November 21, 2008 archive

Are Wingnut christian? Fundies Getting Religion, Finally??

Just caught this little interesting tidbit.

Bob Jones U. Apologizes For Racism

Could guilty consciouses and understanding of ‘S*I*N!’ finally be breaking into the christian? rights understanding of the true meaning of the book and teachings they say they follow?

Could they have finally realized the ‘Liberal’ leanings within?  

Four at Four

  1. With 60 days left of his pResidency, The Guardian reports Bush is hellbent on tearing apart protection for America’s wilderness. The “White House is working methodically to weaken or reverse an array of regulations that protect America’s wilderness from logging or mining operations, and compel factory farms to clean up dangerous waste.”

    Here are some of the most far-reaching regulatory changes made so far:

    • Industrial-size pig, cow and chicken farms can disregard the Clean Water Act and air pollution controls.

    • The interior department can approve development such as mining or logging without consulting wildlife managers about their impact.

    • Restrictions will be eased so power plants can operate near national parks and wilderness areas.

    • Pollution controls on new power plants will be downgraded.

    • Mountain-top mine operators could dump waste into rivers and streams.

    • 2m acres of land in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado opened to development of oil shales, the dirtiest fuel on Earth.

    The LA Times weighs in with Bush angers environmentalists with last-minute rule changes. “Researchers who track ‘midnight regulations’ say Bush pushed 53 of them through the federal Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the last three weeks, nearly double the pace of Clinton at this point in his final year.”

    Obama can summarily reverse anything not enacted by the time he takes office, a lesson Bush learned by blocking several of Clinton’s last-ditch environmental measures, such as a ban on road-building in national forests.

    “The Bush administration is trying to prevent Obama from doing to it what it did to Clinton,” said Matt Madia, a regulatory policy analyst for OMB Watch, a Washington-based watchdog group.

    Under federal rules, it takes 60 days to enact an economically “significant” regulation, which carries an estimated impact of $100 million or more. Other regulations take 30 days.

    Pollute baby, pollute!

Four at Four continues with protests in Iraq about 3 more years of U.S. occupation, an interview with the Obama logo designer, and Martian glaciers.

Something Old, Something New

Allow me to join in on the “What the hell is Obama doing?” watch. First, allow me to say…..don’t we have anything better to do? And then answer myself, apparently not!

It does seem that even a looming Obama presidency has sucked a lot of drama out of the room. Even dramatic stuff like the attempted murder of the Endangered Species Act is tempered by the sense that when Obama really gets in, he will ….fix stuff.

Now whether that is true or not remains to be seen, and the tea leaf reading that everyone in the blogosphere seems to be engaged in is pretty valid in that regard. Since basically all we are doing now is……………………………………………………………..waiting.


A New Deal With the Big Three

Burning the Midnight Oil for Real World Economics

NB. New Oil links are now located at the Midnight Oil Blog

A while ago, as an off-shoot of the Beauty Platform, I set out a Beautiful Bail-Out plan.

Two key parts were: 50:50 on money going to help regular home buyers to extricate themselves from the mortgage meltdown, and on bailing out the finance sector from the mess they got themselves into …

… and having the finance sector bail out consisting of both unloading dubious assets and issue of Senior Preferred shares with heavy strings attached.

Now, the Administration did not, in fact, listen to me, but when Senator Dodd was complaining about what banks had done with their bail out money, waddya know … I got a perfect three out of three on what strings needed to be attached to the money:

  • Limits on Mergers and Acquisition
  • No payments of any other dividends
  • Limits on Executive Compensation

… until the Senior Preferred Dividend had been paid for four quarters straight … and kicking back in if the firm in the future ran into problems meeting the Senior Preferred Dividend.

But … does the Beautiful Bail Out model extend to the Big Three?

It’s Iraq Moratorium day; Do something


Today’s the day.  Friday, Nov. 21.  The 15th Iraq Moratorium day.  You know what to do.

But in case you don’t, a suggested to-do list:

— Interrupt your daily routine,  some way, somehow, and do something, by yourself or in a group action, to call for an end to the war and occupation.  You’ll find a list of events and ideas for individual action at

— Take a digital or video camera along, and get some shots of the action, big or small.

— Send a short report, with photos and video if you can. Use this easy form.  If you do something individually, tell us about that, too.  Your story may inspire others to act next time.

— If you can, pass the hat at your event and ask for contributions to keep the Iraq Moratorium growing,   Send us a check or make an online donation for the amount you collect.  We’ll make every dollar count and use it effectively in the cause of peace.  Here’s the link.

But you don’t need anyone to tell you what to do.  The important thing is that you do something.

It has to stop, and we have to stop it.

Why Do These Things Keep Happening To Me?

Well, that gosh darn liberal media is up to their same ol’ tricks again!  I’m tryin’ to do this cute thing about pardonin’ a turkey there in the spirit of Thanksgiving.  Good patriotic folks love it when I do that stuff!  But can ya trust a liberal elite cameraman to frame the shot to not make me look stupid?  Or clueless?  Or insensitive?  I think we all know the answer to that question.  

(Now, I should warn ya that the following video may be disturbing to some viewers because I attempt to speak the English language.  Oh, and also some turkeys get killed.)

I’m In Love With My Car

They are unfeeling metal monsters. They’ve taken over the world. They have us surrounded. They’re everywhere. They remorselessly kill and maim more people every year, at least in North America, than all the terrorists ever dreamed of in all the worst nightmares sold to us by politicians, and in all the wars going on around the world.

They are bankrupting our economy and destroying our planet. They show no respect for human life. There’s a good chance one or more of them will kill you or someone in your family soon, if they haven’t already done so.

They are dirty bombs that have polluted and poisoned the entire earth. Besides our homes, they consume the largest part of our disposable income, and produce the largest portion of the personal debt carried by most people.

Yet over the past century they have become our life. We can’t live with them. But we can’t live without them, it seems.

When the Apollo astronauts were making their trips to the moon in our first foray to another astronomical body, one of the first things they took with them was.. a car. A car. To the moon, for fucks sake.

They divide us from each other, and make us hate each other. But we love them. Even though they kill us.

They’re not just part of popular culture, there can probably be good arguments made that they are our culture. We all want to own one, and some of us own as many as we can, but in reality they own us, and we organize our lives around them.

But we sure love our cars. So much so that many of us even lose our virginity in them. Many of us have certainly lost our innocence in them.

And ever faster and faster, we’re going nowhere except to hell in them.

The Coming View of History.

Let us, with prescience, practice the patter of those denizens of the AM dial:

Open Thread


I pledge allegiance to the thread.

There is no Country

“Patriotism is the last vestige of Scoundrels”

Benjamin Franklin.

“Follow the Money”

Molly Ivans

“There is no spoon”

The Matrix

Shut the door, quickly! Keep your voice down, man. These things have to be spoken about with extreme caution. Cell phones, off, and remove your batteries. GPS and all.

Settle down, listen up.  We may only get to meet like this once.

If you follow the money, there is no Patriotism, there is no Country


Iraq Moratorium – Where’s the happy ending?

It’s a simple reaction to a problem that affects so many lives, but I have a simple mind.  In my world of books, the happy ending is still my favorite way to conclude a story.  In the “real” world, happy endings are elusive.

Yesterday, I read the stories of people, many of them young people and children, who lost the struggle to live as the people they knew themselves to be and lost their lives because someone, often a relative or a friend, found it justifiable to eradicate them.  Today, I think of the children in Afghanistan and Iraq who have seen too much terror and sadness and loss for a heart to endure.  Some of those children will die.  Others will grow up to hate.  Where is the happy ending here?

I believed that President-elect Barack Obama held out hope for an immediate end to the conflict in the Middle East, and already, that hope has been dashed.  Quoting from the official Obama/Biden website at…

Immediately upon taking office, Obama will give his Secretary of Defense and military commanders a new mission in Iraq: ending the war. The removal of our troops will be responsible and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government. Military experts believe we can safely redeploy combat brigades from Iraq at a pace of 1 to 2 brigades a month that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 – more than 7 years after the war began.

Docudharma Times Friday November 21

The Bush Administration Working

Hard On Its Legacy

A Legacy Of Complete Failure    

Friday’s Headlines:

Parents’ despair is left at Nebraska’s doorstep

Supertanker pirates demand $25m within 10 days

Congo: a touch of hope in the war without end

France forgets giants of British cinema

Vladimir Putin’s power is devalued as Russian economy falters

Jewish settlers prepare for battle to remain in Hebron’s House of Peace

Palestinian security gets a feminine touch

Is Kashmir key to Afghan peace?

Kafka of the Cubicle

Another bloody night in Sinaloa, Mexico

Financial System Suffers Relapse

Shattering Lull, Fears of Deep Recession Roil Markets

By Neil Irwin and Renae Merle

Washington Post Staff Writers

Friday, November 21, 2008; Page A01

The financial system, which had recently shown glimmers of improvement, is unraveling again.

After a few weeks in which credit started flowing more freely through banks, giving relief to financial markets, prices continued to plummet yesterday for all but the safest investments, dragged down by fears of a deeper and longer recession than even many pessimists had expected.

Investors were so eager to move money into ultra-safe U.S. Treasury debt yesterday that they were effectively paying the government to hold on to their cash.

Sun sets on US power: report predicts end of dominance

• US intelligence: ‘We can no longer call shots alone’

• European Union will be ‘hobbled giant’ by 2025

• Triumph of western democracy not certain

Julian Borger, diplomatic editor, Thursday November 20 2008 19.05 GMT

The United States’ leading intelligence organisation has warned that the world is entering an increasingly unstable and unpredictable period in which the advance of western-style democracy is no longer assured, and some states are in danger of being “taken over and run by criminal networks”.

The global trends review, produced by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) every four years, represents sobering reading in Barack Obama’s intray as he prepares to take office in January. The country he inherits, the report warns, will no longer be able to “call the shots” alone, as its power over an increasingly multipolar world begins to wane.



A Residency Dream, Now a Nightmare


Published: November 20, 2008

In 2004, Heathcliffe Bradley was planning to return to his native New Zealand after eight years in the United States when he met Cheryl Losee, a New Jersey native, and his plans flew out the window. He stayed, they married, and then he turned his attention to a lingering problem: Mr. Bradley was an illegal immigrant.

But what seemed to them a straightforward process to make Mr. Bradley a legal resident soon turned into a bureaucratic and legal nightmare. Last month Mr. Bradley, a construction worker who says he has no criminal record in either the United States or New Zealand, was hauled from his home in handcuffs and put in an immigration detention center in Elizabeth, N.J., and told he was going to be deported.

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