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Radically Inept
Saturday, June 19, 2004
  Tom Harkin is prejudiced against...Fat People

I know, a title like that is straight from the pages of yellow journalism, but I wanted to get your attention. This will be another light blogging weekend. In fact, I'm getting ready to do the Saturday gathering, and then head to the American Legion for a bar-b-q, and yeah, I'll probably consume a few beers. Tomorrow we clean the house so it's a little more presentable since my parents are coming back from China Monday evening, and staying here. We have to get up the dog fur. We have three dogs, but Cat is the big shedder. She's part Chow (black tongue, curled tail) and we think part German Shepard and Part Chocolate Lab. I think she sheds her body weight in fur monthly. More of a fur factory, than just a dog named Cat.

Anyway, the reason for this post-As usual I got caught up in the ongoing drama that is the senate on C-SPAN, yesterday, and got to watch Senator Tom Harkin (D)Iowa announce that he would soon be introducing a comprehensive health bill. It's billed as a COMPREHENSIVE WELLNESS INITIATIVE TO FIGHT CHRONIC DISEASE, OBESITY:
"Promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing chronic disease will not be accomplished quickly or simply. Achieving these goals will require a comprehensive approach that, rather than focusing on sickness, encourages healthy lifestyles and integrates healthy choices into individual's daily lives," Harkin said. "The HeLP America Act of 2004 provides all sectors - child care centers, schools, workplaces, and communities -with the tools they need to reach the goal of making America a healthier place."
I think this may be very timely, and I think it is necessary for national security purposes. How is it a national security issue? If we had to call up every able-bodied citizen in a time of crisis, currently, 30% probably couldn't walk a mile, much less carry a pack or work when they got to their destination. We are in trouble.

Well, since this is what I enjoy doing, I'm going to read the bill when it gets put on the record, and I'll present my analysis, as I plod my way through what looked like on TV, 200 page bill. So what, you say? 200 pages of legalese is not like reading a 200 page Tom Clancy novel. The plots in both tend to be weak, and neither does character development very well, but at least Clancy throws in some action, which give you something to read for. Bills tend to drag on and on.

Well, off to do recycles and the rest.

 
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Friday, June 18, 2004
  Make mine an ENRON with a Halliburton chaser, Barkeep.

See, that's what I wonder: Is Haliburton gooing to go the way of enron.com? Can Haliburton survive the scrutiney? Can Cheney? I mean Cheney has said some interesting things in the past (Warning: that's a RealPlayer link, and Cheney part starts at 2:47 min into the almost 4 min tape). And this morning I started drinking early at the Whiskey Bar and Billmon was serving Haliburton Cleans House on the rocks. His links are solid, and the comments pretty informative.

An Aside: Patriotism/Sychronicity on the rise? I noticed whilst going back to link to the Whiskey Bar, the Billmon had titled his next post following this one, Whiskey Bar: My Country 'Tis of Thee, and I had used "My Country 'Tis of Thee, Sweet land of liberty So, why am I scared?" just a little earlier.

Then think about it. Can Haliburton survive the scrutiney? Would it not be totally ironic if at the end of the day, if these fiascos either engender a share holder uprising, or even force them into bankruptcy? Either would force greater transparency in Haliburton's business practices, which, due to how integral Halliburton's business is to the whole petroleum industry, would lead to geater transparency of the whole industry; one whose business dealings have conducted behind closed doors since the days Rockefeller.

Update: 06/20/04 0917hrs. The troll named Harry provided this link: Cheney, Halliburton to be Sued over Alleged Accounting Fraud:
A legal watchdog group says it plans to file a shareholders lawsuit Wednesday, alleging U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and a company he ran for five years engaged in accounting fraud.

The lawsuit by Judicial Watch will charge that actions by the Halliburton Company, Mr. Cheney and other directors of the firm resulted in the overvaluation of company shares, deceiving investors.
But I wonder if we have to weight until Cheney is not actively runing the country before things can move quickly. Tried this Google Search: lawsuit halliburton and up comes some interesting info.




 
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  So much info, so little time to blog - Let's talk leaking ship

Trying to catch up on my reading lists real quick, but I should have known to avoid TomDispatch, but he does such good work, he makes blogging his material unresistable.

And he addresses an issue I was thinking about just yesterday (albight he wrote this on Tuesday), 'what's happened to the Baby Bush administration? They had such a reputation as an impenetrable fortress, with rigid information discipline, and now this:
"This, of course, takes us not only to the top of the administration, but back to the brink of the -- if I dare put it this way -- Ur-moment in the setting up of what would become our offshore mini-gulag, those months right after the 9/11 attacks when the Bush administration began to set their system in place on the fly and, as Suzanne Goldenberg of the British Guardian reported recently, on key issues without initially even consulting White House or Pentagon lawyers.
'In one instance, President George Bush's military order of November 13 2001, which denies prisoner-of-war status to captives from Afghanistan and allows their detention without charge or access to a lawyer at Guant�namo, was issued without any consultations with Pentagon lawyers, a former Pentagon official said� The military order issued by Mr Bush in November 2001 was the first such directive since the second world war, and the administration's failure to seek the Pentagon's advice on what would emerge as the entire system of detention at Guantonamo surprised Pentagon officials.'
Add it all up -- only what's been revealed so far -- and you have a global system of injustice and torture, purposely mounted in the moral and legal darkness, beyond the reach or oversight of anyone but the President, vice-president, secretary of defense and associated officials, meant to extract information (and take revenge), meant as in Kafka's fictional penal colony to write the sentence these men had passed on the bodies of America's captives.

And talk about paper trails! If you need any evidence of the combination of arrogance, incompetence, and plain stupidity of the Bush administration, it now sits unavoidably before our eyes. Didn't they know anything about deniability? Didn't they know that you can get so much done without committing anything to paper? Didn't they know that you can signal what you want from the top without issuing orders, making direct demands, or demanding supporting opinions on paper?

Note two things here: That almost all of the above, this whole little global shop of horrors, is already documented -- quite literally in papers pouring out of the bowels of this administration. These documents are leaking daily from an administration that seems to have split open along many angry rift lines. The British Telegraph this week, writing of the leaking of a legal document on torture to the Wall Street Journal commented, for example:
"The leak appears to be part of an extraordinary civil war in the Pentagon between civilian officials and uniformed officers appalled by what they have described as moves by political appointees to shroud the war on terrorism in an ‘environment of legal ambiguity'."
Some in the military, the intelligence community, the State Department, administration legal offices, and possibly even the Justice Department opposed the creation of our mini-gulag and the kinds of interrogations and conditions planned for it; some simply feared what the illegality might do to them or their careers, including evidently Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers who fretted that he might become "a target for prosecution under laws governing prisoner treatment"; some are undoubtedly settling scores; others protecting tattered reputations; but it's now close to open season on the administration from within.
At one point, he has an imbedded link to this article, CBS News-Prison Officer Says He Felt Heat, and I was amazed. The Teflon prez is turning into a magnet. Okay, maybe not a strong magnet yet, but as polarized as this country is, he could become a victim of mass attraction [almost works]. I mean CBS News has a web site w/ all this info on it already, and with more seemingly more high voltage material coming daily, the prez won't be able to remain cling free [worse].

Couple this with the WHOLE Halliburton/Cheney Probe thing, we may see some serious problems coming for this gang of thieves and sadists. {thanks to sukabi at the Whiskey Bar for the great link). More on Billmon's coverage in the next post. 
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  My Country 'Tis of Thee, Sweet land of liberty So, why am I scared?

This just came in from via Chocolate Morphine with this comment "Soviet Union, NAZI Germany, Cuba, Pinochet’s Chile, Iraq, etc., all these totalitarian regimes have used their military for domestic purposes… this is a step in the wrong direction for the U.S.":
MSNBC - Intelligence: The Pentagon-Spying in America?:
"June 21 issue - Last February, two Army counterintelligence agents showed up at the University of Texas law school and demanded to see the roster from a conference on Islamic law held a few days earlier. Their reason: they were trying to track down students who the agents claimed had been asking 'suspicious' questions. 'I felt like I was in 'Law & Order',' said one student after being grilled by one of the agents. The incident provoked a brief campus uproar, and the Army later admitted the agents had exceeded their authority. But if the Pentagon has its way, the Army may not have to make such amends in the future. Without any public hearing or debate, NEWSWEEK has learned, Defense officials recently slipped a provision into a bill before Congress that could vastly expand the Pentagon's ability to gather intelligence inside the United States, including recruiting citizens as informants."
You know, I never lived in East Germany, but I visited a few times, and travelled through alot. It was always a little eerie, the Duty Train was only allowed to travel at night, and when we would stop at towns on our way through, therre was always guards w/ machine guns patrolling the platforms. I don't want to live like that. And this from further in the article:
A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee says the provision would allow military intel agents to "approach potential sources and collect personal information from them" without disclosing they work for the government. The justification: "Current counterterrorism operations," the report explains, which require "greater latitude ... both overseas and within the United States."
On the bright side, Baby Bush has so over committed the military, that I'm not sure how many people they have to provide domestic security? And wouldn't it make some sense to allow Homeland Security to do this? Than we could, maybe, train the military agents to speak, oh, I don't know, Arabic? They don't appear to be very effective in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc...What makes anyone think they'll be all that effective here?

Screw that. I don't want the military policing Americans. This is how it can start. Build the fear in the people, they give up their rights for security, and we wind up a police state.

No thanks.

 
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  Just an article and some eye candy (no, not that kind of eye candy)

Via the Modulator comes these two related links. The first link, Site R, partially answers question "5) Where is Dick Cheney today? ? 1:01 AM" of the 7 original Radically Inept questions.

The second link is to Sadly, No!: It's secure, it's undisclosed, ..., which has an excellent piece of flash, but the download speed when I viewed it was a little slow. It's 6megs...But you should watch it anyway - the Dick no one knows, and no one loves.

I know, my views are slightly slanted because I don't know Dick 
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Thursday, June 17, 2004
  Serious analysis of the "full sovereignty" being granted Iraq

Another excellent analysis at TomDispatch, Tomgram: Schwartz on symbolic sovereignty in Iraq. It is lengthy, and surprise!! It's a fantasy. No, not Tomgram: Schwartz Piece, the IDEA that we are actually granting Iraq anything other than a long term occupation supporting a puppet government is a fantasy. [here I would add that the US media is reporting this fantasy as fact in many cases] And Schwartz' conclusion:
And yet reality itself calls into question the elaborate structure of domination currently being erected in Iraq. The military occupation, the monetary investment, and the administrative edifice may assure American control of the "government" of Iraq, but it does not insure control of the country as a whole. The recent history of increasing disruption and chaos reflects this fundamental verity, and portends a larger and more unruly rebellion as the symbolic nature of the June 30th transition becomes ever more apparent. Ultimately, the resistance -- both violent and nonviolent -- may reveal yet another layer of symbolism: Bush Administration plans to remake Iraq as an agent of American policy in the Middle East may themselves be a fantasy.
And someone else's fantasy is nothing to go to war and die for. Especially when it's being so badly handled. It's not even a 'good' fantasy.


"And what about... Naomi?"
Boy, in Love of Chair
The Electric Company
(if you link, checkout the cast) 
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  Possibly the best 'reasoned' argument for John Kerry

The argument is made by Chalmers Johnson in a speech he made to a democratic party, but before that, I wanted to point to these two paragraphs by TomDispatch in his intro to the speech:
"Of course, off screen, the world trundles on in all its present confusion and unpleasantness, but thanks to the way our media grabs single subjects, blows them up till they fill all available space, and then runs with them until they pop, we have been focused this week only on the name of, and sundry details about the life of the riderless horse that carried Ronald Reagan's boots backwards into the sunset, or the curious fact that our military has a whole unit devoted solely to the study of and preparation for state funerals -- including the present one, the 300-page plan for which has been updated yearly since first filed by the Reagans in 1989.

Think of the following, then, as my version of counter-programming. It's a speech Chalmers Johnson gave to a Democratic Party club in southern California which had asked him to make the best case for voting for Senator John Kerry for president this November. Let me just add a small note to his speech: Johnson quotes various American military men who feel that 'staying the course' in Iraq now has us at the verge of disaster. For all of you, including the military officials cited below, who express amazement that the Bush administration -- despite its own Secretary of State's 'Powell doctrine' -- had no 'exit strategy,' there is a reason for this, though seldom discussed. Amid all the half-baked planning for and fantasizing about occupied Iraq, the lack of an exit strategy was in every meaningful sense planned for -- at least as much as the permanent military bases being built in Iraq by private 'contractors' and the Army Corps of Engineers to the tune of billions of our dollars. There was no exit strategy because the strategists of the Bush administration never planned on leaving. This wasn't just their mistake; this was their intent, and so is the most essential truth of our war in Iraq."
That's how I feel the situation looks. There was no exit strategy included in the plan to go to war w/ Iraq because we are not planning on leaving.

Now Chalmers gives an excellent summary of the current DoD/contractor situation, the costs to us tax payers, and follows w/ four, well thought out reasons for supporting Kerry, and you should go read the speech.

But right now, it is these three paragraphs in the summary that I want to direct your attention to:
Having said all this, let me nonetheless end by noting that the political system may not be capable of saving the Republic. It is hard to imagine that any president of either party could stand up to the powerful vested interests surrounding the Pentagon and the secret intelligence agencies. Given that 40% of the defense budget is secret and that all of the intelligence agencies' budgets are secret, it is impossible for Congress to do effective oversight of them even if it wanted to. This is not something that started with the Bush administration. The Defense Department's "black budgets" go back to the Manhattan Project of World War II to build atomic bombs. The amounts spent on the intelligence agencies have been secret ever since the CIA was created in 1947. The stipulation in article 1, section 9, clause 7 of the Constitution that "a regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time" has not been true in our country for more than fifty years.

A good example of the sorry state of oversight was the recent hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee concerning the military's torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison. The hearings were a travesty. The committee, with the possible exception of Sen. McCain, treated the secretary of defense and the military high command as if they were beyond accountability to the representatives of the people. The Army Times was more effective. Its editorial of May 17, A Failure of Leadership at the Highest Levels, demanded that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers resign or be fired.

I believe that if the Republic is to be saved it will be as a result of an upsurge of direct democracy. A little more than a year ago some ten million people in all the genuine democracies on earth demonstrated against the war in Iraq, against George Bush, and for democracy. These were the largest demonstrations in British history -- two million people in London -- but they also included 400,000 people in New York City and a million each in Berlin, Madrid, and Rome. In late April we saw a powerful demonstration in Washington DC of over a million for a woman's right to choose and to encourage younger women to vote. A half-million demonstrated in Rome last Friday against a visit by our Boy Emperor.
"[A]n upsurge of direct democracy" might work; I'm just not sure that w/ the energy and the defense industries in bed together all the way to the top, just how successful citizens can be at affecting real change w/in the confines of the system. These groups are powerful and international, and to most of their important work out of sight of the citizenry. I worry that we need to ask the UN to come in and oversee our elections much as they have for other third world countries, which we appear well on our way to becoming. However, most 'Americans' would refuse the assistance out of false pride and a belief of inherent integrity in the system, which isn't there anymore. I don't know how much integrity the system had when, but it does not appear to have any, anymore.

So my thoughts run to attempting to affect the system by threatening it w/ irrelevance. I'm certainly NOT advocating violent overthrow of our government as I am hoping we are not so far down the road to dictatorship to make that necessary, but I AM advocating civil disobedience. Maybe we could to the Million People March On Langley, camp out for days, and shot down normal ops. Or maybe we could get 30 million of us could withhold paying taxes until our representatives can show how our money is being spent (it would destroy the legal system to try and prosecute 30 million people at one time). We could take a lessons from previous successful, non-violent movements like Otpor: the youths who booted Milosevic:
"Slobo, save Serbia: kill yourself," chanted a band of youth in the streets of Belgrade, Yugoslavia's capital city. Defeated in the presidential election on September 24, 2000, Slobodan Milosevic- Slobo for short- kept clinging to power. On October 5, the dictator fell.

Opposition parties, international pressure and mass demonstrations contributed to Milosevic's doomsday. So did Otpor ('Resistance' in Serb), whose story is unique in the annals of eastern European protest movements. Without leaders or a clear cut political ideology, the group played a decisive role: like a termite colony, Otpor gnawed away at the regime's foundations before the top realized that the whole edifice was rocking.

Founded by a handful of libertarians in October 1998, Otpor counted 4,000 members by the end of 1999, a number that has swelled to 100,000 today. The overwhelming majority can't even remember when the movement was born."
Now these kids were truly Radically Inept, it makes my eyes well up everytime I think of how 'some kids' were able to bring down a powerful dictator, and put a democracy in his place w/o having to resort to violence.

And I'm afraid we may get to that level here in the US, and just like then and there, there will be a large number of people, the majority in fact, who will continue to support a bad regime out of ignorance, fear, greed, etc, until near the end, when suddenly the entire country was 'Optor' for a few days. That moment did not last forever, but the democratic government they help bring about is still in place. Can we, as 'Americans', do less to save our country, maybe and probably.

On the otherhand, maybe w/ the help of our fellow citizens (doubtful), we could bring pressure on our representatives to be responsive to their constituents not just big money w/in the context of the present relationship. We do have the vote; we just don't seem to have citizens who care. It's really like we live in Huxley's "Brave New World", and surrounded by people who are content w/ their lot in life as long as they have TV, sports, beer, and sex, life is just fine. [I re-read that, and I guess it is sort of understandable. Pathetic, but understandable.]


 
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Wednesday, June 16, 2004
  Global Consciousness Project -- consciousness, group consciousness, mind ,

I mentioned this to Harry earlier, and realized I should share the site. For those of you who think their seeing a greater level of synchronicity in the world around them, the Global Consciousness Project -- consciousness, group consciousness, mind. The explanation for which is...Hell, all the links come up the same, Global Consciousness Project -- consciousness, group consciousness, mind, you'll have to navigate this one for yourselves. But wait, a detailed explanation of the site seems to be well explained, with a well known historical point as reference, and, unlike the current administratation, the site has actually published the criticisms, acknowledged the validity of specific criticisms and updated the site to reflect the difference in results, this may be the best point to start site exploration (don't you feel like the astronaught?) Terrorist Attacks, September 11 2001The upside is in the concept. It really is pretty cool, and if you have any understanding of...Hell, even if you don't, it's sort of like the pulse of the planet.

Whoah! Serious lightning. Close shutting down, but will publish this post.

The downside is, that the really 'cool' displays, are fairly large. The upside is in the concept.

I'm working on a larger piece (no, really, I am. I've got at least 6 paras done in the last two nights) that incorporates the value of the info in my conception of reality. For those you believe in deitific worship of one form or the other, you may be surprised by my view of religion and its source of power. (damn, and I hate it when the news programs give me a teasers. I'm sinking into the same depths of depravity as any entity that relies on ever increasing exploitation of its environment for its continued health and existence).


[My criticism of the site, for what little it's worth, is I really liked the old display option that looked like 40 polygraph machines tracked simultaneously. It was neat to visually track the individual curves while seeing patterns emerge. Those undulating lines, across the varied graphs, seemed to allow a certain visualization of the synchronicities. I'm sure, ultimately it was a cost issue (probably labor related), but I'm truly sorry to lose that view as an option.] 
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  Chemicals and you

I'm sure it's blogged everywhere, but why should I be any diferent?

Schools Doing Vietnam Vietnam War BioChem Research 
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  And you think YOUR focused on sex

Via Steve at Big Rock Studio Technologies comes Earth Erotica Photography by Heather Firth. Okay, I mean, yeah, for a couple of seconds, until it became obvious, I wondered if I was the only one who saw the eroticism in the flowers in The Wall. But ROCKS?!

I guess I'm coming across as just a mammalian prude, but I'm sorry, rocks just don't seem to do for me.

Well, maybe I'll look again...Eh... 
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  Shameless Nepotistic Promotion

Since it seems that I've actually got a few readers in Europe, and specifically Germany, I thought I'd link to my cousins business web site in Germany ART & Graphik. Call it free marketing, Armin. He's a real good guy, as pretty much all of my cousins are. We were talking about putting together a newsletter/bulletin board for so all the cousins could stay in contact. Our grand-parents have passed on in recent years, and w/o a consistent focus. It's hard enough to keep up w/ your day to day contacts, but it's hard when their across they Atlantic. Add to that, my German has become pretty rusty since I left the last time, and the English they learned in school is a pretty distant memory. [Of course, Armin, you might not want to be associated with the site, but such is the price of kinship].

I think I'll eventually get this project up and running in spite of the difficulties. And it helps feeling that you are connected w/ other parts of the world. While I'm get the German-American relationship going, I'll include all of my cousins 'here'. We're in like three major pockets on the North American continent, scattered, but primarily grouped regionally in Ontario in Canada, and Philadelphia, Atlanta with outliers that include Colorado Springs, and DC (and an undisclosed location in somewhere in Rhode Island last I heard).

This particular group association is probably a statistical aberration due to the large numbers of current and former military and/or government civilians. Obviously all my German male cousins served under the German universal draft system (I don't think any of them got a deferment), but here in the US, if I add in three moderately extended generations living here (include husbands and wives of cousins, aunts and uncles), I come up with about 8 active or ex-military/government (7 military, and one government was medically disqualified between junior and senior year of ROTC due to an training accident) among the 'cousins' group. And 4 out 4 in the 'uncles' group. I guess I should point out that only one of the uncles is US born, and non-of the aunts.

[I would have put all of my cousins' sites here, but some I don't know about, and some I lost when we had to re-install everything. So, they are lucky until I find their site addresses.]

I don't know what comes over me to make me share these kinds of things???

I was here to promote ART & Graphik.  
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Tuesday, June 15, 2004
  I like it when the people who can, do good

Looking for lyrics and come across DorisDay.Com. Damn, what a cool way to use your celebrity, Doris Day Animal Foundation.

'Nough said. 
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  Change is a comin'

I have spent a few minutes exploring Publisher, and I think I'll look at another program, 1st Page, I think. But, I must say, you should expect to see some [oh wow. santana - oye como va] improvements. Now, the question I have for those that are using some of the slower connections, 'what does a 150kbs background do to your download time?' I've found a sweet, subtle, complicated, but not distracting background I want to use. The kind that you can get lost in the visual complexity, but the brain would easily ignore when reading text. So, now my concern is download time. I've been primarily text based, and I know I can add more without slowing download speeds too much, but 'how much is too much?'

Regardless, I'd like to move to something a little less harsh than black on white. And I really, really want to add a 'small' photo, maybe another 150kbs? And a little itty-bitty icon, maybe 150kbs?

So, like, how long does a 1mb page take to download at decent 14.4 and 28.8kps speeds? I mean in the real world, not just doing the numbers. I used to download and surf 6-7 pages at a time; setting off one search while looking to see if previous downloads were completed. So, in the real world, is a one mega byte page a real problem? I mean, I really want to make the interface less eye straining, more interesting, but not lose people who don't have access to high speed yet.

Oh, I think I'll also...ah, never mind...Que Sera, Sera 
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  The 'nickel transaction' and the 'penny transmission'

Okay, first a warning: This may well sink to the level of stream of consciousness. You are forewarned.

I've decided that I want to attempt to propagate some ideas - some business ideas. These are ideas I have, that I don't have the contacts or where-with-all to make happen. I'm going to place them here, and I'm going to try to establish the goal of the 'nickel transaction' as a meme.

There, that was fairly transparent. I should add, that I would love to see 'a nickel on a $1,000, gross' [some version of this will become the theme], for any idea. I doubt I'll have much legal standing after a public post on the internet, but let's consider this a test case of intellectual property rights...I don't see my standing right now, but maybe under some interpretation of 'copyright', or maybe 'trademark' laws...I'm not sure. But, I do approach this w/ the premise that if:
1) you can't afford a ' nickel on a $1,000, gross', you suck as a business person or
2) If I can't make enough money on 'a nickel on a $1,000, gross', than the idea ain't worth that much, or
3) If you'd begrudge the 'idea man''a nickel on a $1,000, gross', you are a greedy bastard, and maybe I can take you in a jury situation.
4) I like the ideas enough, that I'd have more fun seeing them implemented, than just keeping them in my head.
And, I will try to explain the fascination of the nickel. The 'nickel' has that 'five' thing going for it. It's a prime. It's the prime that is easy to convert to the decimal system as well as fractions. Never mind, that line of thought bores me too.

So, here's how I see the concept. We need to make the 'nickel transaction' the golden standard. I need to be able to decide that I want to send this entity a 'nickel'.

A for instance: I really like Eschaton or Instapundit.com, and I'm willing to 'donate' a nickel to the cause. You know, kind of like buying a newspaper from a street stand back in the days before printing and paper costs got so high.

You know, for once I've even done some of the math. If a paid a nickel a day, every day for a year, it would come out to $18.25/yr. Hell, that's about the same for many magazine subscriptions. Now in reality, I probably only visit these sites, say, three times a week, which works out to $7.80/yr. Now these are rates anyone can afford, especially, if rather than having to pay the whole amount in advance, you could just opt to send a nickel each day (not each time) that you browse the site.

Ah, a nickel is too small amount to be concerned with. Well maybe in America, but I've noticed a great deal of hits from other parts of the world, where a nickel still carries some weight. And, I mean, you want an international readership don't you?

Additionally, do the math. Let's look at Eschaton for example. According to The Truth Laid Bear: The Blogosphere Ecosystem, which uses Site Meter for the numbers, Eschaton currently averages 84240 daily hits. Now, a lot of that is probably repeat views of his page, so let's low ball, and say it represents somewhere in the area of 10,000 unique hits a day. It doesn't matter whether these hits are made by first time users (well, maybe this group), three time per week viewers, or daily viewers, it would still represent 10,000 'subscriptions' at $18.25/year, which would generate $182,500.00 annually. I don't know what his bandwidth costs are, but I sure Atrios would not sneer at those dollars. Of course, even if only 5,000 viewers per day were to pay, that's still represent a revenue stream of $91,250.00/yr.

See, if you're following along here, you'll have noticed that I did not suggest requiring the payment to get access, just the ability to make that nickel-a-day contribution to causes and sites I support.

There's another reason (actually there are several, which should become obvious later) I want the 'nickel transaction' standard. I'm tired of linking to a newspaper that requires a subscription. Now, many don't charge 'money' to subscribe, instead they charge time and information. They want me to fill out a stupid form, and provide them w/ all kinds of personal information. I know, I could lie (yeah, I admit it), but it still takes time to fill out the stupid form. Or the worse time stealer is the stupid videos you have to watch at some of these sights for a 'daily subscription'. I'd rather just pay a nickel, and move on. Some may prefer to spend the time filling out the forms, providing their personal information (or taking the time to lie) or watching a commercial, and I wouldn't advocate doing away w/ those choices, but I'd like to have the option to just pay the nickel. And, I'm sure once it is explained properly, the newspaper/magazine would probably be just as happy, if not more so, to get my nickel as opposed to my watching a commercial that they are getting less than a nickle a day per viewer.

Just a couple of final points to add before moving on to another idea (somewhat dependent on this one). I think accomplishing the 'nickel transaction' standard should not be difficult technologically or operationally. Come on, techies, get on it.

Someone pointed out that once I've read a page, I can copy and forward it to as many people as I want at no additional cost. But why would I want to? That's another reason for the nickel standard. It's really too cheap to steal. Why would I waste my time, copying and sending info, if I can just tell you where the info is, and you just pay the nickel and see the same thing?

I'm not sure, but I may add more here. I mean, I'm still in the concept stage. The actual amount, whether it wound up being a nickel, 6 or 7 cents, or even a dime, isn't really all that important...But I do think a dime or less would generate more revenue.

Regardless. So, June 15, 2004 is The Official Nickel Transaction Standard for the Internet Campaign Kick-off Day.

See, now if you liked this idea, and the system were in place, you could if you so chose, send me a nickel. As it is, it would cost you 6-7 times that just to send me a nickel? That's what I want fixed.

 
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  Now here's a cool lightning show Check it out: Man-made lightning.

Via a reader, donna (pretty cool site), over at Fafblog!

I got struck by lightning once. In the basement. Didn't look near this cool. Course, it apparently didn't to any permanent damage.

Well, I don't see it! 
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  It's that whole Giblets thing.

Ah, that Giblets. He really understands the subtle forms of oppression, Fafblog! the whole worlds only source for Fafblog.:
"'That is because you are lame and stupid and bad!' says Giblets. 'You have no real love for the soul of jazz, just for bits of music that you like! You did not feel it come alive in the 70s!'
'Neither of us were alive in the 70s,' I says.
'You are oppressing me with your rigid temporalist structures!' says Giblets."
I wish I'd of thought of 'You are oppressing me with your rigid temporalist structures!'. 
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  Whatever Happened to the Situationists?

I ran into this yesterday when I was trying to get an accurate translation of 'amité et force', not just the meaning of each word, but the history behind it. In doing so, I stumbled onto 'Whatever Happened to the Situationists?. I thought that a Hell of a good question, especially as I was completely ignorant on the topic. Like, who/what are Situationists?

Well, it appears to have a great deal to do with, The Society of the Spectacle (Guy Debord). A.H.S. Boy has this to say in on the topic
'Biding Spectacular Time':
"The first chapter, 'Separation Perfected,'contains the fundamental assertions on which much of Debord's influence rests, and the very first thesis, that
the whole of life of those societies in which modern
conditions of production prevail presents itself as an
immense accumulation of spectacles. All that was once
directly lived has become mere representation.
establishes Debord's judgment; the rest attempt to explain it, and to elaborate on the need for a practical and revolutionary resistance."
See, and it figures, I don't find out about the party until it's over. Situationist International Online hasn't updated their site since Aug '03, but it's got lots of cool reading lists. So does Links at nothingness.org: si.

In the end, I think it was the slogan that got me so intrigued: "Hence the SI slogan "boredom is always counter-revolutionary"."

I may learn more about this. I mean, geez, we're torturing prisoners, can revolution be far behind? Maybe, but... 
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  Campaign commercial imagery - Is Bush 'lie' in the new commercial?

Okay, you don't have to watch the whole thing, especially if you don't happen to live in this country, but I wondering about the part immediately following the 'I approved this piece of marketing doggy-doo'. In fact, it's between the 4 and 8 second point. It's where he says 'I'm optimistic about America because I'm optimistic about the American people', see:GeorgeWBush.com :: Media Player - Pessimism.

Okay. So what, you ask?

Well, why does he shake his head 'no' while he's saying it? Is this a form of negation? If I look at you and shake my head no, while saying 'yes', which one do you believe? Do you think it was a conscious decision so that if ever asked why the country went down the tubes during four more years of Baby Bush, he can point to it and say, "See, I was shaking my head no when I said it, so it doesn't count as a lie. You should have paid closer attention.

[It reminds of that scene in The Breakfast Club, where the Judd Nelson character, in response to a question, looks sincerely at the Molly Ringwald and nods his head yes, but says no.]

So watch the commercial. Just 4 seconds of it anyway, and let me know if it doesn't give the impression of "I don't believe a thing I'm saying, but I'm smiling and looking sincerely into the camera." Bush/Cheney team need to use a better director for their next ad. I think. 
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  Logic 'in an extraordinary situation', or not

John Yoo, a law professor at UC Berkeley and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, worked from 2001 to 2003 at the Justice Department, supposedly analyzing something to do w/ the Geneva Convention, but I can't tell much more, because I think there's info missing in the first para on the LATimes. Anyway, this is part of what Yoo has to say in With 'All Necessary and Appropriate Force':
"It is true that the definition of torture in the memos is narrow, but that follows the choice of Congress. When the Senate approved the international Torture Convention, it defined torture as an act 'specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering.' It defined mental pain or suffering as 'prolonged mental harm' caused by threats of physical harm or death to a detainee or a third person, the administration of mind-altering drugs or other procedures 'calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality.' Congress adopted that narrow definition in the 1994 law against torture committed abroad, but it refused to implement another prohibition in the convention - against 'cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment' - because it was thought to be vague and undefined.

Physical and mental abuse is clearly illegal. But would limiting a captured terrorist to six hours' sleep, isolating him, interrogating him for several hours or requiring him to do physical labor constitute 'severe physical or mental pain or suffering'? Federal law commands that Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives not be tortured, and the president has ordered that they be treated humanely, but the U.S. is not required to treat captured terrorists as if they were guests at a hotel or suspects held at an American police station."
But, um, wait a sec. Lets look at this point, congress "it refused to implement another prohibition in the convention - against 'cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment' - because it was thought to be vague and undefined." So, if congress didn't outlaw 'cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment' , well than we must use it. Is that the logic - they didn't outlaw it, so we must use it?

Well, Yoo says later in the article,
By exploring the boundaries of what is lawful, the administration's analyses identified how a decision maker could act in an extraordinary situation. For example, suppose that the United States captures a high-level Al Qaeda leader who knows the location of a nuclear weapon in an American city. Congress should not prevent the president from taking necessary measures to elicit its location, just as it should not prohibit him from making other strategic or tactical choices in war. In hearings this week, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) recognized that "very few people in this room or in America … would say that torture should never, ever be used, particularly if thousands of lives are at stake."
Again, yeah, but...Hmmm..Do you think all 15,000 captured Iraqis know where the nuclear weapons are hidden in the US? We're 'torturing' these people for...That's a pretty ridiculous argument. Well, I mean it's based on the 'in an extraordinary situation' logic. I think we used to call this arguing from the exception, or some such. Let me say that if my house was on fire, and the Wife inside, and you were standing in my way, is it justified for me to kill you to save my Wife. Probably not, but I'd do it anyway. It wouldn't matter one lick if we outlawed torture, and then found Yoo's imaginary terrorist w/ the nuclear weapon, we'd torture him/her law or no law to save a large American city. Ah, but small rural towns, w/ populations under 1000, well, you guys are on your own.

Okay, Yoo closes w/:
Ultimately, the administration's policy is consistent with the law. If the American people disagree with that policy, they have options: Congress can change the law, or the electorate can change the administration.
Yeah, but, um, if we don't know the government is doing something, it's a little disingenuouss to blame it on the American people.

Oh, does Yoo have an actual law degree, or is it like the logic in this article, sort of, you know, honorary?...'Cause the argument seems based on 'psuedo-logic'. The kind that Joseph Goebbels was fond of using.

Thanks to Billmon in Whiskey Bar: Room Service for pointing me to the article. Oh, hell, you need to go read his comments section, there is a great deal more info and some thoughtful discussion there. In fact, Jon provides this link: Memos to White House on Geneva Convention by Yoo/Delahunty/Philbin, and Phillipa post an entire WSJ article, Iraq Prison Rules Seen as Too Harsh For Guantanamo.

[NOTE: See, yet again I've been distracted from posting what I've been working on, and have posted on current events. So, I guess that means 'I've been overcome by events'?] 
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Monday, June 14, 2004
  Just more excuses

I'm like 10 to 15 posts ahead of myself in that nebulous area labeled 'thinking'. Several are mentally planned, including verbage, but it takes time to research and link the points. Hey, I'm Radically Inept, but it doesn't mean I don't want to deliver a well thought out inept piece of work.

I've got several posts started in the draft section, but realtime events keep distracting me. I know there are a lot of other sources commenting on the events of the day, and I could devote myself to developing my ideas, but somehow, the siren call of, well, hell, just about anything (w/in bounds, I means), draws me to blogging on current events.

That aside, I commit to blogging on the following in the relatively near future (with in the next three or four weeks, maybe?): several business ideas targeted to NASCAR, UPS, the airline industry and hopefully some new business concepts, especially the 'nickel transaction'; a philosophical basis for the social contract or maybe a contract as the basis for a philosophy (still haven't decided which approach works better); a concept for a foundation to develop communities based on an environmentally neutral, economically productive/profitable development model, and some other stuff.

I'm better at this stuff in the morning.
 
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  Dope smoking reduces security costs at major sporting events

Wow, doesn't that title look like it could adorn the "your choice of rag here"?

From Modulator comes this link to governmental/security enlightenment: Police to let England fans smoke dope.

What could I possibly add? 
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  Final words on Reagan

Sums up what I heard from all the networks and other apologists: Reagan did, but was great [doh! forgot to to put/finish the html]

Via MaxSpeak
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  Let's stay w/ the gloom and doom

Also from, ZPEnergy.com comes this copy of a letter by someone named Sinh Pham (search on that name yielded a lot of stuff in Vietnamese, so I don't know if anything linked to him [I think Sinh is masculine] or not), written to some physicists at Fermilab. It's a very intriguing piece, A Proposition To Extract Energy From Zero Point Energy, though my knowledge of quantum is strickly layman. It closes w/ this happy thought:
"Now you can see that we can get energy from the Zero Point Energy!

Whether we can further calculate the enlarged radius to obtain a value of G at 50 Hz or 60 Hz, I am not sure. But first let's try to gain some energy.

First we have to consume some energy to create the correct wave in a MASER or LASER frequency range to form a mass and/or charge, then this wave motion will be retained forever by the Zero Point Energy. It is like burning a ring with the fuel comes from free space.

But the experiment may be extremely dangerous. If we burn some ring without careful calculation, who knows what kind and magnitude of heat that ring will emit to the space around. If the energy in one cupful of space volume may be enough to boil all the oceans many times over, who knows how much energy some ring will absorb and reflect to our Earth. Some may argue that the fields emitted by so many protons, neutrons, and other particles are not harmful to us, so it will be alright to have an artificial made of a much lower mass emit energy. I am not sure. This may not be correct. The particles in our Earth may be synchronized in some way that we are all in some same reference value of potential over the Zero Point Energy. Making an artificial gravitation field with energy coming from the free space is like burning the Earth more than it is being currently self-burned and disastrous results may follow. If we do not fully understand all the processes connected to this experiment and venture the experiment carelessly, it is like gaming our Earth towards total annihilation

Respectfully yours and best wishes,

Sinh."
vlad, of ZPEnegery asks "The idea seems interesting and I was wondering if somebody knows more about Ferilab's reply."[?] Yeah, and I'd kinda like to know more about Sinh; is he [I think Sinh is masculine]some sixteen year old genius in some small village in Vietnam? Or is this a professor at some major university that I don't know about (highly possible), or maybe a professor who wants to stay anonymous (doubtful)?

Ah well, if global warning leads to the cold snap that Schwartz discusses below, maybe we can prevent the cold snap by burning up the planet? I mean below, we're only discussing the destruction of life as we know it. Here we are talking about actually 'taking the planet out'.

fini the end adios schuss aurevior (sp) aloha Salaam done over gone zilch zero


 
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  It's a rainy, dreary Monday; why not add a little gloom and doom?

If you set up a Google News Alert Zero-Point Energy, when the alerts come in, the source is more often than not, ZPEnergy.com. So today, I decided to browse some of last month's articles and found this one, Diary of a Dying Planet by Tim Dickinson really pretty interesting and well written, for instance:
"As inhofe railed against global warming from the Senate floor, one 'prophet of doom' was quietly working to defend America from global warming. Now in his eighties, Andrew W. Marshall is so renowned for his visionary powers that his admirers call him Yoda. But Marshall doesn't work for an environmental group such as Greenpeace, or even for what Inhofe calls the 'Gestapo bureaucracy' of the EPA. He works for the Pentagon.

As director of the Office of Net Assessment, a small branch of the Defense Department charged with identifying long-term threats, Marshall had been worried about worldwide climate reports ever since the military's disastrous experience in Somalia. In 1993, a U.S. helicopter was shot down in the capital city of Mogadishu, and the body of an American soldier was dragged through the streets. What was the U.S. doing there in the first place? Guarding a famine-relief effort that had been precipitated by a severe drought. If localized dry weather could lead to Black Hawk Down, the Pentagon worried, just imagine what kind of trouble a sudden shift in the global climate could bring.

So Yoda called on an old friend, Peter Schwartz, co-founder of a futurist think tank called the Global Business Network, in Emeryville, California. He asked Schwartz to study current warming trends and answer a simple question: What's the worst that could happen?

Peter Schwartz is a compact man with lively eyes and an air of importance. A rocket scientist by training, he also researched climate change at Stanford Research Institute. Drawing on knowledge of past climate shifts, Schwartz spun out the most dire scenario he could defend scientifically. Starting tomorrow, he assumed, the world warms faster than even the most alarming predictions -- by as much as half a degree a year. The heat sets off a chain reaction. Droughts spark catastrophic fires, which release still more heat-trapping CO2 into the air. Increased water vapor in the atmosphere traps still more heat. Superstorms break dikes in Europe, and coastal cities such as the Hague in the Netherlands become uninhabitable. Levees break in California, creating an inland sea and disrupting the water supply in Los Angeles.

Then Schwartz drew upon one of the least intuitive impacts of global warming: the idea that turning up the world's thermostat could lead, perversely, to a cooling crash. As high temperatures melt ice at the North Pole, the runoff of cold water could disrupt the Gulf Stream. This conveyor of warm water is what gives Europe its temperate climate; flip off the Gulf Stream, say climate scientists, and the continent hits a deep freeze. Mainstream projections say this shouldn't happen before 2100; Schwartz envisioned it happening in 2010.

As Europe plunges into a Siberian chill, the rest of the globe continues to sizzle. Sea levels rise. Megadroughts strike worldwide, spawning dust bowls and destroying crops. The world suffers from "catastrophic shortages of water and energy supplies." Earth's "carrying capacity" -- militaryspeak for the number of people it can feed - drops radically. Given the deadly shortages of food, civilization erodes as "constant battles for diminishing resources" become the norm. "Every time there is a choice between starving and raiding," Schwartz writes, "humans raid." America turns inward, attempting to shield itself from the flood of refugees from the drought-stricken Caribbean. Hostilities arise between the U.S. and Mexico as both countries jockey for water from the Colorado River. Europe considers invading Russia for its food, and Japan eyes Russia's oil. Africa starves. Bangladesh is unlivable. Famine drives chaos in Asia. "Envision Pakistan, India and China - all armed with nuclear weapons - skirmishing at their borders over refugees, access to shared rivers and arable land," the scenario suggests. "In this world of warring states, nuclear-arms proliferation is inevitable."

"Once again," the report concludes starkly, "warfare would define human life."

This apocalyptic vision is not a prediction, Schwartz insists, but rather a scenario at the "outer edge of plausibility." To him, the report represents a climatic version of September 11th -- a "low-probability, high-impact event" that can change the world. But while he isn't convinced that the worst-case scenario will come true, he is concerned that those who focus on gradual warming "have the wrong mental map." Schwartz points to a wall-size reproduction of an antique map of North America that looms over the reception desk. It's an odd sight: California is drawn as an island. Maps like these, he says, were in circulation for 160 years before anyone caught the mistake. For Schwartz, the map offers an object lesson in the dangers of conventional wisdom.

Challenging the conventional thinking on climate change, Schwartz argues that abrupt change is more likely than gradual warming. Complex systems such as the Earth's climate "don't change state gradually," he says. "Think about igniting a rocket motor. You don't gradually go from gases flowing to things exploding. You put some fuel in there, you light it and it pops. That's what happens." The same process, he says, applies to a gas such as carbon dioxide.

Schwartz says there is no doubt about what must be done to prevent catastrophe. "In my opinion, we should dramatically lower greenhouse gases -- particularly CO2," he says. "I don't think there's any other choice -- other than civilizational collapse."
I like the way Tim introduces the people in the article w/ a brief description, that allows the reader to feel they somewhat a sense of the speakers personality, and does it fairly seamlessly while providing the info for the meat of the article. Dickinson closes the article with this:
On a recent morning at Stanford University, the cool air hangs heavy in the palm and eucalyptus trees on the sprawling campus - a welcome relief from another record heat wave in the Bay Area. Stephen Schneider is hard at work in a concrete laboratory complex near the Rodin sculpture garden. His office, like his hair, is a perfect academic catastrophe. Few people have done more to awaken the world to the realities of global warming than Schneider, the recipient of a MacArthur "genius" grant. He knows that measures such as the one proposed by McCain and Lieberman won't stop global warming, but they would at least slow it down. And that's not nothing.

"Slowing it down matters," Schneider says. "The faster and harder you push on the ecological system, the more harm to nature -- and the more the likelihood of surprise."

What kind of surprises?

Schneider considers the question. "If you had asked me one year ago how many people could have died in France by the most exaggerated heat wave -- souped up by global warming -- that I could imagine, I would have looked at Chicago in 1995," he says. That year, a similar heat wave killed several hundred people. "I would have said 500 -- max," Schneider says, shaking his head. "And I would have been off by a factor of thirty.

"I'm talking about nasty surprises," he adds. "Are there more of those lurking? Undoubtedly."

So, start your Monday in the knowledge that the whole world looks to be doomed. On the bright side, I bet we get some pretty cool looking sunsets on the way out.

Oh, and the planet's not doomed. That is a misnomer. No, it'd pretty much only be life as we know it. The planet will survive, and probably enough life will surive, in whatever forms, to evolve and re-populate the planet. Wonder if it might be mammalian twice in a row? The reptiles had two shots at it.

Seriously, I worked on some of this stuff while in the reserves in support of US AEPI. In fact, we looked at which countries were most prone to resource shortages which might lead to inter-state or intra-state conflict. There's a lot of the world that looks like it's on the edge already, and it won't take much to set those powder kegs off. We were also tasked to see what organizations and resources might be available in the region, internationally and here in the US to mitigate further resource damage, any resulting infrastructure damage, prevent or reduce the conflict, and provide aid to the probable refugess. [Of course, if the populace that you're trying to help, hates you, this adds several layers of complexity.]






 
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Sunday, June 13, 2004
  Lowering partisanship, well, hoping

In a sudden change of pace, Radically Inept attempts to offer a positive contribution in hopes of improving political dialogue instead of just bashing everything political.

Hey, don't expect too much, okay?

Anyway, Don Changeau and I were hanging out in the public policy computer lab at Tech, and somehow the topic of helping to lower the acrimoney of partisanship came up. I have no idea of how we got to this idea, but I''ve been meaning to present this to someone for two years.

Basically, the idea is to utilize the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) to engender cross party association. Previous Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) plans have mixed success. In the upcoming years (time tables are bogus when both United States Congress and the Defense Department are involved), there is a stated goal of reducing the number of active military bases, and figuring out some way to cheaply hand these lands over to unsuspecting lesser governments. Say, like the states.

Well the process will happen. The stated goal is a 25% reduction in Military Installations. There are a fair number of installation in the DC area. What does this have to do w/ partisanship? Well, a few years ago, I was watching something, possibly on C-SPAN [can't get there right now to link], that several senior and retired senators discussing the problem how bitter the partisanship has become. One, possibly Bob Dole, made the point that in some ways technology and money were major contributing factors. The was that now a days, House Freshmen must spend a great deal of their time looking for money to finance their next campaign, plus often trying to support two homes. So, instead of spending the weekends w/ other congressmen and their families or just cocktail parties, they have to fly home to raise money.

Anyway, on to the plan. Close one of those bases in the DC area, and instead of turning it over to the local government, use it to house members of both houses. Put the senators in the officer quarters, w/ the most senior members getting the 'Generals' quarters'. the house members get to live in the NCO housing, and their senior members would get the Sergeant Majors' quarters. And, possibly the enlisted housing could be provided for those who work in congress in support roles, like the Sergeant-at-Arms. And, you could use the facilities like the officers' club and the NCO club.

How does this aide in ending acrimony? Well, if yu get to know the other guy, like you're both washing your cars on a Saturday afternoon, and your children attend school together, well, you may not agree w/ his beliefs, but you are more likely to listen. It's a thought.

Besides, they should see how the military lives, and should not be allowed to make improvements to 'their' base, that they don't fund at other bases. Sort of an added perq. 
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  Seeking in guidance on possible new homes

lies.com has this, Hersh: "Horrible Things Done to Children of Women Prisoners", in reference to a piece on Seymour Hersh at Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal (2004): a Weblog, specifically Torture and Rumors of Torture which has this item:
"'NATO's falling apart in Afghanistan now.'

And this was one of the most stunning parts. He had just returned from Europe, and he said high officials, even foreign ministers, who used to only talk to him off the record or give him backchannel messages, were speaking on the record that the next time the U.S. comes to them with intelligence, they'll simply have no reason to believe it.... He lamented of his journalistic colleagues, 'I don't know whey they don't just tell it like it is.'...

He said the people most horrified by the way the war was planned were the military commanders responsible for protecting their troops.... He talked about the horror of the 1000 civilian deaths in Fallujah (but was careful to note the Marines were doing their job, placing the blame with their superiors)....

He talked about how hard it is to get the truth out in Republican

Washington: 'If you agree with the neocons you're a genius. If you disagree you're a traitor.' Bush, he said, was closing ranks, purging anyone who wasn't 100% with him. Said Tenet has a child in bad health, has heart problems, and seemed to find him generally a decent guy under unimaginable pressure, and that people told him that Tenet feared a heart attack if he had to take one more grilling from Cheney. 'When these guys memoirs come out, it will shock all of us.'...

He said that after he broke Abu Ghraib people are coming out of the woodwork to tell him this stuff. He said he had seen all the Abu Ghraib pictures. He said, 'You haven't begun to see evil...' then trailed off. He said, 'horrible things done to children of women prisoners, as the cameras run.'

He looked frightened."
Now, I don't know. But torturing children in front of their mothers is NOT, I repeat NOT American. I've blogged on concerns of what this sort of thing does to the good discipline and morale of the military. I wonder now, if in six months to a year, whether our soldiers will be greeted here at home as heros, or w/ an updated version of the late '60s and early '70s 'Baby Killers', such as 'Baby Torturer'. This has the potential to truly spiral out of control beyond what I can now imagine. In fact, I think our Commander-in-Thief may have done more to destroy US military than any foreign power ever could. Time will tell.

And, right now, I'm by no means ready to give up my citizenship, but if this is or becomes 'standard operating procedure' in our fight for...I seem to have forgotten what we are fighting for right now...Oh, that's right, Baby Bush went to the US Congress and the American people, and convinced us all, that we should send in troops to liberate Iraq, and cost to the US taxpayer be damned. That's how it happened right...

Well, anyway, if the American people find this acceptable [maybe it is the case of always having to go to a greater extreme to get the same high, and after watching The Passion, the American people of a greater thirst for bloodshed?], I may have to leave the country. I for one do not want to be part of a country that popularly supports behavior reminiscent of the Viet Cong, NAZI's, Pol Pot, Maoists, etc. Sorry. That's how I feel. Disgusted. And Afraid. Disgusted, Afraid and Revolted. And scared that I might somehow wind up in the hands of these 'authorities'. I know, you don't have to worry. The authorities will never come you and yours. Me, I worry.

I also worry because the current situation looks to me like we've globalized the Palestinian-Israeli War. And, since we seem to really like to learn from losers [Harsh you say? Well, the Israelis appear closer to losing control of their state then any time I remember, and they sure ain't winning], we will continue to use failed tactics in a futile war that appears w/o purpose, unless it is in fact a Crusade. And, if it's a crusade, let me say, I hope both sides lose. Christian theocracies are just as repressive as Muslim theocracies. I have no love for the idea of fighting over which version of myth is 'real'. And both the Christians and the Muslims have long histories of torture.

Hey, I know, maybe China is my kind of place? No. No. I'd wind up on their bad side too, but at least it would be based on myths, just political realities.
New Zealand, maybe?

Well, there's time. I give the people until November to decide what kind of country America is. I'm just not sure I will like the answer. [Note: I was going to try to link to a letter to the editor in today's AJC, which had some women saying she would gladly pull the fingernails out of...Anyway, AJC wants to much info. Screw 'em.]

You know, w/ global warming and all, I bet Antartica might be pretty nice. Maybe just go down and homestead?
 
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GEORGE W. BUSH - TOUGH ENOUGH TO TORTURE CHILDREN
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  • FuturePundit.com
  • Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal a Weblog
  • Marginal Revolution
  • How Appealing
  • Chris C Mooney
  • Kevin Drum
  • Cyborg Democracy
  • Cursor.org
  • Iraq Now
  • butterfliesandwheels.com
  • Atrios
  • Talking Points Memo
  • Roger Ailes
  • The Panda's Thumb
  • corrente
  • WorldChanging: Another World Is Here
  • The Truth Laid Bear
  • Fables of the reconstruction
  • Oliver Willis: Like Kryptonite To Stupid
  • Kieran Healy's Weblog
  • Happy Furry Puppy Story Time with Norbizness
  • TheAgitator.com
  • Paperwight's Fair Shot
  • Lotus - Surviving a Dark Time
  • thoughts on the eve of the apocalypse
  • The River
  • Mind is Moving
  • commonSci
  • dr. menlo: promoting people over profits since 2000
  • Where We're Bound
  • Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things
  • NET POLITIK
  • Public Domain Progress

  • Infrequent, but worthy posters:
  • Rogue Analyst (My other blog)
  • CenterPoint - A Centrist Weblog
  • scratchings
  • Inspector Lohmann


  • Excellent sources of info:
  • Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin
  • TomDispatch
  • KurzweilAI.net
  • Open Government Information Awareness
  • SPACE.com
  • Agnosticism / Atheism - Skeptical Inquiry, Freethought, & Religious Philosophy
  • Defense and the National Interest
  • Google News
  • TCS: Tech Central Station - Where Free Markets Meet Technology
  • ajeeb, News
  • Corp Watch
  • Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments
  • GlobalSecurity.org
  • Moving Ideas: Connecting You To The Progressive Community
  • The Memory Hole [rescuing knowledge, freeing information]
  • The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal
  • -:| CHINA TODAY |:-
  • Alex Jones' Prison Planet.com: The Earth Is Being Turned Into A Prison Planet
  • Alex Jones Presents Infowars.com to Fight the New World Order --There's a War on For Your Mind
  • THE WAR IN CONTEXT:: Iraq, the War on Terrorism, and the Middle East Conflict - in Critical Perspective


  • Fun and off the beaten path:
  • GHOST TOWN - Chernobyl Pictures - Kidofspeed - Elena
  • Cooperative Extension Service (GA)- Publications
  • MEGA START PAGE
  • The Vaults of Erowid
  • Eyeballing Series


  • What I'm listening to:
  • Radio Paradise - eclectic online rock radio
  • Shameless plug
  • Big Rock Studio Technologies


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