Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Economic Fascism


"Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary defines fascism as "a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized, autocratic government." This stands in stark contrast to the classical liberal idea that individuals have natural rights that pre-exist government; that government derives its "just powers" only through the consent of the governed; and that the principal function of government is to protect the lives, liberties, and properties of its citizens, not to aggrandize the state...

...The essence of fascism, therefore, is that government should be the master, not the servant, of the people. Think about this. Does anyone in America really believe that this is not what we have now? Are Internal Revenue Service agents really our "servants"? Is compulsory "national service" for young people, which now exists in numerous states and is part of a federally funded program, not a classic example of coercing individuals to serve the state? Isn't the whole idea behind the massive regulation and regimentation of American industry and society the notion that individuals should be forced to behave in ways defined by a small governmental elite? When the nation's premier health-care reformer recently declared that heart bypass surgery on a 92-year-old man was "a waste of resources," wasn't that the epitome of the fascist ideal-that the state, not individuals, should decide whose life is worthwhile, and whose is a "waste"?

The U.S. Constitution was written by individuals who believed in the classical liberal philosophy of individual rights and sought to protect those rights from governmental encroachment. But since the fascist/collectivist philosophy has been so influential, policy reforms over the past half century have all but abolished many of these rights by simply ignoring many of the provisions in the Constitution that were designed to protect them. "
(Emphasis Mine.)

And here We have the central discourse of Our time: the confrontation of a growing government "elite" ripping the Constitution to shreds in order to "protect the U.S.", a thinly-veiled variant of "We had to destroy the village in order to save it."

With this, I close Jenius Jots. What started as a personal forum to simply point out topics and events I don't cover in Gil The Jenius was quickly deemed a "citizen-journalism" effort by several people whose opinions I deeply respect. Even with that accolade, I have to end the effort, for I believe the effort--this experiment--has run its course.

Through no foresight or prescience of Mine, Jenius Jots has bracketed the most astounding and significant election of My lifetime, possibly of all time, and has seen the most dramatic economic crisis of almost 80 years unleashed as a result of almost two decades of unfettered greed. And it currently stands athwart a Middle East crisis that proves that no country, no religion, no group of people holds a monopoly on truth and righteousness.

Like many other blogs, this one disappears quietly, the narrow window of time it covered growing narrower with each passing day. But it remains as a record of observation and opinion, of choice and attention, of thoughtful time invested to tap you on the shoulder and say "Have you seen this?"

May you see much more.

Home schooling grows - USATODAY.com

"The ranks of America's home-schooled children have continued a steady climb over the past five years, and new research suggests broader reasons for the appeal.

The number of home-schooled kids hit 1.5 million in 2007, up 74% from when the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics started keeping track in 1999, and up 36% since 2003. The percentage of the school-age population that was home-schooled increased from 2.2% in 2003 to 2.9% in 2007. 'There's no reason to believe it would not keep going up,' says Gail Mulligan, a statistician at the center."

Okay, but despite USA Today's take on the subject, according to parenting/education blog Just Enough and Nothing More, when it comes the rise of home-schooling, the media doesn't care.

Could be both. Home-schooled kids number almost 2 million, close to the number of prisoners in U.S. of part of A. jails, and We know what kind of money that population moves. It's been proven time and again that home-schooled kids do better in practically every measure of academic evaluations, so the growth in their numbers bodes well for the future of the country.

So if the mainstream media ignores it, does that matter? Seems to me it's far worse that state and national government agencies are making it more difficult to home-school, in which case, mainstream media silence is a problem.

Daily Kos: Cheers and Jeers: Tuesday

An Open Letter to the 111th Congress

"You'll continue to act quickly on things that should be acted on slowly, and you'll act slowly on things that should be acted on quickly. You'll insult our intelligence, waste our money (or, rather, waste our grandchildren's money since you spent ours and our kids' long ago), give plenty of face time to the rich and powerful, and collapse at the mere hint of a filibuster threat.

I know you want me to believe you'll do things differently, but that's like Lucy promising Charlie Brown that she won't pull the football away---for real this time. Uh huh. George Bush may be the worst president ever, but at least he was right when he stammered, "Fool me once shame on you. Fool me...can't get fooled again."

I know I'm being a tad negative, but can you blame me? You authorized the Iraq war, legalized warrantless wiretapping to make Bush's illegal wiretapping retroactively legal (that was a neat backflip), agreed that habeas corpus was disposable, wasted floor time condemning MoveOn.org for exercising its freedom of speech, took impeachment off the table, failed to notice the collapsing economy, and wouldn’t even allow the government to use its power to negotiate lower drug prices. You failed us and failed us and failed us. Collectively you're a bunch of irresponsible opportunistic whiny ether-sniffing assface sissypants bedwetters until such time that you prove through your deeds that you're not."

20 Forgotten Bush Scandals - The Daily Beast

It's like a laundry list of hellacious times, a 20-item list that could have been longer, all under the mantle of "forgotten", simply because the murderous moron was so very disgustingly incompetent, if not downright evil.

Israel Commiting a War Crime in Gaza - allvoices.com

"This war has caused a humanitarian crisis of the order not seen since Milosovic-led Serbians killed and maimed thousands of Bosnians in the 1990s. It is no different from Saddam Hussein bombing Kurds in Northern Iraq. Heck, it is no different from Darfur where Africans are being singled out and killed due to their ethnicity and religion. Will the world stand up and charge the Israeli Prime Minister with War Crimes in Gaza? Will we, as citizens of the world, have the strength to take him to International Court of Justice and make him pay for his actions against helpless and powerless Gaza citizens?"

Statment Of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The DHS Fiscal Year 2009 Budget

"It’s interesting - I went through one of those symbolic checkpoints in the state of New York driving back here. It was about 125 miles from the border. In a car with license plate one on it from Vermont. With little letters underneath it that said US Senate. We were stopped and ordered to get out of the car and prove my citizenship. And I said “what authority are you acting under?” and one of your agents pointed to his gun and said “that’s all the authority I need.” Encouraging way to enter our country." (Emphasis Mine.)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Op-Ed Contributors - The End of the Financial World as We Know It - NYTimes.com

"OUR financial catastrophe, like Bernard Madoff’s pyramid scheme, required all sorts of important, plugged-in people to sacrifice our collective long-term interests for short-term gain. The pressure to do this in today’s financial markets is immense. Obviously the greater the market pressure to excel in the short term, the greater the need for pressure from outside the market to consider the longer term. But that’s the problem: there is no longer any serious pressure from outside the market. The tyranny of the short term has extended itself with frightening ease into the entities that were meant to, one way or another, discipline Wall Street, and force it to consider its enlightened self-interest." (Emphasis Mine.)

I've long used a mantra to keep entrepreneurs from making huge mistakes: Avoid short-term gain that leads to long-term loss. But to do that, you have to be willing to look at the long-term options and consequences, so that your short-term decision is based on enhancing the long-term, not sabotaging it.

Our financial system took away long-term oversight in favor of "improved" short-term analysis, something akin to blackening the windshield while fiddling with the speedometer. Are We doomed? Here's the answer...and it is not pessimistic. An example that is well within reach (now):

"THIS could be fixed. Congress might grant qualifying homeowners the ability to get new government loans based on the current appraised values without requiring their bank’s consent. When a corporation gets into trouble, its lenders often accept a partial payment in return for some share in any future recovery. Similarly, homeowners should be permitted to satisfy current first mortgages with a combination of the proceeds of the new government loan and a share in any future recovery from the future sale or refinancing of their homes. Lenders who issued second mortgages should be forced to release their claims on property. The important point is that homeowners, not lenders, be granted the right to obtain new government loans. To work, the program needs to be universal and should not require homeowners to file for bankruptcy." (Emphasis Mine.)


2009 Could Be Better Than You Think - WSJ.com

It can be hard to raise your head above the rising waters of a drowning economy and the chaos of misguided, misinformed and miserable media, but here's an article well worth perusing. Remember that the greatest periods of average individual economic growth have happened in the decades after severe economic downturns. 

Keep a level head and a keen eye: opportunities abound and while others are whining, wailing and winging it, you can find a solid future in the turbulent present.

Daily Kos: The I/P Conflict is Simpler than You Think [UPDATED]

"The fundamental fact is that Palestinians are under the military domination of Israel. You can trace the history of this conflict back dozens--or, for that matter, thousands--of years, you can weigh competing historical claims to the land, you can try to figure out who was responsible for the failure of Oslo, but you will eventually arrive at this fact, and this fact should, if you're some kind of liberal, shape your position.

In the West Bank Israel's armed domination takes the form of an occupation, under which soldiers control the movement of Palestinians, seize their homes, and sporadically bombard them in the name of fighting militants. You know: an occupation. In Gaza the form of domination for the last couple of years has been a blockade that has reduced the area to, as Amnesty International put it, 'bare survival.' I'm sure some Gazans would prefer an outright occupation, what with the denial of lifesaving medical care and children eating grass. And that was before the latest attacks, which have killed hundreds...

...Yet obviously, if you're a progressive, the fact of Israel's military domination of the Palestinians has to dictate your moral math. It's the responsibility of the occupier to stop occupying. Or if you prefer, people have to the right to live free from military domination. If you're a progressive, a believer in universal human rights and international law, you likely accept these precepts. You should. In demanding self-determination, Palestinians are not relying on archaic or secondary principles. As Edward Said put it:

This Palestinian insistence is no unique, decontextualized aberration; it is fully supported by every international legal and moral covenant known to the modern world."
(Emphasis Mine.)

It seems that, like religion, military domination depends on who's doing what to whom, for if it's "Our guy" doing it to them (the Crusades, Iraqi War, Gaza Strip), it's right, but if it's "Their guy" doing it (take your pick), well that's just damn wrong.

Here's the proper perspective: It doesn't matter who does it to whom; it's always--unfailingly--wrong.

Worldwide Sawdust:: It's Not Too Late: Demand Obama Investigate Bush's War Crimes

Go to Change.gov and click "Additional Issues" and check the top question to make prosecution of the murderous moron and his hyena cabal's war crimes at least a discussion-level priority in the coming Administration. Please, do it now. Thank you.

The Raw Story | Cheney: Bush's actions legal if not impeached

"If you don't get punished, you didn't go anything wrong, right?

That's the message Vice President Dick Cheney gave in an interview with CBS' Bob Schieffer on Sunday, suggesting that a president's actions are legal if those actions didn't result in his impeachment.

Asked by Schieffer if he believed that anything the president does in time of war is legal, Cheney said there is 'historic precedent of taking action that you wouldn't take in peacetime.'"

Let's take this hyena's argument at face value. If an illegal action (or more than one) is taken and not prosecuted to resolution (dismissal or punishment), the action remains illegal (against the law), but its consequences--what the law needs to be and remain enforced--are nullified; therefore the law is also nullified. I could be splitting hairs here, but isn't a nullified law the same as acceptance of the once-illegal action(s) as legal, if only in the sense that no prosecution and/or punishment are to be attached to them?

So no, Dick, if you don't get punished, it's not that you "didn't do anything wrong": you most certainly did. What it does mean is that the will and integrity needed to enforce the law and punish your skanky-whore ass opted to pass rather than act. And that makes two wrongs, which We know--or should know--never make a right.

Probe Leads Richardson to Abandon Cabinet Bid - WSJ.com

"The governor has said he is not guilty of any wrongdoing. But a source close to him said there was too much uncertainty about the investigation to go before potentially hostile Republican senators in upcoming confirmation hearings.

A federal grand jury is investigating how CDR Financial Products of Beverly Hills, Calif., won more than $1.5 million in work advising the state of New Mexico and its state bond operations after making contributions to two of Mr. Richardson's political action committees. The "pay to play" investigation seeks to determine whether the governor's office had any role in the contracting decisions."

Though honorable, it makes one wonder, seeing as how We're so used to filthy politicians clinging like smelly barnacles while screeching their (lost) innocence. And it is definitely the first major snag of the President-elect's run-up to the White House.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Igniting Change: The Future of the U.S.


"No U.S. President has died under the same flag he was born under."

Will President-elect Obama be the first? 

Could be he won't...

If Americans Knew - What every American needs to know about Israel/Palestine

Statistics can lie; they often do. But sometimes the numbers have a truth that no one can deny. Read these and judge for yourself.

Then there are these, on the Iraqi civilian casualty count of the war damn lies built.

Chrysler gets $4 billion U.S. government loan | Reuters

So "American" cars run on taxpayer money now, huh? I wonder what kind of crappy mileage numbers We'll get out of that...


What Really Happened.com

"How does a defensive action result in the total conquest of someone else's lands? The answer is that it does not. Israel is the aggressor. The maps of Israel then and now prove it. "

Just take a look at the changing maps of the last 60+ years. Then tell Me who the victim is. 

Op-Ed Columnist - A President Forgotten but Not Gone - NYTimes.com

Might I add, not gone soon enough?

"Another, far more elaborate example of legacy spin can be downloaded from the White House Web site: a booklet recounting “highlights” of the administration’s “accomplishments and results.” With big type, much white space, children’s-book-like trivia boxes titled “Did You Know?” and lots of color photos of the Bushes posing with blacks and troops, its 52 pages require a reading level closer to “My Pet Goat” than “The Stranger.”

This document is the literary correlative to “Mission Accomplished.” Bush kept America safe (provided his presidency began Sept. 12, 2001). He gave America record economic growth (provided his presidency ended December 2007). He vanquished all the leading Qaeda terrorists (if you don’t count the leaders bin Laden and al-Zawahri). He gave Afghanistan a thriving “market economy” (if you count its skyrocketing opium trade) and a “democratically elected president” (presiding over one of the world’s most corrupt governments). He supported elections in Pakistan (after propping up Pervez Musharraf past the point of no return). He “led the world in providing food aid and natural disaster relief” (if you leave out Brownie and Katrina). 

If this is the best case that even Bush and his handlers can make for his achievements, you wonder why they bothered. Desperate for padding, they devote four risible pages to portraying our dear leader as a zealous environmentalist."

OpEdNews: The Sarah Palin-Like Presidency

"In a recent article in Newsweek (excerpt posted below) top aides report that Bush was doomed with the American public after Katrina. But Bush handled Katrina the same way he did everything while President, displaying a total lack of care for people and a genuine disinterest in them and their situations. But unfortunately Bush is what passed as compassionate conservatism to the American people.

So just as Sarah Palin ignited much of the conservative base in this last election. Bush had previously ignited that same base by displaying the same characteristics that the Republican conservatives find so appealing. A leader that appeals to this base, like Bush and Palin, must display an alarming lack of intellectual curiosity, understanding, and creativity to go with an extreme lack of empathy or compassion. Unfortunately what the conservative base, and ultimately a great many of the American people, find so appealing contributed to a terrible catastrophe on the Gulf Coast. It has also contributed to our present economic Katrina.

In the future, the American people, for their own protection, should demand leaders that have genuine feelings for people while also displaying an intellectual capacity." (Emphasis Mine.)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Toward a Greater Separation of Power

Nolan Chart.com:

"I propose that, instead of three branches of government, we adopt three (or more) completely independent and non-territorial governments. I make this proposal because it is not the concept of checks and balances that has failed, but the inadequacy of the particular system in place that is the source of our problems. I know this is a radical proposal, but no more radical than the constitutional republic that we live under now was when it was first proposed. A radical solution is called for because, in my opinion, attempts at incremental reforms have been no more effective than efforts to liberalize the mafia or the Ku Klux Klan would be. It is simply not in the nature of a territorial or monopoly state to relinquish its power or operate in a non-coercive fashion."

Not a good idea. As Ayn Rand pointed out in the 60s (yes, I'm quoting Rand: she wasn't totally loony), what do you get with "competing governments," which is what happens when you have governments seeking to increase their power base, i.e., population and commerce.

The Raw Story | Mukasey's recommendation of exec privilege to hide Cheney transcript revealed

"The seven-page letter (pdf), dated July 15, argues that disclosure of such records would hinder future presidents' ability to receive guidance from their advisers because Cheney's conversations detailed internal White House deliberations. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee requested the transcripts along with other documents related to its investigation into the leak of former CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity.

A bipartisan committee report has already determined the claim was inappropriate, and a separate report (pdf), that the committee has delayed voting on recommends holding Mukasey in contempt of Congress. It's unclear if the committee will ever vote on that report; a spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday."

The time has come: Can Barack Obama really make a difference? - Americas, World - The Independent

"Never, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, have so many invested so much hope in a single individual. Except that the object of their fixation is not a proven titan like Churchill. Barack Obama's career on the national political stage began barely four years ago. He has run nothing of note, except an admittedly brilliantly conducted campaign for the White House.

Now he must run everything. He will be ultimately responsible for a federal budget of three trillion dollars. He will lead the mightiest military on earth. Most important of all, he will be in charge of his country's government, at a moment when Americans look more intensely to government for solutions than at any time since the Great Depression.

This huge outpouring of hope moreover ignores a paradox. In 1945, the US stood at the pinnacle of its power. The Red Army might have been about to conquer Berlin, but America was far and away the wealthiest country on earth. It could create, and to all intents and purposes impose, a new global financial system. Singlehanded, it could promote international economic recovery, as it did with the Marshall Plan in a Western Europe that might otherwise have fallen under Communist control.

Six decades later, the biggest creditor nation on earth has turned into the world's biggest debtor. In a globalised age, the US is one economic power centre among several. The slump of 2008 may have started there, but the key to ending it is to be found in Beijing, Delhi and Brussels as well. Yet for now these inconvenient truths are forgotten in the euphoria over Obama. Can he do it? The deafening chant echoes back: Yes He Can."

BBC NEWS | Americas | Cuba offers direct talks with US

"Speaking on state TV on Friday, President Castro repeated his previous assertions that Havana was ready for direct talks with the US 'without intermediaries, directly'.

'But we are in no rush, we are not desperate,' he stressed.

Mr Castro said Mr Obama, who is due to take office on 20 January, could 'do a great deal, could take positive steps'."

I predicted over in Gil The Jenius that Raúl, the semi-retard kid brother of Fidel, would feel the shoes he has to fill to be way too big. If he felt he could have filled them, he would have waited for Obama to make the first move. Mark My words: If Fidel croaks before the first formal meeting is set, Raúl will damn near fly to Washington on the first flight out of Havana.

Op-Ed Contributors - Four Ways for Detroit to Save Itself - Interactive Graphic - NYTimes.com

Technology to the rescue? From an industry that very selectively chose technology to "boost" its position...and ended up bankrupt?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Brian Eno: Stealing Gaza


"The Israelis are a gifted and resourceful people who fully deserve the right to live in peace, but who seem intent on squandering every chance to allow that to happen. It's difficult to avoid the conclusion that this conflict serves the political and economic purposes of Israel so well that they have every interest in maintaining it. While there is fighting they can continue to build illegal settlements. While there is fighting they continue to receive huge quantities of military aid from the United States. And while there is fighting they can avoid looking candidly at themselves and the ruthlessness into which they are descending.

Gaza is now an experiment in provocation. Stuff one and a half million people into a tiny space, stifle their access to water, electricity, food and medical treatment, destroy their livelihoods, and humiliate them regularly...and, surprise, surprise - they turn hostile. Now why would you want to make that experiment?

Because the hostility you provoke is the whole point. Now 'under attack' you can cast yourself as the victim, and call out the helicopter gunships and the F16 attack fighters and the heavy tanks and the guided missiles, and destroy yet more of the pathetic remains of infrastructure that the Palestinian state still has left. And then you can point to it as a hopeless case, unfit to govern itself, a terrorist state, a state with which you couldn't possibly reach an accommodation.

And then you can carry on with business as usual, quietly stealing their homeland."

Would They Be Planning to Use Troops Against Americans If They WEREN'T Stealing Our Money?

Alex Jones' Infowars.com:

Here's the complete post (minus hyperlinks on every "this"):

"Political science professor at the University of Texas at El Paso Charles Boehmer points out that “The military was not called out during the Great Depression….”

So why is the military planning on how to crush civil protest in regards to the current economic crisis (see this, this, this, this, this and this)?

Is it because the theft - via “bailouts” and other hanky-panky by Treasury, the Fed and others - of hard-earned taxpayer wealth isso obvious that the military expects Americans to revolt?

The other potential explanation is that the military has been told that this financial crisis could be much, much worse than the Great Depression.

So which is it? The obviousness of the theft or the severity of the crisis?

My guess . . . both."

Israel kills Hamas leader and his family with one-tonne bomb - World news, News - Belfasttelegraph.co.uk

"Medics say a total of 13 members of Rayyan's family were killed by the airstrike on the residential neighbourhood."

Bomb. Residential neighborhood. Thirteen dead. That's usually called terrorism.

"At least 420 people have been killed and 2,100 injured since Israel's aerial bombardment of the Gaza strip began six days ago."

Where is the army the Israeli Defense Forces are supposedly facing on "the battlefield"? How many enemy soldiers have been killed by this six-day foray into military tyranny? Is an overwhelming army in numbers and weapons bombing a house to kill 12 "collateral casualties" an act of bravery and legitimate defense, or is it a craven cowardly attempt to instill terror... the act of a terrorist?

The Worst Predictions About 2008 - BusinessWeek

Worth looking at if only to note how utterly wrong some of these "experts" can be. (Note that the murderous moron of the Oval Orifice is included in the list, but he is not an expert on anything except failure, ducking responsibility and cronyism.)  

Rootless Cosmopolitan - By Tony Karon: Understanding Gaza

"Well, actually, as Avrum Burg has said so eloquently in his new book The Holocaust is Over, We Must Rise from its Ashes, it is precisely because of the Holocaust experience and the universal message of “Never Again” that the West today is engaged with human rights abuses everywhere, no matter who the victim and perpetrator — even when the perpetrators are Jewish." (Emphasis Mine.)

To allow the evil of something like the Holocaust to be perpetrated again is unacceptable, and at the risk of repeating Myself, no matter who the perpetrator is, whether a rapacious dictator like Pol Pot or Saddam Hussein or the Israeli Defense Forces.

The Iraq War Is Now Illegal - The Daily Beast

"Bush allowed the UN mandate to expire on December 31 without requesting a renewal. At precisely one second after midnight, Congress’ authorization of the war expired along with this mandate.

Bush is trying to fill the legal vacuum with the new Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) he signed with the Iraqis. But the president’s agreement is unconstitutional, since it lacks the approval of Congress. Bush even refused to allow Congress access to the terms of the deal. By contrast, Prime Minister al-Maliki followed his constitution and submitted the agreement for parliamentary approval. While the Iraqi parliament debated its terms, leading members of Congress were obliged to obtain unofficial English translations of texts published by the Arab press...

...Indeed, it (the SOFA) goes far beyond any sensible interpretation of the president’s power as commander in chief. For example, the SOFA creates a joint US-Iraq committee and gives it, not the president, broad control over the use of American combat troops. It thereby asserts the authority to restrict President Obama’s powers as commander in chief throughout most of his first term in office. But under the Constitution, no president can unilaterally limit his successor’s authority over the military." (Emphasis Mine.)

Yes, you read that right: U.S. of part of A. troops under foreign command, while ostensibly on a U.S.-based mission. The murderous moron and his hyena cabal are up to their old tricks. Why he hasn't been taken out by public outrage is beyond Me.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Imprisoning Our Own: 8 Shocking Facts about American Incarceration | EcoSalon - The Green Gathering

"For being the most prosperous country in the world, education spending in the United States ranks a paltry #38 in the entire world, lagging far behind Jamaica, Denmark and Cuba…which holds the top spot. Yes, Cuba."

Oh, and the prison system? It sucks, too. Here's why:

"You can bet someone is making money off of this: our government contracts management of prisons to private corporations. Corporations need to turn a profit, and the more prisoners they have, the more money they’ll get. It’s big business."

Think Progress---2008: Bush’s Last Year By The Numbers

– Number Of U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq: 322.
– Number Of U.S. Troops Killed in Afghanistan: 151.
– Number Of Jobs Lost: 1.9 million.
– Number Of Banks Federal Government Now Owns Stock In: 206.
– Number Of Uninsured Americans: 47.5 million.
– Change In Housing Prices: declined 18 percent.
– Change In Health Insurance Premiums: increased 5 percent.
– Change In Number Of Delinquent Mortgages: increased 75 percent. (75%!)
– Change In Use Of Food Stamps: increased 17 percent.
– Change In Dow Jones Industrial Average: declined 35 percent.
– Change In Bush Approval Rating: declined 9 percent to 29 percent.
(Emphasis Mine.)

How the hell can 29% of the people polled still support the murderous moron? Is there some way We can immediately euthanize them, or the murderous moron?

Top 12 Political Blunders of 2008 | Politicususa

Do you want to elicit a 2008 guffaw of mocking glee in 2031? Just say "Palin."

Guantánamo: a hellhole where torture scandals shook the world’s trust in US justice - Times Online

"Today, as the Bush Administration and the incoming Obama team join forces to try to persuade Britain and its European allies to help to close Guantánamo, it seems fair to conclude that the facility has been a disaster for President Bush and America. The very mention of its name has become shorthand for all the extrajudicial excesses, mistakes and torture scandals that have so sullied America’s once cherished reputation as a beacon of freedom and justice. 

Opening the facility seemed a justified move to many Americans in the early days of the War on Terror. But the Bush Administration was creating a monster that has eroded America’s moral authority, and a prison full of foreigners – many of whom have been cleared for release but have nowhere to go."

Military intelligence... Postal service... U.S. justice... Oxymorons all, with emphasis on "morons"...

Images - In Pictures: Massacre of Gazan Children


Does it matter who uses military personnel and might to indiscriminately kill unarmed civilians? Does it make it right when A does it to B? When a terrorist bombs a school? Or when Israeli troops blast parts of the Ghaza Strip?

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Why Wall Street Always Blows It - The Atlantic (December 2008)

Plenty of blame to go around and don't think it doesn't touch you 'cuz it does...

21 Dumbest Moments in Business 2008 -- FORTUNE

Yes, it's one of those "click for a new page" deals that some sites use to pad their numbers, but here's a summary of the awful that's worth a few cringe-inducing, chuckle-releasing minutes.

All Spin Zone -- Alberto Gonzales Can’t Find a Job, Whines

Seeing as how it is the holiday season and all, I'll limit Myself to a bland "Fuck you, Alberto."

Religion may have evolved because of its ability to help people exercise self-control | Science Codex

Religion may have evolved because of its ability to help people exercise self-control | Science Codex:

"Self-control is critical for success in life, and a new study by University of Miami professor of Psychology Michael McCullough finds that religious people have more self-control than do their less religious counterparts. These findings imply that religious people may be better at pursuing and achieving long-term goals that are important to them and their religious groups. This, in turn, might help explain why religious people tend to have lower rates of substance abuse, better school achievement, less delinquency, better health behaviors, less depression, and longer lives."

Cornell Chronicle: Pocket-sized therapeutic ultrasound device

Cornell Chronicle: Pocket-sized therapeutic ultrasound device:

"Ultrasound is commonly used as a nondestructive imaging technique in medical settings. Sound waves, inaudible to humans, can generate images through soft tissue, allowing, for instance, a pregnant woman to view images of her baby. But the higher-energy ultrasound that Lewis works with can treat such conditions as prostate tumors or kidney stones by breaking them up. His devices also can relieve arthritis pressure and even help treat brain cancer by pushing drugs quickly through the brain following surgery.

(Inventor George K.) Lewis suggests that his technology could lead to such innovations as cell phone-size devices that military medics could carry to cauterize bleeding wounds, or dental machines to enable the body to instantly absorb locally injected anesthetic.

Lewis miniaturized the ultrasound device by increasing its efficiency. Traditional devices apply 500-volt signals across a transducer to convert the voltage to sound waves, but in the process, about half the energy is lost. In the laboratory, Lewis has devised a way to transfer 95 percent of the source energy to the transducer."

Miniaturized medical devices for greater effectiveness and efficiency in health care... We may be on the verge of a revolution of unheralded proportions for Our world's population.