Friday, March 31, 2006

It's Official

This is Brittany and she's legally our daughter as of last Thursday. Ain't she cute?
She's 12 and a wonderful kid. Hope I don't mess up because she deserves great

Thursday, March 30, 2006

DEA Lies more than George W. Bush? You decide...

A great rant on marijuana prohibition and DEA lies via Drug War Rant web site

DEA's Karen Tandy spreads it pretty deep

Via Tom and Dare Generation.
DEA head Karen Tandy responded to the Washington Post's piece on Marc Emery with this letter.

A Drug Dealer's Toll on Americans
Wednesday, March 29, 2006; Page A18
Marc Emery, who distributed millions of marijuana seeds throughout the country, admits the accuracy of the Drug Enforcement Administration's charges against him, but he denies harming Americans ["High Crimes, or a Tokin' Figure?" Style, March 18]. Like all dealers, Mr. Emery turns a blind eye to marijuana's victims -- people like Victoria Rogers, a mother driving with her children when she was killed by a marijuana-intoxicated motorist.

Marijuana feeds thousands of addictions -- so many that more teenagers enter treatment for marijuana dependency than for all other drugs combined. Thousands of adolescents whose brains are still developing also suffer from depression, memory impairment and diminished judgment because of marijuana. Users destroy their lungs because marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70 percent more cancer-causing chemicals than tobacco smoke. That Mr. Emery sees no consequences of his actions does not change the fact that they destroy innocent American lives and that he should and will face legal consequences as a result.

Drug Enforcement Administration

Well, let's take a closer look.

How about "Victoria Rogers... killed by a marijuana-intoxicated motorist." I've seen this one used before, and the online record is a little sketchy. But what I've gathered is that a Thunderbird side-swiped a truck and then hit Victoria Rogers' car, killing her. Also that there was some confusion or controversy over who was driving at the time of the accident. But let's take a look at Karen Tandy's own words from this speech:

Drug use causes tragic accidents on our roads, such as the one in Springfield, Ohio last February. One Saturday morning, a drugged driver[~]high on a virtual drug cocktail of marijuana, cocaine, and opiates[~]struck another car and killed a 31-year old mother, Victoria Rogers
Now that's a little different than a "marijuana-intoxicated motorist," isn't it? It's like saying someone who had a six-pack of beer and a bag of potato chips was a "Ruffles-intoxicated motorist." Sure, marijuana can cause impairment, but all the studies show that it's extremely mild and actually increases caution.
Karen Tandy, in her letter, gives us some pretty amazing proof. Here we have the head of the Drug Enforcement Agency, with all the resources of the federal government at her disposal, and tons of government records, with staff to sort through them and analyze and compile data. And the best example she can come up with for the danger of marijuana is a complex crash with a driver that had also taken cocaine and opiates? This is practically a neon sign flashing "Marijuana is safe."

Next part:

Marijuana feeds thousands of addictions -- so many that more teenagers enter treatment for marijuana dependency than for all other drugs combined. Thousands of adolescents whose brains are still developing also suffer from depression, memory impairment and diminished judgment because of marijuana. Users destroy their lungs because marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70 percent more cancer-causing chemicals than tobacco smoke.
OK, I've done these before, but let's have at them.
...addictions... The Institute of Medicine found that marijuana was not physically addictive and had dependency rates far lower than any other drug, including alcohol and tobacco.
...more teenagers enter treatment... See Treatment Statistics, or The Drug Czar is Lying to You
...depression... See Marijuana users less depressed
... memory impairment... Most intoxicants, including alcohol, can cause some memory impairment. It seems clear that marijuana causes short term memory impairment, but beyond that, there are lots of conflicting studies.
... diminished judgment... This is code for "marijuana will make you have sex" and is much more likely to be true from alcohol.
... cancer causing chemicals... Note that she doesn't say "marijuana causes cancer." That's because it doesn't. Everything has cancer causing chemicals in it, but it takes a whole lot of complex things to happen for cancer to occur. And no study has yet been able to find any causal link between marijuana and cancer. Zero.
Karen Tandy is just continuing to use the standard tired, discredited propaganda.
Also, don't forget that when the DEA told their subordinates (the Canadian police) to arrest Marc, Karen bragged about how his arrest would cut down on funding for the legalization movement:

Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery's illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada. Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on.
And of course, it's so appropriate in our democracy to have government agencies gloating about cracking down on political speech.

Source and comments:
Drug War Rant

Jill Carroll Freed!

Finally some good news from Iraq.
Jill Carroll apparently has been freed by her captors. Jill was a freelance journalist for the Christian Science Monitor.
A photo of Jill Carroll taken from video.

A photo of Jill Carroll(left) and her twin sister Katie.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

License to exploit

From Walter Lippmann via Left i on the News.

The Liar, the Fall of Yugoslav Army

Something from BoingBoing and Jasmina Tesanovic
Scorpions Trial
Jasmina Tesanovic,
The Liar, the Fall of Yugoslav Army
March 14, 2006

"I am going to pronounce something that I may regret for the rest of my life -- is there is any left after this -- but if I knew all this would have happened, I would have preferred to stay there in that meadow together with the victims."

"Mothers, you whose children were killed in cold blood, you should know that they never did anything to provoke or deserve their death: they had no uniforms and they were just kids. They were killed because we got that order, and because they were Muslims."
--The only indicted Scorpion who shows some humanity. in his tremulous voice and red sweater, the "coward" who didn’t dare to shoot.

"A young woman tortured in the Second World War by the Gestapo, because she was a Communist, sent word to her comrades before she was arrested: scramble all of you. I will say anything when they torture me. I cannot stand the pain...but instead she simply died in silence."
--Jasmina Tesanovic

Monday, March 27, 2006

Rubber stamp Republican Congress needs to wake up

An excellent idea. Get their attention on the censure resolution. Not that I think they aren't bought and paid for but every lil' bit helps.


From Firedoglake:

The Rubber Stamp Republican Congress is about to get a wake-up call.

For Phase One: The Senate Judiciary Committee will be holding more hearings on the illegal domestic NSA spying without a warrant on Tuesday. They will also be holding hearings on Sen. Russ Feingold’s censure resolution on Friday. We’d like to get their attention, and let them know that illegal actions of the President and upholding the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are issues about which Americans care deeply.

So here is what we want you to do:

We’re headed back to the FAX machines this morning. Please take some time to FAX the members of the Judiciary Committee and let them know how you feel about this issue.

But start with the following header, in big type, across the top of your missive:

U.S. Constitution: Do Not Shred

Big thanks to Digby for brainstorming on that one. I love it — it says everything in one neat, little phrase, doesn’t it?

Here are the FAX numbers for the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

Arlen Specter, Chairman - Pennsylvania - Fax (202) 228-1229

Orrin G. Hatch - Utah - Fax (202) 224-6331

Patrick J. Leahy - Vermont - Fax (202) 224-3479

Charles E. Grassley - Iowa - Fax (515) 288-5097

Edward M. Kennedy - Massachusetts - Fax (202) 224-2417

Jon Kyl - Arizona - Fax (202) 224-2207

Joseph R. Biden, Jr. - Delaware - Fax (202) 224-0139

Mike DeWine - Ohio - Fax (202) 224-6519

Herbert Kohl - Wisconsin - Fax (202) 224-9787

Jeff Sessions - Alabama - Fax (202) 224-3149

Dianne Feinstein - California - Fax (202) 228-3954

Lindsey Graham - South Carolina - Fax (864) 250-4322

Russell D. Feingold - Wisconsin - Fax (202) 224-2725

John Cornyn - Texas - Fax (972) 239-2110

Charles E. Schumer - New York - Fax (202) 228-3027

Sam Brownback - Kansas - Fax (202) 228-1265

Richard J. Durbin - Illinois - Fax (202) 228-0400

Tom Coburn - Oklahoma - Fax (202) 224-6008

You can sign up for an eFax 30-day trial and fax for free here.

--Christy Hardin Smith @ Firedoglake.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Cecilia Fire Thunder - My person of the Month

Looks like the Indians in South Dakota are smarter than anyone else in the state.
Cecilia Fire Thunder the President of the Oglala Sioux will open a Planned Parenthood Clinic on reservation land. Thanks to Bitch Ph.D. for this heads up. The Oglala Sioux could also use funding and help. Below are some addresses and links.

“I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction.”
--Cecilia Fire Thunder

Pine Ridge, by the way, is the location of one of only four Indian colleges in the U.S. that is accredited to issue its own bachelor's degrees. Schools on Pine Ridge are in the bottom 10% of funding by the Dept. of Education and the BIA, teacher turnover there is eight times the national average, and the dropout rate is the highest in the nation, according to their education web site.

The mailing address is:

Oglala Sioux Tribe
ATTN: President Fire Thunder
P. O. Box 2070
Pine Ridge, SD 57770


PO BOX 990
Martin, SD 57751

For donations specifically for the Planned Parenthood clinic, make checks out to OST Planned Parenthood Cecelia Fire Thunder. General donations may be made out to the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

Also there's
The Crazy Horse Memorial and Indian Education Center
Thanks again to Bitch Ph.D.

Predicting Disaster

Wolcott's on fire.

"Worse than a Fool"
Posted by James Wolcott

"Among the many peculiarities of this president is his utter refusal to listen to those within his own orbit in the oil realm. It's understandable, if unacceptable, that Bush would ignore the warnings of environmentalists regarding Peak Oil and global warming, but why would he tune out the words of his gummy ally Tony Blair, Matthew Simmons, the expert oil analyst and author of Twilight in the Desert who has briefed Bush personally, and Richard Rainwater?
"Richard Rainwater doesn't want to sound like a kook," began a profile of the super investor in Fortune magazine (the italics below are mine). "But he's about as worried as a happily married guy with more than $2 billion and a home in Pebble Beach can get. Americans are 'in the kind of trouble people shouldn't find themselves in,' he says. He's just wary about being the one to sound the alarm.
"Rainwater is something of a behind-the-scenes type--at least as far as alpha-male billionaires go. He counts President Bush as a personal friend but dislikes politics, and frankly, when he gets worked up, he says some pretty far-out things that could easily be taken out of context. Such as: An economic tsunami is about to hit the global economy as the world runs out of oil. Or a coalition of communist and Islamic states may decide to stop selling their precious crude to Americans any day now. Or food shortages may soon hit the U.S. Or he read on a blog last night that there's this one gargantuan chunk of ice sitting on a precipice in Antarctica that, if it falls off, will raise sea levels worldwide by two feet--and it's getting closer to the edge.... And then he'll interrupt himself: 'Look, I'm not predicting anything,' he'll say. 'That's when you get a little kooky-sounding.'"Rainwater is no crackpot. But you don't get to be a multibillionaire investor--one who's more than doubled his net worth in a decade--through incremental gains on little stock trades. You have to push way past conventional thinking, test the boundaries of chaos, see events in a bigger context. You have to look at all the scenarios, from 'A to friggin' Z, as he says, and not be afraid to focus on Z. Only when you've vacuumed up as much information as possible and you know the world is at a major inflection point do you put a hell of a lot of money behind your conviction."
"The argument I will make, in brief, is this:
"Peak Oil is foreseeable.
"The consequences are also foreseeable and are likely to be ruinous.
"The Bush administration has been repeatedly warned.
"Actions could be taken to reduce the impact, but the longer those actions are delayed, the worse the impact will be.

"The administration, rather than taking steps to mitigate these looming catastrophic impacts, has instead done things that can only worsen them.

Digby nails it

Once again Digby at Hullabaloo shows why I check his site every day. His take on the
"News " Media is spot on. Go read it. Below are some highlights.

"Apparently, the mainstream press is so enveloped in the warm, cozy womb of the DC establishment that they either don't know what is going on around them or they've been willingly co-opted. I saw that same kind of wide-eyed, naive wonder on the face of Bob Woodward recently, when he realized that junkyard dog Patrick Fitzgerald wasn't actually a slavering liberal determined to expose all of his Republican sources going back to Deep Throat. It's in the defensive posture of Jim Brady as he recoiled in horror at unwashed liberal masses daring to criticize his ombudsman's glaring error. It's demonstrated by the fatuous guilelessness of the NY Times creating a "conservative beat" in the year 2005, as if they just discovered Rock and Roll or bell-bottoms. They are like sheltered children. They do not know when they are being played. Indeed, they don't even seem to know the game exists."
"Today, prudent restraint has become cowed submission to every republican complaint and an overweaning desire to please them with narratives of Democratic fecklessness. The Washington Post hears that Dan Froomkin, White House critic, is disliked by Republicans. Writers themselves feel uncomfortable with (and jealous of) the free-wheeling, critical tone of his online White House column, an irreverent style that is common in modern online journalism (see: sister site Slate.) They solve the "problem" by hiring the rabidly partisan 24 year old son of a Bush administration official."
"You can smell panic coming off the media in waves today. In 2006, there is nothing that screams "Middle America" (or perhaps the more accurate "Real America") than the phrase "military families." (Watch this video at Crooks and Liars of the modern Mencken, Jack Cafferty, having none of it and exposing Kurtz's analysis for the sophistry it is by pointing out the obvious: the news is getting worse because the war is getting worse.)"


The only thing I'd add to his divine diagnosis is that, I don't think that the Media elites are being taken for a ride. I think they are the ride. Katie, Matt, Tweetie Matthews, etal. are doing EXACTLY what they're paid to do. Provide cover.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Eighty four journalists have been killed in Iraq (so far) from violence

"Journalists used to be seen as neutral, but now they're ransom bait, bargaining chips or the outright enemy. Last year was the worst on record for correspondents getting killed on the job
and in 2006, the trend continues."

From Journalism:

Atwar Bahjat murdered along with her news crew, Adnan Khairullah, an engineer and Khalid Mahmoud, a cameraman in Samarra Iraq, February 2006.

Casualties of war
--Rudy Sabga

On January 25, Baghdad TV correspondent Mahmoud Za'al was shot and killed in a U.S. air strike while covering an insurgent attack by Sunni rebels on two U.S.-held buildings in Ramadi, Iraq. He had worked for the station for one year.
On January 24, the day before, Subramaniyam Sugitharajah, a part-time reporter for the Sudar Oli, was killed by an unidentified gunman on his way to work. Photographs taken by Sugitharajah had shown that five students in Tamil, Sri Lanka, had been killed by gunshot wounds January 2, despite claims by the military that the men were blown up by their own grenade in an attempted attack on the army.
And on January 6, Prahlad Goala of the Asomiya Khabar was murdered near his home in Golaghat, Assam state, India. He had written articles linking local forestry service officials to timber smuggling.
So far this year, seven journalists are confirmed, and two others suspected, dead. At what number this tragic toll stops in 2006 is anyone's guess and, at least for now, 2005 remains the most violent year in journalism's history. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) reported in January that 150 were killed last year, including forty-eight in a December 6 plane crash in Tehran and eighty-nine "killed in the line of duty, singled out for their professional work."
Also from Reporters Without Borders:

Top 25 Inventions of 2006

Modern Marvels' top 25 inventions of 2006.

Shown: Matthew C. Grossman's "Shift Bicycle," designed to teach kids how to ride a two wheeler. As the tricycle picks up speed, the rear wheels get closer together, until they merge into a single wheel.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

"We get only death"

Jeeeesus what are we doing? What has Bushco brought us to?

"The Americans have promised us a better life, but we get only death."
--Ahmed Khalaf

More children's blood on dubya's hands. Children from the family in the village of Isahaqi, north of Baghdad, reported to have been killed by American troops. Photos (warning graphic) and article at: Children of Abraham.

Bushco and Iraq: Cronyism, corporatism run amuck

"Iraq was awash in cash - in dollar bills. Piles and piles of money," says Frank Willis, a former senior official with the governing Coalition Provisional Authority. "We played football with some of the bricks of $100 bills before delivery. It was a wild-west crazy atmosphere, the likes of which none of us had ever experienced."
From truthout:
"Iraq Was Awash in Cash. We Played Football With Bricks of $100 Bills"
By Callum Macrae and Ali Fadhil
The Guardian UK

Monday 20 March 2006

At the beginning of the Iraq war, the UN entrusted $23bn of Iraqi money to the US-led coalition to redevelop the country. With the infrastructure of the country still in ruins, where has all that money gone? Callum Macrae and Ali Fadhil on one of the greatest financial scandals of all time.
In a dilapidated maternity and paediatric hospital in Diwaniyah, 100 miles south of Baghdad, Zahara and Abbas, premature twins just two days old, lie desperately ill. The hospital has neither the equipment nor the drugs that could save their lives. On the other side of the world, in a federal courthouse in Virginia, US, two men - one a former CIA agent and Republican candidate for Congress, the other a former army ranger - are found guilty of fraudulently obtaining $3m (£1.7m) intended for the reconstruction of Iraq. These two events have no direct link, but they are none the less products of the same thing: a financial scandal that in terms of sheer scale must rank as one of the greatest in history.

At the start of the Iraq war, around $23bn-worth of Iraqi money was placed in the trusteeship of the US-led coalition by the UN. The money, known as the Development Fund for Iraq and consisting of the proceeds of oil sales, frozen Iraqi bank accounts and seized Iraqi assets, was to be used in a "transparent manner", specified the UN, for "purposes benefiting the people of Iraq".

For the past few months we have been working on a Guardian Films investigation into what happened to that money. What we discovered was that a great deal of it has been wasted, stolen or frittered away. For the coalition, it has been a catastrophe of its own making. For the Iraqi people, it has been a tragedy. But it is also a financial and political scandal that runs right to the heart of the nightmare that is engulfing Iraq today.

Those amazing pundits and dubya's war

Gathered here are some of the most notable media comments from the early days of the Iraq war. For the whole blissful read go to

"Tommy Franks and the coalition forces have demonstrated the old axiom that boldness on the battlefield produces swift and relatively bloodless victory. The three-week swing through Iraq has utterly shattered skeptics' complaints."
(Fox News Channel's Tony Snow, 4/13/03)

"The only people who think this wasn't a victory are Upper Westside liberals, and a few people here in Washington."
(Charles Krauthammer, Inside Washington, WUSA-TV, 4/19/03

"The war winds down, politics heats up.... Picture perfect. Part Spider-Man, part Tom Cruise, part Ronald Reagan. The president seizes the moment on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific."
(PBS's Gwen Ifill, 5/2/03, on George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech)

"If image is everything, how can the Democratic presidential hopefuls compete with a president fresh from a war victory?"
(CNN's Judy Woodruff, 5/5/03)

"Now that the war in Iraq is all but over, should the people in Hollywood who opposed the president admit they were wrong?"
(Fox News Channel's Alan Colmes, 4/25/03)

"Over the next couple of weeks when we find the chemical weapons this guy was amassing, the fact that this war was attacked by the left and so the right was so vindicated, I think, really means that the left is going to have to hang its head for three or four more years."
(Fox News Channel's Dick Morris, 4/9/03)

"Sean Penn is at it again. The Hollywood star takes out a full-page ad out in the New York Times bashing George Bush. Apparently he still hasn't figured out we won the war."
(MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, 5/30/03)

"I will bet you the best dinner in the gaslight district of San Diego that military action will not last more than a week. Are you willing to take that wager?"
(Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, 1/29/03)

"We're proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who's physical, who's not a complicated guy like Clinton or even like Dukakis or Mondale, all those guys, McGovern. They want a guy who's president. Women like a guy who's president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It's simple. We're not like the Brits."
(MSNBC's Chris Matthews, 5/1/03)

For the rest go to FAIR

Precious aren't they? Has ANY of them admitted they were/are smucks who were bought and paid for like a..a, well not like a cheap whore, but like the well paid whores they are.

While I'm at it here's another geek plays dress up shot.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Her Satanic Majesty's Request-Recording Session

Now something completely different. The recording sessions for
the Rolling Stone's Her Satanic Majesty's Request
From Let's make it boys

Here it is CD2 Vol 1 of The Satanic Sessions by The Rolling Stones. Listen and perhaps we can sing along...

"Jagger: Flowers In Your Hair
What ?
Jagger: What?
Watts: Third time
Jagger: Flowers in Hair
Flowers in Your Hair right
Jagger: A Nicky...
Nicky Hopkins: Yeah?
Engineer: Flowers in Your Bonnet take one
Jagger: Like, like I la la la la la da, but you're on your own,
you know
Nicky Hopkins: Yeah. I will...
Keith, just get the levels
Play it then
(Acoustic guitar strums)
Guitar is switched from a left channel mix to center
Hopkins: OK...
1. She's A Rainbow: Takes 1-2 (6:57) - The working title of She's A Rainbow is Flowers In Your Hair! Hopkins goes on to play the loveliest melodic piano lines imaginable. The piano in the left channel is running all through the song with variations not heard on the released version of the track. The trumpet like sound in the right channel is a keyboard and most likely the Mellotron with yet another sound setting selected.
2. She's A Rainbow: Takes 3-7 (5:14) - The timing and lingering of the opening piano notes... then in the right channel percussive effects and in the center of the track Mellotron. Acoustic guitar is added to the track and then suddenly take 3 is history. A Mellotron miss quickly ends take 4. Take 5, 6, & 7 are even shorter.Got to work this oneAll right thenOK, here we goSeventeen...(Drum crashing)Twenty..."
To Continue:
And Download:
Listen with the headphones!

Bush sized Nerd Alert

From Pearlswine who says(and I completely agree):
"My vote for Least Presidential Photo Ever Taken. And that was before I even noticed the cute little pink socks. But I guess if you're not embarrassed by flouting the Constitution or ignoring Hurricane Katrina victims or ginning up WMD claims, what do you care?"

Thursday, March 16, 2006

New poll - American Research Group - Majority support Censure Resolution

From Unclaimed Territory:

First poll - Americans support Censure Resolution
This is such huge news that I have to put it in its own post even though I just added it as an update to the post below. The Censure Resolution -- which is a great political boon to Republicans, massive self-destruction by Democrats, the greatest political blunder in 100 years, and the life raft that will single-handedly save George Bush's drowning presidency -- is already supported by a plurality of Americans, 46% to 44%. According to the first poll on censure, from the American Research Group:
Do you favor or oppose the United States Senate passing a resolution censuring President George W. Bush for authorizing wiretaps of Americans within the United States without obtaining court orders?
All Adults - 3/15/06Favor - 46%Oppose - 44%Undecided - 10%Based on 1,100 completed telephone interviews among a random sample of adults nationwide March 13-15, 2006. The theoretical margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points, 95% of the time.Already, a plurality support the Censure Resolution, and that's with just one person -- Russ Feingold -- advocating it, and Democrats running away from it. Think of what those numbers will be if Democrats stand united, with some Republicans, and forcefully explain why we cannot allow the President to break the law with impunity.
More with comments:

a list of every idiotic thing dubya has done in five years

John at America Blog is collecting every stupid thing George W. Bush has done in the last five years. I hope he's got PLENTY of time. I would add the Bush "Bring 'em on" comment to the
Iraqi resistance to the list.

Let's create a list of every idiotic thing George Bush has done in the past five years
-John in DC

Seriously, I want to compose a real list of every idiocy, every scandal, every mistake, everything. For example, things like:

No one could have imagined the levees would breach
lied about WMD in Iraq (for example, I'd like dates of specific times they claimed to have found WMDs during the invasion, there were at least 6 or so occasions)
pre-war lies - mohammad atta in czech republic, saddam hussein ties to al qaeda, etc. detail all of them in one-liners
Mission Accomplished
White House energy commission
biggest deficit ever
Brownie, heck of a job
Bernie Kerik hired, fired
Harriet Miers

Valerie Plame outed
Scooter Libby indicted
Claude Allen arrested
Armstrong Williams paid off
Maggie Gallagher paid off

Jeff Gannon
Most vacation time of any presidency
I want EVERYTHING. I want a massive list that we can keep adding to with each day. I want things that go to his honesty, credibility, ineptness, everything. I want THE comprehensive list of every idiotic thing this man has done over the past 5 years.

Start posting suggestions, and think back to the beginning


Body parts, Body parts! Traffic in body parts

From Wired News

Their Kingdom for a Corpse
By Randy Dotinga

Want to buy a head? On the American body-part market, the going price is between $500 and $900, plus another $50 if you'd like the brain, too. A torso will set you back as much as $3,000, while a single foot could cost $650.
At these prices, there's plenty of temptation for people to take advantage of the dead. But as a disturbing new book reveals, the burgeoning trade in human remains is largely unmonitored. Universities, mortuaries and medical companies routinely buy and sell arms, legs and elbows with virtually no oversight.
The inevitable result? Crooked deals, stolen corpses and lots of looking the other way.
"No one knows how many bodies go into the system and no one knows what happens to them," writes journalist Annie Cheney in Body Brokers: Inside America's Underground Trade in Human Remains.
In her book, Cheney travels from coast to coast, tracking the fates of the tens of thousands of dead bodies that end up in the "cadaver trade" each year. The corpses -- including those donated for medical research and those left unclaimed at morgues -- "are cut up into parts, not unlike chickens, and distributed through a complex network of suppliers, brokers and buyers," Cheney writes.
In Miami, she watches urological surgeons learn how to remove kidneys by poking into torsos in the Ocean Room of the Trump International Sonesta Beach Resort. In Gainesville, Florida, she takes a tour of a factory where crushed human bone is turned into precision-tooled orthopedic tools. And throughout, she finds plenty of people in the body-part business who really wish she'd go away.
Why worry about the dead? Cheney finds families shocked to learn their loved ones are destined for, among other things, testing of anti-mine protective armor. And lest you think the dead don't deserve any special treatment, she tells the grim story of how mishandled bodily tissue killed a young man who underwent a routine orthopedic operation using bone from a cadaver. The killer? Deadly bacteria from the bone's donor...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Abu Ghraib files

Here's the files from including photos and video.

George W. Bush, The Torture President. I'm not really religious, and don't believe in heaven or hell, but there is this that keeps me hoping there's a hell. To know that in the end there will be a place for war criminals and the other thugs and cronies that make up this gang of criminals. Yes, I consider George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, (The) Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, pretty much this whole gang o' thugs war criminals. The blood of our soldiers and the blood of the Iraqi people drip from their hands. Our country is controlled by wealthy sociopaths.

tristero at Hullabaloo has this to say:

Go read it. Look and watch. And remember:
Although the photos are a disturbing visual account of particular incidents inside Abu Ghraib prison, they should not be viewed as representing the sum total of what occurred.
Your tax dollars at work, boys and girls. Truly an education in how Bush is bringing democracy to Iraq. (BTW, I would imagine that at least a few folks will download all this stuff before the Feds try to get Salon to pull it, so it will be available somewhere. Nevertheless, you should get over there soon.)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

"No leadership, no strategy.."

I would add all greed, no brains.

Thirteen Words Say It All

"No leadership, no strategy, no coordination, no structure and inaccessible to ordinary Iraqis."

British envoy John Sawers' assessment of the U.S. occupation forces to Tony Blair in
May 2003, four days after he arrived in Iraq. Three years ago. The scathing report
was loaded into a memo even more scathingly titled "What's Going Wrong," one of a
series of leaked documents given to The Guardian , which described the exchanges
as peppered with "unusual frankness."
The memos - written in the immediate aftermath of Mr. Bush's infamous "Mission Accomplished" photo op on the USS Lincoln - detail a devastating ineptness and
indifference at every level of the occupation. The Guardian's laundry list of
Sawers' observations include:

A lack of interest by the US commander, General Tommy Franks, in the
post-invasion phase.
The presence in the capital of the US Third Infantry Division, which took

a heavyhanded approach to security.
Squandering the initial sympathy of Iraqis.
Bechtel, the main US civilian contractor, moving too slowly to reconnect

basic services, such as electricity and water.
Failure to deal with health hazards, such as 40% of Baghdad's sewage

pouring into the Tigris and rubbish piling up in the streets.
Sacking of many of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath party, even though many

of them held relatively junior posts.

The most striking thing about this list is ... how generic the areas of failures are for
the Bush administration. This is modus operandi for this bunch. Switch out the
proper names of the people and entities involved, and you've got yourself Katrina.
Tweak it a bit for the bureaucratic stage and you've got Medicare D. And these
are the people who want us to trust them to reform Social Security. Ha! Not on
your life. Or rather, not on mine.
The one thread that runs through everything this administration and its favored
minions undertake is ... they simply don't give a shit. They can't be bothered. They
don't care enough to plan, to organize, to anticipate anything, not an insurgency, not
a forewarned hurricane, not the effects of a crippling budget deficit. More and more,
I'm coming to believe people - real Iraqis, real New Orleans residents, real senior
citizens - just don't register on the Bush radar at all; it's not that these officials
despise them. It's as if they - we - do not exist. We're in their blind spot in the
rearview mirror and they're doing 95 on the I-5, headed straight to Vegas,
come hell or high water. We're just ballast - and payment - for the ride.
by SusanG

Link and comments at DailyKos:

Monday, March 13, 2006

God: The eternal debate

From Prospect Magazine:
A courteous and respectful debate between a theist and atheist. A philosopher and a
theologian debate the correct approach to the study of religion
Daniel Dennett of Darwin's Dangerous Idea and
Richard Swinburne
of Is There A God?

"This delightful written debate is a delightful and respectful read, no matter which
side of the argument you agree with."

Bloggers distribute 'net video for Jill Carroll's release

Jill Carroll

Jill Carroll, a freelance reporter working for the Christian Science Monitor, was kidnapped in Baghdad over two months ago. All indications are that she is still alive. The Monitor has started a campaign, using Iraqi television, to distribute a video asking for Iraqis to help find and free Jill.
Jill is not a blogger but she's got that spirit. She's an independent intellect who is fascinated by the world and has a desire to speak what she sees. So let's not leave it up to the newspapers and television stations. She's ours as much as theirs. I would like to ask every blogger who gives a damn about individual human life and the individual human voice to post a link to this video on their blog, to blog about Jill and to pass along our concern to friends, family and other bloggers. Of greatest import are Iraqi blogs and blogs in the Arabic and Muslim worlds that may be read by people in a position to do good for Jill.
and linked by:


Star Trek tricorder becoming reality

Wow, is the transporter next?

Arizona team develops 'tricorder'
TEMPE, Ariz., March 10 (UPI) -- A University of Arizona researcher is cataloging the spectral fingerprints of all known minerals.
Robert Downs is using a Raman spectrometer and now has 1,500 of the 4,000 minerals in his data base.
A colleague, M. Bonner Denton, is developing a pocket-size spectrometer that can be used on the 2009 Mars Rover to determine the minerals on that planet. The same technology can be used for handheld instruments on earth.
"We're developing a tricorder," Downs said, referring to the instruments the crew of the Starship Enterprise on "Star Trek" used to analyze the chemical composition of the planets they visited.
Denton and Downs will be giving presentations on their work on Sunday at the 57th Annual Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy in Orlando, Fla.
UPI link
and Boing Boing

Friday, March 10, 2006

Dubya explains it?

Digby at Hullabaloo grabs something(among many) which always annoyed the
hell out of me about dubya's speaking style. I just referred to it as

"He speaks to the audience as if they're idiots. I think the reason he
does that is because that's the way these issues were explained to him."
-Graydon Carter

"The funny thing is that he sounds irritated too. It has always puzzled me why he seems so inappropriately impatient in his town meetings, as if his rapt audience needs some sort of time-wasting remedial education before he can get to the subject, which he never does. ("See --- social security is program for older people. Older people like ta retire. When you retire you don't work. When you don't work you don't earn money. That's the problem.")
Again, he's just parroting his own tutorial."
--Digby, Hullabaloo

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Rising Tide of Ocean Plagues

Rising Tide of Ocean Plagues
-Randy Dotinga, Wired News
Four years ago, a disoriented sea lion created a stir by wandering past security onto the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport. Another addled sea lion took a wrong turn in the Pacific Ocean and found its way into California's Central Valley, surprising local citizens by traipsing through an artichoke field.

The two sea lions were treated for a powerful form of brain poisoning and survived. But hundreds of other sea lions have died, joining a short list of ocean animals that are succumbing to strange diseases.

In Florida, hundreds of manatees have died from an airborne toxin produced by "red tide." Infectious germs and toxins have killed bottle-nosed dolphins all over the eastern and southern coasts of the United States. And a parasite found in cat feces is taking the lives of sea otters off the coast of California.

Marine researchers are hesitant to say the world's oceans are sicker than usual. But they are raising the alarm that the ocean is changing -- possibly as a result of human interference -- and the evolving diseases are putting both sea animals and humans at risk.
Continue at Wired:

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The banality of diplomacy

Here's our diplomacy

I think it could be called baleful glare.
(photo from Firedoglake)

The new Republican motto, "Party before country, Always!"

Congressional Republicans goose-stepping themselves into irrevelence. Dumbya has seized the reins of power. Has anyone brought out the idea that some of this illegal surveillance is not only on "suspects" but also on Democrats and members of Bushco's own party Hagel, Pat Roberts, Snowe and the other rubber stamp Repubs?Crooked bastards.

From Unclaimed Territory:

"The Administration has told Congress to its face that it has the power to ignore Congressional laws with regard to eavesdropping and that it is free to defy Congressional law mandating briefings on these types of intelligence activities. So, Congress' response is to pass another law to replace the one the White House violated, and to require some more briefing. Isn't that too absurd even for the Congress? At the very least, would it be possible for the media to explain to the public what has happened here?"

From Howard Dean"If Democrats do gain control, If we get subpoena power in congressional committees, the corruption will come out on America's TV screens, and that scares the daylights out of the Republicans."
-Howard Dean

Sean-Nós Nua

Sinead's Sean-Nós Nua is what I'm listening to at this very moment at the office. I love the old Irish/Scottish/English ballads.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

South Dakota's new logo

From Feministing via Atrios

Colonel Klink says Democrats No-No, Rightwing, YES!YES!

Interesting but not surprising. Democratic, progressive & Liberal websites blocked
to marines, but suck-ass(yes I think that's a perfect description) Rightwing/Republican/
Hate sites allowed. Surprised? Not......

Graphic from: Project for the old American Century

Via: boingboing
Websites blocked by political stripes for Marines in Iraq?
Snip from an email sent by an anonymous US Marine to Wonkette:

"Unfortunately anonomizers don't work out here (never have). Anyway, I had a few minutes today and thought I'd look and see what else was banned on the Marine web here. I think the results speak for themselves:
* Wonkette – “Forbidden, this page ( is categorized as: Forum/Bulletin Boards, Politics/Opinion.”
* Bill O’Reilly ( – OK
* Air America ( – “Forbidden, this page ( is categorized as: Internet Radio/TV, Politics/Opinion.”
* Rush Limbaugh ( – OK
* ABC News “The Note” – OK
* Website of the Al Franken Show ( – “Forbidden, this page ( is categorized as: Internet Radio/TV, Politics/Opinion.”
* G. Gordon Liddy Show ( – OK
* Don & Mike Show ( – “Forbidden, this page ( is categorized as: Profanity, Entertainment/Recreation/Hobbies.”


By the way U.S. Troops in Iraq: 72% Say End War in 2006 [Zogby]

Monday, March 06, 2006

Academy Awards

I watched pretty much the whole Academy Awards last night. Not (IMO) nearly
as long-winded and boring as many of the previous shows. I haven't seen nearly half of the nominated films and I'm not sure if that added to my enjoyment of the show or whether it was a distraction. Anyway, as far as Academy Awards shows go I'll give it a 4 on my 5 scale of excellence. And no I haven't seen "Brokeback Mountain"(yet).

Clooney wins best supporting actor:
"And finally, I would say that, you know, we are a little bit out of touch in Hollywood
every once in a while. I think it's probably a good thing. We're the ones who talk about
AIDS when it was just being whispered, and we talked about civil rights when it wasn't
really popular. And we, you know, we bring up subjects. This Academy, this group of
people gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the
backs of theaters. I'm proud to be a part of this Academy. Proud to be part of this
community, and proud to be out of touch."
--George Clooney

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Eclipse on appliances

Video of the week(you'll love it):

Old News: Bush was briefed before Katrina hit

"Only the Bush Administration could take a disaster of Biblical proportions, and make it worse."
-From an email to CNN's Situation Room

Surprise! Dubya knew that Katrina would be a catastrophic hurricane and the levee's
could give way. I haven't been surprised at the thuggary, lying and spin of this
bunch in a LONG time.

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did anticipate a serious storm. But these levees got breached. And as a result, much of New Orleans is flooded. And now we are having to deal with it and will."
-George W. Bush, interview, 9-1-05

From the AP:
Homeland Security officials have said the ``fog of war'' blinded them early on to the magnitude of the disaster. But the video and transcripts show federal and local officials discussed threats clearly, reviewed long-made plans and understood Katrina would wreak devastation of historic proportions. ``I'm sure it will be the top 10 or 15 when all is said and done,'' National Hurricane Center's Max Mayfield warned the day Katrina lashed the Gulf Coast.

"I also make absolutely clear to everyone that there is the potential for a large loss of life in the coastal areas from the storm surge" and "I don't think anybody can tell you with any confidence right now whether the levees will be topped or not, but that's obviously a very very grave concern."
-From an AP audio tape regarding warnings made a day before Katrina hit

This from Crooks and Liars:
"Federal officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief of possible devastation just before Hurricane Katrina struck. Six days of video footage from briefings and transcripts were obtained by The Associated Press. The warnings were that the storm could breach levees, risk lives in the New Orleans Superdome and overwhelm rescuers.A-P reports Bush didn't ask any questions during the final government-wide briefing the day before Katrina struck on August 29th...."
Bush Katrina early warning video:

And from Americablog:
"New video shows Bush was warned levees could breach BEFORE Katrina hit - Bush lied when he said no one could imagine levees breaching."

asp hit counter
hit counters