Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Duck-N-Cover!


Urgent: Military "Terror Prevention" Exercises May Be Scheduled to Coincide With May 1 Demos!

by Multiple Sources (Posted by JOY2U)

http://www.opednews.com

Tell A Friend

Please be on alert this first week of May and particularly on May 1 in the Seattle area.

On Thursday, May 1, the exercise begins in Washington, when an explosion collapses the Alaska Way viaduct in downtown Seattle and damages surrounding buildings. Twenty minutes later, terrorists explode a highjacked tanker filled with highly toxic chemicals at the Seattle Ferry Terminal. Deadly gas soon permeates downtown Seattle. Emergency responders come in waves. Police and firemen, first to arrive, are quickly overwhelmed. The state deploys its 22-member Civil Support Team, a National Guard unit, to assess the damage and coordinate support. Later, 100 soldiers from a chemical battalion based in Yakima arrive to rescue, decontaminate and treat survivors. Finally, 5,000 troops arrive to handle logistics and security.

On Monday, May 5, the scenario shifts to Oregon where VX, the most toxic nerve agent ever synthesized, erupts from the Umatilla Army Depot. The next day, terrorists blow up a chemical tanker in Ferndale, Washington. The county sheriff requests national support, and a Marine Corps chemical warfare detachment from Ft. Lewis, Washington responds....

...Issuing an alert—as we are doing now—is not an instance of "crying wolf," as Bush administration apologists often assert. As military-trained experts, we are convinced that the US 9/11 and UK 7/7 attacks were set up under the camouflage of terror drills. The existence of a wolf is not in question. The wolf of false flag terror has killed our fellow citizens and frightened our country into needless wars. It's our mission of conscience to keep it from striking again.
_ _ _ _ Monday April 28, 2008

There is a series of military "terror prevention exercises" reportedly scheduled in Seattle for the first week of May, involving scenarios for the destruction of the Alaska Viaduct, the blowing up of a tanker containing deadly chemicals at the ferry terminal and much much more.

All of these are reportedly planned out of Fort Lewis, with surprise implants and "Continuity of Government" operations possibly scheduled to coincide with the mass demonstrations to shut down the Port of Seattle and demand immigrant rights on May 1.

All activsts need to be aware that such "military terror prevention exercises" coincided with the terrorist attacks on 9/11 in New York/Washington DC and in London on 7/7, with the odds of this being mere coincidence several billion to one.

The major source for this is Captain Eric May, of whom you possibly know. Although May is suspect in some circles, his take on this needs to be considered.

Here is a link to a relevant article:*Click here*

Our contacting government officials challenging the need for such joint military "terror prevention" exercises in our cities, and demanding that we and our congressional representatives be allowed to see the top-secret "Continuity of Government" plans to which Congressman Peter de Fazio was ominously denied access last summer may have been the only thing that stopped a similar situation from blowing up last summer in Portland.

Please send this to as many activists as you can before the May 1 demonstrations!

Thanks much! (Rebecca Campbell)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

HA!!

'Free Tibet' flags made in China

Protesters holding a flag of the Tibet Government in Exile
Made in China? Police believe some flags may have already been shipped

Police in southern China have discovered a factory manufacturing Free Tibet flags, media reports say.

The factory in Guangdong had been completing overseas orders for the flag of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Workers said they thought they were just making colourful flags and did not realise their meaning.

But then some of them saw TV images of protesters holding the emblem and they alerted the authorities, according to Hong Kong's Ming Pao newspaper.

Tibet independence

The factory owner reportedly told police the emblems had been ordered from outside China, and he did not know that they stood for an independent Tibet.

Workers who had grown suspicious checked the meaning of the flag by going online.

Thousands of flags had already been packed for shipping.

Police believe that some may already have been sent overseas, and could appear in Hong Kong during the Olympic torch relay there this week.

The flag of the Tibet  government-in-exile
Known as the Snow Lion Flag
Introduced in 1912
Banned in mainland China

The authorities have now stepped up the inspection of cars heading to the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and onwards to Hong Kong.

The Olympic torch is due to tour Hong Kong on Friday. It will then travel to a series of cities in mainland China before reaching Beijing for the start of the Olympic Games in August.

Its progress around the world has been marked by pro-Tibet demonstrations in several cities - including Paris, London and San Francisco.


@ BBC

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

To laugh or not to laugh. Presented with the fact that Free Tibet flags are made in China poses a humor dilemma. It is indeed ironic, but from the oppression by the biggest bully in Asia I would consider it a poke in the eye of the bully.

The Tibet issue is a no-brainer, leave Tibet alone, they are not corrupting the Commie rule everywhere else, they were minding their own business when the Commie bully stepped in and stepped on everything Tibetan.

Cafferty has to be ROTFLHAO (rolling on the floor laughing his ass off).

Commie bully's suck!

POKE! HA!

.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Johns' Better Half

Bowling 1, Health Care 0

By ELIZABETH EDWARDS
Published: April 27, 2008

Chapel Hill, N.C.


FOR the last month, news media attention was focused on Pennsylvania and its Democratic primary. Given the gargantuan effort, what did we learn?

Well, the rancor of the campaign was covered. The amount of money spent was covered. But in Pennsylvania, as in the rest of the country this political season, the information about the candidates’ priorities, policies and principles — information that voters will need to choose the next president — too often did not make the cut. After having spent more than a year on the campaign trail with my husband, John Edwards, I’m not surprised.

Why? Here’s my guess: The vigorous press that was deemed an essential part of democracy at our country’s inception is now consigned to smaller venues, to the Internet and, in the mainstream media, to occasional articles. I am not suggesting that every journalist for a mainstream media outlet is neglecting his or her duties to the public. And I know that serious newspapers and magazines run analytical articles, and public television broadcasts longer, more probing segments.

But I am saying that every analysis that is shortened, every corner that is cut, moves us further away from the truth until what is left is the Cliffs Notes of the news, or what I call strobe-light journalism, in which the outlines are accurate enough but we cannot really see the whole picture.

It is not a new phenomenon. In 1954, the Army-McCarthy hearings — an important if painful part of our history — were televised, but by only one network, ABC. NBC and CBS covered a few minutes, snippets on the evening news, but continued to broadcast soap operas in order, I suspect, not to invite complaints from those whose days centered on the drama of “The Guiding Light.”

The problem today unfortunately is that voters who take their responsibility to be informed seriously enough to search out information about the candidates are finding it harder and harder to do so, particularly if they do not have access to the Internet.

Did you, for example, ever know a single fact about Joe Biden’s health care plan? Anything at all? But let me guess, you know Barack Obama’s bowling score. We are choosing a president, the next leader of the free world. We are not buying soap, and we are not choosing a court clerk with primarily administrative duties.

What’s more, the news media cut candidates like Joe Biden out of the process even before they got started. Just to be clear: I’m not talking about my husband. I’m referring to other worthy Democratic contenders. Few people even had the chance to find out about Joe Biden’s health care plan before he was literally forced from the race by the news blackout that depressed his poll numbers, which in turn depressed his fund-raising.

And it’s not as if people didn’t want this information. In focus groups that I attended or followed after debates, Joe Biden would regularly be the object of praise and interest: “I want to know more about Senator Biden,” participants would say.

But it was not to be. Indeed, the Biden campaign was covered more for its missteps than anything else. Chris Dodd, also a serious candidate with a distinguished record, received much the same treatment. I suspect that there was more coverage of the burglary at his campaign office in Hartford than of any other single event during his run other than his entering and leaving the campaign.

@ TNYT

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

Carefully chosen candidates by the MSM which incidentally could be called the "Fascist Tool Media" without much trouble, the select few paraded back and forth like some political fashion show, while the others died of neglect.

Out of all the Democratic candidates (8 or 10?) the weakest opponents to go up against the Republican candidate, a woman and a African-American were chosen.

Those two received all the coverage while the others were left withering on the vine.

In a corporate controlled environment, corporate lackey's are needed to ensure the corporates remain in power.

Given this choice we find out there is really no choice at all. All bets have been hedged, the polls rigged the race is really no race at all but a ritual made to look like we have a choice. As with other grand plans somebody is a winner but in this case it is not the American people, it is the corporate mukity-muks.

$3.95 a gallon for gas here this AM with oil companies reaping record profits once again, you tell me who is running this country.

.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Second Century AD


Rand Abdel-Qader, 17, told her closest friend that she was in love from the moment she set eyes on the young British soldier working alongside her in Basra, and she dreamed of a future with him.

It was an innocent infatuation but five months after Rand, a student of English at Basra University, met Paul, a 22-year-old soldier posted to southern Iraq, she was dead. She was stamped on, suffocated and stabbed by her father. Several brutal knife wounds punctured her slender, bruised body - from her face to her feet. He had done it, he proclaimed to the neighbours who soon gathered round, to 'cleanse his honour'.

And as Rand was put into the ground, without ceremony, her uncles spat on her covered corpse because she had brought shame on the family. Her crime was the worst they could possibly imagine - she had fallen in love with a British soldier and dared to talk to him in public.

Rand was murdered last month. That the relationship was innocent was no defence. She had been seen conversing intimately with Paul. It was enough to condemn her, because he was British, a Christian, 'the invader', and the enemy. The two met while he was helping to deliver relief aid to displaced families in the city and she was working as a volunteer. They continued to meet through their relief work in the following months.

Rand last saw Paul in January, two months before her death. It was only on 16 March that her father, Abdel-Qader Ali, learned of their friendship. He was told by a friend, who worked closely with police, that Rand had been seen with Paul at one of the places they both worked as volunteers. Enraged, he headed straight home to demand an explanation from his daughter.

'When he entered the house, his eyes were bloodshot and he was trembling,' said Rand's mother, Leila Hussein, tears streaming down her face as she recalled her daughter's murder. 'I got worried and tried to speak to him but he headed straight for our daughter's room and he started to yell at her.'

'He asked if it was true that she was having an affair with a British soldier. She started to cry. She was nervous and desperate. He got hold of her hair and started thumping her again and again.

'I screamed and called out for her two brothers so they could get their father away from her. But when he told them the reason, instead of saving her they helped him end her life,' she said.

She said Ali used his feet to press down hard on his own daughter's throat until she was suffocated. Then he called for a knife and began to cut at her body. All the time he was calling out that his honour was being cleansed.

'I just couldn't stand it. I fainted.' recalled Leila. 'I woke up in a blur later with dozens of neighbours at home and the local police.'

According to Leila, her husband was initially arrested. 'But he was released two hours later because it was an "honour killing". And, unfortunately, that is something to be proud of for any Iraqi man.'

@ The Guardian

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

This is what we have sacrificed 4000+ troops and untold numbers of wounded for?

Second century backward zealots with stones?

For oil?

Not to mention the approved violence against women.

These people are backward-ass morons that should be cordoned off from the rest of the world and made an example of how not to act in the human race in the Twenty First Century.

Enjoy your Sunday.

.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Shake-N-Quake

4.7 quake rocks Reno as area's seismic activity continues
A man who said his name was Juan cleans up the groceries that toppled from the shelves at Save Mart in Northwest Reno after Friday night's strong earthquake April 25, 2008. The quake had a preliminary reading of 4.7 and is the latest of 100's of earthquakes that have swarmed the northwest Reno area in the past six weeks with the quakes getting progressively stronger. (AP Photo/Reno Gazette Journal - Marilyn Newton)

RENO, Nev. — Another earthquake struck the Reno area, dumping cans off shelves, knocking pictures off walls and sending rocks off hillsides of the eastern front of the Sierra Nevada.

There were no immediate reports early Saturday of injuries or major property damage from the quake late Friday.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported the 4.7 magnitude temblor hit at 11:40 p.m. and was centered six miles west of Reno near Mogul, where a swarm of more than 100 quakes rattled the area on Thursday. The biggest of those was a 4.2 event.

A 3.5 aftershock followed at 12:29 a.m. Saturday, followed by at least 30 smaller ones, the USGS said.

The initial quake was felt 30 miles north in Portola, Calif., and at least 45 miles south near Stateline, Nev., on Lake Tahoe's south shore.

The temblor cracked walls in northwest Reno, broke lawn watering lines and damaged a wooden flume built along the Truckee River in the late 1800s to carry lumber from Lake Tahoe down the mountain to Reno. Emergency crews responded to the flume break near Mogul but there were no immediate reports of flooding.

It was the strongest quake to shake the city since hundreds of much smaller events have been recorded in the area since the end of February.

Jars of mayonnaise, bottles of ketchup and shampoo fell from shelves at a Wal-Mart store in northwest Reno. It caused the overhead televisions to sway at a sports bar in neighboring Sparks, 11 miles east, where bartender Shawn Jones said the rumble was significantly stronger than Thursday's event.

"The bottles were shaking so I sent everybody outside," he said.

Shirley Dippel of Sparks said the quake pushed her bed against the wall.

"That's the best one I've felt so far, and I've been here 44 years," Dippel told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

High school senior Alex Hill said it was "scary."

"It is one of those things you know that happens," he said, "but you never imagine it happening in your area."

Scientists said earlier Friday that Reno faces a "small increase" in the chance of a major earthquake in the aftermath of the seismic activity.

"The persistence of this particular earthquake sequence slightly increases the probability for a significant earthquake in west Reno," said a statement from the Nevada Seismological Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno.

"However, the occurrence of additional earthquake activity in the Mogul area cannot be predicted or forecast," it added.

___

On the Net:

U.S. Geological Survey: http://www.usgs.gov

: University of Nevada, Reno, seismology lab

><><><><><><><><><><><>><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

Hey she's a rocking and rolling out here. I80 runs right past the quake area so I have been past there many times, the land forms a huge canyon coming down from Truckee headed toward Reno.

There has been a lot of seismic activity all over the West here, further out into eastern Nevada, west out off the coast of Oregon. There will be a large seismic adjustment of the entire state of California real soon I believe, hopefully it will not happen during the workweek because it will be a mess of carnage if it does.

Fasten your seatbelts, we are in for a bumpy ride.

.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

And Now for Something Completely Different


Phil Chapman | April 23, 2008

THE scariest photo I have seen on the internet is www.spaceweather.com, where you will find a real-time image of the sun from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, located in deep space at the equilibrium point between solar and terrestrial gravity.

What is scary about the picture is that there is only one tiny sunspot.

Disconcerting as it may be to true believers in global warming, the average temperature on Earth has remained steady or slowly declined during the past decade, despite the continued increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and now the global temperature is falling precipitously.

All four agencies that track Earth's temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007. This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record and it puts us back where we were in 1930. If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over.

There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence that 2007 was exceptionally cold. It snowed in Baghdad for the first time in centuries, the winter in China was simply terrible and the extent of Antarctic sea ice in the austral winter was the greatest on record since James Cook discovered the place in 1770.

It is generally not possible to draw conclusions about climatic trends from events in a single year, so I would normally dismiss this cold snap as transient, pending what happens in the next few years.

This is where SOHO comes in. The sunspot number follows a cycle of somewhat variable length, averaging 11 years. The most recent minimum was in March last year. The new cycle, No.24, was supposed to start soon after that, with a gradual build-up in sunspot numbers.

It didn't happen. The first sunspot appeared in January this year and lasted only two days. A tiny spot appeared last Monday but vanished within 24 hours. Another little spot appeared this Monday. Pray that there will be many more, and soon.

@ The Austrailian

SpaceWeather.com

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

Just shows to go ya, soon as you think you have it all figured out, someone comes along and throws a wrench at you knocking your thoughts out of whack and causing others, OUCH!

Better stock up on snow shovels and cold weather gear, Global Warming is yesterdays issue. This roller coaster science ride is getting pretty weird doncha think?

Picture the planet frosted over with snow down to Georgia and no oil left to burn to keep warm because some dumb yuppies burned it all up in their gas pig SUV's, brrrr!
better buy a ticket to the tropics where the weather should be livable.

Wait, I'll be dead in 20 years anyhow, screw it! Party like it's 1999

.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Raise the Balloon

The Low Road to Victory


Published: April 23, 2008


The Pennsylvania campaign, which produced yet another inconclusive result on Tuesday, was even meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it.

Voters are getting tired of it; it is demeaning the political process; and it does not work. It is past time for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to acknowledge that the negativity, for which she is mostly responsible, does nothing but harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election.

If nothing else, self interest should push her in that direction. Mrs. Clinton did not get the big win in Pennsylvania that she needed to challenge the calculus of the Democratic race. It is true that Senator Barack Obama outspent her 2-to-1. But Mrs. Clinton and her advisers should mainly blame themselves, because, as the political operatives say, they went heavily negative and ended up squandering a good part of what was once a 20-point lead.

On the eve of this crucial primary, Mrs. Clinton became the first Democratic candidate to wave the bloody shirt of 9/11. A Clinton television ad — torn right from Karl Rove’s playbook — evoked the 1929 stock market crash, Pearl Harbor, the Cuban missile crisis, the cold war and the 9/11 attacks, complete with video of Osama bin Laden. “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,” the narrator intoned.

If that was supposed to bolster Mrs. Clinton’s argument that she is the better prepared to be president in a dangerous world, she sent the opposite message on Tuesday morning by declaring in an interview on ABC News that if Iran attacked Israel while she were president: “We would be able to totally obliterate them.”


@ TNYT

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

Does anyone think this is a legitimate response?

If bullys tear down your fort does that give you the right to 'obliterate' theirs?

I realize Israel is an ally and should be supported to some extent unless they prove themselves to be more trouble than they are worth, which is anytime now unless they patch up their relationship with their Arab neighbors.

The point is Iran is NOT nuking Israel and will not be nuking them until they build and test a thermo-nuclear device which has not happened and probably will not happen if diplomacy works at all.

So why the tough rhetoric from HRC? Likely eager to shed the 'vulnerable' image and sound like a tough broad? or Eager to fatten the coffers of the Military Industrial Complex like the insane clowns are doing now, continuing the process.

Is it necessary to become a bully to defeat a bully? What are the consequences of the 'bully' mentality picked up by someone who is not one to begin with?

What are the consequences of being the worlds bully, threatening offenders with nuclear annihilation?

Being alone in a world wrapped in fear of your very being thats what.

Peace becomes an quaint concept, people die.

.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nuke Earth Day



Wild weasel woman wants to unload nukes against Iran and does not even flinch saying so.
.....................................................................................

If you can stomach any more of the DINO rhetoric watch Part 2 here.

.....................................................................................

Quite poignantly pointing out the folly of building and exercising the Presidential perogative of bombing an entire country back to the stone age, never mind the mega-pollution factor.(isn't DU bad enough?)

Speaking of DU, a must see video Beyond Treason which will bring you closer to understanding the horrendous scourge the USA has set forth upon the Earth this Earth Day.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pedopopeofile


Pope Benedict Solves Mystery of Pedophile Priests . . . Sort of

by Robert Weitzel

http://www.opednews.com

For twenty-four years the archconservative, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith—formerly the Holy Office of the Inquisition. As the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog, he earned the monikers, “God’s Rottweiler” and “panzer cardinal.” It was his job to enforce doctrinal purity, both within the clerical rank and the rank and file . . . a task he performed with an apostolic zeal bordering on mania.

In 2002, when the scope of the pedophile priest scandal in the United States was becoming too obvious for even the Vatican to continue to ignore, Rottweiler Ratzinger claimed that the sexual abuse allegations against Catholic clergy were part of a "planned campaign" that was "intentional [and] manipulated" to discredit the church. Whose campaign he didn’t say, but his short list probably included the pro-choice and gay rights lobbies.

On April 19, 2005, in an arcane rite of “transubstantiation” known only to the College of Cardinals, the rabid Rottweiler Ratzinger became, with a puff of white smoke, the kindly, thoughtful Pope Benedict XVI, the 265th Bishop of Rome and leader of one billion Catholics worldwide.

During Benedict’s million-dollar-a-day junket to the United States, a trip that the Vatican admits is a P.R. opportunity to change a German Rottweiler into an American Golden Retriever, the mystery of pedophile priests was cleared up . . . sort of.

@ OP-ED

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

And you wondered why they call them 'Sheep'.

Following this guy is not much better than following the chimp, they are both lost.

Note the Rebel flag in the picture. WTF?

.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Blog Bad Boys

Military Report: Secretly 'Recruit or Hire Bloggers'

By Noah Shachtman EmailMarch 31, 2008 | 1:11:05 PMCategories: Info War

Ff_118_milblogs2_fA study, written for U.S. Special Operations Command, suggested "clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers."

Since the start of the Iraq war, there's been a raucous debate in military circles over how to handle blogs -- and the servicemembers who want to keep them. One faction sees blogs as security risks, and a collective waste of troops' time. The other (which includes top officers, like Gen. David Petraeus and Lt. Gen. William Caldwell) considers blogs to be a valuable source of information, and a way for ordinary troops to shape opinions, both at home and abroad.

This 2006 report for the Joint Special Operations University, "Blogs and Military Information Strategy," offers a third approach -- co-opting bloggers, or even putting them on the payroll. "Hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering," write the report's co-authors, James Kinniburgh and Dororthy Denning.

Lt. Commander Marc Boyd, a U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman, says the report was merely an academic exercise. "The comments are not 'actionable', merely thought provoking," he tells Danger Room. "The views expressed in the article publication are entirely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, policy or position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, USSOCOM [Special Operations Command], or the Joint Special Operations University."

Denning, a professor at Naval Postgraduate School, adds in an e-mail, "I got some positive feedback from people who read the article, but I don't know if it led to anything."

The report introduces the military audience to the "blogging phenomenon," and lays out a number of ways in which the armed forces -- specifically, the military's public affairs, information operations, and psychological operations units -- might use the sites to their advantage.

@ Wired

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

No worries, this blog is propaganda free, no military or political influence whatsoever, just me and my fellow blogists venting disgust daily.

While being observed of course.

Note to eavesdropping G-men: contribute or go bother someone that gives a rip!

.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday Reading


The following is an excerpted chapter by Steve Rosenfeld from the new book "Loser Take All," edited by Mark Crispin Miller (Ig Publishing, 2008).

Jim Crow has returned to American elections, only in the twenty-first century, instead of men in white robes or a barrel-chested sheriff menacingly patrolling voting precincts, we are more likely to see a lawyer carrying a folder filled with briefing papers and proposed legislation about "voter fraud" and other measures to supposedly protect the sanctity of the vote.

Since the 2004 election, activist lawyers with ties to the Republican Party and its presidential campaigns, Republican legislators, and even the Supreme Court -- in a largely unnoticed ruling in 2006 -- have been aggressively regulating most aspects of the voting process. Collectively, these efforts are undoing the gains of the civil rights era that brought voting rights to minorities and the poor, groups that tend to support Democrats.

In addition, the Department of Justice (DOJ), which for decades had fought to ensure that all eligible citizens could vote, now encourages states to take steps in the opposite direction. Political appointees who advocate for stringent requirements before ballots are cast and votes are counted have driven much of the DOJ's Voting Section's recent agenda. As a result, the Department has pushed states to purge voter lists, and to adopt newly restrictive voter ID and provisional ballot laws. In addition, during most of George W. Bush's tenure, the DOJ has stopped enforcing federal laws designed to aid registration, such as the requirement that state welfare offices offer public aid recipients the opportunity to register to vote.

The Department's political appointees have also pressured federal prosecutors to pursue "voter fraud" cases against the Bush administration's perceived opponents, such as ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), which conduct mass registration drives among populations that tend to vote Democratic. Two former federal prosecutors have said they believe that they lost their positions for refusing to pursue these cases.

The proponents of this renewed impetus to police voters comes from a powerful and well-connected wing of the Republican Party that believes steps are needed to protect elections from Democratic-leaning groups that are fabricating voter registrations en masse and impersonating voters. Royal Masset, the former political director of the Republican Party of Texas, said in 2007 that is an "article of religious faith that voter fraud is causing us to lose elections." While Masset himself didn't agree with that assertion, he did believe "that requiring photo IDs could cause enough of a drop off in legitimate Democratic voting to add 3 percent to the Republican vote."


@ Alternet

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

Subterfuge - something intended to misrepresent the true nature of an activity; "he wasn't sick--it was just a subterfuge"; "the holding company was just a blind"

The entire RNC is guilty of treason. This qualifies any legal definition of "high crimes and misdemeanors". To deliberately divide the voting public in attempt to alter the outcome of an election is more than bad, it is despicable.

To use RNC computers to circumvent reporting laws, to fire prosecutors for not following party lines, to use the Justice Department as their 'tool' of choice, that is high treason and should be treated as such.

The people need to have their citizenship revoked and expelled from the USA.

Now.

.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Prozac Populous


Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Is Medicating a Nation

By Onnesha Roychoudhuri, AlterNet. Posted April 17, 2008.


OR: You say that the drugs came along at a culturally ripe moment, at a time when we had socially and politically moved away from collectively approaching problems.

CB: The arrival of Prozac in 1988 was a perfect storm, culturally and just in terms of the drug itself. In the '70s Valium paved the way for Prozac. It was the first psychiatric drug for anxiety that became mainstream. The earlier generation of antidepressants had a lot of side effects and could be fatal in overdose, and Prozac seemed very clean by contrast. It was the first drug that you didn't have to be crazy to take. You could be a judge or a journalist and take Valium and obviously millions of people did. It entered the culture, from the Rolling Stones' "Mother's Little Helper," Valley of the Dolls to celebrities talking about their Valium use.

Culturally, the '80s were the time when we gave up on collective enterprises of doing things. The country had experienced multiple recessions, and there was a sense that a college education really didn't get you a good job anymore. With the Reagan revolution, it was time to straighten up and "pull up your bootstraps" and do things as individuals. I think that transferred into how we took our drugs. There's not such a huge difference between illicit and licit drugs. In the early part of the '60s, when there was a spiritual aspect to the drug taking, people took drugs together. One of the hallmarks of the Prozac revolution is that people take them individually, and even the treatment is individualized. It used to be that if you were taking a psychiatric drug, you were probably working with a therapist, and now the large majority of people taking psychiatric drugs are in no ongoing dialogue with a caregiver.

OR: As a contrast to the American cultural relationship to antidepressants, you talk about the sale of SSRIs in Japan.

CB: There wasn't really a term for depression in Japan. The drug companies invented one [kokoro no kaze, or "one's soul catching cold"]. There weren't any sales of antidepressants in Japan until the late 1990s, because they didn't really think that depression was that much of a problem. I'm sure people were depressed in Japan, and part of it was probably underreported, but in any case, there was a different attitude. A cultural minister in Japan said they didn't really think of depression, in its milder forms, as anything bad. Rather, they saw it as a sign of awareness and artistic sensitivity.

The drug companies put on a brilliant advertising campaign and, sure enough, the sales of antidepressants went up five-fold in a very short time. But our American sensibility is to be uncomfortable with unhappy feelings and root them out as quickly as possible. I want to be very clear not to romanticize suffering, but there can be a utility to some difficult emotions.

The American notion of happiness is a very recent phenomenon in human history. You could argue that only since WWII and really since the '60s and '70s has happiness been the goal. Ironically, I think if you set happiness to be your primary goal, it tends not to work out very well. The late Canadian novelist Robertson Davies said that happiness is a byproduct, and that you become happy when you're engaged in productive activity or when you're in a relationship with someone you love. So this idea that we have to be happy is a highly American thing and highly problematic concept.

OR: The British health [service] recommendations reveal a pretty different relationship to depression.

CB: The clinical guidelines to the National Health Service for mild depression recommend watchful waiting, diet and exercise, self-help and counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, and then if all those things don't work, to try antidepressants. Our de facto practice in the United States is pretty much the opposite. I think a critical development that coincides with the Prozac entry into the culture is that family doctors now prescribe most antidepressants. It used to be that psychiatric drugs were primarily prescribed by psychiatrists. Family doctors just realistically aren't going to know cognitive behavioral therapists to refer people to. Or they don't know the research on diet and exercise on even severe depression. So, managed care is yet another factor in the move towards the quick and expedient approach, which is hastily writing antidepressant prescriptions rather than plumbing the larger issues.

@Alternet

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

The burgeoning industry generating the pills that make us feel like we are OK has addled our society to the point of total indifference to daily strife, 4000 dead troops? Oh well. Shooting and killings in schools? Oh well.

In addition to 'dumbing down' America BIG PHARMA has been 'numbing down' the dumbed down and created what we have today, a society focused on American Idol instead of their future. While they are asleep at the switch, the rest of us un-addled watch in horror the current events removing our rights and liberties.

There is no way to awaken the Prozac addled in America so here we sit arranging deck chairs on the Titanic while the band plays on, helpless to stop the inevitable.

Sad state of a once mighty country.

.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Press the Meet


Obama, Bitterness, Meet the Press, and the Old Politics

by Robert Reich

I was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, 61 years ago. My father sold $1.98 cotton blouses to blue-collar women and women whose husbands worked in factories. Years later, I was secretary of labor of the United States, and I tried the best I could - which wasn’t nearly good enough - to help reverse one of the most troublesome trends America has faced: The stagnation of middle-class wages and the expansion of povety. Male hourly wages began to drop in the early 1970s, adjusted for inflation. The average man in his 30s is earning less than his father did thirty years ago. Yet America is far richer. Where did the money go? To the top.

Are Americans who have been left behind frustrated? Of course. And their frustrations, their anger and, yes, sometimes their bitterness, have been used since then — by demagogues, by nationalists and xenophobes, by radical conservatives, by political nuts and fanatical fruitcakes - to blame immigrants and foreign traders, to blame blacks and the poor, to blame “liberal elites,” to blame anyone and anything.

Rather than counter all this, the American media have wallowed in it. Some, like Fox News and talk radio, have given the haters and blamers their very own megaphones. The rest have merely “reported on” it. Instead of focusing on how to get Americans good jobs again; instead of admitting too many of our schools are failing and our kids are falling behind their contemporaries in Europe, Japan, and even China; instead of showing why we need a more progressive tax system to finance better schools and access to health care, and green technologies that might create new manufacturing jobs, our national discussion has been mired in the old politics.

Listen to this morning’s “Meet the Press” if you want an example. Tim Russert, one of the smartest guys on television, interviewed four political consultants - Carville and Matalin, Bob Schrum, and Michael Murphy. Political consultants are paid huge sums to help politicians spin words and avoid real talk. They’re part of the problem. And what do Russert and these four consultants talk about? The potential damage to Barack Obama from saying that lots of people in Pennsylvania are bitter that the economy has left them behind; about HRC’s spin on Obama’s words (he’s an “elitist,” she said); and John McCain’s similarly puerile attack.

Does Russert really believe he’s doing the nation a service for this parade of spin doctors talking about potential spins and the spin-offs from the words Obama used to state what everyone knows is true? Or is Russert merely in the business of selling TV airtime for a network that doesn’t give a hoot about its supposed commitment to the public interest but wants to up its ratings by pandering to the nation’s ongoing desire for gladiator entertainment instead of real talk about real problems.

We’re heading into the worst economic crisis in a half century or more. Many of the Americans who have been getting nowhere for decades are in even deeper trouble. Large numbers of people in Pennsylvania and across the nation are losing their homes and losing their jobs, and the situation is likely to grow worse. Consumers are at the end of their ropes, fuel and food costs are skyrocketing, they can’t go deeper into debt, they can’t pay their bills. They aren’t buying, which means every business from the auto industry to housing to even giant GE is hurting. Which means they’ll begin laying off more people, and as they do, we will experience an even more dangerous downward spiral.

Bitter? You ain’t seen nothing yet. And as much as people like Russert, Carville, Matalin, Schrum, and Murphy want to divert our attention from what’s really happening; as much as HRC and McCain seek to make political hay out of choices of words that can be spun cynically by the mindless spinners of the old politics; as much as demagogues on the right and left continue to try to channel the cumulative frustrations of Americans into a politics of resentment - all these attempts will, I hope, prove futile. Eighty percent of Americans know the nation is on the wrong track. The old politics, and the old media that feeds it, are irrelevant now.


Stolen from Common Dreams

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

Deflect and redirect seems to be pretty popular these days. With my fellow frogs in the economic frypan we, day by day, creep ever closer to financial oblivion and the diversion is not helping one bit. By focusing on the horserace for the 08 presidential bid the real problems get shoved into the background.

We all go on with our daily lives as unemployment skyrockets to the Moon, foreclosures, high fuel cost, bankruptcies and enough personal strife among American citizens to fill a thousand boxcars, we dwell on the insane platitudes thrown out by the 'spin doctors'. Rather pathetic isn't it.

It is not unusual however considering the attention being paid to the trillion dollar enterprise of fascist billionaires called the Iraq war. Both it and the economy have been shoved to the side in favor of political banter and hi-jinks, oh yes and American Idol. Pablum for the masses to keep their attention drawn away from the sinister goings on by the Fed, the Treasury Dept. and last but not least the 'House of Pain' the White House.

Not surprising when you take into account the intellect of the average American could not fill a soup bowl. One nation under-educated with TV and Wally Mart for all. And don't forget the 27% that think monkey boy can walk on water and do no wrong.

We can do better, but can we before it is too late for us frogs.

Not likely.

.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Weight There's More


Shown above is the U.S. National Prototype Kilogram, which currently serves as the nation's primary standard for measuring mass. It was assigned to the United States in 1889 and is periodically recertified and traceable to the primary international standard, "The Kilogram," held at the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures near Paris. (© Robert Rathe)







If you have ever hoped the bathroom scales were wrong, a German research project could soon bring good news -- or bad -- as it sets out to provide a more accurate measure of the kilogramme.

Researchers at the German National Metrology Institute in Braunschweig said they will use a 10-centimetre (four-inch) diameter pure silicon sphere to establish a better standard measurement than the existing one.

Currently, a kilogramme is defined as the mass of a platinum-alloy cylinder that is stored in a heavily guarded vault outside Paris but which is slowly losing weight and therefore becoming less reliable.

The new silicon sphere is very special indeed and cost two million euros (3.2 million dollars) to make.

Manufactured over five years in Russia, Australia and Germany it weighs as close as is possible to one kilogramme, is a perfect sphere and is 99.99 percent made out of an isotope of silicon called silicon 28.

Scientists in Braunschweig will now begin the painstaking task of performing thousands of experiments on the sphere to count the number of silicon atoms it is made of.

This will tell then how many silicon atoms there are in a kilogramme, and knowing this will negate the need to have a kilogramme measure in a vault in Paris or elsewhere, says Arnold Nicolaus, project coordinatator.

"Afterwards we can destroy the sphere," Nicolaus told AFP.

"If we then say that we have done it with the best precision, then we know how many atoms are in a silicon (sphere) that -- compared to the mass standard -- is closest to one kilogramme.

"Then we know so many atoms are needed for a silicon artefact to make a one kilogramme mass piece."

The German team is working in cooperation with a group of Japanese researchers who will work with an identical silicon sphere.

Peter Becker, also involved in the project, said he hoped the German-Japanese team could finish their work by the end of next year because two other international groups are also working on the same problem using different approaches.

He said any eventual adjustment to the kilogramme measure would be so subtle that it would only affect scientists, not bathroom scales.

<>><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Heavy subject indeed.

Thought you might like to see me throw my weight around.

.

Monday, April 14, 2008

More Gruel?

The World According to Monsanto




Monsanto, founding member of the evil empire of genetically altered food, (EEGAF).

I will let the video speak for itself, it is quite long 1 hour, 54 minutes, but a must see anyway.

.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Chop! Chop!

China traffic

... while horrific traffic jams are a sign of its present and future

Canadian authorities were recently alarmed to find the Chinese interested in exploring the Arctic Ocean, in a bid to get a share of the minerals beneath the thawing icecap.

In eastern Siberia, Russians worry that China is by default taking over their empty land.

The West has long seen Africa as its backyard, but Western diplomats now worry that not just Africa, but South America, too, is being lost to China.

And Western governments are concerned that the rules of the game are changing. Most worryingly, as China's brutal suppression of the once independent Tibet shows, this is not a superpower that respects Western standards on human rights.

From Darfur to Myanmar, China is cuddling up to murderous dictators.

At home, it holds mass executions of criminals with bullets in the back of the head while transplant surgeons stand by to harvest their still pulsating organs.

Yet Western governments have been in such awe of China's looming power that their response has not been to challenge its abuses, but to try to silence their own protesters at home.

From the UN to the IMF to the World Bank, the international institutions that attempt to govern the planet were made in the image of the victors of World War II. Now power is shifting from West to East, the whole liberal democratic world order will face its first serious challenge in decades.

Many fear that things could get ugly.

There is only one thing worse than an unchallenged superpower - it is a superpower with a victim mentality, which feels the world owes it a favour.

And the bitter truth is that, after centuries of humiliation in foreign affairs, there is a nationalist mood in China that the country's time has come again, that it can again claim its rightful place as the world's most powerful country.

Its comparative weakness over the last few centuries is, in fact, but a blip in the last 2,000 years, during which China was the world's most economically and culturally advanced nation.


@ TDM

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

BEIJING, April 9 (Xinhua) -- China's foreign debt reached 373.62 billion U.S. dollars at the end of 2007, up 15.68 percent over the previous year, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) announced on Wednesday.

China's medium and long-term borrowing totaled 153.53 billion U.S. dollars at the end of last year, an increase of 14.17 billion U.S. dollars, or 10.17 percent, according to the SAFE.

Meanwhile, the country's short-term borrowing increased 36.46 billion U.S. dollars to 220.08 billion U.S. dollars, up 19.85 percent.

Of the total external debt, 34.89 billion U.S. dollars was the sovereign debt; foreign invested enterprises accounted for 74 billion U.S. dollars; and the amount for foreign financial institutions in China was 46.31 billion U.S. dollars.

Preliminary statistics showed all of China's foreign debt indices were under the international standard safety line in 2007,the SAFE said.

@SE

Mere peanuts on a global financial scale.

Now the USA




The Gross National Debt




.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Maron and Rhodes

PART ONE



PART TWO(with some overlap from part one)



There you have it, like her or not, the real skinny, and FU Larry and your fascist bosses.

.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hillary-Mart



Another article with video with Sam Wal-mart praising ole hill.
....................................................................................
Kansas Firm Airs Candid Wal-Mart Videos

By MARCUS KABEL – 19 hours ago

Wal-Mart's internal meetings are on display in three decades worth of videos made by a Kansas production company scrambling to stay in business after Wal-Mart stopped using the firm.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. dropped longtime contractor Flagler Productions in 2006. In response to losing its biggest customer, the small company has opened its archive, for a fee, to researchers who include plaintiffs' lawyers and union critics seeking clips of unguarded moments at the world's largest retailer.

Those moments never meant for public display include a scene of male managers parading in drag at an executive meeting, a clip used by union-backed critics at Wal-Mart Watch for a recent advertisement castigating the retailer's attitude toward female employees.

"The videos provide insight into the company's real corporate culture when they're not in the public eye," Wal-Mart Watch spokeswoman Stacie Lock Temple said Tuesday.

Much of the interest in the candid videos is coming from plaintiff lawyers pursuing cases against Wal-Mart.

"The rarity is that it exists at all," said Brad Seligman, lead attorney in a massive class-action lawsuit that alleges Wal-Mart discriminated systemically against female employees.

"Once in a while you come upon documents that are helpful in a case," the Berkeley, Calif.-based lawyer added. "What's amazing about this is that this company has a video record going back many years showing senior management in at times fairly candid situations."

Seligman said one clip from Lenexa, Kan.-based Flagler shows Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton in the late 1980s telling the board of directors that not enough women were in management.

Wal-Mart denies it discriminates against women and in recent years has published its annual women and minority hiring statistics.

Wal-Mart said it is unhappy with the public airing of its video record.

"Needless to say, we did not pay Flagler Productions to tape internal meetings with this aftermarket in mind," Wal-Mart spokeswoman Daphne Moore said.

She declined to comment on any legal steps the company might be considering.

Flagler says Wal-Mart has no legal power over the videos because the two sides did not sign a contract when founder Mike Flagler was hired in the 1970s to produce Wal-Mart meetings and management conferences.

@ AP

Flagler Productions on YouTube

Tee Hee! The biggest employer of sweat shop labor overseas does not have their stuff together enough to have a signed contract with the production company filming it's little get togethers, (extravaganzas). Greed must have clouded their vision.

Combine that with the skeleton in ole hills closet rising to the surface and so obvious even the MSM cannot leave it alone.

I really hate rich crooks, don't you?

.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Strangulating the Masses

We Need a New Direction in Iraq, But Petraeus and Crocker Offered Many More Years of the Same




April 8th, 2008 by Speaker Pelosi

It is clear from today’s testimony by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker that the Iraqi government remains unwilling or unable to take the steps necessary to reach the political reconciliation needed to secure their country’s future.

General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker made it official that the Bush Administration will not reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq below pre-surge levels. That is not a policy that appropriately reflect the enormous costs of the war in Iraq, nor what the American people want.

The human cost of the war has been enormous, with more than 4,000 lives lost and tens of thousands injured, many of them permanently. The cost to our national security has been immense – our military readiness is stretched thin and our reputation in the world is damaged. And now, the trillion dollar war in Iraq is damaging our economy by taking us deeper into debt.

The Iraqi government is not worthy of the sacrifice of our troops or the cost that the war is having on our readiness and our economy. We need a New Direction in Iraq, but what General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker offered today was many more years of the same.

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><


What strikes me is the willingness to admit this 5 years after voting to authorize the fascist bastards to invade Iraq with bombs blazing.

Beside not being able to speak beyond a 2nd grade level Petraeus could not admit we are screwed because his bosses will not allow it. What we got was a mamby pamby explanation for an illegal war that is bringing this country to the brink of disaster while OBL and the rest laugh their asses off at the pure folly put forth by the USA.

When will the people rise up against this lying goon squad and demand an end to failed policy?
Will they be roaming the streets here in the USA in search for food and water and then realize they have been had?

The dollar is soon to be extinct, null and void, gold will be confiscated as it was during FDR's administration, will they rise up then?

One thing is for sure, the goons that started this whole episode of sorrow will be alive and well fed in their ivory towers while the rest of us are left out in the cold to fend for ourselves.

What will it take?

.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Liars Club Meeting


UNITED STATES SENATE

COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES

_________________________________________________

There will be a meeting of the Committee on

ARMED SERVICES

Tuesday, April 8, 2008
9:30 AM
Room SD-106, Dirksen Senate Office Building
OPEN



To receive testimony on the situation in Iraq and progress made by the Government of Iraq in
meeting benchmarks and achieving reconciliation.


Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker




United States Ambassador to Iraq




General David H. Petraeus, USA




Commanding General
Multi-National Force-Iraq




Begin Time End Time Network
04/08/2008 09:26:53 04/08/2008 12:30:00 C-SPAN 1

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><


.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Money Bombs


As Congress gets an update next week on the Iraq war, lawmakers are personally

invested in companies reaping billions of dollars from defense contracts.

By Lindsay Renick Mayer



April 03, 2008 | When Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S military officer in Iraq, comes to Capitol Hill next week to brief Congress, he will be addressing lawmakers who have more than just a political stake in the five-year war.

Along with their colleagues in the House and Senate, the politicians who will get a status report from the general and the U.S. ambassador to Iraq have as much as $196 million of their own money invested in companies doing business with the Department of Defense, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics has calculated. From aircraft and weapons manufacturers to producers of medical supplies and soft drinks, the investment portfolios of more than a quarter of Congress—and of countless constituents—include holdings in companies paid billions of dollars each month to support America's military in Iraq and elsewhere.

The Investors: Lawmakers with the most money invested in companies with Department of Defense contracts

Member of Congress Minimum Value of Investment Maximum Value of Investment
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass)
$28,872,067
$38,209,020
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)
$12,081,050
$49,140,000
Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC)
$9,232,037
$37,105,000
Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis)
$5,207,668
$7,612,653
Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif)
$2,684,050
$6,260,000
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich)
$2,469,029
$8,360,000
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa)
$2,000,002
$2,000,002
Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis)
$1,365,004
$5,800,000
Rep. Kenny Ewell Marchant (R-Texas)
$1,163,231
$1,163,231
Rep. John Carter (R-Texas)
$1,000,001
$5,000,000

Includes investments in companies with DOD contracts of $5 million or more, according to 2006 data on FedSpending.org. Members of Congress must report their personal finances annually. Holdings shown here were as of December 31, 2006.

According to the most recent reports of their personal finances, 151 current members of Congress had between $78.7 million and $195.5 million invested in companies that received defense contracts of at least $5 million in 2006. In all, these companies received more than $275.6 billion from the government in 2006, or $755 million per day, according to FedSpending.org, a website of the budget watchdog group OMB Watch.

@ OPED

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

I like this part:

"According to her presidential personal financial disclosures, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) had stock in some defense companies, such as Honeywell, Boeing and Raytheon, but sold the stock in May 2007. Neither of the remaining presidential hopefuls, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, reported such holdings on their filings."

Oh I better get rid of the defense stocks, wouldn't want anyone getting any ideas?
May 2007? Collected those first quarter dividends first.

These people do not deserve to be holding public office with such a glaring conflict of interest, John Kerry(bonesman) made the number one slot, you know he wants to bomb Iran.

These people make me sick.

.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sunday Fools

April 6, 2008

In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop





SAN FRANCISCO — They work long hours, often to exhaustion. Many are paid by the piece — not garments, but blog posts. This is the digital-era sweatshop. You may know it by a different name: home.

A growing work force of home-office laborers and entrepreneurs, armed with computers and smartphones and wired to the hilt, are toiling under great physical and emotional stress created by the around-the-clock Internet economy that demands a constant stream of news and comment.

Of course, the bloggers can work elsewhere, and they profess a love of the nonstop action and perhaps the chance to create a global media outlet without a major up-front investment. At the same time, some are starting to wonder if something has gone very wrong. In the last few months, two among their ranks have died suddenly.

Two weeks ago in North Lauderdale, Fla., funeral services were held for Russell Shaw, a prolific blogger on technology subjects who died at 60 of a heart attack. In December, another tech blogger, Marc Orchant, died at 50 of a massive coronary. A third, Om Malik, 41, survived a heart attack in December.

Other bloggers complain of weight loss or gain, sleep disorders, exhaustion and other maladies born of the nonstop strain of producing for a news and information cycle that is as always-on as the Internet.

To be sure, there is no official diagnosis of death by blogging, and the premature demise of two people obviously does not qualify as an epidemic. There is also no certainty that the stress of the work contributed to their deaths. But friends and family of the deceased, and fellow information workers, say those deaths have them thinking about the dangers of their work style.

The pressure even gets to those who work for themselves — and are being well-compensated for it.

“I haven’t died yet,” said Michael Arrington, the founder and co-editor of TechCrunch, a popular technology blog. The site has brought in millions in advertising revenue, but there has been a hefty cost. Mr. Arrington says he has gained 30 pounds in the last three years, developed a severe sleeping disorder and turned his home into an office for him and four employees. “At some point, I’ll have a nervous breakdown and be admitted to the hospital, or something else will happen.”

“This is not sustainable,” he said.

It is unclear how many people blog for pay, but there are surely several thousand and maybe even tens of thousands.


@TNYT

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

Gee wiz, some taking this blog thing waaaaaay to seriously. Getting paid would be nice but not ten bucks a post, screw that! I lose more than ten bucks some days.

Soon modern medicine will assign a disorder name to blogging fever perhaps 'blogophobiaitis', a obsessive-compulsive behavior causing a myriad of clinical issues.

Whatever, I like to do something new everyday but not for money, for personal enlightenment and to keep what is left of my aged mind intact and functioning.

Drinking coffee, eating delicious pastries when available and chatting with folks around the World is far better than beating deadlines as a necessity to pay bills.

Blog on!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Non-American

Invention4meatroaster

This week, the 36th International Exhibition of Inventions has flooded Geneva with tinkerers, hackers, and other weirdos who like to make stuff. One of the largest gatherings of its kind, the organizers explain (pdf) in delightfully weird English that "1,000 completely new inventions in all areas of human activity are presented by companies, researchers and inventors, universities and private and State organisms."

Being the merry band of builders that you are, I'm sure you're all already there among the 65,000 attendees snapping pictures, but in case you couldn't make it, we present a mini-gallery of minor genius on parade.

Pictured above is Heina Gruber of South Dakota Germany and his hot-air grill, which puts a vertical spin on the conventional barbecue, supposedly allowing for healthier cooking. You'll find four more inventors and their nerdy, charming brainchildren after the jump.



@ Wired

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

OK that was weird, but go to the link to see more gadgets of non-American origin.

And they think we are weird.

.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Thursday, April 03, 2008

@The Nation

Time to Break the Silence

Katrina vanden Heuvel


Since 1865, when it was founded by Northern abolitionists, The Nation has always believed in the liberating power of truth, of conviction, of conscience, and of fighting for causes lost and found. And like our founders, the magazine has an abiding belief that there is no force so potent in politics as a moral issue.

One of the great moral figures of our country's history, Martin Luther King Jr. was a correspondent for The Nation--traveling the South in the early 1960s and filing annual dispatches for the magazine on the state of civil rights. In 1967, Dr. King traveled to Los Angeles under the auspices of The Nation and The Nation Institute to give the speech that would align the armies of the Civil Rights Movement with the rapidly expanding national protest against the Vietnam War. It was at this gathering, before an overflow crowd at the Beverly Hills Hilton on February 25, that Dr. King first came out, courageously, eloquently and unequivocally , against the war. Two months later, on April 4th, King delivered his famous antiwar sermon at Riverside Church in New York City.

Today we are again mired in an intractable and monstrous war overseas. It is a moment to listen to Dr. King's words about the broader casualties of another war--casualties that go beyond the carnage of battle to the devastating costs of war at home--the damage to social justice and racial equality, and the unbearable cost to free speech and dissent.

"I do not wish to minimize the complexity of the problems that need to be faced in achieving disarmament and peace. But I think it is a fact that we shall not have the will, the courage, and the insight to deal with such matters unless in this field we are prepared to undergo a spiritual and mental reevaluation, a change of focus which will enable us to see that the things which seem most real and powerful are, indeed, now unreal and have come under the sentence of death. We need to make a supreme effort to generate the readiness, indeed, the eagerness, to enter into the new world which is now possible. We will not build a peaceful world by following a negative path. It is not enough to say 'We must not wage war.' It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but on the positive affirmation of peace....In short, we must shift the arms race into a peace race" ,Dr. Martin Luther King

@ The Nation

.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Howard Zinn


Empire or Humanity?

What the Classroom Didn't Teach Me About the American Empire
By Howard Zinn

With an occupying army waging war in Iraq and Afghanistan, with military bases and corporate bullying in every part of the world, there is hardly a question any more of the existence of an American Empire. Indeed, the once fervent denials have turned into a boastful, unashamed embrace of the idea.

However the very idea that the United States was an empire did not occur to me until after I finished my work as a bombardier with the Eighth Air Force in the Second World War, and came home. Even as I began to have second thoughts about the purity of the "Good War," even after being horrified by Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even after rethinking my own bombing of towns in Europe, I still did not put all that together in the context of an American "Empire."

I was conscious, like everyone, of the British Empire and the other imperial powers of Europe, but the United States was not seen in the same way. When, after the war, I went to college under the G.I. Bill of Rights and took courses in U.S. history, I usually found a chapter in the history texts called "The Age of Imperialism." It invariably referred to the Spanish-American War of 1898 and the conquest of the Philippines that followed. It seemed that American imperialism lasted only a relatively few years. There was no overarching view of U.S. expansion that might lead to the idea of a more far-ranging empire -- or period -- of "imperialism."

I recall the classroom map (labeled "Western Expansion") which presented the march across the continent as a natural, almost biological phenomenon. That huge acquisition of land called "The Louisiana Purchase" hinted at nothing but vacant land acquired. There was no sense that this territory had been occupied by hundreds of Indian tribes which would have to be annihilated or forced from their homes -- what we now call "ethnic cleansing" -- so that whites could settle the land, and later railroads could crisscross it, presaging "civilization" and its brutal discontents.

Neither the discussions of "Jacksonian democracy" in history courses, nor the popular book by Arthur Schlesinger Jr., The Age of Jackson, told me about the "Trail of Tears," the deadly forced march of "the five civilized tribes" westward from Georgia and Alabama across the Mississippi, leaving 4,000 dead in their wake. No treatment of the Civil War mentioned the Sand Creek massacre of hundreds of Indian villagers in Colorado just as "emancipation" was proclaimed for black people by Lincoln's administration.

That classroom map also had a section to the south and west labeled "Mexican Cession." This was a handy euphemism for the aggressive war against Mexico in 1846 in which the United States seized half of that country's land, giving us California and the great Southwest. The term "Manifest Destiny," used at that time, soon of course became more universal. On the eve of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the Washington Post saw beyond Cuba: "We are face to face with a strange destiny. The taste of Empire is in the mouth of the people even as the taste of blood in the jungle."