Sunday, November 05, 2006

Cancer

Malignantly Neoplasmic

Cancer: n. 1. a. Any of various malignant neoplasms that manifest invasiveness and a tendency to metastasize. b. The pathological condition marked by such growths.

Aside from Iraq, corruption, the economy, elections, Afghanistan, Iran, and lying liars, most Picks of the Week have included items about global warming and the condition of the planet. I tend to group these stories toward the bottom of the weeks' eye catching events. Yet, it is the most important crisis we face, along with the associated pollution, famine, disease, and the like. It is, of course, a crisis exacerbated by the likes of BushCo.

As people grow older, I don't know if they typically look back on their lifetimes as the best of times or the worst of times. Because it is familiar, it's probably the former. When I give some thought to the dire predictions scientific experts are attributing to the near future, I tend to think that my life span has covered treacherous events that I have, so far, been lucky enough to have missed. All in all, on that basis, it has been a good era to have lived through -- in my part of the world.

Most people give some thought to what comes after death. And the weight of such consideration is borne more heavily in later years. For my part, I have abandoned my early Catholic eternal bliss or damnation dichotomy and lean toward the second chance reincarnation of Eastern thought. If the Source is all loving, it just makes more sense to me.

In some reading on the subject of reincarnation, I can't remember when or where, the writer suggested that we tend to come back in about 100 years after the body calls it quits. The support for that number escapes me, but it was probably a scientific, wild ass guess. However, what if the writer was close to being right? By my estimates, I would reenter sometimes around 2100, smack in the midst of predicted environmental/social chaos. Not good. Yet, a belief in karma goes along with reincarnation, and since I have lived the heavily consumptive North American lifestyle, reaping what I've sown in another life also makes sense.

Today, I walked along an irrigation canal near a local wildlife refuge with Murray, a fiery ball of Cairn terrier energy. It was a cold, clear, beautiful fall day, the city's smog having been blown away for others to breathe.

Along the north edge of the canal, there are older attractive homes. And I was reminded of a CNN news item that slid across the bottom of the TV screen a month or so ago, "The size of the average American home has increased 240% since 1950." I thought of the very pleasant home my architect father designed and built in 1954 in a suburb not all that far from where I was walking. When I was young, it seemed quite posh to me. And the people who bought the home from my parents in 1965 have thankfully kept it in excellent condition. I think it was less than 2000 square feet in size and large for its day. I remember it as perfect.

When I taught school, the environment was on my mind. More than once I put together lesson plans designed to encourage reflection about the differences between wants and needs. I recall that once the terms were defined, it was quite easy for the students to differentiate between wants and needs, which is basically the difference between infinity and the finite.

In late summer we spent an afternoon at the Parade of Homes. The average size of the palaces was around 5,000 feet. Two families could easily have resided in each of the homes with ease. They were opulent, having, for example, televisions in most rooms, excluding closets. Some had two sets of washer/dryers. One had a set in the laundry room, and the other was in the main closet off the master bedroom.

Although I haven't bought a new car since 1967, I like cars and subscribe to Automobile magazine. It's interesting to read about the kinds of cars people who live in Parade of Homes homes might drive. The Bugatti Veyron is the furthest over the top. It sells for $1.2M, has a top speed of 256 MPH, and will consume its 26 gallons of gas in 12 minutes at that speed. Life is good. Now that China is fixated on cars, it gives them something to aim for.

People have voted with absentee ballots or will be heading to the polls on Tuesday. As The Dick might phrase it, "it's a no-brainer." The Republicans must lose. By forfeit, if nothing else, the Democrats must win. That's a given. As we go forward, however, the United States needs to reinvent itself for its own sake and for the sake of the planet.

Per capita, we consume things and create waste in greater percentages than any other nation. What if we are malignant neoplasms metastasizing via emulation throughout the world? We have little of value to show for it, but it has become a habit for us. A positive change is certainly important for me, because if I am reassigned to Earth on or around 2100, I want everything to be nice.

Picks of the Week:

Drastic action on climate change is needed now - and here's the plan

"But at least almost everyone now agrees that we must act, if not at the necessary speed. If we're to have a high chance of preventing global temperatures from rising by 2C (3.6F) above preindustrial levels, we need, in the rich nations, a 90% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030. The greater part of the cut has to be made at the beginning of this period. To see why, picture two graphs with time on the horizontal axis and the rate of emissions plotted vertically. On one graph the line falls like a ski jump: a steep drop followed by a shallow tail. On the other it falls like the trajectory of a bullet. The area under each line represents the total volume of greenhouse gases produced in that period. They fall to the same point by the same date, but far more gases have been produced in the second case, making runaway climate change more likely."

Time to revisit voluntary simplicity.

The day that changed the climate

"Across the world, environmental groups hailed the report as the beginning of a new era on climate change, but the White House maintained an ominous silence. However, the report laid down a challenge to the US, and other major emerging economies including China and India, that British ministers said cannot be ignored."

Since denial is a prime non mover for BushCo, anything can be ignored. One of its big backers and promoters of false information is ExxonMobil, best known for egregious profiteering. If the US doesn't get on board with the rest of the planet, the country's emerging reputation as a rogue nation will be irreversible.

Senators to Exxon: Stop the denial

"In their letter to ExxonMobil chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson, Sens. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., appealed to Exxon's sense of corporate responsibility, asking the company to 'come clean about its past denial activities.'"

Bush names Exxon chief to chart America's energy future

"Even for an administration dedicated to putting industry lobbyists in charge of the very agencies they have devoted their careers to undermining (coal and oil lobbyist J. Stephen Griles as Deputy Secretary of the Interior is one of dozens of examples), President Bush has recently outdone himself. He has named Lee Raymond, the retired chief of ExxonMobil, to head a key study to help America chart a cleaner course for our energy needs. Raymond currently chairs the National Petroleum Council (NPC), one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington."

Speaking of malignant neoplasms -- Lee Raymond and George Bush.

US drops bid over royalties from Chevron

"The agency had ordered Chevron to pay $6 million in additional royalties but could have sought tens of millions more had it prevailed. The decision also sets a precedent that could make it easier for oil and gas companies to lower the value of what they pump each year from federal property and thus their payments to the government."

Instead of privatizing Social Security, we should start with oil and other energy companies.

Bush appointee said to reject advice on endangered species

"A senior Bush political appointee at the Interior Department has rejected staff scientists' recommendations to protect imperiled animals and plants under the Endangered Species Act at least six times in the past three years, documents show."

Report warns of 'global collapse' of fishing

"If fishing around the world continues at its present pace, more and more species will vanish, marine ecosystems will unravel and there will be 'global collapse' of all species currently fished, possibly as soon as midcentury, fisheries experts and ecologists are predicting."

The difference two years made

"On Tuesday, when this page [New York Times] runs the list of people it has endorsed for election, we will include no Republican Congressional candidates for the first time in our memory. Although Times editorials tend to agree with Democrats on national policy, we have proudly and consistently endorsed a long line of moderate Republicans, particularly for the House. Our only political loyalty is to making the two-party system as vital and responsible as possible."

All the president's lies

"Many Americans are cynical about what they hear from politicians – and often with good reason – but perhaps no U.S. political leader in modern history has engaged in a pattern of lying and distortion more systematically than George W. Bush has.

"Bush’s lies also aren’t about petty matters, such as some personal indiscretion or minor misconduct. Rather his dishonesty deals with issues of war and peace, the patriotism of his opponents, and the founding principles of the American Republic."

The great divider

"In Mr. Bush’s world, America is making real progress in Iraq. In the real world, as Michael Gordon reported in yesterday’s Times, the index that generals use to track developments shows an inexorable slide toward chaos. In Mr. Bush’s world, his administration is marching arm in arm with Iraqi officials committed to democracy and to staving off civil war. In the real world, the prime minister of Iraq orders the removal of American checkpoints in Baghdad and abets the sectarian militias that are slicing and dicing their country."

America's point of no return

"In many ways, Election 2006 not only marks the last chance to exact some accountability from those responsible for the disastrous Iraq War and other failures, but it also represents a point of no return for a nation hurtling toward a future of endless warfare abroad and a new-age totalitarianism at home.

"Indeed, one could argue that the trivialization of this important U.S. election – with major U.S. news outlets devoting two days of breathless coverage to Senator Kerry’s clunky joke – is confirmation of America’s rapid descent into a dark fantasy world incapable of separating meaningful fact from silly irrelevancies."

Bush owes troops an apology, not Kerry by Keith Olbermann

"There is no line this president has not crossed — nor will not cross — to keep one political party in power.

"He has spread any and every fear among us in a desperate effort to avoid that which he most fears — some check, some balance against what has become not an imperial, but a unilateral presidency."

Al-Qaeda wants Republicans to win

"George W. Bush’s blunt assertion that a Democratic victory in the Nov. 7 elections means 'the terrorists win and America loses' misses the point that Osama bin Laden stands to advance his strategic goals much faster with a Republican victory."

The torture election

"The stakes, as President Bush likes to say--and on this point he is correct--could scarcely be higher. But they include one stake he never mentions: the future of constitutional government in the United States, which his presidency and his party have put in serious jeopardy. The old (lower case) republican system of checks and balances and popular liberties, you might say, is in danger of replacement by a new (upper case) Republican system of arbitrary one-party rule organized around an all-powerful presidency."

American prison planet: The Bush administration as global jailor (Scroll down)

"Even with a couple million prisoners under its control, the U.S. prison network lacks the infrastructure or manpower of the Soviet gulag or the orderly planning of the Nazi concentration-camp system. However, where it bests both, and breaks new incarceration ground, is in its planet-ranging scope, with sites scattered the world over -- from Europe to Asia, the Middle East to the Caribbean. Unlike colonial prison systems of the past, the new U.S. prison network seems to have floated almost free of surrounding colonies. Right now, it has only four major centers -- the 'homeland,' Afghanistan, Iraq, and a postage-stamp-sized parcel of Cuba. As such, it already hovers at the edge of its own imperial existence, bringing to mind the unprecedented possibility of a prison planet. In a remarkably few years, the Bush administration has been able to construct a global detention system, already of near epic proportions, both on the fly and on the cheap."

US seeks silence on CIA prisons

"The government says in new court filings that those interrogation methods are now among the nation's most sensitive national security secrets and that their release -- even to the detainees' own attorneys -- 'could reasonably be expected to cause extremely grave damage.' Terrorists could use the information to train in counter-interrogation techniques and foil government efforts to elicit information about their methods and plots, according to government documents submitted to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton on Oct. 26."

You'd like to think they aren't serious when they spew this kind of crap.

US web archive is said to reveal a nuclear primer

"Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who had said they hoped to 'leverage the Internet' to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

"But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb."
We have to instruct them over there so they can nuke us over here. That's right, 'Merica, it's bad to let Arab evil doers know how we torture them, but it's good to let them know how to make nucular weapons. The war on terror can best be described as horse shit. My apology to horses.

British believe Bush more dangerous than Kim Jong-il

"America is now seen as a threat to world peace by its closest neighbours and allies, according to an international survey of public opinion published today that reveals just how far the country's reputation has fallen among former supporters since the invasion of Iraq."

Postcards of the hanging: Race and sex in Tennessee by Chris Floyd

"Ford's surprisingly strong campaign has exposed fault lines long buried beneath Tennessee's creeping - or rather, galloping - suburbanization, where old ways, both good and bad, are rapidly being submerged in the undifferentiated glop of modern American franchise culture. But when money and power are on the line, atavism is the order of the day: ancient fears and hatreds re-emerge - or are mightily encouraged to re-emerge, with all the subtle and not-so-subtle arts of high-tech mass persuasion stoking the flames."

Glitches cited in early voting

"Several South Florida voters say the choices they touched on the electronic screens were not the ones that appeared on the review screen -- the final voting step.

"Election officials say they aren't aware of any serious voting issues. But in Broward County, for example, they don't know how widespread the machine problems are because there's no process for poll workers to quickly report minor issues and no central database of machine problems."

Can this machine be trusted?

"A woman walked into a polling place in Peoria, Ill. last week and proceeded to use one of the new electronic voting machines set up for early voting. She logged on, went through each contest and seemed to be making her choices. After reviewing each race, the machine checked to see if she was satisfied with her selections and wanted to move on. Each time, she pressed YES, and the machine progressed to the next race. When she was done, a waving American flag appeared on the screen, indicating that her votes had been cast and recorded.

"But there was a problem. The woman had not made any choices at all. She had only browsed. Now when she told the election judges she was ready to do it again--but this time actually vote--they told her it was too late. Pressing the last button, they said, is like dropping your ballot in an old-fashioned ballot box. There's no getting it back."

Mess with Texas: Stet rep reports ES&S touch screens dropping candidate names, flipping straight ticket ballots from Democratic to Republican in San Antonio

"So far, the reports have all involved Democratic (or Green) votes flipping to, or otherwise benefitting, Republican candidates. In South Florida, St. Louis County, Missouri, Virginia, Arkansas, Dallas, and now San Antonio, Texas."

Bush says a US pullout would let Iraq radicals use oil as a weapon

"During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, President Bush and his aides sternly dismissed suggestions that the war was all about oil. 'Nonsense,' Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld declared. 'This is not about that,' said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer.

"Now, more than 3 1/2 years later, someone else is asserting that the war is about oil -- President Bush."

The Evil Moron has a brief brush with the truth. If he would say oil was the reason for going to Iraq, the heavens would part.

Trials and tribulations

"On Sunday, the nine-month trial of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and his seven co-defendants is expected to conclude, with the court delivering its verdict. Should Hussein be convicted, it will be an historic and welcome development for the Iraqis who suffered under his rule. But already, the White House is trying to make it into a political spectacle. Yesterday on CNBC, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said the verdict would 'absolutely' be 'a factor' in Tuesday's midterm elections and proof that the 'Iraqi government that has been doing what the president has said all along.' Snow portrayed Sunday's decision as yet another turning point for Iraq, calling it 'a benchmark episode.' Snow's spin matches President Bush's rhetoric when Saddam was captured. Bush said his capture marked "the end of the road...for all who bullied and killed in his name" and predicted "'raqis can now come together and reject violence.' But that was three years ago. Since that time, violence in Iraq has spiraled out of control as the country edges closer to complete chaos."

Saddam verdict date 'rigged' for Bush

"Saddam Hussein's defence team has urged a delay of his possible death sentence and said the ousted Iraqi leader believed today's expected verdict was timed to boost President George Bush before US mid-term elections."

Iraq on alert ahead of Saddam verdict
"Iraq's beleaguered armed forces were ordered on high alert ahead of the verdict in the trial of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, while killings continued to mount across the violence-wracked country."

Fighting erupts in Baghdad after verdict

"Heavy firing was reported in Adhimiyah, a mainly Sunni district of Baghdad, within half an hour of Saddam Hussein's death sentence being announced on Sunday morning."

Bush is responsible for more crimes against humanity than Saddam; therefore . . . ?

Baghdad is surrounded: "The American era in the Middle East has ended"

"Don Rumsfeld is not a good leader. In fact, he is a very bad leader. Leadership is predicated on three basic factors: Strong moral character, sound judgment, and the ability to learn from one’s mistakes. None of these apply to Rumsfeld. As a result, every major decision that has been made in Iraq has been wrong and has cost the lives of countless Iraqis and American servicemen. This pattern will undoubtedly continue as long as Rumsfeld is the Secretary of Defense."

Army Times: "Time for Rumsfeld to go"

"Now, the president says he'll stick with Rumsfeld for the balance of his term in the White House.

"This is a mistake.

"It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation's current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads."

A coup d'etat in America

"History will mark this as the moment sanity began to flow back into the halls of power.

"To publish this kind of scathing critique in all four US Military Times magazines, on the eve of the most important election in modern American history, will go down as the boldest statement our military has ever made."

Make no mistake - this is as close to a coup as we have ever seen in this nation.

Cheney: 'Full speed ahead' on Iraq: Vice president tells ABC news that election, public sentiment will not influence war policy

" Four days before the election, as Republican candidates battle to save their seats in Congress amid a backlash over the war in Iraq, Vice President Dick Cheney told ABC News the administration is going 'full speed ahead' with its policy."

F**k demcoracy says The Dick.

Dick Cheney fitted for new Halliburton uniform - striped jumpsuit

"The US Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting a formal investigation into whether Halliburton made improper payments to government officials in Nigeria in connection with the construction and expansion by TSKJ of a natural gas liquefaction complex and facilities at Bonny Island in Rivers State, Nigeria."

If only.

Congress tells auditor in Iraq to close office

"Investigations led by a Republican lawyer named Stuart W. Bowen Jr. in Iraq have sent American occupation officials to jail on bribery and conspiracy charges, exposed disastrously poor construction work by well-connected companies like Halliburton and Parsons, and discovered that the military did not properly track hundreds of thousands of weapons it shipped to Iraqi security forces.

"And tucked away in a huge military authorization bill that President Bush signed two weeks ago is what some of Mr. Bowen’s supporters believe is his reward for repeatedly embarrassing the administration: a pink slip."

This is what happens when a crime family is in charge.

Cuts illustrate Harper's plans for remaking Canada

"How did the Harper government come to the conclusion that the $5.5 million spent on providing citizens with access to challenging court decisions is not providing citizens with value for money? In effect the absence of the program means that only those with deep pockets have access to seeking the 'language and equality rights' that are guaranteed in the Constitution."

Evil Moron and Harper must talk late into the night as to how best to mold Canada into BushCo's image of a failed state.

US lags in several areas of health care, study finds

"Forty percent of U.S. primary care doctors said they had arrangements for after-hours care, according to the survey of more than 6,000 physicians in seven countries. That compared with 95 percent in the Netherlands, 90 percent in New Zealand, 87 percent in the United Kingdom, 76 percent in Germany and 47 percent in Canada."

US near the bottom in privacy study

"Privacy International ranked 36 nations around the globe, including all European Union nations and other major democracies, and determined that in categories such as enforcement of privacy laws, the U.S. is on par with countries like China, Russia and Malaysia."

Quotes from www.bartcop.com and others:

"Do you want to wipe that cocky smile off of Bush's face?" -- James Carville, asking for a Democratic senate

"May I remind you what this election is about? Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, incompetence, corruption, Katrina, Enron, Halliburton, global warming, record oil company profits, FEMA, Diebold, Terri Schiavo, stem cell research, shrunken pensions, habeas corpus, sacrificed soldiers, wasted billions, North Korea, Iran, the Swift boat hit squads, and on and on. -- Molly, Link

"You're talking to Noah about the flood." -- Der Monkey, when asked if there was any good news politically, TIME Magazine

"You can expect to learn as much about the Catholic Church from Nacho Libre as you can learn about evangelicalism from Jesus Camp. This movie manipulates facts like a Michael Moore film." -- Ted Haggard, between b**w jobs with some dude

"For the first time since before Watergate, the New York Whore Times endorsed no Republicans for election to Congress this year." -- Ben Smith, New York Daily News

"The Republicans had an ideological agenda, and look where it's gotten us. Right now, Americans are finding the Democrats' utter lack of vision or coherent world view very appealing." -- John Oliver, The Daily Show

"This is not an election anymore, it's an intervention. It suggests Bush has lost his mind. It's a disaster. For him to say it's a fantastic job suggests the president has lost it..." --Andrew Sullivan, who bet the house on a losing horse, Link

"Let?s not blame Iraq on Rumsfeld. The generals on the ground are in charge." --Rep. John Boner, (R-Child Molester) Link

"If Charlie Rangel were to be chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, there'll be a big tax increase." -- Dick the Dick, Link

"He's such a real son of a bitch..." -- Charlie Rangle, Link

"We have a war that we're losing. We have a doubling of the debt of the next generation. We have the suspension of habeas corpus and the authorization of torture. So, of course, we're talking about phone sex lines and prostitutes in Tennessee. The GOP must change the subject because on the real issues, they're going to lose." -- Andrew Sullivan, Link

"Rush - a fat, draft-dodging, drug addict, jacking his maid up, having her buy dope for him - that fat sunuvabitch - I mean, enough bad stuff can't happen to him." - Don Imus, old GOP drug-addict, apj.us

"In the RNC's attack ad on Harold Ford, a sleazy-looking fellow says, 'So, Ford took money from porn movie producers. I mean, who hasn't?' Who hasn't? Well, it turns out that the RNC has...the RNC has accepted contributions from Nich Boyias...the owner of one of the largest producers of gay porn. The difference between the money Ford took and the money the RNC took? Ford gave his back..." --Tim Grieve, Link

"More sacrifice is going to be required. We will either create a world in which our children and our grandchildren have a hope of an optimistic future or we will leave to them a world with a hateful empire centered in the Middle East." --Karl Rove, military strategist, Link

"Karl Rove has had too much of his own Kool-Aid. He's starting to believe his own message. It's their war. It's their mess." --Joe Wineke, chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, Link
"I've been asked by the president to not get involved in politics. He wants Defense to stay separate from politics. He has specifically asked that I do my job and that he'll go out and carry that message to the American people on that subject of politics." --Donald Rumsfeld, lying again, Link

Teacher Arrest

At New York's Kennedy airport today, an individual later discovered to be a public school teacher was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a setsquare, a slide rule, and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he believes the man is a member of the notorious al-gebra movement. He is being charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

"Al-gebra is a fearsome cult," Gonzales said. "They desire average solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of absolute value. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as unknowns, but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, "There are 3 sides to every triangle."

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes."

Bushcronium: Noxious New Element Discovered

A major research institution has just announced the discovery of the densest element yet known to science. The new element has been named "Bushcronium." Bushcronium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 311. These particles are held together by dark forces called 'morons', which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called 'peons'.

The symbol for Bushcronium is "W".Bushcronium's mass actually increases over time, as morons randomly interact with various elements in the atmosphere and become assistant deputy neutrons in a Bushcronium molecule, forming new, slave-like 'iso-dopes'. This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to believe that Bushcronium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass".

When catalyzed with money, Bushcronium activates Foxnewsium, an element that radiates shrill, incoherent noises. Foxnewsium is related and monetarily connected to Bushcronium, but has 1/2 as many peons but twice as many morons. Both Bushcronium and Foxnewsium are considered to be inherently criminal, noxious and potentially deadly to all human life on earth.

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