Monday, July 31, 2006

Hey I got pics-again!

Josef Sudek

Robert Weingarten

The Top 50 Movie Endings of All Time

I love this but there's some spoilers here so beware. Blogger won't let me upload photos(again). What a pain.


The Top 50 Movie Endings of All Time

We spent literally months brainstorming and corralling the 50 films with the absolute best endings we've ever seen. We're not talking about the last half hour. We mean the last minute of movie. You know, the ending.Needless to say you can consider this entire article one monster SPOILER ALERT. Most of the films here are classics that you've probably seen several times over. But if not, skip past the ones you haven't seen and put 'em in your rental queue, otherwise you're going to ruin a whole lot of good films. Check out the flicks and we promise you won't be disappointed when the credits roll. As always, apologies in advance for the ones we stupidly forgot (and we know you'll be writing to let us know -- yes, Jaws, The Sixth Sense, Seven, Carrie, we're sorry!).- Christopher Null, Editor-in-Chief

50. The Blair Witch Project (1999) - The movie isn't particularly scary... at least until the last two minutes, which take the tension level from 10 to 100 at an exponential pace. The final seconds -- wherein a member of the cast is spotted, back turned and facing a corner, as an unseen spirit does away with the remaining member of the crew, who's been filming all of this in a panic-stricken run through an abandoned house -- rank as some of the most terrifying moments ever put to film. It gives me chills just to write about it. -CN

49. A History of Violence (2005) - David Cronenberg’s sly, brilliant merger of a revenge fantasy and an essay on the American Dream has an appropriately messy, provocative ending. Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) has exposed a terrible truth about himself that’s left his wife, Edie (Maria Bello), in despair. They gaze at each other in silence across the dinner table, and the looks in their eyes lets you know it’s impossible, yet painfully necessary, to pretend nothing has changed. -MA

48. Batman Begins (2005) - As the title suggests, the Dark Knight's mission to cleanse Gotham has just begin. Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) hands Batman (Christian Bale) a playing card left at the scene of a recent crime. He flips it over, and fanboy hearts race in unison as we contemplate director Christopher Nolan's next move. -SO

47. All That Jazz (1979) - A film especially priceless in its rendering of death in big, Broadway musical number style. Extremely well collaged as the self-defeating choreographer ties up all his loose ends in fantastical choreographic zeal, Roy Scheider's Joe Gideon simply walks into a flirtatious angel's embrace. -RG

46. Dead Again (1991) - The second film Kenneth Branagh directed before his ego became too inflated from his Shakespeare renown, is also still the best helming he has managed to date. Beautifully combining intelligent romanticism with reincarnation between he and his then wife/co-star Emma Thompson, the film gracefully culminates with a death scene, love re-established, and the past resolving itself, without losing an emotional beat. Even those who don’t believe
in filmic romance melt as the modern day Branagh holds his partner and
exhaustedly says “The door is closed.” -RG

45. Pulp Fiction (1994) - It's hard to pick this over Reservoir Dogs, since Quentin Tarantino plagiarized himself here, but Pulp is more refined and more funny in its treatment of a Mexican standoff, this time with a "happy" ending to it. Of course, we know the buffoonish Vincent Vega's going to get shot coming out of the toilet on another job, but he and his Bible-spewing pal get to walk away this time, even if they do look like idiots. -CN

44. Fargo (1996) - Cinema, especially recent cinema, isn't known for its portrayals of happy marriages -- especially not in crime movies. But the last scene in this Coen brothers masterpiece doesn't involve any blood, bullets, or double-crosses. It just shows the Gundersons, Marge (Frances McDormand) and Norm (John Carroll Lynch), sitting in bed. He tells her that his painting is going to put on a three-cent stamp, she tells him how great that is, and the emotional core that has been developing throughout the film is suddenly sitting right in front of us. No wood chipper needed. -JH

43. Shane (1953) - When the kid yells, "Shane, come back!" at the departing hero, it's one of the rare tear-jerker scenes that just feels right. -DB

42. The Terminator (1984) - One of the first major science fiction trilogies to be a true inspiration to an entire new generation of filmmaking, the initial installment is brutal, bright, and brilliantly executed. From Ah-nold’s one-liners to Sarah Connor learning to want to be great female hero, it was also one of the first films to create a spellbinding circle in its narrative, to have the end reflect where it all began. He'll be back. -RG

41. Say Anything... (1989) - Lots of romantic comedies end with the boy getting the girl; Say Anything makes him, her, and us all earn it. We leave Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) and Diane Court (Ione Skye) not in passionate embrace, but sitting on an airplane, holding hands, looking upward, waiting for the "ding" that will tell them everything is okay. This final shot is everything that's great about Say Anything: sweet, a little bit funny, and completely believable. -JH

40. The Thing (1982) - Easily the most chilling ending in horror, Carpenter purposefully never lets the audience in on exactly how the contagion is spread and allows us to stew in absolute terror as to which man will split apart and become the alien host. The last thumps of the moody score are enough to make anyone shiver with fear. -CC

Go here:

Thanks to BoingBoing.

The smell of jack boots in the morning

Cell Phone Picture Called Obstruction Of Justice
Man Arrested For Shooting Photo Of Police Activity

PHILADELPHIA -- A Philadelphia family said they are outraged over the arrest of one of their family members.
The family of Neftaly Cruz said police had no right to come onto their property and arrest their 21-year-old son simply because he was using his cell phone's camera. They told their story to Harry Hairston and the NBC 10 Investigators.
"I was humiliated. I was embarrassed, you know," Cruz said.
Cruz, 21, told the NBC 10 Investigators that police arrested him last Wednesday for taking a picture of police activity with his cell phone. Police at the 35th district said they were in Cruz's neighborhood that night arresting a drug dealer.
Cruz said that when he heard a commotion, he walked out of his back door with his cell phone to see what was happening. He said that when he saw the street lined with
police cars, he decided to take a picture of the scene. "I opened (the phone) and took a shot," Cruz said. Moments later, Cruz said he got the shock of his life when an officer came to his back yard gate.
"He opened the gate and took me by my right hand," Cruz said.
Cruz said the officer threw him onto a police car, cuffed him and took him to jail.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Fixin' it for Paris Hilton and the Bush twins at the IRS

If your evil elves can't completely eliminate taxes on the richest of the rich one way, then there's ALWAYS another.
"The New York Times reported this week that the Bush administration is eliminating almost half of the lawyers at the Internal Revenue Service who audit the tax returns of the wealthiest Americans," writes Gene C. Gerard. "These lawyers specialize in auditing the returns of those who are subject to gift and estate taxes. Since taking office in 2001, President Bush has consistently lobbied Congress to repeal the estate tax, but he hasn't been able to get Congress to go along with him. Instead, the Bush administration has now decided to force the IRS to backpedal and circumvent the tax laws."
Go here:

Lebanon oil spill

Someone said that Israel has become like an abused child who's grown up to be an abuser. There's something to be said for that.
Another horrible development:


BEIRUT, July 27 (Reuters) - Along Lebanon's sandy beaches and rocky headlands runs a belt of black sludge, 10,000 to 30,000 tonnes of oil that spilled into the Mediterranean Sea after Israel bombed a power plant.
Lebanon's Environment Ministry says the oil flooded into the sea when Israeli jets hit storage tanks at the Jiyyeh plant south of Beirut on July 13 and 15, creating an
ecological crisis that Lebanon's government has neither the money nor the expertise to deal with.
"We have never seen a spill like this in the history of Lebanon. It is a major catastrophe," Environment Minister Yacoub al-Sarraf told Reuters.
Thanks to scout prime at first-draft:

Michael Steele | How to dig a giant political hole

This from John Dickerson at Slate regarding Maryland Republican Senate candidate Michael Steele's amusing confession's and backpedaling recently. He actually at one embarrasing moment was forced to call dubya his "Homeboy":

Steele Shovel
How to dig a giant political hole.

When in a hole, stop digging. This is good advice in life and crucial advice in politics. Unfortunately, no one seems to have shared it with Michael Steele, a Republican candidate for the Senate from Maryland. Steele's slogan appears to be: "More shovels!"
Steele, who is the leading Republican for his party's nomination, committed a gaffe, according to Slate founding editor Michael Kinsley's classic definition: He accidentally said something true in public. During a 90-minute lunch with Washington
reporters, Steele said the R for Republican next to his name was like a "scarlet
letter." He went on to say the GOP-controlled Congress should "just shut up and get something done," that the Iraq war "didn't work" and "we didn't prepare for the peace," that the response to Hurricane Katrina was "a monumental failure of government." He said having his party leader President Bush campaign for him would be a disadvantage. He said these things "on background," agreeing with reporters that he would not be quoted by name. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post attended the lunch and
published the remarks, attributing
them to a "GOP Senate candidate."
The papers had barely landed in suburban driveways before even Starbucks baristas knew that
Steele was the source. It was obvious the speaker wasn't in Congress, and there are only a handful of "competitive Senate races" from which a sleuth could divine the identity. Once outed, Steele produced a variety of responses, all of them bad. They have been so bad as to constitute a kind of minitutorial on what a candidate shouldn't do when caught telling a truth:


Condi plays while Rome(world) Burns

Well what a surprise. While Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, and (it seems) half the world burns Condi-Sleaza will play the, I mean the piano. Nothing like a little music to cover the blood. If she just had Nero to accompany her.

In keeping with her mood and to reflect the world crises she tackles daily, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plans to play a somber piece of music
to her Asian colleagues in Malaysia this week."It is not a time that is frivolous. It is a serious time. I will play something that is in accordance with my serious mood," said Rice, who had just attended a conference in Rome aimed at helping resolve the Lebanon crisis.—Rice said she would not be comfortable singing show tunes.

Bless her heart, "she would not be comfortable doing show tunes"?
Words fail me.

Thanks to Liberal Catnip via Crooks and Liars

Truth in Humour?

IIIiiit's Friday!Quotes:

"You know Ann Coulter? She was on CNBC today and she said 'Bill Clinton is gay.' Please, just because she's the only woman on the planet he wouldn't have sex with doesn't make him gay."
--Jay Leno
"President Bush met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and he spent the first hour trying to pronounce Nouri al-Maliki."
--David Letterman
"A Tomahawk cruise missile fell off a truck in the Bronx this week. A cruise missile, isn't that unbelievable? You know what that means? There are now more weapons of mass destruction in the Bronx than there are in Iraq."
--Jay Leno
"Earlier today, former President Bill Clinton campaigned for Senator Joe Lieberman. Clinton got the crowd so worked up that they had trouble sleeping through the Lieberman speech."
--David Letterman
"Humanitarian aid in the U.S. has begun arriving in Lebanon. The U.S. Government sent 10,000 medical kits, 20,000 blankets, $30 million cash and today the people of New Orleans said: 'They did what?'"
--Jay Leno

Thursday, July 27, 2006

When rednecks move?

Found this on a safety photo site, here, with lots of photos of unsafe craziness.

"I was thinking about calling this one “I Knew I Shoulda Bought a Truck.” Or “Never Heard of U-Haul, Eh?” Or “Sure Hope It Doesn’t Rain.” And no doubt
there’s a sad, desperate story behind this tableau… assuming it isn’t a college
prank (they used to see how many people could cram in a phone booth, maybe now
it’s how many boxes you can jam into a hatchback).

But holy cow, the number of hazards boggles my mind. There’s so much stuff in the back that it looks like the driver’s seat has been pushed forward. Another photo in this series showed that the passenger’s door wasn’t closed. The doors are taped shut,
for goodness sake. Being able to see out of the back isn’t usually considered a
luxury. And if any of this baggage falls off, which is only a matter of time and
miles, it will create problems for the people behind you in traffic.

On the plus side, she is wearing a seatbelt."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Five Myths

Five Myths that Sanction Israel’s War Crimesby Jonathan Cook
--by Jonathan Cook

Lucas leads Davis in latest poll

According to an exclusive WCPO/SurveyUSA poll, Democrat Ken Lucas would retake his old seat from incumbent Republican Geoff Davis in Kentucky's 4th Congressional District if the election were held today.
This is the question posed in poll, which was conducted from 7/22 through 7/24:
If the election were today, and you were standing in the voting booth right now, who would you vote for? Republican Geoff Davis? Democrat Ken Lucas? Or some other candidate?
41% Davis (R)
50% Lucas (D)
8% Undecided
Ken Lucas on the web


2002 -- US: Effort to weaken a UN convention against torture fails; the Bush administration is now proudly on record on the side of global warming, racism, war crimes & torture. The list of great rightwing principle grows...

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

With your terror, might, & fright
What immortal hands or eyes
Could expose your fearful lies?

In what distant deeps or skies

Burns the hot fire of your eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art
Could twist the sinews of your heart?
And what could stop your heartbeat?
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was your brain?
What the anvil? What dead grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

Could our dear Founding Fathers
Arise from their restful graves,
Would they smile their work to see?
Or cackle with deadly glee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
With your terror, might, & fright
What immortal hands or eyes
Dare expose your fearful lies?
— William Blake (edited & expanded)

The Daily Bleed:

To The Concerned Citizen of The World

A petition to hault the Israeli attacks on civilians and infrastructure in Lebanon.
Peace begins with justice

Up until now more than 300 Lebanese civilians have been killed and thousands missing under the rubbles , thousands wounded, bridges and infrastructure
destroyed, refugees are leaving Beirut in droves and worst of all the enforced siege might lead to a human catastrophe in the next few days. There must be an end to this cycle of violence and continuous violation of international laws and basic ethical behavior.

Between the blindness of the international community and the deafness of the Arab one, the besieged Lebanese population has no way out.

Peace begins with justice

This petition is going to be sent to all representatives (Senate, Congress, assembly, etc.) in the USA, Canada, France, Germany, UK and European Union. Moreover, it will be sent to more than 500 media outlets around the world. If you have the contacts of the representatives of your country (not listed above), please email us the list and we will include you country representatives as recipients.
Sign the petition here:

Israel's attack on Lebanon "finalized more than a year ago"

This from: Information Clearing House

Lebanon carpenters are running out of wood for coffins. Bodies are stacked 3 or 4 feet high at the hospital morgue. The stench is spreading in the rubble. The morbid reality of Israel’s bombing campaign is reaching almost every corner of the city…On Thursday, the wild dogs gnawed at the charred remains of a family bombed as they were trying to escape the village.

For more than a week Israel has been raining down terror on the Lebanon’s unprotected cities and towns. So far, more than 1,200 sites have been completely destroyed laying to waste most of the country’s civilian infrastructure and triggering a humanitarian crisis. The death toll, currently at 350, continues to mount while the number of displaced civilians is estimated at more than 500,000.
We know now that Israel’s plan of attack was “finalized more than a year ago” and that Hezbollah’s capturing of the 2 Israeli soldiers was merely a pretext to execute
their strategy. Gerald Steinberg, professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University clarified this point saying, “Of all Israel’s wars since 1948, this
was the one for which Israel was most prepared. In a sense, the preparation
began in 2000, immediately after the Israeli withdrawal.”
Mike Whitney

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

More arrests at a Bubble Boy speech

They just can't stand to have ANY dissent can they? It amazes me that the cops actually go along with this, Or do they? Has there been situations where a cop has said to these people-"Hey wait, last time I checked this was still a free country!",
Not one cop has said that, not one police chief?

Arrested Bush dissenters eye courts

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - When school was canceled to accommodate a campaign visit by president Bush, the two 55-year-old teachers reckoned the time was ripe to voice their simmering discontent with the administration's policies. Christine Nelson showed up at the Cedar Rapids rally with a Kerry-Edwards button pinned on her T-shirt; Alice McCabe clutched a small, paper sign stating "No More War." What could be more American, they thought, than mixing a little dissent with the bunting and buzz of a get-out-the-vote rally headlined by the president?
Their reward: a pair of handcuffs and a strip search at the county jail.
Also at Crooks and liars

Bourdain bids painful farewell to Beirut

This is interesting. Being a food lover I've enjoyed Anthony Bourdain's show on the Food Network. He traveled the world tasting anything and some godawful things that were put in front of him.
From Reuters:
Broken-hearted celebrity chef evacuated from Lebanon
..Lying on a green army cot as a u.s. navy ship spirits him away from violence-stricken lebanon, american television food show host anthony bourdain says his heart is broken...."we'd been hearing great things about beirut and arrived and quickly fell in love with the country," he told Reuters."it was paradise, sort of the western dream of the way we'd all like the middle east to be -- enlightened, progressive, multi-cultural, and multi-religious."...bourdain said his efforts to leave lebanon had not been easy, frustrated by unanswered telephone calls to the embassy and a "horror show" at a beach outside beirut where they had gathered before u.s. navy and marines whisked 1,052 americans to the ship by landing craft and then on to nearby cyprus."at the checkpoints, it was like a metallica concert gone horribly wrong," he said. "it was a mob scene."bourdain said the rapidly escalating violence had destroyed a blossoming city that had finally begun to emerge as a vibrant, democratic cultural hotspot after a civil war and the subsequent political influence of neighbouring syria."i feel this awful sense of regret that we were never able to show beirut as it was," he said. "to see everyone's hopes die and watch the country dismantled piece by piece was very painful. i'm very angry and very frustrated." - reuters and he checked in at egullet and talked with larry king.
Thanks to cookie jill at Skippy

John Bolton | Under cover of blood and misery

As always this administration turns a bloodbath to it's advantage. If they turned the evil elves they have working overtime turning misery to their advantage to doing good, just think what could be achieved. No chance of that though.
After the human misery that's being unleashed in Lebanon, Gaza and Israel they rush to Israel a new batch of fresh missiles and bombs. New bombs and missiles mean new profits for the corporations that make those bombs and missiles. Don't kid yourself that these people don't enter those profits into their diplomacy or I should say their anti-diplomacy.
Under cover of this latest round of blood and destruction that they've only made worse, and apparently at the top of the list(you know there's a list). Bushco and his Republican lapdogs are going to insert the fascist John Bolton permanently at the UN. Here from Mother Jones is the lowdown:

John Bolton To Be Confirmed?
By Jeffrey Laurenti
Article created by
Century Foundation
Ever alert to exploit tragedy to achieve longstanding goals, political strategists inside the White House see the current deadly spiral of violence in the Middle East as their opening to press for John Bolton’s belated confirmation as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. This became clear in a Washington Post opinion article Thursday by Ohio senator George Voinovich, the sole Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to have voted against Mr. Bolton last summer. Rumors that Mr. Voinovich had struck a deal with the White House to vote for Mr. Bolton’s
confirmation before his recess appointment—and possibly Republican control of
the Senate—expire at year’s end have been flying for weeks.
In recent years the White House has compiled a notably tawdry track record of squeezing political advantage from death and destruction. The leveling of the World Trade Center by a handful of Saudi nationals armed with boxcutters became, in its skilled hands, the administration’s pretext for renouncing the antiballistic missile treaty, embarking on a crash program of “Star Wars” deployment, and launching an invasion of Iraq. Hurricane Katrina became an opportunity to abrogate union-scale wages on federal projects.
Now, with hundreds of civilians being killed in the Middle East strife—and the bankruptcy of administration policy in the region becoming plain for all to see—the administration launches the effort to lock in Mr. Bolton before a new Senate might lock him out.


Monday, July 24, 2006

"Bombing of a Nation on It's Knees"

Kris Kristofferson can still write 'em, and break your heart singing them. This one's called "In the News"

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Party like it's 1899

Found at bart's place.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Neil's "After the Garden" on YouTube

Neil Young's "After the Garden" from Living With War is a fine song in itself. In this YouTube video, which I found originally at Atrios, the song has been set to Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" documentary. VERY effective.

While I'm at it here's another sad but fine weekend treat. Sarah McCoughlan's "World on Fire" stolen from Atrios and Firedoglake:

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Child Lies Like a Rag Doll

From Robert Fisk in Beirut:

How soon must we use the words "war crime"? How many children must be scattered in the rubble of Israeli air attacks before we reject the obscene phrase
"collateral damage" and start talking about prosecution for crimes against humanity?

The child whose dead body lies like a rag doll beside the cars which were supposedly taking her and her family to safety is a symbol of the latest Lebanon war; she was hurled from the vehicle in which she and her family were traveling in southern Lebanon as they fled their village - on Israel's own instructions. Because her parents were apparently killed in the same Israeli air attack, her name is still unknown. Not an unknown warrior, but an unknown child.

The story of her death, however, is well documented. On Saturday, the inhabitants of the tiny border village of Marwaheen were ordered by Israeli troops - apparently using a bullhorn - to leave their homes by 6pm. Marwaheen lies closest to the spot where Hizbollah guerrillas broke through the frontier wire a week ago to capture two Israeli soldiers and kill three others, the attack which provoked this latest cruel war in Lebanon.
So the people of Marwaheen set off for the north in a convoy of cars which only minutes later, close to the village of Tel Harfa, were attacked by an Israeli F-16 fighter-bomber. It bombed all the cars and killed at least 20 of the
civilians travelling in them, many of them women and children. Twelve people were burnt alive in their vehicles but others, including the child who lies like a rag doll near the charred civilian convoy, whose photograph was taken - at great risk - by an Associated Press photographer, Nasser Nasser, were blown clear of the cars by the blast of the bombs and fell into fields and a valley near the scene of the attack. There has been no apology or expression of regret from Israel for these deaths.

True, the Hizbollah are killing civilians in Israel, but their missiles are inaccurate and the West, which has done no more than mildly disapprove of Israel's retaliatory onslaught, must surely expect higher standards of the Israeli armed forces than of the men whom both Israel and President George Bush describe as "terrorists".

Why, for example, did the Israelis attack and destroy the headquarters of the Liban-Lait company in the Bekaa Valley, the largest milk factory in Lebanon? Why did they bomb out the factory of the main importer for Proctor and Gamble products in Lebanon, based in Bchmoun? Why did they destroy a paper box factory outside Beirut? And why did Israeli planes attack a convoy of new ambulances being brought into Lebanon from Syria yesterday, vehicles which were the gift of the medical authorities of the United Arab Emirates? The ambulances were clearly marked as a relief aid convoy, according to an Emirates official. Were all these "terrorist" targets? Was the little girl in the field at Tel Harfa a "terrorist" target?

Information Clearing House

Sir Charles comes over from the dark side

"I was a republican until they lost their minds,"
-Charles Barkley

When John Mellencamp let loose with a rip on the Bush administration in the middle of an celebrity golf tournament event concert, sending ex Vice President Dan Quayle marching for the exit, he may have shot a few shockwaves through the American Century Championship. But one of the biggest celebrities in the Lake Tahoe field - a man who used to be one of America's biggest Republicans literally - wasn't shedding any tears for Quayle.
"He's right," Charles Barkley said of Mellencamp. "The word conservative means discriminatory practically. It's a form of political discrimination. What do the Republicans run on? Against gay marriage and for a war that makes no sense. A war that was based on faulty intelligence. That's all they ever talk about. That and immigration. Another discriminatory argument for political gain."
Thanks to Skippy:
Go here for more.--
I'd only disagree with Charles about one thing, the Iraq war wasn't about "faulty intelligence", it was cooked up intelligence demanded by dubya and gang to fit their agenda. See The Downing Street Memo.

Waterboarding is torture

Image (via Wikipedia): "The Water Torture"—Facsimile of a woodcut in J. Damhoudère's Praxis Rerum Criminalium in 4to, Antwerp, 1556. Waterboarding at Wikipedia:
Came across this interesting article at BoingBoing, it seems that CIA employee and psuedonymous blogger "Econo-Girl" wrote an article on her Blog regarding torture and says she was fired because of it. Here's the offending article,
and here's an excerpt:

Waterboarding is Torture, and Torture is Wrong
Not to mention ineffective. Econo-Girl has serious doubts as to whether European lives were saved.
Econo-Girl's purpose in writing this blog is to start a dialog on the Geneva Convention, since it now applies to the Department of Defense again. Guess it's not quaint anymore, eh?
Over the next few weeks, Econo-Girl would like to post articles about the Geneva Convention, like its origin and major provisions. Legal analysis is not the magic some would have you believe.
If the grunts and paper pushers are knowledgeable, the anti-torture infrastructure will be strengthened.
Dubya, bringing back the inquisitions.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Israel's war of attrition on the citizens of Lebanon

..And I should add, on the citizens of Gaza. Israel has every right to defend itself but in that defense should it wage war on innocent people because there MAY be hezbollah near them? Below is the strangest pic I've seen in a while. Children of Israel instructed for a photo-op to sign shells to be rained down on the children(?) of Lebanon.

There was a time when the US would or could be the go to mediator for a situation like this, but the days of dubya took care of any credibility we have as an honest broker. Not that we've ever been an actual honest broker when it comes to Israel and now I have no illusions about Bushco doing anything to help the people of Israel, Lebanon(or Gaza either for that matter) where there's no profit for Halliburton, etal. Juan Cole has some interesting quotes and pertinent information(as always).
Here's a bit:

"Israel has fought a lazy war, both morally lazy and militarily lazy. It is work to surveil enemy shipments. So, you just blow up the airport and the ports and roads and bridges, regardless of whether you have reason to believe that any of them is used by Hizbullah for their war effort. Just in case. It is a just in case war. You bomb Shiite villages intensively, just in case they have military significance to Hizbullah. Maybe they don't, and you've just blown up a civilian neighborhood and killed whole families. Where blowing up things has no immediate and legitimate military purpose and harms innocent civilians, it is a crime. It can be prosecuted, especially in Europe.Louise Arbour of the UN High Commission on Human Rights made this point Wednesday, according to the Daily Star story linked to above:"
' UN human rights chief Louise Arbour suggested Wednesday that the military operations being carried out in Lebanon, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories could be considered war crimes. The obligation to protect civilians during hostilities is entrenched in international law, "which defines war crimes and crimes against humanity," Arbour said in a statement. "The scale of the killings in the region, and their predictability, could engage the personal criminal responsibility of those involved, particularly those in a position of command and control," she added. '

"Look into the abyss"
"And what of those who are raining bombs on Lebanon? Today a water-drilling truck in the Christian Achrafieh neighborhood, another truck transporting medicine, civilians dying everywhere. The targeting strategy errs on the side of overkill—the tactic of terror. But what does it yield? What does the Warsaw Ghetto tell us? Both Hezbollah and the Israeli leaders, despite the asymmetry of their power, assume this is a macho game about dignity, about facing down one’s enemy. Look in the mirror habibi. Look into the abyss."
-Patrick McGreevy from Beirut
Israel's attacks on innocent civilians and civilian infrastructure in Gaza and Lebanon are a violation of U.S. law, specifically the U.S. Arms Export Control Act and the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act. The U.S. Arms Export Control Act restricts the use of U.S. weapons to legitimate self-defense and internal policing; U.S. weapons cannot be used to attack civilians in offensive operations. The U.S. Foreign Assistance Act prohibits U.S. aid of any kind to a country with a pattern of gross human rights violations.

Israel's attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Gaza and Lebanon are
examples of collective punishment, which are prohibited under the Geneva Conventions.

Continue at Informed Comment:

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Vacation! YAAAY!!!!

I won't be posting for a few days if you should check me out. I'm taking the family to Kings Island and Newport Aquariam. Leaving tomorrow. It'll be me and four females for four days.I'll fill my vacancy with a few favorite photos I came across today.
The first from Taylor Marsh which basically says to me, "World meet dubya."

And the second is from Matt at Firedoglake:

Which I've seen before slightly different on Freeway Blogger:

To my occasional guests. Have a nice weekend and I'll be back sometime next week. Be good to each other.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Who woulda guessed | Specter caves again to Bushco

Glenn Greenwald on what the Democrats will/can do following the inevitable Arlen "BushBitch" Specter's caving in to Bushco on the NSA spying scandal. IMO the Democrats will do what they've done pretty well up to this point. Which is whine, complain, proclaim their perserverence, and then, not really do much at all except cave in themselves. Here's some Glenn excerpts:
What will Democrats do in the wake of the Specter cave-in?

Following up on yesterday's post regarding Arlen Specter's complete (and hardly unexpected) cave-in to the administration on the NSA scandal, it is now clear that the bill does not have an express amnesty provision in it (see Update II). But every other possible bad thing can and should be said about this bill. Marty Lederman has an excellent and very thorough statutory analysis of the whole travesty, explaining that Specter "introduces a bill, with Administration blessing, that gives the Administration everything it ever wanted, and much, much more."Jack Balkin's post is also very much worth reading, in which he concludes: "Barely two weeks after Hamdan, which appeared to be the most important separation of powers decision in our generation, the Executive is about to get back everything it lost in that decision, and more."In essence, Specter's bill repeals each and every restriction on the President's ability to eavesdrop, all but forecloses judicial challenges, and endorses the very theory of unlimited executive power which Hamdan just days ago rejected (and in the process, rendered the administration's FISA-prohibited eavesdropping on Americans a clear violation of the criminal law). With this bill, Specter -- the self-proclaimed defender of Congressional power -- did more to bolster the administration's radical executive power theories than anything the administration could have dreamed of doing on their own, especially in the wake of Hamdan (permit me here to apologize for all of those times I tepidly defended Specter by characterizing as unduly pessimistic and cynical predictions that he could cave completely; the humiliations he is willing, even eager, to publicly endure are without limits).The question now is what Democrats (who, by the way, still have filibuster power) are willing to do about this.

The media's reports on this travesty illustrate, yet again, that the single greatest problem our country faces -- the principal reason the Bush administration has been able to get away with the abuses it has perpetrated -- is because our national media is indescribably lazy, inept, dysfunctional and just plain stupid, for reasons discussed in this comment from Jao and my response. The reporters who write on these matters literally don't understand the issues they are reporting, even though the issues are not all that complicated. Notwithstanding the fact that this bill expressly removes all limits on the President's eavesdropping powers -- and returns the state of the law regarding presidential eavesdropping to the pre-FISA era, when there were no limits on presidential eavesdropping of any kind -- Charles Babington and Peter Baker told their readers in The Washington Post -- in an article hilariously entitled: "Bush Compromises On Spying Program" -- that "the deal represented a clear retreat by Bush" and that "the accord is a reversal of Bush's position that he would not submit his program to court review."Anyone with a basic understanding of what FISA was and of the conflicts in play could read the Specter bill and see that the last thing it does is entail "compromises" on the part of the White House. Nobody who knows how to read could read that bill and think that. At this point, I believe they don't even read the bill. It's hard to see how they could read the bill and then write that article. Instead, it seems that they just call their standard sources on each side, go with the White House-Specter assessment that this is some grand "compromise" on the ground that it is a joint view of both warring sides, and then throw in a cursory ACLU quote somewhere at the end just to be able to say that they included some opposing views. But the reporters who are writing about this - and I mean the ones writing in the pages of our country's most important newspapers - don't actually have any idea what they're talking about.Babington is the same reporter who falsely told his readers on the front page of the Post in March that the Republican
"compromise" bill from the Senate Intelligence Committee (offered in lieu of an actual investigation into the NSA program) entailed substantial Congressional oversight of the program, even though a quick reading of the actual bill would have revealed that it entailed no such oversight. Representatives from Sen. DeWine and Snowe's office apparently told him what great oversight their bill provided and so he printed as fact what he was told. After bloggers pointed out this error, the Post, several days later, was forced to issue a correction (appended to the top of the original article). But the same thing that happened there is happening here - Republican Senators and White House representatives with a vested interest in how the story gets reported characterize the bill in a certain way, and then lazy, uninformed reporters like Babington uncritically regurgitate that version as fact in the newspaper.

Continue at Unclaimed Territory:

Oppose the Israeli assault on Gaza and Lebanon!

The photo above and video below are from the protests yesterday in San Francisco against the Israeli assault on Gaza and Lebanon-
Thanks to Left i on the news

This from Independent Media:

Photo:"Still Life With Explosion Ejecta" - photo of a village in Lebanon in the process of being "unfolded" by a tremendous explosion. At the very bottom of the fireball, the tiny white blocks are village houses.
Nabil Abu Salmiya, his wife Salwa, both 39, and their seven children: Nasrallah, Basima, 16, Sumayya, 12, Huda, 8, Eman, 11, Aya, 7, and Yahia, 13 are the latest casualties in the ongoing Israeli invasion into the Palestinian Gaza Strip, killed in an Israeli airstrike on their home Wednesday morning the 12th of July. Israeli officials said the two missiles were meant to hit a leader of the Hamas resistance movement, but of the 9 killed and 38 injured, none are affiliated with any resistance group, and most of the casualties are children. Some Israeli military are uncomfortable with this mass murder and at Olmert's refusal to negotiate. Israel is suspected of using chemical weapons in the attacks, though the nature of the new weapons remains a mystery.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Kill The Messenger? Even when the messenger is on your side.

This article by John Stauber is right on the money. The US corporate "News" media played along with dubya's attack on Iraq and now that it's blowing up in the Neo-con's faces their scapegoat is? The corporate "News" media of course. You know that ol', "Liberal" News Media, that with a few exceptions were accomplices in this war, and have coddled dubya for the last 5 years(and counting).

Kill The Messenger? Pro-War Advocates Should Blame Themselves for the Mess in Iraq

As conditions in Iraq continue to deteriorate, supporters of the war are casting around for someone to blame, and journalists are becoming an increasingly popular scapegoat — an ironic turn of events, since the mainstream media's uncritical support for the war helped get us into this mess in the first place.
In our 2003 book,
Weapons of Mass Deception, Sheldon Rampton and I described how newspapers and television networks behaved like a propaganda arm of the Bush Administration, cheerleading for the attack on Iraq. These days, however, journalists are coming under attack from pro-war forces, which have gone so far as to accuse individual reporters, editors and even the entire mainstream media of outright treason.
chorus of right-wing media figures recently accused the New York Times of treason in response to its publication of a story describing efforts by the Bush administration to monitor terrorist money laundering using SWIFT, an international banking correspondence system — even though, as the Boston Globe and others have pointed out, "American intelligence and law enforcement access to SWIFT's database was not secret in any meaningful sense, having been disclosed more than three years ago" by U.S. government officials and on the SWIFT website. The Weekly Standard called the Times a "national security threat," and Melanie Morgan, a right-wing radio talk personality affiliated with the Republican activist group, Move America Forward, said that Times editor Bill Keller should be tried for treason and that she "would have no problem with him being sent to the gas chamber."
The charge of media treason has also followed news reports on human rights abuses by U.S. forces at
Abu Ghraib, Haditha and elsewhere. Following reports on Haditha, for example, commentators on the conservative website expressed the hope that "all reporters that had ANYTHING to do with this report are brought up on treason charges, and hung."
Pin the Blame on Cronkite
These cries of "hang 'em high" reflect the stage that we have entered in the Iraq fiasco. We have reached a point at which everyone — supporters and opponents of the war alike — can see that things are going badly. The battle now, therefore, is over who gets the blame. Opponents of the war like myself have an easy case to make: the war was a bad idea from the outset, and the blame should go to the politicians who started it.

SERPENT | Undersea photo competition

I love these undersea photos entered in the BP Kongsberg Underwater Image Competition 2006. Link found at BoingBoing.

Photo: A 'piglet squid' swimming around subsea equipment

"Scientific and Environmental ROV Partnership using Existing iNdustrial Technology" (SERPENT) project aims to make cutting-edge ROV technology and data more accessible to the world's science community, sharing knowledge and progressing deep-sea research. The programme will interact with science and conservation groups globally and transparently communicate our project to the public to increase the awareness of our fragile marine resources."


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Spinning and changing reality with the Associated Press

I agree with John at Americablog. Why are the AP and some other newsMedia "journalists" still calling the 14 year old Iraqi rape/murder victim a woman? I think I know and so does John. In the hell that is Bushopotamia, to the AP and others, the planning and then carrying out by these mutant(if the reports are true)US soldiers of raping and then murdering a "woman", and her 5 year old sister and parents is somehow not nearly as despicable if she actually were a "woman" and not a 14 year old girl. Puzzling but that's the "Liberal Media" today.

Look at the photo-It's by AP photographer Mohammed Hato and it's the passport of the Iraqi girl who was raped and murdered and shows that she was 14.

Here's John:

"First, why would a journalist call a 14 year old girl a "woman"?Second, AP has already been put on notice that folks were a bit concerned about their calling a 14 year old girl a "woman" - so why are they still doing it?Third, calling a 14 year old rape victim a "woman" even further trivializes the crime - not because raping "women" is somehow less offensive okay, but rather because raping children is even more offensive.So the question remains, knowing all of this, why would the Associated Press continue to use language in their story that is incorrect, misleading, and lessens the gravity of the true offense?Because the perpetrator was a US soldier, perhaps? Or because the victim was only some lowly Iraqi, and when they're raped, it's really only 3/5ths a rape?"

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Syd Barrett dead

Pink Floyd's Barrett dies aged 60

Creator of "Piper at the Gates of Dawn"
Syd Barrett, one of the original members of legendary rock group Pink Floyd,has died at the age of 60 from complications arising from diabetes.
April 2001(?)

Below is a YouTube video of David Whitehead's experimental video of the the very first Pink Floyd recording session('67)

You can find the video at sharpeworld also.

Bluegrass Report sues Governor Ernie

Blue Grass Report sues the Fletcher administration

***NICKOLAS VS. FLETCHER FILED*** Federal 1st Amendment & Equal Protection Clause Lawsuit Filed Against Governor Fletcher, Secretary Rudolph, and Secretary Farris Regarding Censorship Of Political Speech
This afternoon, a federal lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of Kentucky entitled Mark Nickolas v. Governor Ernie Fletcher, Secretary John Farris and Secretary Robbie Rudolph over the recent targeting and censorship of (click here to see verified complaint). The suit alleges that the administration's actions are an infringement of rights under the 1st Amendment and Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. (for background click here)
Louisville attorney Jennifer Moore and the Washington, DC litigation group of Public Citizen (led by attorney Greg Beck) are representing me in this litigation. The complaint asks that the government's ban of be declared unconstitutional and access be restored. No monetary damages are sought.
Click here for the press release which Public Citizen has just put out.
Found at Bluegrass and even Daily Kos.

In Cold Blood: Sociopaths at war

Another horror story for the US "News" Media to ignore. I'm sure there'll be another missing white woman for Faux News and CNN to focus on.
In Cold Blood: Iraqi Tells of Massacre at Farmhouse

A cousin describes finding the shot and shattered bodies.

A U.S. soldier is in custody.
by Raheem Salman and J. Michael Kennedy "Los Angeles Times" --
-- BAGHDAD — He was the first to enter the charred farmhouse where the bodies of his relatives lay strewn about the floor, shot and bludgeoned to death.
And he watched more than three months later as a U.S. Army officer took the two surviving children in his arms, barely able to hold back tears as he told them that the people who had killed their family would be punished.
"Never in my mind could I have imagined such a gruesome sight," Abu Firas Janabi said of the day in March when his cousin, Fakhriya Taha Muhsen; her husband, Kasim Hamza Rasheed; and their two daughters were slain and their farmhouse set ablaze.
"Kasim's corpse was in the corner of the room, and his head was smashed into pieces," he said. The 5-year-old daughter, Hadel, was beside her father, and Janabi said he could see that Fakhriya's arms had been broken.
In another room, he found 15-year-old Abeer, naked and burned, with her head
smashed in "by a concrete block or a piece of iron."
"There were burns from the bottom of her stomach to the end of her body, except for her feet," he said.
"I did not believe what I was seeing. I tried to fool myself into believing I was
in a dream. But the problem was that we were not dreaming. We put a piece of cloth over her body. Then I left the house together with my wife."
At least four American soldiers from a nearby checkpoint are the prime suspects. The case, which includes the alleged rape of the older daughter, has caused a firestorm in the United States and Iraq. And the soldiers, including one charged Monday with
rape and murder, have become lurid symbols of the American military at its worst.
The image has not been helped in recent weeks by the emergence of other accusations that U.S. soldiers had killed Iraqi civilians.Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki complained Wednesday that immunity from Iraqi prosecution had encouraged atrocities by American troops. And the U.S. military is clearly on the defensive. On Wednesday, Army Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, the chief military spokesman in Iraq, defended the troops here, complaining that the "acts of a few outweigh the deeds of many."
From: Information Clearing House:
And this from American Leftist:

Yes, it is that horrible, nauseating case of rape and murder, allegedly perpetrated by 101st Airborne veteran Steven Green and his fellow soldiers, an incident that supplements Abu Ghraib and Haditha as the legacy of the US military presence in Iraq:


Iraqis are, however, already administering their own form of justice, without awaiting the results of the niceties of procedural due process

While such vigilantism is deplorable, it becomes more understandable when one remembers the lenient 6 month sentence given to Sergeant Tracy Perkins for drowning Zaidoun Hassoun in Baghdad, a crime that was unsuccessfully concealed by the officers in his unit, much like the recent massacre in Haditha.
it is no longer possible to understand the occupation militarily,
economically or ideologically, rather, it has degenerated into an opportunity to
freely indulge in sadistic violence against a populace paradoxically perceived by turns as abject, yet dangerous, an opportunity to gratify the most unspeakable sexual and emotional desires in an intoxicating atmosphere of peril. Not even the most radical voices on the left imagined that
the immunity of US forces from Iraqi jurisdiction could
inspire such an appalling creation.


And the Bush II empire goes stumbling on in Iraq with no rythme or reason.

Afghanistan | "All Foreigners Are Our Enemy"

Another excellent article on dubya's Afghanistan adventure. Like everything else Bushco does(other than the profits to be made and cronies to be appointed) little thought or care went into the aftermath of their first attempt at the conquest of another nation. I have to add that I have no love for the Taleban, they were/are a cancer on the country of Afghanistan. They're still there and I fear their revival.
Afghanistan is No One's War

--Following 9/11, the Taleban government said it would extradite Osama bin Laden if the U.S. could produce evidence against him. This is the approach taken by the courts of every Western country when extradition is requested.

The U.S. either could not or would not produce any evidence, yet it insisted the Taleban was behaving in bad faith and harboring criminals.
I am sure that with a real campaign of pressure - diplomatic, legal, and economic - America could have secured bin Laden's extradition. Bush's government didn't really try. Invasion was an attractive option for many reasons. These include satisfying the bellowing, belly-over-the-belt types that are Bush's natural constituency, doing something for Bush's missing leadership credentials, gaining new influence over a nuclear and uncooperative Pakistan, building a long-planned trans-Afghanistan pipeline, and, importantly, preparing the way for an invasion of Iraq, something discussed and advocated for years before in Bush's Neo-con crowd.
The U.S.-placed government in Kabul has a sensible and reasonable man as President, however he has almost no power, nor is there the prospect of his gaining any. The U.S. would have to re-conquer the country - a huge, ugly, and perhaps impossible job against the warlords who helped them the first time - if it really wanted to change things. The warlords who made a cheap American victory possible are the very reason the President can have no real power over the country, a vicious cycle if there ever was one.

But it is a misnomer to refer to an American victory, even a cheap one. In ancient lands, things, including guerrilla wars, move at a pace not understood by those blackberrying around Washington making presentations from notebook computers. Dispersing the Taleban so that the Northern Alliance could rule for a while is hardly victory. America and its allies now are trapped in an impossible situation. Other than wishing all opposition somehow would disappear, it is not even clear now what would constitute victory.

British commanders have told Blair recently that hostile activity in the area of the
country they occupy has so increased that they cannot succeed without more troops and equipment. That comes as very unwelcome news to Blair whose popularity in Britain is even lower than Bush's in America. More troops, more coffins, more money.
There is no reason to feel hopeful or idealistic about anyone's role in Afghanistan. Afghanistan and Iraq are neither wars in the traditional sense nor humanitarian projects. They are foreign occupations of people who do not want to occupied. The idea that you can successfully occupy a hostile land into peace remains a delusion of consultants on big expense accounts in Washington. Just ask Israel nearly four decades after the Six Day War.
Continue at Counterpunch:

Monday, July 10, 2006

Had enough?

The complete set at Needlenose:

Bushopotamia erupts into "Mob" violence

Baghdad Erupts in Mob Violence

BAGHDAD, July 9 — A mob of gunmen went on a brazen daytime rampage through a predominantly Sunni Arab district of western Baghdad on Sunday, pulling people from their cars and homes and killing them in what officials and residents
called a spasm of revenge by Shiite militias for the bombing of a Shiite mosque on Saturday. Hours later, two car bombs exploded beside a Shiite mosque in another Baghdad neighborhood in a deadly act of what appeared to be retaliation.

While Baghdad has been ravaged by Sunni-Shiite bloodletting in recent months, even by recent standards the violence here on Sunday was frightening, delivered with impunity by gun-wielding vigilantes on the street. In the culture of revenge that has seized
Iraq, residents all over the city braced for an escalation in the cycle of retributive mayhem between the Shiites and Sunnis that has threatened to expand into civil war.
The violence coincided with an announcement by American military officials that they had formally accused four more American soldiers of rape and murder, and a fifth soldier of "dereliction of duty" for failing to report the crimes, in connection with the deaths of a teenage Iraqi girl and three members of her family.

Photo: Mohammed Hato/Associated Press
The passport of an Iraqi girl who was raped and murdered in Mahmudiya showed that she was 14)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Dubya and his version of "Sunday Bloody Sunday"

All right if you haven't seen it here's dubya doing "Sunday Bloody Sunday". Give it time to load. Or you can go to YouTube or here.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Be your own Pollock

Well this is addictive. Create your own Jackson Pollock
but once you start it's hard to stop.
Thanks to Susie at Suburban Guerrilla and alphabitch.

Has This Country Gone Completely Insane?

Another American veteran..Ah, I mean evil terrorist suspect arrested by a brown shirt..Ah, I mean police officer for wearing the terrorist's official uniform. A T-shirt, yes that's right I said T-shirt. Read on.

Has This Country Gone Completely Insane?
Mike Ferner

This afternoon, drinking a cup of coffee while sitting in the Jesse Brown V.A. Medical Center on Chicago’s south side, a Veterans Administration cop walked up to me and said, "OK, you’ve had your 15 minutes, it’s time to go."
"Huh?", I asked intelligently, not quite sure what he was talking about.
"You can’t be in here protesting," officer Adkins said, pointing to my Veterans For Peace shirt.
"Well, I’m not protesting, I’m having a cup of coffee," I returned, thinking that logic would convince Adkins to go back to his earlier duties of guarding against serious terrorists.
Flipping his badge open, he said, "No, not with that shirt. You’re protesting and you have to go."
Beginning to get his drift, I said firmly, "Not before I finish my coffee."
He insisted that I leave, but still not quite believing my ears, I tried one more approach to reason. "Hey, listen. I’m a veteran. This is a V.A. facility. I’m sitting here not talking to anybody, having a cup of coffee. I’m not protesting and you can’t kick me out."
"You’ll either go or we’ll arrest you," Adkins threatened.
"Well, you’ll just have to arrest me," I said, wondering what strange land I was now living in.
You know the rest.

Appalachian Studies

I've been reading Anne Shelby's latest collection of poems "Appalachian Studies". Actually I finished my third reading of the book yesterday. Anne lives and creates her gems up in those misty mountains of Southeastern Kentucky where I did my growing up. This book is, from my perspective anyway, a wonderful tribute to the history and people of the region. Where the "hollers" are so deep they have to pipe sunshine in. The book is at times like talking to an old friend from those mountains. From the poem/song, "Ballad of Clay County", to "Where I'm From", and "Heart of The World". They often evoke a time when the Kentucky Appalachians were a society and a life unto themselves, as many rural places were. Anne also highlights the mountains as they are today with:
I hope you won't be too put out
if you find more jeans and T-shirts here
than gingham print and overalls.
It's meth, and marijuana, not moonshine now."

--Other Side of Rock Creek"

and the "New Old Kentucky Home". these are people and places I used to know, and where they are today. It's relatives, ghosts, and images that will stick in your head:
.."I don't mention
the bacon I smell frying
Winter mornings before daylight
when all I've got is oatmeal,
the blue-clad figure
at the edge of the field,
the smoke still rising
from long dead fires"

She touches on losses that will(and has) hit us all:
"Open your eyes-
house as still as tombs.
It's a funny feeling, now,
I'll tell you.
You don't know a thing
till you've lost your mother."
--A Funny Feeling

From there you're taken to the Hell of abused women in, "Waiting For Daylight(for the Kentucky seven-women imprisoned for killing their abusers)". I can't mention and excerpt all the poems Anne has included in Appalachian Studies (and she wouldn't let me anyway)but just one more:
"Walking the roadside in August heat,
past the time of bloodroot
and spring beauties, past blackberry time,
not afraid anymore
of young men in cars passing,
invisible to them, a woman of fifty, fading,
in housedress and hiking shoes,
walking stick in one hand,
Field Guide to Wildflowers of Kentucky
in the other-"
--Late Blooming Flora

Appalachian Studies is a wonderful book of poetry and snippets of life in rural America. I really enjoyed it. Thanks Anne!

Bush's Baghdad Palace

So tell me again how Bushco's American occupation is better than Saddam? We've got Bush torture chambers, Bush cronys(everywhere), Bush death and destruction of innocents, and now Bush palace complexes with 15 foot thick walls.
From The Nation

Bush's Baghdad Palace

Among the many secrets the American government cannot keep, one of its biggest (104 acres) and most expensive ($592 million) is the American Embassy being built in Baghdad. Surrounded by fifteen-foot-thick walls, almost as large as the Vatican on a scale comparable to the Mall of America, to which it seems to have a certain spiritual affinity, this is no simple object to hide.
So you think the Bush Administration is planning on leaving Iraq? Read on.
According to Knight Ridder, "US officials here [in Baghdad] greet questions about the site with a curtness that borders on hostility. Reporters are referred to the State Department in Washington, which declined to answer questions for security reasons." Photographers attempting to get pictures of what the locals call "George W's Palace" are confined to using telephoto lenses on this, the largest construction project undertaken by Iraq's American visitors.
Nonetheless, we know much of what is going on in the place, where there will soon be twenty-one buildings, 619 apartments with very fancy digs for the big shots, restaurants, shops, gym facilities, a swimming pool, a food court, a beauty salon, a movie theater (we can't say if it's a multiplex) and, as the Times of London reports, "a swish club for evening functions." This should be ideal for announcing the various new milestones marking the trudge of the Iraqi people toward democracy and freedom.
USA Today has learned that the "massive new embassy, being built on the banks of the Tigris River, is designed to be entirely self-sufficient and won't be dependent on Iraq's unreliable public utilities." Thus, there will be no reason or excuse for any of the thousands of Americans working in this space, which is about the size of eighty football fields, to share the daily life experience of an Iraqi or even come in accidental contact with one.
Democrats demanding an exit strategy from Iraq are routinely derided by the Bush Administration as cowards who "cut and run." But if this Embassy plan is not a form of cut and run, what is it? Instead of cutting and making a run for Kuwait, they intend to cut and run into what amounts to the world's largest bunker, a capacious rat hole where they can wait in safety until all the Iraqis have killed one another or all factions unite, march on this air-conditioned citadel and slit the throats of its irrelevant inhabitants.
Read the whole thing:
Thanks to BoingBoing

Thursday, July 06, 2006

DANGER | Disappearing constitution

A nice little warning from Hellblazer and a well stated article from same. Found originally at needlenose.

Steal this Book

Abbie Hoffman's classic Steal This Book has made it to Wikipedia here:

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Bush's former henchman | Enron's Ken Lay found dead

BREAKING NEWS: Ken Lay Found Dead
From KWTX:
George W. Bush's favorite benefactor(till Enron collapsed)and thief of thousands of people's retirement funds:

Enron founder Kenneth Lay, who faced decades in prison after his conviction in the collapse of the energy giant, has died, CNN reported Wednesday morning.
Lay died in Aspen, Colo., evidently of a massive heart attack, according to wire reports.
After five days of deliberations in May, jurors in Houston convicted Lay and former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling in the 2001 collapse of the company.
Details are still coming out.
Found at Crooks and Liars but I'm sure it's everywhere by now.

Don't Turn Us Into Poodles

From NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF Don't Turn Us Into Poodles

.."The one thing worse than a press that is "out of control" is one that is under control. Anybody who has lived in a Communist country knows that. Just consider what would happen if the news media as a whole were as docile to the
administration as Fox News or The Wall Street Journal editorial page.

When I was covering the war in Iraq, we reporters would sometimes tune to Fox News and watch, mystified, as it purported to describe how Iraqis loved Americans. Such
coverage (backed by delusional Journal editorials baffling to anyone who was actually in Iraq) misled conservatives about Iraq from the beginning. In retrospect, the real victims of Fox News weren't the liberals it attacked but the conservatives who believed it."

Thanks to Welcome To Pottersville

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