Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wars Without End, Amen

Sen./Candidate Chris Dodd, in DemDebIX, last night addressed the issue of marijuana decriminalization more candidly, and more honestly than is usual in these increasingly censorious times. He described how criminalizing marijuana use filled the prisons, clogged the judicial system, and severely sanctioned a behavior that is less toxic than at least one, and probably many "legal" drugs. God knows Dodd's remarks were an island of sanity in a torrent of craziness where marijuana is concerned. But I am very skeptical that any sanity can or shall attend further discussions of decriminalization for a number of reasons.

Too Many Jobs, Too Much Pork, Too Much POWER Depends On TheWarOnDrugs (TWOD) to imagine that those who benefit, profit, and prosper because of it will surrender their perqs.

Like its younger sibling, GWOT (though domestically, rather than internationally), TheWarOnDrugs (TWOD) is an amazingly useful program. It is a staple in the repression of people of color: pot busts put a blot on your record in the "serious" universe. One way to keep 'undesirables' out of the work place is to disqualify 'em from the get-go, nest pas? It doesn't matter HOW you test, it's WHO you test. Pot convictions can disqualify a person from voting. Very useful for disenfranchising potentially disruptive voters.

The prison guards' union in California has prevented reform of the 'three-strikes' and 'mandatory sentencing' laws--the victims of which are overwhelmingly drug(and mainly pot)related charges--ferociously lobbying state lawmakers to defeat them because it would mean a loss of jobs if the reforms passed and fewer people were incarcerated, necessitating fewer guards to manage them.

California also has chosen to build prisons instead of universities. Which is suggestive of the the trajectory of anticipated social mobility and utility for the foreseeable future.

Thom Hartmann frequently repeats the statistic that there are nearly a MILLION home invasions every year by police, the MAJORITY of which are prompted by nothing more sinister than the report of a family-crop.

Police forces and municipalities prosper from the appropriation of drug-related property.

The drug-testing industry has only really gotten off the ground in the last decade or so, but it already constitutes a huge, wealthy factor in TWOD, when every kid in America who wants to participate in sports must submit to tests in which the primary object is to discover marijuana and steroid use.

I admire Dodd for his candor, and abominate the others for their caution. But likely as not, TWOD will endure as long as the GWOT...endlessly!

Mukasey Won't Say Waterboarding's Torture? Izzat Cuz His Buddies In Mossad Do It? has the link:
Dan Eggen reports for The Washington Post, "Attorney general nominee Michael B. Mukasey told Senate Democrats yesterday that a kind of simulated drowning known as waterboarding is 'repugnant to me,' but he said he does not know whether the interrogation tactic violates US laws against torture."
Repugnant? Hey, I've Got An Idea: Let's Waterboard the Motherfucker! Then mebbe he'll decide. I volunteer to hold his fucking head still while they fill the towel.

It deserves mentioning in this context that folks who HAVE undergone it declare it to, in fact, BE torture by any definition you'd care to try to craft.

There is No Debate Except for Torture Apologists

1. Waterboarding is a torture technique. Period. There is no way to gloss over it or sugarcoat it. It has no justification outside of its limited role as a training demonstrator. Our service members have to learn that the will to survive requires them accept and understand that they may be subjected to torture, but that America is better than its enemies and it is one’s duty to trust in your nation and God, endure the hardships and return home with honor.

2. Waterboarding is not a simulation. Unless you have been strapped down to the board, have endured the agonizing feeling of the water overpowering your gag reflex, and then feel your throat open and allow pint after pint of water to involuntarily fill your lungs, you will not know the meaning of the word.

Waterboarding is a controlled drowning that, in the American model, occurs under the watch of a doctor, a psychologist, an interrogator and a trained strap-in/strap-out team. It does not simulate drowning, as the lungs are actually filling with water. There is no way to simulate that. The victim is drowning. How much the victim is to drown depends on the desired result (in the form of answers to questions shouted into the victim’s face) and the obstinacy of the subject. A team doctor watches the quantity of water that is ingested and for the physiological signs which show when the drowning effect goes from painful psychological experience, to horrific suffocating punishment to the final death spiral.

Waterboarding is slow motion suffocation with enough time to contemplate the inevitability of black out and expiration –usually the person goes into hysterics on the board. For the uninitiated, it is horrifying to watch and if it goes wrong, it can lead straight to terminal hypoxia. When done right it is controlled death. Its lack of physical scarring allows the victim to recover and be threaten with its use again and again.

Call it “Chinese Water Torture,” “the Barrel,” or “the Waterfall,” it is all the same. Whether the victim is allowed to comply or not is usually left up to the interrogator. Many waterboard team members, even in training, enjoy the sadistic power of making the victim suffer and often ask questions as an after thought. These people are dangerous and predictable and when left unshackled, unsupervised or undetected they bring us the murderous abuses seen at Abu Ghraieb, Baghram and Guantanamo. No doubt, to avoid human factors like fear and guilt someone has created a one-button version that probably looks like an MRI machine with high intensity waterjets.

3. If you support the use of waterboarding on enemy captives, you support the use of that torture on any future American captives. The Small Wars Council had a spirited discussion about this earlier in the year, especially when former Marine Generals Krulak and Hoar rejected all arguments for torture.
The moon-faced ghoul John Yoo, who still inexplicably holds a position at Boaldt Hall, the UC law school, is another of the Chimp'
s Neo-con 'legal advisors' who--like Abu Gonzales--approved torture, and whose personal experience with the procedure I would cheerfully abet.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I am no fan of genetically modified 'Franken-Foods."

Maybe if Al Gore spoke about the dangers of GM food we’d listen? Until he does we must listen to the scientists:

“The genetic modification of food is intrinsically dangerous. It involves making irreversible changes in a random manner to a complex level of life about which little is known. It is inevitable that this hit-and-miss approach will lead to disasters. It must disrupt the natural intelligence of the plant or animal to which it is applied, and lead to health-damaging side-effects.” -Dr Geoffrey Clements, leader of the Natural Law Party, UK

“If you look at the simple principle of genetic modification it spells ecological disaster. There are no ways of quantifying the risks……The solution is simply to ban the use of genetic modification in food." -Dr Harash Narang, microbiologist and senior research associate at the University of Leeds, who originally caused a scientific and political storm by claiming a link between mad cow disease and CJD in humans.

“The (testing) ssues have simply not been addressed and I think that’s what is profoundly unsatisfactory. The fundamental problem of the way in which GM foods have been approved is that they haven’t really been tested properly at all. All that has happened is something which I would characterize as an exercise in wishful thinking.”-Dr. Erik Millstone, Sussex University, on the inadequacies of GM food testing interviewed in a Channel 4 report on the “substanial equivalence” proceedure for GM foods which the program claimed is a testing system agreed in a backroom deal between governments and companies designed to get GM products onto the market quickly and cheaply.

“Genetic modification of food is a dangerous game of ecological roulette. To take one example, I’m sure there will be a significant increase in deaths from certain types of cancer. If that is the only adverse effect we will have been lucky.
We simply cannot predict the ecological effects of genetic modification. GM forces evolution to take place in one generation rather than hundreds.
Manipulating DNA creates a new substance and it may not behave in the same ways as the origninal version. And existing tests, which only detect already-known toxins, may not reveal man-made ones.
We simply do not know what we are doing.” -Samuel Epstein, M.D., Professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health and Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition

‘We simply do not have enough reliable scientific evidence on their safety to be able to make a valid decision as to whether there are potential health effects or not.” -Charles Saunders, chairman of the British Medical Association’s public health committee

“Potentially disastrous effects may come from undetected harmful substances in Genetically Modified Foods.”-Dr Andrew Chesson, vice chairman of European Commission scientific committee on animal nutrition and formerly an ardent advocate of food biotechnology (A year earlier Dr Chesson chaired the audit committee which ruled there was no evidence to support Dr Pusztai’s claims on the toxicity of GM potatoes).

“The scientific case put forward for this GM maize is not adequate. If the GM maize was approved for commercial growing in the UK then people would be justified in turning their back on consuming milk derived from it. As a scientist I wouldn’t drink milk from cows fed GM maize with the present state of knowledge.” -Professor Bob Orskov, director of the International Feed Resource Unit in Aberdeen, Scotland at UK MAFF hearings in London, October 2000, concerning proposals to allow Aventis’s GM forage maize, Chardon LL onto the National Seed List.

“We don’t know shit about biology.” -Craig Venter, the scientist whose company completed the sequencing of the human genome in 2000 (”Decoding the genome” Ralph Brave, Jan. 9, 2001)

“Probably the greatest threat from genetically altered crops is the insertion of modified virus and insect virus genes into crops. It has been shown in the laboratory that genetic recombination will create highly virulent new viruses from such constructions. Certainly the widely used cauliflower mosaic virus [CaMV] is a potentially dangerous gene. It is a pararetrovirus meaning that it multiplies by making DNA from RNA messages. It is very similar to the Hepatitis B virus and related to HIV.” -Dr. Joseph Cummins, professor emeritus in genetics from the university of West-Ontario

“Next time you hear a scientist asserting that gene splicing is safe, remind yourself that there is no scientific evidence for that statement. We are profoundly ignorant about what we are doing to the code that generates all life. And unfortunately some scientists, including those entrusted with public safety, are willing to lie.”-Donella H. Meadows is an adjunct professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College.

Addendum: I posted this on another blog (MyLeftWing), where a commentor remarked "For me, these guys sound so over-the-top hysterical about GM foods that I really can't take them all that seriously -- nothing is this black and white. Not every single genetic modification is harmful. I doubt every genetic modification is beneficial and harmless...We won't know the reality for a long time, I think." To which i replied: You're 100, no 1000 , no even 1,000,000 percent right
that not every man-made genetic mutation is gonna prove disastrous...but it only takes one..."

They Should Be Naming Fucking Post Offices, Not Judges

And especially NOT to life-time tenure posts. The Chimp's a gimp: limp/quack. Why give him/them ANY-fucking-THING?
I mean, has ANY Bush Cabal nominee EVER been honest in their confirmation hearings? Think about it: Every last fucking one of 'em has said what they need to say to get the job, and then done whatever the Chimp/Cheney tells ’em to do.
Have the Dems ever prevented a controversial Bush cabal nominee from assuming whatsoever position for which they were nominated? mebbe John Bolton?
And don’t gimme the Belgian Ambassador.
Dodd says he'll block Mukasey unless the nominee makes an unambiguous statement naming 'water-boarding' (a favorite tactic of the SS, 70 years ago) as torture. Even if Mukasey tells Dodd what he wants/needs to hear, once he’s in office, there’s absolutely no way to prevent him from, or punish him for, reneging on those statements.
Last week, that peerless “Liberal” shitheel Diane Feinstein voted to move the nomination of Leslie Southwich out of committee with a MAJORITY vote. Southwick’s nomination was up for confirmation by the whole senate last week. It passed,59-38, with Feinstein leading the defection of 9 “Dems”: Akaka (Hawaii), Byrd (West Virginia), Conrad (North Dakota), Dorgan (North Dakota), Feinstein, Johnson (South Dakota—why were we waiting for that shitheel to get well?), Lieberman (Independent-Connecticut), Lincoln (Arkansas), Nelson (Nebraska), and Pryor (Arkansas) voting with the PUKES!
More to the point:
What the fuck are the craven, Vichy Dems doing moving ANY fucking BushInc nominees into life-time seats on ANY-fucking-THING?

They should be naming post offices, not naming judges.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rummy On The Run: Ex-SecDef Joins Kissinger Escaping Int'l Justice

Schadenfreude is occasionally an unbecoming emotion.
But in this case, I forgive me.
Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fled France today fearing arrest over charges of "ordering and authorizing" torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the US military's detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unconfirmed reports coming from Paris suggest.

US embassy officials whisked Rumsfeld away yesterday from a breakfast meeting in Paris organized by the Foreign Policy magazine after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the man who spearheaded President George W. Bush's "war on terror" for six years.

Under international law, authorities in France are obliged to open an investigation when a complaint is made while the alleged torturer is on French soil.

According to activists in France, who greeted Rumsfeld shouting "murderer" and "war criminal" at the breakfast meeting venue, US embassy officials remained tight-lipped about the former defense secretary's whereabouts citing "security reasons".

Anti-torture protesters in France believe that the defense secretary fled over the open border to Germany, where a war crimes case against Rumsfeld was dismissed by a federal court. But activist point out that under the Schengen agreement that ended border checkpoints across a large part of the European Union, French law enforcement agents are allowed to cross the border into Germany in pursuit of a fleeing fugitive.

"Rumsfeld must be feeling how Saddam Hussein felt when US forces were hunting him down," activist Tanguy Richard said. "He may never end up being hanged like his old friend, but he must learn that in the civilized world, war crime doesn't pay."

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and the French League for Human Rights (LDH) filed the complaint on Thursday after learning that Rumsfeld was scheduled to visit Paris.
Run, Rummie, Run. But you cannot hide, you detestable, lying, murderous, torturing sack of sheepshit.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

We--All Of US--Broke It...

I Am Sick To Fucking Death With "Tactical" Democrats!

They're the ones, like Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, Joe Biden, and a LOT of others, who were NOT opposed to, and do not now repudiate or revile, the ICORP (Invasion, Conquest, Occupation, Rape & Pillage) of Iraq, but only quibble about the mechanics of how it was accomplished, why it failed, or how it could be "saved."

They're ones who will endlessly fucking proclaim: well, we could have "won" if we'd only 1) used more troops, 2) dropped more bombs, 3) killed more Iraqis,...or 7) ALL THE ABOVE.

The ICORP of Iraq was wrong--just wrong, get it?-- from the outset. It was and is a world-class strategic blunder of the same magnitude as Napoleon's (or Hitler's) attack on Russia. Any 'victory' there would have been a 'victory' which the world would have been (and IS) entitled to view as EXACTLY the equivalent of the German 'victory' in Czechoslovakia in 1938, or the Japanese 'victory' over China in '37--or, for that matter, General Miles' "victory" at Wounded Knee in 1890.

The ICORP of Iraq was WRONG from the first fucking day. No amount of painted school buildings can redeem the fact that USer soldiers, Marines, and fliers every week kill and maim dozens, if not hundreds, of the very folk whom those fresh-painted schools are supposed to help. The blood oozes through, no matter the number of 'coats' of whitewash you apply.

The chaos we are witnessing today--religious/sectarian/factional civil war, revenge killings, ethnic cleansing, the (now almost certain) balkanization of the country, the wholesale destruction of infrastructure (other than the oil machinery), the rise of fanatic imams with their private armies, the growing influence of Iran, the confrontation with Turkey over a Kurdish state, to say nothing of the endemic graft/theft/corruption in both the occupation forces and the indigenes--were all entirely predictable (sheeeit, even I predicted them and I'm no fucking international specialist) already in April, 2003. No amount of tactical or strategic massaging the rhetorical equation would or could have erased the first fundamental flaw and failing: It was always, is now, and always will be an act of unfathomable, unwarranted, immoral, unjust, and illegal fucking AGGRESSION.

If you are 'civilized,' in even the most peripheral meaning of the word, you--"one"; that is, any putatively 'democratic' nation--don't just mount the biggest military assault in 50 years against a nation that 1) has done you no harm, 2) caused you no injury, 3) posed you no threat, and then a) slaughter their people wholesale with weapons of 'shock & awe', b) tear up their infrasturcture, c) depose their lawful ruler, d) execute his children, e) disrupt the entire civilian lifeworld, and under cover of the soi disant 'fog of war', f) torture, rape and murder their women and children, g) pilfer their treasures, and then h) install a puppet regime to facilitate their continued rip-off, and then claim to be on the side of the fucking ANGELS.

The Dumbocrap party hacks--basically the whole fucking party except Dennis Kucinich, and including Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Jack Murtha, et alia--who cleave to this line are just a fucking guilty of the crimes in Iraq as the PNACabal, the Busheviks, and the rest of the GOPukes who promulgated this insane, illegal, immoral, invidious scheme in the first place.

I, a veteran of another, similar exercise in USer military adventurism 40 years ago, am appalled and ashamed of my country, all over again. Until/unless the Dumbocraps return to principle, they're no better than fucking murderous sycophants and enablers: disgusted--possibly even repelled--by the blood splattered on them by the victims, but willing to wash it off and get on with bidness; and I for one, want no part of 'em.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

God Vs Mother Nature

In the comments on this thread on Correntewire, correspondent MJS made this insightful (and correct) observation:
I notice the strange dualism of the fires being characterized as a result (largely, except where arson is suspected) of “Mother Nature” and when someone’s home is spared from flames the person will thank “God” who is often seen as a male. Somehow "God" is not IN the mother nature. Recently at a local dry cleaners a man was talking about his prayers to God to save his child from cancer—cancer that his god created, no?
True, so far as it goes. But the fires--insofar as they were not the consequence of "arson"--would also be called (by insurance actuarials, at least) "acts of God." So the only difference between those spared and those not spared would be the worthiness in the eyes of "God" of the people spared (and thank you, John Calvin.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Must See Blogging for Snark-Deprived, Endo- and Meso-Morphs

Hot Chicks with Douche-bags.

I think douche-baggery is congenital; probably concomitant with the prognathous jaws, I suspect.

(Doncha just LURV the juxtaposition???)

Hillary & The Appalling Scumbags

Jon Schwarz, from the radiant TinyRevolution dot com (link in hed; I cannot improve upon this):

I believe the short-lived proto-grindcore band Hillary & the Appalling Scumbags opened for Throbbing Gristle at their infamous Hamburg show in 1978.

Coincidentally, Russ Baker and Adam Federman have written an in-depth piece on the appalling scumbags that Hillary Clinton hangs out with. The main one they cover is financier Alan Quasha, who was previously seen bailing out George W. Bush's failing oil company in 1986. But there are others.

Of course, she was married to the President of the United States, and he had more people killed than Quasha could ever dream of. So I guess she's used to it.

I can't believe we're going to have to live through eight years of the Clinton Restoration. Will it be three times as squalid as the first time around, or merely just as squalid?

AND: I didn't realize Chelsea Clinton is now working for a hedge fund. You can see how, having the opportunity to do literally anything she wanted with her life, she would choose this. They're a sweet family.

New Mexico's A Full-on Swing State

Although Greg Palast has pretty conclusively demonstrated that the vote here was hijacked, both in 2000 and 2004...
From TPM:
Poll: New Mexico Still A Swing State
By Eric Kleefeld - October 22, 2007, 11:55AM

A new SurveyUSA poll of New Mexico has Hillary Clinton narrowly ahead in some potentially close match-ups in New Mexico, which voted narrowly for Al Gore in 2000 but then supported George W. Bush in 2004:javascript:void(0)
Publish Post

Giuliani (R) 48%, Clinton (D) 47%
Clinton (D) 51%, Thompson (R) 43%
Clinton (D) 49%, Romney (R) 42%
Clinton (D) 49%, Huckabee (R) 38%
McCain (R) 50%, Clinton (D) 43%
Clinton (D) 51%, Paul (R) 34%
Gore (D) 49%, Giuliani (R) 45%

The Gore vs. Giuliani number would seem to indicate that Democrats have an edge her in general, but it remains a small one.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dodd's Courageous Constitution Defense "Hold" Finally Cracks The SCUM Headlines

AFAIK, this is the first and only "mainstream press" story on Chris Dodd's display of Senatorial Spine in announcing he'll put a 'hold' on the Regime's latest efort to expand its powers to spy on and surveille the People by further undermining the 4th Amendment. The measure would also bestow 'retroactive immunity' for corpoRat criminal violations suborned by the Regime. Dodd is the ONLY Presidential candidate from the Senate who has acted positively to obstruct the Bushevik agenda:
Dodd to Block Vote on Eavesdropping Bill
By Richard Willing
USA Today...Thursday 18 October 2007

Washington - Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., said Thursday that he will block a Senate vote on a White House-backed surveillance bill because it would include legal immunity for telecommunications companies that helped intelligence agencies carry out warrantless surveillance of Americans.

Dodd, a presidential candidate, said he will use his senatorial "hold" power to prevent the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act legislation from being considered by the full Senate. The move would effectively stall a measure that President Bush and Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell have said is essential to protect national security.

Allowing lawsuits to go forward, McConnell has said, could impoverish the companies and make them less able to aid intelligence surveillance efforts.

The bill, which would replace a temporary measure that Congress passed in August, was approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee, 13-2, late Thursday.

"The president has no right to secretly eavesdrop on the conversations and activities of law-abiding American citizens," Dodd said. "Anyone who has aided and abetted him in these illegal activities should be held accountable."

The New York Times in December 2005 reported that the administration eavesdropped without warrants on communications between Americans and foreign intelligence targets under authority it believes the Constitution vests in the president. In May 2006, USA TODAY reported the National Security Agency was collecting and analyzing telephone calling patterns of millions of Americans with the help of the companies.

The administration has defended the warrantless surveillance program as lawful but has not confirmed records sharing.

Three large companies — Verizon, Qwest and AT&T — face multiple civil lawsuits related to their handling of phone records. In letters to a House committee this week, the companies say government secrecy strictures prevent them from effectively defending the lawsuits or even saying the program exists.

The Senate bill approved Thursday allows the companies to have the suits dismissed if the U.S. attorney general attests that they helped programs critical to national security. Even companies that did not help intelligence agencies could also have suits dismissed based on the attorney general's certification to a judge.

The Senate bill also includes a provision backed by Democrats that would require the nation's foreign intelligence court for the first time to approve surveillance of overseas terrorism suspects who communicate with persons in the USA.

Telecoms shouldn't get immunity until the administration provides details on what the carriers did to help intelligence agencies, says Caroline Fredrickson of the American Civil Liberties Union.

"We could be talking about not just lawsuits but lawbreaking," she said.

The bill now goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it faces tough prospects. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., have said they're unlikely to back retroactive immunity until they learn more about the surveillance programs.

The legislation is stalled in the House.

Along with Pete Stark's remarks yesterday in the debate to overturn the Bushit veto of the S-CHIP renewal bill, these are the first signs of life I've seen in the putative 'opposition' in six years.
In a heated floor speech, Stark repeatedly made the charge that the president would rather use government revenues to send U.S. soldiers to war than to pay for low-income kids' health care. A longtime war critic, Stark said the president couldn't find $35 billion to expand SCHIP but at the same time had requested an extra $200 billion to pay for military operations in Iraq.

"Where are you going to get that money? Are you going to tell us lies like you're telling us today? Is that how you're going to fund the war? You don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old, enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement," Stark said.

"President Bush's statements about children's health shouldn't be taken any more seriously than his lies about the war in Iraq. The truth is that Bush just likes to blow things up in Iraq, in the United States, and in Congress. I urge my colleagues to vote to override his veto," he continued.
About fucking time!

Jon Schwartz : The Iron Law of Institutions

The Iron Law of Institutions is:
the people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution "fail" while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to "succeed" if that requires them to lose power within the institution.
This apparently explains the seemingly (?) destructive behaviors of BOTH the Bushits and the Dumbocraps. It is the larger, umbrella concept under which you may find my favorite example: Elected officials of any party prefer the status quo (under which they won election) to the enlargement of the franchise to include people who had not formerly voted.

Schwarz recounts the implications of these observations here and here. Go! Read!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Matt Stoller Regards The Lieberman-Warner "Cap-and-Trade" Energy Bill:

"It's the biggest corporate giveaway in the history of the planet!"

According to Friends of the Earth:

Global warming legislation expected to be introduced tomorrow could provide giveaways worth hundreds of billions or even trillions of dollars to polluting industries, according to an analysis of a draft of the legislation conducted by Friends of the Earth.

The cap-and-trade legislation, sponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.), would attempt to limit U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by setting annual emissions limits for each industry. Under this legislation, a set amount of greenhouse gas pollution would continue to be allowed -- and the way in which these transferable allowances, or permits, would be allocated could richly reward the country's largest global warming polluters, as each permit could be sold or traded for cash just like a stock or a bond.

"What we're looking at is the potential for corporate giveaways that are orders of magnitude larger than anything environmentalists have ever faced -- potentially the biggest corporate giveaways in American history," said Erich Pica, one of the authors of the Friends of the Earth analysis of the August draft of the legislation. "Polluters should have to pay for their pollution, not be rewarded for it."

The Friends of the Earth analysis found that the coal industry in particular stands to benefit from this legislation, precisely because it is currently the industry most responsible for global warming pollution. Depending on market conditions, the coal industry could receive permits worth up to $231 billion in the first year alone, 48 percent of the total permit allocation. It could then sell or "trade" its permits to others for their cash value, or it could emit at no cost carbon that less fortunate industries would have to pay to emit.

"If Congress is going to implement a cap-and-trade system, it should auction off 100 percent of permits so that taxpayers reap the financial rewards. We could use that money to help Americans adjust to higher energy costs, and to subsidize clean, alternative forms of energy," Pica said. "Instead, Senators Lieberman and Warner have proposed auctioning off only 24 percent of permits at the outset of this legislation, setting up a rigged market in which most permits are handed out to polluting industries for free. If you see a lot of polluters lining up in support of this legislation, that's why."

While the specific language of the legislation being introduced tomorrow could differ somewhat from the draft circulated in August, permit allocations will reportedly continue to be a problem. Friends of the Earth will update its analysis after the legislation is introduced to reflect the final numbers in the bill.

Friends of the Earth's analysis of the Lieberman-Warner draft can be found at

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mrs. Clinton: A Democrat Even The Cabbage Mallet Could "Live With"

From ThePeople'sVoice dot Org, a piece making th claim that, with the SCUM on board, the fix is in (and the 'war', the health-insurance industry, and petrochemicals are safe in her hands):
The (media) owners (including General Electric) would prefer a sycophantic Republican, but realize polling now shows that it may be impossible to elect one to hold the Oval Office post for them over the next term, Diebold magic or not. The next best thing is someone in the leadership of the Democratic Leadership Council -- that would be Madam Hillary.

Even the rabid right’s Charles Krauthammer is on board the Clinton express. A recent Krauthammer Washington Post column begins by lauding Hillary's husband: "Bill Clinton's greatest achievement, aside from abolishing welfare, was free trade. The crown jewel was the North American Free Trade Agreement. He got that through Congress over sustained union opposition in 1993."

Those who maintain true power in the Land of the Free and their devoted servants like Krauthammer love it whenever government leaders go against labor unions (or human rights organizations, social justice groups, peace factions, environmental groups) -- generally anyone opposing the public interest on their behalf.

Or as Hillary put it herself in Bob Woodward’s The Agenda, “"You show people what you're willing to fight for when you fight your friends."

Krauthammer does find some fault with the Clintons in that they tend to obfuscate their true goals in order to gain support from liberals, rather than go directly for the throat in selling them out, as would, say a libertarian like Dick Cheney, in stating clearly where the fidelity lies.

But Krauthammer reveals a lot about his own beliefs when he says of Hillary, "I could never vote for her, but I (and others of my ideological ilk) could live with her -- precisely because she is so liberated from principle."

There it is, "liberated from principle." That's why Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch held a fundraiser for Hillary. Rupert is no dummy; he knows where to put his money for a good return on the investment, and no doubt thinks, “Hillary will serve me before any of those dumb liberals who vote for her.”

The corporate media are covering every word of Hillary's as though it were chiseled in stone and conferred from a burning bush. The masses are thereby informed that the anointed one has appeared.
Hard to disagree. Read the rest here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Median price of a house in Santa Fe, last quarter, declined, from $450k to $422.5k

Santa Fe Architecture, in the million-dollar range.
The service staff for the rich folks there, plus state workers in Govt, police and fire folks now live in a dreadful, bourgeoisie ghetto called Rio Rancho, now the 2nd largest city in the State, where the median price is about half that of Santa Fe, even the county, not just the city.
The houses in Rio Rancho have been thrown up so fast, so cheaply, that I doubt they'll out-last their mortgages. Rio Rancho's about 40 miles from the Santa Fe city limits, so there's an almost constant stream of cars going north in the mornings two abreast, nose-to-tail, and back south in the evenings.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

"OK, Coppers! Ya Got Me! I'll enlist. But I Want BOTH A 'Morality Waiver' And 'Retroactive Immunity'..

"...that I can use later, when I need it.
"Plus a dime bag...and a jug of Stoli...'n a 'ho, too. Young! Dang! This war-shit is GREAT!"

Apparently, there's a hue & cry a'brewin' about 'felons' enlisting. "From the San Antonio Express blog:

WASHINGTON — The Army made its recruiting goal last year despite an increasingly unpopular war by turning to people convicted of serious crimes.

Recruiters signed up people who had committed such felonies as arson, burglary, aggravated assault, breaking and entering and driving while intoxicated.

The Army Recruiting Command said "moral" waivers for 1,620 felons were approved in the 2007 federal fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. That was far above the 2006 mark of 1,002.

If it hadn't been for felons and farm-boys, through most of its history, the US couldn't have kept a standing army.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Here's Another Score Or So Of Hearts & Minds We No Longer Need To WorryAbout, It Seems

From The Times (of London)
October 12, 2007
US airstrike kills 15 Iraqi women and children
Tim Reid in Washington

US forces in Iraq killed 15 unarmed civilians yesterday — including nine children — in a series of airstrikes on suspected insurgents, one of the heaviest civilian death tolls from American operations in recent months.

The US military said that it had been targeting senior al-Qaeda leaders north of Baghdad during the operation, which killed 19 insurgents and also left six women dead.

“We regret that civilians are hurt or killed while coalition forces search to rid Iraq of terrorism,” said Major Brad Leighton, a spokesman for US forces in Iraq. “These terrorists chose to deliberately place innocent Iraqi women and children in danger by their actions and presence.”

Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister, has confronted General David Petraeus, the US commander, in recent meetings over what he regards as overly aggressive US tactics that harm innocent civilians. Those criticisms have focused more on civilian contractors such as Blackwater, the US security company that is embroiled in controversy over the shooting of 17 civilians last month. But yesterday’s airstrikes will increase tensions between Mr al-Maliki’s Government and US military commanders.
One remembers the hoots of excited exultation as GIs watch the detonation of a 500 lb bomb on an Iraqi building, and anyone with the barest whiff of the foreward area must doubt the expressions of regret.

The Envelope, Please!...And The Loser Is....HABEAS CORPUS!!!

Jonathan Schwartz's gem-like TinyRevolution site has the following:

Other people are getting prizes beside Al "Nobel Laureate But Reporters For Time Magazine Would Still Get Bored Having A Beer With Him" Gore. Robert Parry's reporting on the evaporation of habeas corpus for U.S. citizens is #1 in Project Censored's new list of last year's top 25 censored stories.

Parry's "winning" articles are here and here. Parry has also written a new piece on Gore questioning why he won't put his body where his mouth is and run for president. You can and should give money to Consortium News here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Turks Are In A Position To Stop The "ICORP*" In Iraq

Or at least to drastically curtail it.

Which is why the Commander-n-Chimp exhausted so much of his already scant and diminishing political capital to try to stop the Congressional resolution condemning Turkey for the Armenian genocide almost a century ago. (The Turks figger, with some justice, that in the interim they had Attaturk. Like the US uses Lincoln to deflect criticism about slavery. They have a point, imho.)

Anyway, here's his/our/the problem: Long supply lines, which have, so far, been the indefeasible bane of aspirant world-conquerors. Most (80%, mas o menos) of USer war materiel destined for Iraq comes through Turkey. The big stuff passes through the huge (formerly joint US-)Turkish naval and airbase on the Black Sea; many personnel come and go through the ginormous Incirlik AirBase, inland. After it gets there, it has to pass through Turkey to get to Iraq. There is just no other land route available, particularly if the materiel is not to pass through the really dangerous parts of southern Iraq from Kuwait.

So, if in response to the Armenian genocide resolution passed yesterday by the House, the Turks--who withdrew their ambassador today--started interfering by forbidding or impeding passage to US supply lines feeding and fueling the US invasion forces, it would--as we usta say in my war--put a hurtin' on the whole operation...

As opposed to the war as I am, I frankly could NOT support that as a way terminating the US involvement in Iraq. Though it will not surprise me if this is in some wise crept into the eventual framing of the issue, it would be dishonorable.

The US would not only be refusing the responsibility of ending the invasion on our own initiative and displacing the responsibility where it would not belong, we would also thereby certainly be hanging our soldiers out to dry. That way of stopping the war would leave our soldiers--our citizens--radically and unforgivably exposed. Granted they're where they shouldn't be; still that's not their fault. A withdrawal from Iraq without adequate fuel supplies, and ammo could be a real bloodbath.

Think Dunkirk without the boats?

This essay began as a comment in a thread on

* ICORP = Invasion, Conquest, Occupation, Rape & Pillage

"Barack Obama: World's Worst Negotiator" - - From "Open Left"

by: Glenn Hurowitz
On Tuesday, Barack Obama announced his support for President Bush's bid to expand the North American Free Trade Agreement to Peru.

Yup - Obama is once again helping pass one of President Bush's top priorities - even as Bush blocks the entire Democratic agenda and daily rains rhetorical abuse down on Democratic heads. Is this how Obama is going to negotiate in the White House?

Somebody please, again, tell me how Obama (or any of the gutless, feckless, useless, unprincipled, glad-handing 'pols' in the Deumbocrap party) is 'different' from the criminals now running shit? Oh, yeah: the guys running shit today are mebbe not "gutless, feckless,(or) useless." But they don't have to lie, or pretend, to advance their agenda, and the Dumbocraps do.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Where In The World Are The Diego Garcians, And Why Doesn't Anybody Know Or Care?

The fate of the inhabitants of the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia is one of the unsung human rights' abuse sagas of the Cold, and subsequent wars. Expelled from their homes, robbed of history, tradition, and livelihood, the Chagos Islanders were dropped en masse into the slums of Mauritius, where they may still be found today, a ruined people.

Diego Garcia is a strategic atoll situated just about exactly in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It is within range for the B-52 and B-1 aircraft stationed there of virtually anywhere in the south or central Pacific region, but especially South Asia, East Africa, and the Middle East. The high-altitude, long-range bombers stationed there during the VietNam invasion/incursion (1958-75) dropped hundreds of thousands of tons of ordnance on North Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, killing thousands upon thousands of innocent people.

It is also a key site in the array of connections which maintain the Global Positioning System.

Obviously, such a place--the highest elevation on which, at 22', is LOWER than the cockpit of a B-52--is unfit for indigenous populations (it's got pretty good waves somewhere around the island almost any time, according to a surfer-buddy once stationed there).

So, to placate their most powerful ally, the USofA, the British expropriated and relocated the entire population of the whole little archipelago around 1968.

Just like that.

At the current rate of sea-level rise, the waves will likely overtake Diego Garcia again in about 50 years.

Read more about it in this (longish but informative) piece from a site called "".

Why The Dems ALWAYS Cave Like Robert Murray Coal Mines

Pukes: "We're Gonna Kill You! We're gonna call you weak, wussies, traitors, and then we're gonna kill you."

Dems: "Oh, No, No, Don't Kill US!!! PLEASE!!! Oh Please, oh pretty please! Don't cll us names! Don't kill us. Here, we'll cut off one of our fucking legs and bleed in the street, if you just won't c all us names or kill us, please, oh please!"

Pukes: "Okay. You talked us into it. We won't kill you, now, if you cut off BOTH your legs, and bleed in the streets..."

Dems: "Oh, goody, goody. Thank you, thank you, thank you...We're much too young and pretty to die!"

Pukes: "And we'll come back in a couple of days. Then we can getcher arms, too. THEN we'll come BACK, later, to kill you; it will be soooo much easier...Bwahahahahaha!!!!"

Moral: You cannot negotiate people who want to exterminate you.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Motherfucking Pentagon Is Facilitating The Motherfucking Fundie/Evangie Right In Proselytizing The Military

Jason Leopold | Report: Pentagon Facilitating Christian Evangelism
Truthout's Jason Leopold, reports: "The Defense Department (DOD) allegedly provided two fundamentalist Christian organizations exclusive access to several military bases around the country. This access became official sanction for these groups to proselytize amid the ranks, despite the fact that such activities were in violation of federal law. The evangelical Christian groups have posted detailed instruction guides on their web site that advises its members about tactics to use to win over soldiers, or 'pre-Christians,' to evangelical Christianity when visiting military installations around the country."
This is above and beyond the whole motherfucking office accorded to the motherfucking (so-called) "Xian Embassy" within the very walls of the motherfucking Pentagon itself. First thing, to paraphrase the Bard at his best, we gotta shoot ALL the motherfucking chaplains.

Vindicated: Phyllis Bennis (of the Institute for Policy Studies) Agrees With Me

I have asserted all along, since the beginning of this disasterous course, that USer strategy in Iraq was to 1) renegotiate the Iraq State oil deals (by elimninating the previous signatories, one way or another), 2) establish force-projection bases in the country to control the whole trans-Caspian region, and 3) to remove Iraq as an irritant to Israel--the Iraqi SCUDS in '91 probably sealed Saddam's fate.
So when Phyllis Bennis, sez: The three legs the Bushevik/Elitist (including Hillary, goddamn it) Iraq ICORP "Strategy" are Oil, Power, and Israel: controlling the resources in the ground, basing military force in the region, and protecting Israel, I feel a sense of vindication, since lots and lots of people said I was a crazy, tin-foiled conspiracy nut.
TheTinyRevolution, Jon Schwartz's neat spot, has the vid. His blog's a must-stop daily.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Domenici Dominoes Starting To Fall

The announcement that Pajama Pete Domenici was, in fact losing his mind--which fact having been evident for at LEAST the last two years--has led to a flurry of speculation on the subject of his replacement, and the replacements which might trickle down in succession.
Richardson, who'd be unbeatable, is mum, saying he's running for president--though he'd settle for SecofState.
Tom Udall, unbeatable in his District (NM3), says he'll stay put, too. He's already an environmental guru, with a magic name, and a sinecure seat. With Pete gone, he'll be a very powerful guy, both in the State and on the Hill. He's been a back-bencher, but environment's his issue, and he'll step up.
Heather Wilson, Pete's long-time lap-top, announced today she's GONNA be a candidate. Since she can't run for both the House and the Senate, that means NM1 opens up. There'll be no lack of candidates for her seat, mebbe, if she doesn't run for Pete's seat...
...Patsy Madrid, who nearly upset Heather for her District 1 seat last fall, has been named as a possible candidate, too.
Martin Chavez, Albuquerque's mayor, and a nominal Democrat, has to decide whether he wants to run for Guv or Sen. He'll have a better chance at the former, imho.
Steve Pearce, R-NM2, is also said to be considering whether or not to run for Domenici's seat. He's a first-term, rubber-stamp Bushevik from the part of the state in which that's the foremost criterion. His seat's 'safe,' whether he's the candidate or not.
All of which means that three of New Mexico's five seats in Congress are up for grabs.

Immigrants? I'll Take The Mexicans, Please.

Skin-Head Xian Fundie Homophobes immigrating from Eastern Europe have become a major force on the West Coast.
Anti-Gay Movement of Immigrant Fundamentalist Christians Threatens Western States

By Casey Sanchez, Intelligence Report. Posted October 5, 2007.

Russian-speaking Christian fundamentalists, mostly immigrants from the former Soviet Union, have formed a ferocious anti-gay movement in the western U.S.

..In recent months, as energetic Russian-speaking "Russian Baptists" and Pentecostals in these states have organized to bring thousands to anti-gay protests, gay rights activists in Sacramento have picketed Slavic anti-gay churches, requested more police patrols in gay neighborhoods and distributed information cards warning gays and lesbians about the hostile Slavic evangelicals who they say have roughed up participants at gay pride events. Singh's death was the realization of their worst fears.

"After a couple years of fundamentalist and Slavic Christian virulent anti-gay protests at almost every Sacramento gay event in the region," said local gay rights activist Michael Gorman, "what the gay community has feared for some time has finally happened."

These are the same folks who enthusiastically lined up with the Nazis in 1939 to persecute Jews, Rhoma, gays, communists, and others.
You cannot negotiate with people who want to kill you. You cannot win arguments against fascists; you have to win fire-fights with them.

NOT a Rhetorical Question: When The Pukes Steal the NEXT "Election," What Are You Gonna DO?

They have only to keep the 'polls' close to set the stage.
The "other" 80 or so US Attorneys--the ones who were already dirty enough that they needn't have been replaced by Abu Gonzales--will have done their work. So there will be obstructions in place, and electronic votes will be stolen, and the SCUM can be counted upon to echo the "it's not over' meme for the Pukes.

In New Mexico, there is a law which now mandates paper ballots, electronically scanned. We have way fewer than a million voters here. How many other States have made similar adjustments?

But the fix is already in, imho.

So the question is: Whacha gonna do when they announce on November 9, 2008, that Mitt or Rudy or whichsoever junior Fascist Bugleboy gets the Puke nomination has been "elected?"

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Coming Attack On Social Security

The next attack on the Social Security Trust fund is coming. This one will be far more likely than the last one to succeed.

The difference will be that public sympathy for the Program is being (intentionally) eroded by reductions in the amount of service the Social Security Administration can supply, at a time when the demands for that service will be growing exponentially as folks my age start to cash in our chits.

Under the corpoRatist asshole Puke regime, the appropriation for the Agency has been shrunk every year for the last 5 years, approximately. There have been thousands upon thousands of lay-offs in local and regional centers. People wait months for appointments. It’s like the GOPuke/Fascist motherfuckers are creating a disaster, and ruining the popular support for the program, on purpose.

I know, to believe that, you’d have to suspect that this Social Security example is another step in the fascist/corpoRatist program, adopted enthusiastically by the Raygunauts and perpetuated ever since by ’leaders’ of both ’Parties’, to alienate the People from every instrument and institution that might support the autonomy of the “commons” and the authority of democratic self-governance.

But nobody’d ever believe that…

(Cross-posted with Corrente and MLW)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"It's the difference between Audie Murphy and Andy Griffith"

Does the privatization of the military conflict in Iraq, with the employment of as many 'contractors' in the theatre as there are combatant/soldiers, presage the employment of more and more private 'security forces', armed and licensed to shoot, on the nation's streets? Why are the local police more and more resembling military rather than civilian authority figures?
Glenn Reynolds proves the stopped-watch maxim of Insta-punditry. Wooo gnu?

Monday, October 1, 2007

If No Noose Is Good Noose, There's MORE Bad Noose

Cuz they've been seen, after the publicity around the events in Jena, La, all over the country:
First, there was an incident in Alexandria, LA (about 40 miles from Jena) where an unnamed 16 year old and 18 year old Jeremy Munsen were arrested with two nooses hanging from the back of Munsen's pickup truck. The 16 year old told police his family was in the KKK, and that brass knuckles and unloaded rifle found in the car belonged to him. Then, 4 nooses were found at a high school in High Point, North Carolina. The nooses were found hung from the main flagpole, in a parking lot, and (two) hung in a tree at the front of the school. Also, there were the two nooses at the Coast Guard Academy. One was left in the bag of a black cadet in July, the other in the office of an officer who conducted a race relations training.

Up here in the North, it's a similar story. Outside of Chicago, an unidentified student drove to Warren Township High School with a noose hanging from his rearview mirror. Worse yet, people are trying to excuse it, using a variation on the same ludicrous excuses we're hearing from those down South.
The latest recrudescence of this meme was reported in Nassau County, NY.

Mrs. Clinton Triangulates On Kyl -Lieberman

Anyone hoping Mrs. C would have somehow found some actual political courage with which to approach the forthcoming 'election' will necessarily be disappointed by her 'explanation' of her vote to pass the amendment. Of course, anyone hoping Mrs. C. would actually demonstrate any courage on ANY matter will likely be disappointed. Steve Clemons has the story at WashingtonNote dot com.