Monday, April 30, 2007
Deborah J. (Jeane) Palfrey’s assets and entire life’s savings were seized by the Internal Revenue Service, on October 4, 2006, without notice. This was done via the civil asset forfeiture process and based upon the government’s allegations that Ms. Palfrey had operated a prostitution business, in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, from 1993 through August of 2006, when she ceased operation and retired.
Ms. Palfrey adamantly disputes the government’s claims of illegal behavior. The business, Pamela Martin and Associates, functioned as a high-end adult fantasy firm which offered legal sexual and erotic services across the spectrum of adult sexual behavior and did so without incident during its 13 year tenure.
The unfairness of the civil asset forfeiture procedure as currently applied in the present day makes the intended target, as it has here with Ms. Palfrey, indigent and thus incapable of mounting a proper legal defense, either civilly or criminally. The strategy is to place an individual in a position whereby they are forced to accept whatever “deal” the government offers, as they are minus the necessary resources to fight back; a true David and Goliath scenario.
Ms. Palfrey instead has chosen to stand up for what is right and not permit the government to do to her what it has done to so many other citizens embroiled in essence, this ‘legal theft’.
@ Deborah Jeane Palfrey.com
A copy of one of her phone bills is available for you on her site for those who are enterprising enough to spend some time on the Reverse Phone Directory.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Rep. John Murtha
President George W. Bush could face impeachment if he continues to refuse to deal with Congress on setting a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, Democratic Congressman John Murtha said Sunday.
Appearing on CBS News's Face the Nation, Murtha said impeachment is "one of the options" for dealing with Bush's refusal to accept a timetable for withdrawal of troops from the President's failed war in Iraq.
Murtha's comments came after Secretary of State Condi Rice told host Bob Schieffer that Bush will not only veto any Iraq funding bill that sets a timetable for withdrawal but would also reject any bill that sets "benchmarks" for the Iraqi qovernment.
Rice said the president would not agree to a plan that penalizes Baghdad if the Iraqi government fall shorts. To do so, she said, would remove the ability of Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, and other leaders to do their jobs.
"What we don't want to do is to tie our own hands so that we cannot act creatively and flexibly to support the very policies in Iraq that we're trying to enforce," Rice said.
Rather, Rice said, it makes sense to give Iraq's leaders time to meet the goals they have set. She said Bush has made clear to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that people in the United States have limited patience.
"The United States is paying in blood and treasure," Rice said. "The Iraqi leadership is being told — and I think they understand — that the kind of Iraq there is going to be is up to them. We can't give them a united Iraq."
@ Capitol Hill Blue
That nasty "I" word again, being bandied about with no hope of making it stick without the Repugs on board.
Bloody Kristol was repeating his war mantra on C-Span, tell you what Mr. Blood, get a flak vest and a gun an YOU see how easy it is to get you azz blown off over there!
CHICKENHAWKS HAVE NO BUSINESS SETTING WAR POLICY!!!
My message to Congress:
GET THAT BUNCH OF LYING, CHEATING, WAR MONGERING IDIOTS OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE!
Saturday, April 28, 2007
WYNNEWOOD, Okla. - Flames and smoke poured into the sky Saturday over an oil refinery where lightning set off a fire and an explosion that was felt miles away, authorities said.
No injuries were reported and there were no immediate evacuation orders in the south-central Oklahoma town, said Mike Hancock, a spokesman for Wynnewood Refinery Co.
Flames and smoke boiled hundreds of feet into the air from two 80,000-gallon tanks in the Wynnewood Refinery complex, officials said.
Firefighters doused the area surrounding the tanks Saturday, Hancock said.
"Tank fires are pretty pesky fires. They're easy to keep contained, but they're hard to fight," Hancock said. "It's hard to estimate how long it will be. It can take a day or so to burn the product."
The fire started Friday when lightning hit a tank containing naphtha, an unrefined form of gasoline, fire Chief Ken Moore said. City and company fire crews sprayed foam on the blaze and transferred naphtha out of the tank, but hours later the explosion — felt by residents of communities several miles away — spread the flames to a second tank, authorities said.
Moore said the explosion may have followed the collapse of the first tank. "This allowed some of the (naphtha) to flow out and flow around the second tank," he said late Friday.
One tank contained about 50,000 barrels of highly flammable naphtha and the second tank contained about 30,000 barrels of diesel fuel, Hancock said.
Nearby highways were closed as a precaution, Moore said. He said the nearest homes were a quarter-mile from the refinery.
The refinery processes about 50,000 barrels of oil a day and employs about 185 people.
It is the second fire at the refinery — which produces gasoline, diesel fuel, military jet fuel, solvents and asphalt — in less than two years. A blaze in May 2006 led to the evacuation of 150 nearby residents. An acid leak a week later related to fire damage caused more evacuations.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued 22 violations over that incident.
Wynnewood is about 65 miles south of Oklahoma City.
Oh the travesty! My Hummer needs to have gas so I can make 47 trips daily to get Starbucks, McDonalds, Taco Bell, Wal Mart, Soccer practice, birthday parties, and Outback today.
BOO HOO HOO! Another refinery fire, gas prices going up even more!
$4 a gallon? $5 a gallon?
Better ask for a raise there mister Yuppie! or sell your Yacht.
Cost me $9.95 to fill my motorcycle yesterday, good for 150 miles, 60 miles per day, 5 days per week = 300 miles for under $20, shove your gas pig where the Sun don't shine Yuppster!
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Since some indeterminable hour between the final dousing of the pyre at The World Trade Center, and the breaking of what Sen. Barack Obama has aptly termed “9/11 fever,” it has been profoundly and disturbingly evident that we are at the center of one of history’s great ironies.
Only in this America of the early 21st century could it be true that the man who was president during the worst attack on our nation and the man who was the mayor of the city in which that attack principally unfolded would not only be absolved of any and all blame for the unreadiness of their own governments, but, moreover, would thereafter be branded heroes of those attacks.
And now, that mayor — whose most profound municipal act in the wake of that nightmare was to suggest the postponement of the election to select his own successor — has gone even a step beyond these M.C. Escher constructions of history.
“If any Republican is elected president — and I think obviously I would be best at this — we will remain on offense and will anticipate what (the terrorists) will do and try to stop them before they do it.”
Insisting that the election of any Democrat would mean the country was “back ... on defense,” Mr. Giuliani continued: “But the question is how long will it take and how many casualties will we have. If we are on defense, we will have more losses and it will go on longer.”
He said this with no sense of irony, no sense of any personal shortcomings, no sense whatsoever.And if you somehow missed what he was really saying, somehow didn’t hear the none-too-subtle subtext of “vote Democratic and die,” Mr. Giuliani then stripped away any barrier of courtesy, telling Roger Simon of politico.com:
“America will be safer with a Republican president.”
At least that Republican president under which we have not been safer has, even at his worst, maintained some microscopic distance between himself and a campaign platform that blithely threatened the American people with “casualties” if they, next year, elect a Democratic president — or, inferring from Mr. Giuliani’s flights of grandeur in New Hampshire — even if they elect a different Republican.
How ... dare ... you, sir?“How many casualties will we have?” — this is the language of Osama bin Laden.
Yours, Mr. Giuliani, is the same chilling nonchalance of the madman, of the proselytizer who has moved even from some crude framework of politics and society, into a virtual Roman Colosseum of carnage, and a conceit over your own ability — and worthiness — to decide who lives and who dies.
Rather than a reasoned discussion — rather than a political campaign advocating your own causes and extolling your own qualifications — you have bypassed all the intermediate steps and moved directly to trying to terrorize the electorate into viewing a vote for a Democrat, not as a reasonable alternative and an inalienable right ... but as an act of suicide.
This is not the mere politicizing of Iraq, nor the vague mumbled epithets about Democratic “softness” from a delusional vice president.
This is casualties on a partisan basis — of the naked assertion that Mr. Giuliani’s party knows all and will save those who have voted for it — and to hell with everybody else.
And that he, with no foreign policy experience whatsoever, is somehow the messiah-of-the-moment.
Even to grant that that formula — whether posed by Republican or Democrat — is somehow not the most base, the most indefensible, the most un-American electioneering in our history — even if it is somehow acceptable to assign “casualties” to one party and “safety” to the other — even if we have become so profane in our thinking that it is part of our political vocabulary to view counter-terror as one party’s property and the other’s liability ... on what imaginary track record does Mr. Giuliani base his boast?
Which party held the presidency on Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Giuliani?
Which party held the mayoralty of New York on that date, Mr. Giuliani?
Which party assured New Yorkers that the air was safe and the remains of the dead recovered and not being used to fill potholes, Mr. Giuliani?
Which party wanted what the terrorists wanted — the postponement of elections — and to whose personal advantage would that have redounded, Mr. Giuliani?
Which mayor of New York was elected eight months after the first attack on the World Trade Center, yet did not emphasize counter-terror in the same city for the next eight years, Mr. Giuliani?
Which party had proposed to turn over the Department of Homeland Security to Bernard Kerik, Mr. Giuliani?Who wanted to ignore and hide Kerik’s organized crime allegations, Mr. Giuliani?
Who personally argued to the White House that Kerik need not be vetted, Mr. Giuliani?
Which party rode roughshod over Americans’ rights while braying that it was actually protecting them, Mr. Giuliani?
Which party took this country into the most utterly backwards, utterly counterproductive, utterly ruinous war in our history, Mr. Giuliani?
Which party has been in office as more Americans were killed in the pointless fields of Iraq than were killed in the consuming nightmare of 9/11, Mr. Giuliani?
Drop this argument, sir.
You will lose it.“The Democrats do not understand the full nature and scope of the terrorist war against us,” Mr. Giuliani continued to the Rockingham County Lincoln Day Dinner last night. “Never, ever again will this country be on defense waiting for (terrorists) to attack us, if I have anything to say about it. And make no mistake, the Democrats want to put us back on defense.”
There is no room for this.
This is terrorism itself, dressed up as counter-terrorism.It is not warning, but bullying — substituted for the political discourse now absolutely essential to this country’s survival and the freedom of its people.
No Democrat has said words like these. None has ever campaigned on the Republicans’ flat-footedness of Sept. 11, 2001. None has the requisite, irresponsible, all-consuming ambition. None is willing to say “I accuse,” rather than recognize that, to some degree, all of us share responsibility for our collective stupor.
And if it is somehow insufficient, that this is morally, spiritually, and politically wrong, to screech as Mr. Giuliani has screeched, there is also this: that gaping hole in Mr. Giuliani’s argument of “Republicans equal life; Democrats equal death.”
Not only have the Republicans not lived up to their babbling on this subject, but last fall the electorate called them on it.
As doubtless they would call you on it, Mr. Giuliani.
Repeat — go beyond — Mr. Bush’s rhetorical calamities of 2006.
Call attention to the casualties on your watch, and your long, waking slumber in the years between the two attacks on the World Trade Center.
Become the candidate who runs on the Vote-For-Me-Or-Die platform.
Do a Joe McCarthy, a Lyndon Johnson, a Robespierre.
Only, if you choose so to do, do not come back surprised nor remorseful if the voters remind you that “terror” is not just a matter of “casualties.” It is, just as surely, a matter of the promulgation of fear.
Claim a difference between the parties on the voters’ chances of survival — and you do bin Laden’s work for him.
And we — Democrats and Republicans alike, and every variation in between — We Americans! — are sick to death of you and the other terror-mongers trying to frighten us into submission, into the surrender of our rights and our reason, into this betrayal of that for which this country has always stood.
Franklin Roosevelt’s words ring true again tonight.
And, clarified and amplified, they are just as current now as they were when first he spoke them, 74 years ago.
“We have nothing to fear but fear itself” — and those who would exploit our fear, for power and for their own personal, selfish, cynical, gain.
Good night, and good luck.
In true Edward R. Murrow fashion Mr. Olbermann delivered a knockout blow to the poseur Goulianni, he deserved worse but Mr. Olbermann is a civil human being unlike Goulianni.Repugs are running out of viable candidates and that is good. We used to have a good two-party system, now one of the parties has run amok and the other is teetering on the brink.
Hope is somehow we can piece it all back together and regain the country formerly known as the United States of America we have all come to know and love before idiots like Goulianni and Bush showed up and ruined it.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Four years ago on May 1, President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln wearing a flight suit and delivered a speech in front of a giant "Mission Accomplished" banner. He was hailed by media stars as a "breathtaking" example of presidential leadership in toppling Saddam Hussein. Despite profound questions over the failure to locate weapons of mass destruction and the increasing violence in Baghdad, many in the press confirmed the White House's claim that the war was won. MSNBC's Chris Matthews declared, "We're all neo-cons now;" NPR's Bob Edwards said, "The war in Iraq is essentially over;" and Fortune magazine's Jeff Birnbaum said, "It is amazing how thorough the victory in Iraq really was in the broadest context."
How did the mainstream press get it so wrong? How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein to 9-11 continue to go largely unreported? "What the conservative media did was easy to fathom; they had been cheerleaders for the White House from the beginning and were simply continuing to rally the public behind the President — no questions asked. How mainstream journalists suspended skepticism and scrutiny remains an issue of significance that the media has not satisfactorily explored," says Moyers. "How the administration marketed the war to the American people has been well covered, but critical questions remain: How and why did the press buy it, and what does it say about the role of journalists in helping the public sort out fact from propaganda?"
On Wednesday, April 25 at 9 p.m. on PBS, a new PBS series BILL MOYERS JOURNAL premieres at a special time with "Buying the War," a 90-minute documentary that explores the role of the press in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. Two days later on April 27, BILL MOYERS JOURNAL airs in its regular timeslot on Fridays at 9 p.m. with interviews and news analysis on a wide range of subjects, including politics, arts and culture, the media, the economy, and issues facing democracy. "Buying the War" includes interviews with Dan Rather, formerly of CBS; Tim Russert of MEET THE PRESS; Bob Simon of 60 MINUTES; Walter Isaacson, former president of CNN; and John Walcott, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel of Knight Ridder newspapers, which was acquired by The McClatchy Company in 2006.
In "Buying the War" Bill Moyers and producer Kathleen Hughes document the reporting of Walcott, Landay and Strobel, the Knight Ridder team that burrowed deep into the intelligence agencies to try and determine whether there was any evidence for the Bush Administration's case for war. "Many of the things that were said about Iraq didn't make sense," says Walcott. "And that really prompts you to ask, 'Wait a minute. Is this true? Does everyone agree that this is true? Does anyone think this is not true?'"
In the run-up to war, skepticism was a rarity among journalists inside the Beltway. Journalist Bob Simon of 60 Minutes, who was based in the Middle East, questioned the reporting he was seeing and reading. "I mean we knew things or suspected things that perhaps the Washington press corps could not suspect. For example, the absurdity of putting up a connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda," he tells Moyers. "Saddam…was a total control freak. To introduce a wild card like Al Qaeda in any sense was just something he would not do. So I just didn't believe it for an instant." The program analyzes the stream of unchecked information from administration sources and Iraqi defectors to the mainstream print and broadcast press, which was then seized upon and amplified by an army of pundits. While almost all the claims would eventually prove to be false, the drumbeat of misinformation about WMDs went virtually unchallenged by the media. THE NEW YORK TIMES reported on Iraq's "worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb," but according to Landay, claims by the administration about the possibility of nuclear weapons were highly questionable. Yet, his story citing the "lack of hard evidence of Iraqi weapons" got little play. In fact, throughout the media landscape, stories challenging the official view were often pushed aside while the administration's claims were given prominence. "From August 2002 until the war was launched in March of 2003 there were about 140 front page pieces in THE WASHINGTON POST making the administration's case for war," says Howard Kurtz, the POST's media critic. "But there was only a handful of stories that ran on the front page that made the opposite case. Or, if not making the opposite case, raised questions."
"Buying the War" examines the press coverage in the lead-up to the war as evidence of a paradigm shift in the role of journalists in democracy and asks, four years after the invasion, what's changed? "More and more the media become, I think, common carriers of administration statements and critics of the administration," says THE WASHINGTON POST's Walter Pincus. "We've sort of given up being independent on our own."
Excellent! Pure Bill Moyers! Check your local PBS listings for show times.
Bill was on Democracy Now for an extensive interview with Amy, well worth viewing.
Sure wish we could turn back the clock to 2000 before the sham election, what a different world it would have been without the evil of the Bush Cabal.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Forget, if you can, the sad fact that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is an incompetent political hack.
And forget, if possible, the equally sad fact that President George W. Bush - Gonzales' boss and patron - is a lackluster leader who has lost the faith of the American people and the confidence of even his own party.
Put that aside because in a political world where perception is reality and illusion rules the roost, Bush and Gonzales still win.
Bush is a stubborn man. That is an irrefutable fact that both friends and foes accept as gospel. When he is pushed, he pushes back. Like any political animal he is most dangerous when cornered.
The Democratic opposition in Congress, however, is about as stalwart and brave as a lemming on the run. When Bush pushes them, they give…and then give some more. Oh sure, they talk a good game but when push comes to shove they back down.
The comments are good too!
Monday, April 23, 2007
Moon-day it is, actually I pasted this pic to show what the Earth might become if we do not put the brakes on trashing it.
We know what must be done, the corporate world has to open the new avenues of products and materials that will depend less upon the Earths' resources and more upon the intelligence of man.
As time marches on ours becomes short. With a limited lifespan of 100 years max, humans have to work through generations to accomplish long term goals of restoring the Earth.
Like a classic car the Earth has been battered and driven to it's limit, now it needs to be restored. In order to start with the restoration we have stop the battering and give it a rest, then get busy cleaning and restoring it to it's once prime beauty.
Let's get to work!
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut
Mother Night on the Banks of the Big Tennessee
by Don Williams
Picture Kurt Vonnegut, Jr… Dead.
For the time being at least. Not that he's likely to rise again unless the universe starts running backwards, like a run amok player piano. But time being what time is, and Vonnegut being who Vonnegut… is, yes, it could happen--at least in his novels, which bounce around time like a pogo rider on a checkered kitchen floor stretching to infinity.
Maybe his checking out on 4/11/7 at age 84 is a way of celebrating lucky deliverance from times too much like those in a favored book--1984, by George Orwell--or from a body too bothered by medicinal hocus pocus. Either way, if Vonnegut and Faulkner are right to say the past is always with us, then young Vonnegut lives.
See the unkempt hair, moustache, wry grin lending a huggable quality to the rationalist humanist even as he ponders frigid truths. See the young reporter-turned-adman stringing words to push product down the pipeline while honing novels in the 1950s. Watch him quarrel with book marketers who classify Sirens of Titan as sci-fi, limiting his exposure to a broader audience, if only for a while.
Hear the clatter of his keys as he turns crazy notions into print--like Ice-Nine, an element from Vonnegut's imagination. Careful. One vial of that doomsday weapon would crystallize all the water on the planet if emptied into, say, the Tennessee River. Something like that happens at the end of Cat's Cradle—the title's derived from an old parlor game performed with simple string--leaving our protagonist eternally giving the finger to a frozen universe.
Maybe young Vonnegut dreams up such images in 1942 as he walks the banks of the Big Tennessee while attending UT. Maybe inklings of waterways' unity flow into one another like a single entity, like time itself. Maybe some dawning knowledge of the purposes our government was feverishly putting Oak Ridge to influence his dark vision. Maybe worship of Big Orange sports heroes on those same banks turn the mechanical engineering student against tribal loyalty for all time.
Such attitudes make Slaughterhouse Five his most controversial novel. It's about a man who goes space and time hopping through a universe shattered at Dresden, Germany in 1945. Vonnegut, a downed pilot, is a prisoner of war there, working in a factory making vitamins for pregnant women, when Brits carpet-bomb that city, a renowned center of culture, followed by the same from America, even after the outcome of the war is clear. Maybe the specter of total war violence him out of his mind and body and time's matrix, until Russian soldiers rescue him. He returns to Dresden years later, if only in imagination.
Perhaps he recalls how that war lends a sort of psychic immunity to Americans dropping record-breaking ordnance on Vietnam and Cambodia in the sixties and seventies. Perhaps as an old man approaching death in the 21st century, he sees how such bombings continue to immunize Americans against revulsion to Shock and Awe visited on Iraq.
Just before bouncing out of his corporeal life, maybe he hears death cries of millions in some future war on Iran. Hmm, is that a mushroom cloud exploding there, courtesy of good Christians in Los Alamos and Oak Ridge?
Did I mention Vonnegut is an atheist? That he likes Jesus quite a lot anyhow? Especially the Sermon on the Mount? That he rescues his son from insanity and self-medication in the 1970s, nurtures him to wellness with tender love and affection? That he thinks we all could use just a tad more socialism, a tad less desperate money-grubbing? And that war's a terrible idea for people on a finite world grown clever at making doomsday bombs? That he says, "We're addicted to oil" years before the Shrub discovers the value of paying lip service to reality from time to time? That he knows time is relative?
So it goes.
Vonnegut believes our greatest heroes are altruistic volunteer firefighters and not, say, warriors like Pat Tillman or Jessica Lynch, who the Bush lie machine sought to foist off on us as real action heroes. Think what a younger Vonnegut could do with such material. The economy he'd bring to showing soldiers in camouflage running out of a hospital while pretending to rescue Lynch. Imagine how the writer might pogo his readers across time's checkered kitchen floor to show Jessica riding a tire-swing at age 8, all freckles and curls, swinging round a West Virginia white oak tree, dreaming of glory. How he'd cut back to show an Iraqi surgeon picking up a phone to call Americans and say, "We've dressed the wounds of one Jessica Lynch. She's leddy to check out now."
Watch Vonnegut bounce her next to boot camp, then across time to Pentagon PR flacks as they tailor the Jessica Lynch legend. Watch how they position cameras to record Americans rushing the hospital, guns drawn. Vonnegut might sum up the darkly humorous hero scam as he sums up so much of the world's crap in Cat's Cradle, with five little words:
"No cat. No cat's cradle."
No Vonnegut? Time forbid. Earlier in the 21st century I miss an opportunity to meet him when he speaks at UT. A friend tells me of his charm and wit, how he'd recently survived a house fire. Does his admiration of firefighters foreshadow this event, somehow, by fifty years, or is the reverse true?
Bouncing around my own life's hologram it's hard to imagine it without Vonnegut. See me in the back of Miss Pearsall's chemistry class reading God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, looking into my own bigotry and closed-mindedness thanks to Vonnegut's clarifying x-ray vision. I'm 15. I'll devour four more Vonnegut books before I'm 16, and through all the years I'll see how Vonnegut got so much right. I'll thank him for the warnings and foreshadows of heartbreak and wisdom to come. I thank him tomorrow. I thank him yesterday. I thank him now.
God bless you, Mr. Vonnegut.
With love and loss and sad admiration.
So he goes.
Copyright © 2007 by Don Williams, All Rights Reserved
Don Williams is a widely published columnist, free-lance writer, and the founding editor and publisher of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of literary writings. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Michigan Journalism Fellowship, a Golden Presscard Award and the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize. As a reporter for the Knoxville News-Sentinel, he was five times writer of the month in the Scripps Howard newspaper chain and twice runner-up for Writer of the Year. He is finishing a novel set in his native Tennessee and Iraq. His book of selected journalism, “Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes, the Best Writings About People” by Don Williams has sold out. For more information, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit the NMW website at www.NewMillenniumWritings.com.
Note to Don, e-mail me if posting this is a problem, Den.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Cracking the whip on the internets, making everyone git in line, for the GOP.
There is an enormous amount of information out on the web regarding Smartechcorp, pleas Google it to understand how extensive their tentacles are extended, virtually into every one of our lives, unless you are 'off the radar'.
If there are missing e-mails, they are in a former bank building basement in Chattanooga right now on their servers. In addition they handle all credit card transactions done by Veri-Sign. Combine this with the RNC using 35% of the available space on their servers and you see why I am concerned.
Bees is my other 'hot button' issue. While it is not being said to avoid panic I suppose, the missing bees story will have enormous implications as soon as next year. The price of food is going to go through the roof, never mind gas prices. Bees are the one link in Mother Natures operation that, if compromised, will bring about global starvation of biblical proportions.
Right now, research has to be done to substitute the actions done by bees pollinating plants, never mind figuring out where they went for now we need alternatives NOW! This story is not receiving the coverage it deserves by the media now, but by next year when crops fail in enormity, it most likely will. This key element jeopardizes human existence far more than Global Warming, far more than wars, and must be addressed by scientists.
Lastly guns. Judging by the responses of my post yesterday, many of you are passionate with your opinions and I respect that. This is a free country and many Americans share your ideas.
As many of you have heard the State of Virginia has the most lax requirements for purchasing a gun of any type. New York has a problem with criminals going to VA to do their gun buying because of those weak restrictions. Maybe if the laws were not so lax, this horrendous scene could have been avoided, no one knows for sure and hindsight is always 20-20.
By improving scrutiny of gun buyers, it would have a tremendous effect on who could or could not buy guns. 18 is the minimum age in VA, and resident aliens are allowed to buy them.
Might as well sell guns on the street corner like lemonade with those rules. After this incident I think VA will make the necessary changes, I hope so anyway.
OK fire up the keyboards and lets get to bloggin!
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Guns kill people, knives kill people, blunt instruments kill people, bombs kill people.
The common denominator in the above statement is what? People.
People kill people, no matter what sort of instrument is used to accomplish it. Sure it would be difficult to have mass stabbings, but how many people would die if some crazy had a razor sharp machete in a crowd of people, chopping at random. Of how about ammonium nitrate and fuel oil used as a bomb? OKC?
My point is there are many instruments of physical destruction that kill people, not just guns.
I am not a member of the NRA and as such cannot speak for them, but I like guns.
Big nasty machine guns, cannons, pistols, rifles. I like them as the intriguing mechanical machines that they are. As a guy I like target shooting and much to my friends dismay do not like hunting Gods' creatures. I like the power of guns and their ability to obliterate stationary objects, bottles, cans, etc.
Anyone that so chooses to enter my humble abode without my express permission better know they are risking their lives to do so. Deterrence of crime through the use of a well armed and trained citizenry is a must in todays' society where gang violence is an everyday occurrence, the police will not always be there to help and actually response times for a call are way too long.
This responsibility is not to be taken lightly however. Appropriate measures need to be taken to prevent children from accessing weapons, measures must be taken to secure weapons from theft which is the largest reason for the illegal sale of weapons to criminal elements in the first place. Locking gun cabinets are best for both. Training is important also as it has been noted that untrained gun owners will often become victims of their own guns.
We live in a free society(so far) and as a member of that society we are obligated to maintain some level of civility, but when it all goes very wrong we need to be ready, not victims.
This recent tragedy has brought an awareness that this can happen anywhere, anytime and with potentially more force of action. If we choose not to protect ourselves, we will keep being victims of it and embolden those who wish to do us harm.
I know all of you will not agree with my thoughts on this matter, however, it is not necessary to agree or disagree, just look at it as my opinion. Not a requirement or an answer for the crazy world we live in, just saying a person has a right to defend oneself and not become a victim.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Image: Jon Sullivan/Wikipedia
The almond trees are blooming and the bees are dying, and nobody knows why. All up and down California's vast San Joaquin Valley, nearly 2,500 square kilometres of small nut trees arranged in laser-straight rows are shaking off the cobwebs of winter. They're gearing up once again to produce nearly half a billion kilograms of nuts, worth US$3 billion to the U.S. economy.
The trees cannot produce the bounty on their own, however. They need bees - a million hives worth - trucked in from nearly forty U.S. states to move pollen from one tree to another, fertilising the blooms in the largest managed pollination event on Earth.
But even as the beekeepers reap record fees for renting their hives, their livelihood is now threatened by the largest loss of honey bees in the history of the industry.
Since October 2006, 35 per cent or more of the United States' population of the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) - billions of individual bees - simply flew from their hive homes and disappeared.
When the almonds were being plucked from the trees late last year, Gene Brandi of Los Banos, California had 2,000 hives, but by late February he had just 1,200 - a loss of 40 per cent.
And Brandi is one of the more fortunate. Across the 24 U.S. states affected by the mysterious phenomenon, losses have ranged up to 90 per cent. "I've had a couple of yards where I've had 200 hives and they're down to 10 hives that are alive," says David Bradshaw of Visalia, about 180 kilometres southeast of Los Banos along California's Route 99.
What's causing the carnage, however, is a total mystery; all that scientists have come up with so far is a new name for the phenomenon - Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) - and a list of symptoms.
In hives hit by CCD, adult workers simply fly away and disappear, leaving a small cluster of workers and the hive's young to fend for themselves. Adding to the mystery, nearby predators, such as the wax moth, are refraining from moving in to pilfer honey and other hive contents from the abandoned hives; in CCD-affected hives the honey remains untouched.
The symptoms are baffling, but one of the emerging hypotheses is that the scourge is underpinned by a collapse of the bees' immune systems. Stressed out by cross-country truck journeys and drought, attacked by viruses and introduced parasites, or whacked out by harmful new pesticides, some researchers believe the bees' natural defences may have simply given way. This opens the door to a host of problems that the bees can normally suppress.
What's surprising is that mysterious declines are nothing new. As far back as 1896, CCD has popped up again and again, only under the monikers: 'fall dwindle' disease, 'May dwindle', 'spring dwindle', 'disappearing disease', and 'autumn collapse'.
Even the current outbreak has possibly been going on undetected for two years, according to the CCD Working Group - a crack group of U.S. researchers from institutes including the Pennsylvania State University and University of Montana, who are trying to unravel the mystery.
What has made the members of the Working Group - as well as conservationists, beekeepers, and farmers - really sit up and notice is the scale of this year's decimation; something in the environment has allowed CCD to reach an unprecedented scale that threatens the very survival of the pollination industry.
"We have never seen a die-off of this magnitude with this weird symptomology," says Maryann Frazier, a bee researcher at Pennsylvania State University. "We've seen bees disappear over time and dwindle away, but not die-off so quickly."
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Sunshine being let in the windows of Washington DC this week promises to reveal many things, previously restricted, to the dark world of the neo-cons.
I do not even know how to describe the chaos about to tear the Administrations lie factory into a mass of twisted e-mail wreckage. The bizarro world of talking points will provide no solace for them any longer, their boat is taking on water on it's way to Davey Jones locker to be archived with the other amazingly stupid Repug tricks like Watergate and Iran Contra.
The rush to pursue a course of shock and awe to the Democratic system and the war against all that the Constitution represents is slowly grinding to a halt, thank God.
Fasten your seat belts, grab your favorite beverage and hang on tight, bumpy road ahead.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Service granted an extension on the final
decision to delist the bald eagle.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that the final decision on whether to remove the bald eagle from the federal list of threatened and endangered species will be postponed. The Service has reached a court-approved agreement allowing the agency to make a final determination on the eagle’s status no later than June 29, 2007.
The additional four months will give the Service time to complete additional analyses related to the final rule and put in place management guidelines and procedures that will make it easier for the public to understand ongoing Bald and Golden Eagle Act protections, ensuring that eagles continue to thrive once delisted.
The Service had been under a court ordered deadline of February 16, 2007, to make a final decision on the eagle’s status. In January, the Service approached the plaintiff in that case to request an extension of the deadline. With the agreement of the plaintiff, the Service requested and the court approved the extension until June 29, 2007.During the extension, the Service expects to develop a proposed rule that would authorize incidental take of bald eagles under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The Service also intends to finalize voluntary Bald Eagle Management Guidelines and a regulatory definition of "disturb" under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Thursday, April 12, 2007
WASHINGTON — The White House said Wednesday that it may have lost what could amount to thousands of messages sent through a private e-mail system used by political guru Karl Rove and at least 50 other top officials, an admission that stirred anger and dismay among congressional investigators.
The e-mails were considered potentially crucial evidence in congressional inquiries launched by Democrats into the role partisan politics may have played in such policy decisions as the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.
The White House said an effort was underway to see whether the messages could be recovered from the computer system, which was operated and paid for by the Republican National Committee as part of an avowed effort to separate political communications from those dealing with official business.
"The White House has not done a good enough job overseeing staff using political e-mail accounts to assure compliance with the Presidential Records Act," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said in an unusual late-afternoon teleconference with reporters.
As a result, Stanzel said, "we may not have preserved all e-mails that deal with White House business."
He refused to estimate how many e-mails may have been lost, but the system was used by dozens of officials for more than six years.
"This is a remarkable admission that raises serious legal and security issues," said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is investigating the role of electoral politics in administration policymaking. "The White House has an obligation to disclose all the information it has."
@ The LA Times.
Marvelous isn't it? How things conveniently disappear when needed, luckily nothing ever leaves a computer.
A subpoena for all RNC computers from all the WH staff that use them is in order here.
The information is still in the hard drives somewhere but retrieval must be done by persons knowledgeable in the recovery of data from hard drives. By demanding the computers be turned over for analysis it would reveal exactly who is telling the truth.
It is not just an exercise in Congressional authority, it is a matter of national security as Sen. Waxman has stated. Data vital to the functioning of the Government has been compromised.
Confiscate the RNC computers now, before they too come up missing.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Generals gathered in their massesWAR CZAR WANTED
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of death’s construction
In the fields the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds, oh lord yeah!
Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor
Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait ’till their judgement day comes, yeah!
Now in darkness, world stops turning
As the war machine keeps burning
No more war pigs of the power
Hand of God has sturck the hour
Day of judgement, God is calling
On their knees, the war pigs crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings
All right now.
Must pass 'loyal bushie' test
Must be able to work with no supervision
Must have prior experience with death and destruction
Apply at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington DC
The White House wants to appoint a high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies, but it has had trouble finding anyone able and willing to take the job, according to people close to the situation.
At least three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks have declined to be considered for the position, the sources said, underscoring the administration's difficulty in enlisting its top recruits to join the team after five years of warfare that have taxed the United States and its military.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
The Federal Reserve Monopoly Over Moneyby Ron Paul
Recently I had the opportunity to question Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke when he appeared before the congressional Joint Economic committee. The topic that morning was the state of the American economy, and many of my colleagues raised questions about how the Fed might better "regulate" things to ease fears of an economic downturn. The tenor of my colleagues' questions suggested that Mr. Bernanke's job is nothing less than to run the U.S. economy, like some kind of Soviet central planner.
Certainly it’s true that Mr. Bernanke can drastically affect the economy at the drop of a hat, simply by making decisions about the money supply and interest rates. But why do members of Congress assume this is good? Why do we accept without objection that a small group of people on the Federal Reserve Board wields so much power over our economic well-being? Is centralized, monopoly control over our money even compatible with a supposedly free-market economy?
Few Americans give much thought to the Federal Reserve System or monetary policy in general. But even as they strive to earn a living, and hopefully save or invest for the future, Congress and the Federal Reserve Bank are working insidiously against them. Day by day, every dollar you have is being devalued.More at Lew Rockwell.com
So much monetary control taken from us because we would not know how to manage it ourselves.
There is nothing Federal about the Federal Reserve, it is the money brokers scheme to keep themselves rich and all others standing outside wishing they were.
Better fasten your monetary seatbelts, rough road ahead.
Monday, April 09, 2007
The big fuss today is the "I" man and his penchant for saying stupid stuff at least 95% of the time.
His latest rant regarding the Rutgers University womens basketball team calling them "nappy headed ho's" is the latest stupid remark. With his voice being heard across the airwaves on WFAN and his visible image on MSNBC he should be taking his position more seriously, especially since in all likelihood he will be kicked to the curb over this latest stupid remark.
This Redneck reporter has opened the door for a peek into the "Freudian slip" exposed mentality of Redneck thought. Narrow of mind, short on ideas other than how to hotrod a lawnmower, Rednecks have given us being towed behind a pickup till dead and hangings.
Some repertoire huh? Just friendly down home folks, as long as your NOT different.
Imus is deserving of the slam-dunk he will get from his position formerly know as village idiot, to the unemployment line.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Didn't mean to piss anyone off, just challenge the way we think about things.
So what if I am not a expert in the field of journalism, I say what is important to me regarding issues and how they are approached, with no malicious intent toward those with opposing views.
I was responding to the outright dismissal of possibly pertinent information, although factually challenged in some ways can give hints of other avenues we might look into for truth. Was WMR trying to nail Chainy to the cross on Good Friday? Or is their an element of truth somewhere?
Dr Benson quickly pointed out a "fact" of the flight path and the directions were not right, YAY! Dr. Benson and element of untruth in the story proven to be suspicious. Would anyone challenge WMR in writing to produce more accurate stories? Would he listen? Or just dismiss and move on.
The truth is elusive today and when found is usually not pretty, so I look at everything and sort from there.
Now for the "HOSTILE" part, I watched the entire 9/11 horrendous episode from start to finish on TV, from the first so-called plane to the last dust cloud and was taken back by the rate at which these buildings fell . Whether it was the rate of gravity on Mars or whatever, they came down DAMN FAST!. That was not accidental and no way will anyone convince me otherwise.
People can have their own opinions and I have mine, I know what I saw and challenge anyone to prove that it was NOT a deliberate demolition, why was it done? we know why, to load us in the gun of war, with a justification of a 'war on terrorism' fighting those who are "agin us"?
Mighty convenient I would say.
So once again it is TRUTH we are lacking and should be pursuing in all stories, but would we know it if we found it?.
Now lets get some EASTER GOODIES!!!
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Saturday morning and all is well. Nothing has blown up yet, it is the 7th after all.
It had been widely reported on the internet of an impending attack on Iran by the US on the 6th of April. The source was dubious at best, supposedly a Russian reporter with the "inside" information, broadcast on Rense with fervor along with several other sites.
Whether to accept or reject a story is a matter of personal choice, how much increase in blood pressure can one endure would be one consideration. So much bad news and such wears on our souls, keep the bad news coming and depression soon follows, intrigue however challenges the mind.
When something becomes "interesting" we will follow it without the angst and more curiosity.
That would explain the popularity of "Idol" and "Survivor", they arose curiosity.
Dubious reporting also arouses curiosity making the reader question what they hold as true by making something just believable enough to cause them to question and if it plausibly fits.
So then it comes down to what we believe given the information provided.
If we filter all input of information to a certain slant we do ourselves more harm than good, this is where "think outside the box" comes in.
If we for example believe 9/11 was an inside job due to certain elements standard in physics applied would show the only way for a mass object such as the towers to fall in it's own footprint at the same rate as a object dropped to freefall to the ground, guess what? Something is fishy in Tunatown.
Or if we believe that the 9/11 conspiracy group are a bunch of crackpots being led on a wild goose chase by the "9/11 Truth" crowd and know that it would be way too intensive an operation to pull off to make it reality at all and Popular Mechanics and the NIST are scientific organizations, well that is your choice.
The question I have is does this divided thought enhance our existence in the US.
Would it not be better to prove beyond 'a shadow of a doubt' why a perfectly good, undamaged building can implode by itself and fall down?
My point is, there are many ways to look at something, only ONE is the truth.
Be cautious, be wary, but above all be open minded enough to know the truth when you do find it, I am still learning too.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
The GAO Sounds the Alarm on "Peak Oil"by Randolph T Holhut | Apr 4 2007 - 1:58pm | permalink
article tools: email | print | read more Randolph T Holhut
DUMMERSTON, Vt. — The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) generally doesn't go too far out on a limb when it comes to predictions.
So when the GAO issues a report stating that worldwide crude oil production will eventually dwindle to nothing and that the United States has no strategy at all to deal that scenario, it's worth paying attention to.
The material in the GAO's report, "Crude Oil — Uncertainty About Future Oil Supply Makes It Important to Develop a Strategy for Addressing a Peak and Decline in Oil Production," is familiar to anyone who has been following what's become known as peak oil — when the available reserves of petroleum are outstripped by demand for more oil.
However, what makes the GAO report interesting is that this is the first time that any responsible party in the federal government has acknowledged that something might be wrong.
The report acknowledges these factors:
• More than 60 percent of world oil reserves lie in countries that are hostile to the United States (such as Iran and Venezuela, for example) or are so politically unstable (such as Nigeria and Iraq) that oil production is constrained.
• There hasn't been any new significant oil field discovery in years, and the expected life span of current oil fields is highly suspect, since few nations have honestly accounted for their reserves.
• In 2005, worldwide oil consumption approached 85 billion barrels a day. By 2030, consumption is expected to reach 118 billion barrels a day, with China and India accounting for 40 percent of that figure.
• Depending on whose estimate you believe, we are either at peak oil, or will be within the next decade or two. Current world oil production stands at about 85 billion barrels a day, or roughly equal with current consumption.
Even if one doesn’t factor in the effects of global warming on the U.S. economy, all this adds up to a major crisis for a nation that has grown accustomed to a ready supply of cheap energy and has done little to plan for a probable post-petroleum future.
It's like they could not hold back any longer. We the intelligent bloggers have known that this has been the single most important reason for our ruthless invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq to begin with. Oil has driven this conflict from the very beginning and it seems that no amount of dead will deter the corporatistas from their mission to take that which does not belong to them simply because the have the power of the Repug machine behind them.
No matter what it takes, who must die and who will be maimed for life is the mantra behind the highest paid executives in the world. They have strategized and planned for this time since the first revelations of peak oil back in 1956 by a man named Marion Hubbard.
A short background on Peak Oil can be found at Wiki here.
There are the Peak Oil poo poo'ers that believe it is all falsely portrayed and there is an endless supply of oil. Common sense dictates there are finite supplies of all resources including the next war trigger, water.
Friends, we are living an existence in a purely fascist society right now, we can believe otherwise but it is folly to do so. Because of the relentless pursuit of oil and money we have been relegated to servitude to the oil companies and our own government.
This article shows the reality of limited oil resources but don't expect anything different until the last drop is let and reality is forced into their boardrooms.
Until then more will die in the relentless pursuit of profit.