Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Video You Only Have To Listen To

Big Media Journos' Knowing Reliance On A Fake, Lying Self-Avowed Expert


Bipartisanship In A Single Image And An Image To Help You Feel Better After Seeing The Suicide-Inducing First Image

A Lucid Anlays Of The Iran Threat, Such As It Is

So what's the threat, exactly? Iran? Or Our Leaders' aching desire to respond in the most stupid way possible?

The brilliant Tom Powers has answers.

Louisiana, More Than Ever, Leading The Nation Into The Toilet

John McCain's veep leads the state onward to the 11th century.

Ars Technica:
As we noted last month, a number of states have been considering laws that, under the guise of "academic freedom," single out evolution for special criticism. Most of them haven't made it out of the state legislatures, and one that did was promptly vetoed. But the last of these bills under consideration, the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), was enacted by the signature of Governor Bobby Jindal yesterday. The bill would allow local school boards to approve supplemental classroom materials specifically for the critique of scientific theories, allowing poorly-informed board members to stick their communities with Dover-sized legal fees.

The text of the LSEA suggests that it's intended to foster critical thinking, calling on the state Board of Education to "assist teachers, principals, and other school administrators to create and foster an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories." Unfortunately, it's remarkably selective in its suggestion of topics that need critical thinking, as it cites scientific subjects "including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning."

Oddly, the last item on the list is not the subject of any scientific theory; the remainder are notable for being topics that are the focus of frequent political controversies rather than scientific ones.

The opposition
The bill has been opposed by every scientific society that has voiced a position on it, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science. AAAS CEO Alan Leshner warned that the bill would "unleash an assault against scientific integrity, leaving students confused about science and unprepared to excel in a modern workforce."

Jindal, who was a biology major during his time at Brown University, even received a veto plea from his former genetics professor. "Without evolution, modern biology, including medicine and biotechnology, wouldn't make sense," Professor Arthur Landy wrote. "I hope he [Jindal] doesn't do anything that would hold back the next generation of Louisiana's doctors."

Lining up to promote the bill were a coalition of religious organizations and Seattle's pro-Intelligent Design think tank, the Discovery Institute. According to the Louisiana Science Coalition, Discovery fellows helped write the bill and arranged for testimony in its favor in the legislature. The bill itself plays directly into Discovery's strategy, freeing local schools to "use supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner."

Discovery, conveniently, has made just such a supplemental text available. As we noted in our earlier analysis, Discovery hopes to use these bills as a way to push its own textbook into the classroom. Having now read the text of the book, it is clear that our earlier analysis was correct; the book badly misrepresents the scientific community's understanding of evolution in order to suggest that the basics of the theory are questioned by biologists. In doing so, it ignores many of the specific questions about evolution that are actively debated by scientists.

Courts in Pennsylvania and Georgia have both ruled that laws which single out evolution serve no secular purpose and are evidence of unconstitutional religious motivations. Those precedents, however, do not apply to Louisiana, and it's possible that the LSEA will either be ruled constitutional or remain in force for years before a court rejects it. That will leave the use of supplemental scientific material to be determined by local school boards in the intervening years and, if boards in Florida are viewed as evidence, they are likely to be spectacularly incapable of judging scientific issues.

As such, most observers are expecting the passage of the LSEA by the state to unleash a series of Dover-style cases, as various local boards attempt to discover the edges of what's constitutionally allowable. The AAAS' Leshner suggested that the bill's passage would "provoke an expensive, divisive legal fight." In vetoing similar legislation in Oklahoma, Governor Brad Henry suggested it would end up "subjecting them [school officials] to an explosion of costly and protracted litigation that would have to be defended at taxpayers' expense." In essence, Jindal is inviting local school boards to partake in that explosion without committing the state to paying the inevitable costs.

In the meantime, the students of the state will be subjected to an "anything goes" approach to science—if it looks scientific to a school board, it can appear in the classroom.

Today's Movie

Harde-Har-Har; AT&T, Takes A Break From Illegally Spying On Us For Our Leaders And Makes A Funny


Friday, June 27, 2008

Viddie Of, Like, Forever

I dunno, maybe I posted this before but three attractive young women on motorcycles -- it's damn well worth doing again!

Well, I can't get the embed to work, so you just have to use the link....

20 Naughty Acronyms

The kids know them, now we can too!

Desktop Wallpaper For Cat-Lovers

Get it here.

Farewell, WTF!


President McCain: Pot Called Kettle Black

I guess we're wanted to believe that a flip-flopping panderer actually has the country's interests at heart. Are we as stupid as John McCain?
The problem is not a Republican Administration that has disappointed many or a Democratic Congress that cannot take action on the challenges facing our nation. The problem is that politicians in Washington are working for their own self-interest or that of their party.

Hauntingly Beautiful Photos

More Beauty than ever seen on a single webpage....


O Is Ready For Us Wheter Or Not We're Ready For Him

No comment....


The Continuing Tribute

And then there's this at iTunes U (if this link works...).

Amazing Viddie - Watch more free videos

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Meet Another Destroyer Of America

Another one of Our Leaders.

Why President McCain Likes His Tax Plan Better

It gives him more money.


The eulogists are right: Tim Russert was powerful. From calling Florida for Bush in 2000 to telling Al Gore to quit the contest after Election Day, to kneecapping Hillary Clinton in the debate in Philadelphia last October, Russert was a kingmaker. When he called the Democratic primary for Barack Obama last month, his fellow pundits compared it to the moment Walter Cronkite bailed on the war in Vietnam. I, for one, am looking forward to the rest of the electoral cycle without the domineering presence of NBC's electoral college of one.

It's not just that Russert abetted the Bush Administration in the Iraq War; much of the media shares that role. It's that he did damage in a wide range of contexts. There are two reasons for this: his tactics and his substance. Procedurally, there was what the Bushies actually called the "Russert Test." As they said after their candidate used an hour on Meet the Press to demonstrate his seriousness in 1999, and again in 2004, when as President he appeared on the show to stanch his fall in the polls, if you can survive an hour of Russert, you're vetted.

The biggest promoter of the Russert Test was Russert himself, as in this 2007 interview with John Elsasser of the Public Relations Society of America: "A political leader, particularly a president, can't make a tough decision unless theycan answer tough questions. So, you can always use that as an entree into the debate--a video question, but it's necessary to have follow-ups, too." And again on Sean Hannity's FOX program: "It's a TV show," Russert

explained. "If you can't handle TV questions, how you gonna stand up to Iran and North Korea and the rest of the world?"

In fact, the Russert Test was exactly backwards. The better our leaders performed on Meet the Press, the worse their foreign policy seemed to be. Tough: tough. It sounds the same, right? But it's not the same. The political leaders who did the best answering Tim Russert's questions in the last seven years--Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Colin Powell--are the authors of the most disastrous American foreign policy since the Vietnam War, and maybe since 1776.

The Russert Test was a disaster because it rewarded people willing to lie unabashedly on TV. They lied because they could not truthfully defend their positions. But Russert's famed "gotcha" research couldn't catch them. Much has been said this eulogizing week about Russert's hard-working ways assembling the material in advance of the show. Old metal. When someone told a new lie on Meet the Press, such as when Dick Cheney flat-out denied he had ever said that intelligence confirmed the Al Qaeda/Iraq link, Meet the Press had no procedure for producing the contrary evidence. This would hardly have been

difficult, given Google, an earpiece and a producer to do instant research. As it happened, NBC had the rebuttal to Cheney's lies in its own archives, but it remained for The Daily Show to do the research.

Since MTP was always looking back, the Bush Administration had a big advantage. Their new lies to Meet The Press were halfway round the world

while The Daily Show was putting its boots on.

Russert's sunny manner also concealed that he was anything but a neutral journalist, advancing, somewhat covertly, the conservative trifecta: War

on terror, war on women's reproductive rights, and war on Social Security.

The locus classicus of Russert's complicit support for going into Iraq

is, of course, Dick Cheney's appearance on Meet the Press March 16, 2003, one week before the invasion:

RUSSERT: Many Americans and many people around the world are asking one

question: Why is it acceptable for the United States to lead a military attack against a nation that has not attacked the United States? What's your answer?

There then follows an astonishing, nearly 1,000-word filibuster from the Vice President, including the key litany of assertions for the Iraq War:

CHENEY: ...where might these terrorists acquire weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear weapons? And Saddam Hussein becomes a prime suspect in that regard because of his past track record and because we know he has, in fact, developed these kinds of capabilities, chemical and biological weapons. We know he's used chemical weapons. We know he's reconstituted these programs since the Gulf War. We know he's out trying once again to produce nuclear weapons and we know that he has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups, including the al-Qaeda organization.
Just rereading it is enough to raise the hair on your neck, even these disastrous many years later. And what did that paragon of "tough" questioning do in response to this dirty dozen of false assertions ("we know, we know, we know") about to drive the United States into one of the worst foreign policy decisions in the history of the Republic? He asked Cheney about the French:RUSSERT: French President Jacques Chirac said this morning, that

perhaps there could be a deadline of 30 days or 60 days and he may be able to buy into that. What would be wrong for the United States to say to the world, "OK. We're going to give Saddam 30 days or 60 days and put some pressure on the French to step up and have a united front against Saddam Hussein"

Russert's inability to stay on target usually vanished, however, when the respondent espoused a liberal position. Here is Russert questioning Al Gore on (the horror) his support for abortion rights:

RUSSERT: When do you think life begins?
GORE: I favor the Roe vs. Wade approach, but let me just say, Tim, I did--
RUSSERT: Which is what? When does life begin?
GORE: Let me just say, I did change my position on the issue of federal funding and I changed it because I came to understand more from
women--women think about this differently than men.

RUSSERT: But you were calling fetuses innocent human life, and now you don't believe life begins at conception. I'm just trying to find out, when do you believe life begins?
GORE: Well, look, the Roe vs. Wade decision proposes an answer to that question--
RUSSERT: Which is?
As the liberals sense a coming resurrection, they have begun to shine a light on the corrupt, decade-long conservative attack on Social Security, under the cloak of fiscal responsibility. Social Security, practically the last vestige of the New Deal left, is not going bankrupt any more than Saddam Hussein was about to go nuclear. But by far the loudest journalistic voice for this conservative attack on Social Security was Tim Russert. In this program from 2000, he manages to at once beat the drum for repealing Social Security and also use the sticks (again) on the Democratic candidate, Al Gore:

RUSSERT: If--the facts are simple: When Social Security began, Franklin Roosevelt, genius, he--the life expectancy at that point was 63. He made eligibility for Social Security 65...It was a--was a very popular program. There were 45 workers for every retiree and life expectancy was exactly that age. Now we're approaching two workers for every retiree. Life expectancy is 78 going to 85. You're going to have 80 million people on Social Security and Medicare for about a fourth of their life, for three to 20 years. Everyone knows that, and yet when you present it to Al Gore, he'll say, "No problem. I'll take the surplus and it'll pay for it." Even his own Secretary Treasury written volumes of reports--trustees reports, will say, "No, it doesn't work that way."
Everyone my age is checking their will (and their CAT scan insurance), and no one wishes a father and husband to drop dead at 58. But for many

of us ordinary citizens, Tim Russert was a powerful man who mostly did harm in every way we can think of. So if it's all right with you, I think I'll turn the TV off now.

Beloved Leader's Accomplishment

15 here.

Why Does Big Media Journalism Suck? It's The Stupidity

No kidding:
"Our reporters and photographers often respond to fires, accidents and police situations. Sometimes they experience life from the public's point of view and express their experiences in the paper," he said.
(Emphasis added.)

Contemplation Of The Day

GM and the Big 3: Never built their Corolla or Camry. Thought oversized, overweight, inefficient SUVs would sell forever, that it wasn't a fad. See anything wrong with that picture?

How Can You Not Vote For This Man?

The Republican party's presumptive presidential nominee John McCain is engaged in a delicate dance, distancing himself from US President George W. Bush while courting the conservative ideals of the outgoing president's party.

Few of McCain's top advisors are well known to the general public, and even fewer are directly linked to the highly unpopular Bush administration.

However neoconservatives, whose thinking has directed Bush's foreign policy following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, are ever-present and powerful in McCain's inner circle.

Randy Scheunemann, McCain's chief foreign policy spokesman, in 2002 founded the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which agitated for the US invasion that was launched in 2003.

Scheunemann and Robert Kagan, another McCain advisor, head the neoconservative Project for a New American Century, which takes a hawkish line on foreign policy issues.

Their influence helps explain McCain's hardline stance on Iraq, where he has vowed to keep American troops for "as long as it takes," as well on Iran, Cuba, North Korea and even Russia, which he wants tossed out of the Group of Eight industrialized nations club over an erosion of democracy.

McCain, who has a reputation for being more independent-minded than most right-wing Republican leaders, is also close to independent Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman, the 2004 nominee for vice president, alongside failed presidential contender Al Gore. Lieberman's support for the Iraq war has put him starkly at odds with liberal Democrats.

When it comes to the economy meanwhile, McCain has sought a range of diverse opinions, and has not drawn from the ranks of Bush economic advisors.

According to author Matt Welch, who wrote a critical biography of McCain called "Myth of a Maverick," the economy is of secondary importance to the 71-year-old Arizona senator.

"On the economy, he's just throwing (in) anyone who's around ... His approach on the economy is not based on principles," said Welch, adding that McCain's only general principles are free trade and his call for reform of th national Social Security pension system, and the Medicare health insurance scheme.

"He's much more interested (in foreign policy) than Bush," the author said, pointing out that neoconservatives have surrounded McCain since the 1990s. "He's running on foreign policy this year."

In fact, the range of his advisors' views on the economy was startling enough to conservative writer Andrew Ferguson of the Weekly Standard that he wrote: "Those people aren't like each other at all."

"A couple of them, if you put them in the same room, would set off an intergalactic explosion like the collision of matter and antimatter," he added.

The main sources of their differences come down to whether to lower taxes (which McCain criticized at the beginning of the Bush presidency) and to balancing the budget (McCain supports amending the Constitution to mandate a balanced federal budget).

His main spokesman on economic matters is Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, who takes a stringent view on budgetary matters and is quick to denounce the social programs promised by Democrat Barack Obama.

McCain has largely allocated the public communication role of his view on economic matters to Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard who oversaw the complicated merger with computer maker Compaq.

In regular television appearances, Fiorina touts the positive economic impact of lower taxes.

On legislative matters, McCain has allowed former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Hollywood actor Fred Thompson, a former US senator, to speak on his behalf.

Both promote firm approaches to the "war on terror," and Thompson in particular is committed to naming right-leaning Supreme Court justices to the bench, similar to conservatives John Roberts and Samuel Alito chosen by Bush.

One way to get McCain elected: Oklahoma City redux:
A top adviser to John McCain said another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would be a "big advantage" for the Republican presidential candidate, drawing a sharp rebuke Monday from both the presumed GOP nominee and Democrat Barack Obama.
(More here.)

Then there's two-faced straight talk on immigration: any way you want to hear it, he'll say it, catering policy to audience.

Now, have a laff. If you can.

Our Real Tribute To George Carlin

The man in action:

Read a 1982 PLayboy interview. Some links here.

The official site is here with the real seven words. A history of the first seven words.

Two NPR interviews here.


How You Can Control The World; Use The Power And Prevent John McCain's Election!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Atrios, Corrected

Atrios posted a Bonnie Tyler video, claiming it to be the best video ever. (Actually, a back-up posted it.)

Well, it isn't be best video ever, and it wasn't even the right song.

This is a great video and today's theme song....

Russert: Not Quite A Saint....

Ah, sweet revisionism... so much, so soon.... God bless the web....

Image Of The Day

And take it to heart, damn it! Link.

Straight Talk About The Destruction Of Social Security

Hey, how's the Chile system working now? And would it be working here if we've been using it? Just wondering....

Guess Who Hated America (And Might Again If President McCain Is Elected)

Never Rat Out A President Breaking The Law


Just a bunch of links, instead of full posts with slabs of quotes... saving energy, keeping the AP off my ass....

Sunday's "Doonesbury" features the wisdom of Beloved Leader. Go to the archives link and look for 22 June.

Greenwald rips Obama for wussing out the new Constitution-trashing FISA bill. Same old mistake: letting the wingnuts call the shots for you....

The ACLU explains why it sucks.

Ditto, Sen. Russ Feingold (the real conscious of the Senate, not that walking example of oral terminal flatulence, "Honest" Joe Lieberman).

Obama defends his position -- articulately and almost persuasively -- but neglects to point out that the new law was not bad in anyway, just ignored by Our Lawless Leaders (not an insignificant or irrelevant distinction).

What we always knew, now scientifically proven!
Bad guys really do get the most girls
Student hacks school computer, changes grades, gets sentenced to 38 years. Not so bad, really, if sentence sticks; gets free food, board, maybe education and exercise and maybe learn some skills, some possibly beneficial -- of course, on release, will still be same dope as now but it will be good while it lasts....

My goodness gracious, indeed! Eat curry and reduce harm of diabetes 2.

Bull of the day:
The Motion Picture Association of America said Friday intellectual-property holders should have the right to collect damages, perhaps as much as $150,000 per copyright violation, without having to prove infringement.
Cockburn on Russert: The longer version.

You've been good, so a break:

Okay, another:

I guess I used to be the exception to Dr. Fisch's theses... (but now I'm no better and have a belly...).

President McCain is in fact a straight talker. He does not flip-flop. He simply straight talks out both sides of his mouth. Again, that is not flip-flopping. Thank you.

And here's some straight talk from President McCain about why public financing is good even if you have to do end runs around restrictions (or "break the law").

Which Senators take kickbacks (in one way or another) from subprime predators? Look!

Truth? Yahoo is irrelevant because it's so lame. See what a loser it is. It's like a zombie: brain just hasn't gotten the word yet that it's dead. That's why it was perfect for Micro$oft: a lousy, expensive solution....

"Honest" Joe is not the only Dem supporting President McCain; the president has worse. And maybe "Honest" Joe is only prescient; the Dems'll all be rolling over for President McCain anyway, just as they have and continue to do for Beloved Leader.

If you want, read about a little wingnut dementia here. And no, I really don't believe there's anything like this towards the opposite end of the spectrum -- too involved and time-consuming to explain here and now. These people are sick.... And here's another sicko -- a senator -- too
screwed up to be able to figure out how much money she makes. Her tax returns must be... interesting. Maybe I'll rat here out to the IRS, get a little bounty money....

See who helped to promote predatory lending to goose home sales which has now created that, well, sinking feeling in the global economy....

You lucky subscriber's to Fauz Bidness Journal can learn of a great business model: an unwanted chain of stores' profit rests solely on mall owners paying them to open stores, so when they burn through that money, they're left with bankruptcy. But the top guys sureley made theirs.... A lesser but free version of the story is here.

Oh my God! Big Media gives President McCain a pass! Talk about a dog bites man story....

Reminder: The wingnuts are a bunch of lying and/or simply deranged sickos. Speaking of which, two visual examples of their perverse, debased morality: here and here.

President McCain maybe hates blacks.

Why we need revisionism to Timmeh's canonization.


This' Amazing!

Documentary Trailer Of The Day; Watch An Era End....

Why DRM Is Bad