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    Out of Iraq, into New Orleans!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ten Post Round-Up: Trick or Treat Edition - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Oh my! It's all Hallow's Eve and I've got my checklist here to make sure that this Halloween goes off without a hitch.

As soon as I verify that everything is ready, then we'll get started with the Round-up.

  • Little Stevie got his "Commander Guy" costume on? Check!
  • Little Richie got his "Ru Paul" costume on? Check!
  • Skeletons in the closet? Check!
Now, we are ready for Ten Post Halloween Round-Up!

From The Democratic Daily:
  • Stephen Colbert Trumps Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich in Presidential Poll:
    I gotta say, the results of this poll leave me wondering… are voters this disillusioned with the ‘08 candidates? I mean come on… Colbert is awesome but… as he “told Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” that he doesn’t want to actually be president” he just want to “run for president.”
(Dizzy sez: Because of my Libertarian roots, most people would assume that maybe I would be a Paul supporter, but I have issues with some of the man's beliefs that conflict with my own. I would sooner back a Colbert who is a real "fake" politician than toss my vote to any fake "real" politician.)
(Dizzy sez: I think the "Kool-Aid Man" would be offended to be associated with these kind of Republican idiots. He's been breaking down barriers for decades!)

From Sports Moments In Time:
(Dizzy sez: If sex is a sport, I do NOT want those guys on MY team!)

From The Sirens Chronicles:
  • Liberty is Dead:
    That’s it. We’re done kids. The greatest experiment in democracy can’t survive long term. Our addiction to drama, turmoil, and petty bickering will kill it. Our passion for ridiculous drama is so ingrained, we invent them and call it news. Then, we quote this to each other like it’s from God’s mouth to our ears. Americans can no longer be happy except when quivering with indignation. We’re beyond caring whether our positions are supportable, as long as they make it possible for us to point at people, Jerry Springer style, and hold forth on their differences.
(Dizzy sez: We are so busy fighting each other, Americans are not paying any attention to the man behind the curtain stirring all this anxiety and anger up! Abraham Lincoln said that "a house divided against itself cannot stand". And we are seeing how true that is, every day.)

From The Katrinacrat Blog:
  • Clear Channel Sends Edict to Not Play Springsteen’s ‘Magic’:
    Bruce Springsteen currently has the No 1 album in the charts, he'll probably be up for a Grammy for the Best Album of the Year, and his tour is sold out across the country, but even still Republican owned, censor machine Clear Channel is out to pull The Boss from the airwaves. Readers here know, I'm a big Springsteen fan and I have written about him here more than a few times over the years, so I gotta say, this really ticks me off. Big time.
(Dizzy sez: They tried to silence the Dixie Chicks, too. I think it's time for another shopping spree...Bruce Springsteen CD? Check!)

From New Hounds:
  • Colmes Jilts Coulter Over Her "Jews" Comments:
    Poor Ann Coulter. She's had a crush on Alan Colmes since forever. On last night's (10/30/07) Hannity & Colmes, she told him she loved him. But the married Colmes made it clear he wasn't interested in her affections. Instead, he spent two entire segments smacking her down for her offensive remarks that "we (Christians) want Jews to be perfected." With video.
(Dizzy sez: Ouch! That had t' hurt!)

From The Huffington Post:
  • Body of War:
    Phil Donahue is getting in the last word.

    One of the first television personalities to speak out against America's hapless adventure in Iraq, Donahue was also among the war's earliest media casualties. He lost his MSNBC talk show back in 2003 when, according to an internal memo, his bosses had begun worrying that he would turn his show into "a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the
    flag at every opportunity."

    Donahue took his sacking with grace and, for all appearances, vanished from view.
(Dizzy sez: Sounds like Mr. Donahue is not ready to make nice, either.)

From NPR:
  • Respected Marine Lawyer Alleges Military Injustices:
    By all accounts, Colby Vokey is a model officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, at one point helping command an artillery unit in Kuwait during the Gulf War in 1991.

    For the past four years, Vokey has served as chief of all the Corps' defense lawyers in the western United States — and he's played a key role in some of the military's most sensitive legal issues, including the murder investigation in Haditha, Iraq, and in the debate about detainees at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.
(Dizzy sez: When good soldiers leave the ranks, what will be left? The "commander guy" is ruining our armed forces! I was born and bred of military stock; both grandfathers, my father and my mother were in the military and I have been married to a soldier for 9 years. I have been a member of the military family for most of my 37 years. I am appalled at what this president and what this war is doing to what used to and should still be considered a noble tradition.)

From The Moderate Voice:
  • Military Strike Against Iran:
    As we noted here, Iran is becoming a huge political campaign issue — and a Zogby poll now suggests that public support for a military strike against it is growing.

    And the candidate voters polled seem to feel is best equipped to deal with Iran? New York Senator Hillary Clinton.
(Dizzy sez: With 52% of likely voters willing to support a military strike on Iran, it looks like the administrations attempts to "catapult the propaganda" are definitely working...)

From Joanne Jacobs:
  • Voucher hypocrites:
    His son thrived for several years at a charter school, but inexperience by administrators and teachers took a toll. Unable to afford private tuition, Nicholson moved to the suburbs.

    So why all the middle-class angst and no mention of vouchers for low-income parents, responds Megan McArdle.
(Dizzy sez: Vouchers are not an option where I live. Although, even if they were, I doubt my family and I would utilize them. I have been home-schooling my kids for 9 years, so there's no reason to change something that has worked for us. And, although, I cannot vouch for all programs, the idea of making vouchers available to people who are less fortunate than myself and my family, could be a good one if implemented properly. Unfortunately, there are a lot of opinions on how that can be done and very little consensus.)

Phew! I'm stuffed from indulging in all the Halloween goodies I've posted here. I think I'll go wash them all down with a big cuppa.

In your Halloween travels don't forget to look both ways before crossing the street, check your goodies for broken wrappers, and don't forget to stop by HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.

Have a great day and don't forget to save some Almond Joys for Dizzy!

Clear Channel Sends Edict to Not Play Springsteen’s ‘Magic’

Bruce Springsteen currently has the No 1 album in the charts, he'll probably be up for a Grammy for the Best Album of the Year, and his tour is sold out across the country, but even still Republican owned, censor machine Clear Channel is out to pull The Boss from the airwaves. Readers here know, I'm a big Springsteen fan and I have written about him here more than a few times over the years, so I gotta say, this really ticks me off. Big time.

Clearly Bruce Springsteen's latest, 'Magic' has got the Noise Machine in a huff. Could it be because of this cut of the album, Last To Die, inspired by John Kerry:

I long ago gave up listening to mainstream radio, but this is wrong, just wrong...
Read on on The Dem Daily...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

If Ever He Would Leave Us


Robert Goulet desperately needed a lung transplant.

It didn't work out.

Ten Post Round-Up: 10/30/07

So many posts, so little time.

Without further ado...

From Brilliant at Breakfast.

* If parents didn't buy these, there'd be no need to offer them:
I'm not saying that kids should be forbidden to have any allure until they're in their 20's, nor am I saying that a little bit of dress-up is always inappropriate. I went to my senior prom in a dress better suited to Little Bo Peep than to a seventeen-year-old in 1973. But I'm not sure that preteen kids can draw the line between the attention their costumes get on Halloween and the attention they get when they show up in class in halter tops and bare tummies. And I'm not sure that when you send your ten-year-old out on Halloween dressed as a French Maid, you should be surprised when she learns that her only currency in this world is her fuckability. Nor should you be surprised when she becomes predator bait on MySpace.
(Dizzy sez: I'm with Jill. If these "suggestive" costumes were not selling like hotcakes, they would not be available to our children. Sadly, there are parents who don't seem to mind letting their little girls dress like hot mamas and that ain't good. For the record, we have one little demon and one little (fully clothed) princess on call for the festivities, tomorrow night.)

* This is not a "Real Time With Bill Maher" campaign ad parody:
Print and clip this ad. And next time a Barack Obama supporter asks you why having a gay-basher emcee a fundraiser matters in the larger sphere of things, just whip this puppy out and show it as an example of what happens when you think that because your guy talks about "inclusion", it means you can let homophobes be the public face of your campaign.
(Dizzy sez: Hey, he's just using the tried and true strategy of winning elections: bind voters together thru hate and fear! It's worked so well, so long, for Conservatives, why change tack now?)

* License to Kill:
Now the Administration is claiming it has the right to grant anyone it wants immunity from prosecution for crimes. The latest beneficiary? Blackwater:
(Dizzy sez: Sur-prize, Sur-prize, Sur-prize! Would we honestly expect any less from this administration? It's like, "Hey, it's a day ending in 'Y', so it must be another bit of corruption that will go unpunished by the Bush administration!")

From The Sirens Chronicles:

* diggin’ for the truth:
huh. i guess i wonder who talked them out of that one. they don’t seem to listen to anyone’s advice but their own. they fact that a significant portion of america still adheres to this belief system- cronyism, corruption, bigotry, etc., is absolutely mind boggling. the fact that there are more people waking up to this style of ‘governing’ and ‘leadership’- is the only ray of hope i can cling to. this is par for the course with the folks who redid the white house press room to resemble a sound stage- and who brought us ‘troops pretend to like w‘ back in the early days of the war- oh- and who could forget the pentagon’s faux news bought and paid for by taxpayers’ monies- all from the folks who brought us ‘texas bush‘ who was born and raised in new england.
(Dizzy sez: Lather. Rinse. Repeat.)

From Orcinus:

* The war criminals:
A lot of people are distressed by the realization that the traditional remedy for a presidency as misbegotten as the one we're currently enduring -- impeachment -- simply isn't going to happen, at least not as a political reality and given the time frame remaining.

But I like to cheer them up by reminding that while impeachment may be off the table, but a war-crimes trial is not.
(Dizzy sez: Dream...Dream, dream, dream...)


* US Annexes A Chunk Of Canada:
The several minute long montage of people and vistas and soaring music is notable for a scene of Niagara Falls about four minutes in. Problem is, the producers decided not to use the American Falls at Niagara, which is really just a steep rapids after a massive rock fall in 1954, but included Horseshoe Falls, a much bigger and therefore more photogenic landmark located on the Canadian side of the border. Tough luck you hosers!

You can view the video at the DiscoverAmerica site but be prepared for massive gobs of happy.
(Dizzy sez: I think I'll pass. I live in the reality-based community, after all.)

From Jesus' General:

* Big Brother is our biggest client: (Dizzy sez: According to AT&T, when it comes to the war on "terra", we are all "guilty by association")

From Signs of the Times:

* UV light may offer "double whammy" for cancer:
Using ultraviolet light may one day offer a "double whammy" to kill cancer cells by better focusing antibody-based drugs and triggering the body's own defenses to eliminate tumors, researchers said on Tuesday.

In two studies with mice, a British team cloaked antibodies -- the immune system proteins that tag germs and cancer cells for elimination -- with an organic oil that blocked them from reacting until illuminated with ultraviolet light.
Where did this post come from?

* Political Scientists Discover New Form Of Government:
WASHINGTON, DC—Political scientists at the Cato Institute announced Monday that they have inadvertently synthesized a previously theoretical form of government known as megalocracy.
(Dizzy sez: The Onion! How did that get in there? Hey, they don't call me "Dizzy" for nothin'!)

Here's a little something positive for those of you who like to make your own Halloween treats:
* How to Make Peanut Butter Fudge Ghosts
These little Halloween snacks are not only fun and easy to make but are also a tasty, gruesome treat. It's an easy craft and cooking project that will keep the little ones busy for quite some time!
(Dizzy sez: Sounds like I got some shopping to do.)

Well, these posts should whet your whistle, until tomorrow. If you need more to read, feel free to stop by HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.

First Manassas

I am astonished on the eve of battle. These two great armies of the blogosphere are drawn up, face to face, General versus General: The Dread Pundit Bluto (if that IS his real name) versus Glenn Greenwald, Steve Benin versus Dr. Rusty Shackleford, Blue Crab Boulevard versus Newshoggers, Captain Ed versus Crooks & Liars, Balloon Juice versus Hot Air and Michelle Malkin versus Reality Itself.

And, as the two tribes face off across the waterhole, I think of what started all this: not one soldier with a rifle.

But, rather, one soldier with a pen.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Katrina Video

This is the one we worked on before the anniversary of Katrina. Tech probs prevented us from getting it up on time. Still wanted people to see it.


Mr. five percent

Hey Orville, I thought you were gonna be sheriff? Five percent of the vote? What a fucking loser! I guess the attacks on bloggers didn't go so well. You and your family were warned, and you just had to fuck it up. The Katrinacrat is coming back, and he is more than ready to punk you out again if you run for another office. Stay down you fool, and learn your lesson. YOU GOT PUNKED!

Ten Post Round-Up: Mad Monday

Simmer down, back there! So the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. Yippee! Hooray! I'm from Colorado, so I don't wanna hear about the World Series, right now.

I'm thinking a Ten Post Round-Up will make me a feel a whole lot better...

From Signs of the Times:

* Fidel Castro pokes fun at George W. Bush:
HAVANA - Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro poked fun at President George W. Bush on Sunday for proclaiming "Long Live Free Cuba," likening it to Spain's king saying the same during his colonial rule over the island.

Bush said the transfer of power from the ailing Fidel Castro to his brother Raul as of July 2006 was unacceptable, proclaiming liberty was more important than stability and ending his comments in the speech to the U.S. State Department on Wednesday with "Viva Cuba Libre."

The slogan was first used by Cuban independence fighters, known as Mambisis, in 1868 as they began their decades-long war against Spain's colonial rule. It was also the battle cry of Fidel Castro's guerrilla fighters in the late 1950s.

Raul Castro often ends speeches with the slogan instead of Fidel Castro's "Motherland or Death."

"I never imagined I would hear the words coming from the mouth of a U.S. president 139 years later," Castro said in an essay titled "Bush, Mambi?" carried by the official media.

"It's as if a king in those times, or his governor, proclaimed 'Viva Cuba Libre,"' Castro said.
(Dizzy sez: Wouldn't it be nice if our president didn't live with his foot in his mouth?)

* Sarkozy calls Chad children case illegal:
PARIS - President Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday condemned an attempt by a French group to spirit more than 100 children out of Chad on the grounds that they were orphans from Darfur in danger of being killed.

Sarkozy called Chadian President Idriss Deby to discuss the case, his office said in a statement. Chad's president has denounced the case as a "straightforward kidnapping" and promised punishment for anyone who tried to take the children out of the country.

At least 16 people, nine of them French, have been detained for questioning by authorities in Chad.

The nationalities of the 103 young children involved in the case are unclear. They are being cared for in the eastern Chadian city of Abeche.

* Reports: Merrill Lynch CEO close to exit:
Stan O'Neal, the beleaguered chief executive of Merrill Lynch & Co., was reportedly close to resigning Sunday amid broad criticism for leading the world's largest brokerage to its biggest quarterly loss since it was founded 93 years ago.

In a week that included an $7.9 billion write-down related to subprime mortgages and O'Neal's unauthorized overture to sell the company to retail bank Wachovia Corp., the board of Merrill Lynch reached a broad consensus Friday for his dismissal, according to several media reports. He would become the highest-ranking casualty of the global credit crisis that swept through Wall Street's biggest investment banks during the third quarter.
(Dizzy sez: It's not just the "little guy" losing his shirt anymore...)

From The Democratic Daily:

* Fearing Fear and the Fear Mongers:
Paul Krugman points out the dangers of fearing fear itself, as the fear mongers continue to make it a focal point in the upcoming presidential election:
(Dizzy sez: I'm with Pamela. Wake me up in about 13 months!)

From AlterNet:

* Fundamentalist Christian Uses California Wildfires As Excuse to Attack Gays:
Oh, yeah! I was eagerly awaiting the deranged reaction of James Hartline regarding the tragic, dangerous fires in Southern California. (See Autumn's diary and pictures on the firestorms.)

Hartline, a fundamentalist, recloseted gay man with AIDS (he contracted HIV from years of unsafe sex in bathhouses) today sees himself as battling dark forces in San Diego's "homosexual stronghold of Hillcrest," says the fires are God's wrath on the Homosexual Agenda.
(Dizzy sez: Fundies make me sick on so many levels.)

From The Idaho Statesman:

* Should campaign donations pay for Craig's defense?:
Sen. Larry Craig's decision to use campaign funds for his criminal defense appears to conflict with federal election law, according to a watchdog group.

The problem for Craig, R-Idaho, is that one of his two legal teams is on the record saying Craig's arrest and conviction for disorderly conduct are "wholly unrelated to the performance of official duties."

Federal law prohibits the use of campaign funds for expenses unrelated to the duties of an officeholder or a candidate.
(Dizzy sez: The "Larry Craig Saga" is the Republican gift that keeps on giving. I'm almost out of popcorn!)


* Hermaphrodite pony finds friendship with donkey:
Meet Tootsie - a hermaphrodite pony who lived for 12 years with his owners thinking he was female.

For most of his life the Shetland pony, who has both male and female genitalia, was thought to be a mare and went by the name of Amy.

And to add to his confusion he has been taken into care, undergone a sex change operation and been re-homed - only to be shunned by his peers.

But now Tootsie - named after Dustin Hoffman's cross-dressing character in the film of the same name - finally appears to be settling in at the Bransby Home of Rest for Horses, near Lincoln.

And he has found an unlikely friend - in stablemate Derek the donkey.
(Dizzy sez: Hey! Even hermaphrodite ponies need love, too!)

From World Science:

* Black holes may scatter “seeds of life” through cosmos:
Black holes aren’t the all-consuming mon­sters they’re of­ten por­trayed as, new re­search has found: in­stead, warm gas es­cap­ing from the clutches of gi­ant black holes could be one source of the chem­i­cal el­e­ments used for life.

Black holes are cos­mic ob­jects con­sist­ing of tre­men­dous amounts of ma­te­rial packed in­to a ti­ny space. The huge quan­ti­ty of mat­ter ex­erts a grav­i­ta­tion­al pull so strong that it sucks in eve­ry­thing near­by, in­clud­ing light.

Im­me­di­ate­ly af­ter the Big Bang ex­plo­sion that as­tro­no­mers be­lieve gave birth to the uni­verse, the cos­mos is thought to have con­tained on­ly hy­dro­gen and he­li­um, the light­est chem­i­cal el­e­ments.

Heav­i­er el­e­ments had to be cooked up in stars, then scat­tered to be in­cor­po­rat­ed in oth­er stars and their plan­ets. Black holes may have helped spread those el­e­ments across the cos­mos, sci­en­tists now say.

From ABC News:

* Are Young Girls Dressing Too Revealingly?:
Among pint-sized cheerleaders, itty-bitty beauty queens, and in the malls of America, the sassy-sexy look isn't just for teens anymore.

Some say younger girls are going shorter and barer -- taking their cues from characters like the Cheetah Girls, the Pussycat Dolls and the Bratz dolls -- and some observers are saying they've had enough.

Celia Rivenbark, a mom who hit her breaking point with the shrinking fashions, wrote a book called, "Stop Dressing Your Six Year Old Like a Skank."

"The moms are buying it, the dads are buying and maybe on some level the parents think, 'Oh that's cute, that's harmless, that's innocent' -- but I don't think it is," Rivenbank said. "The children are wearing them down."

And psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere warns that how a child dresses as young as age three can have serious consequences.
(Dizzy sez: Childhood is hard enough without trying to dress like a grown-up. Back in the day, dressing like Madonna was scandalous. Nowadays, little girls want to dress like the Pussycat Dolls and those girls make Madonna look like a nun. Little boys are getting in on the act, these days, with wanna-be gangsta clothes marketed for toddlers as well as pre-teens. The day my little angels come home lookin' like Britney or 50, they better be full grown and on their way to a music video shoot!)

And finally, from Morning Martini:

* Halloween Tricks?:
Halloween is approaching. Let’s think back a second. Did you ever commit a Halloween “Trick”? Egg a house? TP-a house? What did you do?
(Dizzy sez: Fess up, people! Drop by and tell your tale. I'll spill, if you will...)

In the meantime, make today a great day and take care until tomorrow!

(Mad about cross-posting HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ten Post Round-Up: Sneaky Saturday


I know I don't usually post a round-up on the weekend, but, I couldn't sleep, so I decided to sneak a peak at my Google Reader, this morning, and see what random tidbits I could find.

I got my morning cuppa and I'm ready to go...

From Minstrel Boy:

PKK tactics may drive Turkey into a reluctant invasion:
Militarily, the PKK are not very strong. The figure given for its forces inside northern Iraq is about 3,000. They claim that they have been trying to abide by a ceasefire since 1 October 2006, but it is a curiously flexible ceasefire that includes the right of self-defence and retaliation. The PKK's pin-prick attacks do not have much military impact on the 100,000 Turkish soldiers massed north of the border. But they do inflict serious political damage on the Turkish government because any Turkish casualties drive it towards an invasion of Iraq that it does not want to carry out.

Iraq Bomber Attacks Sunni Militant Group:
A suicide bomber blew himself up near the headquarters of a nationalistic Sunni insurgent group that has turned against al-Qaida in Iraq north of Baghdad, killing a woman on her way to the market and wounding four other people, police said.

Marines declare war on garbage -:
"Good. That is good," the lanky Marine said in a quiet, almost reverential tone as he watched workers load filth into the back of an orange dump truck. "It makes me happy, just to see them working."...
(Dizzy sez: This looks like good news. If only the rest of Iraq was facing battles so trivial...)

From AlterNet:

CNN's Jack Cafferty Calls On Viewers to Overthrow Bush [VIDEO]:
CNN commentator Jack Cafferty speculated on Wednesday about how George W. Bush's unilateral grab for presidential power might be reversed.

"The president of the United States didn't have the power to spy on Americans ... operate secret prisons ... suspend due process ... torture ... hide the conduct of the government from the public," Cafferty stated. "It's not like anybody gave President Bush any of these powers -- he took them, as a brain-dead Congress just stood there and watched."
(Dizzy sez: Tsk, tsk, tsk...some people are so cynical...)

Rumsfeld Hit With Torture Lawsuit While In Paris:
Since neither President Bush nor the U.S. Congress will hold Rumsfeld accountable for violating the Geneva Conventions, perhaps the courts in France will.
(Dizzy sez: I would feel better if the U.S. Congress would hold the entire Bush administration accountable...)

From Spiked:

Count me out of atheism's creed:
Of course, the resurgence of interest in atheism is a reaction to the perceived rise of religion, whether in the form of Islamic fundamentalism or US-style Christian conservatism. But in taking their cue from resurgent religions, atheists also adopt something of their inward-looking focus. From attempts to popularise the term ‘bright’ as a positive identity to calls for atheists to be included on the roster of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’, it seems that some want to establish atheism as an alternative, non-religious camp for people to belong to. But atheism itself ought to be the least interesting thing about atheists, who surely have various and often conflicting beliefs and passions of their own.
(Dizzy sez: I'm not really looking to join up and hang out with other atheists, merely because of their "unbelief". Heck, my own atheism is the least important thing to know about me, which is probably why it rarely, if ever, comes up as a topic of discussion in my personal life. I was very religious for 28 years, but, in the last 10 of those years, I realized that trying to connect with people merely based on our "shared faith" was a colossal waste of time and energy when we had absolutely nothing else in common. I have had similar experiences when attending groups with predominantly atheist membership. I realized then that I didn't need any special organization in order to find comfort in my identity, no matter what that was: mother, military spouse, home-school mom, singer, entrepreneur, Libertarian, atheist. I prefer to make my associations with individuals that I like being around rather than trying to fit in with a collective, of any stripe.)

Gaia theory: academic mysticism
James Lovelock’s Gaia theory started life as an interesting scientific hypothesis. A new book shows that it has since morphed into a mystical creed that sees Mother Earth as vulnerable and humans as wicked.

From Guardian Unlimited:

Undiagnosed brain injury - the hidden legacy of Iraq:
The Ministry of Defence is conducting a major study into brain injury in troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan amid fears that thousands of soldiers may have suffered damage after being exposed to high-velocity explosions.

The US army says as many as 20% of its soldiers and marines have suffered "mild traumatic brain injury" (mTBI) from blows to the head or shockwaves caused by explosions. The condition, which can lead to memory loss, depression and anxiety, has been designated as one of four "signature injuries" of the Iraq conflict by the US department of defence, which is introducing a large-scale screening programme for troops returning from the frontline.
(Dizzy sez: There are soldiers, returned a year ago, who are still being diagnosed with TBI, in my neck of the woods. Think about year since they returned from Iraq, there are still many soldiers who are going undiagnosed.)

From BBC News:

Gulf in rich-poor life expectancy:
One is the rich are getting richer, and can effectively "buy" longer lives through more regular holidays and leisure activities.

But increasingly, research suggests that the very nature of people's work, and not just the lifestyle it affords them, can have an impact on longevity.

"Monotonous jobs where workers have little control over what they do can be much more stressful than more high-powered jobs, where people have much more freedom," said Professor Dorling.

"And that ultimately may take its toll."
(Dizzy sez: Is it just me or are there way too many studies coming out that state the obvious?)

From NYtimes:

Saudi King Tries to Grow Modern Ideas in Desert:
On a marshy peninsula 50 miles from this Red Sea port, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is staking $12.5 billion on a gargantuan bid to catch up with the West in science and technology.

As usual, an unusually eclectic band of posts cropped up, today.

Until tomorrow, take care and be safe!

(You can sneak up on this post HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ten Post Round-Up: Freaky Friday

Baby and how!

UFOs in Colorado? Saved by a violin? Poor people wiser than their middle-class counterparts? Republi-pundits freaking out?

A lot of freaky stuff, just in time for Halloween!

So hold out your trick or treat bag and be prepared for a handful of semi-sweet, semi-random posts from the Dizzy Google Reader!

You rang?

From Signs of the Times:

Colorado: Strange lights spotted in sky over Havasu:
A strange bright light appeared in the darkness of the pre-dawn sky south of Lake Havasu Thursday morning, hovering and glowing with an eerie amber light before disappearing suddenly, a Lake Havasu City man has reported.

"It was in the southern sky. It seemed to be hovering," said Trevor Lowder, 32.

Lowder arrived at work shortly after 6 a.m. when a co-worker alerted him to a strange light in the still-dark sky. Running outside, Lowder said the light was clearly visible with the naked eye, about half the brightness of Venus. Once outside, he watched the object for several minutes before it appeared to accelerate out of view.

This Is Not A Joke: Former Australian PM Fraser calls for establishment of Bill of Rights:
Former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Fraser has called for an Australian federal bill of rights to protect individuals and restrain governments.

Delivering his inaugural professorial lecture at the University of Melbourne Law School tonight, Mr Fraser said there had been increasing disregard over the past seven years for the rule of law in the name of national security.
(Dizzy sez: Sounds eerily like what's happening in this country and we do have a bill of rights!)

Serb leader raises national alarm over Bosnia:
Serbia warned on Thursday it would defend Serb rights in Bosnia against Western-inspired threats with as much determination as it is applying to prevent the Western-inspired secession of its own Kosovo province.

"Preserving Kosovo and Republika Srpska are now the most important goals of our state and national policy," Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said, in a statement for the first time overtly linking two potential, ethnically based crises.

Pledging support to Serb kin in Bosnia, who had Belgrade's full backing in the 1992-95 Bosnia war under ultranationalist strongman Slobodan Milosevic, Kostunica said there was now "an open threat to the essential interests of the Serb people."
From Yahoo! News:

Violin case music to boy's safety:
Now there's at least one 10-year-old boy who doesn't mind taking violin lessons anymore. Police said the boy was walking to school holding his violin case when a vehicle sped through a crosswalk and hit him.

Witnesses said the case took most of the impact, and officer Mark Worthing said the boy suffered only cuts and bruises after the accident.
(Dizzy sez: What a treat for that little guy! And, I'll bet his mom is really glad that he didn't take up the triangle!)

From Times Online (UK):

You choose: seven more years of worry, or a pint and a fag:
Possibly. On the other hand, maybe not every road sweeper wants to live his life like a lawyer. Perhaps an infrastructure hygiene operative thinks that his grim life of humping up and down the road picking up dog turds every day requires all the willpower he has got, all the spirit he possesses and all the civic duty he can muster. And perhaps at the end of that day he would like to get smashed out of his face and eat a doner kebab or three, and don’t hold the trans fats.

In other words, perhaps he doesn’t want to live like a lawyer because the rewards are just too damn deferred. An exercise plan will pay off in a lifetime. A diet regime will work over roughly the same period. But a fag and a beer are for now. And now, when you’re poor, is all you’ve really got.
(Dizzy sez: When the future looks bleak, sometimes the only way to get through the week is to live for "this one day" and let tomorrow take care of itself.)


Bushista America:
Stress "October 25, 2007 -- We're stressed out, we can't sleep, we're drinking too much - and it's getting worse. Forty-eight percent of Americans say they're more stressed now than they were five years ago, and the same percent report regularly lying awake at night because of stress, according to a new study by the American Psychological Association. "Stress continues to escalate, and it's affecting every area of people's lives," said Russ Newman, a psychologist and executive director of the APA."
(Dizzy sez: We cannot help but to be stressed out about what is being done in our name in the Middle East!)

From The Nation:

The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness:
Over the past several months The Nation has interviewed fifty combat veterans of the Iraq War from around the United States in an effort to investigate the effects of the four-year-old occupation on average Iraqi civilians. These combat veterans, some of whom bear deep emotional and physical scars, and many of whom have come to oppose the occupation, gave vivid, on-the-record accounts. They described a brutal side of the war rarely seen on television screens or chronicled in newspaper accounts.

Their stories, recorded and typed into thousands of pages of transcripts, reveal disturbing patterns of behavior by American troops in Iraq. Dozens of those interviewed witnessed Iraqi civilians, including children, dying from American firepower. Some participated in such killings; others treated or investigated civilian casualties after the fact. Many also heard such stories, in detail, from members of their unit. The soldiers, sailors and marines emphasized that not all troops took part in indiscriminate killings. Many said that these acts were perpetrated by a minority. But they nevertheless described such acts as common and said they often go unreported--and almost always go unpunished.
From Joanne Jacobs:

No time for elementary science:
Though fifth graders have been tested in science since 2004, 41 percent of California elementary teachers don’t feel prepared to teach the subject.
(Dizzy sez: We are running out of mad scientists! An elaborate costume is not gonna cut it anymore!)

Oh my! What's this? Those wing-nuts sure look spooky!

From Orcinus:

The Usual Suspects:
It must be lovely to be a right-winger. When it comes time to assign blame for anything -- hurricanes, Abu Ghraib, Pete Stark -- you can keep your beautiful mind spotlessly untainted by simply pulling out your list of Usual Suspects, picking one or two or a handful, and then start slinging the invective in that general direction. No messy facts required; not a moment wasted in reasonable reflection. It's all right there on the list. You can aim your hate in a few easy seconds, and then get right back to your squash game. It just saves so much time for other things....

Last year, in the throes of l'affaire Foley, we actually kept score of who got blamed as the various excuses emerged over the course of a week or so. Apart from its tedious predictability, watching them fling the blame here and there had roughly the same entertainment value as watching monkeys flinging poo. You could see their mouths moving as they hurled it with everything they had, silently praying this one would stick to something that didn't smell Republican. (In the end, of course, that's about all it stuck to.) By the end of that fling-filled week, the finally tally of attempted targets looked like this:...

From News Hounds:

How Hannity Used California Wildfires For Political Gain: By Accusing Others Of Doing So:
Just as I predicted, Sean Hannity used the California wildfires for his partisan purposes in his usually crafty way: by accusing Democrats of doing it, then using his own accusation as cover for doing the same thing, himself. Rather than debate the issues like a grownup, Hannity threw a hissy fit (h/t chrish). Fortunately for truth-lovers, guest Ellis Henican was in fine fettle and exposed the shenanigans. With video.
(Dizzy Sez: I think I'll settle for the chocolate kisses. The right-wing nuts give me a tummy ache!)

Wow! I got some really tasty pieces in my trick or treat bag. Remember to wait thirty minutes after indulging before swimming or it will give you nightmares...or something like that!

You have been warned!

Please be safe this weekend and take care of yourself!

(Pssst! Pssst! Some of the best treats can be found at Dizzy Dayz and The Katrinacrat blog and The Sirens Chronicles. Be sure to knock three times if you stumble on this at The Democratic Daily)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Iraq Deployment 3.0

On Saturday, October 27th, my family and I will start the 30 day countdown for our third Iraq deployment. I "affectionately" call it, Iraq Deployment 3.0.

Unlike his first deployment, that lasted about 6 months, and his last deployment, that lasted 12 months, this deployment will last "at least 15 months", but "not more than 18 months".

This deployment will be the longest we have ever been apart, since we met back in 1997.

His first (ever) deployment was back in 1999, where he was deployed to Bosnia for 6 months. His next deployment, wasn't actually a "deployment" per se, but he was stationed at a remote base in South Korea in 2002 for one year. Six months after he returned from Korea, he was deployed to Iraq in 2003. He was home for over a year when he was redeployed to Iraq, for one year, in 2005.

Almost two years to the exact day that he left for Iraq Deployment 2.0, he is leaving for his third tour.

Fifteen months is only three months longer than his most previous tour, but that's three more months of playing "single mom" to three children and reminding the youngest ones that "Daddy is at work". They don't need to know that Daddy is in danger. Sure, he doesn't come home for months at a time, but they don't need to know that's not normal for average Daddies. Of course, it doesn't hurt that we live in a community where lots of Mommies and Daddies go to work for months, so they think it's normal.

It will be nice when this "normal" life is no longer part of our every day existence.

It will be nice when Daddy isn't missing (literally) every other birthday or anniversary. It will be nice when Daddy comes home every night for several years rather than being at work every day/night for several months. It will be nice to not have to hold my breath when I hear "bad news" about Iraq on the news.

Of course, one has to think positively. I know that for 15 months, the music in the van cd-changer will be only music I love to listen to. I know that I won't have to watch any movies or television shows that I don't like. If I want to go somewhere, I don't have to take into consideration whether or not he wants to go. Less laundry? Whoo-hoo! A totally tidy master bedroom? Whoa, Nelly!

Of course, it's hard to accentuate the positive when your entire daily routine is a mix of anxiety about how he is doing and animosity towards those who keep this illegal war going. I have grown tired and annoyed at otherwise "thoughtful" people who pat me on the head with some nonsense about how he's over there so we can have freedom over here. I know that's not true. But, I just smile and walk away instead of ranting about how much bull that is.

Thankfully, I have things to keep me occupied. Care packages to send, friends and family to call, a business to run, and children to care for and a blog (or two...) to rant on. We will pretend like Iraq Deployment 3.0 is a normal part of our every day lives. We will go on for 15 months as if it's normal for Daddies to go to work war, every other year.

Truthfully, we will be just fine. The thing isn't so much that he's going, it's that this is the third time. It will be nice when we can start counting the number of years he is home against positive milestones the way we count how long our troops have been in Iraq (four years since I started my business).

In the meantime, we begin the big countdown to Iraq Deployment 3.0 (T-minus 33 days).

(Graciously cross-posted at Dizzy Dayz and The Katrinacrat blog and The Sirens Chronicles.)

Beating Up On Beauchamp ... AGAIN

It is a rather long post, but, given the incredible attention that the July attack by the Rightie Blogosmear™ on an anonymous article by a combat soldier that was published in The New Republic, a magazine with a 65,000 circulation, the length is justified.

Asking the question: Is THIS the most important story in America today?

Or, if the Army so busy trying to manipulate domestic press coverage that they're giving short shrift to their primary mission in Iraq. Something has gone completely off the tracks, here. The PNAC crowd goes after a combat soldier AND a magazine editor.

This is the most important story in America today? With virtually NO notice from the left, but only from the 24 Percenters? Really?

Click to read "A Convenient Leak for Dan Quayle's Brain" (which refers to William Kristol's appellation when he was Chief of Veep Staff under Bush the Elder, back before he sold his soul to Rupert Murdoch.)


Ten Post Round-Up: Thoughtful Thursday

(Ten semi-random posts I found in my Google Reader, this morning)

Well, it seems that the wing-nuts are working overtime to blame the raging fires in California on Al-Quaida.

So far, all I have heard is that the authorities believe that the fires were started by arson and apparently someone has been detained in the investigation. Although, arson, by its very nature, is a terrorist act, it is too early to say that this fire can be blamed on "islamo-facism".

Stoking the fires of fear seems to be the wing-nuts' stock in trade, from religion to Iraq to California. There's enough scary news out there without adding conspiracy theories into the mix.

Speaking of which...

From Minstrel Boy:

British troops 'to depend on rented helicopters' - Telegraph:
"British "troops in Afghanistan could soon be relying for their resupply on rented civilian helicopters.

Nato defence ministers meeting in the Netherlands last night were discussing the plan after several European members refused to meet a shortfall in transport helicopters.
(Dizzy sez: Bad news from that "other war" we're winning...)

Iraq Determined to Expel Blackwater USA | World Latest | Guardian Unlimited:
The Iraqi government remains determined to expel the Blackwater USA security company and is searching for legal remedies to overturn an American-imposed decree that exempts all foreign bodyguards from prosecution under local laws, officials said Wednesday.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government accepted the findings of an Iraqi investigative committee that determined Blackwater guards, without provocation, killed 17 Iraqis last month in Nisoor Square in western Baghdad.
(Dizzy sez: If our military is winning in Iraq, why do we need mercenaries?)

ABC News: White House Requests Bunker-Buster Bombs -- Is Iran Attack Next?:
"Tucked inside the White House's $196 billion emergency funding request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is an item that has some people wondering whether the administration is preparing for military action against Iran.

The item: $88 million to modify B-2 stealth bombers so they can carry a newly developed 30,000-pound bomb called the massive ordnance penetrator, or, in military-speak, the MOP.

The MOP is the the military's largest conventional bomb, a super "bunker-buster" capable of destroying hardened targets deep underground. The one-line explanation for the request said it is in response to "an urgent operational need from theater commanders."
(Dizzy sez: Be afraid. Be very afraid...It looks like Bubbles is trying to stock his toy box so he can target another sandbox!)


War Criminal Confronted By Woman With Bloodied Hands:
WASHINGTON, Oct 24 (Reuters) - An anti-war protester waved blood-colored hands in U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s face at a congressional hearing on Wednesday and shouted “war criminal!”, but was pushed away and detained by police. “The blood of millions of Iraqis is on your hands!” yelled the protester, Desiree Anita Ali-Fairooz of the Code Pink organization which often disrupts hearings on Capitol Hill with protests against the Iraq war.
(Dizzy sez: Check out the video at the link!)

Cal Fires An Osama Plot:
7/11/2003 - "The FBI alerted law enforcement agencies last month that an al-Qaeda terrorist now in detention had talked of masterminding a plot to set a series of devastating forest fires around the western United States."

(Dizzy sez: Note that the "alert", in question, is four years old...)

From The Huffington Post:

Reading The Pictures: Soldiers In Heaven:
till, it is a dangerous thing to get caught up in romanticization here. Psychologically and developmentally, there is nothing simple or pure about constructing a relationship with a deceased parent -- especially one who went off to prevent a dictator from using non-existent WMD's and shortly thereafter, ended up getting killed by accident. What gets almost completely buried under the spirituality here is the pragmatic and, ultimately, the political. In other words, where the main focus falls in this picture (in terms of the light, and Mom's attention) is on CamerynLee's eight-year-old eyes, and their search, not just for Dad, but the where, when, how and especially, why he died.

Of course, while she's looking into it, there is also the question of how Dad could possibly have been gone so long, while the war that killed him-- more than half her lifetime ago -- still remains.
(Dizzy sez: As my family prepares for our third deployment, I am hopeful that I will never have to explain to my young children about the tragedy of war before they are old enough to really understand.)

The Gay Dilemma of Barack Obama:
I don't know. If he wants to win, he can't ignore the religious constituency. If he wants to be a decent human being, he can't go along with people who are ignorant and hurt others by arguing in favor of discrimination. My personal answer is - don't become a politician. My global answer is - get beyond this ridiculous voodoo we call organized religion.

But for the moment being, it's hard to blame Obama for trying to tow the line, putting everyone on the same stage (including a gay pastor he has conveniently found now), pretending to be a uniter and hoping for the best. The bottom line is this isn't Obama's problem, it's the country's problem.
(Dizzy sez: This is one of the main reasons I got out of politics. There were a few times, during my campaign for Lt. Governor of Colorado, that I would end up on the same campaign stops as a bigot who was running on the same ticket--Libertarian--and I had to stomach sharing the stage with this racist while we both pretended to agree with each other on the basic tenets of our "shared" political affiliation. But, my situation was a lot different than Obama's. I was merely running a parallel campaign with the Gubernatorial candidate and he wanted to play nice with this candidate who was being supported by other racists. His idea was to get "as many votes, from all angles, as we can". I went where my co-candidate went. But, at the end of the campaign, I felt dirty. I felt like I had betrayed myself, if nobody else. If I had the chance to do it all again, I would stand on principle and never agree to stand with anyone who does not have my own best interests at heart. Obama has a choice as the sole candidate in his campaign. He can either stand with bigots and be labeled a bigot or he can stand on principle and stand up for ALL Americans by refusing to purposely associate his campaign with hatred and bigotry. But, I'm dizzy...what do I know?)

From Bill Moyers Journal:

(Transcript re: Blackwater and CEO Erik Prince)
You could not miss Erik Prince this week. The founder and top gun of Blackwater usually keeps a low media profile. But there he was all over the place, in a carefully orchestrated campaign to put the best face on a bad situation.

Erik Prince is the man who assembled a private army in Iraq with tax dollars, provided by the U.S. Government — you. Earlier this month, after some of his soldiers of fortune gunned down 17 innocent Iraqis and wounded 27 others in what the Army first called an unprovoked attack, Prince was called before Congress to give an accounting.

From Brilliant at Breakfast:

Chickenshit Little Crybabies:
I used to say in the 1990's that the right's hatred for Bill Clinton was a function of them still being angry at the guy in high school who got all the girls. And there is certainly an arrested development aspect of this yearning for a Big Tough Daddy figure -- even if he's a bully. But then, most bullies are really frightened children underneath anyway, aren't they? That so-called "toughness" is all bravado.

And now for something completely different!

the content-free encyclopedia that anyone can edit
(Dizzy sez: It's like Wikipedia,'s not! You wanna rewrite or make-up history? This is the place to do it...for purely entertainment purposes, of course!)

Well, it's Thursday, so tonight I go to drown my sorrows in several rounds of karaoke! Since I can't bring ya'll with me, I'll be sure to sing a couple songs for ya, if it'll make you feel better. I plan to meet up with Senor Cuervo before this day is through.

In the meantime, you all, please take care and be safe.

(In case you get lost, you can find this post at Dizzy Dayz and The Katrinacrat blog and The Sirens Chronicles. Be sure to knock three times if you stumble on this at The Democratic Daily)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The "Hitler Comparison"

The "Hitler comparison" should be shouted from the rooftops, as should the Goebbels comparison, the Himmler comparison, the Mengele, Stalin, Torquemada, Beelzebub comparisons and all the rest. If it struts like a Nazi, talks like Nazi, tortures like a Nazi and wages aggressive and illegal war like a Nazi... it's not a duck.

Eighteen months or so ago I wrote a post comparing Bush, Cheney and the boys from PNAC to Hitler, to the Nazi hierarchy and to the wonderful folks who gave the world kristallnacht, the terror bombings of Guernica, of London and conducted history's magnum opus of human carnage, the holocaust, the destruction of two thirds of the Jews in Europe and millions of other "undesirables."

I took a moderate amount of heat for what one local (Dayton) commenter called my "classlessness," and received a few surly EMails from people who are probably, to this day, driving around with "Bush/Cheney" bumper stickers on their Cadillac and Lexus SUVs but since I want so badly to be loved and admired, (or at least not ignored) I resolved to try to avoid using the "Hitler Comparison" after that.

I saw it used by others on the blogs and, guardedly, in the MSM, witnessed their reception of similar treatment and I realized that a taboo (see Godwin's law) had been created. "Disrespectful to the office of the President," some cried, "diminishes the horror of the holocaust and the brutality unleashed on Europe's Jews by the real Hitler," cried others, "the ultimate ad hominem attack," wrote one academic seeking to show that such comparisons were childish , demeaning to those who offered them and "kills dead," scholarly internet discussions.

As the months dragged on and the war escalated, the deaths, the casualties, the carnage mounted, the attacks on dissent increased, civil liberties began to erode and disappear, as the regulatory bureaucracy and the judiciary were stripped of independent professionals and replaced with ideological partisans, as tens of billions of dollars of American taxpayers cash simply disappeared into the black hole of "privatization" and reason itself came under constant attack, I couldn't help myself, I began to use the "Hitler Comparison" more often in my various rants.

I don't pretend to scholarship, or journalism, I'm an old carpenter, not an academic, I'm content to be a pamphleteer. As long as the feedback tells me that people are reading my electronic leaflets, not ripping them from under their wiper blades and kicking them to the curb, if I sense that they are following the links, I find a small measure of hope, not a lot, just enough to make me look forward to coffee and another batch of leafleting in the morning.

The war..s continue, and as the fervor grows for another, in Iran and more evidence of official "misdeeds," of lies, of outright criminality, of incompetence, rampant cronyism and fraud continue to seep out from under the closed doors of what has developed into the most secretive, insular, antidemocratic administration in the history of the Republic, the "Hitler comparison" has grown in my mind and, I believe, much of the public's to the point that we need to repeal the "Godwin law" and popularize the idea in the hopes that by holding up the mirror to the tyrant we may drive him from our shores. I'm serious, we need "Hitler Comparison" T shirts, by the millions.

Sunday night I watched Naomi Wolf on PBS as she was interviewed about her recent book by "guest interviewer" Viet Dinh, a former Assistant Attorney General, and principle author of the Patriot Act, greatly admired by none other than Rupert Murdoch, in other words, as Adol George W is wont to say, no cream puff. Ms Wolf more than held her own, after all, she knows her book and the research on which its based and defended it well against a wholly predictable neo-con cross examination.

Her book may represent, albeit in a much more scholarly and reasoned way, the ultimate in "Comparisons," (I confess I haven't yet read it) She says that she charts the closing of various previously open societies, from Hitler to Stalin to Pinochet and on to our current rapidly closing system, and finds the comparisons striking, the trends frightening, ant the peril, imminent enough to cause her to run around the country like a latter day Paul Revere shouting that the redcoats brown shirts are coming, while making astute "comparisons" between current and past events, motives and personalities.

It is, of course, a book tour and yes, the object is to sell the book but there is much more here, I hear a clarion call in her voice and feel truth in her message.

Would that several million people, Germans perhaps, in 1933, 34 or 35 had been possessed of the poor taste and "classlessness," had been willing to succumb to the gaucherie of loudly and publicly comparing Adolph Hitler to... well ..what the hell, lets go for it.. Adolph Hitler, I wonder what result might have ensued. Or, back in the USSR, had Russians stood up and said "hey this Stalin guy is becoming a real Hitler or maybe even a Stalin," how many of the fifty million Russian dead might have been spared, the cold war, arms race avoided, at least greatly reduced.

There is a responsibility of those who govern to speak truth to the governed, but, when they fail in that responsibility, there is a greater responsibility on the part of the governed to speak truth to power, to spit in its eye and to dethrone it as necessary to insure the continuity of the rights, freedoms and welfare of the public, for that is what finally matters, not the government, nor the corrupt interests of the criminal oligarchs that it represents.

I listened to the GOP candidates a bit the other night, a little goes a long way with these birds, and heard the words "personal responsibility" several times, a phrase which is nothing more, on Republican lips, than a code word for racism, sexism and a continuation of the war they have waged against the "lesser classes' for all of modern history.

I agree with them in this sense, it is time for a large percentage of the population to take personal responsibility for themselves, for their country, to unite in the name of freedom, in the name of economic, political and spiritual liberty, to rise up and seize control of the whole package, the big damn shebang, to wrest control from the five percent who have kept them enslaved, who have enforced ignorance and poverty and to throw aside the twenty percent who guard the prison.

It may be "classless" and a violation of "Godwin's law to "Compare" George Walker Bush, the arrogant young scion of eastern establishment wealth and power, grandson of Senators and son of Presidents, cowboy of windshields and owner of chainsaws, to the beer swilling gutter scum of the beer halls of Munich and Berlin but I'm afraid it is unavoidable, it is inescapable, obvious, and it is historically necessary.

Terrorism? 9/11? The attack on the World Trade Center was their Reichstag fire, the invasion of Iraq, comparable to the blitzkrieg into eastern Europe. They share the same motives and ideology, the same vision, they exhibit the same compassion, and wield power with the same ruthless disregard for the lives, for the welfare and dignity of common humanity.

Make no mistake, these people, the architects of the last six years of international turmoil, of domestic division, of war and death, of crushing despair and hopelessness, are Nazis, perhaps not yet in the full bloom of adulthood, not yet grown to the evil proportions of their twentieth century predecessors, but they have emerged from their larval stage and are prepared for full flight, They have all the weapons, they lack nothing, nothing, but to complete their rewriting of our laws and of course, they need those handsome uniforms.

The only thing that can prevent them from fulfilling their wretched and terrible goals of oligarchy, universal slavery and domination of the world is your voice, your derision, your hand, raised in resistance, your lips mouthing a simple no.

Hurry, I think the uniforms have been ordered.

Bob Higgins

Worldwide Sawdust

Ten Post Round-Up: Wild Wednesday

Dusty informs us on her blog, It's My Right To Be Left Of The Center, that one million Californians have been displaced by the raging fires there.

Please keep these people in your thoughts, today. 

Bush is supposed to arrive in San Diego, today, so get ready for another outrageous photo-op by our "fearless leader".

On to other news:

From Reason Online:

(More on Michael Mukasey)

The Gap in Mukasey's Testimony:
During his recent confirmation hearings, Michael Mukasey, the former federal judge nominated to be the next attorney general, conceded that "the president doesn't stand above the law." Yet Mukasey, who is expected to be easily confirmed, also suggested that the president is entitled to ignore certain laws.

Since the law "starts with the Constitution," he said, the president need not obey a statute that interferes with his inherent constitutional authority "to defend the country." Now that the War on Terror has replaced the Cold War as a reliable rationale for extending executive power, the breadth of this authority to defend the country will be a central issue in national politics long after Mukasey completes his service as attorney general.

Fat Pride World Wide:
According to fat pride activist Marilyn Waan, the American medical establishment has lost its head over the nationwide "obesity epidemic," and its prejudice is claiming victims. In one case, Waan says, a doctor told a fat woman complaining of shooting lights in her vision that the problem must be her weight. Her next doctor discovered a brain tumor.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with healthcare consortium Kaiser Permanente have found a great new way to fight childhood obesity: the Amazing Food Detective. The computer game, released last week, features ten "case files" of unhealthy children—click on each prisoner-style mug shot and you proceed to help a fat child make a healthy choice. The solution to chubby 12-year-old Emily's dilemma is to install a security camera to catch and stop her eating at home (After all, "Those large portions were quite suspicious!"); little Cole has to learn that he can only eat raw carrots and bananas because, "Healthy snacks are the way to go!" And the game comes complete with a time-out after 20 minutes: "You should take a break and do something active, like 100 pushups!" Gee whiz-that sounds fun!

From Yahoo! News:

Alzheimer's memory loss faster among well-educated:
Having more years of formal education delays the memory loss linked to Alzheimer's disease, but once the condition begins to take hold, better-educated people decline more rapidly, researchers said on Monday.

From The Lab:

Chronic cough? You may need more iron:
Instead of cough drops, some women may need to reach for an iron supplement to treat that pesky cough, Italian researchers say.

The study, presented at the scientific meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians in Chicago, suggests iron deficiency may help explain why some otherwise healthy, nonsmoking women have persistent coughs.

From Telegraph:

Micro-robot that can clear arteries:
A microscopic robot small enough to travel through blood vessels has been built by scientists.

Less than a millimetre in size, the robot walks like a crab on six legs and has been designed to clear blocked arteries.

It was produced by researchers at Chonnam National University in Korea, who found the robot was able to travel 55 yards in a week.
(Dizzy sez: Hmmm...I saw that movie and it didn't end well for the humans when the nano-bots took over *wink*)

From AlterNet:

What If The Military Advertised With Disclaimers? [VIDEO]

From The Huffington Post:

D'oh! House GOP Website Pirates Simpsons Images?
Republican Representative Joe Barton, the ranking minority member of the committee whose name graces the top of this press release, who incidentally denounced Democratic Representative Pete Stark recently, for intemperate remarks on the House floor. While at the same time he's issuing press releases making fun of toddlers being savaged by attack dogs -- and blaming such behavior on Democrats (I assume he's referring to Democratic Representative Rahm Emmanuel, the only "Rahm" in Washington of which I am aware). It's downright surreal.

But what caught my eye was not the text of the press release, which (after all) is covered by the First Amendment's free speech guarantee of protection for political satire (weak though such satire may indeed be) -- but the images themselves. Images are not protected as satire, unless the image itself is satire (the protection which covers all political cartoons). But these seem to be unadulterated images taken straight from The Simpsons television show itself. Which means it is a copyright issue.

You would think, after all, that a press release from a ranking House committee minority member with "Commerce" in its name would be aware of copyright issues. After all, this committee oversees the FCC -- including television and internet issues -- so how could they not be aware of current imagery copyright laws?
(Dizzy sez:
"Mommy, when I grow up, I wanna be a Congressman."
"Why's that, Honey?"
"Well, when I do something wrong, you send me to my room, but if I was a Congressman, I could do whatever I want and I wouldn't get into any trouble at all!"
"OK, Dear. But, why don't you aim higher? You could be President and get away with bigger crimes!")

From News Hounds:

Krauthammer and Barnes: Bush and Cheney Serious About Threat to Bomb Iran. Playing Dangerous Game of Global Thermonuclear Chicken:
During Tuesday's edition of Special Report the All-Star Panel discussion started off with a video clip of Vice President DIck Cheney addressing a weekend meeting at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where he uttered yet another of his dire warnings to Iran. The Washington Institute was founded in 1985 by a former research director of AIPAC and has a long history of advocacy for pro-Israeli positions. Once again, pro-war neocons Fred Barnes and Charles Krauthammer suggested that President Bush will attack Iran before his term ends. His reason? Because he wouldn't want to leave it for the next President to deal with!! Yeah, and coffee still costs a dime ... With video.
(Dizzy sez: Hey, I got this great Rolex from that guy in the dirty trenchcoat and I just put a downpayment on a desert bridge. But, coffee for ten cents? Unfrigginbelievable!)

From The Mail:

Bush Touts European Missile Defense Plan
President Bush said Tuesday that plans for a U.S.-led missile defense system in Europe are urgently needed to counter an emerging threat of attack by Iran.

"If (Iran) chooses to do so, and the international community does not take steps to prevent it, it is possible Iran could have this capability," Bush said. "And we need to take it seriously -- now."

Bush's latest warning about Iran's nuclear ambitions came in a broad defense of his security policies at the National Defense University and it came not long after Defense Secretary Robert Gates told a news conference in the Czech Republic that the administration might delay activating the proposed missile defense sites until it has "definitive proof" of a missile threat from Iran.

In his speech here, Bush said intelligence estimates show that Iran could have the capability to strike the United States and many European allies by 2015.

"The need for missile defense in Europe is real, and I believe it's urgent," Bush said.
(Dizzy sez: I sure hope I got a good deal on that landlocked bridge...)

From Sign of the Times:

Navy's Definition of Ignorance: US Signs Maritime Pact With Mongolia:
Somebody should have looked at a map.

The State Department with great fanfare on Tuesday signed an agreement with landlocked Mongolia that will allow Mongolian ships to be boarded and searched if they are suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction.

This despite the fact that Mongolia - a vast land that's home to the Gobi Desert, windswept steppes and largely populated by nomadic yak herders - has no navy at all and lies thousands of miles from open waters.
(Dizzy sez: Alrighty, then!)

Phew! Glad I got through all of that. There's not enough painkillers in the world to get over the splitting headaches I get whenever I read about Bubbles and the Boyz.

I guess I'll have to settle for another cuppa, instead.

You all take it easy and be safe, today.

(In case you get lost, you can find this post at Dizzy Dayz and The Katrinacrat blog and The Sirens Chronicles)

"Despicable Conduct"

Not Rep. Pete Stark's original comments, but this absurd "apology" and groveling yesterday on the House floor.

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Pete Stark apologized Tuesday for saying last week that the White House was sending young Americans to Iraq "to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."

"Stark's apology, on the House floor, came after Republicans failed to win a vote censuring the Democrat from Fremont for "despicable conduct." The vote was 196 to 173 to kill the measure, with 168 Republicans and five Democrats supporting censure."

I'm sure those Democrats were from Georgia too.

But don't you know the Republicans are just howling today, high-fiving one another over how those darn Democrats just cave like a house of cheap cards whenever called out? Worse, there are Democrats today saying that his apology was "classy". Classy!

Frankly, when they say the Democrats don't have the "spine" to be tough in foreign policy, I wonder if they're not correct.
Here's his original speech:

At the end of the day, Pete Stark's original comments were spot on. Iraq is just highjinks and amusement parks to George Bush, who could not give a damn about the men and women in uniform. Down another beer-bong, move the toy soldier pieces around on the pretend battlefield maps in the Oval Office, and look forward to retirement.

"I hope that with this apology I will become as insignificant as I should be," Stark said.

Me too. You're a coward, Pete.

Cross posted from AoF

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ten Post Round-Up: Totally Tubular Tuesday

Although I came across several posts about the fires in California, my early morning posts were mostly about other things.  Keep our California bloggers in your thoughts, today.

From Brilliant at Breakfast:

So what does the Administration have on Michael Mukasey?:
Democrats noted how his tone changed between the first and second days of his appearance, which makes me wonder what information he didn't want to get out that the Administration showed him they had between those two days.

Is this how they've gotten away with it over the past six years? Compiling dossiers on everyone, including guys like Arlen Specter and John Warner, who look like they're going to do the right thing and then cave at the last minute? And if that's the case, then Washington is an even bigger cesspool than we imagined.

Maybe the next presidential candidate to emphasize "competence" won't be laughed at:
I wouldn't hold my breath, though. Still, considering that when George W. Bush took office, the prevailing wisdom ran the gamut of "Thank God the grownups are now in charge" and "Don't worry, his father will be running everything anyway", all that insistence on suits and ties and sexual restraint looks like just so much window-dressing now:

Yes, Virginia, now old SNL-alum movies are inspiring the CIA
Your tax dollars at work: Meet the CIA's new "Terrorist Busters" logo:

(Dizzy sez: Maybe we are all characters in a really scary pre-Apocalypse novel. If not, will somebody please wake me up from this friggin' nightmare cuz this story sucks!)

From The Huffington Post:

What Did Pelosi Know, and When Did She Know It?
Will House Speaker Nancy Pelosi come clean now that it is clear that the National Security Agency (NSA) was turned loose on American citizens well before 9/11? She has admitted knowing for several years about the Bush administration's eavesdropping on Americans without a court warrant. She was briefed on it when she was ranking Democrat the House Intelligence Committee when Bush and Cheney took office.

But was she told that within days of their taking office, the National Security Agency's electronic vacuum cleaner had already begun to suck up information on Americans--criminal law and the Constitution be damned?

(Dizzy sez: Hmmm...good question...)

Report: State Dept Doesn't Know "Specifically" What It Got For $1.2 Bn Private Security Contract
A pair of new reports have delivered scorching judgments about the State Department's performance in overseeing work done by the private companies that the government relies on increasingly in Iraq and Afghanistan to carry out delicate security work and other missions

(Dizzy sez: Boy, am I glad the Republicans are so fiscally conservative, otherwise, this would be worse!)

From News Hounds:

Robert Novak Suggests Valerie Plame Part of Anti-Bush Cabal At CIA:
With the release of Valerie Plame’s book, FOX News did their best to discredit her on Hannity & Colmes last night (10/22/07). First, they re-aired Sean Hannity’s “investigation” into Plamegate (Hey, what happened to FNC’s claim that Hannity isn’t a journalist, so it’s no big deal that he raised money for Rudy Giuliani?). Then there was an interview with Robert Novak in which he said (amongst a slew of right-wing smears) that Plame is “very critical” of President Bush in her book. “She implies that he is deceitful and I think that she represents a substantial part, a substantial contingent of employees at the CIA who were very critical of their president. That’s a very difficult position to be in, to be critical of the president when you’re working at the CIA.” With video.


Halliburton Needs More Love:
"At their current rate, war appropriations could reach $1 trillion by the time Bush leaves office, a total that by some measures would exceed the cost of the Korean and Vietnam wars combined."

Some posts on one of my favorite topics: Homeschooling

Home schoolers get creative en route to higher education:
Kate Cayley got into a Halifax university on the strength of an essay explaining her love for a 495-line poem. David Piechnik was accepted into art school in Vancouver after submitting a portfolio that included posters he designed for his church.

The duo is among the nation's growing number of home schoolers who have knocked on the doors of post-secondary institutions to convince them that kitchen-table classrooms are prime training grounds for higher education.

And the institutions are listening. Many schools that wouldn't look twice at home-schooled applicants a decade ago are now crafting policies to accommodate them, ranging from the rigid to the welcoming. "I never really assumed I wouldn't get in," said Piechnik, a 22-year-old from Surrey who entered a formal classroom for the first time last year when he enrolled at the Art Institute of Vancouver. "But, I didn't have transcripts, so I had to go meet with them."

Why Homeschool?:
It was around this time that we attended a homeschool conference in Woodland Hills, California. I had heard a fair bit about the practice, but always assumed that it was mostly adopted by religiously orthodox families who didn’t want to expose their children to beliefs outside their own, or that it was something done by families in the most rural parts of the country who would otherwise have to walk four miles to get to school. Still, I went along with an open mind. We sat in on talks and picked up numerous books on the subject. But the one thing to emerge for me was this: homeschooling could certainly prove a successful alternative for families who felt that the system, for whatever reason, and at whatever level, had failed them. From preschool to high school, parents clearly wanted to take control of their children’s education.

Home-schooling guru keeps the focus on family not peers:
Q:What if you don’t know everything? How do you home-school effectively?

I think when we have kids you make that commitment. It’s your ball, anyway. I’ve chosen to keep the ball in my court rather than hand it over to strangers in a peer group. When you don’t know something, you find it out. Or we find people in the community who can help us find the answers that we need. If you don’t know something there’s a way to find out... And that’s the beauty of home schooling. It’s not me sitting here telling my kids everything they need to know.

That's enough for today, but, once again, I'd like to remind you all to keep our friends in California in your thoughts and/or prayers. Be safe and take care.

(In case you get lost, you can find this post at Dizzy Dayz and The Katrinacrat blog and The Sirens Chronicles)