Feb 15 2008
According to this story in the Guardian, today, Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia and former Prime Minister Tony Blair are in trouble. Apparently Bandar took a billion pounds as a bribe from the multinational defense contractor and arms producer, BAE, to pressure the British government into halting fraud investigations into BAE activities. Bandar is said to have threatened the British government that they would allow further terrorist attacks to take place in Britain if they continued investigations.
Saudi Arabia’s rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed yesterday.
Previously secret files describe how investigators were told they faced “another 7/7” and the loss of “British lives on British streets” if they pressed on with their inquiries and the Saudis carried out their threat to cut off intelligence.
Prince Bandar, the head of the Saudi national security council, and son of the crown prince, was alleged in court to be the man behind the threats to hold back information about suicide bombers and terrorists. He faces accusations that he himself took more than £1bn in secret payments from the arms company BAE.
Dec 01 2007
On a rainy late fall day (not too unlike today) towards the end of the semester when I was a sophomore in college, my household of roommates and I decided to blow off working on term papers and studying for finals and instead ate a cookie sheet full of freshly picked magic mushrooms. After bouncing off the walls for a couple of hours and then running around a wet, muddy cemetery in Portland, playing slip and slide through the gravestones, while subconsciously recreating scenes from Easy Rider and Woodstock, we all came to a brilliant epiphany. EVERYTHING GROWS MOLD!
I was reminded by this epiphany when I read the headline story of my local paper yesterday,
Mold a growing problem One wouldn’t intuitively think that mold could be a problem in the desert, but the desert states of Arizona and Nevada tied for the rank of 5th in the nation for mold related insurance claims. This is in part due to cheap housing construction materials combined with the predominant use of air conditioners and evaporative coolers to counter extreme heat.
Breathing mold spores in general can cause respiratory problems such as allergies and asthma. Breathing mycotoxins generated by certain mold spores can cause severe illness and even death. It also turns out that breathing at home, taking in regular accumulations of dust and their bunnies can be a real problem too, especially for children. Did you know that household dust is toxic? Yes, the dust in the wind (cue song by Kansas that annoys the living shit out of me) can be incredibly nasty. This brief article from my same local paper, Household dust laden with toxins, includes this lovely snippet:
From home dust, the average U.S. child ingests the same amount of cancer-causing benzo(a)pyrene as he would get by smoking three cigarettes a day, says a 1998 Scientific American article by researchers Wayne Ott of Stanford University and John Roberts, a Seattle environmental engineer.
In this edition of Doing It For Ourselves, I’ll provide some basic information about molds and household dusts, and what we can do ourselves to control their presence in our homes and workplaces.
Nov 25 2007
The guiding principles of this country came from the Age of Reason, the Enlightenment. There was light and hope as the Europeans established the charters and documents declaring a new nation of freedom in this land. Of course in practice, there was the attempted destruction of the original American peoples and the importation of other peoples for labor, against their will. In over two hundred years, the nation still struggles with those injustices, even though some progress in that regard has been achieved. It still struggles with the need for cheap labor. The current masters of the capitalist machine continue to “use” labor via outsourcing and importing immigrants, where the rules of fairness and equality can be bypassed. But getting back to light and reason, they are dimming and sputtering with this dawn of a new century, this insane project for a new American century. The light is being snuffed by phobia. This twenty-first century has evolved into the full blown Age of Phobia: intense irrational fear, with all the darkness, anxiety, suspicion, paranoia, suppression, depression and misinformation that Fear with a capital F can propagate.
Oct 20 2007
Given the political climate lately, with talk of Bush never leaving office and declaring WWIII, I’ve been thinking about shifting the gears of this series towards basic disaster planning and survival techniques. These days, my Bushista survival kit includes beer and wine. Many years ago I made beer and wine at home. The beer was pretty good, but that blueberry elderberry batch, 20 gallons of the stuff….. shivers. It still gives me shivers, because it was so hideously bad!
Down below I’ll provide the basic required equipment, materials and instructions for homebrewing beer, plus lots and lots of links from more expert sources than myself. Clink Clink!! I’ll write one about winemaking in coming weeks.
Oct 17 2007
Frontline on PBS aired a new program called Cheney’s Law. It was one hour of pure visual and mental hell. There were no new revelations, but the condensation in one hour of everything Cheney and his team of evil as fuck lawyers, Yoo and Addington, with Abu Gonzo thrown in at the end, have done to the constitution and this country in the last seven years has again made me sick to my stomach with rage and despair.
If you missed the program and would like to see it, the whole thing is available online here:
Oct 13 2007
I just returned from the AZ Democratic Progressive Caucus meeting, one hour of which consisted of a presentation by Scotty Johnson who works for the Arizona chapter of Defenders of Wildlife. Mr. Johnson recently trained with Al Gore in Tennessee and now gives presentations around the region to spread the message. The presentation he gave today was called, The Climate Crisis: Awakening to Our Greatness. See the bottom of the essay for my summary of his presentation.
Good morning dharmapseudical dharma bums and misc dhrarmestids. I decided to put together a quicky for the series this morning in honor of Al Gore’s and the IPCC’s achievement of co-winning the Nobel Peace Prize yesterday. Below you’ll find some relevant links with lots of action information contained within.
Oct 08 2007
Note: A more finely tuned version of this essay is now crossposted over at The Environmentalist here
This essay will provide an overview of the four, perhaps five, American big oil related companies that are still operating in Burma, which by their continued operation are assisting the oppressive and brutal junta, The State Peace and Development Council.
Only a few days ago Reuters published an article here that said, “U.S. energy companies are shrugging off pressure to end operations in Myanmar that critics contend help prop up the military junta and its hold over the country.” So far, the protesting on line and on the street is not moving them to change their policy and tactics.
Based on some discussions here about Chevron and other oil companies operating in Burma I ended up with several questions. This essay attempts to answer them.
It ends asking you the readers to come to some conclusions and share them. So keep that in mind as you scroll through this.