Thursday, January 31, 2008

Entering the ring?

Is Ralph Nader going to run in 2008?

Here is the place to find out:

Which side are you on?

I wish we had instant run-off voting in this country so I could cast a vote for Nader without worrying about screwing over my second-favorite choice. Then I could support him without reservation.

Does Nader have a chance?

Not this again.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Throwing in the towel

It looks like Colonel Klink and John-Boy Walton will be calling it quits today.

John Edwards was my top pick for the democratic nomination and it is difficult to see him end it. I think he would have done much better in the general election than Obama or Hillary.

Giuliani seemed to sink lower in the polls the harder he worked. Perhaps he wasn't willing to suck-up to the theocrats the way McCain is? Perhaps Americans are ready to move on from 911? Perhaps he isn't very cuddly? Whatever the case his campaign goes the way of Fred Thompson's, lot's of hype with little traction.

I suspect Giuliani would also have done better in a general election than some of his competitors. Perhaps instant run-off voting, at least in the nomination process (which requires no new laws, just DNC and RNC rule changes), would help candidates like Rudy and John, since it has a track record of selecting more moderate candidates with broad appeal.

Stating the obvious

"We believe that the most reliable guide for our country is the collective wisdom of ordinary citizens."

The president Bush
State of the Union Address
View Source

And what does that collective wisdom have to say about the president Bush?

Click here

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The wheels on the bus go round and round

As America's problems escalate under bad management, or very good espionage, president "Smoke him Out" continues to embarrass us all with his idiotic annual ramblings known as the State of the Union address. It is like watching a loved one sinking to alcoholism, complete with bouts of denial and impaired judgment.

In his hands ignorance is a fault so pure as to leave no room for Reason, and perhaps this blissful state explains the perpetual smirk.

I have had too much of him a long time ago.

He has denied global warming in the face of undeniable evidence, and has asserted WMDs in the face of an absence of evidence.

He has pledged America's word to lies and done so without shame or apology.

He has abandoned one of our greatest cities (New Orleans) to speculators.

He has taken a strong economy and turned it into a weak one.

And worst of all he failed my Trust in him, bought with the blood of 911 heroes, and valued at nothing.

So, it was with great pleasure that I read this article in the Boston Globe called, Our one-way trip to disaster.

It is a meanness on my part, I suppose, to enjoy it when the president Bush is dealt a blow of ridicule, but I believe that if only more people would ridicule him democratic enablers like Nancy Pelosi might finally defy him.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Obama's dark side

I am not that high on Obama. He has the gift of oratory and a lot of style, but he doesn't seem capable or interested in defending democratic principles. His constant whining is not going to deflect Republican dirty-tricks, and the fact that he is black is not enough to attract my vote.

In addition, there is some dirty laundry in his closet involving a man by the name of Will Rezko.

Details here

And here

Will Barak-heads take the time to learn about his dark side before he is swept into the nomination?

Economic Stimulus

What does a liberal economic stimulus package look like?

Universal single-payer health coverage for all Americans.

Perhaps people could afford their house payments if they didn't have ballooning health-insurance premiums?

Between the cost of premiums, co-pays, and deductibles even many Americans with insurance cannot afford to get sick.

'Tis time.
'Tis high time.

My other healthcare idea this morning is this: Why doesn't Canada offer its' national healthcare policy to Americans? If our politicians are incapable of solving real problems anymore maybe we need to start outsourcing political solutions?

Why not?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Who is Sibel Edmonds?

A story that is receiving much attention abroad but none at home involves an FBI translator named Sibel Edmonds. Here is an informative article on her story:

Found in Translation

The questions this article raises for me are:

Could there be traitors very highly placed in the US government?

Why would Rupert Murdoch's media outlets report this abroad but not at home?

How credible is the Valerie Plame connection?

This story is particularly interesting given that I have just watched 3 Days of the Condor (in which Max von Sydow was terrific).

ADDENDUM: Daniel (Ellsberg) jumps into the lion's den on this story...

Read his comments here

Nasa: Global warming danger point approaching rapidly

This article discusses a warning from N.A.S.A. that global warming is proceeding at an accelerated pace:

Only a decade of can-do left

Here is RealClimate's Beginners Guide to Climate Change

How are Washingtonians addressing this pressing problem?

If you guessed by spending tax money to make the situation far worse you guessed correctly.

Coal is carbon

It is time to rally in support of any technology which doesn't produce carbon and oppose any that does. It is time for people to climb off their high horses and push carbon-neutral energy with one voice before those D.C. cretins spend tax dollars to burn pure carbon.

Mining coal pollutes the water and burning it pollutes the air. How ignorant of us, then, to accelerate global warming by burning it too.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Have you noticed?

Have you noticed that Canada, in spite of having a "socialist" single-payer healthcare system, has a dollar that is currently stronger than the US dollar?

Details here

I'd think a thing like that would get noticed.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thin coverage for Edwards?

The corporate media seems to be encroaching on our democracy by narrowing the candidates for us. On the republican side they are doing what they can to ignore Ron Paul. On the democratic side Dennis Kucinich gets the shortest straw.

It also looks to me like John Edwards has received significantly less attention than he deserves. Someone in camp Edwards seems to agree:

Alien riders in the sky

Folks in Stephenville, Texas claim a large alien craft slowly flew over them:

Details Here

This sounded familiar to me. In fact, it sounded an awful lot like a story out of Phoenix in 1997:

Phoenix details here

According to the first article:

"Fourteen percent of Americans polled last year by The Associated Press and Ipsos say they have seen a UFO."

If the poll represents a random cross-section of the population at large, that would extrapolate to more than 20,000,000 people.

Those inclined to take no chances are busily constructing Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanies in order to combat alien mind-control transmissions.

I prefer to keep my tongue in my cheek, which has thus far proved no less effective.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sub-prime market analysis from dummies

I thought it would be interesting to take my understanding of the sub-prime market fallout and explain it in terms even I can understand.

Some fast-talking promoters made risky loans look like safe loans using cell-phone-bill-like hoodwinkery. Many banks, including Citibank, fell for the smooth talk and invested in the risky loans (dubbed SIVs, or Structured Investment Vehicles) as if they were safe loans.

When the truth came out Jack discovered he traded his milk cow for a few magic beans that, when planted, did not germinate.

Thanks to the United Arab Emirates Sovereign Wealth Fund (at $7.5 billion) and the Government Investment Corp. of Singapore (at $6.88 billion) Citibank will likely recover.

What does it mean that a nation that is ranked 146th out of 167 nations by Reporters Without Borders in the Worldwide Press Freedom Index now owns a not insignificant piece of the world's largest bank?

Will American financial services soon follow American manufacturing overseas?

Will all of our financial information now be exposed abroad?

When I took out a mortgage I went down to the local branch of the local bank. Before the ink was dry, they sold the loan to Fannie Mae, who then sold it to a large regional bank, which was then purchased by Citibank, who is now partially owned by the repressive government of Singapore. The experience reminds me of being sold down the river, as in Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin".

All these multi-tasking, multi-global corporations are racing humanity into a ditch using the ability to spend as their golden rule aren't they?

Is life to be nothing more than a dog-fight?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Warming signs?

It is uncharacteristically warm in New England this January, but as I type this a strange thing is happening. Several robins (about a dozen) are wandering around my snow-covered back yard looking for worms. They, of course, will never make it to spring since there will not be fruit on the branches for months, and while warm, it takes a great many warm days to melt feet of snow and thaw the ground.

Why did they come back so early?

Yesterday I noticed a spider come out of hibernation and build a nest between my window panes. Like the robins there is little opportunity for him to survive, unless spiders can go in and out of hibernation.

Are these signs of nature going out of whack?

The early bird is supposed to get the worm, isn't it?

Friday, January 11, 2008

'Tis a recession stupid

The Bush legacy of failure continues to flourish impressively, now making gains in the economic sector.

According to the BBC, Merrill Lynch says the US economy is in a recession:

Defecits don't matter?

House prices are falling while credit card debt is rising:

Sub-prime fallout

The unemployment rate jumped to 5 percent in December:

Whole numbers

Please vote for someone smart this year.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Do re mi

When I think of all the injustice that black Americans have had to suffer under America's racist past, few examples of it offend me as much as those often-told stories of black patients unnecessarily suffering because they were barred from white-only hospitals.

There is something revoltingly distasteful about the very idea of one human being denying medical care to another because of the color of their skin.

Last night I saw Sicko and it brought back these haunting stories. We may no longer have white-only hospitals but it seems we have green-only hospitals. They're a paradise to live in or see; But believe it or not, you won't find it so hot if you ain't got the do re mi.

I think that if you live in a country with universal healthcare you owe it to yourself to go and see Sicko. If you are American and watch the DVD version be sure to watch the feature on Norway.

It is a disgrace that 18,000 Americans die each year of treatable illness because they don't have insurance. It is beyond disgraceful it is sick.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Corporate Media

I have decided that I like the phrase "Corporate Media" better than I like the phrase "mainstream media". Most of our media is controlled by large corporate conglomerates, like Disney or GM, which have agendas that often contradict with the goal of truthful dissemination of information. It is why the "evening news" has become "infotainment". And it is why candidates that don't support American hegemony are barred from debates.

Well, the internet giveth when the television taketh away.

Here is Bill Moyers interviewing Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul

I think America has become too spoon fed when these contrariaen voices ar silenced.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hillary's myth

Running for president seems to entail installing a myth into the public opinion and then carefully nurturing it.

Hillary Clinton, for her part, goes unchallenged as the "experienced" democrat. She chides others, Obama for instance, for their lack of it. She pretends at every turn to excrete experience from her every pore.


Hillary has been a Senator from New York for a term and change and that doesn't exactly set the standard for excellence.

If she wants to argue she is experienced because she was close to Bill's success, then that seems like a weak position, especially for a democratic candidate. Experience through osmosis?

If she goes against someone like John McCain the myth she has so carefully built to win the nomination becomes exposed as hollow in the face of his record.

Now that she is struggling in the polls I wouldn't be surprised to see Obama pop Hillary's experience bubble, or else counter it by brining someone like Joe Biden aboard his campaign.

Since he is more Clinton than Clinton, perhaps he will follow James Carville's advice: "When your opponent is drowning throw them an anchor."

We shall see.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Tonkin avoided?

It has been reported in Newsweek recently that defense secretary Robert Gates instructed his commanders to keep cool heads, and particularly in matters that might expand our Middle-East conflict into Iran.

When I today read that five Iranian speedboats threatened 3 US warships in the Straight of Hormuz, but were not fired upon, I recalled the Newsweek story.

Given the U.S.S. Cole catastrophe who could blame the US contingent for firing on the speedboats?

I expect it isn't easy to stand down when you've got superior force and think this speaks very highly of the officers involved. With Iraq still volatile and our forces still extended it would be to our enemies advantage to widen the conflict.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Just another Genocide?

President Bush used the word "genocide" to describe the situation in Darfur, then promptly did nothing about confronting it.

In Burma the population is striving for democracy but being brutally repressed by, of all things, the "State Peace and Development Council".

Details here

President Bush has indicated that he is troubled by the trouble, but when are nations obligated to act?

This is a thorny question for a state, which likes to reserve the right to brutally repress dissent with waves of free-swinging, billy-club toting, tear-gas fogging police, for instance. How does one condemn brutality abroad without undermining the home-made variety?

Sir Thomas Moore, in his classic "Utopia" laid out 3 conditions for war.

1. When your nation is attacked.
2. When an ally (or trading partner) is attacked.
3. To free a People from tyranny.

Our war in Iraq might have met the third condition, but we overstayed our welcome in the form of an occupation.

What about Darfur and what about Burma?

Is it worthwhile to fight a war in a land without oil simply to free a People from tyranny?

Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin