Best Viewed with IE or Opera. Sorry, Firefox works, but loses some sidebar layout,
'my profile' and other stuff... Anybody with a fix, please leave a comment. Many thanks in advance.

That said, if you must use Firefox (and I don't blame you, it's become my browser of choice, too)
...get the "IE Tab" extension. This allows you to view problem pages with the IE rendering engine. Very cool!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Tom the Dancing Bug presents:

The Psychotic Patriot: Our Internets: Strangled By Greed

Blair-Bush deal before Iraq war revealed in secret memo

PM promised to be 'solidly behind' US invasion with or without UN backing
Richard Norton-Taylor
Friday February 3, 2006

Tony Blair and George Bush at a press conference in the White House on January 31 2003. Photograph: Shawn Thew/AFP

Tony Blair told President George Bush that he was "solidly" behind US plans to invade Iraq before he sought advice about the invasion's legality and despite the absence of a second UN resolution, according to a new account of the build-up to the war published today.
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The Plame Page

Hey, Gang! Here is the "Definitive Site For Information on the Valerie Plame Affair":
 
Let's_go_there...__CLICK_THIS

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MoveOn.org Political Action: New TV Ad: George W. Bush is Breaking the Law

Did President Bush Break The Law? Here are the facts:

 FISA Was Passed in 1978 to Prescribe Procedures for Physical and Electronic Surveillance.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ( FISA) of 1978 prescribes procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance and collection of "foreign intelligence information" between or among "foreign powers." (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode50/usc_sup_01_50_10_36.html)
The highly classified FISA court was set up in the 1970s to authorize secret surveillance of espionage and terrorism suspects within the United States. Under the law setting up the court, the Justice Department must show probable cause that its targets are foreign governments or their agents. The FISA law does include emergency provisions that allow warrant-less eavesdropping for up to 72 hours if the attorney general certifies there is no other way to get the information. (?Judges on Surveillance Court To Be Briefed on Spy Program,? Washington Post, 12/22/05)
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Go and watch the video...it is a pretty powerful statement.
--pseudolus

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Once Upon a Time...

Arthur Silber was a voice of wisdom on the interweb. Times were hard, Arthur has gone on hiatus a couple of times now as circumstances have intervened. Well, he's back. Below is an email I'm sure he won't mind my printing. Authur hails philosophically from the 'radical middle' of political thought. His takes on things are often 'spot on' in my and many others opinions, having been referred to often by such bloggers as digby, atrios, tom tomorrow and the whisky bar.
 
Go visit his place, he has a couple really. Revel in his incisive writings. Show him some love if you can. Voces like his need our support.
 
 
------------------------------------------
Hi ,
 
I'm writing to express my deep gratitude and thanks for your past support of
my writing, to apologize for my temporary disappearance (caused by a
combination of awful factors), and to let you know that I'm back -- with not
one, but two blogs.  They are Once Upon A Time:
 
 
And The Sacred Moment:
 
 
You'll see that I've already republished many of my major essays, including
many from my Alice Miller series:
 
 
(A partial explanation of what happened over the last month will be found in
two posts -- and a fuller explanation will probably be forthcoming soon.
The two posts are here:
 
 
Thank you again for your generosity and kindness.  I repeat my request for
ideas about marketing my writing expressed in the posts mentioned above: if
you any thoughts along those lines, I'd be most grateful to hear them.  And
if you care to spread the word about my return, I'd be grateful for that,
too.  :>)
 
As I indicate, there is a great deal of writing I still plan to do -- so I
guess I'd better get to it.
 
All my best,
 
Arthur
 
 

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d r i f t g l a s s: Bush breaks own record for disavowal.

Administration backs off Bush's vow to reduce Mideast oil imports
 
BY KEVIN G. HALL
Knight Ridder Newspapers
 
WASHINGTON - One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally.
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Sign placement puts GOP in negative light in Dover:

Bryan Harvey 49, formerly of House of Freaks - Jan 1, 1996


Whoa! This is one for RA Wilson. No sooner do I get introduced to the Steve Wynn album below, then I am looking up The Paisley Underground and I find a band I would never have associated with the 'sound' listed. House of Freaks was an awsome duo out of Richmond, Virginia who recorded some of the most authentic Americana rock ever. Their debut "Monkey on a Chain Gang" and sophomore followup "Tantilla" just rang out with a powerful Blues influenced Folk rock. That a duo on guitar and drums could make so much sound was to me unheard of. Driving rhythms chug and boil throughout. Harvey's bass lines while playing his melodies simultaneously just put one in wonder. Many a 5pc band might wish they had the full sound that this band did.These are songs that energize and lift you out of your seats.

I just happened to have purchased a special Rhino Records release of MOACG with bonus tracks and it was heaven for the last couple of months.

Then I read this...

On January 1st, 2006, Bryan Harvey, his wife Kathryn, and their daughters Stella and Ruby were found murdered in the basement of their Richmond home. The crime is still under investigation. As of Saturday, January 7th, two men have been arrested in connection to the killings.
-------------
read_more...__CNN_report of the murders...


This is just heartbreaking. I wish any and all their survivors the best and send all fans' condolences for their losses. -pseudolus Posted by Picasa

Update:
Andy Wolfe has it nailed. He says it better than I ever could. Good on ya! Andt
A review for MOACG from Amazon.com:

***** (5 stars) Darkness & Light: An Indispensable Gem, January 9, 2006

Reviewer: Andy Wolfe
Precis:

Solid and uncompromised rock. Relentlessly raw. No disposable tracks. Louder than you think you need, smarter than you think you are. Unlike any "genre" rock you've absorbed before. A real voice, a matchless passion. Turn it up and in several seconds you'll have to admit you've found something brutally new.

Essay:

How thin and insufficient that taxonomic shorthand seems now, bandied so blithely about by a press that just a fortnight ago knew nothing of the work this half-doomed duo was destined to give us: Rocker. Indie Rocker. Power Pop. Progenitor of the White Stripes. That last one actually not a bad observation, a welcome reminder of the organic continuum that even the most original of rock acts swims within.

Chords drive, skins pound, hooks infect. Because whatever else they were, and they were many things, House of Freaks were at bottom and top a rock and roll band, and a blistering one at that. But one must seriously remember the synth-drenched and slick-sheened production value heyday of the 1980s to truly appreciate how wildly out of nowhere this record sounded when we slit the shrink-wrap and spun it under the needle that loud first time. Damn.

Back then of course the gold standard of less-than-a-quorum mega-noise was Rush, who nevertheless had the good sense to incorporate a bassist. But these House of Freaks freaks, no, they didn't even bother with session men: track after track, the record rolls on with just the lonely two of them making such an extravagant racket in what sounds like the biggest darkness a Gibson and Zildjian ever did try to conquer. Johnny's stampeding tympani kicks up sparks like the hearts of a dozen flint hummingbirds while Bryan etches jagged signatures from the raw blackness of the vinyl and the silence both, letting the echoing residue cascade and fade at the same time like copperhead scales shed from the stiff coiled asps of his E and G strings.

One could now and should wax on about Bryan's lyrics. But that would take an English major, so I'll just open the floor to whoever she is. Come on, you, and do him justice. His work is worth it.

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Soldiers sue over out-of-pocket costs | csmonitor.com

Members of the Massachusetts National Guard file what is thought to be a first-of-its-kind lawsuit.
 
By Sara Miller Llana | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
 
BOSTON ? After 9/11, hundreds of thousands of America's part-time soldiers answered the call to serve. Along the way, some have asked whether the costs they bear - from insufficient body armor to mounting debt for their families at home - is fair.
 
Now, Massachusetts National Guard soldiers are taking the question straight to the top. They have filed a class-action lawsuit claiming they are owed $73 million in food, lodging, and commuting expenses they paid out-of-pocket while activated under state orders to protect sites such as military bases and reservoirs from terrorist attacks.
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Snowe Competition - Mehnert for Maine

This gentleman is looking to replace Olympia Snowe as our Senator. Bookmark his page and help him out if you can! --pseudolus
--------------------
 
...It is time for the people of this country and the State of Maine to take back control of the government. The national government should be working for us, the people and not for the interest of this administration and its friends in "Big Oil or Big Business".
 
If you agree with me and believe it is a time to have a change in government I would welcome your support. Every vote counts and I am asking for yours.
 
Thank you.
Eric Mehnert
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Salon.com News | Out of jail, into the Army

Facing an enlistment crisis, the Army is granting "waivers" to an increasingly high percentage of recruits with criminal records -- and trying to hide it.
By Mark Benjamin
We're transforming our military. The things I look for are the following: morale, retention, and recruitment. And retention is high, recruitment is meeting goals, and people are feeling strong about the mission.
 
-- George W. Bush, in a Jan. 26 press conference
 
It was about 10 p.m. on Sept. 1, 2002, when a drug deal was arranged in the parking lot of a mini-mall in Newark, Del. The car with the drugs, driven by a man who would become a recruit for the Delaware Air National Guard, pulled up next to a parked car that was waiting for the exchange. Everything was going smoothly until the cops arrived.
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 read_the_whole_thing...__CLICK_THIS  (Salon, so you need to buy in or watch an ad first)

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Missing Money Free Search for Unclaimed Property - Officially endorsed By The States

This is totally legitimate. This website links to your State's Unclaimed Property Page where you can do a search and see if you have some money left behind in a forgottem bank account or such thing. i found out I had a whole $44 bucks left behind in an account when I moved to Saco. Woo-hoo!! --pseudolus
 
<URL: http://www.missingmoney.com/Main/StateSites.cfm >

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The Biggest Secret

Published on Wednesday, February 1, 2006 by TomDispatch.com
by Thomas Powers
 
A Review of State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration by James Risen
 
1. The challenges posed to American democracy by secrecy and by unchecked presidential power are the two great themes running through the history of the Iraq war. How long the war will last, who will "win," and what it will do to the political landscape of the Middle East will not be obvious for years to come, but the answers to those questions cannot alter the character of what happened at the outset. Put plainly, the President decided to attack Iraq, he brushed caution and objection aside, and Congress, the press, and the people, with very few exceptions, stepped back out of the way and let him do it.
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Bush defends Exxon Mobil profits - DenverPost.com

By Terence Hunt
The Associated Press  
 
Nashville, Tenn. - President Bush defended the huge profits of Exxon Mobil Corp. on Wednesday, saying they are simply the result of the marketplace and that consumers socked with soaring energy costs should not expect price breaks.
 

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Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald

But we apparently now have a country where the only ideas allowed to be expressed in our Nation's Capitol while the President is speaking are ones which glorify the Government and its Leader and where dissenting views are prohibited and will subject someone to arrest. Message cleansing of that sort belongs at a political rally in North Korea, not in Washington, DC.
 
There have been stories here and there of the Secret Service and other federal government agencies exercising the police power of the state for no purpose other than to stifle dissent. Virtually every appearance of George Bush is meticulously and vigilantly staged to ensure that he is surrounded only by agreement and adoration and almost never dissent of any kind.
 
This is plainly unhealthy and disgustingly contrary to every defining core American value. Our leaders aren't entitled to reverence and worship and aren't supposed to want it. Criticism, dissent and divergence of opinion are things which the founders did everything possible to foster, and the idea that someone is dragged out of a speech by the President for silently and peacefully wearing an anti-war t-shirt is disgraceful and embarrassing.
 
And these attacks on dissent are particularly ironic given that they occurred in the midst of a speech by a President who loves to lecture the world on the virtues of liberty and who holds himself out as the Chief Crusader for freedom and democracy.
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9/11 Attacks: Avoiding the Hard Questions

Published on Wednesday, February 1, 2006 by the Miami Herald
9/11 Attacks: Avoiding the Hard Questions
by Robert Steinback 
  
 
I was 8 years old when President John Kennedy was shot to death in Dallas in 1963. If grace favors me, I'll be 62 when documents related to the assassination are released to the public, and 84 when the Warren Commission's investigative files into the tragedy are finally opened.
 
That's a long time to wait for a chance to evaluate the purported truth.
 
It's a blot on the presumed sophistication of the people of the United States that any aspect of an event so dramatic and shocking should be kept from us. Perhaps it's true, to abuse the line from A Few Good Men yet again, that we can't handle the truth. But there cannot be genuine resolution as long as such critical information remains concealed.
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Court says woman imprisoned for 12 years committed no crime

Brendan Riley
February 2, 2006
 
CARSON CITY (AP) - A federal appeals court on Wednesday overturned the bad-checks conviction of a woman imprisoned in Nevada for 12 years, saying she did time "for conduct that is not a crime."
 
The 9th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Joni Goldyn, 59, a problem gambler convicted of five counts of writing bad checks in Las Vegas. Because she had four prior fraud-related convictions, she was sentenced to multiple life terms as a habitual criminal.
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These Are Not Zip Codes

Published on Wednesday, February 1, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
Enron's Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling are at trial today in Houston.
 
Attorneys for WorldCom's Bernie Ebbers were in New York City yesterday appealing his 25-year sentence.
 
These cases are among the many cases that have resulted from the work of President Bush's Corporate Fraud Task Force.
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Official: Army Has Authority to Spy on Americans

CQ HOMELAND SECURITY ? INTELLIGENCE
Jan. 31, 2006 ? 9:21 p.m.
By Jeff Stein, CQ Staff
 
?Contrary to popular belief, there is no absolute ban on [military] intelligence components collecting U.S. person information,? the U.S.Army?s top intelligence officer said in a 2001 memo that surfaced Tuesday.
 
Not only that, military intelligence agencies are permitted to ?receive? domestic intelligence information, even though they cannot legally ?collect? it,? according to the Nov. 5, 2001, memo issued by Lt. Gen. Robert W. Noonan Jr., the deputy chief of staff for intelligence.
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The Top Ten Hybrid [car] Myths - Business Week

With more of the gas-electric cars on the road, it's time to dispel some of the misinformation
JANUARY 31, 2006
By Bradley Bermansurrounding these alternative vehicles
 
 Five years ago hybrid cars were an unknown commodity. Today vehicles powered by a combination of gasoline and electricity are all the rage. Like any new technology, until you get your hands on it -- in this case, on the steering wheel -- it's hard to get your mind around it.

If you are having a tough time separating hybrid truth from reality, you're not alone. The warp-speed adoption of hybrids into popular culture -- and into hundreds of thousands of American driveways -- has produced more than a little confusion and misinformation. Most industry analysts predict the continued growth of gas-electric vehicles, with estimates ranging from 600,000 to 1,000,000 hybrid sales in the U.S. by 2010, so this is a good time to debunk the 10 most prevalent myths about hybrid cars.
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The Only Hope For The World

Published on Wednesday, February 1, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
by Doug Soderstrom, Ph.D.
  
The world has gotten itself into a real jam. I mean a humdinger of a jam! As in John Paul Sartre?s existential drama, No Exit, which so nicely portrays the inescapability of self-chosen evil, the inevitability of a self-made Hell, there seems to be no way out for the world; no way for the inhabitants of planet Earth to escape what appears to be the inevitability of a hell of its own making?.. World War III!
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At Exxon Mobil, a Record Profit but No Fanfare - New York Times

By SIMON ROMERO and EDMUND L. ANDREWS
 
HOUSTON, Jan. 30 ? Exxon Mobil, aided by strong energy prices, disclosed Monday that it had set a record for profits among American companies, reporting $36 billion in annual income. But while most companies would be proud to trumpet record profits, Exxon Mobil did everything it could to play down the news.
 
For Exxon Mobil, which also handily widened its lead over Wal-Mart as the company with the largest revenues in the nation, the report was an embarrassment of riches. Anxious about criticism of the results, executives began laying the groundwork months ago to try to prevent a political reaction against the company and the energy industry.
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A Religion That Grew From a Lot of Brew

By Peter Carlson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 31, 2006; C02
 

On the South Pacific island of Tanna, beneath a volcano that rumbles and smokes, a guy wearing a fake U.S. Army uniform raises an American flag. Then 40 barefoot men march past, carrying fake rifles made of bamboo, their brown chests decorated with red paint spelling out "USA."
 
Later, a group of men slinging fake chainsaws sing a homemade hymn: "We've come from America to cut down all the trees so we can build factories."
 
This isn't a protest or a piece of performance art. It's a religious ceremony held every year on Feb. 15 -- John Frum Day, the high holy day of a South Pacific religion that worships a messiah who is, as Paul Raffaele writes in a wonderfully weird story in the February issue of Smithsonian, "an American god no sober man has ever seen."
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The BLOG of "Ann Altmouse"

This link is is to a 1st rate spoof of a 3rd rate blogger named Ann Althouse, a shrill "non-partisan" commenter on today's 2nd rate topics. You probably won't get it if you haven't ever read her.--pseudolus
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Election Update: Do-Over on First Ballot

Does this sound familiar? Funny how this stuff occurs. Must have been using Diebold machines. --pseudolus
-----------------------
By Ben Pershing
Roll Call Staff
Thursday, Feb. 2
 
House Republicans are taking a mulligan on the first ballot for Majority Leader. The first count showed more votes cast than Republicans present at the Conference meeting. Stay with RollCall.com for updates.
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Thanks to Atrios/Eschaton for the link. 
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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Democracy Isn't For Our Friends Only

Published on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
by Robert Fisk
  
Oh no, not more democracy again! Didn't we award this to those Algerians in 1990? And didn't they reward us with that nice gift of an Islamist government -- and then they so benevolently canceled the second round of elections? Thank goodness for that!
 
True, the Afghans elected a round of representatives, albeit they included warlords and murderers. But the Iraqis last year elected the Dawa party in Baghdad, which was responsible -- let us not speak this in Washington, D.C. -- for most of the kidnappings of Westerners in Beirut in the '80s, the car bombing of the (late) emir and the United States and French embassies in Kuwait.
 
Now, horror of horrors, the Palestinians have elected the wrong party. They were supposed to have given their support to the pro-Western, corrupt, absolutely pro-American Fatah, which had promised to "control" them, rather than to Hamas, which said they would represent them. And, bingo, they have chosen the wrong party again.
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DIY RFID Zapper. - The Red Ferret Journal

Build your own RFID Zapper out of a cheap disposable camera and confuse the bits out of your local superstore. Or police station. As you?ll likely be invited to visit there shortly.
 
 To keep the costs of the RFID-Zapper as low as possible, we decided to modify the electric component of a singe-use-camera with flash, as can be found almost everywhere?It generates a strong electromagnetic field with a coil, which should be placed as near to the target RFID-Tag as possible. The RFID-Tag then will receive a strong shock of energy comparable with an EMP and some part of it will blow, thus deactivating the chip forever.
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t r u t h o u t - Military Hides Cause of Women Soldiers' Deaths

By Marjorie Cohn
Monday 30 January 2006
 
    In a startling revelation, the former commander of Abu Ghraib prison testified that Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, former senior US military commander in Iraq, gave orders to cover up the cause of death for some female American soldiers serving in Iraq.
 
    Last week, Col. Janis Karpinski told a panel of judges at the Commission of Inquiry for Crimes against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration in New York that several women had died of dehydration because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They were afraid of being assaulted or even raped by male soldiers if they had to use the women's latrine after dark.
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Corporate Wealth Share Rises for Top-Income Americans - New York Times

January 29, 2006
By DAVID CAY JOHNSTON
 
New government data indicate that the concentration of corporate wealth among the highest-income Americans grew significantly in 2003, as a trend that began in 1991 accelerated in the first year that President Bush and Congress cut taxes on capital.
 
In 2003 the top 1 percent of households owned 57.5 percent of corporate wealth, up from 53.4 percent the year before, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the latest income tax data. The top group's share of corporate wealth has grown by half since 1991, when it was 38.7 percent.
 
In 2003, incomes in the top 1 percent of households ranged from $237,000 to several billion dollars.
 
For every group below the top 1 percent, shares of corporate wealth have declined since 1991. These declines ranged from 12.7 percent for those on the 96th to 99th rungs on the income ladder to 57 percent for the poorest fifth of Americans, who made less than $16,300 and together owned 0.6 percent of corporate wealth in 2003, down from 1.4 percent in 1991.
 
The analysis did not measure wealth directly. It looked at taxes on capital gains, dividends, interest and rents. Income from securities owned by retirement plans and endowments was excluded, as were gains from noncorporate assets such as personal residences.
 
This technique for measuring wealth has long been used in standard economic studies, though critics have challenged that tradition.
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Primary Care About to Collapse, Physicians Warn

Published on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 by Reuters
by Maggie Fox
 
Primary care -- the basic medical care that people get when they visit their doctors for routine physicals and minor problems -- could fall apart in the United States without immediate reforms, the American College of Physicians said on Monday.

Primary care -- the basic medical care that people get when they visit their doctors for routine physicals and minor problems -- could fall apart in the United States without immediate reforms, the American College of Physicians said on Monday. (Lee Celano/Reuters)
 
"Primary care is on the verge of collapse," said the organization, a professional group which certifies internists, in a statement. "Very few young physicians are going into primary care and those already in practice are under such stress that they are looking for an exit strategy."
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The Coming War on Iran

Fox News Fans the Hysteria
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
 
In keeping with its established role as purveyor of disinformation, Fox "News" talking head Brit Hume misreported Fox's own poll. On "Special Report" (January 26) Hume said that 51% of Americans "would now support" air strikes on Iran. What the poll found is that if diplomacy fails, 51% would support air strikes.
 
Can we be optimistic and assume that diplomatic failure does not include orchestrated failure by the Bush administration? Alas, we cannot expect too much from the American people as even the corrected report indicates a majority of the population in thrall to disinformation.
 
The only "evidence" that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons is mere assertion by members of the Bush administration and the neoconsevative press. Iran says it is not pursuing nuclear weapons, and the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors say there is no evidence of a weapons program.
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Field Notes from Bush Country:�The Closing of the Bushite Mind

Published on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 by CommonDreams.org 
by Andrew Bard Schmookler
For many years now, I have been conducting talk-radio conversations in Virginia?s Shenandoah Valley. This began shortly after I moved there in 1992, and now that I?ve moved away and it continues with my making regular guest appearances by phone.
 
Politically, the Shenandoah Valley is a conservative part of a conservative state. When Oliver North lost his bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 1994, he carried the Valley by a half dozen points. The area is also religiously fundamentalist, on the fringe of the Bible Belt. The population is largely rural and small town.
 
As an intellectual, cosmopolitan, liberal Yankee, I had a rather different perspective on the world from that of most of the people in my listening audience. Nonetheless, during the course of the 1990s, I felt I made some progress in opening up a space where we could discuss the issues that divided us in a spirit of mutual respect and genuine inquiry.
 
But now, with the rise of the Bushite power, that progress has been reversed ?and then some. The program I did there just last week showed quite dramatically just how effective the Bushite power has been in closing the minds of their supporters to any ideas or information that might loosen the hold of Bushite dogma.
 
I was appalled.
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Pentagon trying to censor top US political cartoonist

 Posted by Picasa
Click on the title above to read about the threat to the Washington post.

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Truth or Consequences: The Future of the Journalist

By G. Pascal Zachary
 
Mainstream journalists are being torn apart. Conservatives long have accused reporters and editors for big newspapers, magazines and television of having liberal biases. More recently, liberals have hounded journalists for pandering to conservatives and America?s social elite. Both conservatives and liberals depict journalists as craven careerists, more concerned with maintaining their own privilege than getting stories right or serving the national interest.
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BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Inventor develops 'artificial gills'

By Lakshmi Sandhana
 
The system currently exists as a laboratory model
An Israeli inventor has developed an underwater breathing system that literally squeezes oxygen directly from seawater, doing away with the need for compressed air tanks.
 
Called "LikeAFish", the battery-powered artificial gill system aims to extract the small amounts of dissolved air that already exists in water to supply breathable oxygen to scuba divers, submarines and underwater habitats.
 
The device is the brainchild of Alon Bodner.
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RedOrbit - Health - One's Own Stem Cells May Treat Lupus

By LINDSEY TANNER
 
CHICAGO - For all of her 20s, when Edjuana Ross should have been relishing the thrill of early adulthood, she was instead in and out of hospitals, battling a disease that attacked her skin, brain and heart.
 
Now, at 33, she has her life back, thanks to a stem-cell transplant from her own bone marrow, a drastic, experimental treatment that could be promising for patients with severe lupus.
 
Ross' illness is in remission for the first time since her diagnosis shortly after high school graduation.
 
"I'm just trying to get used to being well, and it's a very weird feeling," Ross said.
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Proof That Bush's Removal of the Abramoff Prosecutor was a Political Deal to Scuttle the Investigation

On Friday, January 27, immediately after Bush announced Noel Hillman the federal Abramoff prosecutor was leaving his position to become a federal judge, I wrote that it was a political deal to stop the Abramoff prosecution. I posted an article on Huffington Post on January 29th.
 
We now know there was a political deal between the Bush Administration and New Jersey Democrats to get rid of the Abramoff prosecutor, Noel Hillman, by offering him a federal judgeship in New Jersey.
Advertisement
[Ad]
It's a deal that had been in the making for over a year.
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Los Angeles Times: Army's Rising Promotion Rate Called Ominous

Experts say the quality of the officer corps is threatened as the service fights to retain leaders during wartime and fill new command slots.
 
By Mark Mazzetti, Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON ? Struggling to retain enough officers to lead its forces, the Army has begun to dramatically increase the number of soldiers it promotes, raising fears within the service that wartime strains are diluting the quality of the officer corps.
 
Last year, the Army promoted 97% of all eligible captains to the rank of major, Pentagon data show. That was up from a historical average of 70% to 80%.
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Why the Coal Miners Didn't Have to Die

High-profile U.S. mining disasters have made headlines recently, but a similar incident this weekend in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan involving 70 miners ended very differently. According to news reports, all the Canadian miners survived primarily because the mines were equipped with refuge stations, which can be used as sealed shelters in case of fire or explosion. These stations contain food, water, and most importantly, 24 to 36 hours' worth of oxygen. Canada is one of many nations that mandate the use of mining safety measures like refuge stations. Inexplicably, the U.S. does not. Professors Derek Apel and Larry Grayson of University of Missouri-Rolla point out these international discrepancies in an editorial piece for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
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Animal-Human Hybrids Spark Controversy

Maryann Mott
National Geographic News
January 25, 2005
 
Scientists have begun blurring the line between human and animal by producing chimeras?a hybrid creature that's part human, part animal.
 
Chinese scientists at the Shanghai Second Medical University in 2003 successfully fused human cells with rabbit eggs. The embryos were reportedly the first human-animal chimeras successfully created. They were allowed to develop for several days in a laboratory dish before the scientists destroyed the embryos to harvest their stem cells.
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Always right, never wrong - Los Angeles Times

Jonathan Chait - L.A.  Times
 
LAST WEEK, I wrote that conservatives think they have "won the war of ideas" when, in fact, they have simply reduced their ideas to a few simple bromides. There's also another reason why conservatives have such misplaced confidence in the superiority of their beliefs: They refuse to ever question them.
 
Liberal writer Rick Pearlstein explained this recently when he appeared at a conference on conservatism. "In conservative intellectual discourse, there is no such thing as a bad conservative," he said. "Conservatism never fails. It is only failed." So whenever conservative policies crash and burn in the real world, rather than rethink their ideas, conservatives simply redefine the failures as un-conservative.
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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Big Picture: Free Lunch: Myths of the Greenspan Era

Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan?s imminent retirement has become the largest love-fest since Woodstock. Alas, we cannot avoid adding to the chatter. Besides, how many Fed Chairs will retire in our lifetimes? Perhaps we can act as a counter-ballast to all the accolades and bon mots. Now would be as good a time as any to discuss some of the myths and misunderstandings of the Alan Greenspan era:
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FSU Editorial: "U.S. in Technical Default" by Dr. Chris Martenson 01/27/2006

In a shocking development, the Treasury Department website is openly stating that as of January 24, 2006 our national debt stood at $8,185.3 billion and on January 26th at $8,190.5 billion.
 
 
Yet the US national debt ?ceiling?, the maximum amount of debt the US government may hold at any one time, stands at $8,184 billion ? a full $5.5 billion less. Although called upon by John Snow, Congress has not yet passed an expansion of the debt ceiling and so the US government is now operating in technical default.
 
You may recall that when last the debt ceiling was approached in the months surrounding the 2004 elections, the Treasury department furiously employed every accounting trick in the book (and then some) to avoid breaching the limit. They even went so far as to take the unprecedented step of borrowing $14 billion from the Federal Financing Bank to cover up the shortfall.
 
But they never breached the ceiling.
 
On January 24th they breached it brazenly and openly and with nary an accompanying explanation. Neither have any lawmakers have broached this indelicate subject.
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Sliming a Famous Muckraker: The Untold Story

A recent Los Angeles Times article, and then a widely-published Jonah Goldberg column, questioned the character of Upton Sinclair, based on the discovery of a 1929 letter about the Sacco and Vanzetti case. One problem: Some facts were overlooked or wrong.
 
By Greg Mitchell
 
(January 30, 2006) -- This is the story of a recent Los Angeles Times ?scoop? that was error-ridden and misleading and resulted in a hysterical rightwing attack, led by Jonah Goldberg, on a famed author nearly 40 years after his passing.
 
It all began a little over a month ago, on Dec. 24, with an article in the metro section of the L.A. Times by Orange County reporter Jean O. Pasco, headlined, ?Sinclair Letter Turns Out to be Another Expose.? It revealed that a Newport Beach attorney named Paul Hegness had finally gotten around to exploring the contents of a box of dusty old papers sitting in a closet that he had purchased at an Irvine auction for $100.
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Iran and the Bomb: A Presidential Whopper Goes Unchallenged

by George Maschke
Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 09:00:09 AM EST
At a White House press conference convened on Thursday, 26 January 2005, in response to a reporter's question regarding under what parameters the U.S. might find Iran's nuclear power program acceptable, President George W. Bush warned, "And the Iranians have said, we want a [nuclear] weapon." However, Bush's claim is completely untrue: the Iranian government has consistently denied that it has any desire to acquire a nuclear weapon. No one in the White House press corps challenged the President on this.
 
How could the President of the United States utter such a blatant falsehood at a nationally televised press conference? I am inclined to believe that the President was not consciously attempting to deceive. Perhaps his misapprehension stems from CNN's mistranslation of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks at a press conference held on 14 January 2005. CNN erroneously quoted Ahmadinejad as saying, "the use of nuclear weapons is Iran's right." In fact, what he had said was, "The use of nuclear energy and technology is Iran's right." CNN very publicly apologized for the error. President Bush should have been briefed on this. If he wasn't, then why not?
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Science | Ignorance is the opposite of bliss

How easy is it to stalk someone via cell phone? Too easy.--pseudolus
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Ben Goldacre
Saturday January 28, 2006
The Guardian

I spend a lot of my time wondering: why are people so afraid of science, when it has given us so much? To my mind there are two answers: firstly, the everyday science that you learned at school is no longer enough to understand the world around you. Fifty years ago, a fairly well educated person could easily have a full understanding of how the technology they interacted with actually worked: you could explain a car, a wind-up record player, a fridge, or the old analogue telephone exchange network, for example, on the back of an envelope, or with the help of a science teacher, pretty quickly.
 
But that's not true any more. Look around you. Do you really, fully understand your mobile phone? The braking system on your car? Where your breakfast came from? Or even the manufacturing process that produced this bit of newspaper? My guess is no. Any sufficiently advanced technology, as they say, is indistinguishable from magic, and these days, with the pace of new developments, that goes even for people who know a lot about science. And that's spooky. We don't like that, either intellectually, or in our gut.
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The War on Americanism

Published on Monday, January 30, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
by David Michael Green 
Forget the war on terrorism. The president is now engaged in a full-blown war on Americanism.
 
Ridiculous? Unthinkable? The idea that an American president could epitomize anti-Americanism is certainly counterintuitive. But it?s a lot less shocking if we consider just what defines this country?s core values.
 
And if that list includes such essentials as freedom, responsibility, justice, humanity, respect and fairness ? and doesn?t it? ? if that?s what it means to be American, then George Bush is indeed at war with Americanism.
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High Wages, Low Wages, and Morality

Published on Monday, January 30, 2006 by the Christian Science Monitor
by David R. Francis
  
It's unusual for a controversial economic issue to be fought on moral grounds. But ACORN, a public advocacy group, has been winning a higher "living wage" for workers in state after state, city after city, by appealing to voters' sense of justice.
 
"It's probably the best [argument] we have," says Jen Kern, director of ACORN's Living Wage Resource Center. A decent income is a moral matter of "fairness," she says. Those who "play by the rules of the game should be able to support themselves by their work."
 
"A job should keep you out of poverty, not keep you poor," agrees Paul Sherry, coordinator of the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign, a church-based coalition in Cleveland seeking to raise low wages.
 
According to the father of classical capitalism, Adam Smith, a Scottish professor of moral philosophy at Glasgow University in the 1700s, the "invisible hand" of self-interest ensures the most efficient use of resources in an economy, and public welfare is a byproduct.
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Is America Actually in a State of War?

Published on Monday, January 30, 2006 by the Boston Globe 
by James Carroll
  
STATE OF the Union, state of war: They have a nice ring. When George W. Bush goes before the Congress and the nation tomorrow night, he will present himself (again) as a war president. Personally and politically, the identity defines him. Instead of the callow leader he was in the beginning of his presidency, he will conduct himself as a man of sharp determination, with defiance born of the impression that his fight is to the death. He will justify all of his policies, including the illegal ones, by citing his responsibilities -- and privileges -- as wartime commander in chief. He will not have to remind the men and women in front of him that twice (just after 9/11 and just before Iraq), they voted to license his use of ''all necessary and appropriate force" -- enabling acts by which most of them still stand. The United States became a nation at war with congressional collusion.
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There is No Stop Button in the Race for Human Re-Engineering

Published on Monday, January 30, 2006 by the Guardian/UK 
Science will soon give some of us the tools to make ourselves cleverer and stronger. What will it mean for our humanity?
by Madeleine Bunting
My daughter is 10. Fast forward 25 years, and she is having her first child - early by the standards of all her friends, but she's keen on "natural". Of course, she did pre- implementation genetic diagnosis, and she and her husband (yes, very old fashioned, they married) had some agonizing days deciding on whether to modify a genetic predisposition to depression and whether to splice in a gene for enhanced intelligence. In the end, they felt they had no option but to give their baby the best possible start in life.
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RedOrbit - Space - Most Milky Way Stars Travel Alone

Cambridge, MA -- Common wisdom among astronomers holds that most star systems in the Milky Way are multiple, consisting of two or more stars in orbit around each other. Common wisdom is wrong.
 
A new study by Charles Lada of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) demonstrates that most star systems are made up of single stars. Since planets probably are easier to form around single stars, planets also may be more common than previously suspected.
 
Astronomers have long known that massive, bright stars, including stars like the sun, are most often found to be in multiple star systems. This fact led to the notion that most stars in the universe are multiples.
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Think Progress � The Truth About Health Savings Accounts

President Bush will use tomorrow?s State of the Union address to promote ?health savings accounts? as a solution to America?s health care crisis. Multiple studies have shown that HSAs are likely to increase the number of uninsured and increase health care costs, all while costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars. In other words, President Bush is proposing to do for health care what he?s already tried with Social Security ? placing more of the cost burden on individuals, while making the system more attractive to the wealthy but less effective for ordinary Americans who need health coverage most.
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Exxon asks reduction of Valdez damage award

$5 billion meant for those harmed by spill
 
By DAVID KRAVETS
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
 
SAN FRANCISCO -- Exxon Mobil Corp. urged a federal appeals court Friday to erase the $5 billion in damages an Alaska jury ordered the oil giant to pay for the 1989 Valdez oil spill.
 
Exxon attorney Walter Dellinger told a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the company should be liable for no more than $25 million in punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to deter and punish misconduct.
 
Exxon, which reported third-quarter earnings of $10 billion, said it has spent more than $3 billion on cleanup work and to settle other federal and state lawsuits stemming from the spill.
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Election Theft Emergency

By Terrence McNally, AlterNet
Posted on January 27, 2006, Printed on January 30, 2006
http://www.alternet.org/story/31217/
 
For GOP voters, the 2004 presidential election was little short of miraculous: Behind in the Electoral College even on the afternoon of the vote, the Bush-Cheney ticket staged a stunning comeback. Usually reliable exit polls turned out to be wrong by an unprecedented 5 percent in swing states. Conservatives argued, and the media agreed, that "moral values" had made the difference.
 
In his latest book, Fooled Again: How The Right Stole The 2004 Election, And Why They'll Steal The Next One Too (Unless We Stop Them), Mark Crispin Miller argues that it wasn't moral values which swung the election -- it was theft.
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Serial molester?

via Atrios/Eschaton:

 Chris Matthews says that Mrs. Alito, who started to cry when Huckleberry Graham was talking to her, was molested by Ted Kennedy. Someone who he, as far as I know, never even addressed directly, let alone groped.
 
This sounds a bit closer to molesting to me:
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Photogs Slam White House Use of Staged Pictures

By Joe Strupp
Published: January 30, 2006 12:05 AM ET

NEW YORK-- White House photographers aren't looking for a handout these days. In fact, they've gotten far too many.
 
While the practice of providing news organizations with staged photos of events involving the president goes back decades, veteran shooters at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue say it has become almost a regular occurrence with the Bush Administration. A review of Associated Press archives found that during the entire eight years of the Clinton administration, only 100 handout photos of events were released to the press. During the first five years of Bush's presidency, more than 500 have been distributed.
 
The key is that each of these events was closed to news photographers.
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Monday, January 30, 2006

Fear the 9/11 Hammer

Published on Sunday, January 29, 2006 by the The Miami Herald 
by Leonard Pitts Jr
Karl Rove said in a recent speech that this year's midterm election will be about security. So you know it will be about fear.
 
It'd be nice to be able to take President Bush's chief political adviser at his word. Consider where we stand 52 months after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Hurricane Katrina has shown that the government could not effectively manage a catastrophe whose place and time it knew "in advance." The same storm revealed that first responders are still unable to communicate because their radios are incompatible, "four years" after the inability of emergency agencies to speak with one another emerged as one of the signature failings of 9/11.
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How Will History Treat George Bush?

Published on Sunday, January 29, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
by Richard W. Behan
The defining feature of George W. Bush's presidency will be his Global War on Terror. It will overshadow the corruption, the corporate cronyism, the advocacy and use of torture, the domestic spying, the arrogance of his foreign policy, and the budget deficits unmatched in history.
 
President Bush has carefully, deliberately, and effectively enshrined The Global War on Terror in the American psyche. It is the centerpiece of his presidency, and he never tires of describing himself as a "war president." He claims no prouder achievement.
 
How will the history books, then, describe George Bush and his war? Might they speak as follows?
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read_the_whole_thing... and feel the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

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If Today's Media Reported Watergate - Spittle & Ink

29 January 2006

Flashback to October 21, 1973: Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough discuss the Watergate break-in on their Sunday news program, Washington Beat Box.
 
CHRIS MATTHEWS: What a bad week for the Democrats, Joe. I'm pretty sure history will refer to yesterday as the "Saturday Night Massacre."
 
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Oh, yes, Chris. Definitely. A bad day for the party.
 
MATTHEWS: The Democrats, you mean...
 
SCARBOROUGH: ... yes, of course.
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Alito - It's the Constitution That's At Stake

Published on Sunday, January 29, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
by Thom Hartmann
 
Samuel Alito is a big booster of presidential power. Other "constitutional scholars" have been less sanguine.
 
On April 20, 1795, James Madison, who had just helped shepherd through the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and would become President of the United States in the following decade, wrote:
"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few."
 
Reflecting on the ability of a president to use war as an excuse to become a virtual dictator, Madison continued his letter:
"In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive [President] is extended. Its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war...and in the degeneracy of manners and morals, engendered by both.
 
"No nation," our fourth President and the Father of the Constitution concluded, "could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
 
Since Madison's warning, "continual warfare" has been used both in fiction and in the real world.
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Climate Expert Says NASA Tried to Silence Him - New York Times

By ANDREW C. REVKIN
 
The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.
 
The scientist, James E. Hansen, longtime director of the agency's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in an interview that officials at NASA headquarters had ordered the public affairs staff to review his coming lectures, papers, postings on the Goddard Web site and requests for interviews from journalists.
 
Dr. Hansen said he would ignore the restrictions. "They feel their job is to be this censor of information going out to the public," he said.
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How the US fell out of love with its cars

Tail fins and chrome grilles were once the symbols of a superpower. Now, with 36,000 jobs cut in a week and foreign vehicles filling the highways, Paul Harris in New York surveys the collapse of an industry
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"Terrorism" or Terrorism?: A Case of Selective Morality

Published on Sunday, January 29, 2006 by CommonDreams.org 
by Jules Boykoff
 
"Terrorism is terrorism, no matter what the motive," said FBI Director Robert Mueller upon announcing a 65-count indictment against eleven environmental activists who were accused of ecoterrorism a week ago. These environmentalists are allegedly part of the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, groups the FBI has dubbed the most dangerous domestic terrorist organizations in the United States.
 
The Bush administration's sweeping use of the term terrorism is a prime case of selective morality that may help in the prosecution of radical environmentalists but that actually undermines the laudable goal of preventing and curtailing terrorism.
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Aggregate the Travesties to Hold Bush and Cheney Responsible

Published on Saturday, January 28, 2006 by CommonDreams.org 
by Ralph Nader
What will it take for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to be held responsible for a multitude of political crimes, recklessness, prevarications and just plain massive ongoing mismanagement of the taxpayers government?
 
The first step is to aggregate these travesties so they add up to a more comprehensive judgment. Then, together they confront us with an awful truth - that our present system of constitution, law and checks and balances have failed to be invoked by the elected and appointed officials of our Congress and our Courts. This is happening even though the polls have been dropping on the Bush regime for over a year and are now quite negative on many important questions.
 
Consider the following sample of irresponsibility and flouting of the law and then ask yourself how much more will it take to start holding the Bush/Cheney crowd of serial fibbers and dictacrats accountable? Is there ever to be a tipping point in the Washington world of spineless Democrats and supine Congressional Republicans worried about Bush losing the 2006 elections?
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Blair in Secret Plot with Bush to Dupe U.N.

Published on Sunday, January 29, 2006 by The Mail on Sunday (London) 
by Simon Walters
 
 
A White House leak revealing astonishing details of how Tony Blair and George Bush lied about the Iraq war is set to cause a worldwide political storm.
 
A new book exposes how the two men connived to dupe the United Nations and blows the lid off Mr Blair's claim that he was a restraining influence on Mr Bush.
 
He offered his total support for the war at a secret White House summit as Mr Bush displayed his contempt for the UN, made a series of wild threats against Saddam Hussein and showed a devastating ignorance about the catastrophic aftermath of the war.
 
Based on access to information at the highest level, the book by leading British human rights lawyer Philippe Sands QC, Professor of Law at London University, demonstrates how the two men decided to go to war regardless of whether they obtained UN backing.
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Study Ties Political Leanings to Hidden Biases

By Shankar Vedantam
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 30, 2006; A05

Put a group of people together at a party and observe how they behave. Differently than when they are alone? Differently than when they are with family? What if they're in a stadium instead of at a party? What if they're all men?
 
The field of social psychology has long been focused on how social environments affect the way people behave. But social psychologists are people, too, and as the United States has become increasingly politically polarized, they have grown increasingly interested in examining what drives these sharp divides: red states vs. blue states; pro-Iraq war vs. anti-Iraq war; pro-same-sex marriage vs. anti-same-sex marriage. And they have begun to study political behavior using such specialized tools as sophisticated psychological tests and brain scans.
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Savings Rate at Lowest Level Since 1933

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer
Mon Jan 30, 1:13 PM ET
 
WASHINGTON - Americans' personal savings rate dipped into negative territory in 2005, something that hasn't happened since the Great Depression. Consumers depleted their savings to finance the purchases of cars and other big-ticket items.
The Commerce Department reported Monday that the savings rate fell into negative territory at minus 0.5 percent, meaning that Americans not only spent all of their after-tax income last year but had to dip into previous savings or increase borrowing.
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FEMA Response Inadequate, Documents Show - Yahoo! News

By LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press Writer
Mon Jan 30, 9:39 AM ET
 
WASHINGTON - As Hurricane Katrina victims waited for help in flooded houses or in looted neighborhoods, hundreds of trucks, boats, planes and federal security officers sat unused because FEMA failed to give them missions, newly released documents show.
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Debate on Climate Shifts to Issue of Irreparable Change

Some Experts on Global Warming Foresee 'Tipping Point' When It Is Too Late to Act
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 29, 2006; A01

Now that most scientists agree human activity is causing Earth to warm, the central debate has shifted to whether climate change is progressing so rapidly that, within decades, humans may be helpless to slow or reverse the trend.
 
This "tipping point" scenario has begun to consume many prominent researchers in the United States and abroad, because the answer could determine how drastically countries need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years. While scientists remain uncertain when such a point might occur, many say it is urgent that policymakers cut global carbon dioxide emissions in half over the next 50 years or risk the triggering of changes that would be irreversible.
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The Great God Contest: The Mother of all Contests!

Right here on the Internet, we will attempt to bring a final resolution to all religious wars, controversy and hypocrisy.
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Sunday, January 29, 2006

For hardcore Blues fans only...Really. I ain't shittin' ya!

By Honeyboy Edwards, as narrated to Buddy Blue

Dave "Honeyboy" Edwards, born June 28, 1915, was present at the nativity of the blues -- which is not unlike having arm-wrestled General Lee. Edwards won't, however, be around for the blues' last rites -- and according to Honeyboy, no one else ever will, either.

At age 90, Edwards remains in full control of both his extensive faculties and musical talents. Effusive, gracious and boasting a steel-trap recall the envy of a man a fraction his age, Edwards is precious American treasure, history on the hoof.

Under extenuating circumstances like, say, when trying to do justice to the life of a man who intimately knew and performed with such mythical figures as Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton and Son House, words fail even the most windy of wordsmiths. No, better to let Edwards -- who performs January 26th at Acoustic Music San Diego, a must-see event, relate his own story.

--Buddy Blue

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To read this interview you have to sign up for Buddy's newsletter. Send an email to buddy@buddyblue.com and you will be automatically enrolled. Then forward your first email to me at pseudolus@operamail.com and I will send you the text. Buddy doesn't archive his newsletter that I can see, so it's the only way you are going to get your eyeballs on it. Yeah, it's a multi-step process that ought to discourage any flyweight fans, but if you can't follow a few simple instructions, piss off! Oh, and I won't do a damn thing with your email address but admire it as belonging to a "true believer" as I delete it from my address book after sending you the interview. --pseudolus


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Putting the terrorist threat into perspective

This is a point I keep trying to make to my friends and co-workers. The threat to America by the radical Islamic terrorists is minimal. The real threat is by our "elected leaders'" attempts to curb our Constitution in defense. How in hell are we supposed to protect our freedoms from the "freedom hating" terrorists when we let our government trample those freedoms? There is a post below that addresses this same issue. Read on and find it yourselves, you lazy bastiches. --pseudolus
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from: Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald

History Professor and author Joseph J. Ellis has an Op-Ed in The New York Times yesterday in which he points out what I consider to be one of the most important and under-recognized truths about the way in which we view the threat of terrorism:
 

My first question: where does Sept. 11 rank in the grand sweep of American history as a threat to national security? By my calculations it does not make the top tier of the list, which requires the threat to pose a serious challenge to the survival of the American republic.
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Spies, Lies and Wiretaps - New York Times

A bit over a week ago, President Bush and his men promised to provide the legal, constitutional and moral justifications for the sort of warrantless spying on Americans that has been illegal for nearly 30 years. Instead, we got the familiar mix of political spin, clumsy historical misinformation, contemptuous dismissals of civil liberties concerns, cynical attempts to paint dissents as anti-American and pro-terrorist, and a couple of big, dangerous lies.
 
The first was that the domestic spying program is carefully aimed only at people who are actively working with Al Qaeda, when actually it has violated the rights of countless innocent Americans. And the second was that the Bush team could have prevented the 9/11 attacks if only they had thought of eavesdropping without a warrant.
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Public Schools Better Than Private Govt. Study Shows

OOPS! Let that one get away from you, huh. Sorry about that, conservatives! All your work to cede the public schools to the poor and downtrodden while you spirit your kids away to private schools and better education doesn't seem to work. How about, instead, you work to improve the public schools? --pseudolus
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A government sponsored independent research study of hundreds of thousands of American students shows what the Bushistas in the Education Department absolutely did not want to be told.
 
Private schools lag behind public schools in math.
 
Study results: Private schools have no advantage in math.
Public school pupils do as well or even better in comparison
 
By DIANA JEAN SCHEMO
New York Times
 
WASHINGTON - A large-scale government-financed study has concluded that students in regular public schools do as well or significantly better in math than comparable students in private schools.
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