Is there any area of standard American life that this administration has NOT worsened in the past five years?
The Independent UK looks at how Bush policies have hurt those attending or attempting to attend college in the United States...
Help "Imus" Rush Limbaugh.
Austin Cline has some great thoughts on Israel and "Never again" over at Jesus General in an non-parody posting...
LooseHeadProp over at FDL has a report card on the new Congress.
Apr 30, 2007
Is there any area of standard American life that this administration has NOT worsened in the past five years?
Apr 26, 2007
Riverbend, the most well known Iraqi blogger, is leaving Iraq.
"I remember Baghdad before the war- one could live anywhere. We didn't know what our neighbors were- we didn't care. No one asked about religion or sect. No one bothered with what was considered a trivial topic: are you Sunni or Shia? You only asked something like that if you were uncouth and backward. Our lives revolve around it now. Our existence depends on hiding it or highlighting it- depending on the group of masked men who stop you or raid your home in the middle of the night.
On a personal note, we've finally decided to leave. I guess I've known we would be leaving for a while now. We discussed it as a family dozens of times. At first, someone would suggest it tentatively because, it was just a preposterous idea- leaving ones home and extended family- leaving ones country- and to what? To where?"
I don't really know what to say. I hope her family makes it. I hope she survives to continue letting Westerners and Americans know EXACTLY what our invasion of Iraq has done. I feel like America has failed as a nation, in the worst possible way. Not at 'winning wars' or 'kicking ass' or all that other bullshit. We have failed ourselves, we have failed our country's heart and soul. We have shamed ourselves. Land of the free, home of the brave?
Even though I have fought against going into Iraq from day one, I failed to stop this war from going forward. Even though I have turned countless of my friends and family around by showing them the truths of the situation, it didn't inspire them to start doing the same.
To them, I exposed the litany of lies from our President and his men. But it was all too late. It is too late to save 600,000 Iraqis from the might of a much more powerful country. It's too late to save the 3300 soldiers who have already died. It's too late to give thousands of Americans their missing limbs back. It's too late to save those who were so mentally scarred by this war that they killed themselves once they got back to America. It's too late to save the most progressive Middle Eastern country from turning into a seething pit of fundamentalist sectarianism.
I can't change the fact that my countrymen, on the whole- failed to live up to our country's greatest so-called goals. America gave up our own freedom because we were scared. We dismantled our own laws and became our own worst enemy. We became Russia that we so despised. A nation of christians became torturers. We let everything that this country stands for, down.
So why should River care about my wish for her familie's safety? Why would a jew in 1940s Germany care for the apology and well-wishes of one good German amongst a hundred barbarian ones?
This is the story of Mairead Corrigan Maguire, an Irish woman who has won the Nobel peace prize for her work in Northern Ireland. She was shot with a rubber-coated bullet at this protest. Her story, in her words, is here at Common Dreams.
STOP ISRAEL. STOP THE NEOCON MADMEN. STOP THE RACIST WARMONGERS.
It's time for Christians, Progressives, Conservatives, Liberals, Blue collar Americans, Upper crust high society Americans, Minorities, Majorities, and everyone in between who cares about peace for the future of our country to come together and purge ourselves of the murderers, the torturers, the bloody-handed, the racists, the xenophobes, and the immoral who have infested our government.
It's time to stop supporting Israel's madness, which is what is the true cause of anti-american sentiment in the middle east. It's time for us to police the nation that has brought 9-11 to us. It is time to cut off Israel's welfare from America. It is time to stop enabling them to become the nazis they once feared and despised.
It is time for a real globally minded individual to step into the United Nations as America's represntative and STOP Vetoing sanctions against Israel.
There will NEVER be peace while we turn a blind eye to stories such as Maguires'. People ALL OVER The world are becoming privy to the not-so-secret Gestapo tactics of the IDF. America's politicians can stop this madness. It's time to take back our country from AIPAC and the PNAC.
What was done to the jewish people in the ghettos of Germany must NEVER be forgotten. And what is being done TODAY, in the 21st century by a so-called "Civilized" Country should NEVER be forgotten either.
Apr 25, 2007
from C&L :
Kauzlarich on Ms. Tillman's apparently "irrational" grief for her son:
"When you die, I mean, there is supposedly a better life, right? Well, if you are an atheist and you don't believe in anything, if you die, what is there to go to? Nothing. You are worm dirt. So for their son to die for nothing, and now he is no more — that is pretty hard to get your head around that. So I don't know how an atheist thinks. I can only imagine that that would be pretty tough."
So, if you know your child died for nothing, it's a lot tougher on an Atheist mom than a Christian mom, according to this lame brained thinking.
So, it's really REALLY hard to know that your son has been killed by friendly fire in a war he came to believe was all based on lies and then to have that death politicized by being lied to about his death, and to have to go to grand juries and investigative councils, wade through 10 miles of bueracratic red tape in order to force the lying liars to at last give you some truth about how your wonderful child's life had been wasted - if you are an atheist.
If you are a Christian, somehow, just SOME-FUCKING-HOW, you would be alright with all that.
How insane are these people? Look, Christians love their children just as much as Atheists. I guess a christian does have a pretty impressive crutch by being able to believe that their kid is in a fantasy land heaven now, not dead in a hole because some war profiteering jackass would really love to be EVEN richer. I believe that they will miss their kids just as much as Ms. Tillman. But I don't think a christian will love the war profiteering scumbag that sent her son to die any more than an atheist would.
To use this kind of thinking to JUSTIFY the deaths of our soldiers, our children is just lower than I thought possible of those who strive so hard to justify the war.
Is THIS how Dubya Thinks? Does a large portion of the Christian population truly believe that this war in Iraq IS a crusade, a Christian jihad?
"Hey, it's okay, these soldiers are in heaven now, no harm, no foul. I did em a favor- got them into the promised land about forty years early!"
Bile. On a daily basis- the sick, never ending vomit-in-the-back of my throat taste left by the actions of these bloody murderous bastards who sacrifice our troops daily for their goddamned bullshit!
But still, I am floored at Kauzlarich's viewpoint. I was raised with Christianity- I live with it every day in this 99.99% christian congregation that I call Lubbock, Tx. But I've just never seen it taken out on a limb so far.
Wow, just wow. A christian is saying that Atheists love their kids more because this life is all they get?! Do they finally get that part of my personal "theology?"
Has a Christian finally voiced it, albeit subconsciously? YES!
An atheist cares more about life and the lives of our children here on earth than Christians. Because we dont believe our dead kids go to some fantasy playland, we don't want them to die unneccesarily, period.We KNOW this life is all we get and so we don't take shortcuts on our own morality. We don't expect punishment or rewards upon our death.
Our lives and our deeds IN THIS LIFE are ALL that we have- So we will strive to do the best for our world, our families, and our fellow humankind = that's our goal. Not to separate one religious cult from another for "Paradise".
So maybe an atheist IS a tad bit more "grounded" when holding oneself (and others) accountable for actions that result in the death of others.
Let Sen. Harry Reid know that the American people are behind him all the way!
or Call him here: (202) 224-3542.
My email ..
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
As someone who lives in one of the most partisan strongholds of Bush supporters- Thank you so much for standing up for what is right. There are hundreds of thousands of us across America, not just in your state, who stand up and cheer when you speak truth to the dictatorial powers that have trampled our constitution.
Do not Submit. Do not Sway. The American people want Immediate Withdrawal and they are increasingly behind the Democratic party due to your worthy efforts.
I AM A Conservative. Yet I cannot support the Radical actions of the Bush presidency.
It is only by the actions of YOU and those like you, who DARE TO STAND UP FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE and constitutional law in the face of a tyrant like George Bush, that we shall retain this great nation.
A strong Republican speaks up about the truth in Iraq, on the heels of his latest visit. I received an email from Hagel's people today- It refers to an editorial at the Washington Post, but the Post's search engine sucks completely. I can't find the full article there, but it's posted in its entirety here (Chuck Hagel for president blogspot)
EXCERPTS OF NOTE:
"We are still risking the lives of our troops without giving them a realistic policy worthy of their sacrifices. To me, as a Vietnam veteran, that feels terribly familiar.If success were simply a matter of the determination and ability of U.S. troops and civil servants, we would have already created a secure and stable Iraq. But unfortunately, the reality is that after more than four years, America remains the country's occupying power."
Reality- Embrace it, we beg of you.
"If the good news is mixed, the bad news is downright troubling. Within the past two weeks, hundreds of Iraqis were slaughtered in Baghdad, the Iraqi Parliament's cafeteria was hit by a suicide bomber, and a historic Baghdad bridge over the Tigris River was destroyed. Ominously, these increased acts of violence occurred in the area where the United States and Iraq have deployed 80,000 security forces.
So what do we do?
We must start by understanding what's really happening in Iraq. According to the National Intelligence Estimate released in February, the conflict has become a "self-sustaining inter-sectarian struggle between Shia and Sunnis" and also includes "extensive Shia-on-Shia violence." This means that Iraq is being consumed by sectarian warfare, much of it driven by Shiite or Sunni militias -- not al-Qaeda terrorists. Yes, there are admirers of Osama bin Laden in the country, including a full-blown al-Qaeda branch. But terrorists are not the core problem; Sunni-Shiite violence is. The Bush administration's rhetoric has not been nearly clear enough on this key point."
"American occupation cannot stop a civil war in Iraq. Our military, superb as it is, can only do so much. The only lasting answer to Iraq's anguish will come from a political resolution. There will be no military solution in Iraq."
This, only 3 years after the Democrats and Liberals figured this much out.
"Second, we must do all we can to encourage a comprehensive regional security framework, which includes engaging Syria and Iran. The regional security conference next month in Egypt is an opportunity we must not miss. We cannot solve the problems in Iraq by ourselves. We will have to work more closely with our Middle East allies than ever before, and that means addressing the nearly universal perception in the Middle East that we are imposing our will on the region for our own purposes."
Holy SHIT! Did that just come out of a Republican's mouth?
"I came home from my fifth trip to Iraq with one enduring impression. The Iraqi government must make the tough choices now to produce political reconciliation. If there is no such reconciliation in Iraq, there will be no progress -- no matter how many American lives we lose and how much American money we give. We will have squandered our resources and efforts, undermined our interests in the Middle East and, however unintentionally, produced a more dangerous world."It's about god-damned time that a politician returns from Iraq with some true perspective and not a mouthful of platitudes and rhetoric. Sen. Chuck Hagel talks a good talk but he simply caves in to typical Republican cowardice when it comes to standing up against this administration. Votes Speak Louder Than Words, Sen. Hagel. It's time for the rubberstampers to ACT on their words. It's time to show us there is a Republican with some form of conviction to be found.
Lead the way, Sen.Hagel- Get our troops out of Iraq. As a Vietnam vet, you fully comprehend the truth of this situation.
But the truth of the matter is, that until the Republicans realize that Bush's path in Iraq is basically the same as Custer's charge into the Little Big Horn, they will continue to talk out of both sides of their mouth. When they lose big in 2008, again, they will come to fully comprehend how bad Bush has wrecked the Republican party. The problem is- Our troops are dying today. I don't want to wait until some power mad politician figures out he will lose his job if he doesn't reverse thrust on Iraq.
Yes, any fool can see that a date for withdrawal is a big mistake. Which is why we don't issue some date. We start re-deploying now, quietly and efficiently, under the smoke screen that the surge is over. Consolidate our forces into the larger bases and get them out. Don't give the Iraqis a date.
We have done enough in Iraq. We should have left after we deposed Saddam and been done with it, but any fool can now see that it is, and ALWAYS HAS BEEN about the oil. It's going to be impossible for ExxonMobil to drill oil in Iraq while the general population is trying to kill them.
Such a fucking waste- brought to you by Corporate sponsored Goverment under "Free Market Capitalism fixes everything by itself" wisdom.
In 2010, we will see even more clearly, as a nation that the NeoCon/Big Govt-controlled by corporations/Expansionist Oil Empire experiment was as flawed as Stalin's corrupt brand of communist/Dictatorial rule.
Apr 24, 2007
I wrote this on the Original House of the Rising Sons on Nov.22 2005.
First Agreement of the new Iraqi Government
If the Iraqi government moves to the next step- (and they get closer the longer that they solidify their power bases among the people of Iraq) They will be working against the occupation more and more. Until finally, the leaders WE got elected will be calling for open assaults in the streets of Baghdad.
If we don't get our troops out of here as soon as possible- We will be facing a REAL Viet Nam Uprising. Fighting against the troops we trained AND the general population.
Bush will not do it- More people need to speak out NOW- This news is the final straw. If you cannot see that this is not working NOW- you never will.
This is what happens when you attempt to nation build in Iraq. It was a COMPLETE waste of time and lives. In five years, Iraq will be what it is now, a hotbed of Fundamentalism.
One fact : Before we went there were NO terrorists in Iraq. Saddam killed anyone who resisted his regime. He slaughtered the fundamentalists by the thousands. A Harsh way- but the Middle East way. You cannot bring democracy to religious nuts. It doesn't work that way. It was a failure.
Now we have to get our troops out of there before it implodes completely.
U.S. Casualties in Viet Nam, 1962 - 1970
(from The National Archives)
1962 = 52
1963 = 118
1964 = 206
1966 = 6143
1967 = 11,153
1968 = 16,542
1969 = 11,616
1970 = 6,081
U.S. Casualties in Iraq, 2001 - (from icasualties.org)
2003 = 456
2004 = 849
2005 = 846
2006 = 822
2007 = (first 4 months: 33o)
There are attacks in the Green zone occurring now. The situation is deteriorating, in spite of the surge in Baghdad. Sunnis and Shiites are now almost completely segregated in Baghdad. The U.S. is attempting to divide Baghdad into segregated ghettos to further segregate each faction. I've said it all along- once the combatting factions have eliminated each other from their own areas they will be working even more actively to attack U.S. troops and rid themselves of the occupational forces.
The ONLY thing we actually have going for us as far as keeping U.S. casualties down - IS -the civil war. Shiites have kept their anti-U.S. efforts to a minimum, as long as they retained the reins of government. Sunnis gave up on the government and the civil war began in earnest. Now, Shiites under Al-Sadr are abandoning the government of Iraq that won't rid them of the American presence.
Bush is desperately trying to hold onto Iraq long enough to get the oil contracts signed. But even then, who is going to protect Exxon and Mobil workers while they take over the Iraqi oil fields?
Our soldiers, that is who. Our National Guardsmen, Our Army, Our Marines, and now even our Air force men who have been forced into doing army duties because are military is so overtaxed.
Stop this President Now! Stand up for your country and for our troops. Don't let Bush throw away one more soldier's life for his bullshit war!
Impeach this fucker so we can get out of Iraq before it goes to hell in a big, big way.
This group of criminals in the White house ARE TRAITORS, Murderers, and all around greedy war profiteering scumbags.
But what the fuck does this scumbag, George W. Bush care? He hasn't been to one single soldier's funeral. Troops are only for photo ops and to use as props for the blatant scam pulled on the American people. And to protect his buddy's oil interests.
A legacy of shame. And every day that people continue to support this man, the shame grows larger. Nixon is in hell somewhere, going "Goddamn, someone impeach this piece of shit!"
There will be no repeat of "I am not a crook" from this weaselly silver spoon fed pimp of a President. Because he proudly shouts "I am a fucking crook!" in America's face every day with his blatant lies. And he thinks that he's going to keep getting away with it forever.
Apr 23, 2007
Israeli troops shoot woman
Israel continues to be the Number one Terrorist country in the world.
Israeli forces have killed 8 Palestinian civilians in the past two days, one a 17 year old girl. As long as Israel continues it's blitzkrieg tactics, there will never be peace. Palestinians will commit suicide trying to kill Israelis just to get revenge. Life is cheap in Palestine. Israel makes sure Palestinians know just how cheap.
The violence will never stop until Americans stop arming, aiding, and abetting Israeli terrorism. Until Israel is punished/rebuked by the international community, more people in the middle east will die: Israelis, Palestinians, Lebanese, and anyone else who happens to get caught in a hail of Israeli bullets or in the shrapnel from a suicide bombers vest.
The situation in Gaza grows more and more desperate by the week. It has only grown desperately worse in the six months since this article was published: "We are Dead People" Israel has failed to keep agreements negotiated a year and a half ago by the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice. So, not only do they have the support of the United States, Israel believes it can retain that support while mocking the U.S. government!
A missle whipping into a civilian area and killing bystanders is no less cowardly than suicide bombings on buses. Israeli soldiers executing palestinians for being in the wrong place at the wrong time has been condoned for too long.
It is far past the time for sanctions against Israel for their mindless murders and constant escalation of violence. It will not happen with these warmongering false christians in the White House. It's time for people of real morality and humanity to take back our country from these soul-less monsters who turn a blind eye to murder in Palestine.
Apr 20, 2007
You know what that sound means...
Oh hell, it's Friday I'll just do whatever I want, much like every other day...
Today in the world of Science
(from Blue Herald)
Today in the world of Country Music Video Support the Troops Whoring
(from Jesus General)
Today in News that Shouldn't be News
(from MSNBC's Home page (of course))
Today in News that ACTUALLY is News
(from Think Progress)
Today in the Air Force wing of the Army News
Also from Blue Herald, All the news that I can abuse...
Today in Die Seal Hunters,Die! News
(from the Independent)
Today in Religious Prophecy
(from The Greatest Congregation on the Net, Landover Baptist. Check out the homepage too...)
Today behind the doors of the PNAC
(from Red Meat)
Today in Love, American Style
(from Red Meat,too)
Today in Fast Food Reality
(From the West Virginia Surf Report)
Apr 19, 2007
Apr 18, 2007
Ice Station Tango
You know, I've been asked how I determine my blogroll. It's a small mix of big bloggers and independents, group sites and individuals.
My blogroll is basically places that I go, each week, a lot of them every single day if I can. Sometimes I will link something cool and not put it on my blogroll, because- hell- I don't have enough time to visit all these sites each week- so these are my friends' sites and my favorite places, my own personal Must-visit-sites.
Station Agent is one of the coolest bloggers out there- so here's a link- check it out. And what the hell, I will add it to the blogroll. (Better late than Never, Station agent!) The Station Agent is also a member of the Unruly Mob, one of my favorite sites for blogging that is as intelligent as it is Passionate, which, uh, I don't claim to be ;) .
So check em both out. No more time left today- Enjoy your hump day!
The Military takes a step closer to informing this disgrace of the son of a politician (shrubby boy) that a draft is necessary to continue our occupation of Iraq.
Read the whole damn article.
No more money for Bush's bullshit war. No funds for Mercs (Blackwater "Civilian Forces"). No more kickbacks to the Oil industry. No more special contracts for Exxon/Mobil and KBR in Iraq.
No MORE. Jesus Christ, who will rid me of this treasonous political cabal of neocon bastards? Who will finally stand up to this group of psychotic neocons who have been injected into our government by Bush's criminal enterprise?
They gut our own country's Environmental Protections. And no one stood against them except a few Democrats and activists.
They ignored global warming and gave out special rebates for buying Vehicles who guzzled the most Fuel and helped kill off the electric car, and the only news groups paying attention are independent journalists and watchdog agencies.
They have destroyed, time and time again- any efforts to create some form of government healthcare- while our elderly our being warehoused in a privatized nightmare of constantly bankrupting resthomes.
They have fought tooth and nail against raising the minimum wage, which, in BUSH's OWN Argument for his tax rebates= would stimulate the economy and only affect corporations' bottom lines, NOT Small businesses with less than 200 employees.
They have killed Unions and helped promote illegal alien employment and the advent of the Wal-Mart of China empire.
They have disenfranchised voters, stolen veterans benefits, and created a whole new class of homeless- The Desert Storm/Iraqi war Veteran.
They have looted our nation's treasury and created a subprime lending quagmire that hasn't even yet began to really collapse in on itself- AND THIS- after cutting the safety net of bankruptcy laws out from underneath those same people who were victimized by the predatorial tactics of these loanshark savings and loans who are going under. The government will provide the CEOs of these dirty operations a handout to survive. But will they help the people these CEOs bilked? Hell no.
They have ruined our military in an a war that they would not only continue endlessly, BUT ESCALATE into an EVEN bigger country, Iran. For no better reasons than the lies that they used to trick the American people into going to Iraq with.
How long will the American public take it up the ass for these corporate scumbags? How long will you listen to liars blaming everything on 'liberals' and 'Democrats' as they pick your fucking pockets?
How long will middle america drool and stammer in mindless Republican worship SIMPLY BECAUSE they are glued to their boob-tubes every night? The people who are sitting on the sidelines right now don't have a independent bone in their whole fucking bodies, much less their own ability to think. If you don't stand up for what is right, RIGHT NOW- then our country is lost. To corporate sharks, Mainstream Media market researchers, greedy, power hungry fucks that could care less how many young American boys get their heads blown off in Iraq as long as they can profit off of it.
Good god. The lack of compassion in my countrymen disgusts me.
The apathy of those who know the truth disheartens me.
But the worst, the absolute worst are those of my countrymen that are just so blitheringly idiotic that they cannot simply see the truth in front of them. That our people have become so blindingly stupid that they are no longer capable of reasoning out the obvious crimes that are being commited AGAINST OUR OWN PEOPLE- fills me with shame and bile.
I have been screaming Wake Up for years, now; at those who still support this administration and also at those of you who don't support this administration, but think that the President is still a pretty good guy with good intentions. I have been screaming it for so long that sometimes I think they country deserves what it will end up getting as a result of these dirty rotten scoundrels.
But it doesn't. America DOES NOT DESERVE what the Bush administration is doing to it. My Kids, my family, my friends don't deserve it and neither do your kids, your family, and your friends.
Bush is a not an innocent twit who had good intentions. Bush is from a family who made deals with Nazis in WWII. Bush is so tied to the Oil Industry that sometimes I wonder exactly what runs in his veins anymore. Bush is NOT a Christian. His actions are not those of a christian. He robs from the poor to give to the rich. THAT is not christ-like.
Give up your misconceptions about the people currently running our country (into the ground). Rouse yourself from your stupor. Take the veil from your eyes. This nightmare will NOT END until the People of America truly wake up and end this criminal activity in Government.
I hear the drums echoing tonight
Turnaround, Every now and then I get a little bit nervous
Turnaround, Every now and then I get a little bit restless
Turnaround bright eyes, Every now and then I fall apart
Once upon a time there was light in my life
Apr 17, 2007
Global Warming is exacerbating the severe drought that is affecting the Southwest. And when I say "southwest" I am referring closer to the Texas/Mexico border than the Southwestern U.S. at this point, but as the article below suggests, this area is growing upwards. Just when I thought that I'd be safe from the increasing beach front property due to rising sea levels here in West Texas, I realize that I've got more pressing problems.
When I was growing up, the schools taught that there were 4 Billion people on the planet. Now, 30 years later, there are 7 Billion. This increase of the human population will cause severe water shortages, in addition to the global warming and drought issues that the following article predicts.
Conservation isn't just a personal choice anymore. It's going to need to become a way of life that must be implemented logically and scientfiically in order to sustain ALL life on this planet.
Here's a small excerpt, but the full article fleshes the full situation out-
from ALTERNET: Global Warming Hits Southwest
The human case is clear-cut: Abandoned ranchitos and near-ghost towns throughout Coahuila, Chihuahua and Sonora testify to the relentless succession of dry years -- beginning in the 1980s but assuming truly catastrophic intensity in the late 1990s -- that has pushed hundreds of thousands of poor rural people toward the sweatshops of Ciudad Juárez and the barrios of Los Angeles.
In some years, "exceptional drought" has engulfed the entire Plains from Canada to Mexico; in other years, crimson conflagrations on weather maps have crept down the Gulf Coast to Louisiana or crossed the Rockies to the interior Northwest. But the semipermanent epicenters have remained the basins of the Colorado and Rio Grande rivers, as well as northern Mexico.
By 2003, for example, Lake Powell had fallen by nearly eighty feet in three years, and crucial reservoirs along the Rio Grande were barely more than mud puddles. The Southwestern winter of 2005-06, meanwhile, was one of the driest on record, and Phoenix went 143 days without a single drop of rain. Rare interruptions in the drought, like the Noachian monsoon of last summer (parts of El Paso received an incredible thirty inches of rain), have been insufficient to adequately recharge aquifers or refill reservoirs, and in 2006 both Arizona and Texas reported the worst drought losses to crops and herds in history (about $7 billion altogether).
Persistent drought, like melting ice, rapidly reorganizes ecosystems and transforms entire landscapes. Without sufficient moisture to produce protective sap, millions of acres of pinyon and ponderosa pine have been ravaged by plagues of bark beetles; these dead forests, in turn, have helped to kindle the firestorms that have burst into the suburbs of Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Denver, as well as destroyed part of Los Alamos. In Texas the grasslands have also burned -- nearly 2 million acres in 2006 alone -- and as topsoil blows away, prairies are reverting to desert.
Climatologists studying tree rings and other natural archives have long been aware that the 1922 Colorado River Compact, which allocates water to the rapidly urbanizing oases of the Southwest, is based on a twenty-one-year record (1899-1921) of river flow that, far from being an average, is actually the wettest anomaly in at least 450 years. More recently, they have gained an understanding of how persistent La Niñas (cold episodes in the eastern equatorial Pacific) can interact with warm spells in the subtropical North Atlantic to generate droughts in the Plains and Southwest that can endure for decades.
Moreover, this abrupt transition to a new, more extreme climate ("unlike any in the last millennium, and probably in the Holocene") arises not out of fluctuations in ocean temperatures but from "changing patterns of atmospheric circulation and water vapor transport that arise as a consequence of atmospheric warming." In a nutshell, the dry lands will become more arid, and the humid lands, wetter.
Despite a lot of recent sloganeering about "smart growth" and intelligent water use, desert developers are still stamping out burbs in the same "dumb," environmentally inefficient mold that has blighted Southern California for generations. The trump card of the free-enterprise Southwest, moreover, is that the majority of the water stored within the Colorado River and Rio Grande systems is still dedicated to irrigated agriculture.
Even if "peak water" has now come and gone, desert sprawl can sustain itself in the medium run by killing cotton and alfalfa, while the big growers stay rich selling their federally subsidized water to thirsty suburbs. A prototype of this restructuring is already visible in California's Imperial Valley, where San Diego has been aggressively buying water entitlements. As a result, an attentive air traveler will notice a recent increase in dead squares within the Valley's emerald checkerboard of alfalfa and melons.
More futuristically, there is also the "Saudi" option. Steve Erie, a University of California, San Diego, professor who has written extensively about water politics in Southern California, told me that desert developers in the Southwest and Baja California are confident that they can keep the population boom well-watered through the conversion of seawater. "The new mantra of the water agencies, of course, is incentivizing conservation and reclamation, but rapacious developers are casting covetous eyes at the Pacific Ocean and the alchemy of desalination heedless of the pernicious environmental consequences."
In any event, Erie emphasizes, markets and politicians will continue to vote for the kind of rampant, high-impact suburbanization that now paves and malls thousands of square miles of the fragile Mojave, Sonora and Chihuahua deserts. States and cities, of course, will compete more aggressively than ever over water allocations, "but collectively the growth machines have the power to wrest water from other users."
As water becomes more expensive, the burden of adjustment to the new climatic and hydrological regime will fall on subaltern groups like farmworkers (jobs threatened by water transfers), the urban poor (who could easily see water charges soar by $100 to $200 per month), hardscrabble ranchers (including many Native Americans) and, especially, the imperiled rural populations of Northern Mexico.
Desalination of seawater surely is a partial solution, but one whose side effects must be studied as well. I always knew since my youngest days studying science that the earth would eventually die, our sun would wink out of existence, and this world would no longer host life. But I always assumed that those days were millenia ahead, not in possibly in mere tens of human lifetimes.
Regardless, if we are to be among the civilizations that not only survive, but want to prosper during the changes that WILL come in our near future, we must refute the sense of instant gratification that is so prevalent in today's culture. We must look past ourselves to the future. If we don't, there won't be much of a future for our children, not eons from now, but in the very next generations.
Apr 16, 2007
Even Corporate Bigshots have finally had enough of these total fkn idiots who are running our country.
Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course."
Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!
You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?
I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.
My friends tell me to calm down. They say, "Lee, you're eighty-two years old. Leave the rage to the young people." I'd love to—as soon as I can pry them away from their iPods for five seconds and get them to pay attention. I'm going to speak up because it's my patriotic duty. I think people will listen to me. They say I have a reputation as a straight shooter. So I'll tell you how I see it, and it's not pretty, but at least it's real. I'm hoping to strike a nerve in those young folks who say they don't vote because they don't trust politicians to represent their interests. Hey, America, wake up. These guys work for us.
Stay the course on the Titanic= OR throw these goddamn bums out! You decide. If you sit on your ass, then your COUNTRY is worth exactly nothing to you. Thanks for nothing. Get out and do something. Sitting on your hands and saying "Uh..Democrats are just as bad" is total and complete bullshit!
These guys have sold out America. Are you going to sit there watching American Idol and pretend that NOTHING Is WRONG?
If you do, you aren't much of an American, now are you?THIS Is the Darkest time in American history in MY LIFETIME. I'll be damned if I'm not trying to save our country from these fanatics and snake oil salesmen!
Apr 13, 2007
Multiracial Families increasing - America is becoming more diversified and more of a melting pot, day by day, year by year. The more prevalent "race-mixing" is, the less chance that bigotry will develop.
And when you have some time, dedicate a moment to reading through Unruly Mob's posts- There's some damn fine bloggin', right there ...
Imus fired. No need for a link to this story. We all know the details. But arguing back and forth on C&L's comments on this story, I found a lot of white progressives who care more about their ability to call someone jigaboos than they do about the effect of public racebaiting.
Now, far be it from little a ole' redneck whiteboy like me to claim to know much about racism- But, I know my racist family and I know that black people sure have a lot of strikes against them in my part of Texas. I know I can get a job easier than any black guy here in Lubbock, that's the truth.. I know I can get paid more than a woman.
I hired a couple of black guys when I was working for the family business and my dear old dad was out of town. Boy, dad was pissed. He didn't even find out that one of them was on parole for armed robbery until about 3 months later. He couldn't even talk, he went apoplectic. But U.T. was the best applicant, and I could give a shit less about a man's past when he has served his time. Both the guys I hired ended up being some of our best employees.
Even though I had to separate U.T. from my brother one time in a racial incident involving a co-worker of Mexican descent (U.T. defending the co-worker due to my brother's racism). He did call my brother a "big cornfed-looking cracker motherfucker" but U.T. ended up keeping his job. Partly because fistfights were a monthly incident between my brother and others (including me) and partly because I think my father was scared to fire U.T. Hey- one time where prejudice prevented a firing. Woo-Hoo!
U.T., like me, was big on racial awareness. We both admitted to our own racist tendencies- even though we worked hard to get past the racism that had been passed down from both our families. U.T. liked to call himself a nigga's nigga. He was hardcore. We got along fine. We didn't bullshit each other and we treated each other with respect. I like to think we learned a lot from each other. Who the hell knows. But enough about the inner workings of redneck corporations...
Certain things stick out in Progressives defense of Imus from the C&L comments:
1. Nappy headed isn't a racial insult. Uh, it sure as hell IS- dating back to the use of "nappy" hair as a key defining element of why Africans were supposedly SUBHUMAN and less than white people. It doesn't get more racially insulting than that, does it? Worse than the word nigger, anyday, in my book.
2. Black people can insult black people, why can't we? This one just causes anyone of rational thought to kind of stumble, like How-fucking-stupid-are-you? Uh. Well, it's really ignorant to insult your own race, but sometimes I do it myself. But somehow, if a black guy calls me "snow" it's more demeaning than if my fellow crackers do it. Go figure. Plus, we haven't quite reached an equivalent ground, black vs. white yet. Black people are not using these terms to insult their whole race, most of the times- usually they are picking out certain members of their race. But from my firsthand experience, when a white guy starts calling random black people niggers, jigaboos, porch monkeys,etc= he is definitely berating each and every black person in existence. And these terms, used over and over and over work to creating a stereotype in white peoples' minds: That black people ARE inferior.
3.Rappers say worse stuff. Yep. They do. But on public radio, they are censored.
4. Sharpton has said worse stuff. A lot of white people hate Sharpton, for a lot of reasons. But I think mainly its because he reminds us white people that racism still exists- and guys like him are working to improve black people's lot. So why is that a problem? I doubt that Sharpton is going off on jews on a daily basis on his show. If he did, he'd be fired in a heartbeat. So this is a bullshit argument. Don't hate the messenger. Sharpton didn't get Imus fired. Americans complaining to CBS and corporate sponsors did. And employees of CBS complaining as well. If anyone said what Imus said at work, in public- he'd be fired.
5.But the freedom of Speech, man- This isn't a freedom of speech issue. If Imus wants to make a comedy album doing 1000 sexist racist jokes- he can. A government official didn't come in and arrest Imus. His employer fired him. Your freedom to do things stop when they hurt others. His speech, whether you may believe it or not, in your change-the-channel white world- hurts ALL african Americans and women. His tone and his usage were not comedic jabs- they were hateful insults hurled with vitriol.
6. But what about Rush? Coulter? Beck? What about em? This is good news- a shot across the bow of the good ship S.S. Racist RightWing Fucknut. Tone down your appalling obvious racism or the American public will light a fire under your ass. Why defend Imus while attacking Rush? Cause Imus isn't "that bad?". He was bad enough. And if Imus can get fired for this- Rush CAN Get fired for his comments.
So, It was a good day for racial tolerance yesterday.
UPDATE: Angelo over at Progressive Chicano has Maya Angelou's take on it. I believe that she has the right to have the final word on this- and it's perfect.
Apr 12, 2007
Blues for America
Vonnegut on the Daily Show
UPDATE: Nez has his own tribute (and a great pic) up at Jesus General - Make sure you check out the comments for some more great Vonnegut links and pay your respects..
Vonnegut's quality of writing equalled the truth that he told. I can't really say that the following passage of Vonnegut's is my favorite, virtually everything he wrote struck me the same way- ironic and entertaining, making me laugh at loud at times, but always, Always leaving my mind spinning forward afterward:
My government’s got a war on drugs. But get this: The two most widely abused and addictive and destructive of all substances are both perfectly legal.
One, of course, is ethyl alcohol. And President George W. Bush, no less, and by his own admission, was smashed or tiddley-poo or four sheets to the wind a good deal of the time from when he was 16 until he was 41. When he was 41, he says, Jesus appeared to him and made him knock off the sauce, stop gargling nose paint.
Other drunks have seen pink elephants.
And do you know why I think he is so pissed off at Arabs? They invented algebra. Arabs also invented the numbers we use, including a symbol for nothing, which nobody else had ever had before. You think Arabs are dumb? Try doing long division with Roman numerals.
We’re spreading democracy, are we? Same way European explorers brought Christianity to the Indians, what we now call “Native Americans.”
How ungrateful they were! How ungrateful are the people of Baghdad today.
So let’s give another big tax cut to the super-rich. That’ll teach bin Laden a lesson he won’t soon forget. Hail to the Chief.
That chief and his cohorts have as little to do with Democracy as the Europeans had to do with Christianity. We the people have absolutely no say in whatever they choose to do next. In case you haven’t noticed, they’ve already cleaned out the treasury, passing it out to pals in the war and national security rackets, leaving your generation and the next one with a perfectly enormous debt that you’ll be asked to repay.
Nobody let out a peep when they did that to you, because they have disconnected every burglar alarm in the Constitution: The House, the Senate, the Supreme Court, the FBI, the free press (which, having been embedded, has forsaken the First Amendment) and We the People.
About my own history of foreign substance abuse. I’ve been a coward about heroin and cocaine and LSD and so on, afraid they might put me over the edge. I did smoke a joint of marijuana one time with Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, just to be sociable. It didn’t seem to do anything to me, one way or the other, so I never did it again. And by the grace of God, or whatever, I am not an alcoholic, largely a matter of genes. I take a couple of drinks now and then, and will do it again tonight. But two is my limit. No problem.
I am of course notoriously hooked on cigarettes. I keep hoping the things will kill me. A fire at one end and a fool at the other.
But I’ll tell you one thing: I once had a high that not even crack cocaine could match. That was when I got my first driver’s license! Look out, world, here comes Kurt Vonnegut.
And my car back then, a Studebaker, as I recall, was powered, as are almost all means of transportation and other machinery today, and electric power plants and furnaces, by the most abused and addictive and destructive drugs of all: fossil fuels.
When you got here, even when I got here, the industrialized world was already hopelessly hooked on fossil fuels, and very soon now there won’t be any more of those. Cold turkey.
Can I tell you the truth? I mean this isn’t like TV news, is it?
Here’s what I think the truth is: We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial, about to face cold turkey.
And like so many addicts about to face cold turkey, our leaders are now committing violent crimes to get what little is left of what we’re hooked on.
Apr 11, 2007
Crooks and Liars has a rundown from Move On's Virtual Town Hall Meeting last night:
Crooks and Liars- All day, everyday
Edwards - on Iraq
Every day this war drags on, it's worse for Iraq, worse for our troops— and worse for our country. We don't need more debate; we don't need symbolic resolutions; and we don't need abstract goals—what we need are binding requirements. And we can't wait until the next president takes office in 2009.
Congress should use its funding authority to force President Bush to end the war and start immediately bringing American troops home from Iraq.
But this is not the time for political calculation, this is the time for political courage. This is not a game of chicken. This is not about making friends or keeping Joe Lieberman happy. This is about life and death—this about war. We are done letting George Bush manipulate the rhetoric of patriotism, only to use our troops as political pawns. If Bush vetoes funding for the troops, he's the only one standing in the way of the resources they need. Nobody else.
Congress must stand firm. They must not write George Bush another blank check without a timeline for withdrawal—period. If Bush vetoes the funding bill, Congress should send another funding bill to him with a binding plan to bring the troops home. And if he vetoes it again, they should do it again.
The American people are overwhelmingly in favor of ending this war. If our side stands firm, if we show courage now, we can finally bring our troops back home and bring this war to an end.
Clinton - on Iraq
(M)y goal is to end the war when I'm President and to bring our troops home, but ...
Nuff Said. It's time to end this farce once and for all. Get our troops out of there.
Fuck what President Bubble boy wants- the American people are through with wasting our lives and money to make the President's friends rich.
Apr 9, 2007
150 graduates of Pat Robertson's Nutball college work for the Bush Administration
These are the people who don't believe in Global warming or evolution because there is "no proof" but yet they DO Believe the earth is only 6000 years old, that the fossil record is a test from God, and that Noah loaded up 2 of every animal on the ark. oh yah- and Jesus is coming back to save his real believers.
It's time to discard Mythology from our government. It's time to put the pre-programmed christianists to the sidelines where they belong. It's a shame that so many people who aren't even jews have been conned into worshipping a mishmash of old testament jewish mythology and new testament messiah mythology that a majority of jews have since turned their back on.
2,000 years ago, a bunch of bass-ackwards, uneducated jewish tribesmen infiltrated the Roman empire with the onset of christianity. It destroyed Rome (along with plenty of corruption) and brought on 1,000 years of educational devolution. It's happening again. The morons are taking over the country.
If Religious nuts take over America, they will ruin it. Read up on some Revolutionary writing- catch up on your Jefferson and your Franklin, your Washington and your Adams. This country was founded on keeping these religious idiots OUT OF GOVERNMENT.
Every day when I run into one of these bamboozled, brainwashed christians, I shudder. Jewish elders must laugh theirselves apopletic at times watching the antics of these fools who have adopted the Old Testatment as their own history. I see Irish celts, Africans, Asians, and a host of other people who have had their own wonderful colorful histories, religions, and mythologies who have turned their backs on it all to fall to their knees before Christianity. Weak minded fools all.
The ones that disgust me the most are my own fellow native Americans who have assimilated Christ into their lives as well. It's bad enough that christians stole our land, despoiled it and committed genocide against us. But in final defeat to see a native american let his very SOUL be stolen is the biggest shame of all.
Progress has been made and I welcome it. But it has been made in despite of the religious nuts of the ages. Those fundamental fools who cursed Copernicus, burned "blasphemers" and murdered those who sought science and progressive thinking still exist today. Their dream of 'progress' is deconstructing science, ignoring anything that debunks their precious supersititions, and recreating a Patriarchal domination led by religious overlords.
These people, weak minded and weak spirited, desperately need someone to collar them and hold their leashes. Segregate us and categorize us. Tell us what to do, O Lord. For we know not what we do.
Well I can see what these fools are doing to our country, right now; with their blind eye to torture and their open arms welcoming of war, with their meek submission to a Master who kicks them as a matter of discipline. They curl up at the feet of their master, whining pitifully, wanting desperately to lick the boots of someone- ANYONE- who will take away their uncertainties and give them something to believe in, a direction for their pitiful, otherwise meaningless existence.
Add some true meaning to your life. Dedicate yourselves not to some god in the sky- but to your world, to your fellow man, to your children and your legacy to the existence of mankind in THIS WORLD. Become a leader, not a follower. Don't make your goal in life to simply become richer than your neighbor.
Make your goal to make your world richer, not just yourself at the expense of everyone around you.
Apr 5, 2007
A good read about the indoctrination of Israeli and Palestinian children.
My greatest respect goes to those Palestinians and Jews who work for peace between their peoples. It is the small minded, the brutal and simplistic on both sides, who cause the deaths of innocents each week.
Yet Bush used a horrific tale in Iraq — one in which terrorists put children in a car to get through a checkpoint, then exploded the vehicle — to describe why he won’t pull back.
“It makes me realize the nature of the enemy we face, which hardens my resolve to protect the American people,” Bush said. “People who do that are not — it’s not a civil war, it is pure evil. And I believe we have an obligation to protect ourselves from that evil.”
And a whole group of U.S. soldiers that rapes a 14 year old girl and shoots her 5 year old sister in the face, along with the rest of her family? What is that? Justified? I don't think so.
Some Shia cleric is using that story of evil to claim that the U.S. is pure evil, to fire up Iraqis to fight America.
Rhetoric is only rhetoric, used by manipulators to make others want to die for them, while the leaders sit in safety. The only thing "pure" or absolute is these men's ability to say ANYTHING to push their agendas.
War = Evil. That's about as pure as it gets. There's no "pure evil" enemy out there, folks. There is no good guy vs. bad guy. There are two different cultures, two different peoples, in a warzone. Atrocities are being committed on all sides.
The Difference IS: That it is THEIR Country. We are the invaders. We are killing THEIR Kids in THEIR homeland. For oil. For Power. For a handful of greedy corporatists.
Those of you who STILL support this war and this President- Do you REALLY want the sons and daughters of America laying down their lives so that Halliburton can make billions and move their headquarters to the Middle East?
Iraqis didn't start this war. They had nothing to do with 9-11. President Bush started this war. Every drop of blood is on his hands and on his head, and eventually stains what may exist of his tiny, black soul.
Every ounce of support given to the Occupation of Iraq only helps War Profiteers. Every day we remain in that country hurts us as a nation and a people. To hell with timetables. Get us out of there NOW. Let them have their desert nation back. It was never our place to attempt to steal it from them.
Apr 3, 2007
It is time to face this joke of a President down on his bullshit.
It is time to snuff out the flames of madness, incompetence and the false sense of "perseverence" that drives Bush's war in Iraq. It is time to stand up for your country, Congressmen and women- both Republican and Democrat- to fight and defeat the Neoconservative Radical Agenda and put the folly of their policies six feet under forever.
We know now*, without a shadow of a doubt that this war was a mistake that has cost the U.S. dearly in lives and funds.
We know now* that our invasion of Iraq has created a terrorist recruitment explosion effect.
We know now* that the only ones who have profitted from this horrible situation is a triumvirate of corporate interests: the Military Industrial complex, Big Oil and Halliburton/Bechtel.
We know now* that 50-85 soldiers are dying each month and there are NO gains, that the situation is actually growing worse- even with the surge, as attacks are reaching into the Green zone.
We know now* that ignoring the Geneva Conventions, implementing torture, and punishing an entire nation for the acts of terrorists from another country was a terrible distortion of the freedom and democracy that America represented to the world.
We know now* that our nation's greatest ideals have been tarnished by the actions of the fearful and paranoid. Our leaders have shamed us all by setting aside the rule of law and spitting on the constitution.
(now* is just referring to those who finally see past this administrations lies. Some of us have been able to pierce the veil of their deception from the beginning.)
It's time to meet this insufferable tinhorn tyrant on his own ground, using his own methods. High noon.
Bring your lies on, Mr. President. The time is drawing nigh for you to face the music for thousands of dead Americans, a bankrupt nation, and a rapidly self-destructing bubble economy.
Your credit's shot. No more refinancing bets that don't pay off.
From No Quarter: Rove's arrogance
A breakdown on how the Niger Yellowcake Uranium forgeries got to that Italian Reporter..
(from ze mainstream media, even! Shock!)
More on Iran's taking Western hostages... Retaliation, anyone?
By the way, thank God Iran respects the Geneva convention, at least. Those British soldiers will be free a lot sooner than the Iranians we hold, who are probably being tortured as we speak.
Remember why the Geneva conventions exist- TO PROTECT OUR OWN SOLDIERS- it's a golden rule kind of thing, Do unto enemy soldiers as they would do unto you. If we discard these guidelines, then our troops will be the ones who suffer in the end. Sure, terror cells aren't going to adhere to these rules, but the U.S. Government is NOT a terror cell and sure as hell shouldn't be acting like one. The way Iran treats these British soldiers is at least the same respect and restraint that should be offered to the Iranian officials we hold.
Of course we have all those dangerous criminal terrorists in Gitmo, like THIS GUY : Held for years for having a battery charger. Oh, the horror. What- did the Duracell lobby get to Bush?
Apr 2, 2007
Juan Cole blogs about why the "surge" in Iraq is failing.
3 Key Points:
Deaths up 15%
More U.S. soldiers dying than Iraqi Soldiers. If Iraqis are supposedly leading the security crackdown, why are U.S. soldiers dying more frequently? (85 U.S. troop deaths in March, 44 Iraqi soldiers)
More and More attacks INSIDE the Green Zone.