31 January 2007

hoodoo voodoo...

keep it in mind...



ever been involved in a vindictive breakup?

keep this in mind if you find yourself in that predicament and you start to sweat.

i hope the beer doesn't taste like that...

30 January 2007

bounder vs flounder...

I would be a bounder if I didn't post this as I am a Mac-Addict and have been since the IIe. These ads are popping up as posts on Andrew Sullivan.com, The Conjecturer, and other blogs not only lauding the Mac but also as an example of how ads can be so much better in other countries.

You can find most all of them over at gizmodo.com.

Having grown up with British grandparents, I get what most Americans miss in British humor and subltey.

This one is may favorite from the series. check out the rest...




now tell me. wouldn't you rather have a mac?

just asking...

28 January 2007

wow...

i've managed to go almost more than an entire week without saying...

Impeach the bastard!

i'm impressed.

how about you?

just asking...



[of course, others are mentioning it now.]

mad...

the most incredible opera performance i ever saw was a production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor sung by Sumi Jo. It was also a total fluke.

i was in paris on one of my annual jaunts and had purchased ticket for the Opera Bastille. Each time i go to opera in paris it seems that something doesn't work right. once, i went when the country was having a rolling series of grêves, ie "strikes." each night a different type worker went on strike. One night it was the lighting people. another night it was the stage hands. it's always fun.

this night, of Lucia di Lammermoor, the entire main cast had the flu and couldn't perform. after all of the disappointment sighs from the announcement ended, the replacement cast was announced. Sumi Jo was going to sing the Lucia. There was instant excitement.

excitement was too mild of a term. this spectacle (the french word for "performance") was the most extraordinary happening i've ever been to hear. to this day, i still don't remember who was in the original cast.

Sumi Jo's portrayal in what is known as the mad scene brought about a 20 minute standing ovation in the middle of the opera. i had never been witness to this. american audiences are polite and will only applaude for a conservative amount of time. the europeans let a performer know when they have done something memorable. not only do they do it through extended applause but also, the ultimate, with the entire audience clapping in unison.

this night and this performance was by far the most incredible musical experience i've ever had.

so, i give to you Sumi Jo in the mad scene from Lucia di Lammermoor. Sadly, this is not the perfomance i saw. that was a once in a lifetime happening. it is splendid none the less.




gives a whole new meaning to mad, doesn't it?

new government seal...

Patriotic Condom


Official Announcement:
The U.S. Government today announced that it is changing its emblem from an Eagle to a CONDOM because it more accurately reflects the government's political stance.(?)

A condom allows for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of pricks, and gives you a sense of security while you're actually being screwed!

Damn, it just doesn't get more accurate than that.

the eagle has landed!

bloody buggery, if you ask me...


thanks, floyd

26 January 2007

addictive behavior...

Research has come up showing that addictions are controlled by a very specific part of the brain and can completely go away if it is damaged. A story in the New York Times, In Clue to Addiction, a Brain Injury Halts Smoking, lays out the basics:
Scientists studying stroke patients are reporting today that an injury to a specific part of the brain, near the ear, can instantly and permanently break a smoking habit. People with the injury who stopped smoking found that their bodies, as one man put it, “forgot the urge to smoke.”

All research in the field had been looking at areas of the brain's cortex. The injury in the case presented was to the insula that lies deep within the brain. The scientists seemed surprised.

Great news for some, not hopeful for others, especially for what has become the number one health concern in the US - obesity. It seems that the brain makes a very particular distinction:

The patients’ desire to eat, by contrast, was intact. This suggests, the authors wrote, that the insula is critical for behaviors whose bodily effects become pleasurable because they are learned, like cigarette smoking.

The article also makes a point that they're are not going to go around and injure people's brains to stop their addictions. BUT, aren't they already injured, or at least damaged?

As an amusing aside, a friend sent me this cartoon that befits the story and also reminded me of my all time favorite joke. Both follow below.

Dog BLA Anonymous

Two drag queens were waiting for the no. 141 bus on Broadway when a german shepard sat down next to them and began licking himself.

One of the girls noticed this and said to her girlfriend, "Wish I could do that."

Her friend looked down and replied, "Looks like a friendly dog. Go ahead..."

oh, my...

again, be careful what you wish for...

25 January 2007

je sais pas...



in north america, celine dion is thought of as mostly pop and fluff, especially since her las vegas arrangement. in europe, especially france, they know her beyond the pop and fluff.

i had never seen the video above until this morning but i have the The French Album and it is really great.

My favorite on the album is Vole. I chose it as the recessional for my sister's funeral and totally lost it when it started. If I can find a video of it I'll post it along with dion's story behind it's making.

in the meantime, i hope you enjoy je sais pas

i don't know...

24 January 2007

gratuitous blond joke...

been too serious lately; Constitutional issues have my dander up; meeting after meeting happening at school; and the countdown is at 29 days until i leave the world of work. i'm excited and frightened at the same time.

if you've been reading for a while, you'll remember that i have a penchant for blond jokes. This one could easily become my new favorite considering the content:

A georgous blond was driving round and round the block trying to find a parking space with no luck.

In desparation on what seemed like her 400th turn, she raised her eyes to heaven and prayed, "Lord, I'm really late for my meeting, If you can help me find a parking place, I'll go to church every Sunday, never drink tequila again and stop having sex."

Immediately, a parking space opened up in front of her.

Raising her eyes up to heaven again she said, "Never mind. I found one."


i almost wet my pants when i first heard this one. i couldn't stop laughing...

it goes to show - be careful what you wish for...

20 January 2007

conspiratorial elitism...

A quote from an interesting website - hatecrime.com:
Fully 60 percent of gays surveyed were college graduates, compared with 18 percent of the general population. This is not the profile of a group in need of special civil rights legislation in order to participate in the economy or to have an opportunity to hold a decent job. It is the profile of an elite. An elite whose insider status has permitted it to abuse the political process in search, not of equal opportunity, but of special privilege and public endorsement." - Joseph Broadus, religious right representative George Mason School of Law, testimony before US Senate Labor Committee, opposing legislation to protect gay Americans from job discrimination, July 29, 1994. [the bold section is mine]

With the Republican Foley debacle didn't we hear a lot about the so-called "Washington gay-elite" who were embedded in the highest echalons of Republican offices?

Interesting...

These elitists worked to destroy and block the phantom gay agenda for not just the "Grand Ole Party" but also the rightist-christianists and their real agenda. The elitists' work should have limited the chimeric gay agenda itself, of which these elitists are part. They were doing the work of the right to destroy any kind of equality, difference and originality.

Or is there greater malice and cabalistic planning behind all of this? Maybe, just maybe, the gay elitists in leadership positions really weren't functioning for the Republican party but actually were infiltrating the party as part of a vast gay agenda conspiracy. horrors. the plot of the gay agenda thickens...

Will Mitt Romney be able to assuage the fears that he really is gay-friendly? Will James Dobson attenuate the downfall of the rightist-christianist mission? Will John McCain convince them that he really is a true conservative Christian? Will Mary Cheney have a girl or a boy? Or twins, one of each? For the answers to these and many other perplexities be sure not to miss the next installment of this fascinating adventure...

Oh, wait, we've got 22 months before we know the answer.

As Katherine Hepburn playing Eleanor of Aquitane in the movie The Lion in Winter said,

Love, in a world where carpenters get resurrected,
anything is possible.

Or Bette Davis as Margo Channing in All About Eve
Fasten your seat belts. It's going
to be a bumpy night.

i have bachelor's & master's degrees. have i been sufficiently elitist with this post? just asking...



Note: The website hatecrime.org is interesting for itself. The quote above is from a page entitled "Nazi Anti-Jewish Speech VS.Religious Right Anti-Gay Speech." It compares quotes "from 'The Eternal Jew' with Christian conservatives' modern-day quotes about gay Americans." Take a look. It's really an eye-opener as to how close the language is between Hitler's regime and the language of the rightist-christianists. In some places it looks as if they are acually quoting the Nazi's.

scary...

19 January 2007

authoritarian criminal-cryptofascist intimidation...

speaking of Cheney.
A "perfectly legitimate activity" is how the vice-president described the government's most recently revealed intrusion into civil liberties - that of the Pentagon and CIA's snooping into financial records of "suspect" Americans - an intrusion that the New York Times bluntly reported is "barred... by law...."

To Cheney, the U.S. Constitution is an impediment to good government, what with all those bothersome, civilly liberating amendments and all.

Muscling Away Our Liberties by P.M. Carpenter

And behind all of this Cheney said that, "And if an institutiton that receives one of those national security letters [a written Pentagon or CIA demand for private financial records] disagrees with it, they're free to go to court."

Like that will happen. Or as Carpenter puts it in his article: It's a lot like Al Capone telling you you're free to buy your speakeasy beer from Bugs Moran.

where IS the outrage from our protectors? why are they waiting to rid us of "authoritarian criminal-cryptofascist intimidation?"

The Declaration of Independence, the Consititution and Bill of Rights were put in place by "the people" with the express intention of being protected from the tyrannies of George III and any further possibility of it happening again. Not so slowly anymore, we are seeing the tyrannies of George W eroding all that Jefferson, Adams, Madison etc. worked hard and couragously to secure. Everyone is tiptoeing around the obvious...

Impeach the bastard!

17 January 2007

troglodyte apologizes...

Charles D. "Cully" Stimson sent a letter to the Editor in the Washington Post apologizing for his remarks on attorneys for detainees.

A Pentagon official who criticized large U.S. law firms for representing terrorism suspects at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has apologized for his comments, saying that his discussion on a local radio program does not reflect his "core beliefs"....

"Regrettably, my comments left the impression that I question the integrity of those engaged in the zealous defense of detainees in Guantanamo," Stimson wrote. "I do not."

huh?

his core beliefs?

he doesn't "question the integrity of those engaged...?"

i repeat the money quote from the previous troglodyte post:
I think, quite honestly, when corporate C.E.O.’s see that those firms are representing the very terrorists who hit their bottom line back in 2001, those C.E.O.’s are going to make those law firms choose between representing terrorists or representing reputable firms, and I think that is going to have major play in the next few weeks. And we want to watch that play out.

what are his core beliefs? that the Constitution does not guarantee basic representation in legal matters? that not everyone has the right of haebeus corpus? that politics trumps all else?

who has the real integrity? not Stimson. he's a lout who has been given the task of dealing with legal matters for the federal government. a government whose main task is protecting the people.

mr. stimson - apology not accepted.

he still needs to be fired and as far as mr. bush

Impeach the bastard!

16 January 2007

what's going on here (part XVIa)...

can someone explain...

Yet Another Prosecutor Leaves
More fishiness with the U.S. Attorneys Office? U.S. Attorney for San Francisco Kevin V. Ryan is out, according to the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.). His office is handling the investigation into back-dating of stock options, among other high-profile cases.

U.S. Attorney Vacancies Spark Concerns
As the Bush administration enters its last two years, a number of U.S. attorneys are departing, causing concern that some high-profile prosecutions may suffer.

What's the White House Doing to Prosecutors?
During a floor speech on the topic moments ago, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said the White House has told her it was replacing from five to 10 Senate-confirmed U.S. attorneys with its own interim appointees.

Feinstein Speaks out on U.S. Atty Firings
Watch the video here: Sen. Feinstein on U.S. Attorney Appointments


WH Moved Swiftly to Replace US Attorneys
The administration is replacing U.S. Attorneys throughout the country. How'd they get that power?

It was an obscure provision in the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act, and it didn't take them very long to use it. The president signed it into law in March of last year -- by June, they were already moving to replace unwanted prosecutors.


and finally this from Joshua Micah Marshall in his Talking Points Memo
Okay, so we already know that the White House has now taken the unprecedented step of firing at least four and likely seven US Attorneys in the middle of their terms of office -- at least some of whom are in the midst of corruption investigations of Bush administration officials and key Republican lawmakers. We also know that they're taking advantage of a handy provision of the USA Patriot Act that allows the White House to replace these fired USAs with appointees who don't need to be approved by the senate.

Given that these new USAs are being plopped into offices currently investigating Republicans and other administration officials and others into states with 2008 presidential candidates, there's certainly ample opportunity for mischief.

aaye... there's the rub. it's happening in places investigating Republicans, the Bush administration AND in the home states of some potential presidential candidates for 2008.

more Constitutional crises...

can George W pardon himself before he leaves office?

just asking...




Impeach the bastard!


Sources: TPMmuckraker, Wall Street Journal, youtube.com, Talking Points Memo

15 January 2007

troglodyte...

Jonathon Hurley, Professor of Law, George Washington University, appearing on Olbermann tonight called Charles Stimson a troglodyte and for good reason. Here's the video.

and the moneyquote:
I think, quite honestly, when corporate C.E.O.’s see that those firms are representing the very terrorists who hit their bottom line back in 2001, those C.E.O.’s are going to make those law firms choose between representing terrorists or representing reputable firms, and I think that is going to have major play in the next few weeks. And we want to watch that play out.

actually this last line is not accurate. he actually said fun to watch.

King George W again makes King George III look like a liberal, democratic, progressive politician. He makes himself look more like Saddam...

we are in a real mess. each day this administration outlaws, or tries to outlaw, rights fought for centuries, even the Magna Carta.

i think it's time to say

Impeach the bastard!


Update: Jan 16, 2007, 5:33 pm

Andrew Sullivan makes a comment on this mess. However, he only asks for Stimson to be fired. He's only in place because of his boss, George W. It's not getting to the root of the overall problem.
He should be fired, if the deep damage that this administration has already done to the rule of law in America is not to be compounded. Andrew Sullivan/Daily Dish

A USA Today editorial weighed in also:
If the department's point man on detainees thinks the best use of his time and pulpit is stirring up resentment for detainee lawyers, he has a seriously skewed view of reality. America has huge problems at Guantanamo Bay. The presence of pro bono lawyers trying to ensure justice for detainees is not one of them. An Appalling Threat

The editorial also gives this addtional quote from Stimson that I missed:
In his interview with Federal News Radio, he (Stimson) suggested darkly that some of the firms "are receiving monies from who knows where, and I'd be curious to have them explain that."

Okay, I'll give Andrew a thumbs up on firing Stimson as a first step, then

Impeach the bastard!

14 January 2007

what's going on here (part XVI)...

can someone explain:

Pentagon, CIA check U.S. suspects' bank records
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon and to a lesser extent the CIA have been using a little-known power to look at the banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others suspected of terrorism or espionage within the United States, according to a published report....
The so-called national security letters permit the executive branch to seek records about people in terror and spy investigations without a judge's approval or grand jury subpoena. Government lawyers maintain the legal authority for such tactics is years old and was strengthened by the Patriot Act.

Privacy rights do not exist; excessive "search and seizures" are acceptable; the homeland is secure. There is no end to the attack of the fundamental reasons on which this country was founded. Actually, there is NO outrage. The complacency of the people is based on the majority of us not having anything real in jeopardy. Three-thousand dead service men and women is a small number compared to Vietnam, but Vietnam was at 3,000 dead one day and then it became more... and more... and more... and more...

i wonder if the draft was reinstated, as in vietnam, if it would make a difference? would the outrage start to swell? would young people having to go against thier wishes...? you finish the question...

Bush challenges skeptics over Iraq plan
WASHINGTON - President Bush on Saturday challenged lawmakers skeptical of his new Iraq plan to propose their own strategy for stopping the violence in Baghdad.
"To oppose everything while proposing nothing is irresponsible," Bush said.

Did I miss something? Wasn't there a proposal made back in November? get out! i wouldn't call that nothing...


Surge: US troops prepare for George Bush's Last Stand
Until now the focus of US action in Iraq has been the Sunni insurgency. The new strategy is to take on the Shia militias which, often in official uniforms, have operated death squads and carried out sectarian attacks on Sunnis and, at times, Christians. The main target of the Americans is said to be Muqtada al-Sadr, whose heavily armed Mehdi army is blamed for much of the communal strife. Any action against his fighters in Baghdad may lead to retaliation against British troops in the Shia south. There is also anxiety about the reaction of Iran, which backs the Shia militias.

the above from the British press; their view of the Iraqi situation in a nutshell.

Shia, Sunni, Irani, Syrian - the natives are amassing along fanatical sectarian lines.
sec·tar·i·an (sĕk-târ'ē-ən);
def: narrowly confined or limited in interest, purpose, scope, sect etc.
syn: bigoted, clannish, cliquish, dissident, doctrinaire, dogmatic, factional, fanatic, fanatical, heretical, heterodox, hidebound, insular, limited, local, narrow-minded, nonconforming, nonconformist, parochial, partisan, provincial, rigid, schismatic, skeptical, small-town*, splinter, unorthodox.

And to what will all this lead? Custer's Bluster: Custer's defeat shook the nation. "It's 1876, the 100th anniversary of the battle for independence. It's hugely symbolic and a major shock," says Richard White, a professor of history at Stanford University. "It's impossible for Americans to imagine a warrior culture defeating a modern army." Mysteries of History

what about Vietnam? just asking...


France Polishes Its Politesse
Despite a centuries-old obsession with behaving well, the French are constantly relearning how to do it, and the last few years have witnessed both the degradation of civility and manners and a revival of interest in them.

On one level disrespect for authority is on the rise. Cars are burned and garbage is thrown out of windows in the troubled gritty suburbs. Verbal and physical attacks against teachers in schools are more widespread than they were a few years ago. Commuters are hit, seats are slashed, graffiti is written on Paris Métro cars....

The Ministry of Education has made good citizenship part of the national curriculum in high schools. The Ministry of Transportation designates an annual “day of steering wheel courtesy” to encourage polite behavior on the road.

I tell friends who ask me for advice on getting on while visiting Paris that the French are one of the most polite people on the face of the earth. If you show them polity and respect, and try to speak a little French, they will become your best friend. Sadly, the French have been succombing to American ways in every day society. We are generally not a very polite society. Civility is hard to come by with a mock-war and a mock-president in power who loves to bully. Not very good role modelling. So the French could be onto something here. Maybe, besides training our kids in polity, we need a big refresher course, or Politeness 101, for the adults as well. whatta ya think?

thank you for your time and attention. Au revoir...

Sources: cnn.com, news.yahoo.com, Independent Online, thesauras.reference.com, U.S. News Online, New York Times

gratuitous blond joke...

I have a penchant for blond jokes. I know. They're cruel sometimes, but they are funny. My favorite is about the blond speeder and the blond motorcycle cop. This one may just become my favorite though -

A blonde was driving down the street in a
sweat because she had an important meeting
and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up
toward heaven, she said, "Lord, take pity on
me. If you find me a parking place, I will go to
Church every Sunday for the rest of my life
and give up sex and tequila."

Instantly, and miraculously, a parking place
appeared.

She looked up again and said, "Never mind,
I found one!"


i think god probably roared when she heard this one.

i'm bad.

i love it...

too important not to share...

Top Ten Favorite George W. Bush Moments

Maybe important is not the correct word to use in the title of this post, but it is appropriate. People ridiculed Gerald Ford's clumsiness. This man has him beat hands down. He's not just clumsy, he's a goof.

I have always explained to the kids the difference between ignorant and stupid as being, if you're ignorant, it just means that you don't know something. It's all right; you can find it out some way.

If you're stupid it means you know better and do it anyway.

One year one of my students asked, "Well, what's an idiot then?" The class came up with this definition after we thought about it:

An idiot is someone who's too stupid to know they're ignorant.


works for me. what about you?

12 January 2007

keep reminding me...

non-sequitur

a friend sent me this in an email. the old saying that history repeats itself may be old-hat, but it surely can be true. however, it don't think that history does repeat itself. i believe that humans don't learn from the past. the present and the future always seem to be a reinvention of the wheel. humanity keeps doing the same things over and over again.

do you think we'll ever learn?



here is wiley's page: wiley where you can find other cartoons by him.

10 January 2007

a long wait...

iPhone

Apple aficianodos have been waiting a long time for this, just as we've been waiting for a new version of the Newton. The latter we know will never happen. Palm took care of that. But the iPhone sounds like just the thing because it's an all-in-one. Not just a phone but camera, organizer, mini-computer apps, iPod, etc, etc, etc.

can i live without it? my friends already can give you an answer - NO Way! They know I can't resist little gadgets, especially from Apple. My first computer was a IIe. [Man, what I wouldn't give to still have that one.] I just bought a new MacBook and Video iPod. I have one of the original Cubes. The guys at the Apple store I frequent make me offers whenever I come into the store. They all want it. I wouldn't give it up. [Well, if the offers still keep going up, someday I might just be tempted. They must have a pool going to see which one will finally get it.]

And to add to the announcement of the iPhone, Apple stock went up $7.10! That alone gives me more than enough money to buy the iPhone. Yes, I'm a true Apple loyalist. Hardcore. Relentless. Unwavering.

i think that everyone should have a hobby.

what do you think mine is?

take a guess...


p.s. Apple also announced the apple tv.
It may just be more important than the iPhone. It's a setbox that has 40G of space and plays downloaded movies right on your television.

07 January 2007

what's going on here (part XV)...

Gay Icon Embraced By Anti-Gay Vatican
While the Vatican continues to condemn homosexuality, lobby against same-sex couple rights, and purge its seminaries of gays one of Pope Benedict's closest aides has published a book paying tribute to gay icon Oscar Wilde....
Fr. Leonardo Sapienza, the head of protocol at the Vatican and a close ally of the Pope, has compiled a book called "Provocations: Aphorisms for an Anti-conformist Christianity" that is chock full of Wilde quotes....
According to Sapienza Wilde is remembered more today for his plays such as "The Importance of Being Earnest" and "An Ideal Husband" as well as what Sapienza called Wilde's moral tales such as "The Picture of Dorian Gray" rather than for his promiscuity.

I'll let Oscar Wilde comment himself on this development:

I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being really good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.
--Oscar Wilde

Every great man has his disciples, and it is always Judas who writes the biography.
--Oscar Wilde
.

nuff said?


Archbishop quits, admits communist-era spying
WARSAW, Poland (Reuters) -- The newly-appointed archbishop of Warsaw resigned on Sunday after admitting he spied for Poland's former communist regime, in a major embarrassment for the Vatican and the powerful Polish Catholic Church....

The Vatican's diplomatic mission in Poland said in a statement that Wielgus was asked to resign.
A spokesman for the Polish episcopate said the legal basis for the resignation was a part of church law requiring a bishop to resign if he is "unable to properly exercise his office (and therefore) is strongly requested to submit his resignation."

okaaaay... First Oscar Wilde, now communist collaboration. What's the church coming to?


Revealed: Israel plans nuclear strike on Iran
ISRAEL has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.
Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters”, according to several Israeli military sources.

Let's get this straight. They are reporting that Isreal [though officially denying the rumor] is going to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities using nuclear weapons? bit of overkill, if this is the case. don't you think? And where is the US on all this? take a guess...


Interview with Heinz Dieterich:
"In Venezuela, Conditions for Building Socialism of the 21st Century Have Been Created"

Q. In short, what does this new socialism consists of?

A. In brief: a socialism in which the majorities have the greatest historically possible degree of decision-making power in the economic, political, cultural, and military institutions that govern their lives....

Q. In your opinion, has there been any socialist country in the modern era?

A. It depends on the criteria that are used for such judgment. As a scientific economist and sociologist, I prefer the parameters that Marx and Engels used: economy of value and participatory democracy. And under those criteria, there has been no socialist society since the French Revolution, although, yes, there have been many heroic and tragic attempts to achieve it.

Talk about putting the right-wingnuts on notice. "...no socialist society since the French Revolution...?" The Reign of Terror as socialism? What an intriguing idea. [Che may not have been that far off, after all.] Europe has been having a love-hate relationship with socializing certain aspects of the society since WWII - health care and work rules, basically. They have had their problems with it; yet they are not about to abandon socialism completely. Oh, and liberal/progressives in the US are in favor of guaranteeing minimum wages, universal healthcare, etc., while the right and corporate America are fighting it tooth and nail. what is the problem with providing guarantees that everyone have basic needs met so as to improve their lives? again, just asking...


finally, i couldn't pass this one up...

Self-Cleaning Underwear Goes Weeks Without Washing
Self-cleaning fabrics could revolutionize the sport apparel industry. The technology, created by scientists working for the U.S. Air Force, has already been used to create t-shirts and underwear that can be worn hygenically for weeks without washing.
The new technology attaches nanoparticles to clothing fibers using microwaves. Then, chemicals that can repel water, oil and bacteria are directly bound to the nanoparticles. These two elements combine to create a protective coating on the fibers of the material.
This coating both kills bacteria, and forces liquids to bead and run off.

No more need for Tide, Gain, Oxydol, Shout.... What must Proctor & Gamble think about this?

Sources: 365Gay.com, cnn.com, timesonline.uk, Monthly Review mrzineonline, LiveScience.com

it always comes down to money (II)...

Iraq oil contracts to be delivered on silver platter to Big Oil
from AMERICAblog.com:

And who says the war wasn't about oil? What good American wouldn't want to die for the honor and juicy contracts of Exxon, BP or Shell? At least they die knowing that they are securing the comfortable retirement plans of retired Big Oil CEOs. All of those Iraqis who are being killed every day must also be ecstatic over this deal which helps Big Oil realize their dreams and leaves the Iraqi people with the short end of the stick once again.
The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday. It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalised in 1972.

The huge potential prizes for Western firms will give ammunition to critics who say the Iraq war was fought for oil. They point to statements such as one from Vice-President Dick Cheney, who said in 1999, while he was still chief executive of the oil services company Halliburton, that the world would need an additional 50 million barrels of oil a day by 2010. "So where is the oil going to come from?... The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies," he said.

Oil industry executives and analysts say the law, which would permit Western companies to pocket up to three-quarters of profits in the early years, is the only way to get Iraq's oil industry back on its feet after years of sanctions, war and loss of expertise. But it will operate through "production-sharing agreements" (or PSAs) which are highly unusual in the Middle East, where the oil industry in Saudi Arabia and Iran, the world's two largest producers, is state controlled.
Where would we be without Big Oil and their many contributions to the world?

originally appearing in theindependent.uk

dis-donc?*

are we surprised?

just asking...

*loose French idiomatic translation - say what?

because a vision softly creeping...



A friend's son joined the Reserves. He is 20 years old. None of us really understands why he did this. We support his decision 100% though. He's almost completed all his training. With talk about a surge, he is now saying he is sure that he is going to have to go to Iraq. He is telling his friends that if he goes, he will die...

hello, darkness, my old friend...

Update: I just watched This Week on ABC. Near the end of the program, they do a section called In Memoriam. It lists the deaths of people this week who made a difference in the world. It always stops with the names of service members who died in Iraq this past week.

There were 13. The oldest was 26 years-old!

hello, darkness, my old friend...

05 January 2007

it always comes down to money...

never about what's right...

Reagan's story of freedom superficially alludes to the Founding Fathers, but its substance comes from the Gilded Age, devised by apologists for the robber barons. It is posed abstractly as the freedom of the individual from government control-a Jeffersonian ideal at the root of our Bill of Rights, to be sure. But what it meant in politics a century later, and still means today, is the freedom to accumulate wealth without social or democratic responsibilities and the license to buy the political system right out from under everyone else, so that democracy no longer has the ability to hold capitalism accountable for the good of the whole.

And that is not how freedom was understood when our country was founded. At the heart of our experience as a nation is the proposition that each one of us has a right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." As flawed in its reach as it was brilliant in its inspiration for times to come, that proposition carries an inherent imperative: "inasmuch as the members of a liberal society have a right to basic requirements of human development such as education and a minimum standard of security, they have obligations to each other, mutually and through their government, to ensure that conditions exist enabling every person to have the opportunity for success in life."

The quote comes directly from Paul Starr....

For America's Sake, By Bill Moyers, The Nation, 22 January 2007 Issue by way of truthout.org

Originally in the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson based the phrase "...life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness..." on the thoughts of John Locke:
The phrase is based on the writings of John Locke, who expressed a similar concept of "life, liberty, and estate (or property)". While Locke said that "no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions", Adam Smith coined the phrase "life, liberty, and the pursuit of property". The expression "pursuit of happiness" was coined by Dr. Samuel Johnson in his 1759 novel Rasselas.
Written by Thomas Jefferson, the words in the Declaration were a departure from the orthodoxy of Locke and Smith. Since Jefferson viewed the right to property, a concept tied to feudalism and such, as being potentially antithetical to liberty, he replaced the right to property with the right to the pursuit of happiness (Langguth).

WikepediA

Jefferson seems to have had the prescient forsight of what property/money could do to liberty. Combine this with President Eisenhower warning 185 years later about the military-industrial complex, the lessons unlearned from the Vietnam debacle and the Iraq/Halliburton civil war and what has history taught us?

A lot!

Are we learning from it? A good question.

Can we reverse it? Before the robber barons and gilded age.

Would we be going backward or forward? Depends on one's impression.

One final question - do we want to?

I want to...

do you?

just asking...

04 January 2007

what Republican would have thought to bring all of the children up to the podium?

just asking...

George III v George W

The rant by Rep Virgil Goode concerning Rep-elect Keith Ellison's wanting to use a Koran for his private swearing-in ceremony today keeps garnering attention. It's seems that Mr. Elison has decided to use a copy of the Koran that was in Thomas Jefferson's private library.

James S. Robbins on NRO's the Corner hints that Thomas Jefferson could be considered a terrorist sympathizer because he owned a copy of the Koran. [Jefferson's Koran]

All well and goode. However, Thomas Jefferson was one of the architects of US independence and the construction of the new government. For his major role in the independence movement from George III's England, he cited a litany of grievances against the actions of the king that put individual freedoms at risk.

wiscmass over at DailyKos has an entry that compares George III's actions with the actions of George W. Here is the moneyquote from his post:

For the still ignorant trolls, this document is known as the "Declaration of Independence." It is a document in which the fledgling United States of America declared their independence, throwing off the oppressive rule of another King George and declared to the world for the very first time that certain rights apply to everyone, regardless of political ideology. We may take such rights for granted now, over 230 years later, and a great many Americans pay no more than lip service to them, but the idea that everyone deserves equal rights and equal protection under the law is the fundamental bedrock of our national values.

Among other things, that means that a president may not declare himself above the law. He may not obstruct justice by declaring that he is not subject to Congressional subpoena. He may not circumvent the will of the legistlature by attaching signing statements to every bill, indicating that the bill shall be interpreted to mean something completely different from its intent. He may not wage indefinite war against the will of the people. He may not absolve murderers, thieves, and traitors of responsibility for their crimes merely because they were acting to further his own cynical, private agenda. He may not decide that certain individuals may be denied the right to a fair trial. He may not order the rendition of anyone to foreign soil for the purpose of torture. He may not ignore the destruction of a major American city. He may not use the vast resources of our country to injure the vast majority of us for the benefit of his select circle of cronies.

More relevant in this particular case, it means that no one may be restricted from engaging in the public sphere because s/he is not a Christian (of a certain variety). A Muslim may serve in Congress without having to swear an oath on the sacred text of someone else's religion. He may swear upon a Koran at his ceremony -- his private ceremony -- and it's nobody's damn business but his own.

Thomas Jefferson as a terrorist sympathizer by wiscmass

There are many, many Jefferson quotes about the role of Christianity (and religion per se) in history and government. None more to the point than these:

"No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever."
-Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

"Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the Common Law."
-letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, 1814

Our Founding Fathers Were Not Christians

how much more to the point can it be put?

i'd like to know...

03 January 2007

hearing voices...

In the past, the Rev Pat Robertson has made predictions that put Cayce, Nostrdamus, Jean Dixon, et al to shame: god will remove judges from SCOTUS; a tsunami would hit the coast of the US in 2006; Bush would succeed in passing Social Security reforms; the USSR in 1980 would invade several mideastern countries; Bush would win by a blowout in 2004; ad nauseaum...

This year in his one-0n-0ne with George Burns, errr, god, Rev Robertson has announced that god told him that there would be a large terrorist attack on the US sometime after September 2007.
I'm not necessarily saying it's going to be nuclear," he said during his news-and-talk television show "The 700 Club" on the Christian Broadcasting Network.

"The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that."

do you think he may be off his medication?

or

do you think he needs stronger medication?

or

do you think medicaiton would work?

you know the drill... just asking...

02 January 2007

what do you see...?

an old woman or a young girl?

young_or_old

this is an optical illusion from your amazing brain.org. Do you see both?

The explanation from the website:
The picture doesn’t change, but your brain interprets it in two different ways. When you look at something, your eye and brain must decide what it is in a split second. Your brain makes a ‘best guess’ and usually gets it right.

But this picture is ambiguous. Your brain can’t decide which is the best ‘best guess’, so the picture appears to flip between the two options.

Whether you see the old or young woman partly depends on where you look. Looking at the eye / ear provides strong evidence for the old woman, whereas looking more to the left of the picture provides strong evidence for the young woman, so that is who you see.

i can only see the young girl...

do you think that means anything?




for other Optical Illusions and amazing things about the brain go to the website - youramazingbrain.org. Great stuff. Working in education, I've always been interested in how the brain works. One of the newest areas of brain research is the area of cognitive neuroscience. It's really fasinating stuff.

01 January 2007

what's going on here (part XIV)...

Shooting of 6 at party may be hate crime
Two masked gunmen kicked open the side and back doors of a South Side home known as the "Gay House" and started shooting up a party there early Sunday morning.

tolerance? violence? diversity? Iraq? our great leader's influence? war mindset? Love thy neighbor...? just asking...

The shame of punishment as pornography
Nietzsche's warning that "he who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster" has seldom seemed more apt. The rhetoric of a war launched in the name of civilisation has degenerated into the cackling of a tricoteuse at the foot of the guillotine. We should be bloody ashamed.

tricoteuseguillotine_model

Purported to be the most humane form of execution - there is only a small cold tingling sensation when the blade touches the back of the neck according to Dr. Guillotine - it was not thought to be a cruel and unusual punishment. What punishment? The guillotinee is removed from all earthly pains, problems and stresses. Saddam knew he could never return to the life he once had. His country is in shambles. He was older. He was not in the best of health. He was defiant right up until the end. He had nothing to loose. He already lost it all. On the other hand, what do the Shia and Sunni have to gain with his execution? The antics by the people witnessing the execution were obscene - dancing, chanting, applauding. Aren't they the ones stuck in a centuries-old conflict that has no immediate settlement with which they are unwilling to deal? just asking...

Overlooked Stories of 2006: Scientists Prove That Homosexuality Is Natural
Here's an overlooked story of 2006: Museum-goers were finally exposed to the widespread evidence that homosexuality is a naturally-occurring phenomenon throughout the animal world. Scientists have long known that many animals exhibit homosexual behavior, but a popular museum exhibit finally gave the general public the chance to learn all about it for themselves.

Oh, wait. That museum exhibit was in Norway. You aren't too likely to see something like that in this country any time soon. The censorship that the fundamentalist lobby exercises over American museums is so powerful they're afraid to discuss evolution, much less something as inflammatory (for them) as homosexuality.

Yes, wait. there's more...

HOW OLD IS THE GRAND CANYON? PARK SERVICE WON’T SAY — Orders to Cater to Creationists Makes National Park Agnostic on Geology
Washington, DC — Grand Canyon National Park is not permitted to give an official estimate of the geologic age of its principal feature, due to pressure from Bush administration appointees. Despite promising a prompt review of its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood rather than by geologic forces, more than three years later no review has ever been done and the book remains on sale at the park, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

“In order to avoid offending religious fundamentalists, our National Park Service is under orders to suspend its belief in geology,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. “It is disconcerting that the official position of a national park as to the geologic age of the Grand Canyon is ‘no comment.’”

AND...

My New Year's Eve Dream About Fundamentalist Atheism (And a Word About Mom)
The fundamentalist atheists are an active and highly vocal subset of atheists who object to a great many things, not the least of which is being described as 'fundamentalist atheists.' But here's why I still think it's the right term:

They're dogmatic. Their movement is based on a piece of dogma which can't be challenged without enraging them. It's sociological and historical in nature, not theological, and can be summed up as follows:

"Humans would be better off if religion in all forms was eradicated."

Why would natural homosexuality, an ageless Grand Canyon, and fundamentalist atheism have anything in common? Think about it. is there no end to the low level of tolerance? you got it - just asking...

Sources: suntimes.com, telegraph.co.uk, Night Lite, PEER: (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility), The Huffington Post

happy new year...



the first time i heard this song played at the stroke of midnight on a new year's eve i realized it was a much happier and more appropriate song than "auld ange syne."

what say you?


bonne nouvelle année...