Saturday, January 17, 2004
Comments are back up thanks to the nice folks at HaloScan. Fire away yea loyal readers and moron FReepers alike. Snoogans.
I Am So Fucking Pissed Off.
I found out yesterday that $hrub is funding his Mars PR mission by cutting the funding for the Hubble Space Telescope among other things. What the Fuck?!?!?! Hubble is probably the most valuable scientific resource we have right now, and its replacement won't go up until 2011. This is fucking ridiculous.
It's just like the Bush [mis]Administration to sacrifice real programs for a stoopid fucking PR gimmick though. But of course, they deny that this has anything to do with the Moon-Mars bullshit. They say it's about safety concerns following the loss of the Columbia.
Safety concerns? Fucking safety concerns? They are talking about sending people to Mars, for fuck's sake!!! A mission, I might add, most experts agree is best left to machines -- which are doing a damn good job -- for the time being. (And since when have these fuckers given a shit about human life that isn't their own anyway?) This is just bullshit.
Hubble has six gyros that control positioning. Only four of them work right now. It takes three to move properly. There would have been a servicing mission to fix this and add upgrades in the next year or so, but not anymore. Hubble is going to be out of commission a good five years before it's replacement, the NGST (Next Generation Space Telescope -- what a catchy name!) is up and running.
Real scientific study of the Universe we live in is going to be much harder in the near future. Thank you Mr. Resident, you stoopid fucking prick. I hate you.
Thursday, January 15, 2004
Pro-Lifers Are Kinda Dumb, Eh?
Ampersand puts the lie to another Pro-Life arguement.
Action Alert! -- The Five Israeli Conscientious Objectors.
Via Aron's Israel Peace Blog:
Our children - Adam, Hagai, Matan, Noam and Shimri - have been sentenced to repeated, and practically unlimited, periods in military jails until they surrender. Their "crime" is that they refuse to serve the Israeli Army in order to enforce the occupation - they have chosen to be prisoners rather than jailers.
Sign The Petition!
The FReepers Speak.
Blah3 alerts us to this disgusting display of racism and general assholery on the part of the denizens of the Free Republic. The remarks made to Miss. Cho for her MoveOn appearance are truely.... Sick. I'm finding words hard to find on this one. Go read it, it's fucking horrible. I can't believe people actually write that kind of shit.
Anyway, I sent Miss. Cho a nice letter in solidarity, I suggest everyone else do the same. Show some support, people!
I Like Kucinich, But I'm a Spineless Dem Sock Monkey.
Hehehehehe. I like that headline. Oh, there are so many fun nouns and adjectives I could have used though -- it's too bad I have a rule about keeping the headlines on one line.
Anyway, Veiled4Allah has a post on the "I like Kucinich, but...." phenomenon. Excerpt:
I've never been actively involved in a campaign before, so maybe this is actually a long-standing phenomenon. Nonetheless, I am simply baffled by the number of people who say "I like Kucinich but I don't think he can win, so I'm supporting Dean". You don't think he's got enough support so your answer is not to support him either? Hello? Where is the logic?
UPDATE! -- Oops, here's the link.
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
No Surprise Here.
Looks like those 36 mortar rounds the Danes found the other day weren't filled with chemical weapons. The pattern continues.
"Based on the tests, the experts conclude that none of the shells contain chemical warfare agents," the Danish army statement said, adding that more studies are needed for final confirmation.
I'll tell you where they are: They're in WMD heaven. They're dead. Destroyed. Disintegrated. Gone. Kaput. Nonextant. Extinct. Bye bye now.
Thanks to Maru for the tip.
A Moment Of Silence Is In Order.
British peace activist Tom Hurndall, who was shot in the head by the IDF in April while trying to protect Palestinian children, died last night in London. He succumbed to pneumonia after spending the last nine months as a vegetable.
In a rare deviation from the norm the Israeli soldier who shot him has been charged. A second soldier is also under arrest for lying to protect the murdering fuck.
If you want to make yourself ill -- or you're a sick piece of shit right-wing fuckwad -- INN has the alternate reality version of the story where Hurndall is an "anti-Israel activist" who was shot while "attempting to interfere with IDF counterterrorism operations" on behalf of ISM, a group "involved in protecting wanted Arab terrorists, explosives labs and in attempts to destroy the security fence."
UPDATE! -- More from Ha'aretz: Israeli embassy in London has promised that the government is "acting to ensure that justice is served."
The International Solidarity Movement will be holding a candlelight vigil in central London on Wednesday.
Maybe You've Heard About This.
I was aware of it a couple days ago, but didn't know the details:
In Floyd County, GA, in a small town called Rome, about an hour from Atlanta, an 18 year old high school senior named Marcus Dixon was prosecuted for rape, kidnapping, and "aggravated child molestation."
Basically, this kid is going to jail for TEN YEARS for fucking a white girl. Welcome to Amerikkka.
You Should Be Reading....
You really should be going there on a daily basis.
Action Alert! -- A Reminder.
If you haven't already, send a letter to your Senators and your Representative in the House in support of the Bills forcing electronic voting machines to have paper records. Hell, if you have sent one before, fuck it, send another one.
Thanks to mousemusings for the reminder.
The Best humor Is True.
Number of days between Novak column outing Valerie Plame and announcement of investigation: 74 days.
Thanks to Hammerdown who got it from Josh Marshall.
Action Alert! -- Stop CAPPS II.
Via Blah3, the ACLU has made it easy to voice your opposition to the new airline passenger profiling system. Just go here and send a message to your elected officials.
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Forget Me Damn Head If It Weren't Held On With Thumbtacks And Duct Tape.
I found out a week ago that the POD Gallery selection committee has deemed only three images out of my Self Portraits in E Minor series worthy of display. I am mighty disappointed. Disaffected may be a better term, actually. I submitted that as a whole series. They went together damnit!
It's a rare occassion that I ask my loyal readers to help me, but if you happen to like the twelve images that they deemed unworthy, how about telling them about it. Double points if you were wanting to buy a print.
You can see the three they selected (and get prints) here and the other twelve here.
The "Education President" Screws Kids Over Yet Again.
From the AFL-CIO:
Congress has promised some $19.3 billion for the Title I program that helps schools educate disadvantaged students. But Bush's budget proposal only provides $12.5 billion, a $6.8 billion funding gap that breaks the Bush administration's promise to improve public education through reduced class size and implement other educational improvements, AFT [American Federation of Teachers -- brayn.] says, citing budget figures recently released by the Congressional Research Service. The funding is crucial to schools aiming to accomplish the goals required by the No Child Left Behind Actm -- the education reform law Bush has championed.
Read the Rest.
Also, if you're interested, check out the AFT's state-by-state analysis.
The Most Secretive Administration.
The fuckers even want to keep outbreaks of mad cow and nuclear accidents secret. National seurity? More like national embarrassment. To echo Steve, this really makes me feel safe, how about you?
News From Morons.org.
New Jersey has decided to give gay couples some legal rights. Though there will be no recognition of shared property rights and many state programs won't recognize gay partners, they will be able to make medical decisions and qualify for dual coverage health insurance (through their employers and the state,) just like other married couples.
Pennsylvania fundies want to ban books from public libraries. Apparently they're not aware of the idea that the rest of us have as much of a right to read them as they have the right not to. Someone should start a counter-movement with the intention of banning books about religion, just to spit in their faces.
And you may want to check through the queue of stories no one got around to.
Where Are They Now?
Busy, Busy, Busy is back from hiatus. Woo-hoo!
From the Guardian:
He survived one of America's most infamous military nightmares that became the basis of the film Black Hawk Down. He went on to beat a more personal battle, this time with cancer.
Damn.... Shit.... Fuck....
Link via Deb. And quite a downer from that last one, I might add.
A Laugh A Day Keeps The Right-Wing Nutballs At Bay.
lib-er-tar-i-an n. -- A gun-toting economist on drugs.
Hehehe. Thanks to Deb for the laugh.
Moron Of The Day -- William Safire.
Via Dohiyi Mir we learn that William "Facts-Get-In-The-Way" Safire is passing off the same old bad math by comparing the death rate of US soldiers in Iraq to the murder rates of NYC and LA. Hmmm.... I've heard this before, haven't I? Oh, yeah, Brit Hume tried this one back in August and got beat down for it. Well, at least Safire only used the comparison in passing, whereas Brit Hume actually used the geographical size of California and Iraq as his comparison, rather than, say, the number of people at risk.
Anyway, if you need the math again, I'll go over it. First, some facts: There are 130,000 US troops in Iraq. There are -- and I'll use NTodd's estimate here -- 8,000,000 people in New York City (20,000,000 if you're talking about the whole metropolitan area, but we'll use the smaller number here.) There were 595 murders in NYC last year. There have been nearly 500 US deaths in Iraq so far -- it hasn't been a year yet, but we'll call it a year.
So, let's see some ratios:
New York City murder rate = 595/8,000,000 = 0.000074375
So, a US soldier in Iraq is something like 50 times more likely to die than a resident of New York. I ain't no bettin' man, but those don't sound like very good odds to me.
To look at it another way, assuming the death rate stays the same over the next year, 1 in every 260 US troops will be killed while only 1 in every 13,500 New Yorkers will lose their lives to violence. (And if that murder rate is for the whole metropolitan area then it would be 1 in 33,750.)
And, of course, you also have to consider non-fatal casualties. I don't know the numbers for NYC, but troop casualties are about five times greater than the rate of death, which would mean 1 in every 45 soldiers killed or wounded every year. Now factor in multi-year deployments thanks to $hrubCo's incompetence. That's not a pretty number.
Hmph. Well, that was a fun little exercise.
Rubber Hose has a point for point rundown of Safire's column. Needless to say, the above example is not the only proof of Safire's stupidity.
Sunday, January 11, 2004
Sorry about the lack of substantial posting today. I just haven't had a lot to say really (though I have left a few comments around the blogosphere and left two medium-length posts on anarchism at the Tool EZBoard.) Hopefully I'll be a bit more verbose tomorrow.
Website Of The Year.
Vote for Labour Start's Website of the Year.
The Spanish Civil War.
An Anti-Authoritarian Website has a good analysis of the Spanish Civil War here.
There's also a very good anti-capitalist cartoon up.
The Obligatory Confined Space Link For Today.
The Weekly Toll -- Always a heart-breaker.
Lotta talk today about Paul O'Neill's charges that $hrub Co. had been planning to invade Iraq from the very beginning, even before 9-11. This is another one of those "Duh!" moments I think.
I mean, even without this new twist, we've known for quite a while that the PNAC Neocons have had a hardon for Iraq's oil for years. Hell, in Sept. of 2002 it came out that The Don himself [Sect. of War Donald Rumsfeld] was pushing his aids about invading Iraq mere hours after the first plane hit the WTC. And neocons like Wolfowitz who infest this administration like a fungus have been pushing for regime change in Iraq since the end of Gulf War I. This is all well known and hardly any kind of "conspiracy theory."
UPDATE! -- Here's a good artile on O'Neill's book from Time.
UPDATE! II -- Via Angry Bear, Paul O'Neill will be on 60 Minutes tonight at 7 o'clock if you're interested.
The US Health Care System.
Max has some interesting numbers on this.