Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Mimicry is one of the most important survival adaptations on Earth.

Mimicry means making yourself to resemble something you are not — and to not look like what you actually are.

It is … lying.

All organisms must tell lies in order to keep from being killed before they can give birth. Ergo, lying (ie. deception) is an evolutionarily derived instinct and skill which has survived because it is valuable.

A fawn deer has spots on its coat for one reason: to imitate the dapple of broken sunlight in a forest and to break up the shape of the fawn so that predators do not see it. Protective coloration = lying.

If you have ever hunted a deer with a bow and arrow you know that a deer has powers of reason and logic that exceed any human being's.

Reasoning is not innately human any more than is hemoglobin.

Offended By Science

What gives you the idea that a group of secular humanists would ally with a group of religious extremists?

Hmm … both don’t have a clue about high school level physics and dispute it on the basis of their personal ignorance of the subject ?

Thinking with your gut

We all think with our brains. The human instinct to tell lies is just as deeply and finely evolved as the human instinct to discern the truth. Lying is the most important survival tool of all life. Camouflage is French for lying. Camouflage says, “I am not here.” Viceroy butterflies lie to birds by looking like Monarch butterflies. Telling a lie is critical to the survival of any animal or plant, so obviously, the 'arms race' of crafting lies and detecting lies has been refined to an enormous degree in Homo sapiens sapiens.

Ignoring That You Need to Breath Oxygen

Is a pretty stupid survival strategy for any language-enhanced or non-enhanced species.

Thankfully, our elite U.S. American journalistic corps, the creme de la creme, if you will, is oblivious.

Jonah Goldberg says, "The white male is the Jew of liberal fascism."

Let's repeat that. In his new book, Jonah Goldberg says, "The white male is the Jew of liberal fascism."

Jonah Goldberg Reviews Jonah Goldberg's 'Liberal Fascism'

Jonah Goldberg, at Teh Corner, writing to his future readers/collaborators of "Liberal Fascism" :

“I’m working on a chapter of the book which requires me to read a lot about and by Herbert Spencer ... There’s simply no way I can read all of it, nor do I really need to. “

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My Review of Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, Part 2

Jonah, cement head that he is, has conveniently written black people out of American and world history in his little epistle. Why? Black people don’t count. Look at Jonah’s dribble and ask ‘where are the black people’ and that gives you the book’s actual theme. It is funny and scary, like the bad circus music when you are about to throw up and the weird leering clown is about to cornhole you behind the elephant stall. Jonah cannot fit black people into his world view — because they have never played a role in it — so he cannot let them play a role in his history of teh world. They are a variable that must cancel itself out. So he does. By omission. Jonah’s thesis requires black people to not exist.

My Review of Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, Part 1

Jonah’s book is a nice fresh, Bhopal PCB-laden breeze straight from 1980 when the Reaganites called Nelson Mandela a terrorist whose defiant black African skin deserved to be brutally executed and laughed at Vietnam War veterans freezing to death under highways while simultaneously making up urban myths about liberals spitting on them. It is Lee Atwater and Mike Deaver incarnate, back for another swing, singing the discordant necrophiliac choir invisible and electric. Don’t miss it.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Rule of Law

It's amazing how tenuous the respect for the rule of law is, and how closely it is tied to the Enlightenment, which is basically another word for saying that some people figured out addition is commutative because it is and other people said fuck you, we're going to kill you.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


If we don't take care of the climate crisis, there will be very little preserved history for future generations.

People don't care. It's easier to call it a hoax.

Lime Rickey | 12.05.07 - 5:07 pm | #

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Dumbass Journalism

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

With Enuf Cocaine, Everything Makes Sense

I finally figured out National Public Radio's idea of Rational and Measured U.S Foreign Policy ...

The U.S. is a raving coke addict on a non-stop 96 hour binge and we are now eating our own coke-laced boogers to stave off severe withdrawal symptoms ...

Iran and Pakistan are spiders crawling on our face that a voice says we must kill before they burrow into our eyeballs and lay eggs in our brain ...

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I think we do *need* a woman president, only because we *needed* one a long long time ago and because on average we should have a woman president at least 50 percent of the time and not having one sort of keeps it at zero percent, which is getting pretty embarrassing as a world nation.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hate Lives

The caption for the photo reads: "Rudy Giuliani's Push to Save America."

This is by that white guy at the party busting out the n*gger joke and then telling everyone to "lighten up" and to "get a sense of humor."

Back this spring and summer, FOX teevee tried to come up with a "conservative" version of Jon Stewart's Daily Show. The reason FOX failed was because what conservatives think is funny is the above. And FOX knows you cannot put this on television.

H/T Thers. Linky to your right.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

To Protect You We Must Kill You

Today's winner in the We Might Be Stupid But At Least We Don't Have National Health Care Department.

(CNN) 11/14/07 -- A Canadian firetruck responding with lights and sirens to a weekend fire in Rouses Point, New York, was stopped at the U.S. border for about eight minutes, U.S. border officials said Tuesday.

Fire officials battling the blaze called for help from fire departments in nearby Quebec, using a longstanding and often-used mutual aid agreement. But the first truck that arrived at the small Rouses Point border crossing was delayed as officials checked documentation of the firefighters and their truck, officials confirmed.

"It's embarrassing," said Chris Trombley, chief of the Champlain [New York] Volunteer Fire Department and deputy fire coordinator for Clinton County Emergency Services. "We're calling for help from another country and the first roadblock they hit is at our border."

The Canadian firefighters "were asked for IDs," Trombley said. "I believe they even ran the license plate on the truck to make sure it was legal."

In the past, firetrucks on emergency calls cleared border checkpoints in 30 seconds or less, Trombley said, although he said identification is sometimes checked upon their return.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection official said the eight-minute delay at the Rouses Point crossing was caused "when one of the firefighters' admissibility was brought into question." He declined to elaborate, citing immigration and privacy laws.

A government source familiar with the case said one firefighter had a criminal record, raising questions about whether he could enter the United States.

Kevin Corsaro of the border protection's Buffalo field office said the agency's primary responsibility is to protect the homeland. He called the event an "isolated incident" and said agency officials were meeting with local fire officials to "develop a plan to prevent the possibility of any delays."

No one was seriously injured in the fire, but The Anchorage Inn restaurant -- a landmark in the village of Rouses Point -- was destroyed. A firefighter who suffered minor smoke inhalation was treated at the scene, said Michael LeBlanc, chief of the Rouses Point Volunteer Fire Department. The cause of the blaze has not been determined, he said.

Ten fire departments, including the Canadian departments, responded to the fire.

"Would it [quicker passage at the border] have changed the outcome of the fire?" Trombley asked. "Would the building have been burned? Of course it would." But he said firefighters were getting fatigued fighting the fire and relief was delayed. "Just the fact that it could happen and it could happen again is what has us worried," he said.


Go U.S.A. !!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hockomock Lies

It's nice to see that in 2007, grown men like the Mayor of Taunton, Massachusetts think it's a great idea to wake up in the morning, pour a cup of coffee and tell lies about the Hockomock Swamp. So this letter was written:

The Brockton Enterprise
Main Street, Brockton, Mass.
November 13, 2007

To the Editor,

Monday's Enterprise story about the proposed Boston to New Bedford rail line stated, "Despite environmental concerns for the Hockomock Swamp that come with the restoration of the Stoughton line, [Taunton mayor Charles] Crowley contends trains ran through the swamp for more than 100 years beginning in 1847, “with little or no detriment on the Hockomock Swamp.”

Mayor Crowley is wrong. No scientific studies were ever undertaken of the effect of the rail bed on the Hockomock when the rail bed was built. Was Mr. Crowley around when the rail bed was built in 1847? Has Mr. Crowley done any studies himself? Does he know of any studies which support this claim? Or is he just making stuff up off the top of his head to an Enterprise reporter?

There is abundant physical evidence that the old rail line has greatly affected the swamp. The raised rail bed now functions as a miles-long "dam" across the Hockomock which has substantially altered drainage patterns in the swamp. This effect is obvious if you walk the rail line where it cuts through the swamp behind the Raynham dog track.

Scientific studies from the 2002 permitting process determined that putting new rail service on this route will have massive negative effects on the Swamp and its wildlife. Apparently Mayor Crowley has never looked at those massive volumes of data.

It is disappointing to see the Mayor of Taunton make such uninformed remarks to an Enterprise reporter on such an important topic. The Hockomock Swamp is one of the most outstanding and unspoiled natural sites in the northeastern United States. It needs nothing from us except to be left alone and enjoyed.

Yahoo Admits Killing A Guy

If you consider putting a reporter in prison for 10 years to be killing a guy.

Even been sentenced to prison for 10 years for writing a newspaper story?

Losing 10 years of your life in a Chinese Prison is pretty close to being killed.

Only those who have spent 15 years in a Chinese Prison really have room to comment.

Good job, Jerry Yang of Yahoo, American citizen who is not now in a Chinese Jail for 10 years.

But who ratted on a Chinese journalist who is now in a Chinese Jail for 10 years.

Good Job.

This story link below tells the lies. Read between the lines to discern the truth. There is no shame left in this world. Eat your sushi, fuck over your neighbor, drive your Hummer and then wonder why your kids hate your fucking guts.

You are being lied to all the time. You don't have the time to sort them all out. So you believe most of them. That is why they do it. They know that if you can never be sure of what you can believe you will end up believing everything.

Fear = Freedom

Without stringent border controls and putting illegal children into concentration camps for years until their "status" is resolved, those children will remain easy targets for those trying to smuggle suitcase nukes into the U.S.

Ricky Fuckin Reardon from Revere

Just told me to tell the fuckin' trools to think hahd about what the world looks like lookin' up at the sky from the bottom side of a sewer grate in Nahant.

Just sayin ...

Stars are so out of date, dude.

Hope for a dimmer future
November 12, 2007
Boston Globe editorial

FACED WITH inaction at the state level, a number of Massachusetts towns have in recent years taken steps to reduce light pollution. An issue that grows more prominent as development expands, light pollution is the accumulated effect of the excessive artificial glow from buildings, street lamps, and billboards. Unregulated light pollution needlessly wastes energy, creates a dangerous level of glare for drivers, and seeps into nearby homes and apartments at night. While legislation at the local level is welcome, the state should take steps to deal with the nuisance of too much artificial light.

Of all the compelling reasons for the state to enact light pollution regulations, one packs an emotional punch: it is becoming more difficult to see the stars at night - not only in cities like Boston where the sky is becoming blanker, but in the suburbs as well. Astronomers are first to lament the trend. "It's harder and harder to find good places to do any viewing," says Paul Grueter, president of the South Shore Astronomical Society. But outdoor lights also hamper those simply looking for the Big Dipper with the naked eye.

Some changes often proposed by so-called dark sky advocates include shielding outdoor fixtures, so they shine on the ground below but not upward into the sky, and motion-sensor lights that turn on only when needed. A number of cities and towns in the state have some light pollution regulations, including Plymouth, which passed an ordinance in 1997. But many are ineffective, due to a lack of awareness and enforcement, advocates say.

Several states have passed light pollution laws. Arizona mandates shielding for most public light fixtures and requires different lighting levels for urban and rural areas. California's highways are dark-sky friendly. Massachusetts has no such law, despite the efforts of Representative James Marzilli of Arlington and dark sky advocates, who have been introducing legislation on the issue to no avail since the early 1990s.

Marzilli says he is puzzled at the lack of action, considering that Arlington has saved $100,000 a year on more dark-sky-friendly light fixtures, which use less energy. Recently Marzilli sponsored a light pollution bill that is a variant of what he has been introducing for years, and a provision within a broader energy bill that would require the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority to analyze inefficiencies in street lighting. Neither has left committee.

With a new governor professing his green credentials, and growing awareness of the effects of light pollution, these proposals may finally get some attention. The practical environmental, economic, and public safety benefits of regulation are many, but there is also a more profound goal: to make sure future residents of the state have a chance to feel awed as they peer into the night sky.

Just Give Up, Part IX

If the logic of "we don't have enuf votes in the Senate to impeach" was carried out in real life, nobody would ever run for elective office against an incumbent.

By definition, no challenger ever has "the votes to win" when they begin knocking on doors, and by definition, the incumbent always does.

It's really about being a glass half empty loooser.

And wanting to make sure nobody else tries so they don't prove you wrong.

According to Hollywood

It was this humble, charismatic white expatriate dude who understood 'the people' who really defeated apartheid. And all these black people helped out and stuff and then cheered the white dude and this gorgeous chick who decided he was the coolest dude evah and wanted to have his babies. Then we brushed the popcorn off our pants, stretched our arms, put on our coats and murmured about car keys.

Dynasty Bullshit

I don't get this obsession with HRC being part of a Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton "dynasty."

It's not a 'dynasty' becuz it's a vote.

It's not HRC's fault that two Bushes got elected. She deeply wished neither was elected.

Nor is it somehow her fault that her husband got elected. HRC should not be allowed to run for president because her husband already did?

This sounds more like an ad hominem way of declaring HRC's candidacy illegitimate regardless of its substance and without ever having to explain why, using specific positions and policies.

HRC: Compare and contrast

Dear Leader puts plants in audiences to avoid taking questions about Global Warming.

Readers Ask ...

Q: Why does Al Gore have to donate every penny he gets to everything?

A: Because Al Gore has the unmitigated gall to think about the future and about something beside himself he must be 100 percent pure at all times or he and the causes he espouses and works on must be pronounced fraudulent, worthless jokes.

In contrast, if you profess complete disregard and contempt for the future you are free to do whatever the fuck you want and be seen as a good person because at least you're not a hypocrite.

It's the do-gooder corollary to "Get a Motel Room!"

Terra hearts Freedom

It is also true, as Harvard terrorism expert Jessica Stern has pointed out, that democracy is not always the best tool for fighting terrorists ...

from an 11/13/07 column by H.D.S. Greenway in the Boston Globe.

Rudey Boy

Rudey Boy's strategery is to tell blatant lies 4-ever cuz the mead-ia will not challenge them, except to meekly mention in passing that "some dispute those figures." This is because, in general, the mead-ia does not view it as their job to assess the veracity of a candidate's claims. That is boring drone work. Their job is to comment on style, exteriors and 'momentum.' And of course, to tell us how we feel.

Environmental Centrism

New York Times calls Newt Gingrich an "environmental centrist."

Given that the topic is bound by the laws of physics and chemistry (there is either lead in the water or not, you can measure it), this term makes as much sense as ...

"gravity centrist."

"electron centrist."

"weather centrist."

"drought centrist"

"cryptosporidium centrist."

"fecal matter in the burger centrist."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Just wondering

How do you tell someone they are the last person to die for a high quality war monument ?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

We Need More Of Ror ...

"I drove back and forth across west Texas dozens of times with a 'Bush Is a Punk-Ass Chump' sticker on. Along with some pro-choice and pro-queer stickers. Probably clocked a total of over 10,000 miles that year. Not too shabby."

"That bumper sticker stayed on my car until I wound up moving to Austin and getting a job at the Capitol, and then someone tore it off the bumper and keyed my car in the Capitol parking garage."

rorschach -- 11.08.07 - 5:10 am | #

My Thoughts on Death Metal

While I respect the tensional and contortional and metacarpal discipline required to play mind-numbingly repetitive music of the like of Pantera, Korn, and SlipKnot, its evocation of a flat, dead, monotonous mental landscape and the blind anger this horizon brings about does compel me to like the song.

Vanity Plates

About every 4th Maine license plate is a vanity plate. But most are so cryptic they can only be decoded or understood by the person who ordered the plate. Which means ...

A Legitimate Question

The Ronald Reagan Museum and Library is an oxymoron that violates most of the basic laws of physics and natural numbers. -- Doug Watts

Does this mean I should cancel our rendezvous at the George W Bush Presidential Library!? -- Rorschach

No !!!

We must rendezvous in Texas air space and win the battle to be the first two people to take a long, trans-national piss all over its two lonely books.

The two books being about a goat and a caterpillar, respectively, as I recall... --- Rorschach

God Bless America

Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11 percent of the general adult population, according to a report to be released Thursday. 20071...EF_UrjvuG6s0NUE

This is the most fucked up country that ever existed.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

No Translation Allowed

White humans should not be allowed to publish attempted translations of whale communications. It always comes out as being, "wow, we never imagined they could be this smart."

The reason for this is simple. You cannot get a job in the Sciences if you profess a speculation that whales might just be as sophisticated and smart as people. Or less stupid.

Note the obvious metaphorical connection to white people studying exotic "people" of less than white skin.

Ignorance is immutable because its Prime Directive is to defend itself.

Story here.

Lead Paint Yummies

I think the lead painted toys from China are a riot. It shows the essence of capitalism and the free market and reveals the pure soul of all those who use those two words without snickering. Nearly 100 years of protective consumer laws in the United States are now being made irrelevant by huge American companies that knowingly buy tainted toys from China and sell them here with a wink and a nod. We are poisoning our own kids. Ha ha ha.

The hallmark of the lead tainted toys from China story is that it allows the CNN and FOXes of the world to "reassess" the need for protective regulations on toys as if the matter had not been settled in 1906 with the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act.

It allows lobbyists and pundits to get paid to go on panels and file copy which asks "questions" that nobody with a brain has felt needed to be asked for 100 years.

Ironically, the boomerang effect here might be globally beneficial. If Americans refuse to tolerate tainted toys from China, then all children will benefit, because China will be forced to stop tainting them.

But I doubt that will happen.

Americans do not tolerate lead in their kids toys. But Americans can't test their kids toys. Our government must do this, and our government is now broken by people who deliberately set out to break government.

Once you break the back of keystone New Deal U.S. policies such as consumer protection laws then it is up to each and every parent to figure out if their kids food and toys are tainted. The rich can afford to buy the best. The poor ... well ... fuck them.

No parent should have to test their food, water, air and toys to see if they are toxic. The burden of proof is upon producers and merchants to sell safe products and to be sued to end of the Earth if they sell poisonous product.

This is why Republicans want "tort reform" -- to make the law so that if a parent doesn't buy a "lead paint test kit" then it is the parent's fault if their kid gets brain damage from tainted food or toys.

Industrial Disease

Fascism is like herpes, it never really goes away.

"potato famine", from Eschaton.

Swooning the Passel

This is actually quite a nice piece of roccoco writing:

A passel of worries tormented investors, including the dollar, which swooned amid speculation that China will seek to diversify some of its foreign currency stockpiles beyond the greenback. Meanwhile, a record loss from General Motors Corp. owing to an accounting adjustment further dragged on sentiment.

[puts on powdered wig and fires up the harpsichord and candelabra]

Monday, November 05, 2007


Q: Is it ever reasonable to restrict constitutional freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism?

MS. PERINO: In our opinion, no.

11/5/07, White House, Washington, D.C.

Potato Futures

As a child I used to secretly plot about saving my allowance to buy a futures contract of potatoes on the New York Mercantile Exchange and not selling it and having the truck pull up to our house with 5,000 pounds of potatoes and my mother saying WTF ?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Waterboarding = Drowning

From the Independent:

"In a further embarrassment for Mr Bush yesterday, Malcolm Nance, an advisor on terrorism to the US departments of Homeland Security, Special Operations and Intelligence, publicly denounced the practice. He revealed that waterboarding is used in training at the US Navy's Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School in San Diego, and claimed to have witnessed and supervised "hundreds" of waterboarding exercises. Although these last only a few minutes and take place under medical supervision, he concluded that "waterboarding is a torture technique – period".

The practice involves strapping the person being interrogated on to a board as pints of water are forced into his lungs through a cloth covering his face while the victim's mouth is forced open. Its effect, according to Mr Nance, is a process of slow-motion suffocation.

Typically, a victim goes into hysterics on the board as water fills his lungs. "How much the victim is to drown," Mr Nance wrote in an article for the Small Wars Journal, "depends on the desired result and the obstinacy of the subject.

"A team doctor watches the quantity of water that is ingested and for the physiological signs which show when the drowning effect goes from painful psychological experience to horrific, suffocating punishment, to the final death spiral. For the uninitiated, it is horrifying to watch."

The CIA director Michael Hayden has tried to defuse the controversy. He claims that, since 2002, aggressive interrogation methods in which a prisoner believes he is about to die have been used on only about 30 of the 100 al-Qai'da suspects being held by the US. Meanwhile, a CIA official told The New York Times waterboarding had only been used three times. The Bush administration has suggested that the interrogation of al-Qai'da's second-in-command, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was a success thanks to the technique, and used this to justify continued aggressive interrogations of suspects in secret CIA prisons.

While US media reports typically state that waterboarding involves "simulated drowning", Mr Nance explained that "since the lungs are actually filling with water", there is nothing simulated about it. "Waterboarding," he said, "is slow-motion suffocation with enough time to contemplate the inevitability of blackout and expiration. When done right, it is controlled death."

Mr Nance said US troops were trained to withstand waterboarding, watched by a doctor, a psychologist, an interrogator and a backup team. "When performed with even moderate intensity over an extended time on an unsuspecting prisoner – it is torture, without doubt," he added. "Most people cannot stand to watch a high-intensity, kinetic interrogation. One has to overcome basic human decency to endure watching or causing the effects. The brutality would force you into a personal moral dilemma between humanity and hatred. It would leave you to question the meaning of what it is to be an American."

Waterboard = Drowning

Henri Alleg, a journalist, was tortured in 1957 by French forces in Algeria. He described the ordeal of water torture in his book The Question. Soldiers strapped him over a plank, wrapped his head in cloth and positioned it beneath a running tap. He recalled: "The rag was soaked rapidly. Water flowed everywhere: in my mouth, in my nose, all over my face. But for a while I could still breathe in some small gulps of air. I tried, by contracting my throat, to take in as little water as possible and to resist suffocation by keeping air in my lungs for as long as I could. But I couldn't hold on for more than a few moments. I had the impression of drowning, and a terrible agony, that of death itself, took possession of me. In spite of myself, all the muscles of my body struggled uselessly to save me from suffocation. In spite of myself, the fingers of both my hands shook uncontrollably. 'That's it! He's going to talk,' said a voice.

The water stopped running and they took away the rag. I was able to breathe. In the gloom, I saw the lieutenants and the captain, who, with a cigarette between his lips, was hitting my stomach with his fist to make me throw out the water I had swallowed."

From: Alleg, Henri, The Question, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln: 2006; original French edition © 1958 by Editions de Minuit

Americans support Torture

At least a third of Americans approve of human torture. At least a third of Americans would support televised executions. There was significant support for the Singaporean caning of an American expatriate a few years back.

Another third of Americans give little thought or concern to whether the United States tortures people because they believe themselves and their family will never be tortured by their own government. It's someone else's problem.

Only a small portion of Americans are troubled that the U.S. Congress has repeatedly given its approval of human torture, ie. partial drowning, as an "interrogation tool."

We now know the U.S. maintains secret gulags where people are tortured and killed. Ronald Reagan's use of the phrase "Evil Empire" for the Soviet Union was largely based upon the USSR's secret gulags and the Soviet's commonplace use of human torture.

Strangely enough, the same Americans who worshipped Reagan for standing up for human rights in the USSR actively support George Bush and the USA for doing exactly what the USSR did. Strangely enough, the torture techniques now used by the U.S. were developed by the Soviets. Torture Technology Transfer. Handcuffs Across the Waterboard.

How do Democratic members of Congress explain themselves in condoning human torture by the U.S. government?

They change the subject. They say "we must study the issue." They say "we will fix this later." They say "we must look at this in a broader context." They hedge. They waffle. They obfuscate. Anything to avoid making a clear and principled stand.

Here's a simple question. Would Sen. Diane Feinstein support a San Francisco Police Chief who allows officers to waterboard citizens placed under arrest? If not, then why is she supporting an Attorney General of the United States who refuses to even answer the question?

Apparently, Sen. Feinstein believes the Attorney General of the United States should be held to a far lower standard than a local police chief or police officer.

Howbout parents? Should parents be able to waterboard their kids, Sen. Feinstein ?

Howbout a husband? Should a husband be able to waterboard his wife, Sen. Feinstein ?

Attorney General nominee Mukasey told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he doesn't know if partially drowning a prisoner strapped to a table is torture or not because he doesn't know anything about this "classified" technique. This is odd because most of the U.S. public is familiar with the technique by its Orwellian euphemism: waterboarding. How did every day Americans become 1,000 times more informed about a centuries old torture technique than the nominee for U.S. Attorney General? Is Mukasey that dumb? Or just a dumb liar?

Sen. Feinstein said she is voting for Mukasey because he "is not Alberto Gonzales." Well, no shit. He's not Howdy Doody either. But his non-answers about torture are EXACTLY the same as Gonzales' non-answers. Mukasey is a lip quivering liar who approves of human torture.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Bluefin tuna disappearing

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Stocks of bluefin tuna, among the most coveted sports and food fish in the sea, are in decline and a moratorium on catching the sleek fish could be on the horizon.

This month, an American delegation to the International Commission for the Conservation of Tunas will request a three- to five-year moratorium on bluefin tuna fishing in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean.

"The U.S. is really trying to make a stand for a species that's really at risk," said Monica Allen, a spokeswoman with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The overwhelming majority of Atlantic bluefin tuna is caught in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, with a smaller percentage fished in the western Atlantic.

The bluefin has been part of the Mediterranean diet for centuries and the dark red meat now produces some of the world's most expensive fish dishes.

Once, bluefin tuna were so plentiful off the Outer Banks that fishermen needed only to throw out a few bait fish to attract swarms of tuna.

"You could hand-feed them," said Steve Richardson, a Virginia Beach charter captain whose boat, the Backlash, hails from Hatteras. "It was like puppy dogs, throwing them a bone. I wish it was like that today."


"Ms. Rice personally intervened twice in the past four months to try to keep General Musharraf from imposing emergency rule, telephoning him at 2 a.m. Pakistani time in August. On Saturday, while traveling to Turkey for an Iraq security conference, she reinforced that message, saying, “I think it would be quite obvious that the United States wouldn’t be supportive of extra-constitutional means.""

NYT 11/3/07

Friday, November 02, 2007

One way or tuh hother.

If waterboarding is not scary enough to the victim to be considered torture, then by definition it would be useless for eliciting information from someone who does not want to give out said information.

Sadly, U.S.American reporters have had the sentence logic section of their brain cauterized as part of their orientation seminar.

Massachusetts Hates Bush

Citizens of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Jersey hate Bush more than people in all other states. Remember that when it's time to do your shopping and vacation planning. Support those who hate Bush the most.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Radio Kills

From a 10/30 Roger Friedman piece for Fox news:

"Bruce Springsteen should be very happy. He has the No. 1 album, a possible Grammy for Best Album of the Year for "Magic," an album full of singles and a sold-out concert tour.

Alas, there’s a hitch: Radio will not play "Magic." In fact, sources tell me that Clear Channel has sent an edict to its classic rock stations not to play tracks from "Magic." But it’s OK to play old Springsteen tracks such as "Dancing in the Dark," "Born to Run" and "Born in the USA."

Just no new songs by Springsteen, even though it’s likely many radio listeners already own the album and would like to hear it mixed in with the junk offered on radio.

Why? One theory, says a longtime rock insider, "is that the audience knows those songs. Of course, they’ll never know these songs if no one plays them."

"Magic," by the way, has sold more than 500,000 copies since its release on Oct. 2 and likely will hit the million mark. That’s not a small achievement these days, and one that should be embraced by Clear Channel.

But what a situation: The No. 1 album is not being played on any radio stations, according to Radio & Records, which monitors such things. Nothing. The rock songs aren’t on rock radio, and the two standout "mellow" tracks — "Magic" and "Devil’s Arcade" — aren’t even on "lite" stations.

The singles-kinda hits, "Radio Nowhere" and "Living in the Future" — which would have been hits no questions asked in the '70s, '80s and maybe even the '90s, also are absent from Top 40.

What to do? Columbia Records is said to be readying a remixed version of "The Girls in their Summer Clothes," a poppy Beach Boys-type track that has such a catchy hook fans were singing along to it at live shows before they had the album. Bruce insiders are hopeful that with a push from Sony, "Girls" will triumph.

I’m not so sure.

Clear Channel seems to have sent a clear message to other radio outlets that at age 58, Springsteen simply is too old to be played on rock stations. This completely absurd notion is one of many ways Clear Channel has done more to destroy the music business than downloading over the last 10 years. It’s certainly what’s helped create satellite radio, where Springsteen is a staple and even has his own channel on Sirius.

It’s not just Springsteen. There is no sign at major radio stations of new albums by John Fogerty or Annie Lennox, either. The same stations that should be playing Santana’s new singles with Chad Kroeger or Tina Turner are avoiding them, too.",2933,306164,00.html

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My Art Requires

Brown people to understand I have no obligation to look through their eyes at me.

My Art Requires

Brown people to understand why they are taken into custody for several minutes or hours just because I am frightened by them.

My Art Requires

All brown people to be tortured if white people feel threatened.

Friday, October 19, 2007

As always ...

All written communications to me must begin with a clause expressing the point of the topic message in terms of how it compares or contrasts to what “Osama Bin Laden would want.”

Thank you,


Operation Hate Yourself

A lot of Native Americans hate themselves and ridicule their family, tribe and entire culture. That was the idea from day one. Destroy the culture from within. Make brown people hate themselves. Make people hate their native language. Make brown people hate themselves and wish to be accepted by white people. And once they have destroyed their own cultural connections, then white people say, get the fuck outta here you nigger, you can't ever be like us.

Racism is always a steel toed boot in the face, with teeth and blood and face splattered on the walls of a white room.

The Health Care Debate

Europe: Hey, look at our invention, the round wheel !!!

U.S. Americans: We don’t need your steenkin’ round surrender monkey wheel. Once perfected, our square wheel will be proven far superior !!!!

Ha ha

"Libertarians, generally, are conservatives who want to smoke weed with hookers."

-- Dave J. | Homepage | 10.19.07 - 1:51 pm | #

Thursday, October 18, 2007

If You Don't Vote

You can't complain.


This slogan needs to do the dirt sleep.

The purpose of voting is not to give you the right to complain.

Voting is not the only way to influence your future.

That's like saying the only way to influence my child is to wait until he has dropped out of school and robbed a liquor store and then to go into court and plead to the judge for leniency.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

They're thinking of theirs ...

Then there's the 'then than' thing.

The Gumby Prize Committee Nominates ...

"While I am writing this, exactly how do we know CO2 is a greenhouse gas? There isn’t a hell of a lot of it in the atmosphere - 0.036% of the global atmosphere - so how does this minuscule proportion affect the global temperature? And as human exhalation accounts for 38 billion tonnes of CO2, and animals probably the same again, what remedies do the warmers have in mind for this? Mass genocide? Oh Gosh, I forgot the plants. There are apparently 1877 billion tonnes of biomass, half of which is carbon. Virtually all of this is presumably expressing CO2 during the hours of darkness, and oxygen in daylight, due to photosynthesis. What’s the green answer to that? Cut down all the forests?"

Comment by David Kelsey — 16 October 2007 @ 7:06 AM


Moe sez:

From the "Tucker Carlson" tee vee show:

TUCKER CARLSON: "Gene, this is an amazing statistic: 94 percent of women say they'd be more likely to vote if a woman were on the ballot. I think of all the times I voted for people just because they're male. You know? The ballot comes up, and I'm like, 'Wow. He's a dude. I think I'll vote for him. We've got similar genitalia. I'm -- he's getting my vote.' "

MOE SZYSLAK: In fact, he would feel that way if the only candidates ever in the history of the nation had been women.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rudee !!!

It just cracks me up that the leading GOP candidate is pro-abortion, pro-gay, pro-gun control, a 3 time divorcee who committed adultery in the NYC emergency headquarters, is surrounded by certifiably insane warmongers, and has mob connections through his pal Bernie Kerik, a bought and paid for guy he forwarded to head Homeland Security. Does it get any better?

mrs. ibrahim al-jafaari

Not to mention that he looks FABULOUS in a ball gown.
Terry C, Edwards/Kucinich 08 | 10.16.07 - 9:43 pm | #

Well said ...

As we see across Blogonia, the denialists now are moving on, to explain that climate mitigation is going to be economically damaging. They are going to lose that argument too... They will have to defend themselves for believing that there is only one path to economic growth, and defend themselves for believing that economic models are better at prediction than climate ones. The reverse is true in both cases. They really don't know much about climatology or economics, it would appear... Worse from their own viewpoint, they don't think humans are creative and rise to challenges. So they don't know science, and they are putting themselves into an untenable psychological position. -- Posted by: Lee A. Arnold


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Well said

"We go from selfless to cynical pretty damned fast in the mortgage industry. Six months ago we were helping the downtrodden reach the American Dream, now we know they're just a bunch of deadbeats who cannot be trusted."

Nothing like having your ass in a financial sling to liberate your inner jerk, I guess."



Monday, October 08, 2007

Hmmm ...

I find it amusing that many people who would never drive a small car because they are so "unsafe" have no problem driving a $12,000 Harley on the weekends to "relax."


From writer Dennis Perrin:

"I recall a relative of mine arguing in favor of extensive war in the Middle East, saying that if we didn't bomb the Arabs into submission, they would come over here and "fuck us in the ass." That's a direct quote, by the way. I remember that line well because I had no real come back to it. I mean, what do you say to that: "To the contrary, they won't fuck us in the ass"? Not exactly Oxford debate material. Still, the rightwing fascination with homosexual rape and queer-tinged scenarios in general says more about their confused psyches than the actual politics of the real world. I've run into this time and time again. Hell, twenty years ago I heard similar violent and gay-oriented rhetoric from the ex-Dartmouth Review editors and writers I had gotten to know. Back then, it was the Sandinistas who wanted to fuck us in the ass. You'd think that the U.S. has the most tantalizing rear the planet has ever seen, given how many countries desire cramming their dark, uncircumcised pricks deep inside our cheeks. This is why we must kill them before they drop their pants and pull out the bad news. Call it the Tucker Carlson school of international diplomacy."

Loomings, but not of Ishmael's

With the price of natural gas, I'm going to get a wood stove this winter and heat my house with credit card offers.

-- Comment on the financial blog Calculated Risk.

With the Red Sox post-season and the Patriots doing so well, I have started listening to quite a bit of sports radio.

What amazes me is that a large proportion of advertising on sports talk radio is from companies promising to help me get out of crushing credit card debt. During some hours, this stuff comprises half of all the ads.

And all of the local car ads assure me that I can buy a car no matter how bad my credit might be.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Stupidity, in a concentrate.

It is rare to find so much stupidity concentrated in such a small package, but the comment section of the Bangor Daily News delivers:

Paul of Brewer, ME - 10/03/07

I'm sorry, I do not understand why the nurses at EMMC think they can tell their employer how much to pay them, how much insurance to provide them, how many days off to give them, or how many to hire. I believe the United States operates under something called Capitalism. Capitalism allows people to own businesses, hire employees, and produce goods for sale or offer services for sale. In a capitalist society, anyone with the knowledge, interest, and passion can open a business. If these nurses want more money, then perhaps they should open their own medical facility to compete with EMMC. Unions are socialistic organizations. Unions believe in rewarding everyone equally. Unions believe, as is evident here, that workers should run the company, set the wages, dictate policy, etc. Unfortunately, America's congress has decided to side with unions more than once, based upon the vast amount of money unions hand to politicians. Perhaps these nurses should consider the following: 1. Why did they get into nursing? Was it for money? If so, get out, NOW. 2. What makes union members more important than other hard working people? About the time I went in and told my boss how how I was going to be paid, is about the time I'd be speaking with the nice people at 45 Oak Street in Bangor. You should all be ashamed of yourselves for thinking you are above the people who hired you. If you want more money, earn it. If you want more nurses working with you, recruit more. If you want more health insurance, pay for it. If you want more time off, work part-time. If you want something, earn it, don't tell someone how it'll be, then complain because they didn't do what you said.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Well said, Josh.

Josh Marshall,

Okay, I'm about to lose my mind. Tim Russert is so colossally ignorant and talks so routinely out of his ass on the topic of Social Security that I'm not sure I can bear it anymore. Help. Please stop him.

A Question for the Presidential Candidates

Imagine you are President. Your vice president calls you and tells you he just shot some fat old white guy in the face with a shotgun. Do you cut the capital gains tax by 10 or 20 percent ?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hmm ...

Once upon a time there were these things called legs. Way I heard tell, they used to be used for walking through the woods. Old Maine folk used to use their legs to go for miles and miles through the woods, and bogs, and swamps and hills, and cliffs. Nothing but legs. All's it took was a strong pair of legs and a happy heart. Kids loved it. They ran and ran and ran.

Now all the kids are so fat and out of shape they can barely run to the end of the driveway without running out of breath. Parents are even worse.

Funny as in peculiar.

Joan Jett Sings

Androgynous, by Paul Westerberg.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Last Book I Stole

Was "A Concise History of Modern Painting" by Herbert Read. 1974. Praeger Publishing. New York. About 400 frickin' pages of conciseness. And a few good avant garde boobies in the colour plates.

Fighting Election Fraud

It seems counterproductive to not inquire, think about or act upon a lack of paper ballots in your own town and precinct until after election day -- and then do nothing about it during the entire two years before the next election day.

But then again, I scratch my ass when I'm walking past girls.

I Love Unbridled Capitalism

So does lead poisoning in children.

Trash It Some More

Here's some pathetic posturing via the Boston Globe:

The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound has waged a massive publicity campaign to kill the [windpower] project, which members say would industrialize a body of water they describe as an unspoiled natural resource.

But that characterization belies the sound's long history of commercial activity, says Dick Elrick of Mashpee, president of Clean Power Now, a group formed to champion the wind farm project.

"It's a body of water that has been used for over 200 years," he said. "Commercial fishermen have dragged the bottom until it's a desert. We've got fuel barges going back and forth. It isn't the body of water that has been described."

Elrick previously worked as a ferry boat captain and long heeded orders to send waste over the side as soon as the boat reached federal water.

"It's being diluted. But I never felt particularly good about it," he said. "I certainly wouldn't have wanted to go swimming [there]."

So, according to Mr. Elrick, because someone trashed a place 50 or 100 years ago, it makes sense to trash it all over again. What astounding logic. And I'm sure when his car gets dirty he just throws it away.

And about windpower in general. When windpower sites are built and put on-line there is no 1:1 shut down of dirty power plants. The windpower goes on line in addition to the dirty power plants.

As such, windpower does nothing to reduce actual, existing air pollution and greenhouse gas emission levels. As long as energy consumption keeps going up (which it does), you simply have windpower + dirty power sources.

Building more and more power sources -- even wind power -- tends to encourage more wasteful power consumption, which then creates more demand for more new power sources. Windpower developers are trying to make a buck -- not save the planet. They have no problem selling their electricity to the most wasteful uses and users, so long as the check clears.

Basically, power companies and power producers are liars.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A few good band names

Arm Length Scab
Slack Babbath*
The Flabby Mimes
Endless Bass Solo
Dave and the Diaper Changers
The Peter Paul and Mary Chain*

*Merci beaucoup, Gilly Gonzylon @ le eschaton

Giving One for the Team

I'd blow Clinton in Macy's window every day for a year if it would permanently clear the planet of Republicans.

-- res ipsa loquitur @ le eschaton

Friday, September 21, 2007

No Child Left Behind

If we all take umbrage there won't be any left for poor people who don't have any money.

Proud to be a U.S. American

I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don't have maps, and, uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like, such as and I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., er, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for our children.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Kids on the Kennebec

From the Front Office ...

As of today, all inter-office memos and other written communications must begin with a clause expressing the point of the topic message in terms of how it compares or contrasts to what “Osama Bin Laden would want.”

Thank you,

The Management

Land of the Free

Basically, deep down, many Americans are fascists:

From the 9/18/07 Wall Street Journal:

BEND, Ore. -- It was a sunny, 70-degree day here in Awbrey Butte, an exclusive neighborhood of big, modern houses surrounded by native pines.

To Susan Taylor, it was a perfect time to hang her laundry out to dry. The 55-year-old mother and part-time nurse strung a clothesline to a tree in her backyard, pinned up some freshly washed flannel sheets -- and, with that, became a renegade.

The regulations of the subdivision in which Ms. Taylor lives effectively prohibit outdoor clotheslines. In a move that has torn apart this otherwise tranquil community, the development's managers have threatened legal action. To the developer and many residents, clotheslines evoke the urban blight they sought to avoid by settling in the Oregon mountains.

"This bombards the senses," interior designer Joan Grundeman says of her neighbor's clothesline. "It can't possibly increase property values and make people think this is a nice neighborhood." . . .

Brooks Resources repeated its threat of legal action, and then advised Ms. Taylor to "develop a plan to screen your outdoor laundry and submit the plan to the ARC for review." It also suggested the possibility of formal proceedings to get the rules amended, which would require 51% of homeowners' support in writing.

The following month, Ms. Taylor constructed a fabric screen to conceal her clothesline. The committee, which included Brooks Resources Chairman Michael P. Hollern, gave it a thumbs down. "It doesn't blend with the home or the native surroundings," says Ms. Haworth.

Mr. Hollern says, "Personally, I think people probably ought to screen their laundry from other people's view. If you feel differently, you should probably be living somewhere else."

The Way It Is ...

For a conservationist like myself, life is like being in a boat that has lots of holes in it. Progress is made by slowing the rate at which you and the boat are sinking. The concept of not sinking is off the table. And like in a boat, there is no hope of "going up." At best you slow the rate of sinking to the amount you can bail.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ethics v. Ethics

I have listened curiously to the New England Patriots cheating. So much concern, so much emotion, so much real, for true, discussion and analysis. So much focus on the facts.

In this observation I cannot help but notice how much higher our expectations are for a sports team and its coach than the President of the United States and this country's Department of Justice.

It seems as if we now believe the U.S. government to be so perverted and dysfunctional that like East Berliners in 1972 we have given up all hope and expectation.

So like a life ring we cling to Sports as the last bastion of civility and normalcy and playing by the rules that we can expect to not be violated. We do this because we have long given up expecting our elected officials to behaving at the ethical level that we expect from athletes and their coaches.

Hence the recent comment by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson:

"You know something is wrong when the New England Patriots face stiffer penalties for spying on innocent Americans than Dick Cheney and George Bush.”

Our Public Commons is so poisoned and fetid from being shat upon, that when a Bill Belichick or Barry Bonds gets caught breaking the rules of Sports we get doubly upset. They have burst two of our bubbles.

Sports is the bubble of ethics and fair play we retreat into precisely because our Real World of Laws is tainted and perverted and destroyed beyond repair. Bubble One and Bubble Two.

And when the Sacred Bubble of Sports becomes popped and ulcerated and bilious due to the same greed and corruption that has infected and popped the Bubble of our Public National Weal -- that has us now in an illegal war for nearly 5 years -- our heads blow a gasket. We can't take it anymore. We leak brain fluid.

This post is not about what it seems to be about.

This post is about the Hockomock Swamp in Easton, Massachusetts. The Hockomock is a 6,000 acre swamp that is now celebrating its 15,000th anniversary. It is the wildest, most impenetrable land left in southeastern Massachusetts, the home of Massasoit and his son Pometacom, whom the Pilgrims first met. The Hockomock is the soul of the birthplace of the United States.

The Hockomock Swamp is the tiny crystal galaxy attached to the collar of Orion the Cat in "Men in Black." It has survived 15,000 years and is now dying from the collective paper cuts of strip malls, highways, power lines, malls, condos, golf courses, condominiums. The Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, wants to kill what is left of the Hockomock by running a high speed rail line through the heart of it, solely because his "aides" do not even know the Hockomock Swamp exists.

To them, the Hockomock is just a swamp.

Thers and the War

Thers, just going about his business with his wife, friends and children in D.C. on Saturday, expressing his discontent with an illegal, killing war that has no end.

Morning Glory

R. Buckminster Fuller

When I was a junior and senior in high school I inhaled Bucky Fuller's books, not sure why, but I did. He said one thing that struck me: that he was so nearsighted as a kid everything was out of focus so he could only see larger features and patterns -- no details -- and that shaped much of his thinking. I was blind as a bat from being nearsighted as a kid so I knew what he was talking about. The way I got glasses was because my 4th grade math teacher, Mrs. Hanlon, called my mother and said I kept getting out of my chair during class, walking up to the chalkboard, reading it, and then sitting back down. I had no clue I needed glasses. I thought she was just writing small.

My best name drop ...

Was interviewing the soon-to-be Governor of Maine, Angus King, at my house on Vickery Street in Augusta, which was completely covered with rocks, since I was a rock collector, and he said, "You must like rocks." And I said I did. Then Angus came inside and sat on the couch and Mr. Dog the dog drooled all over his leg while I interviewed Angus about economic policy. I was writing for Ruth Robinson's business magazine, Corporate Challenge News, at the time.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


A Heart Needs A Home

I know the way that I feel about you.
I'm never gonna run away.
I'm never gonna run away.
Never knew the way
When I lived without you.
I'm never going to run away.
I'm never going to run away.
I came to you when nobody would hear me.
I'm sick and weary of being alone.
Empty streets and hungry faces.
The world's no place when you're on your own.
A heart needs a home.
Some people say
That I should forget you
But I'm never going to be a fool
I'm never going to be a fool
Better life they say
If I'd never met you.
But I'm never going to be a fool.
But I'm never going to be a fool.

-- Linda and Richard Thompson.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


"You know something is wrong when the New England Patriots face stiffer penalties for spying on innocent Americans than Dick Cheney and George Bush.”

-- New Mexico Gov. and Pres. Candidate Bill Richardson

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mild observation ...

Dems got Stockholm Syndrome so bad they think they have to pay for every hickory switch the Repubs break over their red, bleeding apologetic asses and that will make them look like tax and spend liberals.

Note to self ...

Climate change and peak oil are by far the two most important issues for the rest of this century. They are completely intertwined and basically technological and scientific challenges that will require the worlds' industrial and social infrastructure to be overhauled.

Terra is not even on the map, of course. War will spring from a failure to deal effectively with climate change and peak oil.

Ergo this requires an American society and govt. that is completely focussed on technological and scientific upramping and investment. Gore knows this. I'm not sure if the Dem. candidates fully understand it.

And certainly the GOP anthropicenes who don't believe in evo-looshun ... well

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I Did Not Know

People were still mixing strychnine, bad acid, PCP, crack cocaine, jimson weed, digitalis, mink shit and lead-tainted moonshine and then stumbling into Congressional Oversight Hearings and trying to talk, but I guess I was wrong:

"No matter what you think about how we got into Iraq, the fact is that we are in a battle now to save that country from being taken over by Iran on the one hand and Al Qaeda on the other," Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, told CNBC yesterday.

The "no matter what you think" part sort of gave it away, being microdot LSD shorthand for:

I already know you think I'm bat shit crazy with these twigs shoved up my nose and my butt cheeks hanging out all cut and bloody but this time I really saw the thing ... it chased me through the pond ... it was huge !!!"

Iran: the New Cuba

From the Boston Glub Dub Drib, 9/12/07:

General David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, the top US diplomat in Iraq, warned Congress that a quicker drawdown of troops would have catastrophic consequences for US interests in the region, allowing Iran to expand its influence and possibly seize territory in Iraq.

Testifying before two key Senate committees yesterday, Crocker and Petraeus portrayed Iran as a key reason to keep a sizable number of American forces in Iraq. Petraeus suggested that Iran's negative actions in Iraq are more significant than was previously understood, while Crocker warned that Iran "would be a winner" if the United States made a sweeping withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

"The Iranian president has already announced that Iran will fill any vacuum in Iraq," he said.

He must have the Electrolux franchise.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Very Well Said Rant

From Charles Wilson (

The economic history of the last 35 years has been one of a series of financial frauds, each bigger than the last, amid a backdrop of stagnating industrial production and, along with it, a declining standard of living. Those failures unleashed an ethic of every man for himself. In a country that actually makes fewer and fewer things, the results have been predictable: paper entrepreneurship on an escalating scale.

The 1970s gave us Penn Central, Continental Illinois, and stupid farm lending. The 1980s gave us the Latin debt crisis and the S&L debacle. The 1990s gave us the frauds. The '00s almost gave us the theft of Social Security, but that was stopped at the last minute by what was left of the Democratic Party. Instead, we got Door #2, the residential real estate bubble.

Of course, there is also the Iraq War and the failure to deal with climate change, but those will have to wait for another time. The wolf at today's door is in residential real estate, where we've seen a speculative bubble in prices, fueled by reckless credit. While any discussions of "the residential real estate market" need to be tempered by recognizing the local nature of housing, the granting of credit is a national, even international phenomenon and therefore we can deal with this as a systemic fraud.

Something else: the crisis really isn't one of house prices but rather one of bad loans. It's the lending crisis that threatens to bring down the whole American economy. Prices are certainly an issue, but it's the inability of borrowers to service their loans that makes this the problem it is. Lenders abandoned their standards, allowing borrowers to abandon their prudence. It couldn't go on forever, so here we are.

Wasn't it the borrowers' fault, you might ask? To which I would reply, yes, of course it was. No one forced anyone else to borrow two or three times what they should have for a mortgage, relative to renting. But ultimately, the responsibility lies with he who is holding the wallet: the lender. So, if there is to be a bailout of any kind, we must be sure to reclaim the spoils from the lenders. All of them. Right up to, and including, the half-billion dollars worth of bonuses and stock options received by Angelo R. Mozilo, the reckless pig who runs Countrywide Financial, America's largest mortgage originator. Not to put too fine a point on it.

I digress. Housing prices peaked about a year ago, on average. Because markets are local, prices peaked before that in some places. Elsewhere (Seattle being an example) they're still rising. There isn't a Dow Jones House Index, so that's as close as we can get. But when the history of this meltdown is written, I think the top of the American housing market will be pinned in 2006.

Since then, we've seen growing signs of distress in credit markets. In the words of Creedence Clearwater Revival:

I see the bad loans a-risin'
I see trouble on the way
I see earthquakes and lightnin'
I see bad times today.

Don't shop around tonight,
Well, its bound to take your equity
There's a bad loan on the rise.

I hear hurricanes a-blowin'
I know the end is coming soon.
I fear rivers over flowin'
I hear the voice of the foreclosure auctioneer


Hope you got your things together.
Hope you are quite prepared to move to a trailer park
Looks like were in for nasty weather
One CMO is taken for a thousand bad loans


Okay, it doesn't rhyme. But you get the point. One month ago, it all came to a head. In August, credit markets locked up and the stock markets fluctuated while the sharpshooters in New York, Frankfurt, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong looked to see what the big central banks would do. On cue, Germany's Bundesbank, America's Federal Reserve, and some others stepped in to spread some quicklime on the rotting corpse, in the form of creating some money and reducing interest rates. Will it work? Call me a skeptic. To find out why, keep reading.

What's next, Fetal Labor ?

The response of the middle class was to send every woman to work in the 1980s, and then in the 1990s to run up the credit cards and deplete home equity. Now the well's running dry. That's the alligator in the swamp that no one really wants to talk about.

-- Charles Wilson | Homepage | 09.11.07 - 1:31 am | #


Weyerhaeuser could cut back mill operations

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Weyerhaeuser Co., the world's largest producer of plywood for home building, said Monday that it might offset eroding demand for its wood products through mill closures and production curtailments.

In early August, Weyerhaeuser (WY) reported second-quarter net earnings plunged more than 89% to $32 million primarily because of the slumping U.S. housing market's impact on wood product sales.

As someone at eloquently said:

You can only fake an economy for so long.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

A Hydro

I spend far too much of my short remaining lifespan making typographical jokes so this story below from the Waterville, Maine Morning Sentinel which quotes me as saying "a hydro" and "raising the height issue" is worth noting for historic idiocy purposes.

"I'm not saying don't have a hydro here," Watts said. "I'm just raising the height issue."

U.S. Americans. Such as, therefore. South Africa.

I knew when I was 10 years old swimming at midnight with phosphorescent salps in Aucoot Cove, Mattapoisett, Massachusetts that I was in the presence of intelligence. Such as, therefore. Maps.

"A hydro."

I'm just raising the height issue.


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Jim Rome

Is a guy you can Google, so I won't. He is almost exactly my age, 43. Very successful sports talk radio host. Syndicated to like 250 stations nationwide, 3-4 million listeners.

He's a genius. Why? Because when Jim goes on a rant he is better than Lenny Bruce.

Jim Rome's extensive monologues on dog torturer Mike Vick are perhaps some of the most heartfelt and inspired live radio I have ever heard, given that a recording of Thurgood Marshall reaming Nixon's lawyer James St. Clair in 1974 does not exist.

Jim Rome over and over calling out Mike Vick and his ill-thought "supporters" and explaining why, for all the obtuse lunkheads, throwing puppies onto pavement until their skulls are Fruity Pebbles is not kool, is a severely underappreciated piece of live American literature. Mark Twain and W.E.B. Dubois on the mic.

Meaning that hearing Mr. Rome helped restore my optimism and faith in humanity.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Umm ...

WASHINGTON - Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif., denounced his GOP critics as "weasels" Friday, ruining his nearly half century record of uninterrupted lying.

- rootless2, from teh eschatoon.

Stop me if you've heard this one ...

"We must press the regime in Burma (Myanmar) to stop arresting, harassing, and assaulting pro-democracy activists for organizing or participating in peaceful demonstrations," Bush said in a speech to Asia-Pacific business executives in Sydney.


WASHINGTON (AFP) - Mounted police charged in to break up an outdoor press conference and demonstration against the Iraq war in Washington on Thursday, arresting three people, organizers and an AFP reporter said.

"The police suppressed the press conference. In the middle of the speeches, they grabbed the podium" erected in a park in front of the White House for the small gathering, Brian Becker, national organizer of the ANSWER anti-war coalition, told AFP.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Lending Library

Oh, if you folks want to read the Bible, just let me know. I'm almost halfway through it.
Jesus | Homepage | 09.07.07 - 1:30 am | #

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


I just walked down to the supermarket to get cat food and the woman in front of me, Arlene, was mentally retarded and about 45. My age. She had a $5 dollar bill and her total came to just a bit more than she had -- she also wanted to get a can of soda at the machine outside the store. So she asked me for a dime. Then her and I went outside. The machine she picked wouldn't take her dollar, so we picked the other machine and it worked fine.

20 years ago Arlene would have been locked up in an "insane hospital." And quite possibly, she was.

One of the many benefits of living in Augusta, Maine is living alongside a lot of mentally challenged or mentally ill people. Some people would not call that a "benefit" -- in very large letters -- but I do.

Making Smart Decisions

Overall population has nothing to do with environmental issues. With even rudimentary thought and care, there is no reason why the Earth cannot support 10 billion people. By the exact same token, just 1 billion people doing extremely stupid and damaging things can destroy the Earth. cf. Desertification. cf. Fishing out all of the world's oceans. cf. destroying all of the world's rainforests. These are not the acts of 10 billion starving people. They are the acts of a few thousand greedy fucking capitalists and despots who want to rape the world, cash the check, and die with a BMW and a dick in their mouth.

Moe from Nova Scotia

Well, I agree with all that, but as I said recently, all the individual action in the world won't solve the problems facing us-- it takes collective political action. Moe Szyslak | Homepage | 09.04.07 - 2:28 pm | #

This is very much about the Tragedy of the Commons, or the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, if you will. Can you imagine if in the 1970s we tried to stop water pollution by telling every single person to "pollute your toilet less." ???

You gotta take a crap. The solution in 1970 was not to make people take a crap every third day and/or make them feel guilty about going to the bathroom.

The solution was to build sewage treatment plants instead of straight piping everyones' poop into the Penobscot River.

And it worked.

Same with CO2.

Jim Rome Says ...

It ain't fucking Calvinism. Being smart does not mean sacrificing. We all have a carbon account at the Earth Bank. And we are way the fuck overdrawn. So we have to stop writing bad checks.

Jim Rome did not say this. But it is how he would say it, if he did say it.


The magic month. Is now here. Feel the clarity. The knowledge. The over the horizon gazing perspicacity that only accompanies this very special month.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Attaturk, Political Internist

There's Inhofe stupid, and then there is this type of retardation which affects about half the Dems Caucus at any particular time.

-- Mr. Attaturk

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Your Free and Valiant Press

Yesterday, the director of the FBI gave testimony that suggested that the attorney general may have lied in his own sworn testimony, but last night, CBS News had more important news to report. News about Oscar the cat.

Six Months Ago ...

President dismisses critics
Administration wants support for strategy

By Michael Abramowitz and Jonathan Weisman
The Washington Post
January 27. 2007 8:35AM

Declaring "I'm the decision maker," President Bush dismissed congressional efforts to formally condemn his Iraq plan yesterday, while Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned that a proposed Senate resolution criticizing the deployment of additional troops would embolden the enemy.

"Any indication of flagging will in the United States gives encouragement to those folks," Gates told reporters at the Pentagon. "I'm sure that that's not the intent behind the resolutions, but I think it may be the effect."

Yet, on July 20, 2007, six months later, Defense Secretary Gates said the exact opposite and essentially lied about his statement in January:

"I have long been a staunch advocate of Congressional oversight, first at the CIA and now at the Defense Department. I have said on several occasions in recent months that I believe that congressional debate on Iraq has been constructive and appropriate."

The lies never quit.

Friday, July 27, 2007

News v. Sports

With team sports, you have instant stories. Two teams play. One wins, one loses. You tell how. Get some good pics. Talk to the players. Instant story.

"News" doesn't come with instant stories and controversy all wrapped up neatly in a bow. You gotta work at it finding the story before you can even write it. It's like a whole sports league is playing in secret and you have to spend all day just to find where the game is and nobody will tell you who won or what happened.

Lies Squared


Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that many Iraqis simply do not believe that the US congress is serious when it votes against permanent bases in Iraq. Members of parliament say that they see these enormous hardened bases being built, which is practical proof to the contrary. They think the Democratic Congress is just posturing because of its struggle with the Bush White House.

Why is the U.S. building a serious of enormous, hardened, super secure military bases in Iraq if Congress has just voted the opposite? Why is Congress funding these bases, on the one hand, yet saying they are not "permanent" ?

Why are basic, obvious questions like this rarely asked -- and never honestly answered -- in the U.S. news media ?

Why do the Serious People of Foreign Policy Punditry never ask why they endlessly analyze "withdrawal scenarios" in six month poker chips even as the President et al. casually throws out 50 years occupation as a possibility -- and while we are building numerous enormous and obviously permanent military bases in Iraq.

All Wet

NEW YORK (Reuters) - PepsiCo Inc. will spell out that its Aquafina bottled water is made with tap water, a concession to the growing environmental and political opposition to the bottled water industry.

According to Corporate Accountability International, a U.S. watchdog group, the world's No. 2 beverage company will include the words "Public Water Source" on Aquafina labels.

This is still a load of crap. "Public Water Source" is carefully crafted to avoid saying the truth: "Municipal Tap Water."

And since the market cachet is the "purity" and "goodness" of said water, not stating the actual source (say, the Ohio River near Pittsburgh) on the label is just as puky, fake and dishonest.

These corporate whores can't even be honest about an ingredients label for water.

Pathetic Yup Loooosers.

Just Lie and Lie Some More

From the LA Times:

U.S. drops Baghdad electricity reports
The daily length of time that residents have power has dropped.

By Noam N. Levey and Alexandra Zavis

As the Bush administration struggles to convince lawmakers that its Iraq war strategy is working, it has stopped reporting to Congress a key quality-of-life indicator in Baghdad: how long the power stays on.

Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week that Baghdad residents could count on only "an hour or two a day" of electricity. That's down from an average of five to six hours a day earlier this year.

But that piece of data has not been sent to lawmakers for months because the State Department, which prepares a weekly "status report" for Congress on conditions in Iraq, stopped estimating in May how many hours of electricity Baghdad residents typically receive each day.

Instead, the department now reports on the electricity generated nationwide, a measurement that does not indicate how much power Iraqis in Baghdad or elsewhere actually receive.

The reporting change has triggered criticism that the administration is disclosing less information at the same time President Bush is facing off against Congress over how much progress is being made in Iraq. Bush has been working for months to show that the troop buildup he announced in January is stabilizing the country.

"It's unfortunate," said Jason H. Campbell, a senior research assistant at the Brookings Institution who has been tracking quality-of-life measurements in Iraq since 2003. "What makes this metric even worth tracking is you want to see what's happening to the average Iraqi."

Campbell said the new reporting method made it impossible to know what the power situation was in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq.

Col. Mike Moon, who oversees the Army Corps of Engineers' electricity reconstruction efforts in Iraq, said he thought the change was a mistake. The total amount of electricity being generated in Iraq makes no difference to the individual who has no electricity for his air conditioner, Moon said.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who sharply questioned Crocker about electricity during a recent Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, sent a letter to the State Department last week complaining about the new measurement. She said she was concerned the White House was trying to obscure the deteriorating situation in Baghdad, the focus of Bush's "surge" of 30,000 additional troops.

"The president continues to keep information away from the American people and the Congress," said Boxer, who advocates withdrawing troops. "It's obvious that he wants to paint a rosy picture."

State Department officials in Baghdad and Washington said the new method was not an attempt to hide information. They noted that Crocker was candid about the electricity situation when he testified to lawmakers last week.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

No Recall

Amnesia -- not just a pandemic, but a job prerequisite:

The three-star general who kept the truth about Tillman's death from his family and the public told investigators some 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn't recall details of his actions.


Pee on the Floor

Journalist Bob Geiger:

We have a Supreme Court-appointed president who has done everything but go up to Capitol Hill and urinate on the Senate floor and has systematically shredded our Constitution, but it's the people in the legislative branch who have polluted the political atmosphere.

Apple Sucks

Its stock has only increased 62 percent this year.

Apple, propelled by strong sales of its Macintosh computer, posted a 73 percent rise in quarterly profit in its report after the stock market closed on Wednesday. It also said it would sell 1 million iPhones by the end of its current quarter, and reiterated its goal of selling 10 million of the devices globally in 2008.

That triggered a strong rise in the stock in early trading Thursday, with shares up $10.49, or 7.6 percent, at $147.75 on the Nasdaq. Apple's shares had already jumped 62 percent since the start of the year, when Chief Executive Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone.

-- reuters

CNN-Celebrity News Network

Jack Cafferty with the best line of all time.

The Real Question

“Mr. Attorney General, do you think constitutional government in the United States can survive if the president has the unilateral authority to reject congressional inquiries on grounds of executive privilege and the president then acts to bar the Congress from getting a judicial determination as to whether that executive privilege is properly invoked?”

-- Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania

And a very kool video presentation that covers the basic parameters:

Fake Story

Reuters today carries a story headlined "Worst of Atlantic Hurricane Season Still to Come."

It starts:

MIAMI (Reuters) - Nearly eight weeks have passed since the last tropical storm in the Atlantic-Caribbean region faded away, but banish any notion the 2007 hurricane season has been unusually slow and beware the coming months, experts say. The peak of the six-month season is just around the corner and forecasters are still predicting a busy one.

No shit. Hurricanes do not normally develop before late July and peak in September.

This is what journalists know as taking a non-newsworthy or obvious fact, and turning it into a "surprising finding" so they have something to turn into their editors that day.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dood, Stop Dying So Much.

Really. The Troops Need to Stop Dying So Often.

They Should Like Stop Getting So Killed and Dead.

Like, dood. Would it kill you to not die so much ?

Lt. Gen. Charles Jacoby, the commander at Fort Lewis in Washington state, is expected to decide today whether to go through with plans to hold memorial services for U.S. troops killed in Iraq once every month, instead of after each death. Military families and others have protested the proposal.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007


This morning I imagined a blogosphere in 1850 and realized it would be just like the blogosphere today.

There would be an entire Pajamaslavery Media devoted to defending the Peculiar Institution and How Its Residents Prefer Stable and Safe Work To the Perils and Chills of The Hateful and Unknown North.

Nothing has changed.


Largest town meeting in North American history, this Saturday, Middleborough, Massachusetts.


Spineless in the Senate

Alberto Gonzales could have just mooned the Senate Judiciary Committee today -- he practically did -- since Bush has already said that he will block any effort by Congress to use the DOJ to do anything re: perjury, obstr. of justice, failure to appear for a subpoena etc.

Bush has already declared a soft coup d'etat for the remainder of his term and Congress and the Dem candidates are too fucking lame and stupid to call him on it.

Alberto Gonzales

This is not a story about Gonzales' lack of integrity, lack of honesty or whether he broke any laws.

Nobody sane seriously doubts any of the three.

It's about the lack of will of Congress to impeach him.

It's about the news media for brushing this off as minutiae.

It's about Lindsay Lohan getting an OUI being a much bigger ratings grab.

It's about short attention spans.

It's about a collective shrugging of shoulders, of moving from "we don't believe it" to "so, we've always known that" in one involuntary spasm of the collective America consumer cytoplasm.

It's about a Republican Party that will protect its own even at the sake of the Constitution.

It's about a Democratic Party which is as cohesive and solid as an ice cream cone in Death Valley.

It's a pathetic, snivelling country we live in.

Hypocritical too.

Own it or change it or shut the fuck up.


"Certainly, we're not going to just have our president meet with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and you know, the president of North Korea, Iran and Syria, until we know better what the way forward would be," Hillary Clinton, at the YouTube debate.
What bothers me about this quote from HRC is that she used this comment to (a) paint Barack Obama as some naive idiot who would be hypnotized by just meeting with "evil men" and (b) she is aping the Chimp by painting the world in black and white and good and evil. She is playing straight from Rove's playbook. Scare the hell out of people and accuse anyone less shrill of being a weak, effeminate dupe of commies. Now that I think about it, it's straight McCarthyism.

What a cornholer.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Well said.

I think once you have fallen into a moral cesspool, it's inappropriate to swim laps.

Falstaff | 07.23.07 - 10:43 pm | # at Eschaton.

Monday, July 16, 2007


This site, purports to tell the 'truth.'


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Green Zone is Red


On Tuesday, guerrillas launched some 20 katyusha rockets and mortar shells into the Green Zone in downtown Baghdad, killing 3 persons, including a US soldier, and wounding 25 persons.

The Green Zone was originally supposed to be the safe place in Iraq, with the area outside it (everything else) called the "Red Zone." The US Embassy in Baghdad appears to have forgotten what the phrase "Green Zone" means, since a spokesman there told the LAT, "There's fire into the Green Zone virtually every day, so I can't draw any conclusions about the security situation based on that . . ."

Let me draw the conclusion. If you've got fire into the friggin' Green Zone every day, then we can draw the conclusion that the security situation in Baghdad sucks big time. When you've got people killed and a large number of people wounded in the one place in Iraq that was supposed to have a "permissive" security environment, then security in general is the pits.

Rant of the Day, Contestant 2

"George Bush has ordered the entire gubbermint to defy any attempt by Congress to find out what he is up to. Senator Specter says he is upset but will allow it unless something untoward can be shown. Senator Hatch made odd hooting noises on the floor of the Senate and said he had no doubt that Senator DeMint ejaculating on a prostitute was due to the stress of his job. Senator Lindsey Graham was found beating off to the sound of Senator Orrin Hatch reading the words of Brigham Young. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney tied Giuliani to the roof of his GMC Gremlin and drove him to Iowa. Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin collected Giuliani's feces and said they were proof of his manhood in the face of terrorism.

Spinoza Neque lugare, neque in, at Eschaton
07.11.07 - 3:42 pm

Rant of the Day, Contestant 1

"The Republican Party is the party of diapers, bears, falafel, pedophiles, filthy water-filled hot tubs, strapping dogs to the roofs of cars, bringing stillborn babies home to bond with your children, shooting old men in the face and making them apologize, rare coin scandals, getting kicked out of Argenfuckingtina for partying too hard, crack dealers, cross-dressers, and Bush."

EkCenTriK at Eschaton
07.11.07 - 2:21 pm

Hands Across the Aisle

Senators Snowe and Collins have again split off from the Republican caucus. This time on a filibuster to prevent a vote on Sen. Jim Webb's bill to require mandatory rest periods for soldiers between deployments to Iraq. Repubs. successfully cut off debate, thereby preventing a vote on the bill.

Like Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Susan Collins is fighting for her political life in 2008. She has done a 180 since Rep. Tom Allen (D-Maine) announced his run against her. And Lieberman's fundraising for Collins has allowed Allen to reap in beaucoup from Lieberman haters. Collins' seat is now among highest targets for Dems. and Repubs. nationally. Dems to take it. Repubs. to hold it. Watch Collins become a bigger peacenik than Jane Fonda in the coming months. Hands across the water etc.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This Day in History

In a stirring, impromptu speech from the porch of his ancestral home in Grand Rapids, Michigan on July 10, 1975, President Gerald Rudolph Ford warned Americans and freedom lovers across the globe of the threat we would face if Michael Moore became fat.

Judy Mowatt -- Black Woman

Judy Mowatt is one of the best singers to have ever walked this planet.

Kate Bush/David Gilmour

Shorter Dennis Miller

When I want to know my opinion, I'll ask Rupert Murdoch.

A Star's a Seed

A Seed's A Star

Brits -- The U.S. is Stupid

Odd that almost no member of the U.S. Congress has been able to utter anything approaching the following short letter in July 10 Boston Globe:

AS A BRIT, I take strong exception to Cheryl Mavrikos's July 5 letter "Terror in the UK," in which she writes that "had the three nail-laden vehicles exploded, the British would be using whatever means necessary to bring the perpetrators to justice, including torture." I highly doubt it.

The British commitment to civil rights extends back three times the age of the United States, and includes the first recorded use of habeas corpus, which America recently decided was dispensable.

If 10 years of Irish Republican Army bombings did not prompt Britain to descend into officially sanctioned barbarity, it is rather unlikely that one exploding nail-laden truck would change the national character.

Torture is immoral and ineffective, and history never looks kindly upon those who practice it. I suspect that Mavrikos's enthusiasm for torture would be considerably muted were she to find herself on the receiving end.


What impulse has driven so many Americans to literally crave the idea of torturing human beings ? Why do they lash out so viciously at anyone who is "anti-torture"? Where do they come from ?

I can tell you. They've always been here. It's just that until GWBumwipe, societal norms have been sufficiently elevated to make it extremely unpopular for folks to openly advocate and cheer for human torture. Now the floodgate has been opened. Apparently, lots of New Englanders and Americans love torture. They truly love it. It gives them a hard on. It makes their vaginal juices flow like the Glen Canyon Dam when Las Vegas turns on its air conditioners.

It's all good.

Peter Canellos is a Moron


It is difficult, even on a Dada, Captain Beefheart level, to write what this man writes with a straight face. Peter Canellos is the literary equivalent of that thin beige porridge like cat puke on the carpet that greets you as you wake up in the morning:

There are other signs in the Pew survey that America's image problem in the world is fixable. For one, no other country has captured the world's esteem.


In addition, the United States is viewed positively in some Asian countries with fast-growing economies, suggesting that American capitalism still has a global appeal.

Was this written by an ad copywriter for Kentucky Fried Chicken or by the cardboard carton of mashed potatoes itself ?

Once again, the Boston Globe is the worst newspaper in the world.

Monday, July 09, 2007

NPR: the Strange Journey of Eels ...

Eels are perfectly normal. I have spent a lot of time with eels in their natural environs, adults, adolescents and babies. They are perfectly normal. There is nothing strange about eels. Their journey is not strange either. No more strange than a monarch butterfly or an osprey from Maine flying to Colombia for the winter. Why is it strange for an animal to migrate? Why is it strange for an animal to be long-lived ? Ducks migrate as far as eels. Why don't we call mallard ducks in the town park strange ?

The only thing strange is our willful and stubborn ignorance about eels.

Death from the Air

Excerpt from Tomdispatch:

Here's the simplest truth of air power, then or now. No matter how technologically "smart" our bombs or missiles, they will always be ordered into action by us dumb humans; and if, in addition, they are released into villages filled with civilians going about their lives, or heavily populated urban neighborhoods where insurgents mix with city dwellers (who may or may not support them), these weapons will, by the nature of things, by policy decision, kill noncombatants. If an AC-130 or an Apache helicopter strafes an urban block or a village street where people below are running, some carrying weapons and believed to be "suspected insurgents," it will kill civilians. The disadvantage of "distant war" is that you normally have no way of knowing why someone is running, or why they are carrying a weapon, or usually who they really are.

Once Americans find themselves engaged in a guerrilla war, the urge is naturally to bring to bear military strengths and limit casualties -- and the fear is always of sending American troops into an "urban jungle," or simply a jungle, where the surroundings will serve to equalize a disproportionate American advantage in the weaponry of high-tech destruction. In distant war, particularly wars where Americans alone control the skies and can fly in them with relative impunity, the trade-off is clear indeed: our soldiers for their civilian dead "including women and children."

This is not an aberrant side effect of air war but its heart and soul. The airplane is a weapon of war, but it is also a weapon of terror -- and it is meant to be. From the beginning, it was used not to "win over" enemy populations -- after all, how could that be done from the distant skies? -- but to crush or terrorize them into submission. (It has seldom worked that way.)

Hiding from Reality

A commenter at writes:

Isn't one of our biggest basic problems still population growth? I see projections that the world's population will magically top out at 9.2 billion, but there's something itching at the back of my brain that says that the number's probably little more than wishful thinking.

In the light of ecological responsibility, Russia probably takes first place for its negative population growth. But why is it that we never hear population control mentioned any more? If the world population was still the three billion or so that it was when I was a child, would we be worrying as much about ecological catastrophe?

Err .. no, no, no and no.

First, the commenter displays the common desire to pin all the world's problems on one singular cause, and then, usually, declaring this cause to be so big and hard to solve that we may as well give up. And that doing anything else is just a waste of time.

In debating circles, this is called the I am a Sad Sack Loser Gambit.

Second, the assertion is provably false. A small number of people acting horrendously wastefully and idiotically can damage far more air, water, soil, wildlife and natural resources than a very large group of people who live sustainably.

There is no inevitable causal relationship between human population and natural resource degradation.

California redwoods have existed for millennia. It only took a handful of greedy people in a few decades to destroy most of them. Today, clearcutting is all mechanized and can be done quickly and with little labor. It may not be far in the future when forests can be clearcut with robots in the cabs of tree-fellers, rather than people. With today's technology, just a few people can destroy thousands of square miles of Earth, all for the benefit of just a few people.

Destruction is almost always by the few and for the few and to the great harm of the many.

Blaming "too many people" for the deeds and greed of a few is just the ...

I am a Sad Sack Loser Gambit.