Friday, April 13, 2007

The Fall of Wolfowitz?

You can

* make a misleading case for war,
* support a secret internal Pentagon effort to manipulate and hype intelligence that supports the case for war,
* invade another country without preparing for what comes after the invasion,
* dismiss the warnings of a general who says hundreds of thousands of troops will be necessary to secure that country after an invasion,
* falsely claim that the war will cost little,
* assume (wrongly) that the people of the invaded country will be nothing but pleased,
* and mismanage post-invasion operations and plans and, thus, fail to prevent societal conflict and chaos that causes the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians.

And nothing happens. In fact, you are subsequently awarded with a medal and a plum job.

But if you use your influence to get a pay raise for your girlfriend, well, then, you're in big, big trouble. See here. It's sort of like nabbing Al Capone on tax evasion.

I'm traveling today. See you next week.

Posted by David Corn at April 13, 2007 08:57 AM


capt said...

Bon Voyage!

capt said...

World Bank under fire over Aids policy

The embattled leadership of the World Bank faced fresh questions on Thursday about the role of the executive in apparent changes to Bank policy on promoting contraception to combat the spread of Aids.

The Government Accountability Project accused Juan José Daboub, the bank’s managing director, of "attempting to radically alter a long-standing health strategy at the World Bank".

Paul Wolfowitz, president of the Bank, ruled out any change to bank policy on reproductive health, as he faced calls for his resignation over his role in securing a large pay rise and promotion for a Bank official with whom he was romantically involved.

"I want to make it clear personally, I think reproductive health is absolutely crucial," he said.

Staff contacted by the Financial Times said officials were ordered last month by Mr Daboub to remove all references to family planning from a proposal to fund efforts to combat the disease and fight poverty in Madagascar.

Mr Daboub instructed subordinates to strike the references from a funding package requested by the country, staff claimed in interviews and in an internal document obtained by the FT.


Robert S said...

Bank Staff Asks Wolfowitz to Resign
By Jeannine Aversa
The Associated Press
Thursday 12 April 2007

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz acknowledged Thursday that he erred in helping a close female friend get transferred to a high-paying job, and said he was sorry.

His apology didn't ease concerns among the bank's staff association, which wants him to resign.

The growing controversy has overshadowed major development meetings this weekend and is raising fresh questions about whether Wolfowitz will stay on the job. The White House, however, expressed confidence in the embattled bank president.

At issue are the generous compensation and pay raises of a bank employee, Shaha Riza, who has dated Wolfowitz. She was given an assignment at the State Department in September 2005, shortly after he became bank president.

"In hindsight I wish I had trusted my original instincts and kept myself out of the negotiations," Wolfowitz said. "I made a mistake, for which I am sorry."

The World Bank Group Staff Association is demanding that Wolfowitz step down.

"The president must acknowledge that his conduct has compromised the integrity and effectiveness of the World Bank Group and has destroyed the staff's trust in his leadership," the association said Thursday. "He must act honorably and resign."

Wolfowitz said he met Thursday morning with the World Bank's board and that members were looking into the matter. He declined to discuss what actions, if any, the board could take.

"I proposed to the board that they establish some mechanism to judge whether the agreement reached was a reasonable outcome," he said, referring to Riza's transfer. "I will accept any remedies they propose."

Wolfowitz dodged a question about whether he would resign over the flap. "I cannot speculate on what the board is going to decide," he said.

A World Bank spokeswoman would not comment on what range of options the board could consider or when it would finish its deliberations.

The White House voiced its support for Wolfowitz.

"Of course President Wolfowitz has our full confidence," said White House spokesman Tony Fratto. "His leadership is helping the bank accomplish its mission of raising living standards for poor people throughout the world. In dealing with this issue, he has taken full responsibility and is working with the executive board to resolve it."



March 15, 2007
John Perkins: New Confessions and Revelations from the World of Economic Hit Men
By John Perkins

Excerpted from the book, A GAME AS OLD AS EMPIRE release date, March 19, 2007


Despite all these successes, an important element was still missing. The major U.S. media refused to discuss Confessions or the fact that, because of it, words such as EHM, corporatocracy, and jackal were now appearing on college syllabuses. The New York Times and other newspapers had to include it on their bestseller lists—after all, numbers don’t lie (unless an EHM produces them, as you will see in the following pages)—but during its first fifteen months in print most of them obstinately declined to review it. Why?

My agent, my publicist, the best minds at Berrett-Koehler and Penguin/Plume, my family, my friends, and I may never know the real answer to that question. What we do know is that several nationally recognized journalists appeared poised on the verge of writing or speaking about the book. They conducted “pre-interviews” with me by phone and dispatched producers to wine and dine my wife and me. But, in the end, they declined. A major TV network convinced me to interrupt a West Coast speaking tour, fly to New York, and dress up in a television-blue sports coat. Then—as I waited at the door for the network’s limo—an employee called to cancel. Whenever media apologists offered explanations for such actions, they took the form of questions: “Can you prove the existence of other EHMs?” “Has anyone else written about these things?” “Have others in high places made similar disclosures?”

The answer to these questions is, of course, yes. Every major incident described in the book has been discussed in detail by other authors—usually lots of other authors. The CIA’s coup against Iran’s Mossadegh; the atrocities committed by his replacement, Big Oil’s puppet, the Shah; the Saudi Arabian money-laundering affair; the jackal-orchestrated assassinations of Ecuador’s President Jaime Roldos and Panama’s President Omar Torrijos; allegations of collusion between oil companies and missionary groups in the Amazon; the international activities of Bechtel, Halliburton, and other pillars of American capitalism; the unilateral and unprovoked U.S. invasion of Panama and capture of Manuel Noriega; the coup against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez—these and the other events in the book are a matter of public record.

Several pundits criticized what some referred to as my “radical accusation”—that economic forecasts are manipulated and distorted in order to achieve political objectives (as opposed to economic objectivity) and that foreign “aid” is a tool for big business rather than an altruistic means to alleviate poverty. However, both of these transgressions against the true purposes of sound economics and altruism have been well documented by a multitude of people, including a former World Bank chief economist and winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, Joseph Stiglitz. In his book, Globalization and Its Discontents, Stiglitz writes:

To make its [the IMF’s] programs seem to work, to make the numbers “add up,” economic forecasts have to be adjusted. Many users of these numbers do not realize that they are not like ordinary forecasts; in these instances GDP forecasts are not based on a sophisticated statistical model, or even on the best estimates of those who know the economy well, but are merely the numbers that have been negotiated as part of an IMF program.1 …

Globalization, as it has been advocated, often seems to replace the old dictatorships of national elites with new dictatorships of international finance …. For millions of people globalization has not worked …. They have seen their jobs destroyed and their lives become more insecure.2

I found it interesting that during my first book tour—for the hardcover edition, in late 2004 and early 2005—I sometimes heard questions from my audiences that reflected the mainstream press. However, they were significantly diminished during the paperback edition tour in early 2006. The level of sophistication among readers had risen over the course of that year. A growing suspicion that the mainstream press was collaborating with the corporatocracy—which, of course, owned much of it or at least supported it through advertising—had become manifest. While I would love to credit Confessions for this transformation in public attitude, my book has to share that honor with a number of others, such as Stiglitz’s Globalization and Its Discontents, David Korten’s When Corporations Rule the World, Noam Chomsky’s Hegemony or Survival, Chalmers Johnson’s Sorrows of Empire, and Antonia Juhasz’s Bush Agenda, as well as films such as The Constant Gardner, Syriana, Hotel Rwanda, Good Night, and Good Luck, and Munich. The American public recently has been treated to a feast of exposés. Mine is definitely not a voice in the wilderness.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that the corporatocracy has created the world’s first truly global empire, inflicted increased misery and poverty on millions of people around the planet, managed to sabotage the principles of self-determination, justice, and freedom that form the foundations upon which the United States stands, and turned a country that was lauded at the end of World War II as democracy’s savior into one that is feared, resented, and hated, the mainstream press ignores the obvious. In pleasing the moneymen and the executives upstairs, many journalists have turned their backs on the truth. When approached by my publicists, they continue to ask: “Where are the trenches?” “Can you produce the trowels that dug them?” “Have any ‘objective’ researchers confirmed your story?”



Who will be the first to go?

Gonzales, Wolfowitz or Rove? No fair betting on Don Imus...

Robert S said...

"Linear time is so pre-9/11." - Jon Stewert

capt said...

Pelosi and Diplomacy


On the day Pelosi was in Damascus, former President Jimmy Carter received the Ridenhour Courage Prize (co-sponsored by The Nation Institute and the Fertel Foundation) for his efforts to speak candidly about the Middle East. Carter noted that day that the Bush Administration had earlier ordered him not to visit Syria--a request he had respected. But he supported Pelosi's trip, and in his acceptance speech he cited the times he had met with "leaders who were considered to be international villains or criminals or pariahs." He added, "My meeting with them, sometimes working with them, was necessary if destruction and suffering of war and the persecution of human rights abuses were to be ended or prevented."

Bush does not believe in the power of negotiation and compromise--as evidenced even by his dealings with Congressional Democrats. He recently awarded recess appointments to nominees opposed by legislators, gratuitously poking the Democrats in the eye when he should be working with them, especially to resolve the mess in Iraq. Bush has isolated himself on domestic and foreign matters. We need more diplomacy--at home and abroad.


*****end of clip*****

Bunnypants think that compromise only means others coming around to his point of view. He has never been wrong nor made any mistakes so . . .


capt said...

Imagine the Worst

In 1984, Mother Jones asked writers and artists to imagine what another four years would be like under Ronald Reagan.

Kurt Vonnegut

October 01 , 1983

If Ronald Reagan gets re-elected, which I think will happen, he will continue to be an actor who pretends to steer the United States of America. He will go on spinning a great ship's wheel this way and that, although it is connected to nothing but the floor of the set. He will go on issuing orders to a nonexistent engine room, "Full speed ahead" or "Half speed ahead" or whatever, which will, then as now, be solemnly reported on the front page of The New York Times.
His compass might as well be a bowl of goldfish and his barometer a cuckoo clock, for the real power in this country now resides entirely elsewhere, in the hands of anarchist money managers and militarists and so on. When Mr. Reagan performs, I am reminded of a seafaring drama written for radio by the late comedian "Archie" Ed Gardner. He cast himself as the captain of a ship in terrible trouble, and he electrified his crew with this salty command: "Scuttle the barnacles!"

Mr. Reagan never wanted real power anyway. No actor ever does. He wanted an acting job, and he got it, and he will get it again. An actor will do anything to get on stage, to pretend before an audience to be this or that, while real lives are being led in some other part of town. It is a credit to the majority of the American people who vote that they understand the powerlessness of the presidency, realize that their function, for the fun of it, really, is to approve or disapprove hams sent over by Central Casting. Who, for example, could exhibit the truer grit while guiding a team of malamutes through a blizzard of soap flakes driven by a wind machine—Fritz Mondale or Ronald Reagan?

No contest.

A personal note: I made a lot of money, a lot for me, about 12 years ago—and my publisher took me over to the Chase Manhattan Bank to meet a money manager. I decided not to sign up with him, but he promised to do his best to make my money grow, even as the planet became poorer. It would keep pace with inflation and then some. As though to reassure me, he declared that he would not, in effect, allow his judgment to be addled by patriotism. If the United States turned out to be a relatively inhospitable place for my money, with workers getting high wages and expensive social benefits and so on, he would send it overseas. How fast could he do this? In two shakes of a lamb's tail.

So long, Youngstown, Ohio. Hello, Seoul.

As for militarist anarchy: Nobody, obviously, can prevent the Pentagon from spending our children's and grandchildren's money however it likes—no matter how foolishly or wastefully or crookedly. No braking mechanism exists. I remember The Atlantic reporting years ago that getting officers of the Army Corps of Engineers to testify before Congress about where all the money was going was like "rounding up the Vietcong for an appearance on the Lawrence Welk Show." Things have gotten a lot worse since then, and Caspar Willard Weinberger, who can't act for sour apples, has a little steering wheel all his own. He grabs for the emergency brake, which comes off in his hand, and the gorilla in the rumble seat wraps it around his neck, and so on.

It goes without saying that this uncontrolled militarism, based as it is on the powerlessness of the presidency, is not only ruinous financially for our heirs but bloody as well. I read in the Encyclopedia Britannica (1971) about the Japanese militarism during the early 1930s, which in turn militarized this country and led to World War II in the Pacific. The Japanese Army, of its own volition, engaged regularly in battles on the Chinese mainland. "The civilian government in Tokyo," I read, "found itself powerless to stop the army, and even army headquarters was not always in full control of the field commanders." Later on it says, "Each advance by the military extremists resulted in a new compromise concession to them by more moderate elements in the government, and each of these in turn brought greater foreign hostility and distrust."

I think to myself, "Gee—that sounds a lot like the CIA and all those other patriots of ours down in Central America now."

Reef the spanker and spank the reefer, me hearties. Open the seacocks! Full speed ahead!


Gerald said...

Bush and his gestapos will never get busted. In a recent article Bush has near world dictatorial powers. Bush can currently override the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court. Wolfowitz is safe and his position is safe.

capt said...

President Bush: Sign the Stem Cell Bill!

Let Your Voice Be Heard

We, the undersigned, support Senator Harkin and his fight to enact S. 5 into law, lifting your restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.

Your policy has limited federally funded research to 21 stem cell lines, most of which are old and outdated. Only by lifting your restrictions will our best scientists be able to study hundreds of new lines that offer greater potential for medical breakthroughs.

Under no circumstances would S. 5 allow Federal tax dollars to be used to destroy human embryos; this bill would only promote research using embryos that would otherwise be discarded.

The lives of millions of Americans — including our friends and loved ones — are at stake. We urge you to sign S. 5 into law, and to give us hope for new therapies and cures.

Please use the form below to sign the petition.

Sign the Petition HERE

Mookie said...

Another scandal! Why does this not surprise me?

David B. Benson said...

capt --- 3 to 1 gets you Gonzo...

David B. Benson said...

Wolfowitz is now the odds-on favorite...

capt said...

"To initiate a war of aggresion. . . is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." - Nuremberg Tribunal

"the US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter." UN Chief Kofi Annan - -September 2004. Source BBC

"When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law." Frederic Bastiat - (1801-1850) French economist, statesman, and author. Source: The Law, by Frederic Bastiat, 1850

"Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.": Frederick Douglass


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

The Baghdad gulag

The Baghdad gulag is a Pentagon-enforced Condofornia imposed over an Arab Slumistan. Let no one be fooled: it's being conducted as a technical experiment, with live Iraqis as guinea pigs, and is bound to be replicated in other areas of the Pentagon-created "arc of instability" from the Andes to the Horn of Africa to Arabia to Central Asia.

Let no one be fooled (again): guerrillas will IED the system from their underground cells, and many a Black Hawk will go down. But as everyone watches the destined-to-failure experiment, really serious matters - such as three new, crucial US mechanized brigades deploying east of Baghdad on the way to be strategically positioned at the Iraqi-Iranian border - will be taking place under the cover of night.

Pass the explosive coffee, please

The Sunni Arab muqawama (resistance) has already celebrated the arrival of the Baghdad gulag - by attacking the heart of the system itself, the Green Zone. The bomb that exploded on Thursday in the cafeteria of the Baghdad Convention Center - which houses the Iraqi Parliament, inside the Green Zone - was yet another crystal-clear message: we can strike you as we please, and where we please.

It has been an open secret in Baghdad for months now that strands of the muqawama boast they can sweep over the Green Zone and decimate the innocuous government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki whenever they choose to.


*****end of clip*****

I wonder if Bush and his band of morons have considered the possibility that we could lose Iraq the old fashioned way. Overrun and routed by an anti-occupation contingent who only want us gone.


Saladin said...

I doubt if the moronic bush cabal have considered anything beyond creating as much chaos as possible and plundering as much loot as they can before they move on. The evidence speaks for itself.

capt said...

"I doubt if the moronic bush cabal have considered anything beyond creating as much chaos as possible and plundering as much loot as they can before they move on. The evidence speaks for itself."



Saladin said...


Bush Renews Call for 'Culture of Life'

Friday April 13, 2007 4:31 PM


Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush, at the national Catholic prayer breakfast, stressed his opposition to easing restrictions on federally funded embryonic stem cell research, a reference to a bill he's threatened to veto.

``In our day there is a temptation to manipulate life in ways that do not respect the humanity of the person,'' Bush said Friday. ``When that happens, the most vulnerable among us can be valued for their utility to others instead of their own inherent worth.''

The Senate on Wednesday voted 63-34 to pass the measure that it hopes will lead to new medical treatments. The vote, however, fell short of a veto-proof margin needed to enact the law over Bush's objections. The House, which passed similar legislation earlier in the year, is expected to adopt the Senate's version in the weeks ahead.

``We must continue to work for a culture of life where the strong protect the weak and where we recognize in every human life the image of our creator,'' Bush said.
How does he say shit like this with a straight face??

capt said...

5 Statements Made by Radio Personalities Who Have Not Been Fired

"Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?" - Rush Limbaugh, host of a radio program syndicated on nearly 600 radio stations nationwide

"Many, many, many of the poor in New Orleans are in that condition. They weren’t going to leave no matter what you did. They were drug-addicted. They weren’t going to get turned off from their source. They were thugs, whatever." - Bill O’Reilly, host of a radio program syndicated on over 400 radio stations nationwide

"A woman not only who was distasteful physically, but is distasteful mentally. […] This hag, this hack, this brisket maker has the audacity to say that we should be having a dialogue with the Hitler of our time — coming from that hag who happens to be Jewish is a triple disgrace." - Michael Savage (on former Secretary of State Madeline Albright), host of a radio program syndicated on 400 radio stations nationwide

"She looks like a ghetto slut. It’s just — it’s hideous. No, it’s not braided. It just flies away from her head in every conceivable direction. It looks like an explosion in a Brillo pad factory. It’s just hideous." - Neil Boortz (on U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney), host of a radio program syndicated on over 300 radio stations nationwide

"I didn’t think I could hate [Hurricane Katrina] victims faster than the 9/11 victims." - Glenn Beck, host of a CNN Headline News television program and a radio program syndicated on over 250 radio stations nationwide

(Note: Don Imus was syndicated on 90 stations nationwide. And the above comments weren’t jokes.)


*****end of clip*****

I think the comment from Imus were over-the-line and people should be pissed. Everybody should be more pissed at the above idiots and their non-stop racial hate speech.

Add Rush Limbaugh's "Obama the Magic Negro" song and we should take back the airwaves from the Reich-wingnuttia haters spewing racial and hate filled comments.


capt said...

"How does he say shit like this with a straight face??"

With a TON of botox (it is the only way to keep Bunnypants from his signature sneer).


Saladin said...

Capt, more kabuki theater, excellent distraction, right up there with Anna Nicole and her Playboy years. I can't wait to see what they come up with next. Pitiful.

Saladin said...

Please visit this site for the links to protest this outrageous and overt attempt to monopolize all natural health care. This is bullshit.

Alert: FDA Attempting to Regulate Supplements, Herbs and Juices as "Drugs"

Organic Consumers Association

When it comes to health freedom, this is the FDA's end game. A new FDA "guidance" document, published on the FDA's website, reveals plans to reclassify virtually all vitamins, supplements, herbs and even vegetable juices as FDA-regulated drugs. Massage oils and massage rocks will be classified as "medical devices" and require FDA approval. The document is called Docket No. 2006D-0480. Draft Guidance for Industry on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation by the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA is accepting public comments on the docket until April 30th. They tried to sneak this under the radar, but word got out and now the natural health community is up in arms over this rule. If you wish to protect your access to nutritional supplements, herbs, essential oils, homeopathic medicine or any other "complementary" or "alternative" modality, it is crucial that you take action to post your comments with the FDA right now and write your representatives in Washington to put a stop to this outrageous effort to destroy natural medicine. (And be sure to really write them. Just sending an email has virtually no impact compared to writing a physical letter in your own words.)

This move by the FDA is designed to once and for all destroy the 1994 DSHEA law that has made supplements "legal" while eliminating nutritional supplements and natural medicine from the United States, ensuring monopoly profits and control by drug companies and the FDA. It is the latest action item by the FDA / Big Pharma conspiracy that will not stop until health freedom has been abolished, drug companies rule the nation, and every citizen is diagnosed with a fictitious disease and drugged up on monopoly-priced pharmaceuticals.

FDA "experts" will decide what's a drug or medical device Under these proposed guidelines, FDA "experts" (the same corrupt officials who reapproved Vioxx after it killed over 50,000 Americans) will decide whether herbs, supplements, vitamins or simple devices like massage stones are to be regulated as drugs and medical devices. If the FDA experts, in their infinite wisdom, decide that these things are to be reclassified, they will essentially be outlawed, stripped from the shelves, and regulated out of existence. Anyone who dares to manufacture, promote or sell such products may be branded a criminal and rounded up by armed FDA agents who have a well established history of suppressing natural medicine.

Saladin said...

My comment on the docket:

I have just learned of this overt attempt by the FDA to monopolize natural health care in the U.S. I, for one, am outraged that the FDA thinks they have the right to regulate and restrict my access to health care alternatives that have proven extremely beneficial to my personal, as well as my families, well being. My right to make decisions regarding my own health are not within the the governments authority to control, and any attempt to do so will be met with extreme resistance. The people will not sit still for this.

It has become apparent that the Big Pharma Cabal is bent on keeping everyone in this country ill and poisoned with worthless and dangerous drugs. This move to eliminate even vegetable juice from the market proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that the good health of the citizens of the United States is certainly not the goal of the FDA, but rather the polar opposite, to keep us sick and drugged while drug companies make ever greater profits on the suffering of hundreds of millions of people.

I intend to spread this news far and wide. You have gone too far.


Kathy Saladin-Smith

capt said...


Seems the government will let me kill myself with tobacco, alcohol and poison deep fried snicker bars by saving me from saw palmetto and apple juice.

I feel so much gratitude for dear leader words cannot begin to express.


Saladin said...

Capt, my point exactly. Kill yourself, and if you are not promptly successful, then keep yourself poisoned to the point of disability. I have had enough. If population control is the goal, they will be on track to certain reductions by the millions with this law. Fuckers.

capt said...

Saturday is Bob Geiger Cartoons collection day!


capt said...

Obama returns lobbyists' contributions


As the campaign prepared to file its first quarter finance report to the Federal Election Commission, it noted that it has given back $50,566 from 49 donors whom the campaign identified as lobbyists.

Overall, Obama raised $23.5 million for the primary and $25 million overall in the first three months of the year.

"Giving back these donations is part of our best efforts to ensure we stay true to our commitment to not take money from federal lobbyists," campaign spokesman Bill Burton said.

The announcement was designed to get ahead of the FEC report, which must be filed by midnight Sunday. Many of the lobbyists' names will remain listed in the report because their checks were deposited before they were identified.

While shunning lobbyists money, the Obama campaign still has relied on political and policy advice from Washington lobbyists and does accept donations from lobbyists spouses.


*****end of clip*****

" and does accept donations from lobbyists spouses"

Because - taking donations from lobbyists spouses is not as corrupt?


Saladin said...

The Morning Head Lies


micki said...

The labeling on tobacco and alcohol makes no claims of being a treatment for disease or being beneficial to one's health.

Saladin said...

Micki, missing the point, as usual.

David B. Benson said...

Actually, numerous studies have shown that alcohol, in moderation, is good for your health.

1/2 glass of red wine per day for women, amybe a whole glass for men...

micki said...

No, Miss Saladin, I didn't miss the point. I made a different point. Too bad you only see one point -- yours.

Dr. B -- that's true, but it's not claimed on the wine bottle labels. Yet.

capt said...

Quantum Secrets Of Photosynthesis Revealed

Through photosynthesis, green plants and cyanobacteria are able to transfer sunlight energy to molecular reaction centers for conversion into chemical energy with nearly 100-percent efficiency. Speed is the key – the transfer of the solar energy takes place almost instantaneously so little energy is wasted as heat. How photosynthesis achieves this near instantaneous energy transfer is a long-standing mystery that may have finally been solved.

A study led by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) at Berkeley reports that the answer lies in quantum mechanical effects. Results of the study are presented in the April 12, 2007 issue of the journal Nature.

"We have obtained the first direct evidence that remarkably long-lived wavelike electronic quantum coherence plays an important part in energy transfer processes during photosynthesis," said Graham Fleming, the principal investigator for the study. "This wavelike characteristic can explain the extreme efficiency of the energy transfer because it enables the system to simultaneously sample all the potential energy pathways and choose the most efficient one."

Fleming is the Deputy Director of Berkeley Lab, a professor of chemistry at UC Berkeley, and an internationally acclaimed leader in spectroscopic studies of the photosynthetic process. In a paper entitled, Evidence for wavelike energy transfer through quantum coherence in photosynthetic systems, he and his collaborators report the detection of "quantum beating" signals, coherent electronic oscillations in both donor and acceptor molecules, generated by light-induced energy excitations, like the ripples formed when stones are tossed into a pond.

Electronic spectroscopy measurements made on a femtosecond (millionths of a billionth of a second) time-scale showed these oscillations meeting and interfering constructively, forming wavelike motions of energy (superposition states) that can explore all potential energy pathways simultaneously and reversibly, meaning they can retreat from wrong pathways with no penalty. This finding contradicts the classical description of the photosynthetic energy transfer process as one in which excitation energy hops from light-capturing pigment molecules to reaction center molecules step-by-step down the molecular energy ladder.


*****end of clip*****

Solar power at its finest.


capt said...

Extreme fair food

Think you've seen everything that can be fried, battered and put on a stick at the Florida State Fair? You haven't.

Think you've seen everything that can be fried, battered and put on a stick at the Florida State Fair? You haven't.
TAMPA -- If you know what's good for you, you'll stay away from Carousel Concessions at the Florida State Fair.

If you know what's good to eat, you'll head straight for the red-and-white striped tent as soon as you push through the turnstiles. (Carousel is just past the Charles M. Davis Special Events Center on the way to the animal exhibits.)

Olivia Orme and her merry band of fair cooks have brought something so decadent to the midway that it makes the footlong corn dog seem like diet food:

Battered and deep-fried candy bars.

Rub your eyes if you must and read it again. Battered and deep-fried candy bars. Milky Way and Snickers, to be exact. How over the top is that?

The candy bars are skewered on sturdy sticks -- it is the fair after all -- and then dipped in a sweet batter, something like funnel cake goo. Into hot vegetable oil they go, and round and round they twirl until golden brown. A dusting of powdered sugar, a few minutes of cooling and they are ready to eat.

Orme says her brother-in-law tells everyone that the deep-fried Milky Way tastes like melted chocolate chips and the Snickers like a brownie with nuts. Doggone if he's not right. The Milky Way's caramel and malt-flavored nougat center melts into the milk-chocolate coating so that when you bite into the fried concoction the center is a unified blend of the tastes. Likewise, the peanuts, peanut butter nougat and caramel of the Snickers bar. When the ingredients meld together, the eater is hard-pressed to identify it as a Snickers bar. It tastes that different. Boy, oh boy, are they good.

"If you like gooey deserts, these are for you," Orme says. The deep-fried candy bars are the newest taste treats at this year's State Fair, which continues through Monday at the fairgrounds in Tampa. Orme saw the candy bars at the Minnesota State Fair last year and figured they were worth a try in Florida. Sales weren't stellar on Thursday's opening day when rain pelted brave fairgoers through most of the day. By Friday, though, with a beautiful blue sky blanketing Tampa Bay, hopes and sales were picking up.


*****end of clip*****

Nobody cares about deep fried Snickers? OW.


capt said...

Kurt Vonnegut Interview

On February 23, I walked up the steps to Kurt Vonnegut’s Midtown Manhattan brownstone and rang the bell. There was a smile and a mass of gray, curly hair to greet me. Then I heard, "Bite him!" At Vonnegut’s feet was a meek-looking small white dog. The master’s command went unheeded. The dog just looked up at me and seemed terribly bored. Vonnegut lamented that he could not get his dog to obey.

Everything you may have heard about this master storyteller, now eighty, is true. He is irreverent and insouciant. And he is very funny. When I confessed to him that I had not read all his books, he told me, "You can leave now."

He was chain-smoking Pall Malls throughout the afternoon we spent together in his living room. When I pointed the obvious out to him, he said, "I’m trying to die. But it’s not working." And then he laughed.

He’s recently been writing a column for In These Times, where he fields questions from readers. His disdain for Bush is palpable. "America was certainly hated all around the world long before the Mickey Mouse coup d’état," he wrote recently. "And we weren’t hated, as Bush would have it, because of our liberty and justice for all. We are hated because our corporations have been the principal deliverers and imposers of new technologies and economic schemes which have wrecked cultures."

Vonnegut was captured during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. He was taken away to a POW camp in Dresden. His experiences there led to his celebrated novel Slaughterhouse-Five. It ranks among the great works of anti-war literature. Among his many other books are Cat’s Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, Jailbird, and Bluebeard, as well as what he calls an autobiographical collage, Fates Worse Than Death.

The same day I saw Vonnegut, he enthralled an SRO crowd honoring Howard Zinn at the 92nd Street Y. The event celebrated the one-millionth copy sold of A People’s History of the United States. Vonnegut read from the Zinn classic, as did Alice Walker, James Earl Jones, Danny Glover, Alfre Woodard, and Marisa Tomei, among others.

Question: What’s your take on George Bush?

Kurt Vonnegut: We have a President who knows absolutely no history, and he is surrounded by men who pay no attention to history. They imagine that they are great politicians inventing something new. In fact, it’s really quite old stuff: tyranny. But they imagine they’re being creative.


*****end of clip*****

A "do not miss" interview.

"All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I've said before, bugs in amber."
~ Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse V


capt said...

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.
Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the Universe.
Kurt Vonnegut, Novel 'Hocus Pocus' 1990

A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.
Kurt Vonnegut, Sirens of Titan

Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five

Saladin said...

Micki, you have an amazing talent for turning the most simple and straight forward commentary into a convoluted clusterfuck. The article was a public service, who cares whether alcohol and tobacco are claiming health benefits, that is not a different view, it is not even related. If you aren't concerned about the subject, just say so, or, don't say anything. God forbid you agree with anything I might post. We can't have that.

capt said...

Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before... He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.

~ Kurt Vonnegut, "Cat's Cradle"

capt said...

Waxman wants answers on White House contract with MZM

The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is pushing the Bush administration for records of its dealings with a company and two people linked to former U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, said Wednesday that his office has yet to receive the information he had asked for in a March 26 request to White House officials.

Waxman wants documents and information regarding contracts between the White House and Washington defense contractor MZM Inc. and any of its subsidiaries or subcontractors. The March letter also asked for any documents showing communication between the White House and Poway defense contractor Brent Wilkes or MZM founder Mitchell Wade. Waxman had asked that the documents be produced no later than April 6.

"The White House response is clearly not adequate at this point," Waxman said in a written response to questions from the North County Times.


*****end of clip*****

I wonder if Waxman had read Mr. David Corn's post about MZM?


capt said...

They can't send 'guru of ganja' to jail, but feds will retry case

Federal prosecutors brushed off a judge's suggestion that they not retry a prominent marijuana advocate on cultivation charges and said Friday they would press ahead, even though he cannot be sent to prison if he is convicted.

Assistant U.S. Attorney George Bevan made the announcement at a hearing in San Francisco before U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, who presided over the first trial of 62-year-old Ed Rosenthal of Oakland. When Bevan said last month that the government intended to retry the self-described "guru of ganja," Breyer urged him to reconsider, suggesting that federal resources might be used more productively in prosecutions that result in imprisonment.

Bevan said Friday that prosecutors had reached their decision after a "thorough and careful review'' and that the final word had come from Scott Schools, the interim U.S. attorney in San Francisco. When Breyer asked if Justice Department officials in Washington had been consulted, Bevan said he didn't know.

The retrial, scheduled to begin May 14, will be limited to the cultivation charges of which Rosenthal was convicted in 2003, verdicts that were overturned on appeal last year. Prosecutors have said they would not seek additional imprisonment for Rosenthal, beyond the one day in jail he has already served, if he were convicted again.


*****end of clip*****

Speaking of herbal control?


micki said...

Saladin, if you would learn to read for content, you'd figure out that my comment about the labeling (or lack thereof) was a tongue-in-cheek response to what Captain had posted about the govt saving (or not saving) him (and others) from the perils of tobacco, alcohol, and fried candy bars.

I think you may be validating Alan's POINT, a la Debbie Downer.

Enuf. There are bigger, more important, things going on.

capt said...

Friday News Dump: DOJ Weighed USAs Political Activism

Alberto Gonzales is toast. No wonder Monica Goodling decided to cut and run.

Via Yahoo:

The Justice Department weighed political activism and membership in a conservative law group in evaluating the nation's federal prosecutors, documents released in the probe of fired U.S. attorneys show.

The political credentials were listed on a chart of 124 U.S. attorneys nominated since 2001, a document that could bolster Democrats' claims that the traditionally independent Justice Department has become more partisan during the Bush administration.

"This is the chart that the AG requested,"
Monica Goodling, Justice's former liaison to the White House, wrote in a Feb. 12 e-mail to two other senior department officials. "I'll show it to him on the plane tomorrow, if he's interested."

Under Iglesias' name, Goodling wrote: "Domenici says he doesn't move cases"
- a reference to Sen. Pete Domenici, the six-term Republican from New Mexico accused of pressuring the prosecutor on a political corruption investigation. That allegation has been one of the factors driving Democrats' claims that the firings were politically motivated. Read more...

SilentPatriot: A lot of purge-related news came out today, with most of it flying under the Imus radar. Another massive document dump answered some outstanding questions and directly implicated Karl Rove and Kyle Sampson. NPR is reporting that the idea to fire all 93 USAs originated with Karl Rove as way to provide cover for the contorversial and unprecedented firing of the infamous 8; it turns out that Kyle Sampson lied under oath when he said he didn't have replacements in mind; the White House recommended altering part of Moschella's opening statement in an apparent attempt to distort the DoJ's role in influencing corruption cases; and new documents show that the DoJ coordinated with the White House to "muddy the [media] coverage" of the firings. Lots to take in, I know, but it's important to put this all into context, especially with Gonzo's do or die testimony next week.


Saladin said...

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

By Lee Iacocca with Catherine Whitney

Had Enough?

Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course."

Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.

My friends tell me to calm down. They say, "Lee, you're eighty-two years old. Leave the rage to the young people." I'd love to—as soon as I can pry them away from their iPods for five seconds and get them to pay attention. I'm going to speak up because it's my patriotic duty. I think people will listen to me. They say I have a reputation as a straight shooter. So I'll tell you how I see it, and it's not pretty, but at least it's real. I'm hoping to strike a nerve in those young folks who say they don't vote because they don't trust politicians to represent their interests. Hey, America, wake up. These guys work for us.

Who Are These Guys, Anyway?

Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this crowd in Washington? Well, we voted for them—or at least some of us did. But I'll tell you what we didn't do. We didn't agree to suspend the Constitution. We didn't agree to stop asking questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech treason. Where I come from that's a dictatorship, not a democracy.

And don't tell me it's all the fault of right-wing Republicans or liberal Democrats. That's an intellectually lazy argument, and it's part of the reason we're in this stew. We're not just a nation of factions. We're a people. We share common principles and ideals. And we rise and fall together.

Where are the voices of leaders who can inspire us to action and make us stand taller? What happened to the strong and resolute party of Lincoln? What happened to the courageous, populist party of FDR and Truman? There was a time in this country when the voices of great leaders lifted us up and made us want to do better. Where have all the leaders gone?

The Test of a Leader

I've never been Commander in Chief, but I've been a CEO. I understand a few things about leadership at the top. I've figured out nine points—not ten (I don't want people accusing me of thinking I'm Moses). I call them the "Nine Cs of Leadership." They're not fancy or complicated. Just clear, obvious qualities that every true leader should have. We should look at how the current administration stacks up. Like it or not, this crew is going to be around until January 2009. Maybe we can learn something before we go to the polls in 2008. Then let's be sure we use the leadership test to screen the candidates who say they want to run the country. It's up to us to choose wisely.

So, here's my C list:

A leader has to show CURIOSITY. He has to listen to people outside of the "Yes, sir" crowd in his inner circle. He has to read voraciously, because the world is a big, complicated place. George W. Bush brags about never reading a newspaper. "I just scan the headlines," he says. Am I hearing this right? He's the President of the United States and he never reads a newspaper? Thomas Jefferson once said, "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter." Bush disagrees. As long as he gets his daily hour in the gym, with Fox News piped through the sound system, he's ready to go.

If a leader never steps outside his comfort zone to hear different ideas, he grows stale. If he doesn't put his beliefs to the test, how does he know he's right? The inability to listen is a form of arrogance. It means either you think you already know it all, or you just don't care. Before the 2006 election, George Bush made a big point of saying he didn't listen to the polls. Yeah, that's what they all say when the polls stink. But maybe he should have listened, because 70 percent of the people were saying he was on the wrong track. It took a "thumping" on election day to wake him up, but even then you got the feeling he wasn't listening so much as he was calculating how to do a better job of convincing everyone he was right.

A leader has to be CREATIVE, go out on a limb, be willing to try something different. You know, think outside the box. George Bush prides himself on never changing, even as the world around him is spinning out of control. God forbid someone should accuse him of flip-flopping. There's a disturbingly messianic fervor to his certainty. Senator Joe Biden recalled a conversation he had with Bush a few months after our troops marched into Baghdad. Joe was in the Oval Office outlining his concerns to the President—the explosive mix of Shiite and Sunni, the disbanded Iraqi army, the problems securing the oil fields. "The President was serene," Joe recalled. "He told me he was sure that we were on the right course and that all would be well. 'Mr. President,' I finally said, 'how can you be so sure when you don't yet know all the facts?'" Bush then reached over and put a steadying hand on Joe's shoulder. "My instincts," he said. "My instincts." Joe was flabbergasted. He told Bush, "Mr. President, your instincts aren't good enough." Joe Biden sure didn't think the matter was settled. And, as we all know now, it wasn't.

Leadership is all about managing change—whether you're leading a company or leading a country. Things change, and you get creative. You adapt. Maybe Bush was absent the day they covered that at Harvard Business School.

A leader has to COMMUNICATE. I'm not talking about running off at the mouth or spouting sound bites. I'm talking about facing reality and telling the truth. Nobody in the current administration seems to know how to talk straight anymore. Instead, they spend most of their time trying to convince us that things are not really as bad as they seem. I don't know if it's denial or dishonesty, but it can start to drive you crazy after a while. Communication has to start with telling the truth, even when it's painful. The war in Iraq has been, among other things, a grand failure of communication. Bush is like the boy who didn't cry wolf when the wolf was at the door. After years of being told that all is well, even as the casualties and chaos mount, we've stopped listening to him.

A leader has to be a person of CHARACTER. That means knowing the difference between right and wrong and having the guts to do the right thing. Abraham Lincoln once said, "If you want to test a man's character, give him power." George Bush has a lot of power. What does it say about his character? Bush has shown a willingness to take bold action on the world stage because he has the power, but he shows little regard for the grievous consequences. He has sent our troops (not to mention hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens) to their deaths—for what? To build our oil reserves? To avenge his daddy because Saddam Hussein once tried to have him killed? To show his daddy he's tougher? The motivations behind the war in Iraq are questionable, and the execution of the war has been a disaster. A man of character does not ask a single soldier to die for a failed policy.

A leader must have COURAGE. I'm talking about balls. (That even goes for female leaders.) Swagger isn't courage. Tough talk isn't courage. George Bush comes from a blue-blooded Connecticut family, but he likes to talk like a cowboy. You know, My gun is bigger than your gun. Courage in the twenty-first century doesn't mean posturing and bravado. Courage is a commitment to sit down at the negotiating table and talk.

If you're a politician, courage means taking a position even when you know it will cost you votes. Bush can't even make a public appearance unless the audience has been handpicked and sanitized. He did a series of so-called town hall meetings last year, in auditoriums packed with his most devoted fans. The questions were all softballs.

To be a leader you've got to have CONVICTION—a fire in your belly. You've got to have passion. You've got to really want to get something done. How do you measure fire in the belly? Bush has set the all-time record for number of vacation days taken by a U.S. President—four hundred and counting. He'd rather clear brush on his ranch than immerse himself in the business of governing. He even told an interviewer that the high point of his presidency so far was catching a seven-and-a-half-pound perch in his hand-stocked lake.

It's no better on Capitol Hill. Congress was in session only ninety-seven days in 2006. That's eleven days less than the record set in 1948, when President Harry Truman coined the term do-nothing Congress. Most people would expect to be fired if they worked so little and had nothing to show for it. But Congress managed to find the time to vote itself a raise. Now, that's not leadership.

A leader should have CHARISMA. I'm not talking about being flashy. Charisma is the quality that makes people want to follow you. It's the ability to inspire. People follow a leader because they trust him. That's my definition of charisma. Maybe George Bush is a great guy to hang out with at a barbecue or a ball game. But put him at a global summit where the future of our planet is at stake, and he doesn't look very presidential. Those frat-boy pranks and the kidding around he enjoys so much don't go over that well with world leaders. Just ask German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who received an unwelcome shoulder massage from our President at a G-8 Summit. When he came up behind her and started squeezing, I thought she was going to go right through the roof.

A leader has to be COMPETENT. That seems obvious, doesn't it? You've got to know what you're doing. More important than that, you've got to surround yourself with people who know what they're doing. Bush brags about being our first MBA President. Does that make him competent? Well, let's see. Thanks to our first MBA President, we've got the largest deficit in history, Social Security is on life support, and we've run up a half-a-trillion-dollar price tag (so far) in Iraq. And that's just for starters. A leader has to be a problem solver, and the biggest problems we face as a nation seem to be on the back burner.

You can't be a leader if you don't have COMMON SENSE. I call this Charlie Beacham's rule. When I was a young guy just starting out in the car business, one of my first jobs was as Ford's zone manager in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. My boss was a guy named Charlie Beacham, who was the East Coast regional manager. Charlie was a big Southerner, with a warm drawl, a huge smile, and a core of steel. Charlie used to tell me, "Remember, Lee, the only thing you've got going for you as a human being is your ability to reason and your common sense. If you don't know a dip of horseshit from a dip of vanilla ice cream, you'll never make it." George Bush doesn't have common sense. He just has a lot of sound bites. You know—Mr.they'll-welcome-us-as-liberators-no-child-left-behind-heck-of-a-job-Brownie-mission-accomplished Bush.

Former President Bill Clinton once said, "I grew up in an alcoholic home. I spent half my childhood trying to get into the reality-based world—and I like it here."

I think our current President should visit the real world once in a while.

The Biggest C is Crisis

Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else's kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.

On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. Where was George Bush? He was reading a story about a pet goat to kids in Florida when he heard about the attacks. He kept sitting there for twenty minutes with a baffled look on his face. It's all on tape. You can see it for yourself. Then, instead of taking the quickest route back to Washington and immediately going on the air to reassure the panicked people of this country, he decided it wasn't safe to return to the White House. He basically went into hiding for the day—and he told Vice President Dick Cheney to stay put in his bunker. We were all frozen in front of our TVs, scared out of our wits, waiting for our leaders to tell us that we were going to be okay, and there was nobody home. It took Bush a couple of days to get his bearings and devise the right photo op at Ground Zero.

That was George Bush's moment of truth, and he was paralyzed. And what did he do when he'd regained his composure? He led us down the road to Iraq—a road his own father had considered disastrous when he was President. But Bush didn't listen to Daddy. He listened to a higher father. He prides himself on being faith based, not reality based. If that doesn't scare the crap out of you, I don't know what will.

A Hell of a Mess

So here's where we stand. We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way. These are times that cry out for leadership.

But when you look around, you've got to ask: "Where have all the leaders gone?" Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, competence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane, or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm. Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't happen again. Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you're going to do the next time.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when "the Big Three" referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen—and more important, what are we going to do about it?

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bobblehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change?

Had Enough?

Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope. I believe in America. In my lifetime I've had the privilege of living through some of America's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises—the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, the 1970s oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11. If I've learned one thing, it's this: You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a call to action for people who, like me, believe in America. It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's shake off the horseshit and go to work. Let's tell 'em all we've had enough.
My gosh, a voice of reason! Hallelujah!

Saladin said...

"Saladin, if you would learn to read for content"

The pot calling the kettle black? Alan is a non event, I couldn't care less what that insulting, name calling, MSM parrot says. Everything is just as it seems, so go back to your comfortable reality, the real one sucks, as you will find out. The people LOVE to learn the hard way, except, they never really seem to learn. Make sure to vote for the dems down the line, they are the planetary saviors dontcha know! And, you will DIE if you don't cough up more taxes, guaranteed! I know, I have the facts, because I have faith.

capt said...

'Sterile neutrinos' laid to rest – for now

Do ghostly, imperceptible particles called "sterile neutrinos" wander the universe? The question has given physicists sleepless nights since evidence for the particles emerged a decade ago.

But now a new experiment has poured cold water on the idea, reassuring many scientists that their ideas are on the right track.

"Our results are the culmination of many years of very careful and thorough analysis – scientists everywhere have been eagerly waiting for our results," says Janet Conrad, a spokeswoman for the experiment at Fermilab, near Chicago in Illinois, US. She announced the result at a Fermilab meeting on Wednesday.

Neutrinos are lightweight particles that whiz around the universe, barely interacting with matter. They stream out from nuclear reactions in the Sun and continually flood straight through the Earth.


*****end of clip*****

Well, I know I will sleep better now that I no longer have to worry about "sterile neutrinos" (for now).


capt said...

Man faces stoning in UAE for sex with stepdaughter

Home » World » Article
Man faces stoning in UAE for sex with stepdaughter
Email Print Normal font Large font April 15, 2007

A Pakistani man faces death by stoning in the United Arab Emirates for committing adultery with four of his stepdaughters, a local daily reported.

In the first case of its kind in the UAE, the Federal Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence issued by an Islamic sharia court in the emirate of Ajman, the English-language Gulf News reported.

Police arrested the man, identified only as Abdul Aziz, in 2005 after his youngest and fifth stepdaughter reported the case when he refused to let her marry a local man, it said.

The man, who had 11 children from illicit relationships with his four stepdaughters, admitted his guilt but said he was the father of only some of the children, Gulf News said.

The four stepdaughters had been sentenced and received 80 lashes each, it added.

Like most Arab states, the UAE implements Islamic sharia laws, but rarely executes convicted criminals.


*****end of clip*****

UAE wants to be a world player for tourism. I can't help but think this kind of thing would give travelers some pause.


capt said...

New HIV drug shows 'unprecedented' results: study

A new category of drugs has shown promising results for HIV/AIDS patients who failed to respond to other treatments, a new study shows.

Especially when combined with other medications, raltegravir - the first in a new class of anti-retroviral drugs called integrase inhibitors - dramatically reduced the presence of the HIV virus and boosted immunity in clinical-trial patients, according to the study in the British journal, The Lancet.

Integrase inhibitors act by targeting and disrupting an enzyme that facilitates the insertion of the HIV virus into the host's cellular genome.

In clinical tests on 178 patients with advanced HIV infections that had proved resistant to standard treatments, raltegravir "showed unprecedented levels of virological efficiency", virologists Pedro Cahn and Omar Sued wrote in a commentary in the same journal.

The treatment "achieved virological suppression even in patients with limited options", they wrote, predicting that the new drug would "have a major role in salvage therapy", the term used to describe last-ditch efforts to save those with highly-compromised immune systems.

"Clearly, we are in a new era of anti-retroviral therapy," they said.

There are three types of enzyme needed for HIV to replicate, namely reverse-transcriptase, protease and integrase. Up to now, no drug has successfully inhibited integrase enzymes.

A team of US researchers at Merck Research Laboratories in Westpoint, Pennsylvania, led by Beatriz Grinsztejn, divided the 178 patients into four groups during clinical trials.

Each of three groups were given different doses of raltegravir, ranging from 200 to 600 mg, and the fourth group received a placebo. All four also took a basic "background treatment".

After 24 weeks, the amount of HIV genetic material in the blood dropped below a measurable threshold (50 copies per ml) in 65 per cent of the patients taking raltegravir, nearly five times as many as the placebo group. Immune system responses were also dramatically improved.

"If no long-term unexpected side-effects or resistance issues emerge, raltegravir will have a major role in salvage therapy, particularly in combination with another new drug," Cahn and Sued concluded.


*****end of clip*****

To those wasting away or facing the grim possibilities new hope might be like new morning sun breaking the horizon.


capt said...

From an email:


- This Week: "Gangs of Iraq" (60 minutes),
Tuesday, April 10 at 9pm on PBS (check local listings)
Inside FRONTLINE: Old fashion journalism
- Live Discussion: Chat with producer Marcela Gaviria Wed., April 18, at 11 am ET

The Bush Administration's exit strategy in Iraq has long counted on "standing up" Iraqi security forces. To do so, much emphasis has been placed on the training of Iraqis, an effort that has cost $15 billion to date. Yet despite the recruitment of more than 300,000 Iraqi police and soldiers, the violence in Iraq remains horrific.

In "Gangs of Iraq" this Tuesday, veteran producer Marcela Gaviria and correpondent Martin Smith travel to Iraq to take a hard look at how the training effort is faring. This FRONTLINE is a joint production with "America at a Crossroads," a special series of programs on terrorism being broadcast by PBS over one week beginning this Sunday.

Smith and Gaviria, who are no strangers to Iraq, provide an amazingly insightful report that can only be described as good old fashion journalism. Smith asks tough questions, and he and Gaviria observe and capture the gap between the reality on the ground and the hopes expressed by politicians in Washington and Baghdad. The team uncovers the inherent complication Americans face in training Iraqi forces - no one seems to know who can be trusted. So you will see cell phones taken away from our Iraqi allies because the U.S. military can't be sure they won't be used to warn the insurgents of a pending raid.

In another example, the film team's cameras caught an Iraqi unit having a discussion in Arabic after the discovery of a weapons cache. We didn't know what they were saying until we translated the scene after the team returned to the U.S. It was then we discovered that the Iraqis were talking about the location of a much larger cache of weapons that was "with the sheikh" -- information they didn't share at the time with the Americans who were with them.

I hope you will be able to join us Tuesday night for "Gangs of Iraq," but if you miss the broadcast, it will be online for viewing the next day on our Web site. There you will also find the extended interviews, background pieces by correspondent Smith and producer Gaviria and a chance to join in the discussion.

Louis Wiley, Jr.
Executive Editor

capt said...

Dark of Heartness
A Journey into the (Reputed) Soul of Conservatism


It’s hard to put your finger on, exactly, but there’s a base meanness of spirit and a destructive indifference attached to the likes of Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Antonin Scalia or Karl Rove for which it is hard to find equivalents among the Gerry Fords or Nelson Rockefellers or Harry Blackmuns or even Barry Goldwaters of old (though high marks go to the likes of Spiro Agnew and Joseph McCarthy for representing their generations well in the Most Debauched Neanderthal competition). Something profound changed in the forty years preceding 2007.

Things are different now. Not only is the moderate wing of the GOP no longer dominant within the party, today it represents a nearly vanished species, and may be fully extinct after 2008. And no longer is there a lack of public support for the worst tendencies of the sickest Republican minds (though things have improved marginally in that regard in the last year or so). Nor are there any longer substantial limits on what the party is capable of doing. Nowadays the inmates are in charge of the asylum, and a very scary segment of the public has been applauding their reprobate policies and their noxious tactics. These are not good signs. This is not the mark of a healthy republic.

How did we get here?


*****end of clip*****

The "Regressive Antidote" (David Michael Green) is always good. He also has an excellent quote of the week.

(h/t Pat)


Gerald said...

No war is just

Gerald said...

Pope Benedict vs. The War Party

Gerald said...

Wrong article!

Pope Benedict vs The War Party

Gerald said...

To paraphrase Cindy Sheehan, " If George Bush is pro-life, why is my son, Casey, dead? Good question!!!

To paraphrase Gerald, "Anyone who supported and voted for George The War Pimp Bush in 2004 is a murderer and a war criminal."

Gerald said...

The second highlight is correct. "Pope Benedict vs The War Party"

capt said...

S Korea to withdraw troops from Iraq

South Korea, one of the largest US-led coalition partners in Iraq, is preparing a plan to pull its troops out of the country, a Defense Ministry official said.

"We're drawing up a mission termination plan and will submit it to the National Assembly in June," said the official.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, on a visit to Seoul, said in an interview with the Hangyoreh newspaper that he believes South Korea could start withdrawing its troops "in the near future."

South Korea, a key US ally in Asia, began its troop presence in Iraq in 2003 with a 600-strong contingent.

It sent 3,000 more troops the following year at Washington's request, making it the United States' biggest coalition partner after Britain.

However, the troop levels have since gradually declined amid rising public opposition to the mission.

Calls for withdrawing the troops reached their peak when Islamic insurgents beheaded a South Korean civilian working in Iraq in June 2004, after Seoul rejected demands to withdraw its forces.

South Korea now has about 1,300 troops in Iraq.


Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

I will speak not so much of Wolfowitz in particular as of the neocon[artist]s in general. I read the "RA" link [h/t El Capitan], and was struck by the phrase "the crossing of the imperial watershed". This meshes with some things I've thought about lately.

The neocons, and their backers, strike me as people who just don't want to admit that the age of European and European-offshoot imperial dominion, direct and/or subtle, of the world's other peoples is OVER, after roughly half a millennium. I would trace the beginning of the end back to May 27-28, 1905: the Battle of Tsushima Strait, in which a Japanese fleet defeated a Russian fleet decisively. This proved, to speak bluntly, that white supremacy was bullshit. Any nonwhite nation willing to learn science could stand among the arrogant palefaces as an equal. The two World Wars fatally weakened the European colonial empires, forcing them to let their subjects go. Our misruling classes tried to step into the breach, using native proxy governments rather than direct control. The best-known result of this was the Vietnam War. The neocons hoped very much that the Gulf War of 1991 meant that the USA, under their control, could subjugate the world to global corporate plutocracy. Alas for them, the current war proves that the Vietnam War is the rule for our era, and the Gulf War was a bizarre exception.

It's over, folks. The brown peoples of the world have made it crystalline that they will NOT accept continuing white dominion of their homelands, whether by direct or proxy means. We're just going to have to remake the economy into something that does not depend on the exploitation of the people and resources of the Global South [once known as the Third World]. This will probably require extensive redistribution of the existing wealth away from the misruling classes who have hogged it for themselves. Of course, they won't give it up easily.

I'm writing this somewhat in a stream-of-consciousness manner, so it may not be all that coherent. :)

BTW, I'm off work this week. Woo-hoo, extra hoo!

From the swamps of Arkansas, IBW

Robert S said...

The Real Obscenity in the Imus Affair
by Robert S.

In the Robert Heinlein short story Life-Line Dr. Hugh Pinero invents a machine that can accurately predict the date that a person will die. The story starts with a description of reporters covering the announcement; all male, of course, but also, all firmly working class and truly appreciative of the free food and drink offered by the good doctor.

Compare that to today in which those that are willing to toe the corporate line are rewarded with salaries far in excess of the mean or median of population and those who deign to question are relegated to obscurity.

Thus, a Don Imus has a voice, or at least had, worth $10,000,000.00 per annum. We are asked whether he should have been fired for his transgressions. Are any among us truly worth that much more than our neighbors?

Consider the case of Gary Webb, driven to suicide after trying to tell the truth about Iran-Contra, the CIA and cocaine.

Consider the case of Greg Palast, now working for the BBC, whose website contains:

The House Judiciary Committee just released two emails, dated February 5 and 7, from inside Karl Rove’s office, in which the Rove-bots gloat that no US media have picked up the investigations of “that British reporter Greg Palast” found in my book Armed Madhouse. I couldn’t make this up.

Danny Schecter once worked at ABC; he describes MEGO, my eyes glaze over, the attitude of the MSM in dealing with financial news in a serious manner. Here is an excerpt of his interview on
Democracy Now!

DANNY SCHECHTER: What I tried to do in the film is link the stories of the victims, of the people who are suffering, of whom there are now millions in America. This is a new Katrina -- let's think of it that way -- a disaster affecting low-income people, but also increasingly middle-income people as the income divide in America grows. The housing crunch is now spilling over into other parts of our lives. $25,000 on average is what students leave college with with loans and debts. People are paying, in the last year, some $65 billion just in late fees and interest payments on credit cards. This is a kind of a vacuum cleaner into your pocket and taking your money and swinging it over into Wall Street so that Goldman Sachs can give out, you know, $16 billion Christmas gifts to its employees. It's blatant, it's obscene, and it's dramatic, and it's institutional. And this is what we have to realize.

We talk about financialization, which is like the loan and credit complex, very much like the military-industrial complex, that has emerged in this country, structured around big banks and credit card companies who are making large profits in the market and from us as consumers without very much scrutiny, in part because they spend $5 billion a year marketing. You watch the Super Bowl, you see all the great spots for Visa and MasterCard. They're pervasive in the media, and the media is not doing a very good job of offering analysis.

I mean, the sort of stories Juan has been doing in the Daily News, really going into the neighborhoods, very few and far between in what we see in our media about this problem. That's because America has shifted from a country that made things to a country that buys things. The factory used to be our icon of economic progress. Today, it’s the mall. And as a result, people are encouraged to shop ’til they drop: “We’ll lend you the money upfront.” And, of course, the piper has to be paid at the end of the day.
-end of excerpt-

The film is In Debt We Trust

I could offer more examples, they are numerous, but the point is made adequately.

When I was a kid, we had NBA and NFL players living in the neighborhood in Queens, NY. Emerson Boozer (NY Jets) lived in the same housing development as I did, Lefrak City. NY Knicks center Willis Reed lived in my friends building in Park City, the development right across the Long Island Expressway, Earl Monroe and Walt Frazier lived in the same development. They played ball sometimes in the playground at P.S. 206. They were stars, but they were also neighbors, not locked away in gated enclaves and inaccessible.

Don Imus's comments were inexcusable. He deserves to be fired. But the true obscenity is that any commentator, any CEO, anyone anywhere can make $10,000,000.00 per annum, while others are grasping for crumbs.

Robert S said...

Save Bernie's Farm

The Raid

On August 28, 2002, Bernie Ellis’s farm was raided by the Tennessee Marijuana Eradication Task Force, a force that included both state and federal law enforcement officers. During the ten hours the Task Force was on Bernie’s farm, two helicopters and ten ground troops combed his land, searched his home and out-buildings and confiscated farm supplies, files from his work as a public health consultant and his computer. The Task Force found a small amount of cannabis in Bernie’s home, 20-25 plants that were four to six feet tall and a number of small “clones” (under 12 inches tall) – all ready to harvest. To their surprise, they also found a proposal solicited by the New Mexico Governor’s Office for Bernie to help that state establish and operate a state-operated medical cannabis production facility.

From the outset, Bernie cooperated with the Task Force officers and answered their questions about why he was growing cannabis. At the time of the raid, Bernie was using cannabis himself for pain associated with degenerative joint disease and pain and sleep disturbance associated with fibromyalgia. He was also providing free cannabis to four very sick people – three of whom were dead within months of the raid. Bernie admitted that he had been providing free cannabis to sick and dying people for many years, beginning when he helped establish the Tennessee AIDS Program for the Tennessee Department of Health in the late 1980s.

At the conclusion of the raid, the Task Force leaders chose not to arrest Bernie. They assured him that he would be able to retrieve his computer within a matter of days so that his work as a public health epidemiologist would not be disrupted. He was also told that the Task Force had found enough plants to place him within the existing guidelines for federal prosecution. Neither of those statements turned out to be true.
The Charges

For the three months following the raid, Bernie was not charged with any crime. However, in November, 2002, Bernie was informed by his first attorney (a local lawyer recommended by one of the cancer patients that Bernie was helping) that the federal government had asked for the case because of the large reported plant count, which by that time both the government and Bernie’s first attorney knew to be inflated -- but information they did not share with Bernie. He was informed that the federal government intended to charge him with manufacturing 100 or more cannabis plants – a charge that brought with it a mandatory minimum five year sentence. He was also informed that the federal government planned to file a separate “civil asset forfeiture” case against him in order to confiscate his 187 acre farm, a farm that had been Bernie’s home for almost four decades.

capt said...

Over a billion people live on less than 1 dollar (USD) a day.

More Vietnam Veterans are homeless now than were killed during the Vietnam war.

Robert S said...

As much has been made of Don Imus's philanthropy, it is useful to recall:

True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
-- The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Don Imus represents that edifice.

Gerald said...

If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you give him a livelihood.

Gerald said...

Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't.
– Mark Twain

Gerald said...

Prolonging the War

Gerald said...

Bush/Cheney regime is rotten to the core!!!!!

Gerald said...

In the end, however, the “war czar” idea is not the real “war madness.” That madness is the idée fixe held by Bush and the generals that military force will ‘win” in Afghanis and in Iraq.

George Bernard Shaw once asked, “What can you do against a lunatic who…gives your arguments a fair hearing…and then simply persists in his lunacy?” Shaw provides an answer to his own question in the play Man of Destiny. Napoleon Bonaparte asks the owner of an inn what to do about a recalcitrant officer. “Everything he says is wrong,” Napoleon complains. The inn owner has a quick answer: “Make him a general, Excellency; and then everything he says will be right.”

In its search for a war czar, that is the course the White House has chosen. And in focusing once again on retired military generals, competent as they may have been in their profession, for a distinctively non-military effort, the administration is really feeding its original obsession: “stay the course.”

capt said...

Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind: George Orwell

The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them: George Orwell

We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men: George Orwell

They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening : George Orwell


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

Robert S said...

Gonzales suggests firings 'all Harriet Mier's fault': Analyst
David Edwards
Published: Sunday April 15, 2007

During a panel discussion on the US attorney purge scandal, CNN legal analyst Jeffery Toobin says that the bottom line from Gonzales is that the blame for the US attorney firings lies with Harriet Miers.

"He said, basically, when President Bush started his second term, Harriet Miers called and said maybe we should replace all 93 US attorneys. Gonzales said no, but maybe we should review whether all of them should continue serving," says Toobin. "At that point he says he got periodic updates but essentially knew nothing about who was going to be fired or why they were going to be fired, and that's his explanation."

John Roberts, the co-anchor of "American Morning," chimes in to say he thinks Gonzales will have a "really hard time on Tuesday" when he testifies to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and that he will not get any breaks from the senators.


BLITZER: You have had a chance to read all of those pages that the justice department released this morning. What's the bottom line on his defense?

TOOBIN: The bottom line is it's all Harriet Miers' fault. It's really an amazing document, this uh, uh, this opening statement.

BLITZER: Harriet Miers, to our viewers who might not be familiar, was the White House counsel.

TOOBIN: He said, basically, when President Bush started his second term, Harriet Miers called and said maybe we should replace all 93 US attorneys. Gonzales said no, but maybe we should review whether all of them should continue serving. She then -- and he delegated the issue to his chief of staff, Kyle Sampson. At that point he says he got periodic updates but essentially knew nothing about who was going to be fired or why they were going to be fired, and that's his explanation. I think it's perplexing the Attorney General would seemingly have nothing to do with firing 10% of the US attorneys in the country, but certainly this will add to the Democrats' wanting to ask questions of the White House because they appear to be the people who were running the show.

BLITZER: It sounds like a no-win sort of defense, John, because on the one hand if he was involved, that might not necessarily be good but basically he's saying I really wasn't involved so what does that say about his management style when they fire eight US attorneys?

ROBERTS: That's the point a lot of people made, is what kind of CEO are you if you don't know what's going on in the department? He's not going to get a break from any of the senators who listened to him, either. I listened to Arlen Specter on the Stephanopolous show a little earlier and he said, you know I looked at that editorial he wrote in The Washington Post today and there were no facts in it. I'm dealing with facts here. Arlen Specter will not cut him a break and Chuck Schumer is not going to cut him any kind of a break. He was saying this morning in a pre-release to a press conference he was supposed to have today, "I do not recall" is not going to be an acceptable answer. And take a look at this testimony, on page four when he's talking about a couple of potential suggestions for replacements that Kyle Sampson brought to his attention. He says four times, "I do not recall, nor do I recall, I do not recall, i do not recall." He's going to have a really hard time on Tuesday. He's going to get flensed and Chuck Schumer is probably correct when he says it's a make-or-break day.

One entry found for flense.
Main Entry: flense
Pronunciation: 'flen(t)s
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): flensed; flens·ing
Etymology: Dutch flensen or Danish & Norwegian flense
: to strip (as a whale) of blubber or skin

Gerald said...

Generals are men who learned early on to kill human beings and they were promoted because they could say "Yes, sir!" when asked to kill without blinking an eye.

Nazi America is full of SHIT!!!

The shit first piles up high with generals, supreme court justices, congress, and the pimps in the WH.

A pimp is someone who asks our brave young men and women to die in wrong and in immoral wars.

Gerald said...

If Don had to go, what about...

capt said...


Went to the link and was going to post:

One entry found for flense.

Main Entry: flense
Pronunciation: 'flen(t)s
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): flensed; flens·ing
Etymology: Dutch flensen or Danish & Norwegian flense
: to strip (as a whale) of blubber or skin


I should have known you'd include it. (cool word)



Gerald said...

Nazi Americans are so stupid that they do not know right from wrong!!!

In Detroit teenagers had a pray in at Ford Field, the home of the pitiful Detroit Lions football team. True teenagers are into fairness and idealism. The problem is that most teenagers are selfish and they don't know shit from shinola. These very same teenagers will grow up to not know the difference from right and wrong.

No one can say that they possess religion until they know the definition of LOVE.

LOVE is wanting the very best for another person or persons. That means you know who are your brothers and sisters in God. That means you oppose war, poverty, human trafficking etc. That means who follow the words of Jesus Christ, "LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU!"

Pray ins and Bible readings are meaningless unless you love ALL of God's children.

capt said...

Carbon Dioxide Capture And Storage Could Help Offset Global Warming

CO2 capture and storage can make a major contribution to CO2 reduction in the Netherlands. By the mid-21st century 80 to 110 million tonnes of CO2 per year could be avoided in the sectors energy, industry and transport. This is half of the current CO2 emission. Moreover, this can be realised against acceptable costs concludes Dutch researcher Kay Damen.

To realise such reductions in CO2 emission, a clear and internationally-oriented vision and bridging strategy is necessary, so that the storage capacity that is released over the next few decennia can actually be used for CO2 storage says Damen. He investigated the technical possibilities, costs and risks of CO2 capture, transport and underground storage.

Electricity greatest potential

In 2020 15 million tonnes of CO2 per year could be avoided by capturing CO2 in the new coal-fired power stations yet to be constructed. Moreover, existing pulverised coal-fired power stations may also be equipped with CO2 capture installations, although the costs of this are relatively high. In 2050 the reduction potential is estimated to be 60 to 84 million tonnes of CO2 per year, for a scenario in which the electricity production is doubled.

By capturing CO2 in industrial processes a further 16 million tonnes of CO2 per year can be avoided. Further if cars are run on hydrogen or synthetic diesel produced from fossil fuels combined with CO2 capture then this could eventually lead to a difference of more than 10 million tonnes of CO2 emission per year. For the production of hydrogen in the transport sector, Damen investigated the thermodynamic performance and costs of decentralised membrane reformers. This new technology makes it possible to capture CO2 against relatively low costs.

CO2 transport and storage

Damen calculated the costs of the pipelines necessary to transport the captured CO2 to underground storage reservoirs. Gas fields are, in addition to deep saline aquifers and coal seams, the most suitable reservoirs for CO2 storage in the Netherlands. The capacity that becomes available for CO2 storage can, however, be limited by a series of geological factors, including the risk of CO2 leakage via wells and faults. Although the mechanisms of CO2 leakage are known, quantifying the risks is still a challenge. Additionally CO2 storage could compete with the underground storage of natural gas, especially if the Netherlands develops into an international gas 'roundabout'. If the Netherlands has to maximise its efforts on CO2 capture and storage then eventually one of the 'mega storage reservoirs’ will have to be released, for example, the Groningen gas field or large structures in the British or Norwegian part of the North Sea.

The doctoral research ‘System analyses of transition routes to advanced fossil fuel utilisation with CO2 capture and storage’ was part of the programme ‘Transition to sustainable use of fossil fuels’ that was funded by the NWO/SenterNovem Stimulation Programme Energy Research. The programme aims to develop knowledge in the natural and social sciences for the transition to a sustainable energy supply.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.

Robert S said...


Referring to flensed. I guess it is possible to learn something from the mainstream media. It was a new word for me.

HA! Indeed.

capt said...


Totally new word for me too!


capt said...

Due to an editing error some users received incorrect schedule information for "Gangs of Iraq." It will air Tuesday, April 17th at 9pm on PBS (check local listings.) We apologize for the mistake.


FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of the WGBH Educational Foundation.


We're always happy to hear from our viewers. If you have a question or comment about a FRONTLINE program, about our Web site, or about this bulletin, you can write to us directly by going to:

Gerald said...

Those Ungrateful Iraqis

The shit can really pile up.

Gerald said...

Democrat or Republican, same shit, different name!!!

Robert S said...

Pundit: White House wants it 'difficult for people to vote'
David Edwards
Published: Sunday April 15, 2007

On Sunday's edition of ABC's This Week, pundit Robert Reich suggests the core issue behind the US attorney firings and missing White House emails. Reich says, "I think the question here is that once you start asking, 'Should the emails have been disclosed?' -- 'Which emails to disclose?' -- is that the public loses sight of what the big issue is in the background."

Reich continues, saying, "The issue at stake here has to do with what the White House was trying to do with the US attorneys. What the White House was trying to do in terms of, perhaps, creating a public image of voter fraud across this country that would entitle the White House to make it more difficult for people to vote. That seems to be to be a very large issue that needs to be discussed."


Gee whiz, ya think?

David B. Benson said...

Retired generals warn of climate wars.

On BBC today...

Pat said...

Off topic: On National Geographic there's a program Inside the IRS - 6-7 pm EST.

capt said...

Hijacked helicopter used in Belgian jailbreak

Two men hijacked a helicopter and forced the pilot to land in a prison courtyard where they picked up a French prisoner in a dramatic jailbreak, the pilot told Belgian television.

The accomplices paid for a helicopter ride at an airstrip near the eastern city of Sint-Truiden, saying they were tourists from Marseilles in southern France, pilot Eric Mathieu told the RTL-TVI network.

After take-off they produced a pistol and hand-grenade, ordering Mathieu to fly to Lantin prison outside nearby Liege.

"They pointed a revolver at my forehead,'' Mathieu told RTBF television.

"The prison yard was so small, at first I refused to land there, but they threatened to kill me, so I had to do it.''

Mathieu said he touched down while about 200 prisoners were exercising in the yard. One climbed on board while his accomplices threw tear gas canisters into the crowd.

The helicopter then landed less than a kilometre from the prison, where the prisoner and his accomplices drove away in a waiting car.

RTL-TVI identified the fugitive as Frenchman Eric Ferdinand, who was in pre-trial detention on charges of fraud and theft.

RTBF said he had previously escaped from prisons in France and Spain.


kathleen said...

Capt , Saladin all, I have been missing you folks. I have been in Colorado visiting kids, and then on return back to work, catching up with gardening etc. I have to admit I have been spending some time over at Firedoglake. Often link Corns articles.

When I bring up the upcoming Aipac/Rosen/Weissman trial a few people get touchy, but I keep bringing it up. Surprising one of the FDL writers just recently wrote about how there would not be anything going on this summer if the AG scandal did not open the Libby (e-mails and all) trial back up. It was clearly evident from an FDL main writer saying something like this that confirmed how well the AIPAC/ROSEN/WEISMANN espionage trial is being avoided in the MSM. NOt allowed to touch that one...OFF LIMITS YOU KNOW. Did you know that over at FDL if you write AIPAC straight out that this trips off their filters, so you have to type A*P*C . The word blowjobs sets off the filters but fuck does not. So I do not get it.

I believe when Aipac is written straight out somehow trolls are alerted (could this be?) and when blowjob is written straight out perverts are alerted. I do not get it and am unable to get the FDLer's to explain it clearly. They seem rather sensitive about it.

Is this why Corns website was attacked?

Great dialogue with a guest over at FDL with some smart guy named Jeffrey Feldman about "framing the debate" issues.

My friend Peggy is still in retreat, and will soon be letting the public know what took place when she was kidnapped in Iraq. I will let you know when she comes out with it.

The situation in Iraq just keeps getting worse no matter how hard the Bush administration and McCain try to spin it. And of course for the Iraqi people's welfare I wish the "surge, redeployment, escalation" what ever the hell you want to call it would work for them and our soldiers.

But with 650,ooo Iraqi people dead, who knows how many are injured, 2 million displaced, 3200 American soldiers dead, 50,ooo injured and COUNTING.. COUNTING. It sure looks and sounds like hell on earth for the Iraqi people all as a direct result of the Bush administrations invasion.

Let's hope that Webb's S 759 stops these wingnuts from going into Iran!

How are you corn folks?

kathleen said...

General Zinni ripped the Bush administration on MSNBC's Hardball last week on April 11 and again today on the Meet the Press.

Zinni was one of the folks I listened to closely before the invasion. He was on Npr in August of 2002 saying "don't do it" and then when he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations committee on Feb 11, 2003 I thought our reps would get it..."not a good idea".

Along with Carter, Cia analyst, Ritter, El Bardei, Brezinski, Albright and all of the rest that warned against the invasion. The Democrats or Republicans who say "if only we knew then what we know now" are so full of horseshit they can't see straight.

They better get straight with the American people that idiotic spin will just not work.

kathleen said...

You may all ready know about this if not...US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
J10 Update: 2 Months to Go-Logistics and Posters Ready

Two months from today, on June 10-11, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
and United for Peace and Justice are sponsoring a two-day mobilization in
Washington, DC to protest the 40th anniversary of Israel's illegal military
occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. Make your
plans now to join us!

We've put up some maps and information to let you know when and where you need to be
on June 10-11. To view the information, click here:

We've also activated our ride and housing boards. If you are organizing
transportation to DC or looking to share a ride, then add your information by
clicking here:

If you are looking for housing to share or have housing to offer, you can add your
information by clicking here:

Pat said...

Kathleen, I've been spending time at FDL too and wondered what A*P*C was, but figured it was AIPAC. One late night last week I turned to Free Speech TV and there was a presentation or discussion on AIPAC, its mission, tactics and influence on US foreign policy. It was very fair IMO. Another night Greg Palast was on and he was super. I think he was on a book tour. (FSTV is available on Dish Satellite; I don't know whether any cable channels carry it. They also show Democracy Now one hour after it's shown on Link TV.)

Capt, thanks for the new word. It was totally new to me. Also thanks for posting the latest from the Regressive Antidote. David Michael Green (or dmg) is one of my good guys.

I hope they'll televise Alberto's appearance on Tuesday. ... Does anyone else have an uneasy feeling about this coming week? With so much going on (a TodayGate almost every day), I hope there won't be any Surprises, like we're again spreading democracy!

Saladin, thank you for the FDA update. Didn't they try that before, to a lesser extent? Did you ever think Green Tea might be contraband? I'll spread the word and write a letter to the FDA too.


capt said...

Lawyers: Bush staff can eject dissenters

DENVER — Lawyers for two men charged with illegally ejecting two people from a speech by President Bush in 2005 are arguing the president's staff can lawfully remove anyone who expresses points of view different from his.

Lawyers for the two, Michael Casper and Jay Klinkerman, said the men were working as organizers for a public presidential forum on Social Security at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Denver on March 21, 2005, when they were involved in ejecting two audience members, Alex Young and Leslie Weise.

Young and Weise filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver, saying they were ejected shortly after they had arrived in a car that had an anti-war bumper sticker, although they had done nothing disruptive. The suit charged Casper and Klinkerman with violating Young's and Weise's First Amendment right to free speech.

Casper and Klinkerman lost their motion for dismissal, and last week their lawyers filed an appeals brief arguing that their clients had the right to take action against Young and Weise because the two held views different from those of Bush.

"The president's right to control his own message includes the right to exclude people expressing discordant viewpoints from the audience," says the brief.

A lawyer for Casper, Sean Gallagher, said, "They excluded people from a White House event because they posed a threat of being disruptive."

The White House declined comment.

The brief filed by Gallagher and other lawyers refers to a 1992 case involving a woman who wore a button supporting Bill Clinton for president as she tried to enter a campaign rally in support of the elder George Bush and Dan Quayle. She was denied entry until she removed the button.

A lawyer for Weise and Young, Martha Tierney, said that case was different because the event was sponsored by the Strongsville, Ohio, Republican Party, a private entity. "I think if the court adopts this argument, they'll essentially gut the First Amendment in terms of viewpoint discrimination," Tierney said.

Earlier this year, Young and Weise filed a separate lawsuit against three White House staff members who were also working at the Denver speech, saying they were responsible for their removal and thus had violated their right to free speech.


capt said...

Democrats look to independents

WASHINGTON, April 16 (UPI) -- Political strategists in Washington said Democrats have an edge when it comes to attracting independent voters for the 2008 presidential election.

Recent polling indicates that independents are far closer in their views to Democrats than Republicans, particularly on the dominant issue of the Iraq war, The Washington Post reported Monday.

However, former Clinton administration adviser William A. Galston of the Brookings Institution said to the newspaper that independent voters are worried Democrats will withdraw from Iraq too soon and Republicans will stay too long.

"Independent voters tend to be substantially more nuanced in their attitudes about how we should try to resolve the situation in Iraq," Democratic pollster Geoffrey Garin told the Post.

Garin said anti-Bush sentiment among independents makes it easier for Democratic candidates to maneuver through the nominating process even though there are areas in which they part with the party's liberal members.

GOP pollster David Winston told the Post he thinks Republicans have a chance to win over independents when it comes to domestic issues.


Robert S said...

To Bee or Not to Bee

Robert S said...

However, former Clinton administration adviser William A. Galston of the Brookings Institution said to the newspaper that independent voters are worried Democrats will withdraw from Iraq too soon and Republicans will stay too long.

According to Noam Chomsky on today's
Democracy Now!
approximately 85% of all Iraqis think the U.S. should withdraw all of its forces and 60% believe that said forces are legitimate targets.

Whose country is it? What does it matter what the fuck Americans think? By what right are we even discussing the fuckin' issue?

I've got about as much use for the Clintons and their advisers as I do for the GOPhers.

Saladin said...

The Conspiracy of the Trees

by Dennis Behreandt

Excerpt from Lew Rockwell

According to Scientific American, a new study based on a "three dimensional climate model" has found that trees contribute to global warming. Instead of absorbing carbon dioxide and offsetting the accumulation of greenhouse gases, at northern latitudes the dark green leaves of trees absorb heat from the sun and their relatively inefficient transpiration of water compared to trees in equatorial rain forests results in less low-level cloud cover, letting more light and heat from the sun reach the ground. In short, trees are causing global warming and if they were cut down, global temperatures would drop. "In fact, according to this model, by the year 2100, if all the forests were cut and left to rot, the annual global mean temperature would decrease by more than 0.5 degree Fahrenheit," Scientific American reported.
The people are really going off the deep end.

Pat, thanks for the contribution. I can't imagine the FDA actually getting away with it but I will not sit by and do nothing.
Kathleen, I hope Peggy is doing well. Really hoping to meet her.

Robert S said...

Tomgram: Hiro, Can Sadr and Sistani Handle Bush?

Robert S said...

Excerpts from:
Scientific American
April 10, 2007

More Trees, Less Global Warming, Right? -- Not Exactly

A 150-year simulation of worldwide deforestation finds that tropical forests are carbon sinks and boreal forests contribute to warming
By Nikhil Swaminathan

Trees perform three major climate functions: They absorb carbon, which they pull from the atmosphere, creating a cooling effect; their dark green leaves absorb light from the sun, heating Earth's surface; and they draw water from the soil, which evaporates into the atmosphere, creating low clouds that reflect the sun's hot rays (a mechanism known as evotranspiration that also leads to cooling). These three factors—the second two being largely ignored in climate models up to this point, according to Caldeira—taken together created very different results in the primary latitudes studied: the equatorial tropic zone; the midlatitudes that include most of the U.S.; and the boreal areas, which are subarctic and include much of Canada, Russia and the northern extremities of the U.S.

In all three regions, forests dutifully perform their task of sucking carbon dioxide from the air, but light absorption and evotranspiration vary wildly. In tropical zones, forests have a significant, overall cooling effect. The soil is very wet and, so, via evotranspiration, the trees are covered by low-lying clouds that create a small albedo (power of light that is reflected by a surface). In nontropical areas, Caldeira explains, "the real significant factor is whether there's snow on the ground in the winter." If a forest covers a snowy expanse, "that has a strong warming influence," he notes, because of little cloud cover resulting from less efficiency in evaporating water. The poor cloud formation coupled with the intense absorption of light by the trees "far overwhelms the cooling influence of the carbon storage," he says.

"In midlatitudes, we got that it was basically a wash—the carbon dioxide effects were pretty much directly balanced by the physical effects," Caldeira says. He attributes this to the low contrast between light absorption from trees and from grass in pastures, though he notes that because there are some areas with wintry snow cover, the loss of a forest will probably have a slight, if any, cooling effect. He uses this example to point out the relative influence of the different forest functions. Whereas carbon levels can affect warming on a global scale, the effects of increased albedo and poor evotranspiration would affect temperatures only on a regional level. For instance, he says, "if you remove all the forest in the U.S., it would probably heat up the world, but have a slight cooling influence on the U.S., itself."

Navin Ramankutty, an assistant professor of geography and Earth system sciences at McGill University in Montreal, says this study is the first to take a comprehensive look at the consequences of deforestation on the entire world. "You can't just blindly go ahead and reforest and that will tackle climate change," he says, pointing out a key finding in the study. "If you think about conservation groups, they're all talking about planting trees. We should be protecting tress for other reasons."

Caldeira agrees, saying that protecting the forest should be part of an effort to sustain the world's biodiversity. He also adds that the findings do not endorse clear-cutting or destroying wildlife habitats. "I think that it's important to look at preventing climate change as a means rather than an end in itself," he says. "Too narrow a focus on global warming and a loss of the broader focus of protecting life on this planet can lead to perverse outcomes." Rather than looking to forests to solve the current climate crisis by capturing carbon dioxide, he suggests targeting our "energy system," which continues to create the pollutant.


Hardly a refutation of the problem of Global Warming. Not a call for deforestation either. It is a reminder that there are complexities involved in systems analysis

Robert S said...

Then, there is this one as well:

April 11, 2007
Robin Hoods: Study Determines We Prefer Distributed Wealth
Laboratory game shows people will give up some of their own wealth to ensure equality within a group
By Nikhil Swaminathan

micki said...


capt said...


"Laboratory game shows people will give up some of their own wealth to ensure equality within a group"


I can't help but think they didn't test money-grubbing greedy bastard lizard people.

Maybe I am projecting.


Robert S said...

Even the Wizard of Oz eventually came out from behind the curtain.

Robert S said...

I can't help but think they didn't test money-grubbing greedy bastard lizard people.

I'd guess the question would become what percentage of us would fall into that category. After all, the ratio of the very rich compared to that of the very poor...

Speaking of lizard people, though not necessarily the money grubbing kind, what would Mark Bolin have made of this...

April 12, 2007
Was T. Rex Really King of the Lizards—or Just a Big, Carnivorous Chicken?
Researchers analyze protein from a 68-million-year-old dinosaur bone; techniques used in analysis could be useful in studying cancer
By Nikhil Swaminathan


Bang a Gong...

Robert S said...

Report: France warned CIA before 9/11 attacks
Ron Brynaert
Published: Monday April 16, 2007

Former intelligence officials confirmed to the Associated Press Monday a Le Monde newspaper report that France's foreign intelligent service had heard about an al Qaeda plot which was "likely to involve a US airplane." The French paper had also reported that France informed the Central Intelligence Agency prior to the attacks on September 11, 2001, in which nearly 3,000 were killed.

"Le Monde newspaper said it had obtained 328 pages of classified documents on Osama bin Laden's terror network that were drawn up by the French spy service, the DGSE, between July 2000 and October 2001," the AP reports. "The documents included a Jan. 5, 2001, intelligence report warning that al-Qaida was at work on a hijacking plot."

According to Le Monde, the documents included "notes, reports/ratios, syntheses, charts, graphs, flow charts, satellite photographs."

Le Monde's Guillaume Dasquié continues, "Like all information evoking of the risks against American interests, the note was transmitted to the CIA by the service relations foreign of the DGSE, person in charge for the co-operations between allied (famous since service of the connections). Its first recipient is the chief of post office of the CIA in Paris, Bill Murray, a French-speaking person with the physique of John Wayne, sunken since to the United States. We could establish the contact, but Mr. Murray did not wish to take action on our requests. Pierre-Antoine Lorenzi, for which the responsibilities with the DGSE then covered the questions relating to the co-operation with the foreign agencies, does not conceive that this information was not given to him: 'That, typically, it is the kind of information which is transmitted to the CIA. It would be even a fault of not having done it.'"

Excerpts from AP article:

Pierre-Antoine Lorenzi, the former chief of staff for the agency's director at the time, said he remembered the note and that it mentioned only the vague outlines of a hijacking plot — nothing that foreshadowed the scale of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

"It wasn't about a specific airline or a specific day, it was not a precise plot," Lorenzi told The Associated Press. "It was a note that said, 'They are preparing a plot to hijack an airplane, and they have cited several companies.'"

Robert S said...

Richard Perle equates initiating a war with a country that did not attack us with "buying insurance."

Sounds like an admission of war crimes to me.

While admitting Hussein's government had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, Perle continued to point to a "direct connection" between the two.

"There is evidence of a connect between al Qaida and Saddam Hussein's intelligence," he insisted.

Robert S said...

Another take on the bee disappearance phenomenon...

micki said...

For all you vocal defenders of your Second Amendment rights, as you interpret them, you are in *good* company with bush and his boyfriends:

A White House spokesman said President Bush was horrified by the rampage and offered his prayers to the victims and the people of Virginia.

"The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed," spokeswoman Dana Perino said.


capt said...

New Thread!