May 29, 2009 archive

Famous Nefertiti Bust May Be A Fake

One of the most famous pieces of ancient art might not be so ancient, after all.

From Agence France-Presse:

Bush: I was right to torture.

So, the former president of the United States has just admitted to torture:

George Bush has defended his decision to allow the use of torture on terror suspects in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

This is unbelievable. Torture is an illegal crime and the former PRESIDENT is defending it and making tons of excuses. He says it saved lives. He says it was completely necessary.

He’s not being as forceful as Dick Cheney and he won’t use the word torture.

He mentions these unnamed confessions it produced. I do not recall reading anything about legitimate confessions produced by torture. Every single confession has been questionable. KSM confessed to the 9/11 attack as well as a lot of others that he either had no involvement with, or the plots didn’t actually exist in the first place.

Four at Four

  1. The Guardian reports Global warming causes 300,000 deaths a year, says Kofi Annan thinktank.

    Climate change is already responsible for 300,000 deaths a year and is affecting 300m people, according to the first comprehensive study of the human impact of global warming.

    It projects that increasingly severe heatwaves, floods, storms and forest fires will be responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths a year by 2030, making it the greatest humanitarian challenge the world faces.

    Economic losses due to climate change today amount to more than $125bn a year – more than all the present world aid. The report comes from former UN secretary general Kofi Annan’s thinktank, the Global Humanitarian Forum. By 2030, the report says, climate change could cost $600bn a year.

    Civil unrest may also increase because of weather-related events, the report says: “Four billion people are vulnerable now and 500m are now at extreme risk. Weather-related disasters … bring hunger, disease, poverty and lost livelihoods. They pose a threat to social and political stability”.

  2. Nature News reports Geological survey quantifies undiscovered gas and oil in the Arctic. “Around a third of the world’s yet-to-be discovered gas resources and 13% of its undiscovered oil reserves may lie north of the Arctic Circle,” according to research published in Science. The results “fills in details of preliminary mapping results announced last year by the US Geological Survey”.

    The estimates are based purely on geological data, and take no account of whether the oil and gas stores are technically recoverable or how much it would cost to exploit them. Nor do they address the environmental and cultural damage that might be inflicted by attempting to drill for oil or gas. Nonetheless, claims Donald Gautier, who led the research, “they give us insight into future petroleum resources, political relations, and places that environmental conflicts may occur”.

    The LA Times adds Arctic fossil fuel estimates are small in comparision. “The estimate is relatively small compared with known reserves in the major oil-exporting countries, but it is likely to greatly benefit Russia, which has the largest territory in the region, the researchers noted. However, they said, the most likely place for oil in the Arctic is off northern Alaska in the Chukchi Sea.”

    McClatchy notes that One-fifth of the estimated 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears in the world live on the coast of Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas. “Two-thirds of the world’s polar bears, including those along the coasts of Alaska and Russia, are projected to disappear” due to the “loss of vast expanses of polar sea ice” caused by climate change.

Four at Four continues with a timeout for wilderness exploitation, hard times for organic dairies, and Doctor Who squeeeee!

Warning! This Country Has Already Been Infiltrated by Single Payer and Socialized Medicine!

The Single Payer Scourge.

There is already a very large single payer health care system operating in this country.  It’s called Medicare.   It has been around since 1965, beginning 44 years ago.  The relevant Wikipedia article reads, in part…

“Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over, or who meet other special criteria. Medicare operates as a single-payer health care system …(emphasis mine).”

Did you note that the first sentence described Medicare as a “social insurance program?”  If the talking heads on the major television networks are to be believed, doesn’t that sound like socialism, which is at least a first cousin, if not an identical or fraternal twin of communism?  

Another Loooong Battle Getting Attention/Action

Kudo’s Barrack, Kudo’s, But Much More Still Needed!

US Doubles Funds for Agent Orange Cleanup

All they wanted was cookies!!

So here’s a mindfuck for you:

Cookies, not torture, convinced al Qaeda suspect to talk, FBI interrogator says…

The practice of torturing suspected terrorists received fresh blows Friday after a magazine reported that a key al Qaeda suspect offered useful intelligence after receiving sugar-free cookies.

Ali Soufan, a former FBI interrogator, revealed in an article being released in June that Osama Bin Laden’s bodyguard opened up about the 9/11 terror attacks only after being offered — sugar free cookies.

Bin Laden lieutenant Abu Jandal is a diabetic, Soufan said, and wouldn’t eat sugar cookies he’d been offered.

“Soufan noticed that he didn’t touch any of the cookies that had been served with tea: ‘He was a diabetic and couldn’t eat anything with sugar in it,’ Time’s Bobby Ghosh wrote. “At their next meeting, the Americans brought him some sugar-free cookies, a gesture that took the edge off Abu Jandal’s angry demeanor.

“We had showed him respect, and we had done this nice thing for him,” Soufan told Ghosh. “So he started talking to us instead of giving us lectures.”


Bin Laden lieutenant Abu Jandal is a diabetic, Soufan said, and wouldn’t eat sugar cookies he’d been offered.

“Soufan noticed that he didn’t touch any of the cookies that had been served with tea: ‘He was a diabetic and couldn’t eat anything with sugar in it,’ Time’s Bobby Ghosh wrote. “At their next meeting, the Americans brought him some sugar-free cookies, a gesture that took the edge off Abu Jandal’s angry demeanor.

Jesus, all it took was cookies?

So you are telling me that instead of sexually abusing them, we should have just broke out boxes of Girl Scout cookies?

Sadly, that seems to have been the answer. I think America way overshoot on the whole anal raping thing, when tea and cookies was all they wanted.

But someone needs to waterboard this guy, he’s always been in a sleeper cell brainwashing our children for years:

Velveteen Magic

A True and Recent Tale

Earlier in the afternoon, my four year old grand daughter Ivy Rose and I finished reading “The Velveteen Rabbit”, just before her nap.  She was especially captivated by the part when the Nursery Fairy gathered the Velveteen Rabbit up from the trash pile, and turned him into a real live rabbit, at last. But at first, he didn’t realize he was alive, and he didn’t know he had back legs, till something tickled his nose, and he saw his hind leg come up and scratch it!

Later, we were outside waiting for her Mom to come and pick her up, running around on my electric scooter, going over the speed bumps and generally having a silly good time, when we spotted a little brown bunny sitting under the pine trees.  I drove us close, very slowly, so as to not startle it.  Ivy stared and stared at it, then said in a whisper, “Gramma! Look! It’s got SPOTS, JUST LIKE THE VELVETEEN RABBIT!”  

Sure enough, it did have spots, and yes, it was the exact same color as the Velveteen Rabbit in the book!  Just then, the bunny turned toward us and grew very still, looking straight at us.  

Then, up came his hind leg , he scratched his nose, and then went a-leaping away! Exactly like in the book:

“He might have sat there a long time, too shy to move, if just then something hadn’t tickled his nose, and before he thought of what he was doing, he lifted his hind toe to scratch it. And he found he actually had hind legs! Instead of dingy velveteen, he had soft brown fur, soft and shiny, his ears twitched by themselves, and his whiskers were so long they brushed the grass. He gave one leap, and the joy of those hind legs was so great that he went springing about on the turf…..”  

Well. Both of us were speechless, and just sat looking at each other for a long moment. Her eyes were as round as saucers, and mine were too!  

Finally, I asked her, “Ivy, do you suppose that might have been the real Velveteen Rabbit?! ”

And she replied, matter of factly …”Yeah,’s magic! Now can we do the speed bumps again?”

So we did, and then we talked about magic some more. I asked her what other kinds of magic she’s seen.  She said:  “One time, I wanted my Mommy to come and pick me up outside, and..SHE DID!”

And so it was that on a warm spring day in the fall of my life, a little child did lead me, once again, to the realm of magic that is real.    

Who Are You? Really? Or The Fallacy In Causality

The video runs for 50 minutes… but it all happens at the same time.

Alan Watts – Time and The More It Changes

“The Pictures”

Simulposted at Daily Kos

In response to the ACLU lawsuit, SecDef Gates was set to release 2000 photos. Not the  “About 31 digital photographs contained on a compact disc discovered in June 2004.” That the ACLU sued for the release of.

So when Obama blocked the pictures that the ACLU had sued for….

He also effectively blocked the release of nearly 2000 others that Gates was set to release.

Presumably, in those 2000 were the photos that the Telegraph was talking about, and that Taguba confirmed exist.

The “news” yesterday was that Taguba confirmed that the pictures of rape and sodomy DO indeed, exist. That he saw these pictures.

And that is why Gibbs “shot the messenger. To deflect questioners who would ask about the rape photos specifically, to deflect from the fact that the sensational pictures do (or did) exist. He attacked the British Press, not Taguba. And thus put himself in a position where he didn’t, at least for the moment, have to actually answer any questions about pictures that show rape and sodomy.

So as Michael Gass said yesterday, They are both right. Sorta.

The pictures that were specifically part of the ACLU suit, either 21 or 31 of them, depending on the source, may not be “sensational.” (Depending on our jaundiced and jaded view of what is sensational post-Bush)

This is allegedly a description of what is in the ACLU photos…

About 31 digital photographs contained on a compact disc discovered in June 2004 during an office clean-up at Bagram Airfield also depicted the corpse of “local national” who died from “apparent gunshot wounds” and uniformed U.S. soldiers from the Second Platoon of the 22nd Infantry Battalion stationed at Fire Base Tycze and Dae Rah Wod (DRW) kicking and punching prisoners whose heads were covered with “sand bags” and blindfolds and hands were “zipped-tied,” according to a U.S. Army criminal investigation. The documents related to that investigation can be found in these five separate files:

You can access the referred to files at that link.

But, the photos that Taguba and others have referenced (See Gass’s piece linked above.) certainly are sensational.

And the original plan by the Obama Administration was, presumably, to release those as well.

Thus the confusion.

How long before Obama is on the hook?

Whew.  Can't believe I just wrote that headline. 

 For all this time, we have been told to keep our powder dry.  That he's on our side, got our best interests at heart.   For all this time, the focus and outrage has been directed to Bush/Cheney. There is plenty of evidence he's doing the bidding of the military industrial complex, and not the bidding of his constituents. 

Obama has been in office for just over 4 months.   In that time, he has had the time to:

1) Extend warrantless wiretapping, and even extend his claim to that power

2) Defend government secrecy – even exceeding Bush's claims of executive power.

3)  Publish evidence of Bush era war crimes

4) Declare theintention not to prosecute said war crimes

5) Close, then not close GTMO

-calling the detainees 'too dangerous to let go'

6) Reinstall military commissions for 'dangerous terrorists we CAn prosecute'

 7) Continue unabated the TARP program, while doing little to save people's homes from foreclosure.

8) Bail out giant carmakers without requiring the money be used to support jobs at home.

9) Kept key Bushies like Gates on – keeping the previous military structure in place so propaganda can leak out just like before. 

10) Asserted the intent to keep Don Seigelman in jail.


How on earth does this look different, other than the party label, than the last 8 years? 







First Amendment Friday 6 – Planned Parenthood V. ACLA

Happy Friday and welcome to the 6th in the Dog’s First Amendment Friday series. This series is following the syllabus for the class called The First Amendment and taught at Yale Law School by Professor Jack M. Balkin. As with the Friday Constitutional series this is a layman’s look at the Law, specifically the Supreme Court opinions which have shaped the boundaries of our 1st Amendment Protections. This week we don’t actually have a Supreme Court case, as the High Court refused to take up the appeal on this one. It is still part of Professor Balkin’s syllabus and as we look at the details you will see why it is an important First Amendment case. If you are interested in the previous installments of this series you can find them below:

Towards a More Tactical RV Escape Vehicle

But in event of “bug out” due to Unicorn Flu is your RV bug out ready?

This perhaps is more viable than echoing MSM talking points about shit that ain’t ever gonna get fixed.  Besides I need to get back to something constructive.

Load more