Friday, April 20, 2007

Read the Whole Thing

There have been plenty of jokes about George W. Bush and books. He's even made some of them. But a recent episode raises the question about whether he does read books and reports in full. On Thursday, a New York Times article on a White House meeting between Bush and congressional leaders reported:

Mr. Bush told the Democrats [at the meeting] that he hoped to ultimately follow several of the guidelines set forth last year in a report by the Iraq Study Group, which called for an eventual draw-down of American troops. According to the [unnamed White House] official, Mr. Bush noted that the Study Group, whose co-chairman was his father's former political aide, James A. Baker III, had suggested that a temporary troop increase could be a necessary step on the way to an eventual withdrawal.

Here's what the Iraq Study Group said about a military escalation:

Sustained increases in U.S. troop levels would not solve the fundamental cause of violence in Iraq, which is the absence of national reconciliation. A senior American general told us that adding U.S. troops might temporarily help limit violence in a highly localized area. However, past experience indicates that the violence would simply rekindle as soon as U.S. forces are moved to another area. As another American general told us, if the Iraqi government does not make political progress, "all the troops in the world will not provide security." Meanwhile, America's military capacity is stretched thin: we do not have the troops or equipment to make a substantial, sustained increase in our troop presence. Increased deployments to Iraq would also necessarily hamper our ability to provide adequate resources for our efforts in Afghanistan or respond to crises around the world.

Now, to be fair, the report did not rule out the notion of a surge. It also said:

Because of the importance of Iraq to our regional security goals and to our ongoing fight against al Qaeda, we considered proposals to make a substantial increase (100,000 to 200,000) in the number of U.S. troops in Iraq. We rejected this course because we do not believe that the needed levels are available for a sustained deployment. Further, adding more American troops could conceivably worsen those aspects of the security problem that are fed by the view that the U.S. presence is intended to be a long-term "occupation." We could, however, support a short-term redeployment or surge of American combat forces to stabilize Baghdad, or to speed up the training and equipping missions, if the U.S. commander in Iraq determines that such steps would be effective.

But note the use of the phrase "short-term." Bush has said nothing about the duration of his surge. In announcing it, he said,

This new strategy will not yield an immediate end to suicide bombings, assassinations, or IED attacks. Our enemies in Iraq will make every effort to ensure that our television screens are filled with images of death and suffering. Yet over time, we can expect to see Iraqi troops chasing down murderers, fewer brazen acts of terror, and growing trust and cooperation from Baghdad's residents.

So his surge is supposed to go on "over time." It is not the short-term endeavor mentioned in the Iraq Study Group. More important, it is not occurring within the framework proposed by the Iraq Study Group, which called for a vigorous diplomatic effort and moving U.S. troops from combat to training missions in Iraq, with the goal of removing all combat brigades not necessary for force protection by the first quarter of 2008. Bush has not embraced the Baker panel's overall approach--more diplomacy, less combat--so it's disingenuous for him to cite its reference to a surge. This is cherry-picking.

BOMBS AWAY. already has an ad out blasting Senator John McCain for his rendition of "Bomb, Bomb, Iran." (See below.) It didn't take long for a short video clip of McCain joking about a potential war to hit YouTube. Such is campaigning in the modern world. Didn't McCain learn anything from ex-Senator George "Macaca" Allen? You can see the MoveOn ad here.

Posted by David Corn at April 20, 2007 04:04 PM


David B. Benson said...

Alternet today has an article with an enjoyable title:

Save Our Oceans, Eat Like A Pig

"Read the Whole Thing"...

David B. Benson said...

And in Spiegel Online today, a town (village) of 3,800 inhabitants in Germany takes on big utilities and wins. Has its own natural gas works and the beginnings of its own electricity grid...


capt said...

There is a crisis in health freedom. On April 30, 2007 the FDA will close the public comment period on a "Guidance" which will classify every alternative practice as medicine so that only licensed physicians can carry out the procedure AND vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc., will suddenly become "untested drugs" which will be forbidden.

Bad? Real Bad! But public outcry can stop this assault on your health and your freedom.

Spread the word! Tell everyone in your Circle of Influence, professionals, alternative practitioners, nutrient and herb companies, everyone! Let them know how important their participation is to make sure the FDA backs off from this repressive course.

Please share this link with them and urge them to take action:

Yours in health and freedom,

Rima E. Laibow, MD
Medical Director
Natural Solutions Foundation

capt said...

Bush: Early signs good for Iraq strategy

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 20 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush, in a speech Friday at a Michigan high school, said that early signs show that his new Iraq strategy is working.


Gates Press Iraqi Leader, but Outcome Is in Doubt


BAGHDAD , April 19 — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates arrived here on Thursday intending to pressure Prime Minister Nuri al Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq to move faster on Sunni-Shiite reconciliation at a moment when Mr. Maliki’s ability to deliver appears limited, at best.

Saladin said...

Source: Arizona State University
Date: April 17, 2007

Science Daily — The long, challenging technological march from the low-power light bulb Thomas Edison invented to the ultimate in a bright and energy-efficient lighting device may reach fruition in work led by the two Arizona State University researchers.

A recent story in the journal Advanced Materials, details advances in the use of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) by Ghassan Jabbour and Jian Li, with help from graduate students Evan Williams and Kirsi Haavisto, a Fulbright scholar from Finland.

These researchers have developed an organic lighting device with “100 percent internal quantum efficiency” by employing newly designed host materials coupled with optimized device architecture.

Internal quantum efficiency involves the number of photons generated inside the device per each electron from the electricity source – such as a battery.

What's particularly significant about the researchers' work is that their optimized device adopts an even simpler structure than any yet reported by other research groups.

“There is no waste of electricity,” Jabbour says. “All the current you are putting into the device is being used to produce light. It's the first time something like this has been demonstrated. Nobody else has shown a 100 percent internal quantum efficiency for lighting devices using a single molecular dopant to emit white light.”

The achievement promises significant progress in the development of solid-state lighting based on OLED technology that can be manufactured at low costs.

Such devices also could provide a major source for progress in global environmental efforts to conserve energy and natural resources. In addition to progress in energy conservation, the work also could accelerate advances in semiconductor technology materials through improvements in low-power organic thin-film transistors, an area Jabbour and Li's group is researching intensely.

Jabbour is a professor and Li is an assistant professor in the new ASU School of Materials, which is jointly administered by the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Arizona State University.
This could be big!

capt said...

"The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when the fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression." -- H. L. Mencken - (1880-1956) American Journalist, Editor, Essayist, Linguist, Lexicographer, and Critic Source: Minority Report


"To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." -- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President Source: Virginia Statutes of Religious Freedom, 1779


When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism, are incapable of being conquered. A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies: - Martin Luther King, Jr -from "A Time to Break Silence", King's address given on this day, April 4th in 1967 at the Riverside Church in New York City.


"The most violent element in society is ignorance.": Emma Goldman


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

Saladin said...

Nine Myths About
Gun Control

* Myth #1 "Guns are only used for killing"

* Myth #2 "Guns are dangerous when used for protection"

* Myth #3 "There is an epidemic of gun violence"

* Myth #4 "Guns cause violence" Homicide

* Myth #5 The "Friends and Family fallacy"

* Myth #6 "A homeowner is 43 times as likely to be killed or kill a family member as an intruder"

* Myth #7 "The costs of gun violence are high"

* Myth #8 "Gun control will keep guns off the street"

* Myth #9 "Citizens are too incompetent to use guns for protection"
Maybe someone can address this rationally instead of comparing legal ownership of defensive firearms to using nuclear bombs? I guess you could compare stopping a psycho in your house preparing to tie you up with an extension cord and making him stop with a gun to the option of obliterating an entire city with a nuclear device to make him stop, but only if you are an idiot! If disarming the entire country is the goal, we're in worse trouble than I thought.

Davey Crockett said...

Mass. and New York require citizens to submit an application for a gun license. Background checks are performed and in some cases, applicants are interviewed. Former violent felons and metally ill folks are declined a license.

New York City's biggest weapons problem is Virginia's gun laws - or lack of them.

In Virginia, you just have to have a pulse, cash, and two forms of ID. Cho bought his weapons in Virginia. He took 32 victims in his suicide murder. Gun advocates argue more guns solve that problem. I think that's a load of bullshit pitched by gun companies that are more concerned about their profits than our second amendment rights.

No single right in our Constitution is absolute. They all exist in a balance with other and others' rights.

Australia ran into a patch of suicide/mass murders by gun in the mid 90s. They revised their gun laws to require a licensing process and screening. They banned semi and automatic weapons. They have not had a single mass murder from guns in 11 years.

There are a lot of people in society who should not be required to protect themselves from irresponsible gun owners by carrying a weapon themselves. Take my 13 year old neice for example. Should she or her bus driver be expected to carry a gun to protect himself or the students on the bus from a gun wielding person? No. In there town, they rely on the police to be trained to protect townfolk from weapon wielding criminals. Yet NRA yahoos were the first to assert last Tuesday that Virginia Tech should not have been a gun-free campus. Imagine frat boys at keggers packing heat. Now there's a recipe for disaster.

We have a right to bear arms. Why not a tactical nuclear weapon if we can afford it? Seriosly. If you reject the argument, then you reject the argument that weapons serve more as a deterrent than as a means of destruction... of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Your god-given rights to live free do not pivot on your access to firearms. The second amendment should be subordinate to god-given rights and defended in a proper balance with other rights.

Gun manufacturer profits (NRA) exert way to much influence on our public policy regulating firearms in the same way AIPAC exerts way too much influence on our policymaking with regard to Israel. In both cases the PAC is so effective with it own agenda that it advocates positions so extreme so as to harm the interest they're trying to protect.

If the right to bear arms exists to serve the purpose of insuring our safety, then does advocating unfettered and unregulated access to all and any lethal firearm accomplish that or accomplish something precisely contrary to that?

The nuclear weapon strategy used between the US and USSR was called deterence - the use of nukes insured mutually destructive outcome. We counted on the fact the weapon would not be used.

Now Iran wants one (hell Israel has one.) We recognize the threat that Iran would use it. Can you seriously not see the parallel between firearms and nukes, the value of deterrence versus the destructive ability of its use?

capt said...

Do Firearms Kill More People (in the home) Than They Save (in public places)?


But isn't the real issue how many people are killed by guns, period? In other words, while our primate brains automatically focus on dramatic and terrifying events such as this one, if our ultimate goal is the preservation of life, shouldn't we be talking about the overall statistics about guns rather than focusing on whether or not more lax or more restrictive gun control would have averted this disaster?

In order to address this question, others have to be addressed: would gun control mean fewer deaths? Of what kind? If it's true that we are more likely to use any given gun on ourselves or a family member than against an intruder, what's the justification for keeping them around? Is our desire for one kind of psychological security ("I feel better when I walk the streets at night") actually a Faustian bargain?

I'm asking because I'd honestly like to have a data-driven debate on the subject--it's been a couple of days now, and tempers are (hopefully) cooling--what does the (in this case observational) science say about this subject?

>> Statistics, Gun Control Issues, and Safety | The Internet Pathology Laboratory for Medical Education


Here's a more current study.

States With Higher Levels of Gun Ownership Have Higher Homicide Rates (from a study conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health)


capt said...

The Real 'Fake News'


As the scrupulously fair-minded reporter Ron Brownstein notes, "Through its language, its news decisions and its hosts--[Fox] generally functions more like a cog in the Republican message machine than as a conventional news organization that attempts to abide, however imperfectly, by the traditional standards of (yes) fairness and balance."

Fox, like the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Washington Times, is a conservative counterestablishment institution designed to ape the functions of the real thing, doing double duty by firing up the troops with custom-crafted ideological spin, "analysis" and phony scholarship while confusing the rest of the world with nonsense disguised as news. Fox's journalistic transgressions are legion and need not detain us long here. A 2004 Center for Media and Public Affairs study found that at the height of the presidential campaign, just 13 percent of Fox News panelists' comments on Democratic candidate John Kerry were positive, compared with 50 percent for Bush. As Fox London bureau chief Scott Norvell has put it, "Even we at Fox News manage to get some lefties on the air occasionally and often let them finish their sentences before we club them to death and feed the scraps to Karl Rove and Bill O'Reilly."

Much of the MSM has played along with the Fox charade. The Wall Street Journal went so far as to publish a correction when a reporter termed the network "sympathetic to the Bush cause and popular with Republicans." And with the exception of a few combative on-air counterattacks--most notably by Bill Clinton and Barney Frank--so too have liberals and Democrats, offering themselves as bit players in Bart Simpson's nightmare. The network has made a specialty of promoting what might be termed "even the New Republic liberals"--that is, liberals who specialize in bashing liberals and liberalism. As Alex Koppelman demonstrated on Salon, Fox frequently features the likes of Susan Estrich complaining that Al Gore has gone "off the deep end" when he lays bare the Administration's deception in the "war on terror." Pat Caddell whines that only "the real fringe of this party" wants to unseat Joe Lieberman. And, of course, barely a night goes by that nasty Alan Colmes doesn't punch poor Sean Hannity in the knuckles with his face.

Fox viewers, according to a study by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes, become more misinformed about the world the more they watch the network. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found viewers of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report likely to be better informed than the average Fox News consumer. But the impact of Fox's brand of fake news is not limited to its own viewers. When the hapless Katie Couric recently misreported that Barack Obama "grew up praying in a mosque," she was parroting a discredited Fox report that had appeared three months earlier.


micki said...

A very rational discussion on gun ownership...

Political Expression Through Gun Ownership

Interview with Joan Burbick, Author of “Gun Show Nation”

In the war of symbols, guns reign supreme in America — meaning, owning a gun says more about your politics than how you use it.

Interviewer: Do you agree that many gun rights enthusiasts — the hard-core NRA members or fringe gun rights members — are not necessarily advancing their own best interests in terms of focusing on the gun as a solution to their social anxiety?

Joan Burbick: Absolutely. I think the challenge is to put the gun down and speak about the society, and how to fit into it, in terms of collective solutions.

Interviewer: In the closing paragraph of your book, you wrote: “How much easier it is to believe in the politics of the gun and to fight for our right to be armed, than to step in front of the gun and build social and civil institutions that sustain our society and promote economic and political justice? The gun is ultimately a shortcut, a strategy to sidestep consent. Our will to engage in democracy is what is at stake. The question remains: Can we put aside the lethal politics of the gun and take up again the challenge of democracy?”

What is your forecast?

Joan Burbick: I’ve certainly heard the argument from the conservative gun rights movement over and over again over the last few years. And to me, it’s hollow. I think there is real energy in the United States to address meaningful change. And the Second Amendment as a political weapon is just a hollow strategy.

Saladin said...


Friday, April 20, 2007

The enemies of the Constitution are growing in number and are to be found now, not just in the White House and the Congress, but also in state capitals, from Washington to Vermont.

Not only do we have a president and vice president who are almost daily undermining and rending at the fabric of the Constitution. Not only do we have Democratic Party leaders actively barring the party's elected representatives from standing up to the president by submitting bills of impeachment, as called for in the Constitution.

We now have Democratic Party leaders in state legislatures betraying Founder Thomas Jefferson, by sabotaging grassroots efforts to get joint legislative resolutions passed demanding the start of impeachment proceedings in the House.

Thomas Jefferson, a complex and personally deeply conflicted human being was, as a philosopher of government, incredibly prescient. Not only did he foresee the critical need for a section laying out the inalienable rights of man in the nation's founding document. He also understood the concept of a "beltway bubble" long before there were even paved roads, much less interstate highway beltways.

Jefferson understood that a monomaniacal and unprincipled president, particularly in time of war or national crisis, could intimidate members of Congress-particularly a weak Congress riven by political rivalries-and prevent that body from going forward with impeachment. He understood that members of Congress themselves, remote geographically and politically from their constituents, could eventually become so isolated they would fail to act in accordance with the wishes of the voters who sent them to Washington. That's why Jefferson came up with an alternative way of initiating impeachment proceedings, in addition to the standard Constitutionally-prescribed method of having a House member submit an impeachment bill. His solution, laid out in his Manual of the Rules of the House, was to allow a joint resolution by any state's legislature calling for impeachment to also require the House to initiate impeachment.

Over the past year, there have been grassroots campaigns underway in at least 10 states to get such resolutions passed.

Unfortunately, the Democratic leaders of a number of state legislatures, working in collusion with, or at the direction of even more craven Democratic Party leaders in Washington, are undermining Jefferson, and are sabotaging his carefully crafted mechanism for defending and protecting the Constitution and ensuring the survival of democratic freedoms.

In New Mexico, Democratic leaders in the state senate, after earlier voting in favor of an impeachment resolution, suddenly turned around and defeated a procedural effort to bring an impeachment resolution to the floor for a vote, effectively killing the measure. A similar effort was made by party leaders in the Washington State Senate, though a second effort to get that bill, Senate 8016, to a floor vote will be made tomorrow (Friday).

In Vermont, where 38 town meetings in March all voted out impeachment resolutions, and called on the state's legislature to pass an impeachment resolution, the Democratic leaders of the state House and Senate are apparently blocking attempts to move a resolution to a floor vote (where it would likely pass).

In each case, there is evidence that Congressional leaders in Washington, often with the assistance of members of each state's own Congressional delegation, have been leaning on Democratic legislative leaders in the statehouses, to pressure them to kill the impeachment resolutions.

This tactic represents a grotesque betrayal of Thomas Jefferson, who expressly saw the state legislative resolution route to impeachment as a way of letting the public, at the state level, send a message to Congress, not the other way around. By squelching such efforts from Washington, the Democratic Party is using top-down power to undermine the popular will.

Polls have repeatedly shown that a majority of Americans, and an overwhelming majority of Democrats, want to see the president impeached and brought up on charges for lying to put the country into an illegal war, for illegally ordering the National Security Agency to spy on Americans without a warrant, for abusing power by invalidating acts of Congress, for ordering torture, for covering up the outing of a CIA undercover agent, and for myriad other crimes. Yet the Democratic Party leadership has decided that it is in the Democratic Party's short-term interest to ignore these dangerous assaults on the Republic and the Constitution. The thinking among party leaders is that by laying low and doing little, Democrats can reap gains in the 2008 national election.

Maybe they're right about that. Maybe they're not. But impeachment in any case is not about partisan gain. It is a process mandated by the Constitution when freedom is under threat. Every member of Congress took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution from attack by enemies foreign and domestic.

We all know that the Bush administration is wrecking the Constitution, and that it is trying to turn the presidency into an all-powerful dictatorship.

In the face of that assault, the national Democratic Party, far from standing up for the Constitution and for democracy, is proving to be an abettor in the crime.

Now state party leaders are showing themselves to be just as craven and cowardly.
Maybe because the democratic leadership is itself a "dangerous assault on the Republic and the Constitution." They seem to believe, along with the bush administration, that the Constitution and its amendments can be picked apart at will, so do much of their base by putting amendments up for a vote. Jeffersonian liberalism is dead. Maybe the Constitution IS just a "goddamned piece of paper."

micki said...

Davey Crockett -- Thank you for your comments. You make a lot of sense.

capt said...

The State or the People

What use is the political left? This is a serious question, not a rant. The same question can be asked about the political right. The question does not imply derogatory implications about individuals on the political left or the political right. Rather, the question concerns the basket of emotions, issues, and knee-jerk responses associated with the political left and the political right.

Traditionally, the political left has had a Benthamite view of government, seeing government power as the tool for improving society whether through revolution or reform. Paradoxically, the political left has believed in Big Government despite the political left’s emphasis on civil liberty. The political left sees government power not as a threat to civil liberty but as a tool for enforcing civil liberty; for example, through Brown vs. Board of Education and coerced integration in the southern states.

Traditionally, the political right has had a Blackstonian view of government, distrusting government power as a threat to individual liberty. Paradoxically, conservatives value individual liberty while tending to view civil liberties as protective devices for criminals and, currently, terrorists.

The political left tends to blame problems on existing societal institutions, especially on capitalism, which is believed to foster greed and private power that is not accountable to the people. The political right blames problems on human fallibility and on laws and regulations that create the wrong incentives and that replace private action with government action.


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

Partisanship stinks no matter who the partisan or which party.


David B. Benson said...

capt --- Just recall what Winston Churchill had to say about democracy...

Gerald said...

Love Loudly

Gerald said...

"Violence kills the image of God in us. It is a cry of desperation, a weak and cowardly cry of a person suffocated of hope. Violence goes against everything that we are created for – to love and to be loved – so it inevitably ends in misery and suicide. When people succumb to violence it ultimately infects them like a disease or a poison that leads to their own death."

"So in these days after Easter, even as we see the horror of death, may we be reminded that in the end love wins. Mercy triumphs. Life is more powerful than death. And even those who have committed great violence can have the image of God come to life again within them as they hear the whisper of love. May the whisper of love grow louder than the thunder of violence. May we love loudly." - Shane Claiborne

capt said...

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?

~ Mahatma Gandhi, "Non-Violence in Peace and War"

capt said...

'Devastating' Moyers Probe of Press and Iraq Coming

The most powerful indictment of the news media for falling down in its duties in the run-up to the war in Iraq will appear next Wednesday, a 90-minute PBS broadcast called "Buying the War," which marks the return of "Bill Moyers Journal." E&P was sent a preview DVD and a draft transcript for the program this week.

While much of the evidence of the media's role as cheerleaders for the war presented here is not new, it is skillfully assembled, with many fresh quotes from interviews (with the likes of Tim Russert and Walter Pincus) along with numerous embarrassing examples of past statements by journalists and pundits that proved grossly misleading or wrong. Several prominent media figures, prodded by Moyers, admit the media failed miserably, though few take personal responsibility.

The war continues today, now in its fifth year, with the death toll for Americans and Iraqis rising again -- yet Moyers points out, "the press has yet to come to terms with its role in enabling the Bush Administration to go to war on false pretenses."

Among the few heroes of this devastating film are reporters with the Knight Ridder/McClatchy bureau in D.C. Tragically late, Walter Isaacson, who headed CNN, observes, "The people at Knight Ridder were calling the colonels and the lieutenants and the people in the CIA and finding out, you know, that the intelligence is not very good. We should've all been doing that."

At the close, Moyers mentions some of the chief proponents of the war who refused to speak to him for this program, including Thomas Friedman, Bill Kristol, Roger Ailes, Charles Krauthammer, Judith Miller, and William Safire.

But Dan Rather, the former CBS anchor, admits, "I don't think there is any excuse for, you know, my performance and the performance of the press in general in the roll up to the war…We didn't dig enough. And we shouldn't have been fooled in this way." Bob Simon, who had strong doubts about evidence for war, was asked by Moyers if he pushed any of the top brass at CBS to "dig deeper," and he replies, "No, in all honesty, with a thousand mea culpas….nope, I don't think we followed up on this."

Instead he covered the marketing of the war in a "softer" way, explaining to Moyers: "I think we all felt from the beginning that to deal with a subject as explosive as this, we should keep it, in a way, almost light – if that doesn't seem ridiculous."

Moyers replies: "Going to war, almost light."

Walter Isaacson is pushed hard by Moyers and finally admits, "We didn't question our sources enough." But why? Isaacson notes there was "almost a patriotism police" after 9/11 and when the network showed civilian casualties it would get phone calls from advertisers and the administration and "big people in corporations were calling up and saying, 'You're being anti-American here.'"

Moyers then mentions that Isaacson had sent a memo to staff, leaked to the Washington Post, in which he declared, "It seems perverse to focus too much on the casualties or hardship in Afghanistan" and ordered them to balance any such images with reminders of 9/11. Moyers also asserts that editors at the Panama City (Fla.) News-Herald received an order from above, "Do not use photos on Page 1A showing civilian casualties. Our sister paper has done so and received hundreds and hundreds of threatening emails."

Walter Pincus of the Washington Post explains that even at his paper reporters "do worry about sort of getting out ahead of something." But Moyers gives credit to Charles J. Hanley of The Associated Press for trying, in vain, to draw more attention to United Nations inspectors failing to find WMD in early 2003.

The disgraceful press reaction to Colin Powell's presentation at the United Nations seems like something out of Monty Python, with one key British report cited by Powell being nothing more than a student's thesis, downloaded from the Web -- with the student later threatening to charge U.S. officials with "plagiarism."

Phil Donahue recalls that he was told he could not feature war dissenters alone on his MSNBC talk show and always had to have "two conservatives for every liberal." Moyers resurrects a leaked NBC memo about Donahue's firing that claimed he "presents a difficult public face for NBC in a time of war. At the same time our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity."

Moyers also throws some stats around: In the year before the invasion William Safire (who predicted a "quick war" with Iraqis cheering their liberators) wrote "a total of 27 opinion pieces fanning the sparks of war." The Washington Post carried at least 140 front-page stories in that same period making the administration's case for attack. In the six months leading to the invasion the Post would "editorialize in favor of the war at least 27 times."

Of the 414 Iraq stories broadcast on NBC, ABC and CBS nightly news in the six months before the war, almost all could be traced back to sources solely in the White House, Pentagon or State Dept., Moyers tells Russert, who offers no coherent reply.

The program closes on a sad note, with Moyers pointing out that "so many of the advocates and apologists for the war are still flourishing in the media." He then runs a pre-war clip of President Bush declaring, "We cannot wait for the final proof: the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud." Then he explains: "The man who came up with it was Michael Gerson, President Bush's top speechwriter.

"He has left the White House and has been hired by the Washington Post as a columnist."


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

Ah the WaPo hiring Bunnypants' speechwriter Gerson. Nice to be able to count on the SCLM, eh?


capt said...

Do not forget a pass by Bob Geiger Saturday Cartoons

Always a hoot!


David B. Benson said...

Capt --- Here's a quotation for you from Peter Schrag's As California Goes... in the 2007 Apr 9 issue of The Nation:

"As Harvard political scientist Louis Hartz cogently argued a half-century ago, even the Framers of the Constitution, fearing the potential political power of working-class voters and the possibilities of leveling assults from below on their property and that of others, created a system of govenment checks and balances that supposed to work as slowly as possible, if at all."

Davey Crockett said...

Thx Micki.

Anonymous said...

Gerald posted:

>Violence kills the image of God in us.

I pray that God has mercy on the USA. What a horror of carnage we have unleased in Iraq. How much blood is on the hands of our nation....on all of our hands. Oh, how I pray for a truly pro-LIFE President..instead of the mass murderer we now have in the Oval Office.

Bob in North Dakota

capt said...


No getting around the fact that America was founded by a group of rich white guys (some slave owners) and it has been very hard on them (rich white guys) ever since.

"So they [the Government] go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent."
~ Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965), Hansard, November 12, 1936


capt said...

Bush denies Iraq war is lost

President George Bush says sectarian murders have dropped by half in Baghdad since the US-Iraqi military buildup began in February, rejecting a Democratic leader's claim that the war is lost.

The president said early signs show the operation to quell violence is meeting expectations.

"There are still horrific attacks in Iraq, such as the bombings in Baghdad on Wednesday, but the direction of the fight is beginning to shift," Bush said on Friday in his second speech on terrorism in two days.

Bush spoke at a high school in suburban Grand Rapids to about 500 students and members of the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan. Outside, dozens of protesters shouted anti-war chants and held signs that said "No blood for oil," "End imperialism now" and "Sieg heil Bush."


capt said...

Vermont Senate adopts resolution seeking impeachment of Bush, Cheney

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont senators voted Friday to call for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, saying their actions have raised "serious questions of constitutionality."

The nonbinding resolution was approved 16-9 without debate _ all six Republicans in the chamber at the time and three Democrats voted against it.

Bush and Cheney's actions in the U.S. and abroad, including in Iraq, "raise serious questions of constitutionality, statutory legality, and abuse of the public trust," the resolution reads.

The Vermont Senate is believed to be the first state chamber in the country to pass such a resolution, said Bill Wyatt, a spokesman for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

"Many chambers passed resolutions about the war in Iraq, but none that we are aware have called for impeachment," he said.

Advocates were thrilled with the vote.

"I think it's going to have a tremendous political effect, a tremendous political effect on public discourse about what to do about this president," said James Leas, a vocal advocate of withdrawing troops from Iraq and impeaching Bush and Cheney.

Vermont lawmakers earlier voted to demand an immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq in another nonbinding resolution.

Democratic House Speaker Gaye Symington has kept a similar resolution from reaching the floor in her chamber. She argued that an impeachment resolution would be partisan and divisive and that it would distract Washington from efforts to get the United States out of Iraq, which she says is more important.

In the Senate, Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie had opposed the resolution, but he was absent Friday. That left Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin in charge, and he immediately took up the measure.

Forty towns voted in favor of similar nonbinding impeachment resolutions at their annual town meetings in March. State lawmakers in Wisconsin and Washington have pushed for similar resolutions.


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



Gerald said...

I believe that den on his blogspot carries the Friday Funnies and I hope that capt will remind us of the Saturday cartoons.

The Tenth Doctrine

There Are Two Heavens

I do not know if my tenth doctrine will stand up against theological scrutiny but I will give you my opinion.

I believe that there are two heavens. One heaven is for love and people who have tried to love throughout all their lives. The second heaven is for people who have spent their lives hating other people.

In a loving heaven you will be with people who have loved and eternity will be a loving experience. In a hateful heaven you will be surrounded by people who have spent their lives hating people and eternity will be in a hateful experience. Hateful people will feel at home in a hateful heaven because hate is their comfort zone and they will be quite comfortable in such a heaven.

I leave you with the thought of my tenth doctrine that upon death we will be designated one of two heavens, either a loving heaven or a hateful heaven.



Saladin said...

To focus on extremism loses sight of the issue. The typical gun owner in America is a responsible, law abiding person who would NEVER think of shooting another person unless there was a direct danger to themselves or their loved ones. The right to own a gun has nothing to do with requiring someone to defend themselves with one. The 13 year old niece argument is a non-starter, as is the comparison with nuclear weapons since no one would use such a device for self protection. My owning a gun is no danger to anyone who does not come into my home threatening harm, this is the case with most gun owners. As statistics have shown over and over again, criminals with violent tendencies do not care about gun bans. The shooting at VT took place in an area where an absolute gun ban was in force. The police were useless, they were all sitting ducks because the bureaucrats, in all their wisdom, decided everyone would much safer without guns, they were dead wrong. Homicidal maniacs pay no attention to such laws. The only thing accomplished is a lot of senseless death, all for the lack of one student or professor who could have put a stop to it had they access to a firearm, as was the result in this case, "Five years ago Peter Odighizuwa a 43 year old Nigerian student killed three faculty members at Appalachian Law School Dean with a semi-automatic handgun, but before he could wreak further carnage two students fetched weapons from their cars, challenged the murderer with guns leveled,and disarmed him." What is so hard to understand about that? When you feel endangered you call the police, who come with guns, what is the difference? The police shoot innocent people all the time! I would rather not be forced to wait for police, who in all probability will arrive too late, anymore than you want to be forced to confront a killer with a gun. Just as no one should be forced to have a gun, decent, law abiding people should not be prevented from having one either. The ability to defend your life is an absolute right, God has nothing to do with it. No one should have the authority to remove that right to please the paranoid and irrational. To turn the entire country into a banned gun zone, like that campus, is a recipe for disaster. Criminals can always get guns, and lacking a gun they can build a bomb or poison food, or a myriad other ways to kill people if they want to. At least a psycho with a gun you can actually see and stop. Most animals on earth resort to deadly force in the interest of self preservation and in the defense of the young, why should humans have any less right than a mother lion or elephant?

""The laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity...will respect the less important and arbitrary ones... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants, they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." — Jefferson, quoting Enlightenment philosopher Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishment", 1764."

That still holds true today.

As for Australia:

Australia saw its violent crime rates soar after its 1996 gun control measures banned most firearms. Violent crime rates averaged 32% higher in the six years after the law was passed than they did the year before the law went into effect. Murder and manslaughter rates remained unchanged, but armed robbery rates increased 74%, aggravated assaults by 32%. Australia's violent crime rate is also now double America's.

Fantasy cannot trump reality, no matter how hard you wish.

Gerald said...


Gerald said...

Better Living through Kindness

What’s the secret to happiness?

The great sages and philosophers have pondered this question for thousands of years. Albert Einstein, physicist, mathematician and scientist, came up with an answer that’s as close to the truth as we can imagine: “Only a life lived for others is worth living.”

Writer Jean Malouf agrees and believes that one can find true happiness by acts of kindness for others. She writes, “Kindness means empathy, true intimacy, encouragement, admiration, service, understanding, concern, truth, trust, and all that makes us true images of God.”

Both donor and recipient benefit from kindness. Kindness can help transform the negative into the positive, the lonely into the connected, the despairing into the hopeful.

(Jesus) took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means “Little girl, get up!” And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about. (Mark 5:41-42)

Jesus, You embody kindness and compassion. Teach me Your love for others, that I might share it.


Please think of Einstein's words. Think of them in such a way that if we can help people in the Sudan and Darfur how much better will our lives be. Yes, when we live for others, our lives will be worth living.

A great example of such a life are with mothers. How many mothers do you know whose lives are lived for her family? My wife is an example of such life!!!

Gerald said...

The Garden of Life

“It takes hard work to keep a garden thriving. But it’s worth it,” says writer Leigh Anne Jasheway-Bryant. “A beautiful garden not only feeds us and fills our senses, it also teaches us life lessons.” In a Family Circle article, Jasheway-Bryant shares her insights about gardening and living.

Choose the attitude with which you welcome each day. It can be with happy expectation: “I can’t wait to go outside and smell the roses” or dread: “I have to pull the weeds again.”

A garden has plants that provide beauty, and others that provide sustenance. It’s the same in life. No one does it all.

A garden needs extra care in times of stress.

Jasheway-Bryant concludes, “A garden is for sharing. Let the birds, the bees and your neighbors enjoy it. When you keep too much to yourself, you lose out on the joy that comes from giving.”

The Lord God planted a garden in Eden. (Genesis 2:8)

Thank You for sharing Your garden, the Earth, with us, Creator. Inspire us to conserve it wisely.

Gerald said...

Reaching the Summit

It took the better part of two decades, but Ed Viesturs made history when he became the first American to climb the 14 tallest mountains in the world.

Part of the reason his long-term quest to climb all of the world’s 8,000-meter-or-higher peaks took so long was caused by a particular frustration along the way: Viesturs had to attempt Mount Annapurna, in Nepal, three times before reaching the summit. “Annapurna was the stumbling block,” he notes, “and it took 16 years to get over it.”
Still, Viesturs never gave up. “Once I start something, I don’t like quitting until I’m finished with the project,” he said.

The mountains you encounter in your own life may be more metaphorical than Viesturs’ literal ones, but determination similar to his will likely help you surmount them.

Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)

Everlasting God, help me to have the determination to climb the mountains that stand in my way.

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: April 21

Gerald said...


Kuwait readies for possible US-Iran war Fri Apr 20, 4:42 AM ET

KUWAIT CITY (AFP) - US ally Kuwait is to form an emergency team to draw up contingency plans for any conflict between the United States and Iran, a senior minister said in comments published Friday.

"The team ... will devise a comprehensive contingency plan to deal with risks that may result in case a war breaks out in the Gulf on the back of the rising US military escalation towards Iran," State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Faisal al-Hajji told the Al-Watan daily.

The cabinet will form the team at its weekly meeting on Sunday, drawing on officials from the defence, interior, oil and health ministries as well as the fire and civil defence departments, Hajji said.

The team is then due to hold its first meeting on Monday.

The Kuwaiti parliament is scheduled to hold a special debate on May 1 on the government's readiness for any military confrontation between the United States and Iran.

Washington has said that it would prefer to address its concerns about Tehran's nuclear programme diplomatically but has refused to rule out the option of military action.

It has beefed up its military presence in the Gulf and currently has a second aircraft carrier there for the first time since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Kuwait served as the launchpad for that invasion and remains the main staging point for US-led troops in Iraq.

Around 15,000 US troops are stationed at a series of bases in the emirate, the largest of them at Arifjan, south of Kuwait City near the border with Saudi Arabia.

Gerald said...

We keep hearing that there are TWO aircraft carriers near Iran. Actually, there are THREE aircraft carriers near Iran.

Dave Robinson, Executive Directo of Pax Christi USA, met personally with the Iranian president and it was confirmed that THREE aircraft carries are fueling up and ready to attack Iran.

To attack Iran would not just place Nazi America on the level of Nazi Germany but Nazi America will surpass Nazi Germany as the most evil empire that has ever been born.

micki said...

Crime Down Under -- The Real Facts, Not Fiction Like Saladin Peddles

Crime and criminal justice statistics, From the Australian Government, Criminology Institute

Saladin, it is okay to have your own opinion, but it is not okay to have your own set of facts.

Figures don't lie, but liars figure out how to manipulate and slant statistics to support their own POV. Disgusting!

Also, for the gun homicides that do occur in Australia, 71% of the deaths are intimates, family, friends/acquaintances. Sounds like a pretty damned good reason not to have a gun lying around when someone gets pissed off at an intimate, family member, friend or acquaintance.

You should find better talking points -- fact-based talking points would be a good start.

capt said...

A hundred objective measurements didn't sum the worth of a garden; only the delight of its users did that. Only the use made it mean something.

~ Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign, 1999

capt said...


- This Week: "Hot Politics" (60 minutes),
Tuesday, Apr. 24 at 9pm on PBS (check local listings)
Inside FRONTLINE: Some investigative history
- Live Discussion: Chat with correspondent Deborah Amos, Wed., April 25, at 11 am ET

No, "Hot Politics," our broadcast this Tuesday night, is not about the early going in the race to be the next president. Instead FRONTLINE and the Center for Investigative Reporting examine why the federal government has been slow to wake up to the challenge posed by global warming. Why, we ask, when there was a scientific consensus that the earth is warming articulated nearly 20 years ago, have Republican and Democratic administrations alike been unable to come up with a strategy to deal with the problem?

In 2008 it is possible that both major party nominees will run on platforms that call for mandatory action to do something about the nation's carbon emissions. But as correspondent Deborah Amos and producer Peter Bull reveal in our look back at what happened, such proposals have been on the table before. Powerful industries - coal, oil, mining and electric utilities - got both parties to back away from meaningful action by first attacking the scientific consensus and then raising the specter of damage to the economy. As a result, the U.S. began to go it alone in terms of the worldwide climate debate.

Former Vice President Al Gore did travel to Kyoto and pledged U.S. support for mandatory reduction standards for carbon dioxide emissions. But when he came home, the treaty to which he committed the nation was never even submitted to the Senate for ratification (where it faced almost certain defeat). One Clinton administration official, Deputy Secretary of State Eileen Claussen, quit her job in frustration. Says Claussen, "... It's better to have good rhetoric than bad rhetoric, but it's actually better still to want to do something."

When President Bush took the U.S. out of the Kyoto treaty process altogether, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency Christine Todd Whitman, tells FRONTLINE: "The way it happened was the equivalent of flipping the bird, frankly, to the rest of the world..." And the Bush administration would go one step further. Scientists within the government were told to stop talking about climate change. An important study that assessed the potential impact of global warming on different regions within the U.S. - and the need to plan for those events - was actually suppressed.

If you are interested in how 'hot' are the politics around climate change, the way the media were spun to fashion the discussion, and the orchestrated attack on the science behind global warming, you will want to see this investigative history. If you cannot join us Tuesday night, the program will be available for viewing on our Web site the day after, along with special reports, maps, the extended interviews, and the opportunity to join in the discussion about this report.

Louis Wiley, Jr.
Executive Editor

capt said...

Murtha: Two-month Iraq spending bill ‘very likely’

A two-month spending bill to cover the costs of the Iraq war is "very likely" after President Bush vetoes the current Iraq spending bill, House Defense Appropriations Chairman John Murtha (D-Pa.) said Friday.
House Democrats named their conferees at the beginning of this week and they are to meet Monday, though much of the work on the conference report has been done. The conference report is expected to include an "advisory" date for the withdrawal of troops, rather than the firm September 2008 deadline included in the House version of the bill.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said he expects the bill will be sent to Bush by late next week or the following Monday. Bush has repeatedly threatened to veto the bill.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) has begun to whip on the conference report, sending a questionnaire to members about whether they’ll support it. But leadership has not given members specifics about what will be in the conference report.

House Defense appropriator Jim Moran (D-Va.) said a two-month bill is intended to keep troops funded without giving the president too much latitude.

"Six months is probably too long," Moran said. "One month — it takes longer than that to pass the thing."

Moran said the legislation could not be treated like a continuing resolution, keeping funding at existing levels. The amount of money flowing to the military has to increase, he said, to cover additional spending on "re-tooling" the National Guard and military healthcare.

Moran nodded with an expression of resignation when asked if the two-month bill, as currently envisioned, would fund the ongoing "surge" of U.S. combat troops in Iraq.

He was not as clear about whether the non-military spending, such as money for peanut storage, reimbursement for spinach farmers whose crops were recalled and asbestos removal in the Capitol, would be included. Moran simply said he didn’t like it.

"I wish we’d take that s--t out," Moran said. "It was all put in by leadership after we wrote the bill, and it didn’t get us a single vote."

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) a founding member of the House Out of Iraq Caucus, said she expects there will be even more pressure to withdraw troops in two months if events in Iraq continue on their current violent course.

"In two months it might be really clear how bad it is," Woolsey said.


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

"It (pork) was all put in by leadership after we wrote the bill, and it didn’t get us a single vote."

And I thought the "pork" was necessary to get the needed votes? I can't imagine our honorable politicians would just add pork for no reason, eh?


capt said...

Back to the USSR: Putin turns to thought control

Russia's media isn't as restricted as it was in the bad old days, but it's close, writes Andrew Kramer in Moscow.

AT THEIR first meeting with journalists since taking over Russia's largest independent radio news network, the managers had startling news of their own: from now on, they said, at least half of the reports about Russia must be "positive".

Journalists employed by the network, Russian News Service, also said they were told by the new managers, who are allies of the Kremlin, that opposition leaders could not be mentioned on the air, and the US was to be portrayed as an enemy.

How would they know what constituted positive news?

"When we talk of death, violence or poverty, for example, this is not positive," said one editor, who did not want to be identified for fear of retribution. "If the stockmarket is up, that is positive. The weather can also be positive."


capt said...

Right-wing blogs discover massive conspiracy to hide WMDs in Iraq


Scores of other right-wing blogs -- including right-wing "news site" Pajamas Media -- have excitedly linked to the article in order to suggest or even proclaim to their readers that Saddam really did have WMDs all along but that fact has been covered up by a vast conspiracy.

David Horowitz's Front Page Magazine, always slightly ahead of the neoconservative curve, has been promoting Gaubatz's discovery for some time, and The New York Times reported some time ago that two GOP Congressmen were taking The Gaubatz Conspiracy Theories so seriously that they were forcing Pentagon officials to meet with him to hear his tales, including not only now-defeated Rep. Curt Weldon, but also Rep. Pete Hoekstra (who, frighteningly enough, was Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee at the time).

It is not hyperbole to say that this is deranged reality-detachment of the highest, most disturbing and most disturbed order. After all, look who is in on the Great Conspiracy -- the Leader himself, from his August 6, 2006 Press Conference:


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

"Pajamas Media project (of which I am a "senior contributor" and editorial board member)"

I am a little curious why?


Robert S said...

And a happy, if belated 4/20 to all...

Gerald posted:

What kind of incense is Novak inhaling?

This brought to mind two ideas, which should be explored.

The first, which is a common meme, is that the use of cannabis is detrimental to cognitive thought. While this may be true, in some instances, in others it clearly is not. We have been so encultured by the Cheech and Chong stereotype, that we forget the Messers Cheech and Chong were consummate comedic performers at the highest levels of the craft. The list of other users includes scientists, such as Carl Sagan to musicians and artists far too numerous to mention.

The second point, which may be the more interesting to some is the literal truth to the usage of the word incense.


According to the Encyclopedia Britannica: "Pharmacological Cults"

"...the ceremonial use of incense in contemporary ritual is most likely a relic of the time when the psychoactive properties of incense brought the ancient worshipper in touch with supernatural forces."

In the temples of the ancient world, the main sacrifice was the inhalation of incense. Incense is defined as the perfume or smoke from spices and gums when burned in celebrating religious rites or as an offering to a deity. Bronze and gold incense burners were cast very early in history and their forms were often inspired by cosmological themes representing the harmonious nature of the universe.

The following piece was taken from "Licit and Illicit Drugs", page 31.

"In the Judaic world, the vapors from burnt spices and aromatic gums were considered part of the pleasurable act of worship. In proverbs (27:9) it is said that 'Ointment and perfumes rejoice the heart.' Perfumes were widely used in Egyptian worship. Stone altars have been unearthed in Babylon and Palestine, which have been used for burning incense made of aromatic wood and spices. While the casual readers today may interpret such practices as mere satisfaction of the desire for pleasant odors, this is almost certainly an error; in many or most cases, a psychoactive drug was being inhaled. In the islands of the Mediterranean 2,500 years ago and in Africa hundreds of years ago, for example leaves and flowers of a particular plant were often thrown upon bonfires and the smoke inhaled; the plant was marijuana."

(Edward Preble and Gabriel V. Laurey, Plastic Cement: The Ten Cent Hallucinogen, International Journal of the Addictions, 2 (Fall 2967): 271-272.

"The earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia brewed intoxicating beer of barley more than 5,000 years ago; is it too much to assume that even earlier cultures experienced euphoria, accidentally or deliberately, through inhalation of the resinous smoke of Cannabis?"

(Ritual Use of Cannabis Sativa L, p. 216.)

"It is said that the Assyrians used hemp (marijuana) as incense in the seventh or eighth century before Christ and called it 'Qunubu', a term apparently borrowed from an old East Iranian word 'Konaba', the same as the Scythian name 'cannabis'." (Plants of the Gods - Origin of Hallucinogenic Use by Richard E. Schultes and Albert Hoffman)

"It is recorded that the Chinese Taoist recommended the addition of cannabis to their incense burners in the 1st century as a means of achieving immortality."

(Marijuana, the First Twelve Thousand Years by Earnest Abel, page 5)

"There is a classic Greek term, cannabeizein, which means to smoke cannabis. Cannabeizein frequently took the form of inhaling vapors from an incense burner in which these resins were mixed with other resins, such as myrrh, balsam, frankincense, and perfumes." (Ritual Use of Cannabis Sativa L)

"Herodotus in the fifth century B.C. observed the Scythians throwing hemp on heated stone to create smoke and observed them inhaling this smoke. Although he does not identify them, Herodotus states that when they "have parties and sit around a fire, they throw some of it into the flames. As it burns, it smokes like incense, and the smell of it makes them drunk, just as wine does us. As more fruit is thrown on, they get more and more intoxicated until finally they jump up and start dancing and singing." (Herodotus, Histories 1.202.)

Robert S said...

And a ditty for a Happy Earth Day

The Garden Song
David Mallett
©1975, 1977, 1978 Cherry Lane Music Co.

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
Till the rains comes tumbling down

Pullin' weeds and pickin' stones,
Man is made of dreams and bones
I feel the need to grow my own
Cause the time is close at hand
Grain for grain, sun and rain
I'll find my way in nature's chain
Tune my body and my brain
To the music from the land


Plant your rows straight and long,
Temper them with prayer and song
Mother earth can make you strong
If you give her love and care
An old crow watching hungrily
From his perch in yonder tree
In my garden I'm as free
As that feathered thief up there


Gerald said...

Here is a reminder. On Wednesday, April 25, Bill Moyers Journal will feature the Buying the War on how MSM failed America and Americans. PBS will carry the journal at 9 PM EST.

Codepink answers McCain, the Insane, with their own song against the bombing of Iran.

capt said...

Public Farce: Pundits Clueless About School Shootings

In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, police, the news media, and psychologists have pored over the crime, picking it apart from every imaginable angle. Everything from the gun lobby to the university president to violent entertainment and racism have been cited as possibly contributing to the worst shooting rampage in America’s history.

Predictably, the killings have spawned calls for action and the usual questions that follow any well-publicized violent tragedy.

Pundits come out of the woodwork to muse about how to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again, but of course it’s a public farce. The simple fact is that no one knows why a troubled person will suddenly turn violent. No amount of after-the-fact psychological analysis will tell police how to prevent other attacks. In the current climate of media coverage overkill, panic and concern often replace rationality and reason. Time for a reality check:


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

Every once in a while a person goes nuts in a homicidal rage. Such would never happen in the first place if there was a way to tell when or who before the fact.


capt said...


Assaults: 2,238,480
Car thefts: 1,147,300
Drug offences: 560.1 per 100,000 people

Illicit drugs
world's largest consumer of cocaine, shipped from Colombia through Mexico and the Caribbean; consumer of ecstasy and of Mexican heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine; minor consumer of high-quality Southeast Asian heroin; illicit producer of cannabis, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine; money-laundering center

Murders: 12,658
Murders (per capita): 0.042802 per 1,000 people
Murders with firearms: 8,259
Murders with firearms (per capita): 0.0279271 per 1,000 people
Rapes: 89,110
Total crimes: 23,677,800

SOURCES: Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998 - 2000 (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention); UNODC; CIA World Factbook


Assaults: 141,124
Car thefts: 139,094

Illicit drugs
Tasmania is one of the world's major suppliers of licit opiate products; government maintains strict controls over areas of opium poppy cultivation and output of poppy straw concentrate; major consumer of cocaine and amphetamines

Murders: 302
Murders (per capita): 0.0150324 per 1,000 people
Murders with firearms: 59
Murders with firearms (per capita): 0.00293678 per 1,000 people
Rape victims: 1%
Rapes: 15,630
Rapes (per capita): 0.777999 per 1,000 people

SOURCES: Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998 - 2000 (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention); CIA World Factbook

From: Crime Statistics > Murders with firearms (per capita) by country

#8 United States: 0.0279271 per 1,000 people

#27 Australia: 0.00293678 per 1,000 people

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

The "Myths" post via Rense was originally posted 09/02/2000 on Free Republic by AMERIKA" who was "banned or suspended" long ago.


capt said...

The Murderer and the Media

Killers like Seung-Hui Cho are damaged, hugely resentful men who set out to punish the world because they consider it so stupid, or unjust, or negligent, or otherwise damnable as to have failed to recognize their true worth and strength. Thus do diminished men puff themselves up as avenging crusaders.

They don't really know who diminished them, but it doesn't matter. As their idea of the original damage is vague, so will their targets be indiscriminate. The whole world is going to be diminished, and so these endlessly bitter men turn themselves into walking arsenals. They turn themselves into broadcasters as well. These killers are in the communication business.

They will send messages to prove they are not, after all, tiny. They claim recognition as giants, virulent in their potency. They are going to force the whole world to suffer their purported greatness. And the means toward this end are double: The killers are going to kill whomever they please, and they are going to make the rest of the world know it. Having left behind a record of depravity, the killer then is going to exit. He will vanish into an eternity of fame. As his markers, he will leave corpses behind. He will be unforgettable - not only a killer, but a great killer. And in a world saturated with media, a great killer must also be a famous killer. Notoriety is immortality. So to complete his glorious task, he turns to accomplices - the media.

Cho, the Virginia Tech killer, turned to NBC News - and the network proceeded to broadcast, and rebroadcast, and re-rebroadcast, his chilling video rant. So did all the other news networks. NBC News President Steve Capus said the network had an obligation to air the video in order to enable the public to get "inside the mind of a murderer."

The broadcasters do not share the killer's purpose, exactly, but they serve it. In his eyes, they are fools who will serve as tools - his tools. As once the killer was humiliated, he will now humiliate these powerhouses of image by turning them into his instruments. For he understands that broadcasters share a purpose with him - getting attention. As so, in the strictest sense, those who broadcast the killers' messages are complicit.


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

"an obligation to air the video in order to enable the public to get "inside the mind of a murderer"

So the only messages the MSM will not air are those from OBL?

I think it is all about ratings and $$ - nothing else.


capt said...

Centennial Light Bulb

Welcome to the homepage devoted to the Longest burning Light Bulb in history. Just to show you the bulb is still kicking, I added the 3 pictures above, from 2004. Please feel free to browse the pages, and leave your comments.

Thanks to the efforts of Don Peters, of the LPFD, we now have a New Sony Bulbcam! Check out the images on the Video Page.


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

Too bad the bulb manufacturers didn't use the same design. 106 years and counting.


capt said...

Officials: Pet Food Poison May Have Been Intentional

FDA Investigators Say Chinese Companies May Have Added Melamine to Appear to Boost Protein Content

April 19, 2007 — For the first time, investigators are saying the chemical that has sickened and killed pets in the United States may have been intentionally added to pet food ingredients by Chinese producers.

Food and Drug Administration investigators say the Chinese companies may have spiked products with the chemical melamine so that they would appear, in tests, to have more value as protein products.

Officials now suspect this possibility because a second ingredient from China, rice protein concentrate, has tested positive for melamine. So has corn gluten shipped to South Africa. That means there is a possibility for another round of recalls.

The FDA's top veterinarian, Stephen Sundlof, says finding melamine in so many products "would certainly lend credibility to the theory that it was maybe intentional."

Melamine, which is used to make plastics in the United States and as a fertilizer in Asia, contains nitrogen. Nitrogen can appear to boost the level of protein in products.

The revelations have led the FDA to expand the number of products it is testing as they enter the United States. So far, those inspections at the border have not turned up any melamine in wheat gluten. Tainted wheat gluten used by Menu Foods is suspected in sickening hundreds, if not thousands of pets.

Some of the tainted pet food has apparently made it into feed for hogs. Federal agencies are trying to determine if it was actually fed to animals and whether it may have reached the human food supply.


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

Most people I know think of their pets as family members. So far my pets have been spared. I hate to think it was intentional.


capt said...


TONY BLAIR will leave Downing Street before a decision is taken on charges in the cash for honours affair.

The Prime Minister was yesterday said to be preparing to stand down on May 9.

That will trigger a seven-week leadership election process in the Labour Party and a new PM - probably Gordon Brown - will move into 10 Downing Street at the end of June.

But Westminster sources say the Crown Prosecution Service are highly unlikely to make a decision on charges before Blair leaves office.

Police investigating the alleged exchange of honours for donations to Labour delivered their 216-page report to prosecutors on Friday.

Sources claim there is enough evidence of wrong-doing by key Blair aides to justify criminal charges.


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

Seems the real hard-core neocreeps are all criminals. Let's hope impeachment happens and the sooner the better. Justice delayed IS justice denied.


Saladin said...

Micki, I don't peddle fiction. Gun bans don't work, they never have. From the website "Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws" is this link, "GUNS AND PUBLIC HEALTH: EPIDEMIC OF VIOLENCE OR PANDEMIC OF PROPAGANDA?" by Don B. Kates, Henry E. Schaffer, Ph.D.,
John K. Lattimer, M.D., George B. Murray, M.D.,
and Edwin H. Cassem, M.D.

In this report the methods used by anti-gun advocates are fully exposed. The belief that extreme organizations like the NRA are the only ones who tweak the numbers to support an agenda is naive at best.

From this report, bracketed numbers are references:

"Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor
for Homicide in the Home"

This is the title of a 1993 article whose authors include several of Sloan's co-authors on the Vancouver-Seattle comparison discussed previously.[311] The 1993 article having, like its predecessor, appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, we refer to it as NEJM-1993. This article is particularly appropriate for a detailed critique of the anti-gun position because it has received widespread publicity[312] and voluminous citation in the health advocacy literature.[313] (p.585)Moreover, NEJM-1993 continues a long series of widely publicized health advocacy studies and would be more appropriately cited in a statistics text as a cautionary example of multiple statistical errors.

Purpose and Design of NEJM-1993

The hypothesis allegedly under study by NEJM-1993 was "whether keeping a firearm in the home confers protection against crime or, instead, increases the risk of violent crime in the home."[316] Simplistically described, the study compares a sample of households in which homicide occurred to a supposedly similar sample in which they did not.[317] It finds that the households where homicide occurred were more likely to have contained guns.[318] From this finding, it concludes that guns are more of a danger than a protection.[319]

The study utilized data from three urban counties where homicide occurred in the home during chosen time periods.[320] As a comparison with these homicide cases, a control was selected for each homicide victim.[321] These control subjects were matched to the homicide victim with respect to sex, race, age, and neighborhood of residence.[322] The authors then obtained additional kinds of information by reading police or other official reports relating to the homicide cases, by interviewing another occupant of the household where the homicide occurred (a case-proxy), and by interviewing either the control subject or another occupant of the control subject's household (a control-proxy).[323]

Study Design Exaggerates Risks of Defensive Gun Ownership

The data presented in NEJM-1993 does not show that even one homicide victim was killed with a gun ordinarily kept in that household. Indeed, the indirect evidence indicates that most of the homicide victims in the study were killed using guns not kept in the victim's home: 70.9% of the homicide victims (p.587)were killed by people whose relationship to the victim[324] indicates that the killer did not live in the victim's household, and thus presumably used a gun not kept in the victim's household.

Incidentally, we do not mean to deny that it may be relevant that the murder household had a gun even though that gun had no direct involvement in the murder, but the nature of that relevance compromises NEJM-1993's conclusions about the supposed risk of home gun ownership. What if it turns out that people who are at higher risk of being murdered are more likely to own guns than those at lesser risk? This is not only intuitively plausible, but it is also supported by the finding in some high density urban areas that victims of homicide and other severe violence tend to be engaged in criminal activity, including drug activity, or have criminal records.[325]

Inadequate Consideration of High Risk Career Criminality

The authors of NEJM-1993 were aware of the problem that the homicide cases in their study might contain a disproportionate number of high risk people. In an attempt to avoid the problem, they tried to compare the homicide cases to the controls to see if there were differences in a variety of risk factors, including drinking and drug problems, histories of domestic violence, whether the home was owned or rented, and particularly emphasizing gun ownership.[328] NEJM-1993 then reports differences in the presence of these risk factors as being associated with an increase in the risk of homicide.[329]

These issues are particularly important because criminological studies indicate that the overall population may be divided into three categories: (1) the overwhelming majority, who are law-abiding citizens; (2) a minority of people who commit infrequent or trivial crimes; and (3) "career criminals" who commit the majority of crimes, especially the more serious ones.[331] It may plausibly be (p.589)postulated that a group containing more career criminals will have both a higher rate of gun ownership and a greater likelihood of being murdered than a supposedly similar control group of people who commit relatively less frequent and less serious crimes. If so, that is a confounding factor which would produce a spurious association between owning a gun and being murdered.

This leads us to a more fundamental problem with the entire NEJM-1993 study design. Let us suppose that the data problems arising from the comparison of the murdered group to the control group had all been solved. Still, the cases involve high-risk households unrepresentative of the general population. The controls, having been drawn from atypically high violence geographical areas, are unrepresentative of the general population. Therefore, there is no formal research basis for applying any conclusions from this study regarding the effects of gun ownership to the general population.[332] Nonetheless, NEJM-1993 reaches unqualified conclusions and presents them as applying to the general population.[333]
Statistics from Wiki:

In the year 2002/2003, over 85% of firearms used to commit murder were unregistered.[19] In 1997-1999, more than 80% of the handguns confiscated were never legally purchased or registered in Australia.[20] Knives are used up to 3 times as often as firearms in robberies.[21] The majority of firearm related deaths involved the use of hunting rifles, with their share being most pronounced in firearm suicides.[9]

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics [5], in 1985-2000, 78% of firearm deaths in Australia were suicides, yet only 5% of suicides involved firearms. The suicide rate has only fluctuated, not statistically changed, from 1993-2003.

The number of unregistered or uncontrolled firearms continues to increase, with an average of over 4,000 firearms stolen per year, primarily from residences (although one gun-dealer had approximately 600 firearms stolen sometime between 1999 and 2000).[22] Concern has been raised about the number of smuggled pistols reaching Australia, particularly in New South Wales.
"71% of the deaths are intimates, family, friends/acquaintances." First, define "intimates, family, friends/acquaintances."
How many of those were the result of illegal, unregistered or stolen weapons? How do you know they happened because of "guns lying around?" That seems like a serious stretch. And how many were committed by people with criminal histories and/or convictions? There are already laws banning anyone with criminal convictions from owning guns, but again, those laws are ignored, how many more laws will they make up that will also be ignored? The point being, gun bans do not keep guns away from criminals. Criminals ignore gun laws, that is why they steal guns.
But the ultimate example of gun banning failure is DC where a total gun ban has been in force for 25 years. According to these figures from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Vital Statistics, National Vital Statistics Report Volume 54, Number 13, April 19, 2006, DC was the highest ranked city for firearm death at 26.9 per 100,000 in 2003. DC has some of the most stringent gun laws in the country, which in practice, prohibit the possession of a functioning firearm. According to the BATF, On an "Operation Ceasefire" web page, "The District of Columbia has the strictest set of local firearms laws in the country.... And yet, even by the most conservative estimates, thousands of illegal firearms continue to be present in the District every day, and firearms-related violence exacts a terrible and continuing toll on the lives of the people who live and work in the city." So, banning guns across the whole country will do what exactly? I know this screed has probably been an exercise in futility. Like trying to reason with religious zealots there is no convincing those who will not see reason. Thank God banning guns probably won't happen absent some really horrific disaster which bush can use to justify martial law. In that case we're pretty much screwed anyway.

Pat said...

Back to gardens. A few weeks ago I bought an "ugly" tomatao at a hefty price. I got thinking about heirloom seeds and plants. I Googled and came up with quite a list. I liked Seed Savers because they are a non-profit and ordered their catalog. (I didn't spend much time on the others.)

In the meantime the effects of GM corn on internal organs made the news. Next we heard about the pet food recall.

The catalog finally arrived and I find it most imprssive. It's a glossy 100-page beauty of pictures and words. The tomatoes alone span 8 pages. They have flowers and books and posters.

If you're interested check their website:
along with the others that offer heirloom seeds. These may be a little more expensive ...


Saladin said...

Capt, I didn't find those stats at Rense or Free republic, and also they were only for a year. I have spent the morning researching gun violence here and abroad and have found some very interesting information, including the numerous ways anti-gun pundits leave out vital facts and other tricky ways they tweak reports. The "Doctors for sensible gun laws" site is very good, though a lot of PDF that can't be copy/pasted. All in all the conclusion is the same. Banning guns is utterly useless in combating violent crime. Basically it boils down to this statement from the above article:

...increased firearm availability to honest, responsible people--of any race--does not cause increased violence. Neither is lower firearm availability to such people associated with lower violence. Taken together or separately, data on firearm availability for the nation as a whole, and for discrete geographic or demographic sub-populations, discredit the shibboleth that the possession of guns is the primary cause of murder. The actual causes of murder--other than competing in the murderous drug trade--are hopelessness, poverty, and a lack of substantial employment opportunities. Studies suggest that rates of homicide and other violence among blacks are no greater than those of similarly situated whites.[255] In that connection, consider the following: "Fixating on guns seems to be, for many people, a fetish which allows them to ignore the more intransigent causes of American violence, including its dying cities, inequality, deteriorating family structure, and the all-pervasive economic and social consequences of a history of slavery and racism."[256] In this context, we note a Marxist criminologist's (p.576)suggestion that the function, or at least the effect, of gun control advocacy is diverting attention from urgently needed social and political change.[257]
Seems to be a long standing pattern of govt. suppression and manipulation. Why am I not surprised? The worst tyrants in the world always disarmed their citizens before proceeding to slaughter them by the millions. Why anyone would advocate absolute gun control now, while the most murderous and psychotic govt. ever to darken America's doorstep is in charge, I will never know. Jefferson saw the danger long ago, but apparently it is invisible to the anti-gun zealots, they don't even have 20/20 hindsight.

capt said...


You did not link to anything, but I found the same information on Rense via Free Republic.

If you have a different source for good information please link to it so those interested in a meaningful discussion can access your source?


capt said...


Saladin, you DID link - it was linked to Rense and the stats are completely false.

I don't get it.

The "Nine Myths" are as I posted, from 2000 and not supported, originally posted by Amerika on Free Republic?


Robert S said...

It is virtually impossible to eliminate the suicide bombings, the commanders acknowledged. "I don't think you're ever going to get rid of all the car bombs," Petraeus said. "Iraq is going to have to learn -- as did, say, Northern Ireland -- to live with some degree of sensational attacks." A more realistic goal, he said, but one that has eluded U.S. and Iraqi forces, is to prevent the bombers from causing "horrific damage."

Excerpted from:

Top U.S. Officers See Mixed Results From Iraq 'Surge'
Sectarian Killings Decrease in Capital; Suicide Bombings Across Country Rise

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 22, 2007; A01

capt said...

Iran, US take their fight to Afghanistan


Tehran understands that despite the talk of a "diplomatic solution", Bush is ratcheting up tensions. Given the Democratic Party's close links with the Israeli lobby, it endorses Vice President Dick Cheney's line that "all options are on the table" when it comes to making Iran bend. In such a dangerous scenario, Tehran will not act impetuously. Persians do not behave like Texan cowboys - "my-enemy's-enemy-is-my-friend". It is illogical that Iran would open a new front in Afghanistan, either.

Besides, Iran estimates carefully that any link-up with the Taliban (and al-Qaeda), howsoever tactical, could have unforeseen long-term consequences. Also, Iranians have a fairly accurate assessment of the complexities of the US's dealings with the Taliban. Iranians have all long suspected that there is a convergence of interests between the US, Britain and Pakistan to keep the Afghan war going at a certain level of intensity as a justification for perpetuating the Western military presence in the region.

Without doubt, Tehran realizes that continued American occupation of Afghanistan is irreconcilable with its vital interests and core concerns. But, at the same time, Afghanistan's long-term stability is of utmost concern to Tehran. Thus, the Iranian reaction to the US support for terrorism will be measured and proportionate. The Iranians know that the Afghan war is largely a war dominated by spin.

We may expect that Iran will use all its influence in Afghanistan, which is quite considerable, to make Washington realize that its support of terrorism from Afghan soil comes at a heavy price. Pace unlikely thought through before he spoke on Iranian support of the Taliban. But, then, as Frederick the Great once said, if his soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks.


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

I find the Asian Times fair and balanced in most of its reporting. Far better insights than the "western" MSM.


capt said...

"Media Matters"; by Jamison Foser

From The New Republic to Free Republic


The narrow range of opinion -- from The New Republic to Free Republic -- that is overrepresented in the news media largely excludes strong progressive points of view. It also helps conventional wisdom to calcify.

Which may be one reason why, long after public opinion polling began to show that President Bush is highly unpopular, many in the media couldn't seem to grasp that simple point (Chris Matthews, for example, was "amazed": "I always thought Bush was more popular than his policies. I keep saying it, and I keep being wrong on this. Bush is not popular.") And why, long after public opinion polling showed that people have had enough of the Iraq war and want out, many in the media seem to have trouble grasping that fact. When news organizations treat Joe Lieberman and John McCain as representative of the range of valid opinion, they are bound to be out of touch with a large segment of the American public -- and, in the case of Iraq, the clear majority.

But, particularly when the conventional wisdom is at odds with public opinion, the "political realities" it is supposedly based upon can shift quickly. Just look at health care: For years, in the wake of the failure of the Clinton health care plan in 1994, few prominent Democrats talked about universal health care, and fewer journalists seemed to take it seriously. Now, the three leading Democratic candidates for president -- Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama -- all tout their support for universal health care.

So, rather than misleadingly using polling data and recent history to assert that there will be no change in gun laws, maybe the media should focus on explaining -- really explaining, in detail -- what the guns laws are. Americans strongly supported the assault weapons ban that the Republican Congress allowed to expire in 2004, and yet its expiration did not lead to a large spike in the number of Americans who support stricter gun laws. Might that suggest that many Americans don't know the assault weapons ban no longer exists?

We don't need the media to tell us how they think the gun debate will play out, or what the public reaction would be. We need them to simply report the facts: What are the laws we have now? What evidence is there that they work, or don't work? What proposals to change the laws are out there? What are the arguments for and against? Those are the kinds of questions journalists should focus on, not trying to guess what will happen -- and misleadingly using data to do so.


capt said...

Fifty dead in new day of Iraq carnage

Insurgents killed 50 people in a new day of carnage in Iraq, including 23 members of a non-Muslim minority dragged from a bus and gunned down by the roadside, security officials said.

The violence came as the US military said it would press on with plans to wall in Baghdad's most restive neighbourhoods despite criticism from residents and many Iraqi politicians.

An American commander also announced plans to recruit more than 40,000 more troops into Iraq's armed forces in 2007 as part of a $US14 billion ($A16.76 billion) plan to develop their capabilities.


capt said...

Iraqi PM Orders Halt to Baghdad Barrier

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Sunday that he has ordered a halt to the construction of a barrier that would separate a Sunni enclave from surrounding Shiite areas in Baghdad, saying there are other ways to protect the neighborhood.

The U.S. military announced last week that it was building a large concrete wall in the northern Azamiyah section of Baghdad in an effort to protect the minority Sunnis from attacks by Shiites living nearby.

The decision drew sharp criticism from residents and Sunni leaders who complained it would isolate their community.

In his first public comments on the issue, al-Maliki said he had ordered the construction to stop.

"I oppose the building of the wall and its construction will stop," al-Maliki told reporters during a joint news conference with the Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa in Cairo, Egypt. "There are other methods to protect neighborhoods."

He did not elaborate but added "this wall reminds us of other walls," in an apparent reference to the wall that divided the German city of Berlin during the Cold War.

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

I find it maddening that once their inane policies have failed beyond any doubt the neocons always want to build a fence and declare victory.

Call it seperation diplomacy?


capt said...

Woman strips off to beat heatwave with splash in Rome fountain

The hottest day in Rome so far this year brought relief for one and entertainment for many on Sunday as a woman took a skinny-dip in the Trevi fountain.

Identified only as Roberta, the Milanese woman, aged about 40, delighted hundreds of onlookers with her "Dolce Vita" caper as the temperature hit 27 degrees Celsius (80 Fahrenheit), the ANSA news agency reported.

Police, after allowing her to strip, splash about and then sunbathe on the edge of the famous fountain for a few minutes, invited her to collect her clothes from the water and leave.

She complied, dripping and smiling to the applause of the crowd.

A police spokesman commented dryly that "water belongs to everyone," but Roberta faces a stiff fine for "obscene behaviour in public."


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

Stiff fine? The only thing obscene would be a more tongue-in-cheek comment, eh? (HA!)


micki said...

Saladin...please stop suggesting that I have suggested a "gun ban" or suggested "grabbing guns" -- that is not factual. I refus to discuss anything with someone who strays from the facts or misrepresents what another has said.

I am done with you on this topic. You are being, as Dr. B, once said (but on another topic) willfully ignorant.


micki said...


David B. Benson said...

Fus and refus...


Carey said...

Robert S.,

Bravo to your post on weed in all of its respects. This is a plant that needs to be investigated for its myriad properties, including the neat ones.

Pharma and liquor lobbies are hugely savage enemies of what they rightly consider a serious threat.


Please sign the pledge to live a one-planet life (we live as if we have five planets).


David Corn's use of the word disingenuous to describe Bush is interesting. Y'all know he most definitely would like to use a stronger term.

Carey said...

Just for the record, I'm pro gun control which is undoubtedly of no surprise to any of you.

micki said...

Carey -- yes, controls make abundant sense.

Why is that word control conflated into grabbing and banning by some?

I'd like to ban a lot of things. Stupidity would be a good starting point. ;-)

micki said...

I wish no one had a gun in their home. Especially lunatics and people who hate and people who are mentally ill and Aryan Nations' pyschos and people who think the way to settle scores is through the barrel of a gun.

Too many people who are believed to be responsible own guns -- lots of guns.

David B. Benson said...

Too many people believed to be responsible drive cars!

I know or have known nobody shot by a gun. I can immediately think of five people, including one child, that I knew who were slaughtered by vehicular homicide...

micki said...

I agree. Too many irresponsible people drive cars. There are too many irresponsible people. Period.

One irresponsible person sits in the Oval Office -- look at all the deaths he has caused.

micki said...

I know of one person shot -- and killed -- by a gun. My niece's stepson.

My cousin's 6-YO daughter was killed by an irresponsible driver.

When my brother was 20-YO he was changing a flat tire way off to the side of the road -- a drunk driver ran into him and broke his legs and other bones.

My brother was in college at the time and had just signed with a major league baseball team. He could no longer play baseball. But, he's living.

micki said...

Not to be ageist -- but too many elderly people should not be driving.

That is irresponsible.

David B. Benson said...

Usually it is 18 to 24 year old male drivers.

Older people drive more slowly. I hope.

capt said...

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences."- C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), British novelist


"The privacy and dignity of our citizens [are] being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence. But when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen -- a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of a [person's] life." -- Justice William O. Douglas - (1898-1980), U. S. Supreme Court Justice Source: Osborne v. United States


Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. - Rosa Luxemburg


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

micki said...

You're right, Dr. B -- the young drivers are a problem -- but it doesn't look so good for the older driver either!

The answer is developing more mass transit. Fewer cars!

David B. Benson said...

You convinced me. More accurately, your linked site did.
I don't drive any more anyway, but now I think I'll sell my car.
Around here, the problem is that buses are so successful that we badly need more, newer ones.
I help out by walking almost everywhere...

Saladin said...

Capt, that Rense link is from a site called, or Second amendment sisters, a women's advocacy group. I don't know anything about Amerika? And the article was followed by these references (sorry for the length):

[1] Leape LL. "Error in Medicine." JAMA. 1994; 272(23): 1851-57. Back to the top

[2] Suter E. "Guns in the Medical Literature - A Failure of Peer Review." Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia. March 1994; 83: 133-48. Back to the top

[3] Kleck G. Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America. New York: Aldine de Gruyter. 1991. Back to the top

[4] Suter EA, Waters WC, Murray GB, et al. "Violence in America - Effective Solutions." Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia. Spring 1995, forthcoming. Back to the top

[5] Fingerhut LA, Ingram DD, Feldman JJ. "Firearm Homicide Among Black Teenage Males in Metropolitan Counties: Comparison of Death Rates in Two Periods, 1983 through 1985 and 1987 through 1989." JAMA. 1992; 267:3054-8. Back to the top

[6] Hammett M, Powell KE, O?Carroll PW, Clanton ST. "Homicide Surveillance - United States, 1987 through 1989." MMWR. 41/SS-3. May 29,1992. Back to the top

[7] FBI. Uniform Crime Reports Crime in the United States 1991. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1992 Back to the top

[8] National Safety Council. Accident Facts 1992. Chicago: National Safety Council. 1993. Back to the top [9] Webster D, Chaulk, Teret S, and Wintemute G. "Reducing Firearm Injuries." Issues in Science and Technology. Spring 1991: 73-9. Back to the top

[10] Christoffel KK. "Towards Reducing Pediatric Injuries From Firearms: Charting a Legislative and Regulatory Course." Pediatrics. 1992; 88:294-300. Back to the top

[11] Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Department of Justice. Uniform Crime Reports Crime in the United States 1993. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1994. Table 5. Back to the top

[12] Dawson JB and Lantern PA, US Bureau of Justice Statistics statisticians. "Murder in Families." Washington DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice. 1994. p. 5, Table 7. Back to the top

[13] US Bureau of Justice Statistics. "Murder in Large Urban Counties, 1988." Washington DC: US Department of Justice. 1993. Back to the top

[14] Narloch R. Criminal Homicide in California. Sacramento CA: California Bureau of Criminal Statistics. 1973. pp 53-4. Back to the top

[15] Mulvihill D et al. Crimes of Violence: Report of the Task Force on Individual Acts of Violence." Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1969. p 532. Back to the top

[16] Wheeler ED and Baron SA. Violence in Our Schools, Hospitals and Public Places: A Prevention and Management Guide.? Ventura CA: Pathfinder. 1993. Back to the top

[17] Kellermann AL. and Reay DT. "Protection or Peril? An Analysis of Firearms-Related Deaths in the Home.? N Engl J. Med 1986. 314: 1557-60. Back to the top

[18] Kellermann AL, Rivara FP, Rushforth NB et al. "Gun ownership as a risk factor for homicide in the home.? N Engl J Med. 1993; 329(15): 1084-91. Back to the top

[19] Japenga A. "Gun Crazy.? San Francisco Examiner. This World supplement. April 3, 1994. p. 7-13 at 11. Back to the top

[20] Max W and Rice DP. "Shooting in the Dark: Estimating the Cost of Firearm Injuries.? Health Affairs. 1993; 12(4): 171-85. Back to the top

[21] Nieto M, Dunstan R, and Koehler GA. "Firearm-Related Violence in California: Incidence and Economic Costs.? Sacramento CA: California Research Bureau, California State Library. October 1994. Back to the top

[22] McGonigal MD, Cole J, Schwab W, Kauder DR, Rotondo MF, and Angood PB. "Urban Firearms Deaths: A Five-Year Perspective.? J Trauma. 1993; 35(4): 532-36.

Back to the top

[23] Hutson HR, Anglin D, and Pratss MJ. "Adolescents and Children Injured or Killed in Drive-By Shootings in Los Angeles.? N Engl J Med. 1994; 330: 324-27. Back to the top

[24] Zedlewski EW. Making Confinement Decisions - Research in Brief. Washington DC: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice. July 1987. Back to the top

[25] United Press. "China seizes 120,000 guns.? October 21, 1994. Back to the top

[26] Cramer C and Kopel D. Concealed Handgun Permits for Licensed Trained Citizens: A Policy that is Saving Lives. Golden CO: Independence Institute Issue Paper #14-93. 1993. Back to the top

[27] Cramer C and Kopel D. "Shall Issue?: The New Wave of Concealed Handgun Permit Laws. Golden CO: Independence Institute Issue Paper. October 17, 1994. Back to the top

[28] Aborn R, President of Handgun Control Inc. Letter to the Editor. Washington Post. September 30, 1994. Back to the top

[29] Thomson Charles, Associate Director for Law Enf Back to the top

[30] Halbrook SP. "Another Look at the Brady Law." Washington Post. October 8, 1994. p A-18. Back to the top

[31] Howlett D. "Jury Still Out on Success of the Brady Law." USA Today. December 28, 1994. p A-2. Back to the top

[32] Harris J, Assistant Attorney General, US Department of Justice. Statement to the Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice, Committee on the Judiciary, US Gouse of Representatives concerning Federal Firearms Prosecutions. September 20, 1994. Back to the top

[33] Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, US Department of the Treasury. ATF News.. Washington DC: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. FY-93-38. 1993. Back to the top

[34] Wright JD and Rossi PH. Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter. 1986. Back to the top

[35] Suter EA, Morgan RE, Cottrol RJ, et al. "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms - A Primer for Physicians." Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy. Spring 1995, forthcoming. Back to the top

[36] Johnson NJ. "Beyond the Second Amendment: An Individual Right to Arms Viewed through the Ninth Amendment." Rutgers Law Journal. Fall 1992; 24 (1): 1-81. Back to the top

[37] Amar AR. "The Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment." Yale Law Journal. 1992; 101: 1193-1284.; Winter 1992; 9: 87-104.; Back to the top

[38] Kates D. "The Second Amendment and the Ideology of Self-Protection." Constitutional Commentary. Winter 1992; 9: 87-104. Back to the top

[39] Articles supportive of the individual rights view include: Van Alstyne W. "The Second Amendment and the Personal Right to Arms." Duke Law Journal. 1994; 43: 6.; Amar AR. "The Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment." Yale Law Journal. 1992; 101: 1193-1284.; Winter 1992; 9: 87-104.; Scarry E. "War and the Social Contract: The Right to Bear Arms." Univ. Penn. Law Rev. 1991; 139(5): 1257-1316.; Williams DL. "Civic Republicanism and the Citizen Militia: The Terrifying Second Amendment" Yale Law Journal. 1991; 101:551-616.; Cottrol RJ and Diamond RT. "The Second Amendment: Toward an Afro-Americanist Reconsideration." The Georgetown Law Journal. December 1991: 80; 309-61.; Amar AR. "The Bill of Rights as a Constitution" Yale Law Journal. 1991; 100 (5): 1131-1210.; Levinson S. "The Embarrassing Second Amendment" Yale Law Journal. 1989; 99:637-659.; Kates D. "The Second Amendment: A Dialogue." Law and Contemporary Problems. 1986; 49:143.; Malcolm JL. Essay Review. George Washington U. Law Review. 1986; 54: 452-464.; Fussner FS. Essay Review. Constitutional Commentary. 1986; 3: 582-8.; Shalhope RE. "The Armed Citizen in the Early Republic." Law and Contemporary Problems. 1986; 49:125-141.; Halbrook S. "What the Framers Intended: A Linguistic Interpretation of the Second Amendment." Law and Contemporary Problems. 1986; 49:151-162.; Kates D. "Handgun Prohibition and the Original Meaning of the Second Amendment." Michigan Law Review. 1983; 82:203-73. Halbrook S. "The Right to Bear Arms in the First State Bills of Rights: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Vermont, and Massachusetts." Vermont Law Review 1985; 10: 255-320.; Halbrook S. "The Right of the People or the Power of the State: Bearing Arms, Arming Militias, and the Second Amendment." Valparaiso Law Review. 1991; 26:131-207.; Tahmassebi SB. "Gun Control and Racism." George Mason Univ. Civil Rights Law Journal. Winter 1991; 2(1):67-99.; Reynolds. "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms Under the Tennessee Constitution." Tennessee Law Review. Winter 1994; 61:2. Bordenet TM. "The Right to Possess Arms: the Intent of the Framers of the Second Amendment." U.W.L.A. L. Review. 1990; 21:1.-30.; Moncure T. "Who is the Militia - The Virginia Ratifying Convention and the Right to Bear Arms." Lincoln Law Review. 1990; 19:1-25.; Lund N. "The Second Amendment, Political Liberty and the Right to Self-Preservation." Alabama Law Review 1987; 39:103.-130.; Morgan E "Assault Rifle Legislation: Unwise and Unconstitutional." American Journal of Criminal Law. 1990; 17:143-174.; Dowlut, R. "Federal and State Constitutional Guarantees to Arms." Univ. Dayton Law Review. 1989.; 15(1):59-89.; Halbrook SP. "Encroachments of the Crown on the Liberty of the Subject: Pre-Revolutionary Origins of the Second Amendment." Univ. Dayton Law Review. 1989; 15(1):91-124.; Hardy DT. "The Second Amendment and the Historiography of the Bill of Rights." Journal of Law and Politics. Summer 1987; 4(1):1-62.; Hardy DT. "Armed Citizens, Citizen Armies: Toward a Jurisprudence of the Second Amendment." Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. 1986; 9:559-638.; Dowlut R. "The Current Relevancy of Keeping and Bearing Arms." Univ. Baltimore Law Forum. 1984; 15:30-32.; Malcolm JL. "The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms: The Common Law Tradition." Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly. Winter 1983; 10(2):285-314.; Dowlut R. "The Right to Arms: Does the Constitution or the Predilection of Judges Reign?" Oklahoma Law Review. 1983; 36:65-105.; Caplan DI. "The Right of the Individual to Keep and Bear Arms: A Recent Judicial Trend." Detroit College of Law Review. 1982; 789-823.; Halbrook SP. "To Keep and Bear 'Their Private Arms'" Northern Kentucky Law Review. 1982; 10(1):13-39.; Gottlieb A. "Gun Ownership: A Constitutional Right." Northern Kentucky Law Review 1982; 10:113-40.; Gardiner R. "To Preserve Liberty -- A Look at the Right to Keep and Bear Arms." Northern Kentucky Law Review. 1982; 10(1):63-96.; Kluin KF. Note. "Gun Control: Is It A Legal and Effective Means of Controlling Firearms in the United States?" Washburn Law Journal 1982; 21:244-264.; Halbrook S. "The Jurisprudence of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments." George Mason U. Civil Rights Law Review. 1981; 4:1-69. Wagner JR. "Comment: Gun Control Legislation and the Intent of the Second Amendment: To What Extent is there an Individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms?" Villanova Law Review. 1992; 37:1407-1459. The following treatments in book form also conclude that the individual right position is correct: Malcolm JL. To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an Anglo-American Right. Cambridge MA: Harvard U. Press. 1994.; Cottrol R. Gun Control and the Constitution (3 volume set). New York City: Garland. 1993.; Cottrol R and Diamond R. "Public Safety and the Right to Bear Arms" in Bodenhamer D and Ely J. After 200 Years; The Bill of Rights in Modern America. Indiana U. Press. 1993.; Oxford Companion to the United States Supreme Court. Oxford U. Press. 1992. (entry on the Second Amendment); Cramer CE. For the Defense of Themselves and the State: The Original Intent and Judicial Interpretation of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Westport CT: Praeger Publishers. 1994. Foner E and Garrity J. Reader's Companion to American History. Houghton Mifflin. 1991. 477-78. (entry on "Guns and Gun Control"); Kates D. "Minimalist Interpretation of the Second Amendment" in E. Hickok (ed.), The Bill of Rights: Original Meaning and Current Understanding. Univ. Virginia Press. 1991.; Halbrook S. "The Original Understanding of the Second Amendment." in Hickok E (editor) The Bill of Rights: Original Meaning and Current Understanding. Charlottesville: U. Press of Virginia. 1991. 117-129.; Young DE. The Origin of the Second Amendment. Golden Oak Books. 1991.; Halbrook S. A Right to Bear Arms: State and Federal Bills of Rights and Constitutional Guarantees. Greenwood. 1989.; Levy LW. Original Intent and the Framers' Constitution. Macmillan. 1988.; Hardy D. Origins and Development of the Second Amendment. Blacksmith. 1986.; Levy LW, Karst KL, and Mahoney DJ. Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. New York: Macmillan. 1986. (entry on the Second Amendment); Halbrook S. That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right. Albuquerque, NM: U. New Mexico Press. 1984.; Marina. "Weapons, Technology and Legitimacy: The Second Amendment in Global Perspective." and Halbrook S. "The Second Amendment as a Phenomenon of Classical Political Philosophy." -- both in Kates D (ed.). Firearms and Violence. San Francisco: Pacific Research Institute. 1984.; U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms: Report of the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary. United States Congress. 97th. Congress. 2nd. Session. February 1982. regarding incorporation of the Second Amendment: Aynes RL. "On Misreading John Bingham and the Fourteenth Amendment." Yale Law Journal. 1993; 103:57-104.; The minority supporting a collective right only view: Ehrman K and Henigan D. "The Second Amendment in the 20th Century: Have You Seen Your Militia Lately?" Univ. Dayton LawJReview. 1989; 15:5-58 and Henigan DA. "Arms, Anarchy and the Second Amendment." Valparaiso U. Law Review. Fall 1991; 26: 107-129. -- both written by paid general counsel of Handgun Control, Inc.; Fields S. "Guns, Crime and the Negligent Gun Owner." Northern Kentucky Law Review. 1982; 10(1): 141-162. (article by non-lawyer lobbyist for the National Coalition to Ban Handguns); and Spannaus W. "State Firearms Regulation and the Second Amendment." Hamline Law Review. 1983; 6:383-408. In addition, see: Beschle. "Reconsidering the Second Amendment: Constitutional Protection for a Right of Security." Hamline Law Review. 1986; 9:69. (conceding that the Amendment does guarantee a right of personal security, but arguing that personal security can constitutionally be implemented by banning and confiscating all guns). Though not in the legal literature, for arguably the most scholarly treatment supporting the "collective right only" view, see: Cress LD. "An Armed Community: The Origins and Meaning of the Right to Bear Arms." J. Am. History 1984; 71:22-42. Back to the top

[40] Kates DB. "Bigotry, Symbolism and Ideology in the Battle over Gun Control" in Eastland, T. The Public Interest Law Review 1992. Carolina Academic Press. 1992
This struck me as well researched, maybe I'm wrong?
The truth is, the right to keep and bare arms is a constitutional endowment, it is not up for a vote, period.

David B. Benson said...

Saldin --- I suspect that bare arms fall under the general protections of the ninth and tenth amendments.


Saladin said...

Micki, there are thousands of gun control laws on the books, none of which have done a damn thing to lessen gun crime. I don't know what is meant by gun control, does it mean people need to control themselves with guns? Or the govt. needs to control the people? How well has drug control worked? I find it ironic that one of the major contributors to gun violence is the illegal drug trade, the main factor being ILLEGAL. The democrats are just as determined as the republicans to see that drugs remain illegal, therefore directly contributing to the gun crime statistics. What would happen if profit were removed from the drug scene? How would that affect overall violent gun crime? We will probably never know because the profit factor is a blessing for both criminals and govt. This whole debate is ridiculous. Roughly half of the households in America own a gun, yet you believe this is a danger? Banning guns does not remove them from the criminal element, yet that is the goal? How much more control is necessary to satisfy you? If you don't want to ban guns, what do you want? More laws? More invasion? How much does it take to make progress? Does my owning of guns make me a danger to my spouse? My children? To society in general? Am I likely to kill my husband just because I have access to firearms? That seems to be the reasoning. You have not addressed any of the issues I have raised, I am not surprised that you don't want to pursue the subject, it is a losing proposition. The underlying reasons for violence were well outlined above, but it is so much easier to blame an inanimate object than to face the cause.

Saladin said...

sorry, you know what I meant! typing too fast.

micki said...

Saladin, you are wrong again. No, I refuse to argue with you past a certain point because you consistently engage in argumentum ad nauseam (argument to the point of disgust -- repitition) and by argumentum ad numerum (argument or appeal to numbers).

In fact, you use both "styles" (using that term loosely) of argument to your detriment. I really don't believe that you're actually stupid, but I do believe that you are willfully ignorant because it suits your goal -- you readily ignore facts and engage in the same tactics used by the busheviks, i.e. the repetitive bombardment of the same stuff (I won't call it lies here), day in and day out, hoping that a certain percentage of it will stick.

As far as argument ad nauseum, you try to prove something by repeating it again and again and again, but it will not become any more or less true than when you first said it. In fact, you use fallacious, often emotional, repetition as a substitute for well-formed arguments.

As far as argumentum ad numerum (argument or appeal to numbers), your fallacious arguments attempt to prove something by showing how many people think that it's true, compounding your errors by using manufactured, skewed numbers to boot!. No matter how much YOU believe something, that doesn't necessarily make it true or right.

micki said...

but it is so much easier to blame an inanimate object than to face the cause.

If you have the answer, and can indentify, the cause, you should share it will the world.

If you know the answer, you could save people from a lot of grief.

Hajji said...

Autobiography of a Pistol
from the album Ellis Paul Essentials

I'm a pistol, a forty-five,
I just shot two men in this hot-house dive.
Now I'm smoking - burning hot barrel of metal.
Believe it or not, I was bought by this guy named Ray,
a card carrying member of the NRA,

But he left me out in his car one day,
And now the finger on my trigger hasn't seen it's sixteenth birthday.

Some things they never tell you when you're riding the assembly line.
Like who'll be the hands to hold you and what's their state of mind - -
Hey, I'm not much bigger than a pointed index finger.
So who am I to lay the blame?
I'm only here to cause some pain...

The sirens --
I can hear them, they're singing ...
They're singing my song,
"When the sun sets, I get upset --

Darkness fills me and I want to light up the world"...

Would you believe I've seen better days?
I starred in westerns and won rave reviews.
Now I sit on a shelf, tagged for judgment day.
I've got to change the jury's point of view.

You see, guns don't kill people, it's the bullets that do.
I said guns don't kill people, bullets do.
Yeah, the bullets do...

© Ellis Paul Publishing (ASCAP) 1994

capt said...

New Thread!