a left leaning political blog -- it's not really about pie
a political blog, mostly, with a few cat pictures

Saturday, August 31, 2002

Thanks, Guardian Unlimited for mentioning my blog on the "news and politics blogs we liked" page.

They said my blog is a "Bright, intelligent blog on current affairs." I am speechless.

This is something I posted to my (now defunct) other blog. If you are one of my 2 bookmarkers you may have already seen it.

State of CA Finally takes action against endangered species killers

Today I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at The front page of the LA Times California section. The picture showed some slime ball being led off in handcuffs, and the headline said "Probe nets captain of fishing boat."

I've been waiting for this for a while.

I used to work as a volunteer at a nearby wildlife rehab place. We took in mostly birds, and being near the pacific, a lot of sea birds -- primarily the brown pelican, which is endangered. The sea birds that we saw were often injured by fishing hooks. I eventually had to quit, and I realize now that it was just too depressing to cope with. One time some fuckhead was catching seagulls on the beach and trying to twist their wings off (gulls are actually really easy to catch.) We had people patrolling the beaches. There must have been 15 birds come in on one day. People at the center were crying.

The "party boat" industry is huge here. People come here to fish for fun. The party boat owners don't like wildlife, which, like the fishing industry, are in competition with them for the fish. Party boats generally disregard all fish and game regulations, and they have always gotten away with it. Party boats also attract gulls, pelicans and sea lions like moths to the flame. If an animal swallows a hook and dies, all the better. More fish for the party boats.

The party boat owners should never have encouraged people to break the law. Passengers who had caught their limit were encouraged to keep on fishing, or to keep the fish that were too small for bait, instead of throwing them back as the law requires. They distributed illegal equipment to the fishermen. There were some complaints. I'm sure that people also complained about the brutal treatment of the seals and pelicans as well, which has got to be disturbing at best. (They are supposed to use small explosives to scare away the birds and sea mammals, or move somewhere else.) The article said "one San Diego boat reportedly hooked 150 brown pelicans and still did not relocate to a safer fishing spot." That's 150 dead endangered pelicans, you stupid motherfucker -- some of which I worked really hard to keep alive the last time you hooked them.

Go, California fish and game. It's about fucking time.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

And then there's this:

Ecological decline 'far worse' than official estimates

Monday, August 26, 2002

I will never be one to defend Ashcroft, but. . .

At the time of the anthrax attacks, I had my own theory as to who the perp might be, and what their motivations were. I noted that they were actually sending out a very limited number of letters. They could easily have sent out a few more if they just wanted to terrorize. They were restraining themselves for some reason. Maybe their motivations were to teach the government a lesson - that they had better get ready for the inevitable bioterror attack, or lots of people will die. What better way to force the government to prepare, than to do exactly what the perp did? (It worked, too.)

I hadn't realized it until reading this article from American Prospect, but Steven Hatfill, the DOJ's "person of interest," fits that profile perfectly:

Indeed, Hatfill has been offering the press warnings about bioterror-attack scenarios for several years. His first high-profile media moment came shortly after April 24, 1997, when an 8-by-10-inch manila envelope oozing red gelatinous goo was delivered to the offices of B'nai B'rith International in Washington, D.C....

...A flurry of press attention followed. Among the reports was a piece in The Washington Times by a contributor named Fred Reed. "A sort of terrorism that hasn't gotten a lot of attention, but may yet, is bio-terrorism," Reed wrote in the article, published August 11, 1997. He continued:

A fellow I know is Steve Hatfill, a medical doctor with years of experience in the Third World, and therefore with the diseases to be found there. What would happen, he wonders, if terrorists, with or without the support of governments like Iraq's, tried to use diseases as biological weapons against America? How would they do it? Dr. Hatfill has thought carefully about bio-terrorism. He made some intriguing points. To wit: There exist at least four reasonably distinct levels of possible biological attack.

The first is the B'nai B'rith variety, in which no real organisms are used.("Hello. This is Abdul. We have put anthrax in the food at Throckmorton Middle School." In fact, Abdul hasn't.) We empty public buildings for bomb threats. How about for anthrax threats? After all, sooner or later one might be real.

The second level consists in the release of real bacteria or viruses, but without the intention of infecting many people. For example, a bad guy might spray plague bacteria around the men's room in the World Trade Center. Probably only a few people would get it, and perhaps none would die -- but it would take only one plague case to shut down the entire building, especially if the bug had been sprayed on several floors.

The same year, Hatfill posed for a photo in his kitchen, decked out in an Army supply gas mask and protective body gear made of white trash bags. The photo appeared in Insight magazine's January 26, 1998, special issue on bioterrorism preparedness. An accompanying caption asserted that a determined terrorist could grow deadly plague harvested from wild prairie dogs, and process the germs using household supplies purchased from a grocery story, nurtured in a broth culture heated carefully in his own oven.

There's more interesting stuff in the article.

Sunday, August 25, 2002

The Problem with West Nile Virus

is not that it is killing people. The odds of that a mosquito that's biting you has west nile virus, even in Louisiana, is near zero. And if the virus is passed on from the mosquito, the odds that you will develop symptoms is about %10. Driving is far more dangerous than being bit by mosquitoes, yet no one is driving any less. In some places people won't even leave their homes any more.

What concerns me is that there has been talk of draining wetlands to kill all the mosquitoes -- which of course would kill huge numbers of birds. Also, environmentalists in Louisiana are noting record breaking use of pesticides, which can't be good for people or wildlife.

We know that people don't understand statistics. If they did, no one would buy lottery tickets. As this virus spreads, people are not going to understand their odds of getting this disease, and they will begin demanding all sorts of crazy solutions. A disease that is less virulent than the flu could become the environmental disaster of the decade.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

August 21 marks ten years since the federal government’s siege on the home of Randy Weaver and his family at Ruby Ridge in Idaho

The Weavers have disappeared down an Orwellian memory hole for most Americans. . . Randy Weaver is still vilified by major media and so-called liberals for his "crimes and strange beliefs." Those crimes and strange beliefs include distrust of your government.

I've always wondered why liberals like to ignore what happened at Ruby Ridge. Okay, the guy was a member of the Aryan Nation, but still. Liberals like gun control, but those further to the left realize that we can't have a government (law enforcement and military) that has all the weapons. You might need to protect yourself from them someday. I love that Clash song that says "When they kick out your front door/How you gonna come?/With your hands on your head?/Or on the trigger of your gun?" Now, I've met Joe Strummer and he's no conservative. (I know, pick up that name you've just dropped, etc. Well, still, it's pretty cool to have met someone like that, eh?)

If you're a liberal in favor of gun control, please tell me why.

Sunday, August 18, 2002

It's my blog, and I can post whatever I want.

Even cute pet pictures:

That's enzo, holly and hanna. Try and guess what movies their names came from.

Saturday, August 17, 2002

The LIHOP theory (let it happen on purpose)

This is a good article about that attorney who's bringing a class action suit against president chimpy and friends.

Hilton's suit charges Bush and his administration with allowing the September 11th attacks to take place so as to reap political benefits from the catastrophe. Hilton alleges that Osama bin Laden is being used as a scapegoat by an administration that ignored pressing warnings of the attack and refused to round up suspected terrorists beforehand. Hilton alleges the ultimate motivation behind these acts was achieved when the Taliban were replaced by American military forces with a regime friendly to America and its oil interests in the region.

Found on metafilter.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

This is not timely at all, but I forgot to write about it when it happened. I picked up some old newspapers that were laying around today and there was an article in the LA Times about Karen Hughes, titled "A Woman's Place."

Here is someone that I have absolutely no respect for. She held a job --oh, what was her job title? Oh yes, it was "The most powerful woman in the entire universe, ever," that's right. She got lots of respect and media attention for giving up her position as "the most powerful woman in the universe, ever" because of the reason she gave up her job -- to be a mommy.

Why do I refer to her as the most powerful woman ever? Chimpy has the brains of a turnip, and he needs alot of good advisors to help him. Often the advisors have conflicting opinions and Chimpy needs help sorting things out. Karen Hughs was the person that he turned to for that. She also had a knack for writing good speeches that appealed to emotion rather than intellect, such as the post 911 "go home and hug your kids" speech -- the kind of speeches that get people elected.

Few would argue the degree of power that her Washington DC position conferred upon her. But why leave a job that would be considered the pinnacle of accomplishment in her chosen field? To be a mommy? To a fifteen year old? Please, I know some fifteen year olds, and they do not need their mommies so much, except to drive them places. I think Karen had enough money to work that out some how. And what an embarrassment for him. Mommy has to give up her very important job, so that he can get more hugs!

I think a big part of the problem is that "Mr Mommy" would rather go back to work, so that he could have a little self respect. It's hard to respect yourself when all you do is stay at home all day taking care of kids (not that I would know.)

I have a feeling that we have not seen the last of Karen. Soon the young'un will have his drivers license, and she will be needed to write those all important "feel good" campaign speeches for the 04 election. She'll be back. After all, what's more important, her influence on policy, or helping to insure a second term -- in which Chimpy can really go nuts?

I wanted to take a moment to thank a couple of people -- really excellent writers -- who, for some reason, link to me. Skippy is a good and prolific writer. I am amazed at the quantity of very good writing he puts up every single day. The same goes for Kevin over at Lean Left.

I aspire to be as good as they are.

Also, as I have said before, if you are not reading This Modern World every day you are missing out. Tom is working on an animation project with Michael Moore. That should be something to look forward to.

(I am pretty much a liberal democrat on most days, and wouldn't vote for Nader if you paid me, but I still appreciate those green party guys very much.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Here's a link I got from Scoobie Davis Online.

It's about the faux election of president chimpie. It made me mad.

In the mean time, one of my birds is very sick and may die, so I don't feel like writing much. Back soon.

Friday, August 09, 2002

Feel the Heat -- A Realistic Scenario of Global Warming for the Not-Too-Distant Future by Mark Hertsgaard

Below is the text of an Oval Office address delivered on Aug. 4, 2007, by President John S. McCain. The speech comes five years after the administration of George W. Bush advised Americans to adapt to global warming rather than change their consumption patterns. In 2004, Bush lost the Republican presidential nomination after popular anger about lost retirement funds and Bush's past business dealings left him vulnerable to challenge from McCain.

Good evening.

My fellow Americans, this is the third time this summer I've spoken to you from the Oval Office. Our national emergency continues, and it's urgent that you know how we are responding and how you can help.

As you know, much of our beloved homeland has been literally on fire this summer. Many of you have watched on television these past days as firefighters have bravely fought the blazes engulfing Yellowstone National Park. Unfortunately, I received word this afternoon that most of the park will have burned to the ground within the next 48 hours.

This tragedy will bring to 12 million the number of acres lost to fire nationwide this summer, and August has barely begun. Therefore, tonight I am issuing an executive order closing all national parks until further notice. I apologize for disrupting any vacation plans, but we simply must do all we can to deter additional loss.

The fires stem from the brutal heat and drought that have made all of us so miserable this summer. Here in Washington temperatures have topped 90 degrees on 50 of the last 60 days. On 25 days, it has been over 100. I am profoundly grieved to report that heat-related deaths across the nation have reached 3,147. Most victims have been elderly city dwellers who lacked air conditioning. Mrs. McCain and I extend our deep sympathies to the families, and I ask you to hold them in your prayers.

The heat has brought a new affliction as well. The Centers for Disease Control has confirmed an outbreak of dengue fever in southern Florida and is investigating two more potential cases in New Orleans. Quarantines have been established, and vaccinations will soon be available. Please, cooperate with authorities to limit the spread of this deadly disease.

Our farmers have suffered as cruelly as anyone. Much of the Midwest is a parched dust bowl, the year's harvest is projected to be down 40 percent.

To save farmers from bankruptcy, I urge Congress to expand the emergency farm supports proposed in my last speech. To deter a doubling of global food prices, and the political unrest that can bring, I authorize tonight the release of 80 percent of our remaining grain reserves. I also appeal to other large producing nations to help stabilize the markets.

As you know, the drought has forced us to ration water in 38 of the 50 states. I know this has been difficult. I know that not being able to bathe or shower every day is unpleasant in this heat. Unfortunately, the drought persists, so we have no choice but to tighten the rationing still further. No one gets exempted except hospitals and other emergency facilities. Starting next week, industrial, agricultural, and residential users alike will experience an additional one-third reduction in water supply. So, if you now bathe or shower every second day, next week it will be every third.

Ironically, at the same time we're rationing water, we are expecting drenching rains on parts of the East and Gulf coasts as hurricane season gets underway. Our meteorologists warn me that this year's storms may be even more ferocious than last year's. So please understand: Many coastal areas may be declared off limits in the coming weeks. Please respect any traffic blockades. They are not meant to ruin your vacation but to keep you and your family safe.

As an old military man, I believe the first rule of combat is, ''Know your enemy.'' After extensive consultations with my staff and with top specialists from around the world, I am now convinced that our real enemy is not the heat, the drought, or the fires. They are mere symptoms. Our real enemy is global warming. Humanity has pumped enormous amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouses gases into the atmosphere, and we are beginning to pay the price.

I know some of my Republican friends may find this analysis hard to hear. For years, some in our party have insisted global warming is nothing more than liberal claptrap intended to reduce America's standard of living. I wish it were that simple. But there is nothing liberal or conservative about global warming. It is basic science, and the events of this summer illustrate how it is already making a mockery of our standard of living.

No one would wish for the kind of summer we are now enduring, but perhaps it will wake us up to the truth about global warming.

This year has been the hardest, but the fact is that killer droughts, heat waves, forest fires, and super-storms have afflicted us in six of the last seven summers. That is exactly what scientists have said global warming would look like.

It just seems to have arrived more quickly than expected. Five years ago, the snows on Mount Kilimanjaro were projected to melt by 2017. Now, the target date has been advanced to 2010. If global sea levels rise as fast as Kilimanjaro's snow melts, some of our most precious coastal areas - Cape Cod, New Orleans, the Florida Keys, and parts of the National Mall here in Washington - could be under water within our lifetimes. And of course the brutal droughts, storms, and heat waves will only get worse.

So what do we do?

Tonight I appeal to the Congress and the nation to launch what I call a Green Deal for America. Joining me in this appeal, I'm happy to say, is my old friend, Senate Majority Leader John Kerry. Senator Kerry and I have fought many environmental battles together but none so critical as this.

The Green Deal for America is a government-led but market based program to shift our nation away from carbon-based fuels like oil and coal and replace them with solar, wind, and hydrogen. To begin, the government will entirely stop subsidizing the carbon-based fuels that only make global warming worse.

Instead, those billions will be converted into subsidies for green energy, such as consumer tax credits to help solarize your house.

To further help tip the markets in a green direction, the government will redirect its own purchasing power. For example, Washington will tell Detroit that from now on the 60,000 vehicles we buy every year for official use must be hydrogen-fueled. We will ask state and local governments to do the same. The economies of scale that flow from those orders should enable the car manufacturers to bring down the price of hydrogen vehicles to where average consumers can afford them.

The second part of the Green Deal for America attacks the trickiest part of the global warming problem: its long lag time. The trouble is, carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for approximately 100 years. That means that even if we switched to a non-carbon energy system overnight, the planet would keep warming for decades. So, it's not enough to stop adding carbon to the atmosphere. We must also extract as much of what's already there as possible. The fastest, easiest way to do that is to plant trees. By the miracle of photosynthesis, trees inhale carbon dioxide like we inhale oxygen.

So, the Green Deal will aim to plant 300 million trees, one for each American, within the next five years. The government will pay for the trees and equipment. Volunteers, organized in Green Brigades, will do the actual planting. I hope young people in particular will consider signing up.

With a Green Deal for America, our nation can kick the carbon habit within 10 years and perhaps escape the worst effects of global warming. Investing in green energy sources produces more jobs and higher profits, not less. This program is good for workers, it's good for business, and it's essential to our future.

My fellow Americans, we face one of the greatest tests in the history of our nation. But I have no doubt we can meet this challenge. I hope you will join me and Senator Kerry in working to pass a Green Deal for America. It's no silver bullet, but it will be a great help as we fight to restore our homeland and secure the future our children and grandchildren deserve.

Good night, God bless you, and God bless America.

Monday, August 05, 2002

Friendly fire deaths linked to US pilots 'on speed'

Also, according to this article "Pilots refer to Dexedrine as "go-pills." The sleeping pills they are given, called Ambien (zolpidem) and Restoril (temazepam), are referred to as "no-go pills.""

They are locking people up and throwing away the key for the possesion of small amounts of marajuana, yet the military is handing out uppers and downers to pilots.

It would be different if the drugs didn't have side effects. Amphetamines can cause inability to concentrate, and/or make you feel spaced out. This page says that "Amphetamines have been extensively abused. Tolerance, extreme psychological dependence, and severe social disability have occurred." And, "People who abuse amphetamines and other stimulants--usually in attempts to lose weight or stay awake for prolonged periods--often find that a dose that had worked for a while is suddenly ineffective and they need a higher dose. They then become "tolerant" to the higher dose and have to increase the dose again. Soon, the person is addicted to the drug. Stopping it suddenly leads to a severe withdrawal reaction characterized by bad depression and extreme fatigue. Suicides have been reported in people who suddenly stop taking amphetamines."

I can tell you myself that the "no-go pills" are worse. I took ambien for 2 nights and experienced a complete personality change. It scared me. I lost at least 50 IQ points in that time. I couldn't remember a thing. I was a different person.

I wonder is those murders in Fort Bragg have anything to do with soldiers withdrawing from drugs.