December 30, 2005

December 26, 2005

Holiday posting

Well, I'm here in Georgia with my family. Yesterday we celebrated Christmas and the first day of Chanukah as well. Beautiful weather here---lots of kite-flying and stomp rockets. The twins have also been working on some craft projects (they got quite a few for the holidays)---sand art, a pottery wheel, a solar system model, and even a clock to build. Which gets me thinking...need to have the gals work on their thank you notes as well.

More later...

Just got in from flying our largest airfoil kite, about 30" across, out on 1500ft of line. Good stuff.

Posted by duver001 at 10:49 AM

December 20, 2005

Back to the J. Edgar Hoover era

As it appears that nearly every US "security" agency has been involved with spying on Americans. Activist groups targetted included environmental groups, animal cruelty (prevention) groups, Greenpeace... It sort of makes sense since we know that Greenpeace was involved with the OKC bombing, and PETA funding the WTC attacks. No wait, someone else was involved in those...

Posted by duver001 at 12:10 PM

December 19, 2005

Though Dubya can't understand what the law is...

...we are quite a bit smarter. Here it is. It's a federal crime, punishable by up to five years in prison to order surveillance without court approval. The President is claiming to be above the law. This is not supposed to be the case in a country ruled by law. Follow some of the fumblings here.

Posted by duver001 at 3:21 PM

Must have been free elections (in Iraq)

Preliminary results of Iraq's parliamentary elections show that the Shiite fundamentalist United Iraqi Alliance swept the south aof the country and won ~60% of the Baghdad vote. US backed candidates did poorly and Iranian backed candidates did very well. No word on rumors that Dubya is a mole working for the Iranian government.

Posted by duver001 at 3:15 PM

What your donations to the Bushites can get you

If you have a lot of money, it looks like an extremely good, if distasteful, investment. Forget about the Stock Market, buy a share of the Republican majority. Better returns on your money, and if you're lucky, they'll even make it tax free.

Posted by duver001 at 3:11 PM

Election machines again

Note that in addition to showing that the Florida election machines can be easily hacked now, it's clear that during the 2000 election at least one was. That instance of fraud was caught, but how many weren't? What about 2004? Black box voting, especially where the black box is under the control of partisans, is an amazingly dangerous thing---how can we trust elections? What do we do when reliable exit polls disagree with the official, but unreliable, voting machines?

Posted by duver001 at 3:03 PM

A nice case example of how lies spread in the media

The case of the Oreos!

Posted by duver001 at 3:01 PM

Maybe they weren't so dangerous after all?

Remember those "Most-Wanted" Iraqis? They're being released.

Posted by duver001 at 2:51 PM

Your freedoms have left the building

No Geneva Convention. No ban on domestic spying.

Posted by duver001 at 2:48 PM

December 16, 2005

More on the Turkish trial

Halted on its first day.

Posted by duver001 at 2:13 PM

December 15, 2005

Turkey and the EU

Read about Orhan Pamuk's upcoming trial for mentioning the Armenian Genocide. It seems certain that the EU is watching very closely to see if Turkey can distinguish itself better than in the past.

Posted by duver001 at 5:24 PM

Quote of the day

Which US Republican president wrote this ?

Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.

Check the extended entry for the answer

President Dwight D. Eisenhower , in a letter to his brother Edgar on November 8, 1954

Posted by duver001 at 4:59 PM

China's execution binge

Amnesty International warned us about this more than four years ago. The US has executed 1000 individuals since the death penalty ban was lifted. But China carries out over 90% of the world's executions. And reports indicate that it's an accelerating program.

If you're willing to go to a right-wing website and have the ability to see some rather horrific pictures... Good to see that the lining up of prisoners and shooting them into a ditch is still in fashion. I'm told that the sign on the woman in the foreground does in fact say "premeditated murder" and her name.

Posted by duver001 at 3:54 PM

To get through common voice mail systems...

Save some time.

Posted by duver001 at 3:39 PM

Global warming

2005 was warmest Northern Hemisphere year on record. Second hottest worldwide.

Highest CO2 levels in the past 2/3 million years. Some correlation or connection, 'ya think?

Posted by duver001 at 3:22 PM

I hesitate to post this...

...since several of my friends who are religious will take this link as a statement of my thoughts on the subject. However, let me make the link to Harris's atheist manifesto with the proviso that some of his backing evidence as to how religious nations are more violent, etc. is not completely solid. The notion of the lack of sensibility for the label "atheist", likening it to the terms "non-astrologer" or "non-alchemist" is especially interesting, and, in my experience, novel.

Posted by duver001 at 3:16 PM

Dangers of faith-based prisons

As if it wasn't already obvious...

Posted by duver001 at 3:13 PM

December 14, 2005

City News desk closes

Chicago's famous City News service is closed down by parent company The Tribune Corp. Many stories...some are in the short article.

Posted by duver001 at 6:31 PM

Kurt Vonnegut reflecting on knowledge, and its lack

From In these times, which I would highly recommend to one and all.

Posted by duver001 at 4:16 PM

December 13, 2005

In the interest of making it clear that religious does not equal political right

The original articles I had seen had him appealing. Looks as though the diocese wasn't moved by his arguments. Oddly enough, I was thumbing through a book on the 1960s antiwar protests and saw a lot of Catholic Worker organizers, demonstrators, and other presence.

Posted by duver001 at 5:21 PM

Bad Christmas gifts

Major label CDs.

Posted by duver001 at 5:16 PM


It's time to seriously think about the intersection of the United States and the torture of prisoners. It has become clear that hundreds of individuals, brought up much the same way as the rest of us, have murdered and brutally tortured helpless prisoners around the world. It seems evident that, following the Nuremberg Tribunal historical presidence, that the chain of command is guilty. We have the Vice President campaigning against a torture ban, a Secretary of State using every possible turn of phrase to insist that torture is not taking place, and a President that appears to only be caring about his much dwindled support ("Hey, let's talk about undocumented aliens, I mean, illegal immigrants.").

The Nation's Anthony Lewis discusses the administration of torture and the torture administration.

The Nation's editors then join for a condemnation of the torture conspiracy.

Personally I am just horrified (yet again I suppose) at the deeds being done in my name.

Posted by duver001 at 11:12 AM

The Bush regime still has trouble telling lobbyists from journalists

As a Oil Industry shill goes to the Climate Change conference as a journalist. Credentialed by the Washington Times.

Posted by duver001 at 10:50 AM

Wikipedia entry on Seigenthaler revisited

Looks as though it was a practical joke on a coworker. They didn't know that anyone treated the wikipedia's accuracy seriously.

Posted by duver001 at 10:31 AM

December 12, 2005

Minnesota school program

Although it appears that only 4% of students take advantage of it, high school students in the state can take free college classes. Interesting program...hadn't known about it before.

Posted by duver001 at 11:53 AM

December 6, 2005

Tamiflu useless for the avian flu

As it turns out.

Posted by duver001 at 5:12 PM

The Guardian dissing Narnia

I have to admit my own ambivalence. I read the Chronicles of Narnia a little late, so the religious aspects were hitting me over the head, and I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have otherwise.

Philip Pullman's take on Narnia.

Posted by duver001 at 2:53 PM

December 2, 2005

What's happening in Southern Fiction today

Plagarism "due to his 'ignorance concerning the principles of fair use.'" This from a Ph.D. in English, working as a professor.

Posted by duver001 at 1:37 PM

Bad sex (writing) award

Click through to see the text passages. Wow! Yet another award to dream of...

Posted by duver001 at 1:35 PM

December 1, 2005

Hey hey, ho ho, this we know has got to go.

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country." --Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928)

Posted by duver001 at 1:48 PM

Iraq worse off under the new "democracy"

Says who? How about the US's hand-picked interim president. For example.

Posted by duver001 at 1:42 PM

"Cyber Monday"

This appears to be a new made-up phrase, probably created by those who wish to hype internet sales. A marketing ploy.

"Cyber Monday" : All results from the past week.

Contrast it with:

"Black Friday" : With links going back to 1993. Such as this one.

Posted by duver001 at 11:41 AM

Small scissors

We're trusted with them on airplanes again. Hmmm...just think of how much safer we are due to the TSA's wonderful policies, now and in the future. Leaves me all warm and fuzzy.

Posted by duver001 at 10:39 AM

Europe facing up to the (complicated) effects of global climate change

As the Gulf Stream may be a time-evolving phenomena. Remember how far north Europe is?

Posted by duver001 at 10:17 AM

Swaziland and AIDS

With 38% of the country affected, they opted to cancel AIDS Day observances. Cancelled due to a harvest festival?

Posted by duver001 at 10:09 AM