Poor Pluto. Demoted after all these years. Age discrimination?!
Pluto's not a planet anymore?
When did that happen? And why? Some mumbo jumbo about its "oblong
orbit." So, it's a celestial free spirit that plays by its own rules "is
that so wrong? I don't recall Neptune complaining. I learned in school
that there were nine planets. It was public school, and I was out sick
a lot, but nine was the number. If I ever go on Jeopardy! and
the number of planets comes up, I'm going to say, "What is nine, Alex."
It's so easy to remember: "Nine is fine." "Nine's divine." Now I've got
to think up words that rhyme with "eight." By the way, does Mr. Trebek
qualify as a planet? He meets at least two of the revamped criteria. He
circles the sun, and he "clears the neighborhood around [his] orbit,"
at least in terms of game-show ratings. Worst of all: Pluto's been
reclassified as a "dwarf planet." So Disney still wins.
Public mourning for Pluto, the former planet and current huge lonely chunk of ice, continues with a "Save Pluto" Photoshop contest over at Worth1000.com. Fine print on this entry reads, "Paid for by the friends of Pluto."
Rove was speaking to the Associated
Republicans of Texas, and ticket prices started at $200. He was not in
the Renaissance Hotel lobby during the reception.
"I want him
arrested. He planned the war that killed my son," Sheehan told officers
guarding the door. Sheehan's oldest son Casey was killed in Iraq in
"Pat, did you get her
check before she left?" Rove quipped to the GOP group's executive
director, Pat Robbins, as the crowd of 300 laughed, the newspaper
"I don't question the patriotism of our critics. Many
are hardworking public servants who are doing the best they can. Some
of them are people looking for a free meal," Rove said, drawing more
And Karl Rove is a scum-sucking bastard who cheerleaded on an illegal
war that has killed tens of thousands of people and which harmed every
fucking thing it could, including this nation's long-term and
short-term interests...all in the name of getting a moron reelected
There's no fascism like naked fascism! Seriously, if this is
what the world has come to, scared shitless of bras because the British
don't know how to have a sense of identity not based on racism, isn't
it time for Britain to just give up as a country?
How many more terror alerts will it take before we’ll all be flying nekkid?
It's lookin to me like full body cavity searches are just over the
horizon... Oh boy, flying is just continuing to look like it's headed
to a whole new level of entertainment.
That's just the market forces at work folks... Any business that messes
with it's customer base without a clue to what they really need to
focus on will usually end up going out of business at some point..
Maybe the business class will put up with increasingly draconian
terrorist preventive measures to ensure your average fat cat CEO gets
from point a to point b in a timely manner for the latest board
meeting... But the commercial air industry will not survive without the
recreation travelers of the world....Profit margins, I don't think,
will work out right to the bean counters in the home offices without
that recreation money coming in.
Those stupid infotainers on the "news" were talking about X-RAYS AT
AIRPORTS, SHOWING our private parts and that we have an option of
placing a steal plate over our privates, about a 5 x 8 plate. The
first thing anybody with a half a brain could notice, you can hide
anything in the crotch area, if you have a steal plate in front of the
x-ray, it could conceal something.
Did you know that a detonator is as small as and roughly the same shape
as a tampon? Do I really need to go any further along this train of
It's futile, stupid, ridiculous, insane, ludicrous, assinine
windowdressing, designed to do nothing except scare the shit out of
people and make them compliant. The real security lapses are not where
passengers normally see them - the catering staff, the ground crew, the
baggage handlers, the airport grounds security, a million and one holes
that Homeland Security don't have the time, money or resources to cover
So they take the easy route, and the one this
administration likes, piling on the fear, cranking it up another notch,
like a sadist killer who just can't get enough gratification and
spirals into madness...
And that group of travelers
folks, is exactly who is going to get fed up with this shit first and
start taking trains, or boats or cars to more local vacation spots... I
don't know for sure what the answer is, but these latest security
measures ain't it...Well, actually I take that last back.. I know what
I think the answer is, but the first step to fix this isn't at the
airport. The first step to fixing this shit happens at the ballot box.
If Dear Leader isn't the idiot we've been calling him for the last 7 years, he's an actor without equal.
I suspect the old drunk is as much a patsy for his "base" as Ronald
Reagan ever was. But he's far more arrogant and far less affable. Now
that Cheney and Rumsfeld seem to be increasingly at odds over the next
step, his rudderless behavior shows.
This is a very powerful song and video. It's hard to believe that this
song was originally written in the'80s and was about the war in El
Salvador, but it still applies to the war in Iraq today.
"War, we have come to
believe, is a spectator sport. The military and the press ... have
turned war into a vast video arcade game. Its very essence- death - is
hidden from public view." - Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for New York Times
It's time. Bring our troops home NOW and take care of them when they get here.
This is what America stands for in the 21st Century: the torture of innocent children to make their fathers confess.
Some of you may recall reports from Iraq which described the egregious tactic of US troops kidnapping the family members of detainees
in order to "assist" the interrogation process. At the time we were
informed this was a only a limited effort, and that all such family
members detained were people who were known to be guilty of aiding the
As we know all too well by now, such "official" remarks are often a flat out lie to cover up systematic abuses. Salon's David Benjamin
has a story up that reveals the use of kidnapping family members of
detainees in Iraq by US forces is the standard operating procedure for
July 14, 2006 | Congress has demanded that Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld hand over a raft of documents to Congress that could
substantiate allegations that U.S. forces have tried to break terror
suspects by kidnapping and mistreating their family members. Rumsfeld
has until 5 p.m. Friday to comply.
It now appears that kidnapping, scarcely covered by the media, and
absent in the major military investigations of detainee abuse, may have
been systematically employed by U.S. troops. Salon has obtained
Army documents that show several cases where U.S. forces abducted
terror suspects’ families. After he was thrown in prison, Cpl. Charles
Graner, the alleged ringleader at Abu Ghraib, told investigators the
military routinely kidnapped family members to force suspects to turn
Yes, there's nothing like the threat of having your daughter or wife
raped by American soldiers to loosen one's tongue. Why, I'd say
anything they wanted me to say, I'd sign any confession put before me,
if my wife or daughter was in the hands of foreign troops who had
occupied my country. It might not bear any relation to reality, but at
that point I could care less. Protecting my child or wife would be all
that I cared about.
And what works with daughters and wives can work equally as well with sons:
In a hearing before Shays' Government Reform subcommittee last
February, Provance testified that the Army had retaliated against him. Provance
also made the disturbing allegation that interrogators broke an Iraqi
general, Hamid Zabar, by imprisoning and abusing his frail 16-year-old
son. Waxman was shocked. "Do you think this practice was repeated
with other children?" he asked Provance. "I don't see why it would not
have been, sir," Provance replied.
Zabar's son had been apprehended with his father and held at Abu Ghraib, though the boy hadn't done anything wrong.
"He was useless," Provance said about the boy in a phone interview with
Salon from Heidelberg, Germany, where he is still in the Army. "He was
of no intelligence value."
But, Provance said, interrogators grew frustrated when the boy's father, Zabar, wouldn't talk, despite a 14-hour interrogation. So
they stripped Zabar's son naked and doused him with mud and water. They
put him in the open back of a truck and drove around in the frigid
January night air until the boy began to freeze. Zabar was then made to
look at his suffering son.
I really don't have much to add. This is despicable, and a deep stain
on our nation. Yet, can anyone argue that this step was not inevitable
once George Bush declared his "War on Terror?" When you vow to fight
the "terrorists" with the "gloves off" this is what happens: you begin
to emulate the worst despots and the most criminal regimes on the
planet. You view even the most heinous measures as necessary to combat
your enemy, even those that were previously considered beyond the pale.
You violate every law and standard of decency in pursuit of of an ever
more nebulous victory. In short, you become the evil you first meant to
If someone is so angry or whatever that they will kill themselves in a
suicide bombing of say my family, how could you/I every prevent this
when that actual bomber is willing to die. Well, what if you made it
blanket policy that the family of a suicide bomber would be ___ (fill in some heinous action such as killed, tortured, imprisoned forever, etc.)
I know it sounds extreme in a casual conversation, but if the survival
on one's society or even one's own family was at stake. Would such
actions maybe be justified as a preventative measure toward other
I mean even if the suicide bombers don't
care about their lives, they might care about their family members'
lives. What kinder, gentler alternative is available to deal with
suicide terrorist bombing prevention??
There is a very simple alternative to threatening a "suicider's" family
and thereby multiplying the number of 'suiciders.' Oddly enough, it's a
method from the hated BIBLE. Love your enemy, turn the other cheek and
do unto others as you would have others unto you. In policy terms, this
would have translated into a 'Marshall Plan' for the Middle East,
including building a school system to rival the Madrasas,
infrastructure building, etc. It would have meant passing up the
opportunity to become a police state after 9/11 and reserving the many
hundreds of billions of dollars we have spend so far in hunting the
wrong countries for a few extremely naughty people in caves. It would
have meant passing up a world war. (When has a Bush passed up starting
a world war?)
Now that our great Christian President has ignored even the basic
tenants of the Judeo-Christian tradition, we are basically in the
position your thought experiment speaks of. The problem with the
'blanket' policy of threatening families is that it moves more people
into the realm of the desperate and homicidal. The desperate tend to be
able to take their religious beliefs more seriously when it comes to
laying their lives on the line. Systematically removing all the bread
winners from a village is not going to help the next generation come to
different conclusions vis-a-vis the value of life. Especially when you
grab and torture the wrong 12-year old.
Might I suggest that we all take a brief moment to steal ourselves
against a suicide bomb attack (bearing in mind that the odds of your
being directly, mortally effected are, well as zero as zero gets in
predicting the future), take more personal responsibility for your own
family's safety (Goverment is good at bombing clean up, not complete
prevention), and above all else, love your enemy by providing an
alternative, any alternative, to desperation. Otherwise you are just
multiplying the number of people who have reason to die just to kill
you. Family by family. Systematically, as a blanket policy.
Sorry, there is just no way to eye-for-an-eye your way our of this.
There is just no way that you are minimizing the threat to your family
by intimidating and mistreating the families of those who do. There is
no path to safety or peace can be articulated that starts here. There
are many paths if we take our lumps for the blowback for the cheap
energy we've already enjoyed and begin the process of buying a
reasonable increase in our safety with good will.
Greenland glaciers that cover the island contain enough water to raise
sea level twenty feet, or seven meters. It was once thoughts (and that
was only six years ago) that the glaciers would be self-sustaining even
in a warming world because of size and so on.We now know that this is
Not only are the edges melting fast, but the surface melt
is seeping through the ice to lubricate the junction between the ice
and the rock underneath. This is the unexpected factor that has turned
scientific attention onto this escalating problem.
It appears that the Greenland
ice is shot through with crevices, tunnels and faults through which
the melting upper surface can penetrate right through the glacier, and
threaten to break the attachment between the ice and the rock base.
When this happens much of
this mountain of water will flow into the sea. Already twenty-one of
the great glacial masses are moving seawards eight times faster than
ten years ago. It would seem we are on the verge of a major tipping
point in climate change, if we have not already reached it.
It is important to be aware
of the consequences. The five most urgent are
1. Most coastal cities would
become uninhabitable for many, for metros would be flooded, sewage and
stormwater flows would be overwhelmed, and most cable infrastructure
would be affected. More drastically, most docks would be underwater
so that food and oil could not be landed, even if it could be loaded
into the ships in the first place. And in any case, without oil, how
would food be transported?
2. Enormous areas of the
most productive agricultural land would be underwater. One thinks immediately
of Bangladesh and the North Sea farms in Holland and Anglesea.
3. The alteration in the
cold water flow that drives the great deep-sea currents of the world
would have a profound impact on the Gulf Stream, with completely unpredictable
results. The eastern US and Europe may become hotter or colder or more
storm-ridden. No matter which, the outcome spells disaster for some
of the most advanced cultures on earth.
4. Removing the weight of
the ice cover from such a large land-mass will have an impact on the
earth on quake and, considering how close Iceland is, on volcanic activity.
5. Lastly, and most significantly
for a world that is now awash in guns, people, in their millions, will
be on the move for survival.
This is the future that we
are bequeathing our children, and ourselves if any of us are younger
then 65. This is happening in our times, to our families and loved ones,
and is no longer a distant scenario. It would appear that it is here.
The latest US Navy survey
suggests there will be no sea ice left in the Arctic summer by 2016.
Is this the date we have to look forward to?
Well, I was tagged by Glenda to answer these questions!
(1) One book that changed your life?
really a shame that I can't recall this book. I read it in my small
school's library and unlike any other textbooks, it was breath-taking
I remember it, young men were invited to a mysterous place to do some
big-game hunting. After a fancy meal and a good night's sleep, they
were awakened and told that they were going to be the big-game being
hunted. The story then told of their experiences and how they survived.
I don't think it was the book, just the experience of learning that
books don't have to be like textbooks - Reading can be fun! I've been a
friend of books ever since.
(2) One book you have read more than once?
This is a little sad, but the book I read a little bit everyday is "HTML for the World Wide Web by Elizabeth Castro."
(3) One book you would want on a desert island?
one is a little funny, I would want "The Complete Cartoons of The New
Yorker". It would be even greater with a CD player to also be able to
look at the 68,647 cartoons ever published in the magazine.
(4) One book that made you laugh?
The Dilbert Principle by Scott Adams
(5) One book that made you cry?
Big boys don't cry, but a book that shattered my belief in technology is "The Day The Phones Stopped" by Leonard Lee.
Human error or computer malfunction? January 15, 1990 nearly half of
AT&T long distance lines around the nation were disabled for almost
nine hours. In 1988 the USS Vincennes accidently shot down an Iranian
airliner killing 290 passengers on board. On Dec 3, 1990, eight people
died when a Northwest DC-9 wandered onto the wrong runway. In 1986, two
cancer patients at a Texas hospital were killed when they accidently
received lethal doses of radiation. And so on...
(6) One book you wish you had written?
That would have to be "The Cuckoo's Egg" by Cliff Stoll
a story of a unbelievable ingenious astronomer who trapped a spy ring,
that was reporting to the KGB, and had been hacking US missile bases
and satellites, using a simple teletype connected to his lab's
(7) One book you wish had never been written?
I'm not one to censor books, but I would have to say Mein Kampf by Adolph Hilter
(8) One book you are currently reading?
I have a few started, but Fiasco by Thomas Hicks the American Military Adventure in Iraq is first in line.
(9) One book you've been meaning to read?
The Pretext For War by James Bamford a fearless account of the failures of America's intellengence agencies and the Bush's Administration's calculated efforts to sell a war to the American people.
(10) And tag five bloggers to do this, too.
I won't tag any bloggers to do this, but I invite all readers to give it a try
That's my list! Not a beauty contest, just books - I like that.
Many readers took issue with the cover art. One mother was concerned
about her 13-year-son seeing it. "I shredded it," says Gayle Ash of
Belton, Texas. "A breast is a breast - it's a sexual thing. He didn't
need to see that." Amen, Gayle. God, if he'd seen that, the next thing
you know, he'd be robbing convenience stores for the Playboys and Penthouses.
While you're at it, Gayle, you'd better take away his computer and any
other device that could connect him to the outside world. Oh, and
forget cable, as well as any NFL halftime show.
Babytalk editor Susan Kane says the mixed response to the cover clearly
echoes the larger debate over breast-feeding in public. "There's a huge
Puritanical streak in Americans," she says, "and there's a
squeamishness about seeing a body part - even part of a body part." "It's not like women are whipping them out with tassels on them!" she adds. "Mostly, they are trying to be discreet." Kane says that since the August issue came out last week, the magazine
has received more than 700 letters - more than for any article in years.
The editors of Babytalk
tell MSNBC they were surprised at all the fuss. Not sure I believe
that. More likely they figured, put a bare tit on a magazine cover, and
it's going to get noticed. Smart thinking. Better than showing a mother
cradling her bundle of joy with circles under her eyes the size of
doughnuts from four months of midnight and 3 a.m. feedings. I remember
asking my wife why she stopped doing it after what seemed like a
relatively short time, and she said something like, "If the critter was
chomping at your breast five times a day every day, you'd know why, you
idiot. It hurts!" Not a pretty picture.
Via The Consumerist, who have their own complaint: that the breast isn't big enough. The religious right is at it again. I believe that they mentioned that
it is a breast, and all references to breasts are sexual in nature.
Really? I'm sorry that whenever you (Christian Republican prude) see a
child breast-feeding, you (Christian Republican prude) assume that both
the mother and the child are getting sexual satisfaction out of it.
Just because you (Christian Republican prude) somehow get moist
thinking about a child suckling at your (Christian Republican prude)
breast doesn't mean that the rest of the country feels the same way.
I find it absolutely disgusting that our culture is SO detached from
the true nature of the human being that we now find cutting open
breasts and putting in saline packets to make them look larger
acceptable, yet using and showing them for their intended purpose is
wrong....I just don't get it. Are women that self-loathing? Do they
think those sacs of flesh are there to be boxed around, or stuffed into
You know what? Even if it WAS a nipple showing - so what? The milk
can't come out without an OUTLET, aka "The Nipple." It is not your
personal erotic object with no other meaning. It is simply a valve, a
physical means to keep the human race alive, to keep the human child fed, to be as proud of as your nose, or your lithe and nimble quality, or your hair, or your leg. Why is everyone so afraid of themselves? And of human sexuality, to boot?
The only boobs that offend this family are the ones that are running our country.