Thursday, November 30, 2006

Blue Tiger Democrats™

This is a link worth keeping. Blue Tiger Democrats™
This group provides a model for what grass-roots Democratic organizations can do to build up the party for the future.

Putting the picture together

Mark Danner takes bits from three books to show us the vacuum in the White House.

Lab experiment

Link to this post.

Dead Horse Dept

When I saw the half-page-above-the-fold Muravchik editoral in the Sunday edition of my local rag I was sorely tempted to take the editoral staff to task for such dreck onto their unsuspecting readers. But other duties called and time passed. Fortunately I wasn't the only one with that visceral response. I offer you the words of Timothy Mesford:
"Joshua Muravchik's editorial 'Can neocons get their groove back?' (Nov. 26) was a near-perfect example of neoconservative denial of reality and responsibility. It was stunning to read him unabashedly supporting U.S. military intervention (or the threat of it) as a near-universal panacea for global problems, then criticizing Middle East political culture as the root cause of terrorism -- without a trace of irony, blaming it on their 'habit of conducting politics by means of violence.'

Even more ridiculously disengenuous was his assertion that 'few neocons have served in the Bush administration,' specifically claiming that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are 'traditional conservatives' rather than neocons. Of course, Cheney and Rumsfeld are both members of the Project for the New American Century (www., one of the premier neoconservative think tanks. PNAC produced the report 'Rebuilding America's Defenses' ( RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf), laying out (in September 2000) the neocon rationale for invasion of Iraq.

Though the neocon rats now desert the sinking ship of Iraq ( features/2006/12/neocons 200612), their habitual lies and hypocrisy continue unabated.

As long as they are given a voice, they will use it to drag America down their ruinous path.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

"Christian Nation"

I tuned in to a bit of Brit Hume garbage on the Fox News channel today about religion and national politics. As you might expect it was all cast in term of ACLU-bad and "christians"-good. It makes me sick. These people that believe the lie that this country was founded on religious principles are so grievously misguided. The fact of the matter is that our nation was founded on essentially anti-religious principles. The American Revolution and framers of our nation and our constitution was in large part about overthrowing the hold of religion on public life. It was religion that taught that God had established the aristocracy to rule over people like God ruled His Kingdom in heaven. The Declaration of Independence was a direct attack on organized religion. By proclaiming that "all men are created equal" it was directly challenging the religious teaching of the day that God had created the classes of organized society on a heavenly model and that men who challenged the class structure did so in violation of divine law. That's the real truth.

One could almost admire the religionists in their faithfulness if they actually conducted themselves with a modicum of integrity but they don't. On one hand they claim they are fighting for religious freedom but God help you if you are a Wiccan,...or a Muslim. They get all in a dither about the death of a fetus but are first to line up to push the button on capital punishment. And why is it these champions of "freedom" are so interested in what goes on in the bedrooms of consenting adults?

I say that those who would forcefully subvert the government to their own desire for power are the real enemies of democracy and it's past time to name them for what they really are.

This is not to say that there should be no influence of of religion in government. But the influence should be invitational not dictatorial. When the interests of true religion, the needs of the people, and government reinforce each other, great things can be done. Principles such as justice, mercy, integrity, and the worth of all persons are embodied in civil action it is always a good thing. But the best role for religious people is an example, a demonstration of the value of the virtues they talk about.

It strikes me that religious folk don't really have that much faith in the things they teach. They don't have the courage and patience to allow their principles to play themselves out in real life. They must resort to force. Instead of just trusting that Christian virtues make good sense they must legislate morality. They are so dense that they can't see the difference between carrying a baby to term out of respect for the life of the child and carrying a baby to term because it is against the law to abort it. It is in that denseness they show that power is their real goal, not morality.

We should not be giving ear to these folks who are so power hungry that they so easily subvert religious integrity to the desire for raw power.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Areva Challenge gets a new hull

The AREVA challenge team took delivery of the FRA 93 hull the other day. They had been racing with one of the oldest hulls in the fleet, a loaner from New Zealand. Maybe they can start winning a few races now.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Polygamy anyone?

As we broaden the traditional view of who can participate in a marriage, can legalized polygamy be on the horizon?

And you think divorces can be messy now!

Bloggers safe from lawsuits

They are as long as they post what someone else said. But make sure that your link is solid.
"In today's ruling, the California Supreme court said that granting such broad immunity for posting defamatory statements 'has some troubling consequences.'

Nevertheless, the court said, 'Until Congress chooses to revise the settled law in this area' people who contend they were defamed on the Internet can seek recovery only from the original source of the statement, not from those who re-post it.'"

Progress on the climate change front

Methane concentrations are leveling out.
"The researchers say there is no reason to believe that methane levels will remain stable in the future, but the fact that leveling off is occurring now indicates that society can do something about global warming. Methane has an atmospheric lifetime of about eight years. Carbon dioxide – the main greenhouse gas that is produced by burning fossil fuels for power generation and transportation – can last a century and has been accumulating steadily in the atmosphere.

“If carbon dioxide levels were the same today as they were in 2000, the global warming discussion would leave the front page. But to stabilize this greenhouse gas, we would have to cut way back on emissions,” Rowland said. “Methane is not as significant a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide, but its effects are important. The world needs to work hard to reduce emissions of all greenhouse gases.”"

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Focusing the Debate

In the context of immigration reform be sure to note that little public money is actually spent on health care to undocumented immigrants.
"'Our findings show a relatively small amount of tax money is spent on health services provided to undocumented immigrants,' said James P. Smith, the RAND chair in Labor Market and Demographic Studies and an author of the report. 'Costs will be much higher for educating the children of undocumented immigrants, so that's where debate should center, not on these relatively small health care costs.'"

Virus killing paint

Coming to a sterile hood near you.
"In their study, the researchers demonstrated the efficiency of the paint by coating a glass slide with the polymer. A drop of liquid containing a strain of the influenza virus was then placed on the slide, and the number of surviving viral particles was counted.

The coating was 100 per cent effective, according to the researchers - not a single viral particle was detected after contact with the coating.

Further tests with higher and lower concentrations of viral particles in the initial drop proved equally effective - in all cases, no viral particles survived.

According to the researchers, it took only five minutes of contact for all viral particles to be inactivated. This reflects the time it took for all the particles to reach the spikes, they said."

Big boost to US renewable energy could cost nothing

A recent study shows that we could improve our energy source profile without paying more.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

So how bad is it in Iraq?

This bad. The horror of urban combat is now fully upon us. And we are still a long way of developing an effective counter-strategy. How many will die in the meantime?

On the bright side in Idaho

At least Sali won't be screwing things up in the legislature.

Meanwhile, back at the Supreme Court

Our justices try their hand at medicine and don't make the cut.
"After 120 minutes of exquisitely detailed medical inquiry, the justices have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they just are not doctors. They have tried valiantly to understand the medical testimony and to analyze the protocols. They struggle to weigh the risks of lethally injecting a fetus in the uterus. But that's just not why they went to law school.

By the same token, six congressional hearings and dozens of witnesses have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the United States Congress is not a body of doctors, either. Indeed, their ability to simply ignore inconvenient medical facts suggests that if they were doctors, they'd be rather rotten ones. If the justices are looking for the cleanest, easiest way out of this whole partial-birth abortion business, I would suggest that if institutional humility means anything at all, it means that when you can't understand the medicine, you stay out of the operating room. When you find yourself lacking the skills and experience to define the fine line between the intent and outcomes of similar medical procedures, or to weigh the hazards arising from each, perhaps the most prudent thing to do is to leave it to those who do."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

They still miss me

When the Tri-City Herald says:
As a whole, this was the finest crop of candidates in a long time.

Mostly absent were the usual challengers who are uncertain why they're running or what qualifies them for the job.

Instead, with a few exceptions, we met accomplished individuals with vision and energy. The decision on whom to recommend to our readers was almost always difficult.

it's me they are talking about. No, not the "quality" candidates. The uncertain challengers. It's heart-warming to see the afterglow from last year's "Don't Elect Kendall" campaign still alive in the hearts of the TCH editors.

Of course, how they can call the likes of Jerome Delvin a quality candidate just blows me away. Not to mention that their congressional endorsee is about to take the 4th CD into utter oblivion.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The End of a Lousy Problem

It's the LouseBuster. It kills lice by drying them out. Rather like exposing a Republican to truth.

Election Night

Where will you be? I'll be Drinking Liberally in the Tri-Cities. Please note the location change from our normal haunt. We'll have candidates! Whoo-hoo.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Who woulda thunk...

...that the Republican power machine would have implode the way it has? Not even in Nancy Pelosi's wildest dreams. But it should also serve as a warning to all those who follow them into power. If you lie enough, if you cheat enough, if you are arrogant enough, if you spin enough, you will eventually be found out and it won't be pretty.

I sure hope the Democrats take a lesson, or you and I will be holding our heads in our hands a few years from now just the way Republicans are today.

Check out what John Cole has to say.

Thursday, November 02, 2006