Thursday, September 30, 2010

30 September 2010


"UT shooting comes just as Austin campus debates concealed weapons law"

Sacre Blow!
A Tale of Rachida Dati. (I don't see how this link could be NSFW; it's the BBC for Chrissakes...:^))

I don't know if this is disinfo, but it amazes me how much the establishment media is afraid of incurring right-wing wrath:"Was Sarah Palin Booed At DWTS? ABC Explains Mystery Jeering"

Apparently IOZ calls Matt Yglesias Wiggles. He does so apropos of this Marie Antoinette-ish piece of tripe. (Sometimes I have a hard time telling Wiggles and Ezra Klein apart, so the pet name helps.)

Speaking of purveyors of lefty received wisdom, occasionally Digby is useful: "Mission creep:the new surveillance state" (although I note she just takes the TSA to task and spares the administration.)

Andrew Reinbach, The Huffington Post, From Sydney, New York, population 5,993.
"Tiny Upstate New York Town Wants Local Muslims to Dig Up Their Cemetery"

Two from Helena Cobban:
1. "23% of Israelis ready to leave Israel at any hint of problems?"

2."That all-American urge to punish"

"It Is Official: The US Is A Police State"
by Paul Craig Roberts, September 25, 2010

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

26 September 2010

A 2 part interview w Chris Hedges;Collapse of American Liberalism(1), and
(2)Inverted Totalitarianism(below)(both via pulse media)

Newark Not Elated by Zuckerberg Donation
The New Jersey Star-Ledger | Friday, Sept. 24, 2010(via Slate)

The Facebook founder gave $100 million to the city's struggling schools, but many residents see the transfer of authority to Mayor Cory Booker that accompanied the donation as "an end-run around the law."

David Swanson: Only in America Can Blair Go Out in Public

Felix Salomon, Reuters:The whining rich (via BLCKGRD)

The Terrorism Fraud by Philip Giraldi, September 23, 2010

Is it wrong to find this amusing?

Helena Cobban on the recent Afghan election;
she argues that Obama's policies in Afghanistan are more geared for US consumption than stabilizing the country. C'mon, no way Helena!

Salon, The Democratic surrender on tax cuts
All signs point to no vote before the election. Republicans and the richest Americans win. Obama loses. By Andrew Leonard
(Of course that assumes Obama wants to "win" right?-JV)

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Alyona Minkovski & Joe Bageant

Two from Russia Today's Alyona Minkovski. She interviews Joe Bageant(above),

"More than 43 million people are living below the poverty line, but who are these people? For some reason, in this country, there's always been an assumption that the poor, or the underclass, are the non-white people that live in this country, and the fact that there has always been a white underclass has become taboo. Author Joe Bageant known for his book Deer Hunting With Jesus and his recent book Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir, explains that the working class are being faithfully mislead."

2. CEO's Rake it in While Poor Suffer

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Arthur Silber update

I think I speak for every Dead Horser, if that's the correct term, when I say we are big fans of Arthur Silber. He could really use some help right now.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

21 September 2010

Raw Story, "Poll: Vast majority opposes attack on Iran"

Two from the Christian Science Monitor:

Who’s picking up the tab for the tea party?

The tea party movement may have genuine grassroots. But just beneath the surface are professional fund-raisers, foundations, and political action committees – some of which have been around for years – pushing a conservative-libertarian agenda.

Scott Horton, "Reality check: Iran is not a nuclear threat"

Radley Balko, Slate: Blight Fight: Why is the city of Montgomery condemning the property of African-Americans along a civil rights trail?

Mark Weisbrot, Counterpunch:

"Net Neutrality, Free Speech and the Net: The Future of the Internet"

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Terror Response

Pennsylvania is just next door to me here in Jersey and boy, I wonder if it's too close for comfort. Take a look at this from

"The surprise disclosure that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through its state Homeland Security Agency, along with a number of local police departments in the state, have been employing a private Israeli security company with strong links to Mossad and the Israeli Defense Force grows increasingly disturbing when the website of the company, called the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response, is examined."ITRR’s slick site at features a homepage image of an armor-clad soldier or riot policeman preparing to fire an automatic pistol, while the company boasts of being 'the preeminent Israel/American security firm, providing training, intelligence and education for clients across the globe.'"

What!?! And the article goes on to say this outfit is teaching courses at the University of Pennsylvania! Where in the hell are we headed here? What in the name of Allah is going on? This is incredible, but I can't recall seeing this on the televised news--oh, that's right, I don't watch televised news. All right, I also don't recall seeing this in the newspaper, either the Press of Atlantic City or The NYTimes. Considering that the former is about on a par with Shoppers' News, I'll check out The Times and see if there's a mention of this unholy alliance. But maybe I don't need to: There's much more in Common Dreams: Let me emphasize that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has hired a PRIVATE ISRAELI SECURITY FIRM. And its members are working with the police. And they're teaching courses at a state university. Doesn't this seem ominous? Frightening? Insane? Doesn't anybody get it? Isn't there any protest? Speak to me, will you?


Friday, September 17, 2010

17 September 2010

bbc  winston the pigeon

BBC, UK: pigeon vs internet
(also in So. Africa. (no, not the same pigeon...)

Reuters: "Italy seizes $1.9 billion of assets as Mafia goes green"
Tuesday seized Mafia-linked assets worth $1.9 billion -- the biggest mob haul ever -- in an operation revealing that the crime group was trying to "go green" by laundering money through alternative energy companies.

Alister Doyle, Reuters, Home of "Ice Giants" thaws, shows pre-Viking hunts

JUVFONNA, Norway Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:17pm EDT

Climate change is exposing reindeer hunting gear used by the Vikings' ancestors faster than archaeologists can collect it from ice thawing in northern Europe's highest mountains.

National Geographic: Is it too late to save the oceans?

IOKIYAR, part XXXVII. OK, why is Phil Davison an "internet sensation"[video link] according to Yahoo whereas Howard Dean was labeled crazy for similar behavior? [also here]

The Week:Top 7 insane homeowners association rules


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Peace talks, yet again

Russia Today September 14, 2010
'US - Israel's partner in crime, not a referee'

Israeli and Palestinian leaders are holding a new round of direct talks. The main issue being discussed is whether a current freeze on Israeli settlement-building in the West Bank will be extended. Palestinian President Abbas threatens to walk out on the negotiations if construction continues. For more on this, RT talks to Omar Barghouti, an activist from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

no. 2: RT America September 02, 2010
Is Israel-Palestinian peace attainable?
Peace negotiations have started in Washington DC between Israelis and Palestinians. President Barack Obama held a series of high-stakes meetings with Israeli and Arab leaders. As negotiations continue today, is there a chance the negotiations today could work?


Is Israel manipulating media?
RT America June 01, 2010

In many ways, public opinion is shaped by the media, so will the media coverage of the attack affect public opinion of Israel. The mainstream media has been pro Israel in the past but will that change now after the conflict on the Mediterranean? Danny Schechter says that Israel has targeted conservative media in America, saying that Israel is the victim not the Flotilla participants.

The verbiage above is from Russia Today. I am not optimistic about the peace talks. I also think most observers here in the US, both the establishment press and people in general, have tuned them out, in part because nobody really expects them to be successful, even if many(maybe most?) Americans might have difficulty understanding Barghouti's point of view, and may just chalk it up to Palistinian intransigence, or shrug about how difficult it is to understand the middle east.

I'm guessing very few Americans would easily accept the possibility that US foreign policy is an obstacle to peace. It's hard not to wonder if the only reason these talks are even happening is because of the Memorial Day weekend flotilla raid, and the need Israel and the US have to seem to respond with a peace overture, and the need Fatah has to seem to reciprocate. So, they all go through the motions. I remember in 2000 I was under the impression that Arafat was walking away from a pretty good deal, but later I learned that most of the land swaps was of desert for arable, cultivated land that had been taken by settlers, in exchange for desert.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thomas Ferguson on the Real News

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Monday, September 13, 2010

13 September 2010

Timothy Noah, Slate: "The United States of Inequality"

By Stephanie Chen, CNN:
No retirement for these older folks, just work

two commenters:
There's a difference between not retiring because you want to keep working, and not retiring because you'll starve.

This is exactly why in America young people (20-30 years of age) are so unemployed! these people keep their jobs till they are 100!

Insane. Retire and make way for the younger generation which needs to support you through your entitlements!

David Michael Green, Counterpunch,
"Why the Right is Winning:Our Long National Nightmare Isn't Over ... It's Just Beginning"

Fareed Zakaria, "Why America Overreacted to 9-11"

Pepe Escobar, Asia Times,
AfPak and the new great game
As much as Washington may entertain the illusion that it's in command, it's actually Hamid Karzai, the wily Afghan president, who is playing an attacking game in this latest installment of the New Great Game in Eurasia. And, as usual, there's never a mention anywhere of the key Pipelineistan game.
As it must be clear by now, Pakistan is essentially an army/intelligence establishment disguised as a country. The army/Inter-Services Intelligence tandem has been and will always be pro-Taliban. Anyone who believes the tandem will "reform" - with or without billions of dollars of US aid - believes in the Easter bunny...

Oh, boo hoo: Blair cancels book launch party over protest fears

Naturally I'd like you to read all the linked articles, but if you read just one make sure it's Escobar.-JV

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Darkness and light

From Joshua Holland’s "Fallout of Hate Is Spreading Across America from "Ground Zero" which appeared in AlterNet on August 21st:

In May, a man walked into the Jacksonville Islamic Center in Northeast Florida during evening prayers and detonated a pipebomb. Fortunately, there were no injuries. (If the man had been Muslim and the House of worship a Christian church, the incident would have garnered wall-to-wall coverage, but while the story got plenty of local press it was ignored by CBS News, Fox, CNN and MSNBC.)

It was the most serious of a series of incidents in which mosques far from the supposedly hallowed earth of Ground Zero have been targeted. A mosque in Miami, Florida, was sprayed with gunfire last year. Mosques have been vandalized or set aflame in Brownstown, Michigan; Nashville, Tennessee; Arlington, Texas (where the mosque was first vandalized and then later targeted by arsonists); Taylor, South Carolina; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Eugene, Oregon; Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Tempe, Arizona; and in both Northern and Southern California. A mosque in a suburb of Chicago has been vandalized four times in recent years.

In May, an Arab man was brutally beaten in broad daylight in New York by four young men. According to the victim’s nephew, "They used the bad word. 'The mother bleeping Muslim, go back to your country.' They started beating him and after that he don't know what happened.” A Muslim woman in Chicago was assaulted by another woman who took offense at her headscarf. A Muslim teacher in Florida was sent a white powdery substance in the mail. In San Diego, a man in his 50s became so incensed by the sight of an American of Afghan descent praying that he assaulted him after screaming, “You idiot, you mother f**ker, go back to where you came from."

The perpetrators of these hate crimes are clearly unhinged, but they’re not operating in a vacuum. They’re being whipped into a frenzy by cynical fearmongers on the Right. Writing for Tablet magazine, Daniel Luban astutely calls the dark spread of Islamophobia, “the new Anti-Semitism.”

Since then I know of the cabbie who had his throat cut in NYC and vandalism of a mosque being constructed in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The latter stood out in my mind because my mother briefly attended Middle Tennessee State College, as it was known then, in the early 1950s. She was born and raised in Iraq, and she remembered her time in Tennessee fondly.

My perspective may be different when it comes to would-be Koran-burner Terry Jones, maybe because I “look like them,” in the eyes of the Terry Joneses of the world. It’s not a question of breadth of vision, or wisdom, or empathy. Your life is different when you know you look like “them” in the eyes of people around you, some concerned about that more than others.

When the towers were attacked in September of 2001, I felt in those moments watching on TV and the second tower was hit that the republicans had received a gift, and our social landscape would immediately change, and there would be no going back. Now, years later and nearly two years through Obama’s term in office it’s pretty clear it was a gift to both parties.

Even today I find it unlikely that we will eventually be rounded up like the Japanese-Americans were during WWII, but I am concerned that things will get worse. Rob suggests the establishment media is working for the government; I'm more inclined to think that the government and the media work for a common group of owners.

Earlier today Jonathan Schwarz wrote:

the sad reality of life on Earth is that horrible things happen all the time. What was unusual about the terrorist attacks wasn't that they happened, but that they happened to us. We have two giant oceans on either side of us; two weak, friendly neighbors; and the most powerful military in the world. As awful as that one day was, what was true before is still true afterward: No one has less reason to be scared than Americans. Wondering whether we're safer is a little unseemly, like Yao Ming wondering whether he's ever going to get taller.

I think that’s largely true. The scope of the 9-11 attacks was also unusual, but the two-edged nature of ever-advancing technology suggests that more large scale 9-11 like attacks may be more likely in the future, especially as the global overclass strives to lock in their huge financial advantage over everybody else and make class increasingly less fluid in the years to come.

In the meantime, the hostility towards Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans not only looks like it will get worse, it looks like the product of a country that knows its in decline and is lashing out at convenient scapegoats. (Of course when my mother attended college it was communists.)

Even in September of 2001 the wars we waged(and continue to wage) since were by no means inevitable. In our screwed-up political climate it would have been easier for a sitting republican president to show restraint than a democrat. A few targeted strikes here, a few there, and we would have matched "their" body count and claimed one burnt corpse to be Bin Laden's and called it a day. Meanwhile the CIA could easily refute(or even refudiate!) any subsequent tapes or videos as fakes. (I got an auto-email from my congressman today which said that 2,977 Americans died in the 9-11 attacks, and that (thus far) 5,661 US soldiers have died in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have to believe the scenario I sketched out would have cost fewer lives, on both sides.)

It's actually pretty amazing to me, how America's elites apparently don't want to solve our long term problems and seem to want them to get worse. Seems there's money to be made investing in the decline of America, but only for a lucky few. Some years ago I saw an article in The American Prospect, I forget who the author was, entitled, "Where are the rational greedy bastards?" As far as I can tell the American overclass is increasingly divorced from the rest of us, so breaking US society down for tax cuts appears rational to them. Which must be why they're happy to gin up social strife, as we're less likely to notice what they're up to.

At any one time it seems that there is a certain portion of the population, maybe 15 to 20 per cent, that are what popular parlance today calls "haters." People who reason based on fear and authoritarian impulses, that have an undue respect for authority schizophrenically mixed with a simultaneous resentment of it. Maybe in bad times, like nowadays, it climbs to 25 or 30 percent. By assigning numbers to it I recognize I'm being a bit glib, but my point is I'd like to believe that even nowadays they're a noisy minority, even though like Joshua Holland I'm concerned at how they've become emboldened of late. (And that's why I do care about the president or secretary Gates urging restraint, even if it's grossly hypocritical on several levels. Because when two-bit Koran burners show restraint this may influence others, who look to them for imagined permission to do other things.)

It's a strange country we live in, where much of the society cares about being insulated in would-be innocence from the world beyond our borders while our government meddles bloodily all over that same world. When I read about New York cabbie Ahmed Sharif's would-be killer Michael Enright and looked at the photo of him looking all innocent and alarmed in court I thought about that dichotomy, and wondered if it's a sort of mental illness shared by millions.(I note, however, that Enright had the presence of mind to select an non-white lawyer to appear with him.) I'd like to believe in the other America, the one described in Wayne Drash's story of two young Muslim Americans who traveled cross country for Ramadan and said they encountered mostly warm, decent people. But as far as I can see, they both exist.

New York Daily News, "Muslim cab driver slashed by boozed-up bigot just back from filming Marines in Afghanistan: cops"
(original title: Muslim cab driver slashed by upstate New York man because of his religion: police)

Wayne Drash, CNN: 2 Muslims travel 13,000 miles across America, find an embracing nation

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Final thoughts

What seems clear to me regarding Terry Jones the sad-sack propelled to his 15 minutes of fame over his plan to burn the quran on this coming September 11 is that the so-called main stream news media is probably working for the Pentagon, or perhaps general Petraeus, when they gave instant fame to this would-be gold digger. One need only recall Guantanamo and the insulting abusive treatment, aside from the physical and mental torture, of the prisoners therein or to perhaps consider the marines who blew up Afghans for fun taking body parts such as fingers, legs, even skulls as trophies of their kill. This is no freakish unusual thing, this is how soldiers act in war, this is how they are trained and manipulated to act, and this is the desired effect.

The U.S. has been involved in a program to defame, dehumanize, inflame, insult, and murder Muslims for many years now, even prior to the Bush family. Bill Clinton was no slouch when it came to bombing Iraq. Likely part of the idea of inflaming the Muslim world is that it gives us cause and reason to continue with these Terror Wars. Consider we never had good cause to invade any of these nations to begin with and even less cause to continue our occupations. That Iraq had anything to do with 9/11 is pure fantasy. That we should invade Afghanistan because some Arabs calling themselves al Qaida stayed there for a while is ridiculous by any standard. Regarding Pakistan, we have no right to be murdering their people either even if bin Laden is there sucking eggs and smoking Cubans.

When you consider all of the above I can only conclude that the news media, working for the government, is deliberately inflaming the Muslims of the world and indeed it is working quite well. There are now protests in various places and one protestor was killed by a NATO soldier. This is the plan, causing chaos gives us cause to continue the Terror Wars.

Terror Jones

It’s been enjoyable watching our great and noble and wise and clever leaders posture over the good Reverend Jones burner of Korans extraordinaire. First the idiotic press who despite high job loss, a housing market ready to enter a black hole, several violent illegal wars, the oil in the Gulf, and any number of other catastrophes occurring around the globe, can’t find anything better to report on than “Terror” Jones, the next threat to terrorize an entire planet with his rag-tag following of fifty or so lost and confused souls.

And since the news has reported this catastrophic campfire our glorious leaders have felt compelled to enthrall us with their own brand of righteousness. They were lined up to speak with the Reverend “Terror” Jones -- Hillary Clinton, Bob Gates the cat boiler, President Obama, Vice President Biden, general Petraeus, general Odie Colognie, Batman and Robin, Superman, Spiderman, The Green Hornet, The Shadow, and a whole parade of massively important heads of state all spake with thine rev, and glory be but the good Reverend “Terror" Jones has found his way to paradise and has refrained from the heinous deed. We are saved! Saved I tell you!

So now that the planet has been saved our heroes, those fabulous, glorious, wondrous, and all seeing leaders, our leaders, can go back to bombing the hell out of Muslims across the globe burning those Korans and Muslims along with them, women, men, children and why you may ask? Why because it is the democratic thing to do, it’s all inclusive don’t you see? It’s a tribute to our magnificence that we exclude no one, not for gender, age, race, not even religion, and a tribute to democracy as well. By god we’ll kill anyone, we aren’t particular, we are the progressive democratic republic state!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

7 September 2010

Omar Barghouti explains the aims of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement

Should people boycott Israel? Pt.1 Omar Barghouti. And, part 2:

Should people boycott Israel? Pt.3:

(the conclusion of this interview, parts 4 and 5, is here.)

"Not guilty. The Israeli captain who emptied his rifle into a Palestinain schoolgirl"

"Taliban call for joint inquiry into civilian Afghan deaths considered"

"Blood on our Farms: Is Monsanto Responsible for 1 Suicide Every 30 Minutes?"
(via Alternet)

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Interview with Omar Barghouti, cont'd

Here is the conclusion, parts 4 and 5(below,) of Paul Jay's interview with Omar Barghouti.

Parts 1-3 are here.

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Washington Rules

I just finished Washington Rules: America's Path To Permanent War, by Andrew J. Bacevich. I feel dazed every time I read something like this. The conceit and self-aggrandizement that lead to decisions resulting in the slaughter of millions of people, the casual acceptance of the death and destruction of others in the pursuit of political gain, the knowing--that's just it, the knowing--that the "reasons" for military aggression are spurious, but doing it anyway--! It's horrifying and one of the most horrifying thing is that for years--centuries, even--the warmongers have had little difficulty in persuading huge numbers of citizens that their enemies are the Germans, the Japanese, the Communists, the "terrorists", rather than the ruling classes who profit from the wars.
I was struck in particular, with the language used to inflame so-easily-inflamed Americans against Communism. It's virtually identical to what's used now against terrorists, of course. Naturally, then as now, the media picks up on it and the populace falls, hook, line, and sinker, into belief in the lies. Why? Well, because the ones vomiting them out are our leaders and they must know better than we do.
There's nothing so dangerous as respect for one's "leaders." It seems to me incredible that they're cheered and applauded as they spout their lies, and are treated with such deference, even reverence. They should be spat on in the streets, then run out of town on a rail, but where will that lead us? To more of the same in this benighted country, I'm afraid.
Sometimes, the idea of tuning out and giving up holds a lot of appeal.


Sunday, September 05, 2010

Global warming or global hysteria?

Is the sky falling? Proponents of global warming apparently would have you believe that there is no question that global warming as caused by human generated pollution is a fact. Proponents of global warming have all their eggs in one basket when they tell you that there is a consensus of scientists that believe pollution causes global warming because what their “consensus” consists of are the views of IPCC whose reputation has been somewhat tarnished recently in the aftermath of their computer network being hacked and embarrassing emails being published. In a recent
report that tends to exonerate IPCC there are criticisms of bias and conflicts of interest regarding the scientists in that organization. While there are those who will tell you all climatologists agree on global warming the fact is that there are reputable climatologists who do not agree with this “consensus.” For example:


"This is horrible," said Pat Michaels, a climate scientist at the Cato Institute in Washington who is mentioned negatively in the emails. "This is what everyone feared. Over the years, it has become increasingly difficult for anyone who does not view global warming as an end-of-the-world issue to publish papers. This isn't questionable practice, this is unethical."

Also this from the same article:

John Christy, a scientist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville attacked in the emails for asking that an IPCC report include dissenting viewpoints, said, "It's disconcerting to realize that legislative actions this nation is preparing to take, and which will cost trillions of dollars, are based upon a view of climate that has not been completely scientifically tested."

Mojib Latif, a climate researcher at Germany's Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, said he found it hard to believe that climate scientists were trying to squelch dissent. Mr. Latif, who believes in man-made global warming but who has co-authored a paper ascribing current cooling to temporary natural trends, said, "I simply can't believe that there is a kind of mafia that is trying to inhibit critical papers from being published."

Squelching dissent in science is bad science and in view of the attitudes, conflicts of interest, and the questionable practice of approaching a problem with the assumption that a theory is true and then weeding out any information that contradicts that theory causes me to view the IPCC with a great amount of skepticism. I cannot think of anything worse in the realm of science than making the facts fit the theory rather than the other way around. If people cause global warming then the IPCC has done a great disservice with their methodology and if global warming isn’t caused by humans they have also done a great disservice with their crappy science.

And since when is science based on consensus? That is truly a weird brand of science. All we need do then is claim that opinions are facts and so are theories, indeed in this brave new brand of science who needs facts when theories will suffice?

According to Walter Cunningham, a geophysicist and former astronaut:


For a new hypothesis to be accepted by the scientific community, it must be confirmed by considerable evidence and must survive all attempts to disprove it. The hypothesis claiming that human-generated carbon dioxide is a principal driver of the earth's temperature has not satisfied either of these criteria.

AGW alarmists could have made their case quite simply by collecting and making available solid evidence to support their hypothesis, and by defending it in the court of scientific inquiry. Not in the court of public opinion. Instead, they refused to release their data that would permit other scientists to look at the problem and come up with similar results - if possible.

The only thing alarmists are able to cite in support of their simplified hypothesis are mathematical models that they have developed to make their case. The earth's atmosphere is currently impossible to model well, so it is no surprise that their models have been unable to use past data to correctly predict today's temperatures. In any event, models are not data.

When alarmists could produce none of the required confirmation for their hypothesis, scientific principles were put on the back burner in favor of interpretation and opinion. They invented something called "consensus science," switched from "global warming" to "climate change" and appealed to fear with the question, "What if CO2 is responsible and we do nothing?"

The media, in general, have lost some enthusiasm for consensus science. While journalists cannot be expected to understand the science without specialized training, that doesn't keep individual journalists from aggressively pushing AGW and influencing a great many readers.

Right on Mr. Cunningham.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Bust a move

When I heard about Dallas pastor Robert Jefress's recent comments on local TV denouncing Islam as an evil religion, I felt compelled to do some googling. I was disappointed to find out that Dallas's mayor attends Jefress's First Dallas Baptist Church, although I'll admit I was never a big fan of Tom Leppert anyway.

Monika Diaz, WFAA: "Controversial comments about Islam from Baptist leader"

see also, Emily Pothast, "God, Gays, and the Gilded Age: First Baptist Church of Dallas and the New Satanism"

(via Fort Worth Weekly.)

"Virginia's Stalin Problem,"

Matt Welch, Reason, June 9, 2010:
The city of Gori in the formerly Soviet Republic of Georgia is not the only place in the world with controversial commemorations to mustachioed mass murderer Josef Stalin. Take, for example, um, Bedford, Virginia?

The small town of Bedford, Va., is home to 21 men who sacrificed their lives on D-Day, June 6, 1944. It is now also the home of one of the world's few public memorial busts of communist dictator Josef Stalin.
Local citizens and organizations have expressed their outrage over the installation of the bust at the National D-Day Memorial, which honored the 66th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy over the weekend.

Spencer Ackerman, Wired: "Colonel Kicked Out of Afghanistan for Anti-PowerPoint Rant
Consider it a new version of death by PowerPoint. The NATO command in Afghanistan has fired a staff officer who publicly criticized its interminable briefings, its over-reliance on Microsoft’s slide-show program, and what he considered its crushing bureaucracy. Army Col. Lawrence Sellin, a 61-year old reservist from New Jersey who served in Afghanistan and Iraq prior to this deployment, got the sack.

Dean Baker, Counterpunch, "A Pointless Waste of Money: Pierce the Housing Bubble"

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Friday, September 03, 2010

Vial Creature

Colin Powell August 24, 2010:


Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has told the Mainichi he believes the Iraq War -- which began while he was in office in 2003 -- could have been averted.

Powell also stated during an Aug. 24 telephone interview that he regretted the false intelligence that led the United States to claim the Saddam Hussein regime possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which Powell presented to the United Nations and which underpinned the U.S. case to invade Iraq.

"I will always be seen as the one who made the major public presentation of that intelligence. I regret that it was wrong but, at the same time, we had every reason to believe it was correct," Powell said of the false WMD evidence.

Colin Powell February 24, 2001:


(CBS/AP) The debate over whether the Iraqi weapons threat was real or exaggerated by the Bush administration focused Thursday on a few words spoken more than two years ago by Secretary of State Colin Powell.

War opponents and some Congressional Democrats have pointed to a statement Powell made on Feb. 24, 2001, while meeting at Cairo's Ittihadiya Palace with Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa.

Asked about the sanctions placed on Iraq, which were then under review at the Security Council, Powell said the measures were working. In fact, he added, "(Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors."

I rather doubted many believed Powell in his latest confession to not being a war criminal but still, it’s nice to have the compare and contrast on record. Just for the record you understand.

Powell complains about being viewed as a villain as he whines about his innocence. Oh poor Powell, how he must have suffered these long years since 2003. Nothing has happened to Powell or the rest of the architects of the Iraq War. On the other hand an awful lot has happened to an awful lot of other people because of the Iraq War. Oh poor, poor Powell, does he have a little bitty blot on his record? Over one million dead and seven years later Powell is still smiling and in the news. Dear me he must be ever so upset.

Powell is an accessory to murder in every sense of the word as are all the influential national figures who engaged in promoting this illegal war and despite the absolute gibberish emanating from the lips of Obama the Iraq War has not ended. Bush, Cheney, Condi Rice, Powell, and all the rest of the smarmy crew belong in prison but that could only happen in a far different world than we inhabit.

What is most amazing and revealing is that during the build-up to war nothing could have been more important than Iraq. It was plastered all over the news in its myriad forms with all other events fading into the background. Today… nothing, Obama lying through his pearly whites announces the end of the Iraq War which got some small mention though it is already forgotten. You know, when you consider that Obama is now a war criminal just like his predecessors it is little wonder that Obama prefers not looking back. No doubt Obama is hoping history doesn’t look back a little too closely on his presidency and that his legal and moral transgressions will be forgotten and forgiven as indeed they will.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The ending of the war in Iraq

Obama’s got a lot of nerve I’ll give him that much. To tell us with a straight face that the Iraq War is over, well, here are his own words:

"You see them? You see them? You see the things that float and flop about you and through you every moment of your life? You see the creatures that form what men call the pure air and the blue sky? Have I not succeeded in breaking down the barrier; have I not shown you worlds that no other living men have seen?"

A little pompous perhaps but then our leaders have always been prone to bragging.

Obama went on to say:

"You think those floundering things wiped out the servants? Fool, they are harmless! But the servants are gone, aren't they? You tried to stop me; you discouraged me when I needed every drop of encouragement I could get; you were afraid of the cosmic truth, you damned coward, but now I've got you! What swept up the servants? What made them scream so loud?... Don't know, eh! You'll know soon enough. Look at me - listen to what I say - do you suppose there are really any such things as time and magnitude? Do you fancy there are such things as form or matter? I tell you, I have struck depths that your little brain can't picture. I have seen beyond the bounds of infinity and drawn down demons from the stars... I have harnessed the shadows that stride from world to world to sow death and madness... Space belongs to me, do you hear? Things are hunting me now - the things that devour and dissolve - but I know how to elude them. It is you they will get, as they got the servants... Stirring, dear sir? I told you it was dangerous to move, I have saved you so far by telling you to keep still - saved you to see more sights and to listen to me. If you had moved, they would have been at you long ago. Don't worry, they won't hurt you. They didn't hurt the servants - it was the seeing that made the poor devils scream so. My pets are not pretty, for they come out of places where aesthetic standards are - very different. Disintegration is quite painless, I assure you -- but I want you to see them. I almost saw them, but I knew how to stop. You are curious? I always knew you were no scientist. Trembling, eh. Trembling with anxiety to see the ultimate things I have discovered. Why don't you move, then? Tired? Well, don't worry, my friend, for they are coming... Look, look, curse you, look... it's just over your left shoulder..."

Yeah sure, same old crap, they have our best interests at heart that’s a laugh and so is the part about “saving” us. Still, I’m not sure what all this has to do with Iraq. I think Obama has been working too hard, sounds a little ragged to me.

Obama continues:

In the elder time chosen men had talked with the entombed Old Ones in dreams, but then something happened. The great stone city R'lyeh, with its monoliths and sepulchres, had sunk beneath the waves; and the deep waters, full of the one primal mystery through which not even thought can pass, had cut off the spectral intercourse. But memory never died, and the high-priests said that the city would rise again when the stars were right. Then came out of the earth the black spirits of earth, mouldy and shadowy, and full of dim rumours picked up in caverns beneath forgotten sea-bottoms.

Oh please, let’s not use that excuse. We invaded Iraq on the premise that it had WMD which of course it did not and in fact Iraq had done absolutely nothing to warrant such an attack by the U.S. Obama can regale us with his high and noble sounding rhetoric all he wants but it doesn’t change the fact that America is guilty of committing a war crime against a nation who did nothing against us. That’s correct, even though international law is a joke here in the States it is against international law for one nation to attack another without cause and we had no cause. We had no cause. This makes moot all the ridiculous bragging and bullshit now being plied upon the bovine public who takes it all in with a sigh of relief and a sense of a job well done.

The war is far from over and it will take far more than idiotic blather from Obama and his pinhead collection of generals, dumb jocks to a man, to make anything remotely positive out of the Iraq War. If push came to shove our generals couldn’t come up with a strategy to exit a paper bag. The city of Fallujah that was flattened by our heroes in uniform has also been horrendously polluted resulting in an inordinate number of birth defects. Think of it as a gift that keeps on giving for assuredly it is the depleted uranium ammunition which fragments on impact spraying radioactive crap everywhere that is the cause or one of them. Only a monumental and towering conceit could construe Iraq as either a military victory or a success for nation building. The infrastructure is in ruins with over a million people dead though many would deny this for it is too horrible to live with and indeed it is. Then there are the millions who fled their homes to face an uncertain future. What about the wounded and the horribly disfigured? Was that part of the success and a tribute to George W. Bush’s unfailing patriotism as Obama avers?

What about the oil contracts? Most of them went to foreign companies including China only two being awarded to American oil companies, more success? Then it also looks like Iran will have more of an influence on whatever government eventually forms than Americans will. Another point for the geniuses who envisioned the stunning success of the Iraq War and now insist that the pile of cow poop we are standing in is really a fragrant field of spring flowers.

Yes indeed, I think congratulations are due all around. Congratulate the think tanks populated by educated screwballs that possess all the humanity of a cockroach. But most of all let us give our thanks to the Bush family who waged a one family war against Iraq and succeeded in not only destroying Iraq but the United States as well. Oh to be sure we still have far more money and crap than most but that won’t last forever, it’s really only a matter of time.