irgun fighters joined forces with the Haganah and Lehimilitia in fighting the Arab forces. Notable operations in which they took part were the battles ofJaffa and the Jordanian siege on the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem. One such operation was the Deir Yassin massacre of Palestinian villagers in April 1948. The day after the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948, Begin broadcast a speech on radio declaring that the Irgun was finally moving out of its underground status[13]. On June 1 Begin signed an agreement with the provisional government headed by David Ben Gurion, where the Irgun agreed to formally disband and to integrate its force with the newly formed Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

However, tensions with the IDF persisted, culminating in the confrontation over the Altalenacargo ship, which secretly delivered weapons to the Irgun in June 1948. The government demanded that all the weapons be handed over to it unconditionally, in accordance with the agreement regarding the integration of the Irgun into the IDF. However Begin refused to comply. Rather than negotiating, Ben-Gurion was determined to exercise the state's authority over military affairs. A violent confrontation between the IDF and members of the Irgun occurred and Ben Gurion eventually ordered the IDF to take the ship by gunfire, and it burnt off the shore of Tel Aviv. Begin was on board as the ship was being shelled. In a speech later he ordered his men not to retaliate in an attempt to prevent the crisis from spiraling into a civil war. For years later Begin saw the Altalena Affair as a defining moment and viewed the government actions against the Irgun as a great injustice [14].

One must always know what one's enemy is, or face the possibility of surprise and defeat.

In the case of Mr. Mitchell, one has to wonder whether he's read the Likud Party Platform, as it makes the discussion of the 'two state' solution so much more clear (unlikely, but quite clearly so).

Particularly this section:

Self-Rule

The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.

The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state. Thus, for example, in matters of foreign affairs, security, immigration and ecology, their activity shall be limited in accordance with imperatives of Israel's existence, security and national needs.

In Jerusalem, Mitchell promotes two states

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The Palestinians should recognize Israel as a Jewish state before Israel commits to peace talks, Benjamin Netanyahu said.

"Israel expects the Palestinians to first recognize Israel as a Jewish state before talking about two states for two peoples," Israel's prime minister told George Mitchell, President Obama's Middle East envoy, during a meeting in Jerusalem on Thursday evening, a senior official in Netanyahu's office told Israeli media.

In meetings with Israeli officials, Mitchell said that U.S. policy favors the creation of a Palestinian state.

Mitchell met with Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, on Thursday following a meeting with President Shimon Peres and a Wednesday evening meeting with Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Mitchell also met with Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni.

"I reiterated to the foreign minister that U.S. policy favors, with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a two-state solution which will have a Palestinian state living in peace alongside the Jewish state of Israel," Mitchell told reporters after meeting with Lieberman, who has rejected Israeli-Palestinian negotiations begun in 2007 at Annapolis, Md.

The Israeli government will have to formulate new ideas and a new approach to achieve peace with the Palestinians and Arab states in the region, Lieberman was quoted as telling Mitchell, in a statement released from the foreign minister's office. Lieberman also said Israel would work to improve the economic situation for the Palestinians.

"We anticipate close cooperation and coordination with the U.S. administration," he said.

Lieberman raised the issue of the Iranian threat as a central problem for Israel and the entire region, as demonstrated by the arrest of terrorists in Egypt last week. "Iran with nuclear weapons and long-range missiles; Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip; and Hezbollah in Lebanon - this is the real problem. If we're looking for a stable solution to the Palestinian problem, we must first of all stop the intensification and expansion of the Iranian threat," he told Mitchell, according to his office.

Mitchell met with Peres earlier on Thursday. "There is an opening point for promoting the political process.  No door to peace has been closed and I believe that this year is a decisive year in the Middle East.  We do not have time to waste," Peres told Mitchell.

Late Thursday night, Mitchell issued a statement through the State Department. "Special Envoy Mitchell held a series of meetings with senior Israeli officials on April 15 and 16," it said. "They discussed the full range of issues. Special Envoy Mitchell looks forward to working with Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government toward comprehensive peace."

Earlier, Robert Wood, the State Department spokesman, said Mitchell made it clear that the Obama administration was still committed to a two-state solution and said sides should refrain from steps that "further inflame tensions in the region."


Israel unlikely to cooperate in U.N. Gaza probe

(JTA) -- Israel is unlikely to cooperate with an investigation into war crimes during the Gaza war because it does not trust the U.N. agency performing the probe.

The Associated Press quoted an Israeli government official saying that the Jewish state is "very unlikely" to participate in an investigation by the U.N. Human Rights Council and that Israel sent its reponse to the agency's request last week. Israel believes the council is biased against the Jewish state.

Gaza's Hamas-led government has said it would work with the council on the investigation, which was initiated in January, not long after Israel's military operation in Gaza ended. The investigation will be led by Richard Goldstone, a Jewish South African judge and former chief U.N. prosecutor of war crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

Goldstone said he only accepted the position after the council broadened the scope of the assignment to include possible crimes by Hamas as well as Israel.

Bassem Abu Rahmeh isn't news, and doesn't get a wiki page like:

  • Tristan Anderson - American activist shot and severely injured by IDF in Ni'lin, March 13, 2009.
  • Brian Avery - American ISM volunteer shot and severely disfigured in Jenin, April 5, 2003.
  • Caoimhe Butterly - Irish ISM volunteer shot and injured by IDF in Jenin, November 22, 2002.
  • Iain Hook - British aid worker shot and killed by IDF in Jenin, November 22, 2002.
  • Tom Hurndall - British ISM volunteer fatally shot by an IDF sniper in Gaza, April 11, 2003.
  • James Miller - British film-maker shot and killed by the IDF in Gaza, May 2, 2003.
  • Rachel Corrie - American ISM volunteer run over and killed by an IDF bulldozer in Gaza, March 16, 2003

Barrier protester killed

(JTA) -- Israeli troops killed a Palestinian during a riot at the West Bank separation barrier.

Hospital officials and protest organizers said Bassem Abu Rahmeh, 31, died Friday after being hit in the chest by a tear gas canister in Bil'in, a West Bank village sliced in two by the barrier.

Troops were using tear gas and stun grenades to quell stone-throwing.


No, there's NOT enough

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Merideth Smith, from the Mendocino Cafe in Mendocino was one of the nitwits who listened to the lame-brain, Rosalind Peterson (the woman with the nefarious 'map inset').

She's on the air right now, warning us about the "massive oceanic death" associated with the 'expansion' of the Navy's test area (which she erroneously stated included northern Mendocino County).

At least she gave a link that let me get the right spelling for the nitwit.

http://californiaskywatch.com

She's a contrailer, too.

2008 Parade Magzine Snapshot Raises Questions

Now, for those of you that are unaware of the mechanics of cloud formation, there are invisible 'waves' of air which, at their low-pressure points, and capable of cloud formation, while the high pressure points absorb more moisture, inhibiting them.  Essentially, what you are looking at in a 'cloud' is simply the low-pressure areas in the air.  As you might have noted, there's normally a 'border' (clouds have 'linings' whether they're silver or not).

If you put a hot moisture source, such as human breath or jet exhaust, into a cold environment, the air that was warm turns cloudy.  If you do the same in warm air, it doesn't. 

If your jet is riding right at the border between a warm and cool layer, it will leave contrails in the cold area, but not in the warm one.

Anyway, Merideth and Govinda are on the air right now doing the "There's enough for everyone" chant (to lull them into belief).

Anyway, no, there's not 'enough' for everyone.  That's apparent.  There's not been 'enough' for some decades now.  All you have to do is look at the rivers and lakes to see that there's not even half 'enough' (since 'enough' would indicate a surplus somewhere).

But no one wants to address the actual issue (four billion surplus humans, at least).

'Enough' for everyone would mean that we all got to live where we wanted to and that we all had food, water, medical care, education to suit our whimsy.

All of us getting to have rice and tofu forever is *NOT* enough, sorry, but it's not even adequate, let alone being 'enough'.

But then, some of us who have these really intense desires for other goals need to think there is, or else they might have different conclusions to come to.

And Govinda was right, supermarkets (grocery stores) are a somewhat new concept.

However, there has *always* been a market.  That's what they called it before they called it the 'super' market.  The wiki actually makes a point that the real improvement that the grocery store made was the 'self-serve' aspect (the only interaction that the customer had previously was with clerks who filled orders).

The difference, as I understand it, between city and rural life has long been that distinction.

In the rural areas, one raises food, and brings it to market.

In city areas, one goes to the market to get food that the rural people bring in.

In *real* cities, this is a place (like the Farmers Market in Dallas, TX). 

In faux cities (incorporated rural areas), one often still sees some kind of 'market day' phenomenon (ours here in Ukiah is Saturday).

Dallas Farmers Market
Rated 4.0 out of 5.010 reviews - Write a review
1010 S Pearl Expy
DallasTX 75201
(214) 939-2808
dallasfarmersmarket.org

Get directions: To here - From here
View Larger Map
 

ONE FUCKIN' THIRTY

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
I always call this 129 for some lysdexic reason:

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
     And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
     As any she belied with false compare.

Wall of Iron Barz

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Music producer Phil Spector was found guilty Monday of second-degree murder in the February 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson.

Jurors also found Spector personally used the firearm while committing the crime at his Alhambra mansion. Sentencing has been set for May 29.

Second-degree murder carries a penalty of 15 years to life in prison. The firearm enhancement adds three, four or 10 years in prison, according to the district attorney's office.

The judge denied bail and Spector, wearing a fire-engine red tie and pocket square, was taken into custody after the verdict was announced. He also wore a "Barack Obama Rocks" button on his left suit lapel.

read more?

Cuba Will Continue to Resist

By FIDEL CASTRO 
http://www.counterpunch.org/castro04142009.html

The U.S. administration announced through CNN that Obama would be visiting Mexico this week, in the first part of a trip that will take him to Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, where he will be within four days taking part in the Summit of the Americas. He has announced the relief of some hateful restrictions imposed by Bush to Cubans living in the United States regarding their visits to relatives in Cuba. When questions were raised on whether such prerogatives extended to other American citizens the response was that the latter were not authorized.

But not a word was said about the harshest of measures: the blockade. This is the way a truly genocidal measure is piously called, one whose damage cannot be calculated only on the basis of its economic effects, for it constantly takes human lives and brings painful suffering to our people.

Numerous diagnostic equipment and crucial medicines --made in  Europe, Japan or any other country-- are not available to our patients  if they carry U.S. components or software.

The U.S. companies producing goods or offering services anywhere  in the world should apply these restrictions to Cuba, since they are extraterritorial measures.

An influential Republican Senator, Richard Lugar, and some others from his same party in Congress, as well as a significant number of his Democratic peers, favor the removal of the blockade. The conditions exist for Obama to use his talents in a constructive policy that could put an end to the one that has failed for almost half a century.

On the other hand, our country, which has resisted and is willing to resist whatever it takes, neither blames Obama for the atrocities of other U.S. administrations nor doubts his sincerity and his wishes to change the United States policy and image. We understand that he waged a very difficult battle to be elected, despite centuries-old prejudices.

Taking note of this reality, the President of the State Council of Cuba has expressed his willingness to have a dialogue with Obama  and to normalize relations with the United States, on the basis  of the strictest respect for the sovereignty of our country.

At 2:30 p.m., the head of the Interests Section of Cuba in Washington, Jorge Bolaños, was summoned to the State Department  by Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Shannon. He did not say  anything different from what had been indicated by the CNN.

At 3:15 p.m. a lengthy press conference started. The substance of what was said there is reflected in the words of Dan Restrepo, Presidential Adviser for Latin America.

He said that today President Obama had instructed to take certain measures, certain steps, to reach out to the Cuban people in  support of their wishes to live with respect for human rights and to determine their own destiny and that of the country.

He added that the president had instructed the secretaries of State, Commerce and Treasury to undertake the necessary actions to  remove all restrictions preventing persons to visit their relatives in the Island and sending remittances. He also said that the president had issued instructions for steps to be taken allowing the free flow of information in Cuba, and between those living in Cuba and the  rest of the world, and to facilitate delivering humanitarian resources directly to the Cuban people.

He also said that with these measures, aimed at closing the gap between divided Cuban families and promoting the free flow of information and humanitarian assistance to the Cuban people, President Obama was making an effort to fulfill the objectives  he set out during his campaign and after taking on his position.

Finally, he indicated that all those who believe in the basic democratic values hope for a Cuba where the human, political, economic and basic rights of the entire people are respected.  And he added that President Obama feels that these measures  will help to make this objective a reality. The president, he said,  encourages everyone who shares these wishes to continue to  decidedly support the Cuban people.

At the end of the press conference, the adviser candidly confessed that "all of this is for Cuba's freedom."

Cuba does not applaud the ill-named Summits of the Americas, where our nations do not debate on equal footing. If they were of any use, it would be to make critical analyses of policies that divide our peoples, plunder our resources and hinder our development.

Now, the only thing left is for Obama to try to persuade all of the Latin American presidents attending the conference that the  blockade is harmless.

Cuba has resisted and it will continue to resist; it will never beg for alms. It will go on forward holding its head up high and cooperating with the fraternal peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean; with or without Summits of the Americas; whether or not the president of the United States is Obama, a man or a woman, a black or a white citizen. 

 
Iran has condemned the latest Israeli threats to "strike" Iran as Tel Aviv releases news of its biggest ever joint war games with the US. 

In a letter to the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee urged the body to exercise its power and put an immediate stop to what he called "unlawful and insolent" Israeli threats against UN member states. 

Israeli President Shimon Peres launched into a tirade against Tehran in an interview this week with Kol Hai Radio and threatened Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

He said if the Iranian president does not act during speculated talks with the US to soften his stance, "we'll strike him." 

Peres also confirmed that Tel Aviv "will" launch its much-predicted military strike against Iran, should the alleged overtures sought by Israel's staunch ally Washington fail to force an end to uranium enrichment in Iran. 

The Israeli president refused to reveal details of the military plan to take out Iran's nuclear infrastructure, but confirmed that Israel would not launch a unilateral strike against the country. 

"We certainly cannot go it alone, without the US, and we definitely can't go against the US. This would be unnecessary," Peres explained. 

Israel, the sole possessor of an atomic arsenal in the Middle East, accuses Iran of marching toward nuclear weapon capability and has used the allegation to justify preparations to launch air strikes on the country's power plants. 

Iran, however, says it has lived up to its commitments under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and should thus be allowed the right to a peaceful nuclear program. 

While the UN nuclear watchdog has confirmed the non-diversion of nuclear material at Iranian nuclear facilities, Israeli media outlets have shed light on Israeli plans to launch the largest ever joint US war games in the occupied territories. 

The military maneuvers will focus on countering possible retaliatory rockets launched from Iranian soil in the event the Israeli plans to strike the country are put into action. 

In his letter, Khazaee said, "Officials of the Zionist regime [Israel] have repeatedly threatened to resort to violence against the Islamic Republic. These threats, blatant violations of international law and the UN Charter, are repeated with inaction on behalf of the Security Council." 

According to the Iranian UN ambassador, the lack of UN action against Israeli echelons that see justification in carrying out "criminal and terrorist acts" against independent countries only emboldens Tel Aviv. 

My Replacement Monitor

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
My Westinghouse went south, and I had to replace it.  This is the one that came:


Repost from April 1, 2007

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Who Knew?

 have been researching horticultural techniques since becoming a hyrdoponic gardener. There are lots of little things which the dirt has naturally that you have to artificially supplement, like (in my most recent case) magnesium. 

It was kind of funny that giving a laxative (epsom salts--magnesium sulfate heptahydrate) to the plants would cure them of their recent ills. They don't look consitpated.

Anyway, it was through researching these little tricks of the hydroponic trade that I became aware of a threat that goes by another name.

If your plants are wilted, you can apply a liberal dose of hydrogen hydroxide and they will perk right up. It tells you this in most of these books on hyrdoponic gardening.

But did you know that hydrogen hydroxide goes by another name? 

It's also known as Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO). It was through searching for plant wilting symptoms and treatments that I ran across this fact (through a DHMO awareness web site). 

But even if you know it as hyrdronium hyrdoxide, or even hyrdric acid, it's still the same stuff.

Anyway, it can kill you, and if you don't wear protective clothing and use proper quarantines, it can get all over everything. 

This stuff even eats through cast iron!

Here's the facts, from the DHMO website.

Here's a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for DHMO, that lists the proper precautions to take when working with it.

Don't be fooled by those astroturf style 'grassroots' organizations that are just fronts for DHMO interests (notice they call it 'hydrogen hydroxide').

The worst part of this is that many people unknowingly consume this chemical almost every day. I kid you not, it's everwhere.

Marilyn Chambers dead at 56

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Photo
1 of 1Full Size

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Porn star Marilyn Chambers, who made waves in the 1970s by having screen sex with an African-American, has been found dead at her Los Angeles home at the age of 56, coroner's officials said on Monday.

The Los Angeles coroner's office said an autopsy would be carried out to determine the cause of her death late on Sunday night.

Chambers, whose real name was Marilyn Taylor, broke into the adult film industry by appearing in the 1972 film "Behind the Green Door," which was among the first pornographic films released widely in the United States to attract mainstream attention.

The adult film caused a stir in part because Chambers was seen having sex with African-American porn star Johnny Keyes.

Chambers made more than 25 porn movies, trading on her earlier role as the blonde cover girl on the Ivory Snow soap box, where she posed holding a baby under the tag line "99 & 44/100% pure".

She also made several films with late porn star John Holmes, who died of AIDS complications in 1988, and she had flings with careers in music and politics. Chambers ran for U.S. vice president in 2004 on the Personal Choice Party ticket and released the disco single "Benihana" in 1976.

Chambers had a bit part in the 1970 Barbra Streisand film "The Owl and the Pussycat," and starred in the 1977 David Cronenberg horror movie "Rabid." But after establishing herself as a pornographic film star, she was never able to break into mainstream films.

Aaargh!

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Somali pirates have accused European firms of dumping toxic waste off the Somali coast and are demanding an $8m ransom for the return of a Ukranian ship they captured, saying the money will go towards cleaning up the waste.

The ransom demand is a means of "reacting to the toxic waste that has been continually dumped on the shores of our country for nearly 20 years", Januna Ali Jama, a spokesman for the pirates, based in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, said.

"The Somali coastline has been destroyed, and we believe this money is nothing compared to the devastation that we have seen on the seas."

The pirates are holding the MV Faina, a Ukrainian ship carrying tanks and military hardware, off Somalia's northern coast.

According to the International Maritime Bureau, 61 attacks by pirates have been reported since the start of the year.

While money is the primary objective of the hijackings, claims of the continued environmental destruction off Somalia's coast have been largely ignored by the regions's maritime authorities.

Dumping allegations

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy for Somalia confirmed to Al Jazeera the world body has "reliable information" that European and Asian companies are dumping toxic waste, including nuclear waste, off the Somali coastline.

"I must stress however, that no government has endorsed this act, and that private companies and individuals acting alone are responsible," he said

The pirates are holding the MV Faina off Somalia's northern coast [Reuters]
Allegations of the dumping of toxic waste, as well as illegal fishing, have circulated since the early 1990s.

But evidence of such practices literally appeared on the beaches of northern Somalia when the tsunami of 2004 hit the country.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) reported the tsunami had washed up rusting containers of toxic waste on the shores of Puntland.

Vaisakhi

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Vaisakhi, in April, began as a Hindu festival of thankgiving but for Sikhs, marks the founding of the Khalsa in 1699. Those ready to be initiated into the Khalsa are usually baptized on this day, and the Sikh flag is replaced.

"Houston, we've had a problem."

not

"Houston, we have a problem."
Assume, for the moment that the extreme right-wingers in Israel pull back and stop the war, set the lines back where they were, and really do try to live at peace, and do.

And say the Palestinians accept this.

So then, we're back to the standard invasion of the Holy Land (tourists).

Given that you are more likely than not on one side of that line to find lodgings with someone who finds you (as goyim) an inferior life form, smarter than a chimpanzee, but still not quite human, or on the other side of the line with an equal (roughly), which side do you stay on?

I'm guessing that the only ones who really will stay on the blue side of that border are the Jews and Hindus (Polytheists aren't as welcome on the other side of the line).
Clark University canceled a campus talk scheduled for later this month by controversial Holocaust scholar Norman Finkelstein, saying his presence "would invite controversy and not dialogue or understanding," and would conflict with a similar event scheduled around the same time.

The Clark University Students for Palestinian Rights, a student-run group on the Worcester campus, had arranged for Finkelstein to speak on April 21, said Tom MacMillan, the group's president. School administrators, however, contend the topic and the timing conflict with a similar university-sponsored event.

In a letter to the university's campus newspaper, Clark's president, John Bassett, wrote: "The university remains committed to inviting a wide range of speakers to encourage diversity of opinions on controversial topics. My decision was predicated on its untimely and unfortunate scheduling."

Finkelstein's address would conflict with a similar conference hosted by the university's Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, scheduled for April 23-26, two days after Finkelstein's speech, Bassett said in his letter. That conference could draw Holocaust scholars who MacMillan said may disagree with Finkelstein.

Although Bassett wrote that he did not believe that students intended Finkelstein to be an affront to the conference, he said he believed it could be viewed that way.

"It is possible that our understanding of the Middle East conflicts would be enriched by conversations with Professor Finkelstein," Bassett said in the letter. "It is my judgement, however, that having Professor Finkelstein speak on the same evening as our planned conference would only invite controversy and not dialogue or understanding."

John Foley, assistant secretary at Clark, declined to comment when reached late last night. Jane Salerno, a university spokeswoman, deferred comment to a later date.

Finkelstein agreed to the engagement in February, and the student group received funding from a variety of other campus organizations to help pay his speaking fee.

The dispute came to the attention of college administrators after Hillel, a Jewish campus group, objected to Finkelstein's scheduled appearance.

Bassett met with MacMillan, two other members of the group, and a handful of other campus administrators, including public safety personnel, on Monday to discuss Finkelstein's speech, MacMillan said.

At that meeting, the administration suggested that as many as six uniformed or plain-clothes security officers attend Finkelstein's speech, in case the forum became violent, MacMillan said.

Finkelstein has been the center of controversy in the past. In June 2007, DePaul University in Chicago denied Finkelstein's bid for tenure after a feud with Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz escalated when Dershowitz publicly opposed Finkelstein's tenure application.

Finkelstein asserted in his book "Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History" that Israel uses accusations of anti-Semitism to deflect criticism, a response to Dershowitz's book "The Case for Israel."

Clark's decision to deny Finkelstein's speech comes less than a month after Boston College made a similar move, barring William Ayers, a University of Chicago professor and a former member of the Weather Underground, from speaking on campus at the request of a student group there.

We know that if California legalised and taxed marijuana (like FDR did with beer), it would immediately collect considerable revenue, and also save the money being wasted on the unwinnable "war on some drugs". 


We also know that Ah-nold lacks the courage to advocate this. 


My question is, would legalisation solve all of California's fiscal problems for the foreseeable future, or would any more work need to get done?

Clarification added 1 month ago:

Many thanks to everyone who answered or otherwise commented thus far. I should clarify that my question was not whether pot smokers ought to be stoned or beheaded, along with fornicators and infidels; but whether legalising and taxing marijuana could solve California's fiscal problems. 
I found that the good folks from California NORML have done the number 

crunching:http://canorml.org/background/CA_legalization2.html 


Meanwhile, Arnold scored another political victory, ramming his budget thru; and assemblyman Tom Ammiano seeks to legalise marijuana 

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2009/02/get_up_stand_up_ammiano_introd.php 

- I hope he succeeds! 


As Ana et al point out, legalising sex workers and gambling makes sense too. Why should a California resident looking to patronise a legal brothel or a casino have to visit Nevada instead of spending money right in California?

Clarification added 21 days ago:

I'm going to re-open this question in view of 
1 a good article in the Time magazine 

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1884956,00.html seeking to answer the same question "Can Marijuana Help Rescue California's Economy?" 


2 Obama's Attorney General change of course 

http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1886284,00.html "AG Signals Shift in Marijuana Policy" which particularly affects California.

Clarification added 18 days ago:

A very interesting piece by Jeffrey Miron from Harvard University 
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/03/24/miron.legalization.drugs/index.html

Clarification added 8 days ago:

Joe Klein chimes in: 
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1889021,00.html

Fourth dollar

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

The 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar banknote (1014 dollars), 
equal to 1027 pre-2006 dollars 
(or, as pictured, three large rocks  ;)

On February 2, 2009, the RBZ announced that a further 12 zeros were to be taken off the currency, with 1,000,000,000,000 (third) Zimbabwe dollars being exchanged for 1 new (fourth) dollar.[21] New banknotes are to be introduced with a face value of Z$1, Z$5, Z$10, Z$20, Z$50, Z$100 and Z$500. [22] The banknotes of the fourth dollar are to circulate alongside the third dollar, which will remain legal tender until 30 June 2009.[23]The new currency code was ZWL.[4]

The Zimbabwean dollar is now largely irrelevant with the economy being almost completely dollarised[24]. Even the national postal service, Zimpost is said to be charging customers postage in US Dollars, even though some of the stamps are in Zimbabwean Dollar denomination.

Zimbabwe finance minister, Tendai Biti, said in his first budget report, "The death of the Zimbabwe dollar is a reality we have to live with. Since October 2008 our national currency has become moribund."[25]

Memory lane

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Thomas Cullen Davis (born 22 September 1933 in Fort WorthTexas[1]) was an American oil heir. He was arrested for, and later acquitted, of the murders of his step-daughter and his estranged wife's boyfriend, then hiring a hitman to kill his estranged wife and a judge.

In August 1976, Davis was charged with the murder of his wife's boyfriend, Stan Farr, and her daughter, Andrea Wilborn. Davis' wife, Priscilla Davis, had filed for divorce in 1974, but in 1976 the divorce proceedings were still ongoing and the divorce had not been made official.[2] Farr and Wilborn had been shot dead, and Davis' wife Priscilla Davis injured, by a gunman who entered their home in Fort Worth on 2 August 1976.[3] In November 1977, after what has been called "one of the most expensive murder investigations and trials in Texas history,"[4] a jury found Davis not guilty.[5] The children of Stan Farr later sued Davis for wrongful death and were awarded $250,000 in a settlement.[citation needed]

In 2004, Billy Vickers, a man sentenced to death in an unrelated case, claimed that he had been the one who murdered Farr and Wilborn. [6]

In 1978, Davis was arrested again, this time for allegedly hiring a hitman to murder his wife Priscilla, as well as the judge overseeing their ongoing divorce litigation.[7] The case hinged around a tape-recorded conversation between Davis and an undercover employee posing as a hitman, during which Davis was alleged to have asked the undercover employee to murder his wife; this trial, Texas v. Davis, has been called one of the first uses of forensic discourse analysis of tape-recorded evidence in a legal setting.[8] A discourse analyst testified that Davis' words in the tape did not constitute solicitation of murder;[8] and Davis was ultimately acquitted.[9]

By Scott Roxborough 

BERLIN (Hollywood Reporter) - A Dutch TV jury has found Osama bin Laden not guilty of the September 11 attacks. 

In the conclusion Wednesday night to the show "Devil's Advocate" on Dutch public broadcaster Nederland 2, the jury of two men and three women, along with the studio audience, ruled that there was no proof bin Laden was the mastermind behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001. 

The Netherlands, home to "Big Brother" creator Endemol, is known for being on the cutting edge of format-based television. But even for Dutch standards, "Devil's Advocate," from Amsterdam production house AVRO, pushes the envelope. 

The show features star defense attorney Gerard Spong standing up for some of the world's worst criminals. 

In the latest show, Spong was able to convince the jury that bin Laden's connection to September 11 was a product of "Western propaganda." The jury also ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove bin Laden was the real head of terrorist network al-Qaida. The jury did rule, however, that bin Laden is a "terrorist who has misused Islam." 

The show is certain to provide further ammunition in the already heated Dutch debate over immigration and the country's large Muslim minority. The Netherlands saw a sharp rise in anti-immigration and anti-Islamic sentiment after the 2004 murder of Dutch director Theo Van Gogh by a Muslim extremist. 

Spong has been at the center of the debate, supporting legal action against anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders. 

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters) 
04/10/09 11:17 © Copyright Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of Reuters Ltd. 

Now, That's Retirement!

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
read it all

If you hadn't caught it in the movie, "The Sound of Music", Georg von Trapp was a commissioned officer in the Austrian *NAVY*.

Austria had been a landlocked country for well over a decade when the movie starts.

Anyway, I found a number of discrepancies between the movie and real-life versions reading the actual story of Maria von Trapp et. al.

Here's some tidbits:

Fact from Fiction

While The Sound of Music was generally based on the first section of Maria's book The Story of the Trapp Family Singers (published in 1949), there were many alterations and omissions.

  • Maria came to the von Trapp family in 1926 as a tutor for one of the children, Maria, who was recovering from scarlet fever, not as governess to all the children.
  • Maria and Georg married in 1927, 11 years before the family left Austria, not right before the Nazi takeover of Austria.
  • Maria did not marry Georg von Trapp because she was in love with him. As she said in her autobiography Maria, she fell in love with the children at first sight, not their father. When he asked her to marry him, she was not sure if she should abandon her religious calling but was advised by the nuns to do God's will and marry Georg. "I really and truly was not in love. I liked him but didn't love him. However, I loved the children, so in a way I really married the children.  . . . [B]y and by I learned to love him more than I have ever loved before or after."
  • There were 10, not 7 von Trapp children.
  • The names, ages, and sexes of the children were changed.
  • The family was musically inclined before Maria arrived, but she did teach them to sing madrigals.
  • Georg, far from being the detached, cold-blooded patriarch of the family who disapproved of music, as portrayed in the first half of The Sound of Music, was actually a gentle, warmhearted parent who enjoyed musical activities with his family. While this change in his character might have made for a better story in emphasizing Maria's healing effect on the von Trapps, it distressed his family greatly.
  • The family did not secretly escape over the Alps to freedom in Switzerland, carrying their suitcases and musical instruments. As daughter Maria said in a 2003 interview printed in Opera News, "We did tell people that we were going to America to sing. And we did not climb over mountains with all our heavy suitcases and instruments. We left by train, pretending nothing."  
  • The von Trapps traveled to Italy, not Switzerland. Georg was born in Zadar (now in Croatia), which at that time was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Zadar became part of Italy in 1920, and Georg was thus an Italian citizen, and his wife and children as well. The family had a contract with an American booking agent when they left Austria. They contacted the agent from Italy and requested fare to America.
  • Instead of the fictional Max Detweiler, pushy music promoter, the von Trapps' priest, the Reverend Franz Wasner, acted as their musical director for over 20 years.  
  • Though she was a caring and loving person, Maria wasn't always as sweet as the fictional Maria. She tended to erupt in angry outbursts consisting of yelling, throwing things, and slamming doors. Her feelings would immediately be relieved and good humor restored, while other family members, particularly her husband, found it less easy to recover. In her 2003 interview, the younger Maria confirmed that her stepmother "had a terrible temper. . . . And from one moment to the next, you didn't know what hit her. We were not used to this. But we took it like a thunderstorm that would pass, because the next minute she could be very nice."

Active Tolerance

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Many people are passively tolerant.  That is, they begrudgingly accept other people's differences.

I advocate active tolerance.  That is, not just accepting other people's difference, but expecting (demanding?) it.  

If everyone were just like me it would be rather boring, I suspect.

Even more so, I would think, if we were all like you, gentle reader.

That said, the point of this post is not tolerance, but it's anthesis.

The passively tolerant are commonly also tolerant of intolerance, since they incorporate the mindset of the intolerant, while suppressing that mindset in order to 'get along', and in some cases, the intolerant may be expressing the very suppressed internal intolerance that the passively tolerant are not voicing.

So the sensible thing for the actively tolerant people to do is to stand up to intolerance (essentially, not tolerating intolerance).

This will cause some distress in the passively tolerant, due to cognitive dissonance.

And that's the point (shaking this system up, and fixing it).

It doesn't really matter to me whether someone (for example) beats up gay people or simply donates to Prop H8, or whether they merely defend speaking out against gay marriage (passive tolerant).

There's no reason to tolerate intolerance in a civil society.

(just so it's not 'topical')

It doesn't really matter to me whether someone (for example) is a lying snitch, or simply supports the concept of anonymous names on warrants, or whether they merely defend people who support the concept as 'being tolerant' of other views.

It doesn't really matter to me whether someone is a sadistic cop, covers up sadistic cops, or merely doesn't think it's a problem (essentially, 'being tolerant' of the reporter as a 'conspiracy' theorist, since the nightly news doesn't report that this is a problem).

It's not particular, in other words, to me, how or why people are hateful and nasty to each other.

It's simply not civil.

And we need to *actively* stop tolerating it.

Particularly the complacency theorist nut-jobs who have a stranglehold on political discourse.

There are some HORRIBLY evil things that go on every day right here, and those things feed a bigger evil that goes on above, which feeds into the biggest evils that feed on the top.

Tolerating this at a local level is where this needs to always be stopped.

And I'm not declaring a 'jihad' on some particular topic (which is why I varied, and didn't even mention the drug war, or 9-11, or any of the myriad issues where this faux tolerance mucks up the works).

The only point here is that if you really are intolerant of some thing, and cover it up, it still shows, eventually.

Myself, I'm only really intolerant of intolerance.  

Capturing NM in an Image

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
They asked.

If I were to do it as an animation, the raised foot would fall off.

Er, "Conqo-Pelli" (the offspring of the spirits of the Conquistador and the Pueblo):

conqopelli.gif

The White House is 'helping' liberal groups to get their political messages in sync with the official line.

Over the past several weeks, independent journalists and anti-war activists have tried to shine a spotlight on how groups like the Center for American Progress and MoveOn, which portrayed themselves as anti-war during the Bush-era, are now supporting the escalation and continuation of wars because their guy is now commander-in-chief. CAP has been actively pounding the pavement in support of the escalation in Afghanistan, the rebranding of the Iraq occupation and, more recently, Obama's bloated military budget, which the group said was "on target." MoveOn has been silent on the escalation in Afghanistan and has devoted substantial resources to promoting a federal budget that includes a $21 billion increase in military spending from the Bush-era.

What is clear here is that CAP and MoveOn are now basically psuedo-official PR flaks targeting "liberals" to support the White House agenda. This, though, should not come as a shock to those who have closely monitored these groups. They were the primary force behind Americans Against Escalation in Iraq (AAEI), "a coalition that spent tens of millions of dollars using Iraq as a political bludgeon against Republican politicians, while refusing to pressure the Democratic Congress to actually cut off funding for the war." Now, according to John Stauber, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, the Center for American Progress is now running "Progressive Media which was begun by Tom Matzzie and David Brock in 2008 and now 'represents a serious ratcheting up of efforts to present a united liberal front in the coming policy wars....' [These groups] are working hard to push Obama's policies, including rationalizlng or defending his escalation of the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan as "sustainable security."
 
On Wednesday, Ben Smith at Politico reported on the latest development in this White House-coordinated campaign to use these think-tankers to whip up support for its agenda. It is a newly formed coalition, the Common Purpose Project, which blogger Jane Hamsher describes as "one of the many groups Rahm Emanuel has set up to coordinate messaging among liberal interest groups." This one includes the direct participation of White House officials, according to Smith: 

The Common Purpose meeting every Tuesday afternoon at the Capitol Hilton brings together the top officials from a range of left-leaning organizations, from labor groups like Change to Win to activists like MoveOn.org, all in support of the White House's agenda. The group has an overlapping membership with a daily 8:45 a.m. call run by the Center for American Progress' and Media Matters' political arms; with the new field-oriented coalition Unity '09; and with the groups that allied to back the budget as the Campaign to Rebuild and Renew America Now. Unlike those other groups, however, the Common Purpose meeting has involved a White House official, communications director Ellen Moran, two sources familiar with the meeting said. It's aimed, said one, at "providing a way for the White House to manage its relationships with some of these independent groups." 
Common Purpose was founded by Erik Smith, a former aide to Dick Gephardt. The group's political director is former Obama aide, Miti Sathe. "Common Purpose is formed as a 501(c)(4), which leaves it focused on policy, rather than electoral, work," notes Smith. "Part of the group's role is to enforce a kind of message discipline." He tells the story of how last month "some of the more liberal members of the coalition" were launching a campaign against conservative Democrats under the banner "Dog the Blue Dogs." The White House, Smith alleged, "was in the midst of discussions with members of the congressional Blue Dog caucus, and objected to the slogan, which was promptly changed, and the page describing the drive is gone from CAF [Campaign for America's Future, a participant in the Common Purposes calls]'s website."

Hamsher, who wrote an interesting response to the Politico report with a different spin on the above story, concluded:
 
There's a big problem right now with the traditional liberal interest groups sitting on the sidelines around major issues because they don't want to buck the White House for fear of getting cut out of the dialogue, or having their funding slashed.  Someone picks up a phone, calls a big donor, and the next thing you know...the money is gone.  It's already happened.  Because that's the way Rahm plays. 
Jeremy Scahill is the author of the New York Times bestseller Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. He is currently a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at the Nation Institute. 

iTunes


This land is your land and this land is my land

From California to the New York island

From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters

This land was made for you and me


As I went walking that ribbon of highway

I saw above me that endless skyway

Saw below me that golden valley

This land was made for you and me


I roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps

To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts

All around me a voice was a sounding

This land was made for you and me


There was a big high wall there, that tried to stop me

And the sign was painted, said "Private Property"

But on the back side  .... it didn't say nothin!

Now that side was made for you and me!


When the sun come shining, then I was strolling

And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling

The voice was chanting as the fog was lifting

This land was made for you and me


This land is your land and this land is my land

From California to the New York island

From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters

This land was made for you and me


When the sun come shining, then I was strolling

And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling

The voice come a-chanting and the fog was lifting

This land was made for you and me


or the add-on from his kid (Arlo):


Nobody living can ever stop me, 
As I go walking that freedom highway; 
Nobody living can ever make me turn back 
This land was made for you and me.

Wednesday: Dinner, foot washing, hanging at the mount of olives.

Thursday: (everyone else) last minute prep for passover (Jesus) dies early enough to be fully dead before dinner (Thursday night begins holy time)

Friday day is holy time, which leads into Friday night as holy time (Sabbath)

Saturday day is holy time (end of Sabbath) and Saturday night is dark.

Sunday morning is the first morning anyone could show up.

Thursday night, since it was passover, would have been a night in which they should have stayed home, one would think, rather than wandering off into the olive grove.

Wednesday makes more sense, and then 'Good Thursday'.

International Space Station

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

When is Easter, Really?

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Ok, so here's how the problem *actually* breaks down.

The misinformation stream is from the Christians, who refer to Passover as occurring on Thursday (which it did that year that Jesus died).

HOWEVER, Passover (in the Jewish faith) is a *movable* feast.

It's always the day of the first full moon after the vernal equinox (sort-of, it moves to the next day if there's a conflict with another holy day).

Greek Roman Jewish
Sunday, April 19, 2009 Sunday, April 12, 2009 Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Sunday, April 04, 2010 Sunday, April 04, 2010 Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, April 24, 2011 Sunday, April 24, 2011 Monday, April 18, 2011
Sunday, April 15, 2012 Sunday, April 08, 2012 Friday, April 06, 2012
Sunday, May 05, 2013 Sunday, March 31, 2013 Thursday, April 25, 2013

So, the first question was whether to make it *always* Sunday, or follow the Jewish calculations, so that Easter was always so many days after Passover.

Which could make for 'Easter Tuesday' and 'Ash Sunday', along with the other permutations.

In any case, it all seems entirely arbitrary.  The Jewish calender is one of the more fickle ones I've looked at, though it does seem to be cut-and-dried (Maimonedes wrote it out).

Now, if you want to celebrate an 'anniversary' (in our sense) you'd likely want to figure out what day it came down to in the past, and then project that into the present.

It's obvious that if Christians followed the Jewish calendar that wouldn't be the case.

On the other hand, celebrating Sunday over and over seems a little OCD after 2K years.

Maybe that's another reason he hasn't come back yet (thinks we might all still be a little off).

After all, most of the Xians run around with an instrument of torture slung round their neck.

I had a little dove, myself (till I got a sailboat).

And, of course, none of this accounts for that fucked-up ad at jta.org that is STILL showing:


ai.php.gif
(well, it was when this was originally posted, at least).  They replaced it with an ad asking Americans w/o jobs to consider interning in Israel.

USSC

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
The 'United States Service Corps' could be a handy replacement for the Peace Corps, the Militia, and the basic CIA.

Upon graduation from high school, or cessation of schooling, the youth are inducted into the service.

For the first year, they learn how to protect themselves.

For the second year, they learn journalism and critical thinking skills.

For the third year, they are field workers in some foreign country.

When they come home, they bring their weapons home and lock them up.

Yano, somewhat like the Israelis do?

Or the Swiss?

To ask when is Easter Sunday might evoke ridicule because most would say it is Sunday coming, April 12. Others might wonder if it is a trick question.

However, it is a serious question that divides the Christian Church. There are a number of hard-to-resolve issues that have led to the situation in which different churches celebrate Christian festivals at different times in one year.

The birth of Jesus is celebrated at different times in the same year by different churches. In this part of the world, the Incarnation is commemorated on December 25.

Trying to determine exact dates is not very easy, and, perhaps, impossible in the case of the birth of Jesus. Furthermore, not knowing the exact date of Jesus' birth does not affect the reality of his birth or death. Additionally, it does not affect the belief that He was God appearing as flesh. Human beings change the meanings of dates and events to suit our purposes.

Similar problems surround the Easter Sunday celebration. There are years when Roman Catholics and Protestants and the churches in the Eastern Orthodox celebrate Easter on the same date in the same year.

Different calendars

It happened in 2001 and 2007. It will happen next year, 2011, 2014 and 2017, if the same policies remain regarding the calculations of Easter Sunday, based on the two oldest and major denomination blocs. In 2008, Easter was celebrated in some churches on March 23 and on April 27 in others.

And this year, while Catholic and Protestant churches will celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 12, the churches in the Eastern Orthodox will celebrate it the following week, April 19.

Reverend Neville Callam, general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance and former Jamaican Baptist pastor, writing in the Adult Sunday School Learner Guide of the Caribbean Bible Lessons (2009), explains that the issue has to do with the different ways of understanding the Biblical Passover, the use of different calendars reflecting ways of measuring time and the lack of consensus over the meridian to be used for determining the date for Easter.

There have been attempts by the Eastern Orthodox and Western Church to resolve the problem of the celebration of the same Christian festivals on different days of the same year.

Proposal for resolution

According to Callam, the best proposal for resolving the conflict was developed by the Middle East Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches. The proposal was developed because the different celebrations reflected poorly on the Christian church's credibility and effectiveness. It seems to counter the unity that is in Christ Jesus.

The proposal was that Easter should be calculated to fall on the Sunday following the first vernal full moon, thereby preserving the link between Easter and the Jewish Passover and also preserving the cosmic dimension of Easter. In addition, the meridian of Jerusalem, the place of Jesus' death and resurrection, was the point of reference for the calculation of the full moon following the March equinox.

Callam asks what is your church's attitude towards the separate dates for the celebration of the same Christian festival? It seems that most Jamaicans do not know about these differences and do not care whether Easter Sunday will be next Sunday or the following Sunday. It is now for the heads of denominations to get their acts together and agree on one date in the interest of Christian unity.

And, in the mean time, let us remember that Jesus was resurrected from the dead and hence he gives us hope of our resurrection.

Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church and author of 'Rebellion to Riot: The Church in Nation Building'. Feedback may be sent to columns@gleanerjm.com.


A day before the Jewish Seder is held on the eve of the Passover holiday, the Samaritan community gathers on the holy Mount Gerizim in the West Bank to hold the their most important religious ceremony: the Passover sacrifice. Photographer Amnon Kfir documented the ceremony during which every family must sacrifice and eat a lamb


Amnon K'fir

Published: 05.02.07, 13:52 / Israel Travel

Priests and community's elders in the traditional colorful garb next to a group of young men dressed in white overalls and baseball caps, all singing loudly, chanting prayers. The heat generated by dozens of fires is diluted by a cold breeze that spreads sparks through the night's air. 


Samaritan community gathers for sacrifice ceremony

 

This is the setting for one of the least-known Pesach ceremonies: the Samaritan Passover sacrifice.

 

The Samaritans are an ethnic group that descended from the inhabitants of the ancient Samaria region. Yet their name is derived not from the geographical location but from the Hebrew verb "shamar" (keepers of the law).

 

The Samaritans claim that, as opposed to mainstream Judaism, theirs is the true religion of the ancient Israelites, predating the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

 

In 2005 there were about 700 Samaritans in Israel, living mostly on the holy Mount Gerizim near the city of Nablus in the West Bank.

 

Each year, a day before the Jewish Seder meal is held to mark the beginning of the Passover holiday, members of the Samaritan community gather, under tight security, in Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim to celebrate the traditional Passover sacrifice. 


Samaritan elders congregate

 

In the afternoon, community representatives arrive at the home of the great priest to invite him to partake in the ceremony. The event begins with the chanting of prayers and verses from the book of Exodus, which tells the story of the Israelites journey from Egypt to the land of their fathers.


Elders during cermony

 

At precisely 7:10 pm, the great priest gives the signal to begin the sacrifice of dozens of sheep. Samaritan women are allowed to watch but not participate. Once all the sheep are killed, they are placed in deep holes - "ovens" - for about three hours.


Knives sharpened in preparation for sacrifice

 


Lambs skinned

 


Burning coals in "ovens" emit heat 

 


Huge skewers go into the holes 

 


Jute sacks cover the hole to ensure cooking

  

Close to midnight, each family takes its lamb home where it will be quickly eaten together with matzas and bitter herbs. The leftovers will be burned.

 

Amnon K'fir is an ethno-geographical photographer.

Quartodecimanism

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Quartodecimanism (from the Vulgate Latin quarta decima in Leviticus 23:5,[1] meaning fourteen) refers to the custom of some early Christians celebrating Pasch (related to modern Easter) beginning with the eve of the 14th day of Nisan (or Avivin the Hebrew Bible calendar), which at dusk is Biblically the "LORD's passover".

The modern Jewish Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread is seven days, starting with the sunset at the beginning of Nisan 15. Judaism reckons the beginning of each day at sunset, not at midnight as is common in Western reckoning. The Biblical law regarding Passover is said to be a "perpetual ordinance" (Exodus 12:14), but what it means to observe Biblical law in Christianity is disputed.

The Gospel of John (e.g., 19:1419:3119:42) implies that Nisan 14 was the day that Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem. The Synoptic Gospels place the crucifixion on the first day of Unleavened Bread (Matthew 26:17), usually understood as Nisan 15 given a seven-day feast (Leviticus 23:6), leading to holdings of contradictory chronology.

Hmm, possibly a retraction

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
This was my rationale for saying that passover was not being celebrated until next week.

It's current (or it was at this posting).

ai.php.gif

Of course, I can't be right about everything.

But I can be the first to catch my own errors (if I'm paying attention).

However it still sucks that looking at the JTA site, it appears quite convincing that it's not happened yet.

http://jta.org/

Of course, if you poke a little further in, you'll see.

So, now I'm sincerely confused, since the original article said this (and one would presume that observations made at Jerusalem would be the same for Orthodox Christians, Jews, and Samaritans):

The Great Easter Date Debate

Easter is the commemoration of Jesus' resurrection, universally celebrated by Christians around the world. Although how and even when Easter is celebrated varies greatly.


Both Western Churches (Roman Catholic and Protestant) and Eastern Churches (Greek and Russian Orthodox) celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox.


There are as many as five weeks between the two Easter celebrations. In the Western Church, Easter falls between late March and late April; in the Orthodox Church, it is between early April and early May.


In the 16th century, the Roman Church abandoned the Julian Calendar in favor of the Gregorian calendar. As a result, Catholic (and eventually Protestant) churches need to convert the originally Julian-based date of Easter into a Gregorian date.


Even still, it would stand to reason that the date would be the same for the two Churches, since both are based on the same Julian calendar-at least originally.


However, the two Churches also use a different system for calculating the date of the vernal equinox.


The Western Church decided to set a fixed date-March 21-for the vernal equinox and then define the full moon using ecclesiastical calculations.


The Orthodox Church, on the other hand, set the date for Easter based on the astronomical definitions of the full moon and the equinox, as they are observed along the meridian of Jerusalem.


While the Easter date debate is the most commonly cited difference between Eastern and Western Christianity, there are many other differences, as well. From the timing and content of the Easter Mass to traditional foods served at Easter, the two Churches bring their own unique take on celebrating Easter. For more on how Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox celebrate Easter, check out these articles:


Greek Orthodox Easter Customs 
Russian Orthodox Easter Customs


Now, I should point out that upon reading this and examining the listing, there's absolutely NO way that this makes sense why next Sunday is Easter for Orthodox.


I've got to look into it some more.

Dear Single Payer Advocates,
There is an event planned at Mike Thompson's office in Fort Bragg on Monday April 13. 

We are again asking him to support HR 676 and to be a co-sponsor. This rally will be video taped,shown locally and presented to him. 

Let's let him know we are tired of Healthcare ideas which are more of the same system we have now. WE WANT SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE: HR 676 - MEDICARE FOR ALL!

Please plan to come to Fort Bragg Town Hall at 11am for the rally and videotaping.

Richard and Pat

   HealthCare for All
      Mendocino County
 

Mendocino District 1 Community Issues Rally  
April 13th @ Fort Bragg Town Hall & Surrounds
  Begin at 11:00; Presentation Video Takes at noon
 
With Mike Thompson back in town for his spring break, we have a moment to speak our truths and visually inform him about Community Issues that are large in our hearts at this time. 

We will gather at his office and present our demands for his specific action as our representative to Washington.  The event will be videotaped and a copy given to Mike as well as MCCT, the web and other CD1 activist organizations. We will gather together and witness our resolve toward a new culture of community caring and responsibility.
 
Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams, has called for an end to Israel's blockade on the Gaza Strip while calling Gaza an 'open-air prison'. 

"What is happening in Gaza is totally and absolutely wrong," Adams said during a recent visit to Gaza on Wednesday. 

"This is a total denial of the rights of the people of Palestine. This is an open-air prison," the Sinn Fein leader said. "People cannot travel out of here, they cannot travel in." 

During his two-day visit to Gaza and the West Bank, Adams held talks with Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, with United Nations officials, civil society leaders, and acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas. 

He also urged Israel to hold talks with Hamas officials. 

Israel launched a full-fledged offensive on Gaza on December 27, because it claimed that Hamas had fired rockets on southern Israel. 

Israel killed more than 1,400 civilians during its 22-day war against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. 

The regime has also imposed a crippling blockade on the strip, not allowing basic needs such as food, sanitary water, fuel and medicine into the impoverished sliver. Egypt, which also has a border with Gaza, has actively participated with Israel in the blockade. 

Adams is the leader of Sinn Fein, the second largest political party in Northern Ireland and the fourth largest in the Republic of Ireland.

Was Jesus *REALLY* Jewish?

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

 There were 3 good arguments that Jesus was
 Black:*
 1. He called everyone brother.
 2. He liked Gospel.
 3. He didn't get a fair trial.

 But then there were 3 equally good arguments that
 Jesus was Jewish:*
 1. He went into His Father's business.
 2. He lived at home until he was 33.
 3. He was sure his Mother was a virgin and his
     Mother was sure He was God.

 But then there were 3 equally good arguments that
 Jesus was Italian:*
 1. He talked with His hands.
 2. He had wine with His meals.
 3. He used olive oil.

 But then there were 3 equally good arguments that
 Jesus was a Californian* :
 1. He never cut His hair.
 2. He walked around barefoot all the time.
 3. He started a new religion.

 But then there were 3 equally good arguments that
Jesus was an  American Indian :*
 1. He was at peace with nature.
 2. He ate a lot of fish.
 3. He talked about the Great Spirit.

 But then there were 3 equally good arguments that
 Jesus was Irish:*
 1. He never got married.
 2. He was always telling stories.
 3. He loved green pastures

 But the most compelling evidence of all - 3 proofs
that Jesus was  a woman:*
 1. He fed a crowd at a moment's notice when
     there was virtually  no food.
2. He kept trying to get a message across to a
   bunch of men who  just didn't get it.
3. And even when He was dead, He had to get up
    because there was  still work to do. Amen.

Ashkenazi Jews

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

The Khazars were a semi-nomadic Turkic people who dominated the Pontic steppe and the North Caucasus from the 7th to the 10th century CE. The name 'Khazar'[1] seems to be tied to a Turkic verb form meaning "wandering".[2]

In the 7th century CE, the Khazars founded an independent Khaganate in the Northern Caucasus along the Caspian Sea. Although the Khazars were initially Tengri shamanists, many of them converted to ChristianityIslam, and other religions. During the eighth or ninth century the state religion became Judaism. At their height, the Khazar khaganate and its tributaries controlled much of what is today southern Russia, western Kazakhstan, eastern UkraineAzerbaijan, large portions of the Northern Caucasus ( Circassia,DagestanChechnya), parts of Georgia and the Crimea.

Between 965 and 969, their sovereignty was broken by Sviatoslav I of Kiev, and they became a subject people of Kievan Rus'. Gradually displaced by the Rus, the Kipchaks, and later the conquering Mongol Golden Horde, the Khazars largely disappeared as a culturally distinct people.


Am I the only one that noticed that the name for this subdivision has a curious phonetic pattern that is really, REALLY a bad pun?

Recent US Aid to Israel

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
tempimage2.gif

And we've just committed to another thirty billion over the next ten years.

I think a hundred and one billion is already lost, but we can at least keep the thirty, if we don't hand it over to them.


Get the Picture?

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
It's so much more clear in one image:

pastaline.jpg

Local Currencies

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
I've got two issues with this concept.

The first one is, "What's local?"

I'm an Earthling.  As I understand it, my cash won't be leaving Earth.

The second is that I've got training that (on a good day) returns well over an 'hour' of most untrained labor's value.

In short, if I take ten dollars (the current DNow! story's exchange rate) as equivalent to an 'hour' of work, I'll be short by an order of magnitude.

I'm a little curious about how the 'hours' folks work with the disparity between skilled and unskilled labor.

For instance, if I'm paying someone to do my yard work, I can pretty much pick from interchangeable parts.

If I'm looking for a doctor, or a lawyer, on the other hand, I have to pick from a much smaller pool.

I'm betting that there are few of those professions who accept the 'hours' concept as a medium of 'exchange' (and that would be because it's not an 'exchange' but either a gift, or a manner of theft, depending on whether it was voluntary or not).

I was considering taking part in the local version, as I had some work I could do for a lawyer, and he could do some work for me.

But really, it's not a good deal for me to take anything but cash for the rest of the work.

I suppose it's irrelevant, as I'm far more inclined to purchase from the internet rather than look locally, for the most part, as that's my 'community' and the locals here have the most peculiar and useless tastes (as I understand 'taste').  For example, I can purchase any kind of dental floss I would like here, as long as it's covered in wax (been through every store in town before I ordered unwaxed from Amazon).  I purchased some books here, but really, I get them faster from Amazon (since the local stores don't stock the books I'd normally purchase).  I even bothered to go down to the local vacuum store when I got here, but I couldn't get them to sell me what I wanted (they had lame crap they needed to offload and were willing to tell me anything to get me to purchase what they had on the shelf rather than order what I wanted for me).

The single most depressing thing about stores here is that I'm supposedly in the midst of this great agricultural area, and the folks here are supposedly the vanguard of the organic movement, and there's NO decent stores here that provide any proof of this.

Yes, it's pitiable, but not just do Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and even HEB do a better job of provision of product, even the cheesy co-op in Albuquerque is head-and-shoulders above anything here.  I used to pass up the meat at the co-op, planning on going to Wild Oats later, since it was cheaper, and they had a real butcher's counter there.

At least it wasn't bad meat.   And the vegetables looked like they'd been purchased by someone who might have an interest in how they looked.

In other words, 'organic' doesn't need to mean crappy looking, deformed, bug and bird pecked, and full of something that the farmer thought was 'character'.

I think that perhaps the folks here are using the improper terms.

For instance 'organic' means it was grown without unnatural fertilization.

'Natural' is a little more broad, but it's still just describing a process, not the results.

If the 'results' are less professional looking in final appearance than other results, then the word one would use is actually 'amateur'.

In other words, it doesn't matter if the meat has no hormones in it if it's been left out too long and has spoiled.

It doesn't matter if there are no pesticides on the fruit, if it's obviously not the first time it's been eaten.

It doesn't matter if there's no sulphur in the wine, if it's too expensive to afford (yes, less does, in fact, cost more).

And if it's got a pathogen on it, it's irrelevant whether that pathogen has been raised 'naturally'.

Dear Cecil ...

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Are subliminal messages secretly embedded in advertisements?

June 26, 1987

Dear Cecil:

I recently came across a book by researcher Wilson Bryan Key in which he claims to find subliminal images of sex, death, and the occult stuck into photos in print advertisements. They range from screaming skulls airbrushed into ice cubes to an orgy depicted in a plate of fried clams. My major impression is that Key is a crackpot (he can find the letters S-E-X spelled out anywhere there are squiggly lines), but some of his findings seem a little too real to be coincidental. What's the truth, Cecil? Do advertisers really hide these images (while denying all, of course), or does Key just have an active imagination?


writch's note:  I was employed as a worker in a drive-in theater as a youth, and I spent a lot of time up in the booth with the projectionist.

Regardless of whether: "Cecil's aim was to discredit the notion that there is some organized conspiracy to seduce the public through subliminal techniques."

I know the guy who spliced the pictures of popcorn into the movies to make the people buy stuff.

I know they made this stuff (subliminal messages) illegal shortly before I was hired.

The idea that the people who formerly made their livings doing this *stopping* what they were doing and taking up other lines of work doesn't seem as likely as they just found other ways to put the subliminal messages in.

Now, I was lucky in that I knew in advance that the 'conspiracy' exists, since I worked with one of the 'conspirators'.  So, when I went off to college, though a lot of the more 'intellectual' folks (pseudo-intellectuals, like Cecil) took the incredulous stance and started using the 'conspiracy' defense, I was able to tell them in no uncertain terms that I knew that there was, in fact, a 'conspiracy'.

If I'd been a few years older, I might likely have been trained in how to splice the subliminal implants into the films, too.

Now, the funniest part is that since 'we all know' that this is BS (and likely to get you a tinfoil hat award), they could actually go back to putting it in the media streams, and nobody would believe it was happening (again).

Since, of course, we are all too grown up to think that people would do stuff like that, right?

That's Fucked Up, Dude!

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
The new MetLife commercial uses a twisted form of "Linus & Lucy" in their latest ad.

I suppose it's supposed to make us feel all 'Xmasy' inside.

Listen & LEARN.

It's what I was trained to do.

Any adept, by now, would have gotten to that point.

"I WAS TORTURED IN 
THE PASADENA JAILHOUSE!" 
 
by 
BOBBY FISCHER 
THE WORLD CHESS CHAMPION 
 
 
Copyright (c) 1982 by Bobby Fischer 
All rights reserved 
 
Published by
BOBBY FISCHER

Bank Robbery...
About 2:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, May 26, 1981, as I was peacefully and lawfully walking towards Lake Street in Pasadena across from the Kaiser Permanente medical offices, a policeman in a car suddenly pulled up alongside the curb and said he wanted to talk to me because I fitted perfectly the description of a man who had just committed a bank robbery. I politely told him he had the wrong man and I hadn't committed any bank robbery, and that I didn't know anything about it whatsoever.


Unasked Questions...
Why wasn't I asked any questions about the bank robbery if that were the real reason I was stopped? I was never asked where I'd been the last few minutes, never told what bank had been robbed, how much had been taken, etc. I was not out of breath from running, had no weapon, only a little cash on me. They never bothered to check my face against that of the artist's rendition of the bank robber until after I was already arrested. To say the whole thing stinks and is a frame up and set up is to put it mildly.

True Events...
The foregoing text was written between about June 5 and June 8, 1981, then later typed, edited, slightly revised, corrected, etc. However, no attempt has been made to bring it up to date or to incorporate later information or events, etc. It is a brief outline, a hastily written sketch, of the horrendous and incredible but absolutely true events that occurred to me in my life between about 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 26, 1981, and about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, May 28, 1981. I do not pretend that this is literature. However, it is absolutely accurate in all the main points, at least a thousand times more accurate and truthful than anything you will hear from the other side - i.e., the policemen and the jailers and all the rest of the law enforcement authorities. Perhaps in the future when I have more time to devote to it I will write a revised and expanded and even more accurate and painstakingly written account of these events.

        Sincerely,

 

        Robert D. James (professionally known
        as Robert J. Fischer or Bobby Fischer,
        The World Chess Champion)  

Calling a Spade a Spade

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Poplowski may be a nutcase, but he's right about the Zionist influence in our government.


Upon investigation, however, I can say that (unless they are all lying) that all the Jews I know 'round here (so far) are not 'Zionists' (in fact, it's rather hard-pressed to call them Jewish, since, so far, nobody has had a clue about the Purim jester thing).  They might be even less interested in their former faith than lapsed Catholics.


This is a very thin fence upon which to sit, yano?


It's bad enough that the Zionists are a bunch of baby-killers who burn people alive for fun (and might well have killed some of their own as a psy-op).


But as long as there's a confusion between a genotype, a faith, and a political movement to ethnically cleanse the 'Holy Land', we are going to have these issues.


So, please, keep calling them Zionists, as our friends at Neturei Karta remind us of.


The genotype?  I dunno what to call that.  Apparently, the 'Children of Abraham' have a large contingent from perhaps 


Pittsburgh killer believes Jews control government

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The man charged with shooting and killing three Pittsburgh police officers on Saturday believed that the federal government, media and banking system were controlled by Jews.

An Anti-Defamation League investigation revealed that Richard Poplowski frequently posted messages on the extremist Web site Stormfront that exhibited hatred toward Jews, racial minorities, the government and the police.

In a message last month, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday, Poplowski wrote that the "the federal government, mainstream media, and banking system in these United States are strongly under the influence of -- if not completely controlled by -- Zionist interest. An economic collapse of the financial system is inevitable, bringing with it some degree of civil unrest if not outright balkanization of the continental US, civil/revolutionary/racial war . . . This collapse is likely engineered by the elite Jewish powers that be in order to make for a power and asset grab."

Poplawski, according to the ADL report, hoped that the "evil Zionists" and "greedy traitorous goyim" might have lost control and created "an unstoppable tidal wave of global backlash" that would "breathe much needed life into our movement." However, he feared that instead there might be a "slow, drawn out national demise" that would "allow the masses to remain asleep while the power at the top is consolidated."

Posting on another right-wing site, called Infowars, just a few days before the shooting, Poplawski said he was frustrated that not enough attention was being focused on the evil of Jews, according to the ADL report. "For being such huge players in the endgame," he wrote on March 29, "too many 'infowarriors' are surprisingly unfamiliar with the Zionists."

The ADL also noted that Poplawski's posts from November 2008 through last month on Stormfront indicated an increased desire for confrontation, urging fellow white supremacists to achieve "ultimate victory for our people" by "taking back our nation."

Peru's Fujimori Gets 25 Years

Former President Is Convicted of 'Crimes Against Humanity' for Death-Squad Role


Former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori was convicted Tuesday of "crimes against humanity" and sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in killings and kidnappings by security forces during his government's battle against leftist guerrillas in the 1990s. 

The verdict, delivered by a three-judge panel on a police base outside Lima where Fujimori has been held throughout the trial, marked the first time that an elected head of state has been extradited back to his home country, tried and convicted of human rights violations. 

Human rights activists called it a precedent-setting verdict that upheld the ideal that violent abuses cannot be ignored under the banner of fighting terrorism. 
"This is a sentence for all the innocents killed in the dirty war," said Gisela Ortiz, whose brother was among a group taken from a Lima university and executed in 1992 by a military death squad under Fujimori. 

Many people in Peru admire Fujimori for largely defeating the Shining Path insurgency and ending a two-decade war that left about 70,000 people dead. But the tribunal found that Fujimori was guilty of creating and authorizing a military intelligence death squad that killed innocent people. 

Fujimori, sitting alone at a table, betrayed little emotion as the verdict was read. Throughout the morning proceedings, he rarely looked up and instead scribbled in a notebook. His only utterance was to ask that the verdict be nullified. 

Fujimori had faced up to 30 years in prison. His appeal will move to the Supreme Court. 

"This is a stunning verdict," said Jo-Marie Burt, a Latin American studies professor at George Mason University who has been observing Fujimori's trial. "The court clearly laid out the reasoning behind the verdict, the structure of power Fujimori created and how he was the man behind the crimes." 

Fujimori, 70, argued in defiant outbursts during his 16-month-long trial that he was a wartime president fighting to protect his people but that he never ordered the killings perpetrated by a death squad of the Army Intelligence Service known as the Colina Group. "I had to govern from hell," he said in his closing statements. 

But Judge César San Martín said it was clear that Fujimori had authorized the creation of the death squad. 

Despite his years behind bars, Fujimori still casts a wide shadow on Peruvian politics. His political movement remains popular, and his followers account for 13 seats in the 120-member Peruvian Congress. His daughter, congresswoman Keiko Fujimori, is considered a leading candidate to succeed President Alan García and has vowed to pardon her father if elected. 

"I am crying inside," Keiko Fujimori said after the verdict was read. "I am indignant; I had expected that justice would be served.

For the Folks in Gaza

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Mad About You

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Belinda Carlisle - Mad About You

Boy, I wish someone would re-cover this one.

Jenny's Reference

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Just in case you didn't quite recall that last little tidbit from the previous video.