Friday, November 19, 2004

Immoral Highways

“Every time I have been out in the public with an ‘I-69’ button on my lapel, teenagers point and snicker at it. I have had many ask me if they can have my button. I believe it is time to change the name of the highway. It is the moral thing to do.”

Read the whole story, here: Interstate 69!

(courtesy of Eric Alterman)

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Bush Family

Well, just like the pundits predicted, Bush is reaching out to the democrats and making his second term surprisingly centrist.

He just offered the Democratic senator from Nebraska a nice little cabinet position, for the Department of Agriculture. All the Democratic senator needs to do is give up his senate post, and allow the Republican governor of Nebraska to select a new senator in his place. A senator that the red staters will approve of. Reaching out-- this is what Bush calls his attempt to get another Republican seat in the senate.

What a nice guy.

Also today, after voting to allow criminals to be congressional leaders, the Republicans announced that they were considering changing voting rules, making it impossible for the Democrats to use a filibuster. Much like they did in Texas, causing the redistricting that got 4 democrats out of the house.

Seems fair.

And now that Powell is gone, Bush doesn't have anybody who would even suggest an alternative to him, for fear of beheading.

Bush: "I think 2 + 2 = 5."

Condasleeza: "Sounds right."

This Op-Ed, from the Times, puts it best. Bush's government is all about family. A weird Stepford family.

From The New York Times:

A Plague of Toadies
By Maureen Dowd


I went to see the magical "Pericles'' at the Shakespeare Theater the other night.

In ancient Greece, the prince of Tyre tires of all the yes men around him. He chooses to trust the one courtier who intrepidly tells him: "They do abuse the king that flatter him. ... Whereas reproof, obedient and in order, fits kings, as they are men, for they may err.''

Not flatter the king? Listen to dissenting viewpoints? Rulers who admit they've erred?

It's all so B.C. (Before Cheney).

Now, in the 21st-century reign of King George II, flattery is mandatory, dissent is forbidden, and erring without admitting error is the best way to get ahead. President Bush is purging the naysayers who tried to temper crusted-nut-bar Dick Cheney and the neocon crazies on Iraq.

First, faith trumped facts. Now, loyalty trumps competence. W., who was the loyalty enforcer for his father's administration, is now the loyalty enforcer for his own.

Those promoted to be in charge of our security, diplomacy and civil liberties were rewarded for being more loyal to Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney than to the truth.

The president and vice president are dispatching their toadies to the agencies to quell dissent. The crackdown seems bizarre, since hardly anyone dared to disagree with them anyway and there were plenty willing to twist the truth for them.

Consider George Tenet, who assured Mr. Bush that the weak case on Iraqi W.M.D. was "a slam-dunk.'' And Colin Powell, who caved and made the bogus U.N. case for war. Then, when he wanted to stay a bit longer to explore Mideast opportunities arising from Arafat's death, he got shoved out by a president irked by the diplomat's ambivalence and popularity.

Mr. Bush prefers more panting enablers, like Alberto Gonzales. You wanna fry criminals or torture prisoners? Sure thing, boss.

W. and Vice want to extend their personal control over bureaucracies they thought had impeded their foreign policy. It's alarming to learn that they regard their first-term foreign policy - a trumped-up war and bungled occupation, an estrangement from our old allies and proliferating nuclear ambitions in North Korea, Iran and Russia - as impeded. What will an untrammeled one look like?

The post-election hubris has infected Capitol Hill. Law-and-order House Republicans changed the rules so Tom DeLay can stay as majority leader even if he's indicted; Senate Republicans are threatening to rule Democratic filibusters out of order.

In 2002, Cheney & Co. set up their own C.I.A. in the Pentagon to bypass the C.I.A. and conjure up evidence on Iraqi W.M.D. Now Mr. Cheney has sent his lackey, Porter Goss, who helped him try to suffocate the 9/11 commission, to bully the C.I.A. into falling into line.

In an ominous echo of the old loyalty oaths, Mr. Goss has warned employees at the agency that their job is to "support the administration and its policies in our work.''

Mr. Bush doesn't want any more leaks, like the one showing that he was told two months before invading Iraq that such a move could lead to violent internal conflict and more support for radical Islamists.

Mr. Goss has managed to make the dysfunctional C.I.A. even more dysfunctional. Instead of going after Al Qaeda, he's busy purging top-level officials who had been going after Al Qaeda - replacing them with his coterie of hacks from Capitol Hill.

Mr. Cheney is letting his old mentor, Rummy, stay on. What does it matter if the Rummy doctrine - dangerously thin allotments of forces, no exit strategy, snatching State Department occupation duties and then screwing them up - has botched the Iraq mission and left the military so strapped it's calling back old, out-of-shape reservists to active service?

Condi Rice and Stephen Hadley did not do their jobs before 9/11 in coordinating the fight against Al Qaeda, and they did not do their jobs after 9/11 in preventing the debacle in Iraq. They not only suppressed evidence Americans needed to know that would have debunked the neocons' hyped-up case for invading Iraq; they helped shovel hooey into the president's speeches.

Dr. Rice pitched in to help Dr. No whip up that imaginary mushroom cloud. Condi's life story may be inspirational. But the way she got the State Department job is not.

Not only are the Bush officials who failed to protect the country and misled us into war not losing their jobs. They're getting promoted.

Also, see CNN: Bush Fund Raisers Get Rewarded

Right now, the only hope we have is that this government goes bankrupt and can no longer pay police or judges to enforce the draconian laws they place upon our society, or be able to fund preemptive wars against third world countries.

Even though, I'm sure, in any case, Bush will still get paid.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Bush Ignores World, Says Photo Ops More Important

Bush chokes his Turkey
Don't even think about it, lunchmeat
Well, We're All F*cked

Russia Plans New Nukes

Well, the world just keeps getting safer. I swear, when is Bill Clinton going to stand up an say, hey Bush, enough fuck ups-- I'm taking over.

If we don't stage a coup now, it'll be too late. You think Bush is able to handle this shit? Do you really?

Yeah, he might be able to ban gay marriage. He might even be able to force raped women to carry their rapist's child. But do any of you who voted for Bush think he can handle a war in Iraq, a humanitarian crisis in Sudan, a civil war in the Ivory Coast, the middle east peace process, Bin Laden, and now THIS!?!?!!?

Bush, a guy who averaged a C+ in college? And that was only because Yale doesn't give out any D's?

I'm scared. No, I'm terrified. I can't take this. The world is going to shit.

Is it Bush's fault? Well, depends on how you look at it. But lets imagine that none of it is. That leads to the original question.

Do you think Bush can handle it?!?!?!

Yeah, yeah, I know what you're going to say. Kerry couldn't handle it either. Maybe you're right. But at least Kerry wasn't a dumbass.

The frightening part is, after nuclear war, there will be no place to move. Canada? Forget it.

I'm thinking of building a spaceship, and starting over on a new planet.

Anyone want to join me?

Preferably girls.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Am I Just A Weirdo?

Am I the only one that sees something very funny in this picture/article?

Man Holding His Squid

Could Warming Lead to Squid Boom?

Scientists Say Tentacled Creatures Thrive When Waters Warm Up


Nov. 15, 2004 - As evidence mounts of possible global warming and overfishing, there may be a flip side to the dire news: an abundance of calamari.

Research has shown that many squid, octopuses and other sucker-bearing members of the cephalopod family don't appear to be too troubled by a minor increase in ocean temperature. In fact, when it's a little warmer, some thrive. Plus, as the fishing industry captures more and more of the animals' predators, such as tuna, cephalopods may see their niche expand.

"The good news is they taste great," said John Forsythe, an expert on the creatures from the National Resource Center for Cephalopods near Houston. "They're pure protein and they have no bones."

A study released last week said in the past half-century, average yearly temperatures in Alaska and Siberia have risen by about 3.6 degrees to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit, while winters in Alaska and western Canada warmed by about 5 degrees to 7 degrees. Scientists say this evidence points to an overall trend of warming temperatures and waters worldwide.

It's uncertain how such warming could affect different animal species, but some believe that cephalopods will thrive.

"For shallow water species, warming temperatures is likely to expand their range and speed up their growth," said George Jackson, a squid expert at the University of Tasmania.

Ballooning in the Heat
Research has shown that even a slight increase in water temperature can make the animals balloon in size. This is because their digestive enzymes work faster when warm.

"For cephalopods, temperature appears to be an accelerator," said Forsythe.

Jackson recently estimated the total body mass of the animals has already exceeded that of humans on Earth. Past research has suggested that sperm whales alone consume more than 100 million tons of squid every year. Jackson reasons if that estimate just covers squid eaten by one predator species, then their total mass must exceed that of humans, which represent half of 1 percent of the total biomass on Earth, according to the World Wildlife Foundation.

Meanwhile, fishing rates of another predator, tuna, have doubled from 2 million to 4 million tons a year since 1994, which means more squid may have escaped being eaten. Couple these factors with slightly warmer waters and you have a boom.

Anecdotal evidence has hinted at the success of the animals. Fishermen off the coast of New Zealand and Australia have been pulling up more squid in their nets in recent years. And on the West Coast of the United States, from Southern California to Alaska's shores, a series of widespread sightings and beachings of the enormous Humboldt squid has scientists puzzled and pointing to possible warmer temperatures in these waters.

Humboldt squid, also known as flying jumbo squid, can reach 7 feet to 15 feet in length and weigh as much as 100 pounds. Their growth rate is also astounding. A young squid 2 millimeters in length can grow to a meter in a single year.

"That's like a human baby growing to the size of a whale in one year," said William Gilly, a biologist at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, Calif., who has been studying the species.

Over the past few months, the voracious animals with probing arms and tentacles have appeared as far north as the Alaskan coast. Gilly chalks up their northern appearances to a bump in warming in these areas and the animal's flexible biology.

"The species seems to be pretty adaptable to temperature, so if temperature opens up new niches, they just move in," he said. "They're not picky."

Not All Squid Are Alike
But other squid experts point out not all cephalopods may do well in warming conditions. Steve O'Shea, a senior research fellow at Auckland University in New Zealand, says squid that reside mostly in surface waters may be more flexible than those that hover in the ocean's permanently chilly deep depths. And cephalopods that hang out in colder regions of the globe, like the colossal squid (the largest known squid that has been found off the coast of Antarctica), may be more vulnerable to temperature change.

"A warming of the oceans could also result in the demise of cold-water, deep-sea species of squid," he said.

He adds that fishing isn't only affecting fish species. Cephalopods are often snagged in nets and trawlers who drag nets on the ocean floor can destroy clusters of their eggs.

"Seven species of octopus and squid in New Zealand waters are already considered extinct or seriously impacted by deep sea fisheries," he said. "This is the opposite side of the coin."

Jackson says despite the uncertainty about colder-water cephalopods, he has no doubt that a shift is under way.

"We're replacing one ecosystem -- fish -- with another -- cephalopods," he said. "There's no way of knowing what impact that will have."

Forsythe suggests one consequence could be a change in the American palate.

"In North America, squid aren't that popular yet," he said. "But when fish are $10 a pound and squid are $4 a pound, people will start to say 'Hmm, wonder if I can find a good recipe for that?'

"I think that's inevitable."

Copyright © 2004 ABC News Internet Ventures

(The Funny Thing: The authors name is Amanda ONION!!! Ha!)

Visitor Map: