Friday, April 23, 2004

LC BlogAbouT 

I decided I would do this here instead of at my place. That's where I usually do the blogAmY blogAbouT, but I said to myself, "Self, why be stingy? Share the love!". So I have. Here it is, in no specific order...

And Then... reminds us of what "compassionism" is all about

Collective Sigh, our very own "Southern Belle Don’t-Wannabe" hailing from N.C., chit-chats with us about that fellah John Edwards

New World Blogger begs the question, "Do I really need to reiterate why keeping hidden nuclear arms is not a good thing?"

Words on A Page lights a fire in my heart -and under my butt- as usual

Musing's musings is musing over God's apparent sense of humor, and making reservations for more time in purgatory while he's at it

T-Rex, despite hiatus due to end of term work, still has quite a few valuable things on the blog. Not least of those is a link to Mockup, which is dedicated to keeping record of "...nasty and inaccurate stuff floating around, especially (but not only) about John Kerry"

archy discusses "Dr. Strawman", being made famous by the asinine claim of various uber-nitwit-conservative-pseudo-intellectualists (like born again conservative, David Horowitz) that there is some scheme by militant like liberals to brainwash the poor young college students of America

Trish Wilson takes "Friday Cat-Blogging" to all new heights

Respectful of Otters has touched a nerve? I'm always the last to find these things out! Go join the comments pile up at her place. Just remember, be kind to your web-footed fellow mammals!

Pen-Elayne jogs the memory and makes note of a notable birthday...do you know who's birthday it is?

Corrente schools us on the tactics of the "Goon Squad", an old Nixon program that has had life breathed back into it by the Bush administration

The Fulcrum, a veteran, weighs in (like most of us have) on the issue of the pictures of the coffins of "our" American soldiers and to no surprise, I agree with him

Rubber Hose, just go read it all

Oh, those goddesses! Can you imagine what it's like to be the hound of a goddess? Well, you can catch a glimpse over at Echidne where Henrietta the Hound slips past said goddess, and posts some "Friday Bitch Blogging"

edwardpig blogs about 'The Saudis, Iraq, and Terror'

Norbizness, last but not least, is pleading for nothing less than "...Disenfranchisement of the Stupid!"

Open Letter to Washington Post Ombudsman Michael Getler 

(Regarding the article 'Keen Focus on Lt. Kerry's Four Months Under Fire' appearing April 23, 2004)

I cannot believe that a supposedly respectable paper like the Washington Post would promote the rantings of Ted Sampley, someone well known for dispersing partisan lies about true war heroes who rise to challenge George Bush. In the online version of Ms. Romano's column, there is even a hyperlink provided to Mr. Sampley's smear site, Vietnam Veterans Against Kerry.

Mr. Sampley's smear tactics and disregard for the truth are well-known. As far back as 1992, Sampley made up a string of charges against Arizona Republican John McCain, most notably that McCain was a 'Manchurian Candidate'-style communist agent. Sampley's attacks may have been pivotal in swinging the 2000 Republican nomination to Bush. McCain has publicly said of Sampley: "He is dishonorable, an enemy of the truth, and despite his claims, he does not speak for or represent the views of all but a few veterans. The many veterans I know would think it a disgrace to be considered a comrade or supporter of Ted Sampley."

If a Washington Post reporter must mention Vietnam Veterans Against Kerry, she should explicitly highlight the fact that it is a fringe movement at best. But it would be far better to ignore them altogether. Ms. Romano lends legitimacy to a movement motivated by hatred, and greatly diminishes the name of the Washington Post.

Public service announcement 

If you receive an e-mail (the one I know about purports to come from CNN.com) stating that Osama bin Laden has been captured and offering a handy-dandy link to click on for photos and more details, DON'T CLICK THE LINK! It's a Trojan horse that will download onto your computer.

In general, you should be suspicious of any blind e-mail you receive with "breaking news" or fabulous deals. In the e-mail that I saw, although the information supposedly came from CNN.com, the link provided for recipients to click on didn't reference CNN.com at all--which should be a great big red warning sign. If you get such an e-mail, again, DON'T CLICK THE LINK! Instead, open your browser and surf to your favorite news portal directly. If OBL has been captured, I'm sure you won't have any trouble finding all the details you want.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Happy Earthday! 

Well fellow "tree huggers", have you hugged a tree today? Smiled at a bird? Laid on the grass and whispered sweet nothings to the earth?

Neither have I, but that doesn't mean I don't care. I actually have hugged a tree or two in my life. It's fun. You should try it, you might like it. You feel silly at first, but then somehow once you've freed your mind from caring what others think, it's quite enjoyable. I challenge each and every one of you to go out and literally hug a tree today. No, I'm not off my rocker (in my opinion), but if you're going to be called a "tree hugger" you may as well know what it feels like to actually hug one. Right?

With that out of the way, there are several things in the news that I want to share. First off, for more Earth Day -and everyday- information about your environment and ways you can take part, click on over to earthdaynetwork.

Secondly, The Sierra Club enjoyed a victory, they thwarted the effort to be infiltrated by those with a conservative agenda that had nothing to do with protecting the environment. I'm sure Steve Bates at The Yellow Doggerel has something on this issue, as he has been following it in great length for some time now. Yep, he sure does. It's here. Go check it out.

Lastly, here's an Op-Ed piece from my local "fishwrap" The Boston Globe, 'Making a difference on Earth Day'.

Enjoy the rest of your day...and make every day an Earth Day? Hey, I can dream.


File this under, "HAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAH! Give me a f'ing break":

'Bush hails his environmental record on Earth Day'

After donning a navy windbreaker and hiking boots to trudge through a coastal salt marsh, the Republican president claimed credit for what he called "some of the most important anti-pollution policies in a decade."

"Since 2001, the condition of America's land, air and water has improved," he told an audience of about 200 people.

Let's show the earth some love and vote Bush out in 2004! Peace, Amy

::Update, Part Deux::

From a TrueMajority email alert, I want to share a majority of the text of that message here with you.

EPA Plans to Reduce Air Pollution Controls

Does this make sense? The government agency that looks out for food safety urges that we limit how much fish we eat because of mercury contamination. Meanwhile, another agency responsible for preventing mercury from getting into the fish (and the rest of the environment) proposes relaxing controls on releases of the poison.

Mercury is known to damage the brains of children growing in the womb.[1] This heavy metal comes out of smokestacks at coal-fired plants, falling back to earth and poisoning its creatures. Like other toxic materials that don't break down, mercury concentrates up the food chain. Because high levels of mercury are now found in many fish, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning this month advising pregnant women and children to stay away from swordfish and to limit the amount of "chunk white" canned tuna they eat to no more than six ounces per week.[2]

Yet just as the FDA urges people to eat less otherwise-healthy food, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes delaying the regulation of mercury in coal-plant emissions - the largest source of mercury contamination, but the only one unregulated by our government.[3]

The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to set limits on power-plant pollution such as mercury, taking into account what can be done using current technology. The EPA said it could require a 90 percent reduction in mercury emissions by 2008 using current technology. But instead, the Bush administration proposed dragging out the process until 2018, and even then cleaning up only 70% of mercury emissions.[4]

To weaken the current standards, the EPA will have to change its own rules. This is where you come in. The EPA is required to accept public comments on this proposed rule change. TrueMajority is joining the Environmental Working Group, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Council of Churches, the Mercury Policy Project, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Health Care Without Harm to oppose these changes.

Sign a message to Bush here, via TrueMajority. Oh yeah, but remember how much he's done for our environment people (see his above statements)!

Hey, I have an angle. If George Bush cares so much about the unborn, then he should be more concerned about the levels of mercury and what it does to the developing fetus.

On a personal note. I live near a coal plant, and one things for sure, I don't plan on getting pregnant anytime soon. Not while I live around here and George Bush is in office.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Part Two of the SoonerThought Interview with Greg Palast 

SoonerThought wraps it up with Greg Palast.

Despite the temporary weasels, and the fact that we don’t have an elected government for the moment, eventually the coup de etat will come to an end because Americans have a limited capacity to eat shit.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The SoonerThought Interview: Greg Palast 

Our two-part interview with investigative journalist and author Greg Palast starts today.

Now, the one thing you'll find in the book is that George Bush
is the biggest puppet and is the wooden knucklehead in the
puppet government which was not elected. And now the puppet
masters are coming out from behind the screen. James Baker now
has an actual physical office in the White House. And he
represents the government of Saudi Arabia against the victims
of the September 11 attack. He also represents Exxon Oil and
he's got an office right there in the White House. And to make
sure that Iraq's oil stays within the OPEC production quota
assigned by Saudi Arabia. That is why by the way we don't have
elections (in Iraq). No elected government of Iraq would ever
agree to give up control of assets and its oil.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Dogs Do It, Trees Do It, So Don't Even Think About It, Buster! 

I just got back from a hearty round of rhetorical fisticuffs with an anti-gay rights group that was on my campus (with permission, naturally). The group, The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property...

...was born of a group of Catholic Americans concerned about the multiple crises shaking every aspect of American life. Founded in 1973, the American TFP was formed to resist, in the realm of ideas, the liberal, socialist and communist trends of the times and proudly affirm the positive values of tradition, family and property.

Central to the TFP mission is the idea that the various crises threatening American society and the Church cannot be seen as separate and disjointed. Rather they originate from a single cause.

The TFP handbook Revolution and Counter-Revolution by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira masterfully traces the historical and philosophical roots of this single cause: a phenomenon called the Revolution.

I'm not sure which mysterious and capitalized Revolution they are referring to. I looked on their site but couldn't find any specific historical references. But after talking for about half an hour with these Nervous White Men (as they were described on a sign held up by a fellow in the pro-gay rights camp who were also present) I can only conclude that this dastardly Revolution that they are waging a lavishly red caped and banner waving Counter-Revolution against is the Enlightenment. Which isn't surprising, really. They are, after all, a catholic organization (though, one not condoned by the Vatican, as my friend Kevin and I were informed by stalwart and clean shaven James, Knight of the tweedy suit and vivid scarlet sash. How fabulous!) Such staunchly ernest and clean shaven Catholic groups have a historical animus against those dirty socialist ideas put forth by such radicals as Thomas Jefferson, and we all know what we get if we listen to those crazy guys and their ludicrous notions about, "The Pursuit of Happiness." Because, after all, who needs happiness when you've got Jesus? (which about sums up every conservative-religious argument I've ever heard. As if the two are mutually exclusive and wo be he who sticks his chocolate in that holy penut butter).

Their arguments, as could probably have been predicted, were all slippery sloped, to the point of practically being conical. You know, like a dunce's hat. The standard Santorum argument, "If we let gays get married and be equal, what's to stop the hot man on dog action from becoming legit?" Man-on-dog was actually brought up by Sir James. His bosom buddy (in a thoroughly manly and heterosexual manner, of course) suggested that if we let gay couples have the same rights as straits, then we should also grant these rights of equality to human-tree relationships, and then where would we be?

Rather chafed, I'm sure, but happy none the less.

Read the rest at The Invisible Library

Sunday, April 18, 2004

A Little Matter of Invisible Pipelines, The Constitution, and Our Good Friend, Oil 

On "60 Minutes" today, Bob Woodward talks about his book- a collection of interviews with the President and various high-ranking Vulcans who made the decision to go after Iraq.

The most telling bit was about the "blank check" that (ready?) Bush gave Rumsfeld to give to Gen. Tommy Franks to prepare for war in Iraq- secretly. It ended up siphoning 700 Million dollars from funds congress allocated to Afghanistan, without any congressional knowledge or approval. Which is against the increasingly flexible separation of powers as dictated by the Constitution.

"Rumsfeld and Franks work out a deal essentially where Franks can spend any money he needs. And so he starts building runways and pipelines and doing all the preparations in Kuwait, specifically to make war possible," says Woodward. [...] "...Some people are gonna look at a document called the Constitution which says that no money will be drawn from the treasury unless appropriated by Congress. Congress was totally in the dark on this."

The interesting thing- a very, very interesting thing- is this news item in a "Popular Mechanics" Magazine a while back. It's a very small, paragraph long article with a satellite photo showing what appeared to be an oil pipeline through Kuwait to Iraq's border.

Civilian oil industry experts tell POPULAR MECHANICS that the location of the lights, which extend to the Iraqi border, does not correspond with known pipelines. A spokesman for U.S. Central Command, which had a presence in the region from fall 2002 through (at the time of this writing) fall 2003, said it was unaware of any pipeline construction.

The question is, if there is a secret pipeline being used to funnel oil out of Iraq to pay for the war, then what, pray tell, is the $87 Billion dollars going to? This is veering into tin foil hat territory, I'll admit- wars, lies, secret oil pipeline projects- but I think it is a very fair and important question, meaning, of course, that no one is going to ask it.

[Here's another reference to the pipeline article.]

Yours, And Then...