Friday, October 12, 2007




DEN said...

I knew something was fishy here.

Burma’s economic picture would be depressing enough without the involvement of Big Oil. One of the key reasons why sanctions against the regime are unlikely to work is because the junta's foreign partners hope to maintain business as usual. Foreign firms have been scrambling for a piece of Burma's oil and gas industry since the regime liberalized investment rules in 1988.

These are not obscure players or small-time plays. Burmese natural gas, worth $2.8 billion, generates one fifth of Thailand’s electricity. China wants to build pipelines and roads through Burma that would allow its oil imports to bypass vulnerable chokepoints in the Malacca Straits, which could be blocked by the U.S. Navy in the event of Sino-U.S. tensions.


Once again corporate greed rules.

Up next, a joke.

DEN said...


One day in the future, OJ Simpson has a heart-attack and dies.
He immediately goes to hell, where the devil is waiting for him.
"I don't know what to do here," says the devil. "You are on my list, but I have no room for you. You definitely have to stay here, so I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I've got a couple of folks here who
weren't quite as bad as you. I'll let one of them go, but you have to
take their place. I'll even let YOU decide who leaves."
OJ thought that sounded pretty good, so the devil opened the door to the first room.
In it was Ted Kennedy and a large pool of water. Ted kept diving in,
and surfacing, empty handed. Over, and over, and over he dove in and
surfaced with nothing. Such was his fate in hell.
"No," OJ said. "I don't think so. I'm not a good swimmer, and I don't
think I could do that all day long."
The devil led him to the door of the next room.
In it was Al Gore with a sledgehammer and a room full of rocks. All he did was swing that hammer, time after time after time.
"No, this is no good; I've got this problem with my shoulder. I would be in constant agony if all I could do was break rocks all day," commented OJ.
The devil opened a third door. Through it, OJ saw Bill Clinton, lying on the bed, his arms tied over his head, and his legs restrained in a spread-eagle pose. Bent over him was Monica Lewinsky, doing what she does best. OJ looked at this in shocked disbelief, and finally said, "Yeah man, I can handle this." The devil smiled and said . . . . . . .
(This is priceless:)
"OK, Monica, you're free to go."

Thanks Alan!

micki said...

Well, I am delighted that Al Gore and the IPCC share the Nobel Peace award.


micki said...

A key threshold crossed

An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report to be released next month will show that the limit on greenhouse-gases scientists hoped to avert has already been surpassed.

...and now for the bad news.

Carey said...

What a start to a great morning.


A powerful victory for good in the world.

Also, my brother (in-law) had his email supporting the local Air America station read out over the air. It was a long one but Stacy Taylor really liked it.

A great day for two great men!

A powerful victory for all.

P.S. Yeah Micki. That's what David's been trying to tell us. It's happening so surprisingly fast.

micki said...

The knee-jerkers are convulsing!

I've cruised around a few sites and am astounded at the vituperative remarks regarding Al Gore's Nobel honor.


But, they can have their fun. I'm happy for him and IPCC and all who care!

micki said...

Oh, I almost forgot....

I had a weird dream last night. Larry Craig decided to rehabilitate his image by coming out with a vengeance on global warming.

He decided to be a strong voice for change and action on global warming.

I told you it was a weird dream.

DEN said...

Micki, you mean like this:

On Wednesday, Mr Justice Barton sitting at London's High Court said some of the errors in Mr Gore's work had arisen in "the context of alarmism and exaggeration" to support the former US vice-president's thesis on global warming.

The judge said that before the film could be shown in UK schools, it might be necessary for the Department of Children, Schools and Families to make clear to teaching staff that some of Mr Gore's views were not supported or promoted by the Government, and there was "a view to the contrary".

@ Guardian

The government decides what the Brits will see or not see?

No wonder we kicked their asses out!

DEN said...

Oh wait, we are not to far behind that either.

Micki, Did LC tap your toe?

Dreaming of perverts??

Go home and wash your mind out with soap!

David B. Benson said...

Tim Flannery is wrong:

CO_2 Equivalents

We still have time, but we had better start moving fast!

micki said...

I see, Dr. B, that you're on top of this misinterpretation (leak)! Thanks for being our resident expert -- but, man! You're all over the internet(s)! I saw your comment yesterday @ salon, too!

David B. Benson Says:
11 October 2007 at 6:21 PM
I don’t yet comprehend how the ‘dangerous’ level can be set so high.

My reasons are solely based on the Eemian intergalcial (Termination II), about 134 kya. At that time it seems that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere peaked at about 292 ppmv (Vostok Ice Core analysis only, average of the three studies on the NOAA Paleoclimatology site). During the Eemian the sea high stand was about 4 meters higher than today’s sea stand.

I conclude that, roughly, any concentration greater than about 280 ppmv eventually leads to sea stand rise, hence we are currently in peril of eventually seeing quite a substantial sea stand rise. If so, that will be quite a calamity, even if it takes centuries to reach the highest stand.

[Response: There were other differences during the Eemian - specifically orbital configuration changes that meant that NH summers (May-Sep) were much warmer than today. Even though global temperatures were only about 1 or 2 deg warmer than now, Greenland temperatures were more liek 3 to 5 deg C warmer. So if you are looking for predictions, look for cases where Greenland is likely to be that warm (most BAU scenarios by 2100 as it happens - see Overpeck et al, 2006 Science). -gavin]

micki said...

Carey -- dontcha wish we could sound scientific like that? :-)

micki said...

Den, I don't have control over my dreams.

Years ago, I even had dreams about the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

micki said...

I really did.

DEN said...

Micki, so serious, was meant to be humorous remark.

(I'm a smart ass at heart)

DEN said...

Better than being a dumb ass.

DEN said...

However I have been called a dumb ass on more than one occasion.

But like Teflon, it wouldn't stick!


David B. Benson said...

Micki --- It takes 50 years of practice...

David B. Benson said...

This is quite bad enough, being very bad:

Greenland (ice) is melting at record speed

Very, very bad.

Have to stop added carbon to the active carbon cycle and start sequestering some instead.

DEN said...

Micki, I am a lucid dreamer and can control what I see and can awaken if it gets too weird.

Seriously, dreams are reflections of emotions, serious dreams like that say deep down you are concerned and would like to help solve global warming. LC is just a describing element of the dream. could have been Newt.

Dreams are there to help you understand your emotional and intellectual feelings.

Many people are watchers, I participated until I reached the point of not needing to.

Now I rarely dream at all.

micki said...

Den, I knew you were joshing me.

Well, I assumed you were. :-)

But, believe me when Larry Craig came in screen right on my dream-radar, I shook myself into consciousness, and told him to get lost!

micki said...

could have been Newt.


He will never enter my dreamspace! Yukaroo!

º¿carol said...

Mick, just started my Oct 15 Newsweek so I haven't seen the Blackwater thing yet.

Guess whose brand new furnace was deader than a fart this morning, eh? Eh????

When Bob called the number was disconnected! What the hell? Did he sell us the furnace then leave town?

Izzy & I drove to his house in the next town and the house looked fine with hostas and mums in pots ready to plant and a dog barking in the house. I stuck a note in the door.

Bob got hold of Brian later. It was only phone trouble and he and his Kuwait-returned son fixed me up. Phew, and DOUBLE phew! I already envisioned finding a lawyer! :)

Ok. Now I'll read this thread.

Hajji said...

Speaking of climate.

45 degrees here last night, 75 today is a welcome relief from the summer that never ended. A fire last night kept the house plenty warm enough.

One night last week it rained for about .25 inch, leaving us still 2 feet or so down compared to average.

The crabgrass and goldenrod is all that keeps the red clay from blowing away. The lakes, rivers and streams and most all of our beautiful waterfalls are so diminished.

Usually we could blame ourselves for living in the lee of the Blue Ridge Escarpment whose shadow sheilds us from the prevailing winds. This year, however, it seems to matter not which direction the wind blows.

I'm already hay-feeding the hooved ones, to save some of the struggling flora. Normally they browse for themselves just fine until December.

Send Rain....soon!


DEN said...

Define old ...

First, you tell your friend that you are having an affair...

Then your friend asks you, "Are you having it catered?"

That, my friend, is the definition of OLD.......

DEN said...

Al speaks:

Dear Den,

I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This award is even more meaningful because I have the honor of sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change--the world's pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis--a group whose members have worked tirelessly and selflessly for many years. We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level.

My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the U.S. and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.

Thank you,

Al Gore

micki said...

As the world turns...I wonder how many fervent Dennis Kucinich supporters, who are desperate for healthcare coverage, are aware that he voted against the S-CHIP bill? Doesn't that bill represent progressive values?

The bill would expand a successful program to more U.S. children in his district (a rather poor district), so it's strange logic that he said he voted NO because it doesn't include children of legal aliens. He promoted his own bill, HR 676, which would cover adults & children as a better choice, but so far, his bill isn't going anywhere soon. So, nothing is better than something?

I think children of legal aliens should be included, but I don't think voting against the whole damned thing was in the best interest of the many children in his own district who desperately need health care coverage.

On the one hand, bush vowed to veto the bill and Kucinich, on the other hand, voted against it because he doesn’t think it goes far enough. Polarizing positions work against functional compromise, resulting in a government that cannot serve in the nation’s best interest.

carey said...

Wow, Dr. B.

Geez Micki. That dream is odd. Do you often have political dreams? I've gotta think. I must, it's so often on my mind.

º¿carol said...

Knowing I'm all about getting a national health care, I hope you're not alluding to me being a fervent Kucinich supporter.

I support none of them. I only came out of the two quizes as in line with him.

carey said...

Really, Micki, on Kucinich. Interesting.

carey said...

Hi Hajji!

carey said...

I'd have to study it because Kucinich's other positions, especially on Iraq, have been well thought-out. Kind of baffling, actually.

You're quite right about compromise Micksters.

Keep warm dear Carol.

David B. Benson said...

Carey --- Wow?

micki said...

No, no...I'm thinking of all the Kucinich-or-I'm-not-voting-in-the general supporters. I see them all the time @ other sites.

micki said...

Well, I was surprised, too, about Kucinich's vote and his explanation.

So, I scoped around a, I don't know if this story has legs or not, but Stu Rothenberg (for what it's worth) is saying that Kucinich is in "some" trouble with his constituents for this vote and others.

There's a Dem woman who is running in the primary against him -- darn, I'll have to find her name -- who Rothenberg seems to think has a chance of derailing him.

Maybe his district thinks he should be paying more attention to them and not so much on the national campaign. Who knows.

micki said...

Her name is ROSEMARY PALMER -- turns out Paul Hackett endorsed her, according to this

Politics in action!

micki said...

Rosemary Palmer, is an antiwar activist who lost her son in the Iraq war and supported Kucinich in the past.

David B. Benson said...

Oh goody! Repugs skewer themselves:

Craig Ethics Complaint Backfires on GOP

micki said...

Dr. B -- Methinks this is a classic example of hoist with one's own petard! The GOPers' hypocrisy on the men/women sex with who unto whom has backfired!

Oh, goody! I second that!

micki said...

Oh, the other rumor is that Kucinich is leaving the House -- will not run again. His (young) wife wants him to do "greater" things and make more money.

David B. Benson said...

Forty one:

On another blog someone mentioned regarding AGW that we need a "Winston Churchill". I agree.

But somehow I currently don't quite see Gore or Kucinich as fully filling those shoes.

But we need one.


micki said...

From Consumer's Repoert:

Treatment traps to avoid

Insured? You're money in the bank to the health-care system

Ron Spurgeon's health began to unravel when he hurt his shoulder doing yard work. He eventually wound up at Redding Medical Center in northern California, where a cardiologist told him he had a life-threatening heart condition. Four days later, he had triple bypass surgery.

Restrictions on heavy lifting as a consequence of the incision in his breastbone led the robust 56-year-old to give up his job maintaining machinery at lumber mills.

In 2003, two years after his operation, Spurgeon learned that Tenet Healthcare, the hospital's owner, had paid $54 million to settle U.S. government allegations that it billed Medicare for unnecessary heart procedures. The next year, Spurgeon and 344 others sued the hospital and eight cardiologists and surgeons for performing unnecessary procedures. The defendants ultimately paid $442 million to settle the suit, and Tenet says safeguards are now in place. Outside experts who reviewed patient charts determined that Spurgeon was among the many patients who hadn't needed their procedures.

"There was nothing wrong with me," Spurgeon says. "Those guys violated me. They took away my trust in doctors."

Spurgeon's story is an extreme example of a major, if unheralded, reason that medical care is more expensive here than anywhere else in the world: overtreatment and overdiagnosis, driven by the system's dysfunctional profit incentives.

As we reported in September, the ability of insurance companies to slow the growth of medical costs has deteriorated sharply since around 2000. The annual U.S. health-care bill has risen to $2 trillion, its highest point in history.

Topsy-turvy financial incentives are almost everywhere in the system:

* Doctors and hospitals profit by overpromoting and overusing unnecessary, unproven, and in some cases downright harmful tests and treatments.

* People who live in regions of the country with an oversupply of specialists and hospitals are subjected to unnecessary treatments and procedures that in many cases make them sicker.

* Drug companies are spending billions to promote costly new drugs that are often no better than older, cheaper drugs with a proven safety record.

* The payment system discourages simple, low-cost counseling, care coordination, and treatments proven to save lives and reduce suffering.

Consumers already suspect the system is rigged against them. In a series of focus groups we conducted over the past summer in Connecticut, Iowa, and Texas, participants told us they believed the system was designed to make money for doctors, hospitals, insurers, and drug companies rather than provide high-quality care.

Our investigation can help you become a smarter and healthier consumer of medical treatment by recognizing the ways the system runs up cost and runs down quality.

DEN said...

The New York Times reports:

In a sweeping indictment of the four-year effort in Iraq, the former top American commander called the Bush administration’s handling of the war incompetent and warned that the United States was "living a nightmare with no end in sight."

In one of his first major public speeches since leaving the Army in late 2006, retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez blamed the administration for a "catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan" and denounced the current "surge" strategy as a "desperate" move that will not achieve long-term stability. ...

"There was been a glaring and unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders," he said, adding later in his remarks that civilian officials have been "derelict in their duties" and guilty of a "lust for power." ...

Questioned by reporters after his speech, he included the military and himself among those who made mistakes in Iraq, citing the failure to insist on a better post-invasion stabilization plan.

A General scorned.....

{ò,ó}arol said...

This blurb was in my Detroit Free Press the other morning. I'll have to type it out, dammit. Good thing I can type.


I found it! Now I don't have to type it out. Good old copy/paste.

Anyway, this is one of the things I absolutely HATE about this country!!!

WASHINGTON: Medicare clients face hike in prescription drug premiums

Premiums will rise 21% for elderly and disabled Americans who stick with their current Medicare prescription drug plans in 2008, a health care consulting firm reported Friday.

The increase is almost twice as much as this year, said Avalere Health LLC, a Washington-based consulting company that reviewed 3,000 plans. UnitedHealth Group Inc., the biggest provider of the plans, will boost premiums 87% for one policy that's held by 900,000 people, and No. 2 Humana Inc. will raise rates 69% for 2.1 million people, Avalere said.

The prescription program, introduced in 2006, covers about 24 million beneficiaries

Carey said...


Well, a general "wow" at you for all your contributions. They're cherished, believe me, by all of us. In this particular case, the quote Micki proudly had us all read from Salon.

Micki, thank you for your work on the Kucinich dilema. How fascinating. What a detective, super spy!

Also, muchas gracias for the Consumer Reports blurb.

micki said...

Dr. B, I see NO reason to think that Kucinich would fill shoes -- Churchill's or otherwise -- on anthropogenic global warming (AGW). WTF has he done to suggest that he's that concerned about AGW?

As far as Al Gore, I hope he doesn't run for president. He's done an exemplary job focusing attention on the problem. Given that it was only a moment ago that the deniers held sway on the issue, I give Al Gore high marks for taking the arrows in his back to slog on, when others played it safe.

Sure, scientists are doing the nitty-gritty stuff of figuring it all out, as much as they can, but it is AL GORE who got the message out and forced the recalcitrant (head in the sand types) to at least acknowledge it's a problem -- and some are now even acknowledging that it is a clear and present danger.

If you think that IPCC would have the ability to exercise influence or authority over the POLITICIANS, you are...well, mistaken. It took a FACE to get out there to get the media's and government's attention.

Al Gore is that FACE.

micki said...


If you think that IPCC, alone, or scientists, alone, would have the ability to exercise influence or authority over the POLITICIANS, you are...well, mistaken. It took a FACE to get out there to get the media's and government's attention.

micki said...

Churchill's finest hour was always in his words:

I have never accepted what many people have kindly said -- namely that I inspired the nation. Their will was resolute and remorseless, and as it proved, unconquerable. It fell to me to express it.

micki said...

So......Al Gore may not be as eloquent as Winnie was, but he is expressing was needs to be expressed.

For that we should be grateful.

gerald said...

Water, Precious Water

Dear Posters:

The facts are streaming in daily that eternal wars will soon be fought over water. Yes, water! Water is a precious natural resource that is important for life. Our buffoon in the WH just scoffs at the importance of our environment from water, to air, to global warming, and to the use of our land without depleted uranium for some examples.

Our human resources will be used as cannon fodder to be murdered and maimed through our buffoon emperor who is addicted to wars and war crimes.

Oil and water are two natural resources that are targeted. We should keep a close eye on natural gas that is another natural resource that will receive great attention in the next few years. Nazi America will definitely continue to fight wars over this natural resource.

We can talk about peace and justice but peace and justice will never, ever happen in Nazi America because Nazi America has been a culture of violence for over five hundred years. This culture of violence is part of the Nazi American psyche. Until we stop our denial of our culture of violence, we will continue to murder other human beings and we will continue to enjoy the carnage that we have created. Nazi Americans love the sight of blood. They are blood-sucking vultures who are glorified through the drinking human blood.


gerald said...

The USA is hopelessly addicted to war

gerald said...

Nazi America is guilty of genocide

gerald said...

These pictures are what is truly the American way

gerald said...

I can picture the American security moms and the soccer moms licking their chops at the sight of these pictures. They love it as long as their children are protected. To hell with every other mothers' sons and daughters!!!

micki said...

The New York Times

October 13, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
The Trivial Pursuit

Yesterday began with the gratifying news that Al Gore, derided by George H.W. Bush as the “Ozone Man,” had won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The first thing media types wanted to know was whether this would prompt Mr. Gore to elbow his way into the presidential campaign. That’s like asking someone who’s recovered from a heart attack if he plans to resume smoking.

Mr. Gore, who won an Academy Award for his documentary on global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth,” and an Emmy for his cable TV network, Current, knows better than anyone else how toxic and downright idiotic presidential politics has become.

He may be one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, talented men in America and remarkably well-equipped to lead the nation, but it’s Mr. Bush’s less-than-curious, less-than-distinguished son, George W., who is president.

There are all kinds of ironies wrapped up in the title of Mr. Gore’s latest book, “The Assault on Reason.”

When I heard that Mr. Gore had won the Nobel, my thoughts wandered to the younger Mr. Bush and to Rudolph Giuliani, who is leading the current field of Republican presidential candidates.

Mr. Bush came to mind because, for all of the obvious vulnerabilities he exhibited in 2000, it was not him but Mr. Gore who was mocked unmercifully by the national media. And the mockery had nothing to do with the former vice president’s positions on important policy issues. He was mocked because of his personality.

In the race for the highest office in the land, we showed the collective maturity of 3-year-olds.

Mr. Gore was taken to task for his taste in clothing and for such grievous offenses as sighing or, allegedly, rolling his eyes. It was a given that at a barbecue everyone would rush to be with his opponent.

We’ve paid a heavy price. The president who got such high marks as a barbecue companion doesn’t seem to know up from down. He’s hurled the nation into a ruinous war that has cost countless lives and spawned a whole new generation of terrorists. He continues to sit idly by as a historic American city, New Orleans, remains wounded and on its knees. He’s blithely steered the nation into a bottomless pit of debt.

I could go on.

Mr. Gore actually polled the most votes in 2000, but he was criticized for not having whipped Mr. Bush decisively enough to have avoided the madness in Florida.

Mr. Gore knows the system is in trouble, and not just because of the way he lost in 2000. The last time I spoke to him, a few months ago, he said: “Having served in the White House with the Gingrich Congress, and having watched the best of intentions so often turned into small changes ballyhooed as revolutionary, sometimes having no lasting mark, I really do believe that fixing the dynamic of democracy is an urgent task.”

That’s just the kind of thoughtful comment that can’t get a real hearing in our sound-bite politics. The result is that reality, untidy and complex, is almost always trumped by well-crafted phoniness.

Which brings us to Mr. Giuliani.

The entire basis for this former mayor’s candidacy is his contention that he is some kind of expert, a veritable guru, on matters related to terrorism.

“I understand terrorism,” he says, “in a way that is equal to or exceeds anyone else.”

And yet in the two most important decisions he has made with regard to terror, he has miserably failed.

Mr. Giuliani foolishly insisted, against expert advice, on placing New York City’s state-of-the-art emergency command center on the 27th floor of a 47-story building that was known to be a terror target and that was destroyed in the World Trade Center attack.

And he pushed hard for the corrupt and grotesquely underqualified Bernard Kerik to be appointed to the top antiterror post in the Bush administration, secretary of homeland security.

In an episode that humiliated the president, the nomination had to be scrapped after boatloads of damaging information began to emerge about Mr. Kerik. (He has since pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors and remains under federal investigation.)

But Mr. Giuliani, who shares with Mr. Bush a Manichaean view of the world and an aggressive, authoritarian temperament, remains not just a viable candidate, but the G.O.P. front-runner.

Al Gore is a serious man confronted by a political system that is not open to a serious exploration of important, complex issues. He knows it.

“What politics has become,” he said, with a laugh and a tinge of regret, “requires a level of tolerance for triviality and artifice and nonsense that I have found in short supply.”