Monday, December 31, 2007

Back For The New Year

I'm back after a nice vacation.

It will take me a bit to get back into the swing of the anti-democratic doings of the Bush Administration. In the mean time, you might want to take a look at Glenn Greenwald, Andrew Sullivan and TPM for the latest in the Bush law breaking...and the not caring of the public.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Have A Holly Jolly Christmas, Everyone!


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Drive By Review: Simpson's Movie

If the writing was funny, I would have laughed


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Spice Girls Christmas Saturday and Carol Of The Bells

Here's a catchy song from the Spice Girls

And from the Tuscon Boys Choir, Carol of the Bells

Hee, hee! It's almost Christmas!


Friday, December 21, 2007

Bing Crosby's White Christmas Tuesday (delayed a few days)

Okay, I found another YouTube video of one of the songs from The Best Christmas Album EVER!, White Christmas. I give you, Adeste Fideles.

I actually kind of like the scratchy sound of this recording. Reminds me of my mom's old copy of White Christmas.


Japan Suspends Humpback Whale Hunt

Japan has decided to not hunt Humpback Whales, for now

"The government has decided to suspend hunts of humpback whales while talks to normalize IWC is taking place," Machimura said. "But there will no changes to our stance on our research whaling itself."

via sfgate

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George Bush's Law Breaking Buddy, Harry Reid

Glenn Greenwald has an interesting article on how Harry Reid is unserious, to say the least, about the rule of law.

Reid and friends aren't merely refusing to stand with Dodd. They're not even merely impeding what he's doing. They're actually attacking him, impugning his motives, dismissing his efforts as insincere and worthless.

It's just undeniably true that the most important allies which the Bush/Cheney machine have now are Congressional Democratic leaders. Hence, the motives of Chris Dodd and Russ Feingold and their allies are highly suspect ("grandstanding"), but the good faith of the President and the telecoms in illegally spying on Americans is above and beyond reproach. That's the Harry-Reid-led Democratic Senate speaking.

via Salon

Here's a list of the statutes the telecom industry violated, via Electronic Frontier Foundation

It's the Constitution, stupid

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dophins Save Surfer

This happened a few months ago. Cetaceans rule!

Surfer Todd Endris needed a miracle. The shark — a monster great white that came out of nowhere — had hit him three times, peeling the skin off his back and mauling his right leg to the bone.

That’s when a pod of bottlenose dolphins intervened, forming a protective ring around Endris, allowing him to get to shore, where quick first aid provided by a friend saved his life.

I remember when this happened and was surprised that all the television news I saw never mentioned the dolphins, just the guy that dragged the surfer to shore.


It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, Man had always assumed that he was the most intelligent species occupying the planet, instead of the *third* most intelligent. The second most intelligent were of course dolphins who had long known of the impending destruction of earth. They had on many occasions tried to alert mankind but their warnings were mistakenly interpreted as amusing attempts to punch footballs or whistle for titbits. The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a suprisingly sophisticated attempt at doing a double backflip through a hoop while whistling the star-spangled banner but in fact the message was this: So long and thanks for all the fish.

The Book

A Whale and Dolphin Blog

Meanwhile, Japan still hunting Whales

It's a ritual that boils the blood of whale-watchers everywhere. On Nov. 18, a fleet of four Japanese vessels left Shimonoseki harbor in Western Japan to begin its five-month whale hunt in the Antarctic Ocean. This time, however, the whalers are planning what's expected to be its largest hunt in decades; along with about 850 minke and 50 finback whales, the fleet says it plans to harpoon as many as 50 humpback whales for the first time since hunting the endangered species was banned in 1963.

If a whaler is attacked by a shark in the ocean, does a dolphin care?

via Time


Constitutional Crises, Anyone? The DOJ More Interested In Defending Criminal Conduct Of The Bush Adm.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007. The House Judiciary Committee convenes a hearing to look into the Justice Department’s handling of allegations of crime involving contractors in Iraq. It started with the case of Jamie Leigh Jones, and we quickly learned that this was just one of a substantial number of cases involving rape and sexual assault. The Justice Department is invited to send a witness to explain its policies and inaction. At the last minute, the Justice Department’s congressional liaison sends a poorly informed letter claiming that the cases the committee will investigate are “under investigation” though, as we learn, the Department of Justice’s “investigation” got launched just about the time the Department learned that Congress was going to take a look. The Justice Department said it would be improper for the Justice Department to respond. Mind you, the Committee’s request was not for the Department to talk about any particular case, but about how it dealt in concept with contractor crimes.

But as became clear from the evidence presented at the hearing, the Department doesn’t deal with crimes involving contractors. It has a policy of official indifference to them. So here we see a clear-cut case where the Justice Department has a law enforcement mandate to deal with serious violent crimes such as murder, assault and rape, and chooses to do nothing. A question of resource allocation, evidently. You see, for the Bush Administration, murder, assault and rape are not as important as other things.

Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey was busy addressing the American Bar Association’s National Security Law Breakfast. He was making an impassioned appeal to the lawyers assembled in that room, quite a few of whom work for him, and most of whom work for President Bush, for acceptance of the Bush Administration’s FISA proposals. And what caused Mukasey to venture out before this hostile audience? He made a pitch for the benefit of the telecommunications industry. To be very specific, he urgently pushed for immunity for telecommunications companies who violated the criminal law by collaborating with the Bush Administration in warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens and residences. So for Mukasey the priorities were clear: protecting telecommunications companies who commit crimes is the core function of the Attorney General, requiring his personal attention. Not enforcing the law to protect contractors who are the subject of rape, assault and false imprisonment.

So let’s get this right. The Department of Justice has no available resources to deal with contractor crimes. It doesn’t even have a warm body to send before a Congressional probe of the matter to state its position. But it is deploying all its available assets to justify criminal conduct, to secure immunity for persons who unapologetically broke the law based on the criminal solicitations of government officers, to cover up official criminality related to the torture and abuse of persons under detention, and to obstruct Congressional investigations into other potentially criminal acts in which it was involved. A person observing this from some detached point in space might well conclude that the function of the Department of Justice under President Bush is not to enforce the law. It is to commit and promote criminal conduct. At this point, it’s clear that breaking the law is the Justice Department’s number one, two and three priority. And law enforcement? That’s disappeared from the scene.

We are seeing the destruction of the rule of law for political purposes under the Bush Administration. The rule of men is diametrically opposed the what this country was founded on and we are letting this happen. It is a travesty that cannot continue if we are to call ourselves a democracy.

Write your Senator and Representative.

Don't let this continue.

via Harpers

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Update: JAG

The White House has dropped its attempt at banana republicking the armed forces' JAG.

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is dropping a plan to take control over the promotions of military lawyers, following an outpouring of alarm over the independence of uniformed attorneys who have repeatedly objected to the White House's policies toward prisoners in the war on terrorism.

But this troubles me:

"In light of the feedback that [Haynes] received, he thought that it was wiser to try a different approach," Morrell said.

"different approach". That makes me nervous - obviously the Bush Adm will try another route to reach the same goal.

Constant vigilance!

via The Boston Globe


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Atheist Delusion

Salon has an interview with theologian John Haught about "why science and God are not at odds, why Mike Huckabee worries him, and why Richard Dawkins and other "new atheists" are ignorant about religion"

After reading the article, I have a stronger feeling that atheist and religious folk may never come to any real understanding of each other for the simple reason the two are incompatible. Does that mean we will stop arguing? Not likely.

As for the article, Mr. Haught perfectly encapsulates why the argument for faith and religion may never be reconciled. Mr. Haught says this as his last statement in the article, "There are levels of depth in the cosmos that science simply cannot reach by itself."

By making this statement, Mr. Haught is placing limits on science, limits that are arrived at by a philosophy that, itself, has limits. Religion is a philosophy that willingly creates limits - that's why there is faith. Science may see a difficult question, but it does not, or should not, say, "well, we will never know, so let's not try." Science should never be satisfied with not knowing, or just feeling if something is right. Religion tends to find satisfaction in mystery, whereas science does not.

Beating dead horse...

Maybe I'm on of those atheist that don't get it.

Anyway, like I said, slow day at work.

read the whole article.

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Kinda slow in the office today - everyone at an off-site, so I give you my most recent Amazon order.

Seed [Magazine Subscription]

Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, Revised Edition

Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America

The Conscience of a Liberal (to see if I have have one)


Qoute Of The Day

"avoid black holes when you can."
-Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York

via CNN


Bing Crosby's White Christmas Tuesday

It seems some unknown powerful entity has removed the White Christmas Album from YouTube (Viacom?). Must be another battle waged by Secularist, Abortionist and Gays in the war against Christmas -hurry, call Bill O'Reilly!

I'll see if I can find another version of the remaining songs from Bing's White Christmas album.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Drive By Review: I Am Legend

update for a list of the logical inconsistencies, go here

Nice to see a big budget Hollywood film have some brains and some heart. No need to see it in the theater, though. Video will do. No surprises.

And now the gripe:

I liked how Will Smith's character kept telling the Alice Braga's character that god didn't create the virus, "we did". But at the climatic scene where Smith sacrifices himself he sees a butterfly tattoo on Braga's neck and remembers what his son said before he left on the helicopter about remembering to look for the butterfly, or something (can't quite remember). Well, Smith sees the butterfly tattoo and suddenly "hears" god, or something, and sacrifices himself for the, implied, higher purpose. Sigh. I wish we could see a movie where someone does the right thing because it is the right thing and not because of some god-guided higher purpose.

My rant is that anything someone does that is sacrificial in nature, the usual reason given is that "god wanted me to." Do we have such a low opinion of ourselves and our capacity for good that we can't comprehend the notion that humans may just know what is right without crediting some magical puppet master?



Telecom Immunity

updateHarry Reid delays vote because of the amount of amendements brought to the FISA (Telecom) Bill. Yeah!! While this does not mean the battle is over, but it give you more time to contact your Senator.

Glenn Greewald has a great article over at Salon about what a travesty the notion of telecom immunity actuallly is.

Here's the "money quote" that says it all:

More than anything else, what these revelations highlight -- yet again -- is that the U.S. has become precisely the kind of surveillance state that we were always told was the hallmark of tyrannical societies, with literally no limits on the government's ability or willingness to spy on its own citizens and to maintain vast dossiers on those activities. The vast bulk of those on whom the Government spies have never been accused, let alone convicted, of having done anything wrong. One can dismiss those observations as hyperbole if one likes -- people want to believe that their own government is basically benevolent and "tyranny" is something that happens somewhere else -- but publicly available facts simply compel the conclusion that, by definition, we live in a lawless surveillance state, and most of our political officials are indifferent to, if not supportive of, that development.


As Dan Froomkin observed this week: "Historians looking back on the Bush presidency may well wonder if Congress actually existed." In actuality, Congress exists -- as a vital enabling arm of the most extreme abuses of the Bush administration. Could anyone wishing to dispute that depressing fact muster any evidence at all in service of their argument? I don't believe so.

None of the candidates for the Presidency, save Chris Dodd and Ron Paul, have said anything about this truly anti-constitutional, lawless act.

Chris Dodd is going to fillibuster the vote on telecom immunity because he is the only one of the Democratic Presidential candiates that, it would seem, feels our country is not supposed to be run by the rule of men and fear, but by the rule of law.

Send a note to Russ Feingold and Edward Kennedy, the other Democrats that are supporting Dodd's filibuster.

Send you suppot to Senator Dodd at this critical time.

Call you Senator

Read the whole thing

New Slogan: It's The Constitution, Stupid!

update It seems Bush wanted to do this two weeks after entering office

via Andrew Sullvan

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bush's Attempt To "Banana Republic" JAG

And Bush continues to try and complete his insane Banana Repubicking of the United States by making the military's JAG (Judge Advocate General) answerable to politcs, not the law.

One of Haynes' allies on the Bush administration legal team, former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo, recently coauthored a law review article sharply critical of the JAGs' unwillingness to endorse the legality of the administration's treatment of wartime detainees.

Yoo, who wrote a series of controversial legal opinions about the president's power to bypass the Geneva Conventions and antitorture laws before leaving government in 2003, called for some kind of "corrective measures" that would "punish" JAGs who undermine the president's policy preferences.

Read that las part again, "called for some kind of "corrective measures" that would "punish" JAGs who undermine the president's policy preferences."

Basically, the Bushies put policy above law, and anyone that gets in the way of Bush's policy by, gasp, following the law, will be punished. Sickening.


"The message would be clear to every JAG, which is that when you have been told that the general counsel has a view on the law, any time you dare disagree with it, don't expect a promotion," Saltzburg said, adding "I don't think that would be in the best interest of the country. We've seen how important it can be to have the JAGs give their honest opinions when you look at the debates on interrogation techniques and the like."

via The Boston Globe

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Judgement Day: Intelligent Design On Trial

This video is about 1 hour and 50 minutes, but well worth the time. If you missed this episode of Nova, don't miss it now. It is amazing what people will do to dumb down America.



Friday, December 14, 2007

Hot Ice

Science is cool!

It is rumored George Bush will address the nation denouncing this as a product of the devil, created my marriege destroying gays.

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Republican Ignore The Dead Canary, Democrats Let More Carnaries Die

Republicans and Democrats agreed on a weaker energy bill after pressure from energy lobby.

The legislation still contains a landmark increase in fuel-economy standards for vehicles and a huge boost for alternative fuels. But a $13 billion tax increase on oil companies and a requirement that utilities nationwide produce 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources were left on the floor to secure Republican votes for the package.

via NYTimes


This week, after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: "At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions."

and that dead canary?

The Arctic is often cited as the canary in the coal mine for climate warming," said Zwally, who as a teenager hauled coal. "Now as a sign of climate warming, the canary has died. It is time to start getting out of the coal mines."

via CNN

America: Leading the way to disaster.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Netty Pot

Had a conversation with a co-worker today about my cold:

Co-worker (CW): How's the cold?

Me: Better.

CW: Take anything for it?

Me: Not really. I did try to use a Netty Pot. Thought it might help with the congestion.

CW: Did it?

Me: Not was like being waterboarded by a Munchkin.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

H. Res. 847: Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith

We don't need no stinking First Amendment.

Yes, the idiots in The House of Representatives feel the need to establish the importance of a religious holiday. I give you HRES 847 IH:


1st Session
H. RES. 847
Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.

December 6, 2007

Mr. KING of Iowa (for himself, Mr. AKIN, Mrs. BACHMANN, Mr. BAKER, Mr. BARRETT of South Carolina, Mr. BISHOP of Utah, Mr. BOOZMAN, Mr. BRADY of Texas, Mr. BROUN of Georgia, Mr. BURTON of Indiana, Mr. CARTER, Mr. CONAWAY, Mr. DAVID DAVIS of Tennessee, Mr. DOOLITTLE, Mr. FEENEY, Mr. FORTENBERRY, Ms. FOXX, Mr. FRANKS of Arizona, Mr. GINGREY, Mr. GOHMERT, Mr. HAYES, Mr. HERGER, Mr. ISSA, Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas, Mr. JONES of North Carolina, Mr. JORDAN of Ohio, Mr. KINGSTON, Mr. KLINE of Minnesota, Mr. KUHL of New York, Mr. LAHOOD, Mr. LAMBORN, Mr. LAMPSON, Mr. DANIEL E. LUNGREN of California, Mr. MCCAUL of Texas, Mr. MCINTYRE, Mrs. MCMORRIS RODGERS, Mr. MILLER of Florida, Mrs. MUSGRAVE, Mrs. MYRICK, Mr. NEUGEBAUER, Mr. POE, Mr. SALI, Mr. SHADEGG, Mr. SMITH of Texas, Mr. STEARNS, Mr. TERRY, Mr. TIAHRT, Mr. WALBERG, Mr. WELDON of Florida, Mr. WILSON of South Carolina, Mr. DAVIS of Kentucky, and Mrs. DRAKE) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.

Whereas Christmas, a holiday of great significance to Americans and many other cultures and nationalities, is celebrated annually by Christians throughout the United States and the world;

Whereas there are approximately 225,000,000 Christians in the United States, making Christianity the religion of over three-fourths of the American population;

Whereas there are approximately 2,000,000,000 Christians throughout the world, making Christianity the largest religion in the world and the religion of about one-third of the world population;

Whereas Christians identify themselves as those who believe in the salvation from sin offered to them through the sacrifice of their savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and who, out of gratitude for the gift of salvation, commit themselves to living their lives in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Bible;

Whereas Christians and Christianity have contributed greatly to the development of western civilization;

Whereas the United States, being founded as a constitutional republic in the traditions of western civilization, finds much in its history that points observers back to its roots in Christianity;

Whereas on December 25 of each calendar year, American Christians observe Christmas, the holiday celebrating the birth of their savior, Jesus Christ;

Whereas for Christians, Christmas is celebrated as a recognition of God's redemption, mercy, and Grace; and

Whereas many Christians and non-Christians throughout the United States and the rest of the world, celebrate Christmas as a time to serve others: Now, therefore be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) recognizes the Christian faith as one of the great religions of the world;

(2) expresses continued support for Christians in the United States and worldwide;

(3) acknowledges the international religious and historical importance of Christmas and the Christian faith;

(4) acknowledges and supports the role played by Christians and Christianity in the founding of the United States and in the formation of the western civilization;

(5) rejects bigotry and persecution directed against Christians, both in the United States and worldwide; and

(6) expresses its deepest respect to American Christians and Christians throughout the world.

What is wrong with this country!?

Oh, wait. I know why they are doing this. Because religion is under attack. Makes perfect sense now.

You know, I am going to write my representative and ask that the importance of masturbation be recognized.

What is wrong with this country!?

via Joe

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Gays, Nukes, Abortion - Impediments To World Peace

So says his hokeyness, Pope Benedict XVI. Odd how he never mentions religous intolerance as an impediment to world peace. Just saying...

"By the power of Gayskull, I impede all world peace!" I had no idea the gays wer SO powerful.

"Everything that serves to weaken the family based on the marriage of a man and woman, everything that directly or indirectly stands in the way of its openness to the responsible acceptance of new life ... constitutes an objective obstacle on the road to peace," Benedict writes.

via The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

and Andrew Sullivan


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bing Crosby's White Christmas Tuesday

A bit late - have a bit of a cold and have been on the couch all day.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Drive By Review: Disneyland

Went to Disneyland over the weekend with the family.

Here's the review:
Seriously, America, lose the weight! Christ.
I was astonished at the size of these people - I guess living in San Franciso I'm shielded from America's girth. I can't get the image of all these obese people (inlcuding children!) out of my head.
Oh, and Disneyland was exactly what I remember it to be. You know, it's Disneyland.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I Did Not Know This

"Mom, I'm going to frolic with the Velosoraptors!"
"Okay, honey. Be sure to take some kibble."

via: Creation Museum


Darwin Speaks

Heehee. I couldn't resist.


Bing Crosby's White Christmas Tuesday

Here's a little song from White Christmas for any readers that may be in Hawaii - Mele Kalikimaka, ya'll!