Flocks of birds stirring near I-40 at sunset, beautiful!
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Sunday, October 23, 2005
"We have become too attached to our double standards, to a world of nuclear “haves” and “have-nots.”
We spend on nuclear weapons and their delivery systems what it would cost to feed the world’s hungry, shelter the world’s homeless, care for the world’s sick and infirm, and educate the world’s children.
In our comfortable reliance on our military might, we have failed to grasp that nuclear weapons are a far more powerful tool in the hands of the weak than in the hands of the strong.
We have failed to grasp that America cannot afford to again use nuclear weapons, but extremist groups are eager to obtain these weapons and use them against us.
We have failed to grasp that there is no defense against nuclear weapons, as we throw money into missile defenses like a helpless giant.
America stands at increasing risk that its great cities will be destroyed by nuclear weapons. "
These are some interesting points to ponder from an article that otherwise borders on "Chicken Little".
Saturday, October 22, 2005
"I even wore an f'ing tie!"
Update: Bono took Amtrak from DC to get to this speaking engagement in Philly.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
"Bono may not have had to sing for his meal, but the U2 rocker had the ear of President George W. Bush over lunch on Wednesday.
In town to perform a concert, Bono was invited to the White House to follow up on discussions he and Bush had at the Group of Eight summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, in July, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said."
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Sorry Rush, but wanting to be on this list automatically eliminates you from consideration. A-hem. That and insinuating on national radio that Bono has a mistress....yeah, women diiiiig that kinda talk. Look who's at #1:
1. U2's Bono (aka Paul Hewson): He's global, socially aware, confident, and compassionate, and he commands a huge base of followers who are fans of his music – and his humanitarianism.
Today's New York Post (Page Six column) reported on it with a reply from U2's publicist:
"October 12, 2005 -- RUSH Limbaugh seemed a little irked yesterday he wasn't named to a list of "ubersexuals" put out by an ad agency that decided "metrosexuals" are passe. The radio motormouth doesn't generally engage in scurrilous gossip (that's our purview). But yesterday, Limbaugh cited Pierce Brosnan, Jon Stewart, Ewan McGregor, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Bono as making the list - and then declared out of the blue that Bono has a mistress. The U2 frontman has been married for 23 years to high school sweetheart Ali Hewson, the mother of their four children. When a caller demanded to know what basis Limbaugh had in making his accusation, he replied cryptically: "You people are just going to have to trust me on this." U2's publicist told us: "This is so absurd it doesn't deserve a response. However, Bono and Edge have been spending a lot of time together in New York lately . . ."
Monday, October 10, 2005
Bono: "I'll be honest with you, nobody promotes peace as well as I do. If I don't win that Nobel Peace Prize, I'm gonna grab a big-ass crow bar and I'm gonna whoop me some Norwegian skull."
I really hope they play this song "Fast Cars" when they come to Charlotte in December, it's my fav of favs!
"IIIIIII Know these Fast Cars....(stop) won't do me no good"
Sunday, October 09, 2005
"Jarvis had assigned her senior civics and economics class "to take photographs to illustrate their rights in the Bill of Rights," she says. One student "had taken a photo of George Bush out of a magazine and tacked the picture to a wall with a red thumb tack through his head. Then he made a thumb's-down sign with his own hand next to the President's picture, and he had a photo taken of that, and he pasted it on a poster."
According to Jarvis, the student, who remains anonymous, was just doing his assignment, illustrating the right to dissent. But over at the Kitty Hawk Wal-Mart, where the student took his film to be developed, this right is evidently suspect. An employee in that Wal-Mart photo department called the Kitty Hawk police on the student. And the Kitty Hawk police turned the matter over to the Secret Service. On Tuesday, September 20, the Secret Service came to Currituck High.
"At 1:35, the student came to me and told me that the Secret Service had taken his poster," Jarvis says. "I didn't believe him at first. But they had come into my room when I wasn't there and had taken his poster, which was in a stack with all the others."
She says the student was upset. "He was nervous, he was scared, and his parents were out of town on business," says Jarvis. She, too, had to talk to the Secret Service.
"Halfway through my afternoon class, the assistant principal got me out of class and took me to the office conference room," she says. "Two men from the Secret Service were there. They asked me what I knew about the student. I told them he was a great kid, that he was in the homecoming court, and that he'd never been in any trouble."
Then they got down to his poster.
"They asked me, didn't I think that it was suspicious," she recalls. "I said no, it was a Bill of Rights project!"
No comment on this one. I don't need a visit, and don't want to waste the Secret Service's time & resources.
The House Republican leadership must go. Even if that means the GOP loses control of Congress. Democrats spent decades practicing the policy of spending lavishly to win elections. Republicans refined the practice in just a few years.
More fundamentally, it took the Democrats four decades to fully succumb to the temptations of power, ruthlessly abusing their control of Capitol Hill. After only one decade the Republicans are proving to be even worse.
Joey Scarborough basically says the same thing nightly on MSNBC. It's enough to make me miss Newt....
Friday, October 07, 2005
Conan O'Brien dedicated the whole Late Night show last night to one guest, our beloved U2. That beats the Nobel Prize in my book....
We need more thinking along these lines...let's look at the big picture. (This photo is the new nickel, we'll be seeing these soon.)
Monday, October 03, 2005
"Most people are surprised to learn that we can produce gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other petroleum products out of coal. Indeed, the process was used in America as early as 1928. In World War II, 92 percent of Germany's aviation fuel and half its total petroleum came from synthetic-fuel plants. South Africa has used a similar technology for 50 years, and now makes 200,000 barrels per day of synthetic gasoline and diesel.
"Synfuels" have remarkable properties: they are high-performing substances that run in existing engines without any technical modifications, and they burn much more cleanly than conventional fuels. The synfuel process, which is nothing like conventional coal use, removes greenhouse gases as well as toxins like sulfur, mercury and arsenic. And the technology has other applications: a synfuel plant can generate electric power, make synthetic natural gas, and produce the hydrogen that many (including President Bush) believe is the energy source of the future."
The article goes on to say we can make the synfuel for $35/barrel, so it finally makes economic sense. It's this kind of "reality-based" solution that will work.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
"A few miles away from the French Quarter, another wealthy New Orleans businessman, James Reiss, who serves in Mayor Ray Nagin's administration as chairman of the city's Regional Transit Authority, brought in some heavy guns to guard the elite gated community of Audubon Place: Israeli mercenaries dressed in black and armed with M-16s. Two Israelis patrolling the gates outside Audubon told me they had served as professional soldiers in the Israeli military, and one boasted of having participated in the invasion of Lebanon. "We have been fighting the Palestinians all day, every day, our whole lives," one of them tells me. "Here in New Orleans, we are not guarding from terrorists." Then, tapping on his machine gun, he says, "Most Americans, when they see these things, that's enough to scare them."
The men work for ISI, which describes its employees as "veterans of the Israeli special task forces from the following Israeli government bodies: Israel Defense Force (IDF), Israel National Police Counter Terrorism units, Instructors of Israel National Police Counter Terrorism units, General Security Service (GSS or 'Shin Beit'), Other restricted intelligence agencies." The company was formed in 1993. Its website profile says: "Our up-to-date services meet the challenging needs for Homeland Security preparedness and overseas combat procedures and readiness. ISI is currently an approved vendor by the US Government to supply Homeland Security services."
Unlike ISI or BATS, Blackwater is operating under a federal contract to provide 164 armed guards for FEMA reconstruction projects in Louisiana. That contract was announced just days after Homeland Security Department spokesperson Russ Knocke told the Washington Post he knew of no federal plans to hire Blackwater or other private security firms. "We believe we've got the right mix of personnel in law enforcement for the federal government to meet the demands of public safety," he said. Before the contract was announced, the Blackwater men told me, they were already on contract with DHS and that they were sleeping in camps organized by the federal agency."
Outsourcing is a problem for the US whether we like it or not. Even technology jobs and more are leaving our country everyday, being outsourced for cheaper labor and less restrictive working and environmental regulations. While this is alarming, it's understandable in economic terms. But why the government and military are hiring these private companies for security in Iraq and Afghanistan is questionable. (and hiring an Israeli service? to protect a subdivision in New Orleans?)
These companies hire away our best soldiers, pay them more money and then we the taxpayers end up paying more money, so they can do the same work our military should be doing, at a much higher price. These private companies happen to be pals with the politicians and military folks, and it all may seem rather ordinary, but I can't help but think that this is unconstitutional. And certainly, it is costing us more money.
But worse than being in Iraq and Afghanistan, now these private companies are working here in the "Homeland", "protecting" us from ourselves and the ever-present dangers of terrorism and floods and drugs and whatever else they can think of to scare the public. There's a lot more to this story than we can already see, and I submit that Congress should commence investigations into companies like Blackwater immediately. It's not that I think the folks in Blackwater are bad people, but rather we need to look closely at this new system to be sure everything is on the level, and taxpayers and civil rights are protected. This is not a sound or sustainable policy.
"Genetically altered mice discovered accidentally at the Wistar Institute in Pennsylvania have the seemingly miraculous ability to regenerate like a salamander, and even regrow vital organs.
Researchers systematically amputated digits and damaged various organs of the mice, including the heart, liver and brain, most of which grew back.
The results stunned scientists because if such regeneration is possible in this mammal, it might also be possible in humans.
The researchers also made a remarkable second discovery: When cells from the regenerative mice were injected into normal mice, the normal mice adopted the ability to regenerate. And when the special mice bred with normal mice, their offspring inherited souped-up regeneration capabilities.
The mice, known as the MRL strain, were genetically engineered and inbred to develop lupus. But researchers don't know why exactly the animals' injuries heal so well."
This could be important stuff, folks.