Tuesday, June 27, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth Review

I have been convinced of the truth of global warming from the first time I became aware of the issue and saw the evidence. This movie, An Inconvenient Truth solidified my firm stance to help our environment and to the severity of the threat that it is facing and suffering from by global warming.

Al Gore presents the arguement in a convincing, powerful and complete powerpoint presentation to a live audience. He covers the subject from all possible angles and addresses the counter-points, shows how they fall short and deconstructs them with vigor and in totality. He then shows what we can do to help bring us back from the point of no return but he warns ( and shows through the presentation) and admonishes us that we are quickly running out of time.

This is a must see documentary whether you currently agree or disagree with global warming. If you see one documentary in you life or this year then make this one it. It may not be the most entertaining but it is perhaps the most important movie to see in the history of film. You will come away with a very solid understanding of the current threats facing our fragile and beautiful environment. Then after seeing this film urge all of your friends and family to see it.

Even if you STILL do not agree with global warming after watching this film I beg of you that we should take action. If for no other reason then it is better to be safe then sorry. After all we only have one planet and we must take precautions and measures to help Mother Earth survive and support human life for generations to come. Do it for your children and grandchildren.

(Cross posted at Letters from the Sanitarium and The Buddhist Blog).

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Maliki Wants a Time Table for U.S. Withdrawl from Iraq

By Rod Nordland
Newsweek
Updated: 10:42 a.m. MT June 24, 2006

June 24, 2006 - A timetable for withdrawal of occupation troops from Iraq. Amnesty for all insurgents who attacked U.S. and Iraqi military targets. Release of all security detainees from U.S. and Iraqi prisons. Compensation for victims of coalition military operations.

Those sound like the demands of some of the insurgents themselves, and in fact they are. But they're also key clauses of a national reconciliation plan drafted by new Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who will unveil it Sunday.

GOI: This will get Georgie boy's panties in a bunch!!

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Excellent Enron Documentary

We rented the documentary, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room last night and it was a fantastic, disturbingly entralling, alarming ride that will make your blood boil.

This is the story behind the story. It follows the players from the beginning of Enron to the dizzying, "smoke and mirrors" Wizard of Oz like heights of fraud and finally to the devastating crash of one of the largest corporations in American history. One of the really interesting points in the movie was showing how the company was pretty much inflating its numbers and accounting from the beginning. This story also shows just how vulnerable and shaky our nearly ephemeral economy can be.

The apex of the Enron fraud rests in the breath-takingly evil actions taken during the recent California black outs. Listen to the recordings of twisted conversations between Enron traders regarding the California energy boondoggle and feel your anger rise like the heat and power from a nuclear blast cloud.

An extremely fascinating part of the flick as well was showing the video tapes of Ken Lay schmoozing with Bush Sr. and son.

This is a must see documentary but be prepared to be enraged.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Santorum Desperation Move Blows Up in His Face

Sen Rick Santorum (R-Pa) and Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) held a press conference yesterday to announce that weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, only to have their claims flatly disavowed by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Santorum and Hoekstra were talking about the degraded and inoperable remnants of Saddam's pre-1991 chemical weapons program that are turning up at various sites around Iraq. Their allegations are based on the U.S. government's own Iraq Survey Group. The very same report convinced President Bush that Iraq did not have WMD.

The DOD flatly disavowed the Congressmen's WMD claims. ThinkProgress: "Fox News’ Jim Angle contacted the Defense Department who quickly disavowed Santorum and Hoekstra’s claims. A Defense Department official told Angle flatly that the munitions hyped by Santorum and Hoekstra are “not the WMD’s for which this country went to war.”

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

World Cup Hiatus


Sorry I haven't been posting on a more regular basis. I've been consumed with the World Cup taking place in Germany so you might not hear from me until the first week in July. I'll still try to get some posts together in the mean time but I can't promise anything.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bush Did Something Right Environmentally for Once

The north-western Hawaiian Islands, a coral-fringed swath of the Pacific, came under US environmental protection, becoming the world's biggest protected marine reserve.

With a stroke of a pen, US President George W Bush gave immediate protection to an area that stretches across 2,250 kilometres, covering nearly 362,600 square kilometres, edging out in size Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

"We will protect a precious natural resource," Mr Bush said at a White House ceremony where he declared a string of Pacific islands and submerged volcanoes a national monument.

"We will show our respect for the cultural and historical importance of this area and we will create an important place for research and learning about how we can be good stewards of our oceans and our environment."

The monument designation, Mr Bush's first, means a marine area greater in size than 46 of the 50 US states will be sheltered from overfishing, while allowing Hawaiians to use the area for traditional purposes.

The protected area starts about 260 kilometres west of the inhabited Hawaiian island of Kauai and stretches nearly 1,900 kilometres from Nihoa Island in the east to Kure Atoll in the west.

The area includes the world's most remote and relatively undisturbed coral reef ecosystem and supports more than 7,000 species, including more than 100 species unique to those islands, the Pew Charitable Trusts' Environment Division says, praising the White House decision.

Important species include the green sea turtle and the endangered Hawaiian monk seal - the only surviving marine mammal wholly dependent on coral reefs.

GOI: Well, I am a big "W" critic (as you well know) but I am willing to give credit where credit is due. This is a wonderful, HUGE development and I honestly thank and praise Bush for doing this.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Flag Day Message



Flag day message from Senator Russ Feingold:

Today is Flag Day, a day when we embrace our American heritage and salute the accomplishments of our forefathers. I think this is an appropriate time to begin a discussion of what it means to be a patriot in America today. For too long, our political leaders have wrapped themselves in the flag as a way to evade criticism and attack dissent. It's time we, as Progressive Patriots, celebrate the idea that love for your country means honoring the freedoms for which our founders fought, it means taking responsibility for improving our country, and it should always mean standing up to those who would weaken us.

I am a Progressive Patriot because I believe we can, and must, fight the terrorist threat while also protecting the freedoms that make us Americans. It's important to remember The Bill of Rights and the Constitution were not repealed on 9/11.

Sincerely,

Russ Feingold
United States Senator
Honorary Chair, Progressive Patriots Fund

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bush: No God Bless Iraq

So we all know by now that GWB showed up by surprise in Iraq and the biggest problem that I have with his speach was the ending. He closed with his usual "God Bless the United States of America." The problem that I have is that he was in IRAQ and not America so why oh why didn't he say "God Bless America and Iraq???"

I know he was speaking to the U.S. troops mostly but come on, he was in IRAQ!! How hard would it be to add Iraq into his prayer. It is the same God after all. I just don't know why American Presidents do not say, "God Bless America and the world."

Maybe it's a petty thing for me to harp on but it just seems like it would go a long way to show the rest of the world that we pray for them too.

Oh yeah and doesn't it look like Maliki is trying to ignore Bush in this picture? Click to enlarge.

Bush: Hey Maliki?? I think I gotta take a leaky. Heheheheh. Get it?? Heheheheheh.

Maliki: No response.

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Friday, June 09, 2006

President Teddy Roosevelt: Modern Day Democrat??

GOI: The Great Bull Moose T.R. on criticizing the President of the United States of America:

"He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able and disinterested service to the nation as a whole.

Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile.

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

GOI: I wonder though, would Teddy be a Republican in today's political arena? Take for example T.R's stewardship of the environment where he is considered by many to be the "environment president":

In 1887, Roosevelt and editor George Bird Grinnell of "Forest and Stream" magazine founded the Boone and Crockett Club. In the pages of his magazine, Grinnell had called for scientific forest management, clean water, and restricted use of natural resources-ideas considered quite radical by most Americans.

Perhaps none of the club's efforts was more significant than one of their earliest-the battle for Yellowstone. While Yellowstone had been officially designated a national park, the designation included no provision for its protection from commercial exploitation. When mining and railroad interests threatened to seriously damage the park, Boone and Crockett rose to the defense.

With editorials, speaking engagements, and furious lobbying among Washington's rich and powerful, the B & C succeeded. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill protecting Yellowstone.


[...]

In March, 1903, Roosevelt visited Pelican Island in Florida, a nesting ground for numerous shorebirds. At the time, demand for plumes for women's hats had decimated shorebird populations, and Roosevelt was well aware of the danger of massive extinction. With the stroke of his presidential pen, Roosevelt created Pelican Island Bird Reservation. This was the first, but not by far the last, time Roosevelt would use such power. Before he left office, he would create 50 more such refuges.

[...]

Roosevelt established the federal Reclamation Service in 1902. The agency, through the use of dams and irrigation, created arable land in areas that had been too dry to farm. Eventually, the Reclamation Service brought millions of acres of farmland into service.

In 1905, Roosevelt created the Bureau of Forestry, with Gifford Pinchot as chief forester. Pinchot believed that timberlands should be managed scientifically, with selected trees harvested and others left to grow, so that rain would not cause excessive soil erosion, runoff, flooding, or water pollution.

Year by year, act by act, proclamation by proclamation, Roosevelt built his natural empire. In Alaska, he created the Tongass and the Chugach forest reserves. In Hawaii, he set several small islands aside as the Hawaiian Islands Bird Reservation. Everywhere, it seemed, TR added acreage. Mount Olympus in Washington State. Lake Malheur in Oregon. Culebra Island in Puerto Rico. Mosquito Inlet in Florida. And perhaps his greatest achievement-Grand Canyon National Monument in Arizona.

[...]
Under the auspices of the Antiquities Act, he signed the Grand Canyon National Monument into being on January 11, 1908. It was the 11th such monument he had created to date. He would create 18 in all, among them Montezuma Castle, Arizona; Gila Cliff Dwelling, New Mexico; Devil's Tower, Wyoming; and Muir Woods, California.

GOI: He understood that being a "conservative" meant CONSERVING the environment!! What an outrageous practice of "conservatism!!" How dare he conserve the environment for the public. What a socialist!!! Many modern day Conservatives are only interested in conserving things FOR THEMSELVES!!!

He went on to do many other things in the vein of the modern day Democratic platform such as:

-Trust busting
-Government regulation of industry
-He was considered one of the first progressives in America
-He was also known for being a champion of the "little man" over big business and fought the “malefactors of great wealth.”
-He secured the passage of the Elkins Act and the Hepburn Act for regulation of the railroads, the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act for consumer protection, and the Federal Employers' Liability Act for Labor.
-He established the United States Department of Commerce and Labor which among several missions works for the improving the living standards of all Americans.

So, we might all want to reconsider Teddy Roosevelt as a "Republican." In this light then I find it interesting that GWB considers T.R. to be one of his favorite presidents! They are though equals when it comes to imperialism:

December 6, 2004, marked the centennial of one of the landmark statements in U.S. foreign policy: Theodore Roosevelt’s so-called “Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.” It was here, and not in the post-9/11 speeches of George W. Bush, that we first heard the rationalization for a pre-emptive imperialism coming from the White House.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Zarqawi Killed but What Now?

By now we all know that Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi has been killed. This is history unfolding before out eyes and is a great day in Iraq and we should celebrate the military intelligence on the ground. Human intelligence can not be over-stated as being critical for key missions such as these and thus we have to congratulate the CIA as well.

In the end, however, I believe the real thanks go to the Iraqi intelligence as we all know that in the end it is up to them. This is a great shot in the arm to the war effort and I hope that this event will act as a catalyst for real change in the Iraq War.

However, what now? Is this going to have real and long-term impact on the insurgency or will this just fuel their revenge?? Surely someone else will step in to fill his role as he [Zarqawi] must have known that this day would be coming. Though it will be hard to replace Zarqawi's charismatic leadership abilities.

Zarqawi will indeed go down as the father of this Iraqi insurgency. However, the rebellion has been going on for so long now that it has gone beyond the direct importance and control of Zarqawi. We should expect more violence then less as surely the remaining members of the network will want to flex their muscle to show that they are still alive and able to strike.

Another positive development is that not only did we kill Zarqawi but we also gathered a "treasure trove" (as the military put it) of information in connection to other members of the Zarqawi network.

Great Buddha do I hope though that this is going to disrupt the insurgency for good but I think that is hoping for too much as of now. This seems to just be a blip on the radar--a big blimp but not an end in and off itself. It would be absurd to think that this will end the insurgency. However, I remain cautiously optimistic.

Right now though this is a day to celebrate our military and be very happy for the Iraqi people.

This is a boost to the war effort that has been long and sorely needed.

Good riddance.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Haul Ann Coulter Off to the Sanitarium

Conservative author Ann Coulter sparked a storm today after describing a group of Sept. 11 widows as millionaire "witches" who were "reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by "grief-arazzis."

"I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much," she writes in her new book "Godless: The Church of Liberalism."

Her criticism was aimed at four New Jersey women whom she dubbed "The Witches of East Brunswick," after the town where two of them live. They have spent the years since the 2001 terror attacks supporting an independent commission to examine government failures before the attack, and in the 2004 presidential campaign they endorsed Democrat John Kerry.

The four, Kristen Breitweiser, Patty Casazza, Mindy Kleinberg and Lorie Van Auken — who headed a campaign that led to creation of the Sept. 11 Ccommission — issued a statement saying they had been slandered.

"There was no joy in watching men that we loved burn alive. There was no happiness in telling our children that their fathers were never coming home again. We adored these men and miss them every day," they said.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) lashed out at Coulter for a "vicious, mean-spirited attack," and added, "perhaps her book should have been called 'Heartless'" instead of "Godless."

GOI: I was listening to a local radio show host this afternoon characterize Ann Coulter's comments as being "humor." That is a sick, twisted and yes, DOWN RIGHT EVIL, Sociopathic sense of humor. So I figured that I would talk about her in a way that she would understand.

Ann Coulter is a sack of shit with human skin wrapped around her skeletor body. That she is a sack of shit is evident in that the only thing that comes out of that decaying orriface asshole of a mouth is disgusting, dirty, filty, toxic diarrhea. She is the freak show, clownish "Queen of Mean" that can only sell books by being over the top and sladerous (which is ironic because she actually wrote a book titled "Slander"). Did I go to far?? I'm sorry i'm just being "humorous."

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Bush Doesn't Give a Sh__t about Gay Marriage

Here we go again.

Whenever the Republicans get into trouble with support they go for the wedge issues such as seeking to support a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

However, it seems that Bush doesn't really care about the issue and is using it as a political wedge:

Though Bush himself has publicly embraced the amendment, he never seemed to care enough to press the matter. One of his old friends told NEWSWEEK that same-sex marriage barely registers on the president's moral radar. "I think it was purely political. I don't think he gives a s--t about it. He never talks about this stuff," said the friend, who requested anonymity to discuss his private conversations with Bush.

GOI: This shows in that Bush hasn't really pushed this issue before but now that he is in trouble-- even with his base--he pulls out the wedge issue. It appears that the numbers aren't there to pass this amendment anyway.

It would be a sad day in America to see a Constitutional ban on gay marriage. It would be the only amendment (from my research) taking away or banning rights of Americans rather then granting them.

The American people need to see this proposal as a wedge issue to keep them from voting for the own best interests.

Despite what you feel about gay marriage is an amendment really what is most important right now? Is it more important then working on a way out of Iraq (50 people kidnapped there today)?? Is it more important then terrorism?? Is it more important then reforming our health care system?? Is it more important then securing our borders?? Is it more important then dealing with Iran?? Not even close. We need to see this for what it really is--a smoke and mirrors parlor trick to take our attention away from the things that really matter.

Our senate and house need to concentrate on more important issues then this one.

Don't be fooled.

UPDATE: And from watching Lou Dobbs Tonight I can now report to you that the biggest threat to marriage is income issues and NOT GAY MARRIAGE!!! Paraphrasing Ed Rollins from the show, this is desperation politics and I thought that most conservatives are for states rights?? Why not leave this up to the states to decide??? This diminishes the president right now more then it helps him. We all know that this does not have the votes to pass so it's time to move on. Nothing to see here folks.

Oh yeah and if you want to read some funny sh*t about this whole absurdity then check out Morning Martini:

Forget the war in Iraq or hurricane preparedness or whatever is happening with Iran. That’s what I did this weekend because I had more pressing matters on my mind. Mr. Pop and I used our time wisely as we made several trips to Wal-Mart to stock up and prepare for the attacks that are surely to come on our marriage. We are taking this quite seriously.

Click on the whole quote to get more laughs. :)

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Another Alleged U.S.Led Massacre. This Time in Ishaqi, Iraq


BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Troops Cleared of Charges in Actions Taken at Ishaqi. PLEASE IGNORE STORY BELOW!!!

By Tom Regan csmonitor.com

The US Defense department says it is investigating allegations of another shooting by US troops of civilians, including women and children, during a March 2006 raid in Iraq. CNN reports that this most recent incident took place in the Abu Seffa district in the town of Ishaqi.

Iraqi police said 11 people were killed in a US-led raid against a suspected Al Qaeda in Iraq site, including five children – the youngest 6 months old – four women, and two men were killed. The US military provided a lower casualty count, saying an insurgent, two women and a child were killed.

At the time, the US military said its troops came under fire during the raid, and the building was destroyed by air and ground fire. Troops then took into custody for questioning a man believed to be a "foreign fighter facilitator."

But, at the same time, a local Iraqi police official told CNN that eyewitnesses said the US troops had kept "an entire family" in a room before shooting them, and then blowing up the house. The official also told CNN that police later found bullet casings in the house that could only belong to US troops.

The Toronto Star reports that the US military agreed to launch a new investigation after it was presented with a videotape of what appeared to be the bodies of the people killed in the fighting. The video in question was given to the BBC by a Sunni political group opposed to coalition forces, and challenges the US version of what happened in the house.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bill O'Reilly Disgraces Veterans Killed in Action in WWII (AGAIN!!!)



GOI: From Crooks and Liars:

In his debate last night with Wesley Clark, Bill said this to prove his point:

Clark: And let me explain something. You go all the way up the chain of command --

O'Reilly: General! You need to look at the Malmedy massacre in World War Two, and the 82nd Airborne who did it!

That is a flat out lie. (thanks to (Mccarthy.vg ) It was the Nazi soldiers that committed the massacre on US troops and not the 82nd Airborn on the Germans. Bill you just used false information to defame our own troops. How could you sink to a low like that just to try and prove a point in a debate. It took two minutes to discover your falsehood. I think you owe an apology to our military and every veteran who fought in WWII. How you could mix up an atrocity like that is beyond me and worst yet paint our own soldiers as being the perpetrators of one of the worst war crimes in WWII. Did you just pull it out of your---?

GOI: And as usual "Fake News" (Oops, I mean FOX News) edited the transcript:

Fox News Trancript
O'REILLY: General, you need to look at the Malmady (ph) massacre in World War II and the 82nd Airborne.

Crooks and Liar's Transcript:

Clark: And let me explain something. You go all the way up the chain of command --

O'Reilly: General! You need to look at the Malmedy massacre in World War Two, and the 82nd Airborne who did it!

Was this an attempt to remove O'Reilly's assertion that US troops were at fault?

GOI: Even worse, this is not the first time O'Liely has done this. Awhile back he was interviewing General Wes Clarke (again) about the Abu Ghraib incident during which he brought up the Malmedy massacre for the first time. And (and as with this newest time) he disgustingly claimed that the U.S. soldiers had slaughtered the Nazi soldiers. He is shameful beyond words. A national, nay a worldly disgrace.

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Comments on Haditha Nightmare

I have a few thoughts on this whole, aweful situation.

Sure the soldiers involved need to be investigated and if found guilty should be punished but my biggest problem is with the chain of command. Why was this covered-up as this whole situation took place in November of last year?!! Who was/were the one(s) that decided to keep this seeming massacre silent?? I've always understood that the chain of commands go down and the responsibility goes up. I hope that this incident won't just rest on the shoulders of the soldiers involved and not implicate the higher ups who tried to cover this up such as in the Abu ghraib abuses.

I guess we shall see where the investigation goes but it seems that the military is aweful at investigating itself and especially investigating it's higher ups.

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