Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Into the Void

It appears that the sweetheart port-security deal cut between the Bush administration and the UAE-owned Dubai Ports World is being pursued to facilitate the shipment of US materiel to the UAE, perhaps in preparation for US military action against Iran.

Two of the ports that will be controlled by DPW include Beaumont and Corpus Christi. These ports are major shipping terminals for the US Army.

According to Lloyd's List International:

P&O Ports [recently purchased by DPW] has a 50% stake in the Port Newark Container Terminal within the Port of New York and New Jersey that handles around 700,000 teu a year, as well as port interests in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Miami and New Orleans.

It has just renewed a contract with the United States Surface Deployment and Distribution Command to provide stevedoring of military equipment at the Texan ports of Beaumont and Corpus Christi through 2010.

Accorting to Army Logistician:

Few Americans are aware of the volume of cargo that is shipped from ports located along the U.S. Gulf Coast from Brownsville, Texas, to Cape Sable, Florida. Some of these ports serve as major Department of Defense transportation nodes for overseas deployment of Army cargo. Two of these nodes are strategic ports located in Texas--the Port of Beaumont and the Port of Corpus Christi. (Designation as a strategic port means that the port management will give priority to military cargo during a contingency.) Almost 40 percent of the Army cargo deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom flows through these two ports.

Although both the Port of Beaumont and the Port of Corpus Christi are container capable, petroleum and break-bulk products constitute most of the cargo shipped from those locations. The Port of Beaumont is home to one of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's (SDDC's) port-handling battalions, the 842d Transportation Battalion.

A "Hands On" Job

Part of the 597th Transportation Group in Sunny Point, North Carolina, the 842d Transportation Battalion is a relatively small activity composed of 7 military, 24 civilian, and 2 contractor personnel. The 842d acts as the single port manager for all Gulf Coast port military missions and routinely oversees missions in Pensacola, Florida; Mobile, Alabama; Gulfport, Mississippi; Lake Charles, Louisiana; and Houston, Texas. However, most of the action is centered in Beaumont and Corpus Christi.

This DWP deal lays the groundwork for the mobilization of materiel in advance of US military combat operations to be based in the UAE. It seems all too clear that we're witnessing the early stages of an eventual war against Iran.

Another damned war, huh?

Do you feel a draft, America?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ein Volk, ein Reich, eine sexuelle Lagebestimmung.


The American Taliban's War on Sexuality has begun in earnest. South Dakota is a few drams of ink away from banning abortion (even in cases involving incest and rape). This is the first shot in the campaign to kill Roe v. Wade. Considering that the Supreme Court is stacked with fundamentalist "activist" judges, it's no longer a question of whether or not Roe will be overturned, but when SCOTUS will outlaw aborton.

As if that's not medieval enough, now these fundamentalist
troglodyte fucks want to ban gays and lesbians from adopting children. Yeah, wouldn't want the multitudes of orphaned kids created by a federal ban on abortion growing up to be considerate, intelligent, conscientious, tolerant, progressive Americans. Better to have these kids be raised by intolerant, ignorant, superstitious, fearful, fundamentalist swine, right?



I hope you fundamentalist Nazi bastards are prepared to assume full responsibility for all these unwanted children, because the burden of their upbringing and welfare is now yours and yours alone. You morons wanted these kids to be born, so it's only fair that you guys get to fucking raise 'em!

Fuck you, fuck your church, fuck your leaders, and fuck your hideous, hateful perversion of Christianity. Why don't you theocrat assholes do the rest of us a favor and just Rapture the fuck out of here?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Pussy Control

"Doesn't it strike you as mildly ironic that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn't want to fuck in the first place?" -- George Carlin

Staunch pro-lifer and fried food enthusiast Brock L. Greenfield weighs in on the abortion issue.

South Dakota State Senator, director of the SD Right to Life chapter, and convenience store attendant Brock L. Greenfield met with his fellow state legislators yesterday to vote on a bill that would enforce a statewide ban nearly all abortions. The bill is one stroke of a pen away from being signed into law by Republican Gov. Mike Rounds, a staunch anti-abortionist.

According to the New York Times:

Some opponents of abortion rights celebrated what they called a bold and brave move and lauded South Dakota for taking the lead in what they said they hoped would become a series of states to challenge Roe, the 1973 decision that made abortion legal.

The shifting makeup of the United States Supreme Court, the opponents said, offered a crucial opportunity, the first since at least 1992.

"It is a calculated risk, to be sure, but I believe it is a fight worth fighting," State Senator Brock L. Greenfield, a Clark Republican who is also director of the South Dakota Right to Life, told his colleagues in a hushed, packed chamber here.After more than an hour of fierce and emotional debate, the senators rejected pleas to add exceptions for incest or rape or for the health of the pregnant woman and instead voted, 23 to 12, to outlaw all abortions, except those to save the woman's life.

You know what? I'll be more than happy to hear what Sen. Greenfield has to say about abortion just as soon as he chops off his balls and trades away his little piggly-wiggly dick for a uterus and a set of ovaries. Let this fat son of a bitch carry and deliver a litter of chillern into this world before he decides to sound off on a woman's right to choose. Let him spend some quality time as a working-class Hausfrau broodmare, constantly waiting hand and foot on his dumbfuck Promise Keeper husband and their dozen-or-so filthy, squealing offspring, and I might consider what this ignorant fatbody has to say about women's rights. Until then, Brocka the Hutt and the rest of these fundamentalist "Chrisatian" bastards can go fuck themselves.

Haven't we had enough of the God damned Merkin Taliban trying to legislate how normal people should live their lives? I'm so sick of these ignorant assholes I can't see straight...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Dire Straits

Despite the politically tone-deaf and wildly unpopular plan by the Bush administration to allow Dubai Ports World to assume operational duties for six major US ports, the Chimperor is standing his ground. He is threatening to exercise his veto power for the first time in six years if Congress attempts to block the DPW deal.

Why is this sweetheart deal with a UAE-controlled company so important to this administration? Perhaps a quick glance at a map of the Persian Gulf will provide an answer.


The DPW deal is being pursued to curry favor with the UAE. The UAE controls roughly 819 miles of coastline along the southern rim of the Persian Gulf. If the Bush administration's next move in the Middle East is against Iran, they will strike from bases inside the UAE. One of the first strategic goals for US forces will be to secure the Strait of Hormuz -- a 21-mile-wide bottleneck between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman with two mile-wide channels set aside for marine traffic.


Roughly 40% of the world's oil is shipped through the Strait of Hormuz, making it one of the most strategically important areas in the Middle East. During a press conference held on 12/18/97, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Maleki stated that Iran supports the free exportation of oil through the Strait, but reserved the option of closing off the shipping route if threatened. During the late '90s, Iran admitted to operating anti-aircraft and anti-ship missile emplacements on Abu Musa, an island proximate to the Strait's shipping lanes. Abu Musa is considered to be strategically important by both Iran and the UAE.

Considering the strategic importance of the UAE as a potential staging area for US forces in a war against Iran and the importance of the Strait of Hormuz to the global economy, the rationale for handing over six US ports to a UAE-controlled company is clear: the deal with DPW is the first step toward a war with Iran.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Waking Up

Neocon architect says: 'Pull it down'

ALEX MASSIE IN WASHINGTON

NEOCONSERVATISM has failed the United States and needs to be replaced by a more realistic foreign policy agenda, according to one of its prime architects.

Francis Fukuyama, who wrote the best-selling book The End of History and was a member of the neoconservative project, now says that, both as a political symbol and a body of thought, it has "evolved into something I can no longer support". He says it should be discarded on to history's pile of discredited ideologies.

In an extract from his forthcoming book, America at the Crossroads, Mr Fukuyama declares that the doctrine "is now in shambles" and that its failure has demonstrated "the danger of good intentions carried to extremes".

In its narrowest form, neoconservatism advocates the use of military force, unilaterally if necessary, to replace autocratic regimes with democratic ones.

Mr Fukuyama once supported regime change in Iraq and was a signatory to a 1998 letter sent by the Project for a New American Century to the then president, Bill Clinton, urging the US to step up its efforts to remove Saddam Hussein from power. It was also signed by neoconservative intellectuals, such as Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, and political figures Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and the current defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.

However, Mr Fukuyama now thinks the war in Iraq is the wrong sort of war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

"The most basic misjudgment was an overestimation of the threat facing the United States from radical Islamism," he argues.

"Although the new and ominous possibility of undeterrable terrorists armed with weapons of mass destruction did indeed present itself, advocates of the war wrongly conflated this with the threat presented by Iraq and with the rogue state/proliferation problem more generally."

Mr Fukuyama, one of the US's most influential public intellectuals, concludes that "it seems very unlikely that history will judge either the intervention [in Iraq] itself or the ideas animating it kindly".

Going further, he says the movements' advocates are Leninists who "believed that history can be pushed along with the right application of power and will. Leninism was a tragedy in its Bolshevik version, and it has returned as farce when practised by the United States".

Although Mr Fukuyama still supports the idea of democratic reform - complete with establishing the institutions of liberal modernity - in the Middle East, he warns that this process alone will not immediately reduce the threats and dangers the US faces. "Radical Islamism is a by-product of modernisation itself, arising from the loss of identity that accompanies the transition to a modern, pluralist society. More democracy will mean more alienation, radicalisation and - yes, unfortunately - terrorism," he says.

"By definition, outsiders can't 'impose' democracy on a country that doesn't want it; demand for democracy and reform must be domestic. Democracy promotion is therefore a long-term and opportunistic process that has to await the gradual ripening of political and economic conditions to be effective."

http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=266122006&format=print

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy...

U.S. company plans $265 million spaceport in UAE

"LOS ANGELES (AP) — A day after Space Adventures announced it was in a venture to develop rocket ships for suborbital flights, the company said Friday it plans to build a $265 million spaceport in the United Arab Emirates.

"The commercial spaceport would be based in Ras Al-Khaimah near the southern end of the Persian Gulf, and the UAE government has made an initial investment of $30 million, the Arlington, Va.-based company said in a statement.

...

"The agreement between Space Adventures and the Texas-based venture capital firm Prodea would help finance suborbital vehicles being designed and built by the Russian aerospace firm Myasishchev Design Bureau.

"Space Adventures is best known for sending the first three space tourists to the orbiting international space station for a reported $20 million a person.

Taken from USAToday.

So, a UAE-based company will be put in charge of our ports and a US-based company will be running a "spaceport" in the UAE?

Ok, that's great, but I don't think we'll need to worry about Martian terrorists flying their starship into a fucking building. Now, Earthling terrorists who use UAE banks to transfer cash to al Qaeda operatives, well...that's another story.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The War on (Some) Terrorism


Guess what? The Bush administration is outsourcing security operations for six major US ports (including New York and New Orleans) to Dubai Ports World, a United Arab Emirates-based port management company.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm not so sure that outsourcing a critical "homeland security" issue to a UAE-based company is such a hot idea. Why? Well...
  • According to a statement made by John E. Lewis (Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI Counterterrorism Division) before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, funds were transferred to the alleged 9-11 hijackers through UAE financial institutions.
Despite the aforementioned evidence to the contrary, Bush administration considers the United Arab Emirates to be an "important ally in fight against terrorism." Why is the UAE such an "important ally"? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the UAE is the Persian Gulf's third largest producer of oil behind Saudi Arabia and Iran.

So, how could a company based in a country that supports terrorism land a deal to secure six major US ports? Well, you might want to ask Mr. David C. Sanborn, the Director of Operations for Europe and Latin America at Dubai Ports World. Bush will be appointing Mr. Sanborn as the new administrator of the Transportation Department's Maritime Administration.

Sleep tight, America...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Small Victory

Well, looks like Old Scratch is gonna need to buy himself a snow shovel and break out the tire chains: both Chertoff (a Russian name meaning "of the devil") and Cheney (means "ghoulish plutocrat asshole" in Satan's mother tongue) have acknowledged responsibility for the reckless mishandling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster and the reckless mishandling of a shotgun, respectively.

Chertoff: "We were acutely aware of Katrina and the risk it posed."

Cheney: "It's not Harry's fault; you can't blame anybody else."

Well, I'll be dipped.

Of course, Cheney still isn't apologizing for how he handled the story, so maybe there won't be any sledding in Hell tonight after all. I guess it would be a waste of time to ask Mr. Sunshine why the details of his story keep changing, so I won't bother. Still, there's somethin' powerful fishy 'bout all this...

Meanwhile, our cryptofascist neocon government has been "keeping tabs" on 325,000 "names of international terrorism suspects or people who allegedly aid them."

325,000 potential terrorists or people with ties to terrorism? In America?

Bullshit.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Black Tuesday



Top Ten Valentine's Day Songs

01.) The Clash - "Train in Vain"
02.) Paul Weller - "Sunflower"
03.) The Beatles - "For No One"
04.) Neil Young and Crazy Horse - "Fuckin' Up"
05.) The Rolling Stones - "Dead Flowers"
06.) Teenage Fanclub - "Alcoholiday"
07.) The Posies - "I Am the Cosmos"
08.) Bob Dylan - "You're a Big Girl Now"
09.) The Replacements - "Unsatisfied"
10.) Muddy Waters - "Forty Days and Forty Nights"

Monday, February 13, 2006

Google Vs. Gonzales

Google -- the undisputed heavyweight champion of search engines -- has been losing value on the stock market for the last month. A recently published article in Barron’s outlines "several risks that threaten to squeeze the company’s profit margins and cut its market value in half." Marketing pressures, competition from other companies, and a negative reaction to Google's voluntary censoring of search results produced by their Chinese portal have been cited as possible reasons behind the recent drop in Google's stock price.

Google's market value has fallen 27 percent over the past month, destroying close to $40 billion in shareholder wealth. Today, Google’s market value dropped $16.91 (4.7%), closing at $345.70 on the NASDAQ. Roughly one month ago, Google's shares peaked at $475.11.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11332520/

As if that wasn't enough, the Justice Department has been trying (and failing) to subpoena search records from Google in order to crack down on "child pornography". Google basically told Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and his right-wing attack dogs to go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut, saying that turning over records of searches made with Google would violate the privacy of their users.

Why do I have the feeling that Google's trouble in the stock market is punishment for their refusal to cave in to Gonzales and hand over their search records to the Justice Department?

Or, maybe not... We all know that the Bush Administration would never do anything that sleazy.

Wanna buy a bridge?

Cheney's Got a Gun

Noted weapons safety expert Dick Cheney ogles his new firestick.

These filthy Republican animals are the lowest form of life on the planet.

Get a load of this shit:

Cheney's companion at fault in shooting, White House says

BY WILLIAM DOUGLAS
Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - The White House blamed the 78-year-old man whom Vice President Dick Cheney shot during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas for the incident, as officials struggled Monday to explain why they waited nearly 24 hours before making the news public.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan tried to absolve Cheney of blame for shooting wealthy Austin lawyer Harry Whittington, saying that hunting "protocol was not followed by Mr. Whittington when it came to notifying others that he was there. And so, you know, unfortunately, these types of hunting accidents happen from time to time."

Several hunting experts were skeptical of McClellan's explanation. They said Cheney might have violated a cardinal rule of hunting: Know your surroundings before you pull the trigger.

"Particularly identify the game that you are shooting and particularly identify your surroundings, that it's safe to shoot," said Mark Birkhauser, the incoming president of the International Hunter Education Association, a group of fish and wildlife agencies. "Every second, you're adjusting your personal information that it is a safe area to shoot or it's not a safe area to shoot."

Safe-hunting rules published by the National Rifle Association and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department echo Birkhauser's advice.

"Be absolutely sure you have identified your target beyond any doubt," the NRA says in the gun-safety rules on its Web site. "Equally important, be aware of the area beyond your target. This means observing your prospective area of fire before you shoot. Never fire in a direction in which there are people or any other potential for mishap. Think first. Shoot second."

On its 10 Commandments of Shooting Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife lists being sure of your target as the third commandment. "Know what is in front and behind your target. Determine that you have a safe backstop or background."

Whittington was listed in stable condition Monday at a hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, with birdshot wounds to his face, neck and chest. The shooting occurred about 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Armstrong Ranch, a 50,000-acre spread in south Texas owned by friends of the president.

White House and Texas law enforcement officials haven't provided a detailed account of the incident. Katherine Armstrong, one of the ranch's owners, said Cheney, Whittington and another hunter got out of their vehicle to shoot a covey of quail. The third member of the hunting party was the U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, Pamela Willeford, a Texan and a Bush family friend.

Whittington shot a bird and went to get it, breaking from Cheney and Willeford. Armstrong said Whittington then came up from behind without signaling, and as a covey flushed Cheney wheeled and fired his .28-gauge shotgun, hitting Whittington.

Whittington was tended at the scene by Cheney's medical detail before being taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Though the shooting happened Saturday afternoon, it didn't become public knowledge until Armstrong notified the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, her local paper, at midday Sunday. The White House then confirmed news media requests for verification.

The lag between the shooting and the reporting of it prompted questions about why a private citizen, not the government, was disclosing a shooting involving the vice president.

McClellan said Monday that Cheney's staff didn't immediately inform the media because the first priority was tending to Whittington's health.

McClellan said White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove told Bush around 8 p.m. Saturday that Cheney had shot Whittington, but McClellan said he himself didn't learn that Cheney was the shooter until around 6 a.m. Sunday. He said he urged Cheney's office to get the information out as quickly as possible. The news broke nationally about 3:45 p.m. EST Sunday.

Lee Anne McBride, Cheney's press secretary, talked Sunday about Whittington's condition and said the vice president had spoken with him and was pleased with his condition. But she referred most questions - from the names of everyone in the hunting party to what type of weapon Cheney had fired - to Armstrong.

"The vice president thought that Mrs. Armstrong should be the first one to go out there and provide that information to the public, which she did," McClellan said.

Cheney's office has a history of not sharing information with the public. Last month, it refused to specify the nature of a foot injury for which he was given medication that caused water retention and shortness of breath and sent him to the hospital.

"He's secretive by nature," said Larry Sabato, the director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. "It's a dumb thing for officials to do, especially someone as experienced as Cheney. Just imagine what Jon Stewart, Jay Leno and David Letterman are going to do to him for days. It's a self-inflicted wound."

http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/news/politics/13863636.htm

What's next? A White House press release telling us how Dick Cheney's shit smells like fresh roses? Cheney could get caught strangling his own mother and would insist that Momma Cheney was choking herself; she just happened to be using his hands to do it.

Now, if they're willing to belch out a cloud of blatant lies about a fucking hunting accident, imagine the stream of bullshit they're feeding you about Iraq, the economy, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Jack Abramoff, T.W.A.T. ("The War Against Terror"), Valerie Plame, et al.

These Republican neocon sons of bitches make the Nixon Administration look like a clutch model citizens.

Un-fucking-believable...

Whoopsie Daisy!


Looks like Smilin' Dick damn near killed a 78-year-old Texas lawyer over the weekend and he hasn't even had the decency to admit to any wrongdoing. The guy Cheney shot was an Austin lawyer and big-time cheerleader for filthy Texas Republicans named Harry Whittington.

There's somethin' fishy goin' on here, I tell ya.

"Fishy...?" "You meant to tell me that the Bush Administration has done something fishy?!"

Yep. There are indications that the White House was trying to suppress the story. We might not even know about our hair-trigger VP's backwoods misadventure had it not been for some lucky reporter who heard about Cheney's little accident and made it public. This wierd little episode might become Darth Cheney's Chappaquiddick.

Dare to dream...

Friday, February 10, 2006

Meet Guanlong wucaii


China has been a paleontological Garden of Eden for the last decade and change. The Liaoning fossil beds alone are worthy of mention alongside the world's great dinosaur hot-spots, but it seems as if the whole damned country is teeming with absolutely amazing fossils just waiting to be discovered. The latest jaw-droppingly swank fossil find from China is Guanlong wucaii: a 160 million-year-old ancestor of the tyrannosaurids.



G. wucaii
was discovered by Ronald B. Weintraub Associate Professor of Biology at The George Washington University, and Xu Xing of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) in Beijing. To quote the George Washington University grad programs press release, "Guanlong wucaii, sheds light on the early evolution and geographical distribution of coelurosaurs, small theropod dinosaurs that include the closest relatives of birds. The discovery is announced by Clark, Xu, and six other colleagues in a paper titled "A Basal Tyrannosauroid Dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of China," that appears in the Feb. 9, 2006, edition of the science journal Nature."

Notice the morphological similarities (crest notwithstanding) between G. wucaii and the characteristics found in derived tyrannosaurids. The overall shape of the snout is the most obvious character of G. wucaii that is manifested in Late Cretaceous tyrannosaurids (paleontologist provided for scale):





Say cheese...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Filler Up

It's time for another Luddite rebuttal to all those dumbass iPod playlists I keep seeing all over the place.

Top Ten Tunes of the Week

01.) The Rolling Stones - "Moonlight Mile"
02.) The Band - "Whispering Pines"
03.) King Crimson - "The Court of the Crimson King/The Return of the Fire Witch/The Dance of the Puppets"
04.) Led Zeppelin - "Ten Years Gone"
05.) The Beatles - "She's Leaving Home"
06.) R.E.M. - "Texarkana"
07.) The Flatlanders - "One Road More"
08.) Neil Young - "Four Strong Winds"
09.) Bob Dylan - "When I Paint My Masterpiece"
10.) Simon and Garfunkel - "El Condor Pasa"

OK, then...!

Ever Vigilant

The ruse is wearing a little thin, don't you think?

Bush: U.S. thwarted al Qaeda attack on L.A.

Thursday, February 9, 2006; Posted: 12:24 p.m. EST (17:24 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Shortly after 9/11, al Qaeda began planning to use shoe bombers to hijack a commercial airplane and fly it into the tallest building in Los Angeles, President Bush said Thursday.

The details were the first about the West Coast airliner plot, which was thwarted in 2002 and initially disclosed by the White House last year, Bush said.

The plot was set in motion by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks, a month after those happened, Bush said. It involved terrorists from al Qaeda's Southeast Asia wing, Jemaah Islamiyah.

"Rather than use Arab hijackers, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed sought out young men from Southeast Asia whom he believed would not arouse as much suspicion," Bush said.

Mohammed was captured in Pakistan in 2003.

Al Qaeda's Southeast Asia leader, known as Hambali, had recruited Jemaah Islamiyah operatives for the plot, Bush said. Hambali was arrested in 2003 in Thailand.

The operatives met with al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and then began preparing for the attack, which was derailed in mid-2002, Bush said.

The purported plot was one of 10 on a list first released by the White House in October 2005. (Full story)

The intended target of the attack, the Library Tower, is 1,018 feet tall. It was renamed the U.S. Bank Tower in 2003 and is the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.

Bush credited international cooperation in the war on terrorism with saving American lives.

"The West Coast plot shows we face a relentless and determined enemy that requires unprecedented cooperation from other nations," he said.

"By working together, we stopped a catastrophic attack."

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/02/09/bush.terror/

So, why are we hearing about this now? Years after the fact?

Hmmm...

It's a mystery to me...



Could it be political, perhaps...?



Yep.

Anywhere's Better Than Here



Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough
It isn't fit for humans now,
There isn't grass to graze a cow
Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs, and blow to smithereens
Those air-conditioned, bright canteens,
Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans
Tinned minds, tinned breath.

Mess up the mess they call a town --
A house for ninety-seven down
And once a week for half-a-crown
For twenty years,

And get that man with double chin
Who'll always cheat and always win,
Who washes his repulsive skin
In women's tears,

And smash his desk of polished oak
And smash his hands so used to stroke
And stop his boring dirty joke
And make him yell.

But spare the bald young clerks who add
The profits of the stinking cad;
It's not their fault that they are mad,
They've tasted Hell.

It's not their fault they do not know
The birdsong from the radio,
It's not their fault they often go
To Maidenhead

And talk of sports and makes of cars
In various bogus Tudor bars
And daren't look up and see the stars
But belch instead.

In labour-saving homes, with care
Their wives frizz out peroxide hair
And dry it in synthetic air
And paint their nails.

Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough
To get it ready for the plough.
The cabbages are coming now;
The earth exhales.

--John Betjeman

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

George Bush doesn't care about black people...

...and Laura's not too thrilled about them, either.


"We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there [standing ovation]... but Coretta knew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance... Poverty abounds... For war, billions more, but no more for the poor." -- Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery

The Reverend is right. He must be right; look at the rat bastard behind him squrm in his seat...

Uh, um...


"...President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson, President Roosevelt have all, uh...authorized electronic surveillance of any-- ...on a far broader scale, far broader. Without any kind of probable cause..." -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, during the NSA wiretapping hearings.

?!

Maybe Wilson might have authorized the use of crude electronic surveillance equipment, Roosevelt definitely had the technology to tap communications lines, but...Washington and Lincoln?



Huh...

I didn't know that.

Makes sense, seeing as how Henry VIII, Ivan the Terrible, Genghis Khan, Caligula, and Tutankhamun all did the same thing.

Dumbshits...

A Long Overdue Moment of Science

I found this article fascinating beyond reason, so I'm reprinting it here for your enjoyment. Knock yourself out:

The Wisdom of Parasites

Posted by Carl Zimmer

I collect tales of parasites the way some people collect Star Trek plates. And having filled an entire book with them, I thought I had pretty much collected the whole set. But until now I had somehow missed the gruesome glory that is a wasp named
Ampulex compressa.


As an adult,
Ampulex compressa seems like your normal wasp, buzzing about and mating. But things get weird when it's time for a female to lay an egg. She finds a cockroach to make her egg's host, and proceeds to deliver two precise stings. The first she delivers to the roach's mid-section, causing its front legs buckle. The brief paralysis caused by the first sting gives the wasp the luxury of time to deliver a more precise sting to the head.

The wasp slips her stinger through the roach's exoskeleton and directly into its brain. She apparently uses sensors along the sides of the stinger to guide it through the brain, a bit like a surgeon snaking his way to an appendix with a laparoscope. She continues to probe the roach's brain until she reaches one particular spot that appears to control the escape reflex. She injects a second venom that influences these neurons in such a way that the escape reflex disappears.

From the outside, the effect is surreal. The wasp does not paralyze the cockroach. In fact, the roach is able to lift up its front legs again and walk. But now it cannot move of its own accord. The wasp takes hold of one of the roach's antennae and leads it--in the words of Israeli scientists who study
Ampulex--like a dog on a leash.

The zombie roach crawls where its master leads, which turns out to be the wasp's burrow. The roach creeps obediently into the burrow and sits there quietly, while the wasp plugs up the burrow with pebbles. Now the wasp turns to the roach once more and lays an egg on its underside. The roach does not resist. The egg hatches, and the larva chews a hole in the side of the roach. In it goes.

The larva grows inside the roach, devouring the organs of its host, for about eight days. It is then ready to weave itself a cocoon--which it makes within the roach as well. After four more weeks, the wasp grows to an adult. It breaks out of its cocoon, and out of the roach as well. Seeing a full-grown wasp crawl out of a roach suddenly makes those Alien movies look pretty derivative.

I find this wasp fascinating for a lot of reasons. For one thing, it represents an evolutionary transition. Over and over again, free-living organisms have become parasites, adapting to hosts with exquisite precision. If you consider a full-blown parasite, it can be hard to conceive of how it could have evolved from anything else.
Ampulex offers some clues, because it exists in between the free-living and parasitic worlds.

Amuplex is not technically a parasite, but something known as an exoparasitoid. In other words, a free-living adult lays an egg outside a host, and then the larva crawls into the host. One could easily imagine the ancestors of Ampulex as wasps that laid their eggs near dead insects--as some species do today. These corpse-feeding ancestors then evolved into wasps that attacked living hosts. Likewise, it's not hard to envision an Ampulex-like wasp evolving into full-blown parasitoids that inject their eggs directly into their hosts, as many species do today.

And then there's the sting.
Ampulex does not want to kill cockroaches. It doesn't even want to paralyze them the way spiders and snakes do, since it is too small to drag a big paralyzed roach into its burrow. So instead it just delicately retools the roach's neural network to take away its motivation. Its venom does more than make roaches zombies. It also alters their metabolism, so that their intake of oxygen drops by a third. The Israeli researchers found that they could also drop oxygen consumption in cockroaches by injecting paralyzing drugs or by removing the neurons that the wasps disable with their sting. But they can manage only a crude imitation; the manipulated cockroaches quickly dehydrated and were dead within six days. The wasp venom somehow puts the roaches into suspended animation while keeping them in good health, even as a wasp larva is devouring it from the inside

Scientists don't yet understand how
Ampulex manages either of these feats. Part of the reason for their ignorance is the fact that scientists have much left to learn about nervous systems and metabolism. But millions of years of natural selection has allowed Ampulex to reverse engineer its host. We would do well to follow its lead, and gain the wisdom of parasites.

http://loom.corante.com/archives/2006/02/02/the_wisdom_of_parasites.php

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Late-Nite Satori

Two things...

01.) Rich kids can't hold their liquor.

02.) I'm short one Bert Jansch comp. Jimmy refreshed my memory. I know where it is, but the master of it's temporary domain has... I don't know -- I haven't heard anything since I was brushed aside with a fucking email.

Très typical...

Saturday, February 04, 2006

...And Iran, Iran So Far Away

Don Rumsfeld: Flip-flopper

Reichsmarschall Rumsfeld has sounded off about Iran, and guess what...?

Iran is world's top sponsor of terrorism: Rumsfeld

By Louis Charbonneau Sat Feb 4, 8:39 AM ET

MUNICH (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld accused
Iran on Saturday of being the world's leading sponsor of terrorism, a charge that his Iranian counterpart rejected as "ridiculous" and "outrageous."

"The Iranian regime is today the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism," Rumsfeld told an annual security conference in Munich where talk of Iran's nuclear program was at the top of the agenda.

"The world does not want, and must work together to prevent, a nuclear Iran," he said.

Rumsfeld spoke just before the UN's nuclear watchdog decided to report Iran, which Washington and the
European Union fear is covertly developing atomic weapons, to the UN Security Council. Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful.

"We must continue to work together to seek a diplomatic solution to stopping the development of (Iran's) uranium enrichment program," Rumsfeld said.

Enrichment can make fuel for atomic power plants or weapons.

"While we oppose the actions of Iran's regime, we stand with the Iranian people who want a peaceful democratic future. They have no desire to see the country they love isolated from the rest of the civilized world," he said.

Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar was quoted by Iranian state television as saying Rumsfeld's comments were "outrageous remarks and a ridiculous projection by the White House leaders."

"Rumsfeld had better try to act responsibly for the disgrace of attacking Afghanistan and
Iraq, because the people of the world will never forget the torturing of the prisoners of Abu-Ghraib," he said.

IRAQ IS THE "CENTRAL FRONT"

Although he labeled the Islamic republic of Iran as the main sponsor of terrorism, Rumsfeld said Islamic terrorists had made Iraq the "central front in their war against the civilized world."

Rumsfeld said they were using Iraq as a training and recruiting ground, in the same way as they operated in Afghanistan when the Taliban were in charge.

But he vehemently rejected any suggestion that Iraq had been a catalyst for a global wave of terrorist acts.

"Any argument that Iraq might have been a trigger is inconsistent with the facts," he said, listing a number of terrorist acts that took place even before September 11, 2001.

In addition to the September 11 attacks, which are believed to have been carried out by al Qaeda, Rumsfeld named other attacks which he said Islamic terrorists had masterminded. He mentioned the massacre of schoolchildren in Beslan, Russia and bombings in Britain, Spain, Egypt, Israel and elsewhere.

Rumsfeld said that the world needed to prepare itself for a long fight against Islamic terrorists who he said wanted to set up a global Islamic empire.

"They have designed and distributed a map where national borders are erased and replaced by a global extremist Islamic empire," he said. "As during the Cold War, the struggle ahead promises to be a long war."

Washington and its allies were doing everything possible to ensure that terrorists did not get hold of weapons of mass destruction, which he described as a nightmare scenario.

"The world would change overnight if a handful of terrorists managed to obtain and launch a chemical, biological, or radiological weapon," he said.

(Additional reporting by Alireza Ronaghi in Tehran)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060204/pl_nm/security_rumsfeld_dc

Anybody with two neurons to rub together saw this coming down the pike months ago. Dumbsfeld seems to think that our over-extended forces -- many of whom are stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of deployments to Iraq -- are capable of taking on Iran. The first cost of neoconservative imperialism is the lives of the soldiers they claim to support.

Look, there is no doubt that Iran is a potentially serious threat, but are we to tell our soldiers (all volunteers...at the moment) that they're expected to fight unorganized insurgents in Iraq at well as engage a new enemy on a new front? Bush has carelessly and arrogantly wasted the lives of 2,249 American soldiers in Iraq. Our soldiers don't have the proper equipment to fight, yet the top brass and our privatized mercenary contractors seem to get all the armor they need. And now these Neocon bastards -- the same sons of bitches who betrayed the trust of every American soldier and compromised the honor and integrity of our military forces and institutions -- want to move us into another war.

So, when is this filthy, lying government going to make good on their "support the troops" rhetoric? Just asking...

Friday, February 03, 2006

Good Enough for Me

Fun with Photoshop and Cookie Monster:








Further Adventures With the Bush Crime Family

Well, it looks as if ol' Jebby is a criminal, too!

Read:

Jeb shredding state records?

By Joe Baker, Senior Editor

A source inside the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation told Insider magazine that Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has ordered the shredding of documents and public records, a clear violation of Florida law.

The department has oversight and approval of state gaming licensees, slot machines, dog and horse tracks, and jai-alai games.

The source, who asked to remain anonymous, said the governor also has brought in personnel from Texas to replace key members of his staff in Tallahassee. The Texans are overseeing the destruction of state documents, according to the source.

A source in the FBI confirmed that public records are being destroyed on orders of Jeb Bush. The source said the governor may have taken that action in response to the continuing criminal probe of Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the federal investigation of the 2001 gangland murder in Miami of Gus Boulis, owner of the Sun Cruz casino boat.

Copyright 2002-2006 - The Rock River Times

From the Feb. 1-7, 2006, issue of the Rock River Times.

Who could have guessed that the man responsible for handing Florida to Bush in 2000 would stoop so low?

It Is Curious, So Very Curious

Sometimes, the jokes write themselves.


Go see Curious George in theaters or in the White House. You're gonna get a whole lotta nosy, bumbling chimptastic fun either way, so there you go.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Tonkin Redux

Read, and spread the word far and wide:

Revealed: Bush and Blair discussed using American Spyplane in UN colours to lure Saddam into war.

Published: 2 Feb 2006
By: Gary Gibbon

Channel 4 News tonight reveals extraordinary details of George Bush and Tony Blair's pre-war meeting in January 2003 at which they discussed plans to begin military action on March 10th 2003, irrespective of whether the United Nations had passed a new resolution authorising the use of force.

Channel 4 News has seen minutes from that meeting, which took place in the White House on 31 January 2003. The two leaders discussed the possibility of securing further UN support, but President Bush made it clear that he had already decided to go to war. The details are contained in a new version of the book 'Lawless World' written by a leading British human rights lawyer, Philippe Sands QC.

President Bush said that:

"The US would put its full weight behind efforts to get another resolution and would 'twist arms' and 'even threaten'. But he had to say that if ultimately we failed, military action would follow anyway.''

Prime Minister Blair responded that he was: "solidly with the President and ready to do whatever it took to disarm Saddam."

But Mr Blair said that: "a second Security Council resolution would provide an insurance policy against the unexpected, and international cover, including with the Arabs."

Mr Sands' book says that the meeting focused on the need to identify evidence that Saddam had committed a material breach of his obligations under the existing UN Resolution 1441. There was concern that insufficient evidence had been unearthed by the UN inspection team, led by Dr Hans Blix. Other options were considered.

President Bush said: "The US was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach."

He went on: "It was also possible that a defector could be brought out who would give a public presentation about Saddam's WMD, and there was also a small possibility that Saddam would be assassinated."

Speaking to Channel 4 News, Mr Sands said:

"I think no one would be surprised at the idea that the use of spy-planes to review what is going on would be considered. What is surprising is the idea that they would be used painted in the colours of the United Nations in order to provoke an attack which could then be used to justify material breach. Now that plainly looks as if it is deception, and it raises some fundamental questions of legality, both in terms of domestic law and international law."

Also present at the meeting were President Bush's National Security Adviser, Condoleeza Rice and her deputy Dan Fried, and the President's Chief of Staff, Andrew Card. The Prime Minister took with him his then security adviser Sir David Manning, his Foreign Policy aide Matthew Rycroft, and and his chief of staff, Jonathan Powell.

Those present, as documented in Mr Sands' book, also discussed what might happen in Iraq after liberation.

President Bush said that he: "thought it unlikely that there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups."

http://www.channel4.com/news/special-reports/special-reports-storypage.jsp?id=1661

So, just how far does this administration have to go before we impeach and indict these Neocon bastards? Unreal...

Dullards and Sense

What do Bigfoot, Atlantis, UFOs, and Republican "fiscal conservatism" all have in common?

None of them exist outside the fevered imaginings of the lunatic fringe.

Read:

Bush to seek $120 billion for wars, sources say

Money would pay for conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan into next fiscal year

MSNBC News Services
Updated: 1:43 p.m. ET Feb. 2, 2006

WASHINGTON - President Bush will ask Congress for another $70 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, congressional sources said Thursday.

The sources said that money, which would come on top of about $330 billion for the wars so far, would be for this fiscal year. The White House likely will seek another $50 billion in emergency money in the fiscal 2007 defense spending bill for the wars, the sources said.

The $70 billion in additional war funding would be to fund wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the remainder of this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 31. The $50 billion for the 2007 budget is not expected to be enough for the entire year.

“We understand that besides the supplemental that now, for the first time, they’re going to request a bridge fund,” said C.W. “Bill” Young, who chairs the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. “This is what we’re hearing.”

The source also said that the administration was also expected to seek another $18 billion for Hurricane Katrina relief and rebuilding.

Another $2.3 billion to combat avian flu is also expected.

The details of the requests are not finalized but Bush’s budget for 2007, to be submitted next week, will reflect the totals for planning purposes, said one congressional aide, who spoke with the Associated Press condition of anonymity.

Young and Rep. John Murtha, the senior Democrat on the panel, said late last year that military officials had told them to expect additional Iraq funding of as much as $100 billion for 2006.

But the lawmakers said this week that the total could be lower because of expected troop reductions.

Katrina surprise
On relief for Hurricane Katrina, the request will include funding for federal facilities such as military bases and veterans hospitals damaged by the September storm.

Donald Powell, the coordinator for the federal government’s Gulf Coast rebuilding effort, was expected to make the hurricane announcement later in the day.

Congressional staffers were being briefed on the requests. The hurricane proposal comes on top of $62 billion Congress approved last year in the wake of devastation from hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Congressional sources said they had not expected the request for additional funds for another week or two.

An aide to Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, said the White House might have moved up the hurricane relief after harsh criticism of President Bush’s scant mention of the disaster in his State of the Union address Tuesday.

“Today I think the White House is really just trying to improve their P.R. (public relations) on Katrina,” said Adam Sharp, Landrieu’s spokesman.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11145948/

Just to refresh your memory, Clinton handed the Chimp a $236 billion budget surplus when he left office. Now, thanks to the oh-so thrifty policies of the Neocons and the degregulation dumbfucks, we owe $8.2 trillion.

We. Are. Screwed.

Surprise!

Hey! Guess what? Guess what?!

Bush lied during the State of the Union address!

Surprise!!!

Read:

Administration backs off Bush's vow to reduce Mideast oil imports

By Kevin G. Hall
Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally.

What the president meant, they said in a conference call with reporters, was that alternative fuels could displace an amount of oil imports equivalent to most of what America is expected to import from the Middle East in 2025.

But America still would import oil from the Middle East, because that's where the greatest oil supplies are.

The president's State of the Union reference to Mideast oil made headlines nationwide Wednesday because of his assertion that "America is addicted to oil" and his call to "break this addiction."

Bush vowed to fund research into better batteries for hybrid vehicles and more production of the alternative fuel ethanol, setting a lofty goal of replacing "more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025."

He pledged to "move beyond a petroleum-based economy and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past."

Not exactly, though, it turns out.

"This was purely an example," Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said.

He said the broad goal was to displace foreign oil imports, from anywhere, with domestic alternatives. He acknowledged that oil is a freely traded commodity bought and sold globally by private firms. Consequently, it would be very difficult to reduce imports from any single region, especially the most oil-rich region on Earth.

Asked why the president used the words "the Middle East" when he didn't really mean them, one administration official said Bush wanted to dramatize the issue in a way that "every American sitting out there listening to the speech understands." The official spoke only on condition of anonymity because he feared that his remarks might get him in trouble.

Presidential adviser Dan Bartlett made a similar point in a briefing before the speech. "I think one of the biggest concerns the American people have is oil coming from the Middle East. It is a very volatile region," he said.

Through the first 11 months of 2005, the United States imported nearly 2.2 million barrels per day of oil from the Middle East nations of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq. That's less than 20 percent of the total U.S. daily imports of 10.062 million barrels.

Imports account for about 60 percent of U.S. oil consumption.

Alan Hubbard, the director of the president's National Economic Council, projects that America will import 6 million barrels of oil per day from the Middle East in 2025 without major technological changes in energy consumption.

The Bush administration believes that new technologies could reduce the total daily U.S. oil demand by about 5.26 million barrels through alternatives such as plug-in hybrids with rechargeable batteries, hydrogen-powered cars and new ethanol products.

That means the new technologies could reduce America's oil appetite by the equivalent of what we're expected to import from the Middle East by 2025, Hubbard said.

But we'll still be importing plenty of oil, according to the Energy Department's latest projection.

"In 2025, net petroleum imports, including both crude oil and refined products, are expected to account for 60 percent of demand ... up from 58 percent in 2004," according to the Energy Information Administration's 2006 Annual Energy Outlook.

Some experts think Bush needs to do more to achieve his stated goal.

"We can achieve energy independence from the Middle East, but not with what the president is proposing," said Craig Wolfe, the president of Americans for Energy Independence in Studio City, Calif. "We need to slow the growth in consumption. Our organization believes we need to do something about conservation" and higher auto fuel-efficiency standards.

Taken from KnightRidder Washington Bureau

Did anybody seriously think that this oily, Neocon son-of-a-bitch was actually serious about reducing this country's reliance on imported oil? What a fucking scam.

Wave bye-bye to this:


...and this:


...and say hello to this:


Good job, America. Way to go.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The State of the Union


Well, I sat through the CEO-in-Chief's "State of the Union" address and you know what? Goebbels would be green with envy.

Everything is OK. Repeat: Everything is OK. Go back to bed, America. Go out and buy more products. Go to Disneyland. Rest assured: Everything is OK. There is no "illegal spying"; there is only Papa Liberty, dutifully watching over his precious children.


There is no war; there is only victory. Iraq is going swimmingly, thank you very much! See...?


Everything is OK in Iraq! Everything is just wonderful!

Don't let these evil Liberal scientists and unAmerican book-reading types tell you that cloning is OK. It is not OK; it is evil. Trust us. Beware of chimeras, America! Beware of Liberal chimera terror!


Of course, everything Bush said last night was complete bullshit, but nevermind that.

You want to know how the war is going? Take a look for yourself.


You want to see one of those evil, abhorrent "chimeras" the Moron was babbling about? OK, fair warning...it's pretty gruesome. Get ready...

Here you go:


Aaaaaaaaagh! No! No! No! No! No! Take it away! Take it away! Take it away! No! No! No! It's too evil! Too evil! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGHHHH!

Then there's that whole "domestic spying" thing. Sure, sure...the NSA is spying on terrorist groups like the Quakers, but that's beside the point. Welcome to the Information Awareness Office, home of the not-at-all Orwellian Total Information Awareness Program.


Yeah. G'night, America. It was nice knowing you. Welcome to Murka 2.0. Don't get sick, don't go bankrupt, and don't question anything Dear Leader or The Party tells you and you'll be just fine!

¡Viva el Arbusto!



Oh God, You Devil

In Pennsylvania, ‘God’ is a Republican

But man who signs deity’s name instead of his own may not get to vote

Updated: 5:59 p.m. ET Jan. 27, 2006

READING, Pa. - One registered Republican won't be able to vote in the next election unless he appears at a Berks County Elections Board to explain the signature on his registration form.

The man is registered as Paul S. Sewell, Elections Director Deborah M. Olivieri said, but his form is signed "God."

County Solicitor Alan S. Miller said Sewell claims his "God" signature is merely a legal mark like the "X" used by people who are illiterate.

Sewell, 40, said he will be happy to explain. As the owner of a bail enforcement agency, he finds fugitives, he said.

"Whenever I go to arrest somebody, they say, 'Oh, God, give me another chance. Oh, God, let me go. I'll turn myself in tomorrow,'" Sewell said.

He said he thinks his designated mark is legal. "PennDOT accepted it on my driver's license. I have a credit card with it," he said. "It shouldn't be a problem."

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11064137/

You know, for a bunch of self-professed "Christians", these Republican scumbags sure know how to step on God's toes, don't they?

You smell something burning...?