Saturday, May 24, 2008
what are we teaching our daughters and our sons about women?
Sexpot Virgins: The Media's Sexualization of Young Girls
By Tana Ganeva, AlterNet.
In 2006, the retail chain Tesco launched the Peekaboo Pole Dancing Kit, a play set designed to help young girls "unleash the sex kitten inside."
Perturbed parents, voicing concern that their 5-year-olds might be too young to engage in sex work, lobbied to have the product pulled. Tesco removed the play set from the toy section but kept it on the market.
As M. Gigi Durham points out in The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What We Can Do About It, Tesco's attempt to sell stripper gear to kids is just one instance of the sexual objectification of young girls in the media and marketplace. Some of the many other examples include a push-up bra for preteens, thongs for 10-year-olds bearing slogans like "eye candy," and underwear geared toward teens with "Who needs credit cards ... ?" written across the crotch.
Targeted by marketers at increasingly younger ages, girls are now being exposed to the kind of unhealthy messages about sexuality that have long dogged grown women. Girls are told that their worth hinges on being "hot," which in mainstream media parlance translates into thin, white, makeupped and scantily clad. Meanwhile, acting on their sexual impulses earns them the epithet "slut." Teen magazines advise girls on how to tailor their look and personality to please boys (in order to entrap them in relationships). Advertisements present violence toward women as sexy.
According to Durham, the regressive messages about sexuality that circulate in mainstream media hamper the healthy sexual development of kids and teens..........
Saudis donate $500M for food crisis
Saudi Arabia's $500M contribution to UN for food crisis means rations won't be cut
EDITH M. LEDERER
Saudi Arabia made an unprecedented contribution of $500 million to the U.N. World Food Program to respond to rising prices, meaning the agency won't have to cut rations to the world's needy, the United Nations announced Friday.
The contribution the world's biggest oil producing nation was by far the largest response to the U.N. food agency's emergency appeal for $755 million to cover increased costs that threatened critical aid to millions of needy people.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "warmly welcomes the offer of the landmark contribution," U.N. deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe said.
"The secretary-general notes that this contribution of an unprecedented size and generosity comes not a moment too soon, given the needs of millions of people dependent on food rations," she said..........
of course it's NOT really funny. we can't even protect ourselves, of course we're NOT going to be able to protect our land
Drugs, prostitution threaten wildlife refugesANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- America's wildlife refuges are so short of money that one-third have no staff, boardwalks and buildings are in disrepair, and drug dealers are using them to grow marijuana and make methamphetamine, a group pushing for more funding says.
"Without adequate funding, we are jeopardizing some of the world's most spectacular wildlife and wild lands," said Evan Hirsche, president of the National Wildlife Refuge Association and chairman of the Cooperative Alliance for Refuge Enhancement.
The cooperative said in a report released Thursday to Congress that the nation's 548 refuges and the 100-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System -- about the size of California -- is underfunded by 43 percent. The refuge system needs at least $765 million a year but is receiving $434 million, the report says.
A decrease in law enforcement has left the refuges vulnerable to criminal activity, including prostitution, torched cars and illegal immigrant camps along the Potomac River in suburban Washington, methamphetamine labs in Nevada and pot growing operations in Washington state, Hirsche said............
then we find THIS out Spending On Iraq Poorly Tracked
Audit Faults Accounting for $15 Billion in Work
By Dana Hedgpeth
Washington Post Staff Writer
The inspector general for the Defense Department said yesterday that the Pentagon cannot account for almost $15 billion worth of goods and services ranging from trucks, bottled water and mattresses to rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns that were bought from contractors in the Iraq reconstruction effort.
The Pentagon did not have the proper documentation, including receipts, vouchers, signatures, invoices or other paperwork, for $7.8 billion that American and Iraqi contractors were paid for phones, folders, paint, blankets, Nissan trucks, laundry services and other items, according to a 69-page audit released to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
An earlier audit by the inspector general found deficiencies in accounting for $5.2 billion of U.S. payments to buy weapons, trucks, generators and other equipment for Iraq's security forces. In addition, the Defense Department spent $1.8 billion of seized Iraqi assets with "absolutely no accountability," according to Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), who chairs the oversight committee. The Pentagon also kept poor records on $135 million that it paid to its partners in the multinational military force in Iraq, auditors said.
The Army disagreed with some of the auditors' findings, saying that it is difficult to maintain an adequate paper trail in a war zone and that it has improved its record-keeping and accountability efforts. Robert L. Wilkie, assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs, declined an invitation to testify before from Waxman's committee...........
you know even if WE (the citizens of the us) didn't get that "lost" or "unaccounted for" money, the citizens of burma or bangladesh could have used it
on cable ( it was showtime and i watched it on demand)
here's the cast listing:
| Toni Collette |
| Piper Laurie |
| Donnie Smith |
| Michael Raysses |
| Earl Carroll |
| Dorothy Beatty |
| Eva Loseth |
| Giovanni Ribisi |
| Rose Byrne |
| Joanie Tomsky |
| James Franco |
| Christopher Allen Nelson |
| Mary Steenburgen |
| Bruce Davison |
| Kate Mulligan |
| Mary Beth Hurt |
| Nick Searcy |
| Dan Callahan |
| Gus Buktenica |
| Marcia Gay Harden |
| Bobby Hosea |
| Lee von Ernst |
| Kerry Washington |
| Carla Jimenez |
| Gillian Pernoll |
| Elizabeth Pernoll |
| Brittany Murphy |
| Daniel Leavitt |
| Lea Nicole Carranza |
| Amy Benedict |
| Josh Brolin |
| Stephanie Mace |
| Paige Pelletier |
| Madison Pelletier |
the entire cast was perfect. from piper laurie's shrew to brittany murphy's effed up prostitute. from marcia gay harden's gentle out of touch with reality mother (she is redeemed in the end) to rose byrne's tortured sister. from nick searcy's insanity to mary beth hurt's (who is almost unrecognizable) insanity. from kerry washington's not really so callused prostitute to james franco's gentleness and understanding.
if you've got showtime, give it a look. don't expect a ton of smiles though, it's not that type of movie.
photo: kerry washington, karen moncrieff, marcia gay harden
Photo by Jesse Grant WireImage.com
sex is BAD BAD BAD
masturbation makes you go blind or at the very LEAST, have hairy palms (check 'em). well you'll have to feel 'em and not see 'em because i know the kinds of people you all are.........dirty dirty dirty and bad bad bad
what a bunch o' asswipes (the complainers i mean)
Because sex should not be pleasurable under any circumstances
Parents in Schenectady, NY are up in arms because the sex education in their school district dares to talk about sexuality as if it was a good thing. The nerve!
Several Fonda-Fultonville school district residents on Tuesday criticized the use of a Planned Parenthood educator to conduct sex education classes for seventh- and eighth-graders beginning today.
The parents said they had collected 163 signatures of residents opposing the introduction of Planned Parenthood materials or organization-developed instruction in the school.
...Deborah Young said she started researching Planned Parenthood education guidelines and found passages that suggested masturbation is a source of pleasure.
“I went in, I could not believe what I saw,” Young said. (Emphasis mine)
Seriously, how dare an educator tell the truth about sexuality! Where's the shaming and misinformation about how sex is dirty, wrong and bad?!..........
Friday, May 23, 2008
when in reality (if one were to follow these two jabones) it was based on separating those different from you. not allowing everyone the same freedoms. killing as long as as it's NOT in utero. fear of those who are NOT exactly like yourself. treating people with skin colors JUST a shade darker than your own, like scheist.
america the beautiful how proud you make me (not)!
South Carolina principal quits over gay-straight club
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
The principal of Irmo High School in Columbia, SC has resigned in protest over the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance club, saying that the formation of the club conflicts with his professional beliefs and religious convictions.
Eddie Walker quit after the school district released a ruling that "if a school has permitted the formation of any non-curricular clubs, discrimination against the establishment of a new club based on its purpose and viewpoint is prohibited."
One parent supported Walker's decision, telling WDEF News, "You're not putting them, like, oh, you know, you're lepers.But we've got to stand for what our foundation of our nation was about.".........
BAIJI, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi police said on Thursday a U.S. helicopter airstrike killed eight civilians, including two children, but U.S. forces said the six adults killed were militants suspected of links to a bombing network.
News of Wednesday's incident north of Baghdad broke on a day when the top U.S. commander in Iraq, General
The U.S. Senate approved a further $165 billion to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan for another year after rejecting proposed timetables for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.
The speed of drawing down the 155,000 U.S. troops in Iraq is a central issue in the November U.S. presidential election.
An Iraqi television station accused U.S. troops of shooting dead one of its cameramen as he walked to his Baghdad home. The U.S. military denied it had killed any civilians in the area.
The body of a second journalist, a reporter for al-Sharq newspaper, was found dumped in a field with nine other corpses in Diyala province, police and colleagues said...........
"The city looks like a bucket of Legos dumped out on the ground," the 26-year-old pilot said. "It's brown Legos, no color. It's really dense and hard to pick things out because everything looks the same."
He uses a powerful lens to zoom in on tiny silhouettes, trying to identify people with "hostile intent" among hundreds of ordinary citizens in Baghdad.
In recent weeks, Katzenberger and other pilots have dramatically increased their use of helicopter-fired missiles against enemy fighters, often in densely populated areas. Since late March, the military has fired more than 200 Hellfire missiles in the capital, compared with just six missiles fired in the previous three months.
The military says the tactic has saved the lives of ground troops and prevented attacks, but the strikes have also killed and wounded civilians, provoking criticism from Iraqis....
(NOTE: we wouldn't have to worry about our ground troops OR ANY OTHER OF OUR TROOPS in iraq IF THEY WEREN'T IN IRAQ TO BEGIN WITH)
It's official, everybody hates her
by John Aravosis (DC) ·
National Journal's Blogometer does a nice daily summation of the best of the blogs. I've excerpted some of the more interesting comments about Hillary in the liberal blogosphere over the past 24 hours. (The first quote, by Josh, wasn't in the Blogometer, so I added it.)
"She is embarking on a gambit that is uncertain in its result and simply breathtaking in its cynicism.... What she's doing is not securing her the nomination. Rather, she's gunning up a lot of her supporters to believe that the nomination was stolen from her -- a belief many won't soon abandon. And that on the basis of rationales and arguments there's every reason to think she doesn't even believe in."
"I've defended Clinton, more than once, when people said she was putting her own interests above those of the party and the nation. But after seeing her tactics yesterday, I'm done defending Hillary Clinton. I'm 35, and have been following politics for quite a while, and I've never been so disappointed with a politician I've admired and respected. Yesterday's tactics weren't just wrong, they were offensive.
"I think this delegitimization of Obama's victory is the act she will be most remembered for. And if Obama does not win the election in November, Clinton will join Ralph Nader in the left-wing Hall of Shame."
"[T]his episode is very revealing about Clinton's character. [...] If she's consciously lying, it's a shockingly cynical move. I don't think she's lying. I think she's so convinced of her own morality and historical importance that she can whip herself into a moralistic fervor to support nearly any position that might benefit her, however crass and sleazy.... She is proving herself temperamentally unfit for the presidency."
"What a contemptible wretch"
"[H]er campaign has lost and is continuing to engage in bizarre and reckless behavior."
"One of the wonders of this primary season has been the ability of the Clinton campaign -- including Hillary herself -- and their supporters to engage in some of the most patently ridiculous and bald faced lies, knowing that everyone else knows they are engaging in patently ridiculous and bald faced lies."
and on and on and on
Thursday, May 22, 2008
to all y'all out there in the minneapolis / st paul area who ARE vegan, WATCH YOUR Ps and Qs. the fbi is WATCHING YOU (in the posting before this, i said i was rather impressed by something the fbi did. well now i take it back. where the hell are scully and mulder when you need 'em???)
In preparation for the Republican National Convention, the FBI is soliciting informants to keep tabs on local protest groups
By Matt Snyders
.............minutes later, he says, a casually dressed Swanson showed up, flanked by a woman whom he introduced as FBI Special Agent Maureen E. Mazzola. For the next 20 minutes, Mazzola would do most of the talking.
“She told me that I had the perfect ‘look,’” recalls Carroll. “And that I had the perfect personality—they kept saying I was friendly and personable—for what they were looking for.”
What they were looking for, Carroll says, was an informant—someone to show up at “vegan potlucks” throughout the Twin Cities and rub shoulders with RNC protestors, schmoozing his way into their inner circles, then reporting back to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, a partnership between multiple federal agencies and state and local law enforcement. The effort’s primary mission, according to the Minneapolis division’s website, is to “investigate terrorist acts carried out by groups or organizations which fall within the definition of terrorist groups as set forth in the current United States Attorney General Guidelines.”
Carroll would be compensated for his efforts, but only if his involvement yielded an arrest. No exact dollar figure was offered.
“I’ll pass,” said Carroll. .......
shout out to boing boing)
i know racism and prejudice are born out of one thing and one thing alone. FEAR
(but what i don't know is WHY? why be afraid of someone whose skin color may be a shade or two off from yours? we all look alike UNDER our skin)
Illustration of Obama in rifle crosshairs draws fire'Roswell Beacon' distributed to 65,000 north Fulton readers
By CHRISTIAN BOONE The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 05/21/08
A Roswell newspaper is defending a controversial cover illustration that placed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in a rifle's cross hairs.
An influential liberal blog featured a post Tuesday on the provocative cover art, triggering a flood of complaints to the Roswell Beacon, a nascent free weekly distributed to about 65,000 north Fulton residents. The article was published May 15th. offensive, but the cover is beyond the pale. As indicated by the article, there are some serious racists in the area, and Obama's candidacy has brought out the worst in a lot of people. The last thing we need is a newspaper to suggest assassination with an incendiary cover such as this."
Readers — Kos receives more than 1.3 million visits a day, according to sitemeter.com — were encouraged to contact the newspaper and its advertisers. By day's end, Holiday Inn announced it would no longer do business with the Beacon, though the paper's publisher, John Fredericks, said editorial decisions would not be influenced by "liberal blogger thuggery."
"Good, bad or ugly, we tell the truth," he said...........
Interrogation Tactics Were Challenged at White House
By Carrie Johnson and Josh White Washington Post Staff Writers
Five years ago, as troubling reports emerged about the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a career lawyer at the Justice Department began a long and relatively lonely campaign to alert top Bush administration officials to a strategy he considered "wrongheaded."
Interrogation Tactics Were Challenged at White House
Thursday, May 22 at 12:30 p.m.: Dana Priest on National Security and Intelligence
Bruce C. Swartz, a criminal division deputy in charge of international issues, repeatedly questioned the effectiveness of harsh interrogation tactics at White House meetings of a special group formed to decide detainee matters, with representatives present from the Pentagon, the State Department and the CIA. ..........
and abc news reports this (if true, it's far far far worse than we can ever imagine). and NOTE the fbi are the one who are reporting these instances of abuse. (sort of makes me feel a BIT better about the fbi)
Report: U.S. Soldiers Did 'Dirty Work' for Chinese Interrogators
Alleges Guantanamo Personnel Softened Up Detainees at Request of Chinese Intelligence
By JUSTIN ROOD
U.S. military personnel at Guantanamo Bay allegedly softened up detainees at the request of Chinese intelligence officials who had come to the island facility to interrogate the men -- or they allowed the Chinese to dole out the treatment themselves, according to claims in a new government report.
Buried in a Department of Justice report released Tuesday are new allegations about a 2002 arrangement between the United States and China, which allowed Chinese intelligence to visit Guantanamo and interrogate Chinese Uighurs held there.
According to the report by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine, an FBI agent reported a detainee belonging to China's ethnic Uighur minority and a Uighur translator told him Uighur detainees were kept awake for long periods, deprived of food and forced to endure cold for hours on end, just prior to questioning by Chinese interrogators.
Susan Manning, a lawyer who represents several Uighurs still held at Guantanamo, said Tuesday the allegations are all too familiar. ......
Iraqi: 'I killed her with a machine gun'
By Arwa Damon CNN
BASRA, Iraq (CNN) -- The man, blindfolded and handcuffed, crouches in the corner of the detention center while an Iraqi soldier grills him about rampant crimes being carried out by gangs in the southern city of Basra. "How many girls did you kill and rape?" the soldier asks.
"I raped one, sir," the man responds.
"What was her name?"
"Ahlam," he says.
Ahlam was a university student in the predominantly Shiite city of Basra. The detainee said the gang he was in kidnapped her as she was leaving the university, heading home.
"They forced me, and I killed her with a machine gun, sir," he says.
The suspect, who is unshaven and appears to be in his 20s or 30s, was arrested by Iraq security forces after they retook most of Basra in April.
CNN was shown what authorities say was his first confession. On it are the names of 15 girls whom he admitted kidnapping, raping and killing. The youngest girl on the list was just 9 years old.............
........But the horrors of militia rule are now surfacing as some residents begin to feel more comfortable speaking out.
Inside her rundown home, Sabriya's watery eyes peer out from under her robe. She points to the first photo of one of her sons on the wall.
"This one was killed because he was drinking," she says.
She draws her finger across her neck and gestures at the next photo.
"This one was slaughtered for his car."
"This one the same," she adds, looking at the third.
Her three sons, her daughter and her sister were all killed by the hard-line militia. Her sister was slaughtered because she was a single woman living alone, Sabriya says.........
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Many High School Biology Teachers Still Teach Creationism
By Brandon Keim
One in eight U.S. high school teachers presents creationism as a valid alternative to evolution, says a poll published in the Public Library of Science Biology.
Of more than 900 teachers who responded to a poll conducted by Penn State University political scientist Michael Berkman and colleagues, 32 percent agreed that creationism and intelligent design should be taught as scientifically unsound. Forty percent said such explanations are religiously valid but inappropriate for science class.
However, 25 percent said they devoted classroom time to creationism or intelligent design. Of these, about one-half -- 12 percent of all teachers -- called creationism a "valid scientific alternative to Darwinian explanations for the origin of species," and the same number said that "many reputable scientists view these as valid alternatives to Darwinian theory." (The full study makes for interesting reading: Evolution and Creationism in America’s Classrooms: A National Portrait. ..........
Audit Finds FBI Reports Of Detainee Abuse Ignored
Tactics Continued Against Detainees
By Carrie Johnson and Josh White Washington Post Staff Writers
Complaints by FBI agents about abusive interrogation tactics at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other U.S. military sites reached the National Security Council but prompted no effort to curb questioning that the agents considered ineffective and possibly illegal, according to an internal audit released yesterday.
Reports that Guantanamo detainees were being subjected to extreme temperatures, religious abuses and nude interrogation were conveyed at White House meetings of senior officials in 2003, yet these questionable tactics remained in use, a lengthy report by the Justice Department's inspector general concluded.
In one instance, colleagues of then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft reported that he personally aired concerns about Defense Department strategy toward a particular detainee with Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, while other Justice managers shared similar fears with the council's legal adviser in November 2003, the report said. .........
i've written about this steamin' pile o' shite (that is known as michael savage) before. i'm sure this won't be the last time either
who the f**k listens to these people with hearts so eaten away they're more holes than flesh and blood.
Michael Savage plays Dead Kennedys song "in some respect for" Sen. Kennedy
Following the announcement that Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, nationally syndicated radio host Michael Savage opened his May 20 show by interspersing audio of Kennedy singing "Ay Jalisco No Te Rajes" with clips of news reporters discussing Kennedy's diagnosis and audio from the 1990 film Kindergarten Cop in which Arnold Schwarzenegger's character says, "It's not a tumor." Later, Savage played the Dead Kennedys song "California Über Alles" after stating: "The poor guy's been suffering for years, you know? Unfairly he's been accused of alcoholism, but we see now that it was something much more deep-seated. And so, to cut this out in some respect for Ted Kennedy, here's a tune coming at you from the Dead Kennedys. Go ahead and play it, please."
After reading from the lyrics of "California Über Alles," Savage said, "No gloating today, no laughter, all serious. You don't joke about a man's cancer. I do it, but I won't do it today; it's something I will not do." At one point in the program, he told a caller, "You know I'm playing the Dead Kennedys not to mock Ted Kennedy. It's just appropriate, that's all."
Later in the program, Savage aired a clip of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) offering a tribute to Kennedy on the Senate floor before describing Byrd as "a senile senator" and "a walking psycho." Savage went on to assert, "For years now, Byrd has been blubbering on the floor of the Senate. For years, I mean, to be honest, Kennedy didn't seem sane to me." He continued, "Forget about the drunk stories and all that -- anybody can drink. The guy sounded like he was off for years, I'm sorry."..........
i'm really NOT a violent person. i never hit my dogs or my nieces and nephews or friends or strangers kids (dreaming about doing it doesn't count, right?). i used to fly off the handle and do and say things i was sorry for (back in the day). now, i end up walking away because i know how easily it is for me to go overboard (well MOST of the time i walk away. sometimes, i just can't do it).
i want to grab ferraro and bitch slap her from here to there. what an annoying whining spoiled SORE F**KING LOSER she is. has she ALWAYS been this way? i never noticed it
From CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
(CNN) — Geraldine Ferraro, the outspoken former Democratic vice presidential candidate and a supporter of Hillary Clinton's White House bid, told the New York Times she may not vote for Barack Obama should he be the party's nominee.
Ferraro, a former member of Clinton's finance committee who resigned that post earlier this year after making comments many viewed as racially offensive, also said she thinks the Illinois senator has been "terribly sexist" over the course of the presidential campaign.
The comments appear to underscore the potential difficulty Obama may have courting some women voters in the fall — many of whom have said they feel a solidarity with the New York senator over the barriers Clinton faces in her bid to become the first female president........
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
State GOP chair: McCain 'kind of like Jesus'
By AARON GOULD SHEININ
Columbus — Georgia Republican Party chairwoman Sue Everhart said Saturday that the party's presumed presidential nominee has a lot in common with Jesus Christ.
"John McCain is kind of like Jesus Christ on the cross," Everhart said as she began the second day of the state GOP convention. "He never denounced God, either."........
Compulsory Heterosexuality: School Bars Dateless Girls from Prom
Posted by Amanda Marcotte, Pandagon
This is extremely bizarre. A Staten Island high school has banned girls from the prom if they don’t have a male date. It’s a girls-only school, which probably means that proms generally have a huge number of girls and not that many guys. Maybe the principle is pitying the boys at the prom, feeling they shouldn’t be outnumbered. There’s other speculations.
“That makes sense only because it probably controls the chaos,” Valente said. “You know you’re there with somebody, you’re less likely to go crazy.”
So, there’s a grave danger of high levels of squealing and circle dancing. I say, good practice for the weddings the principle presumably wants them to have in the future.By the way, explanation for the academicese in the title: compulsory heterosexuality isn’t just about compelling people not to be gay. It’s about the social pressures to perform heterosexuality that are put on everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. Even if you’re straight, you can be subject to this pressure if your straightness doesn’t conform to the get married/have kids/participate in the rituals of American heterosexuality............
Hospital Attempts Deportation of Woman With Inadequate Insurance
Posted by Cara , Feministe
An immigrant woman from Honduras who has very recently awakened from a coma is being threatened with what can effectively be called deportation, because she does not have the insurance needed to cover her medical bills. (Don’t read the comments in these articles unless you want to lose your lunch.) But here is the real kicker: while it would be repulsive and incredibly inhumane to deport an uninsured/under-insured person with a serious medical condition because of their undocumented status, despite the lack of adequate facilities for their care in their nations of citizenship, it isn’t even the case here. Sonia del Cid Iscoa has a current visa and in the U.S. legally. (All emphasis in quoted text is mine.)
A gravely ill woman at risk of being removed from the country for lack of adequate insurance coverage awoke from a coma Tuesday.
The hospital has been seeking to return her to her native Honduras; her family took the hospital to court.
[. . .]
Iscoa, 34, has a valid visa and has lived in the United States for more than 17 years. She has no family in Honduras.But St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center sought to have her sent to Honduras when she went into a coma April 20 after giving birth to a daughter about 8 weeks premature.......
Key architect of Iraq war defends case for US-led invasion
An influential architect of the war in Iraq defended the case for US military action on Monday, saying the failure to find weapons of mass destruction did not mean the decision to invade was a mistake.
Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense for policy from 2001 to 2005, said Saddam Hussein posed a serious threat to the United States due to his links to terrorist groups and his regime's potential to produce biological and chemical weapons.
"And even based on what we have learned since, even though we didn't find the WMD stockpiles that the CIA had said we would find in Iraq, what we did find ... was a serious WMD threat in Iraq because Saddam had maintained programs for biological and chemical weapons," Feith said at a news conference promoting his new memoir, "War and Decision."
Feith said government documents show the Iraqi dictator had experts and resources in place so that his regime could manufacture chemical and biological weapons within three to five weeks..........
Monday, May 19, 2008
By Eric Smillie
Though made for children, Japanese toy robots can catch the eye of even the most discriminating adults.
Iconic graphic designer Tom Geismar, whose firm Chermayeff & Geismar has created memorable logos for Mobil, PBS and other U.S. institutions, has been collecting the shiny bots for decades.
The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle will exhibit toys from Geismar's collection in Robots: A Designer's Collection of Miniature Mechanical Marvels through Oct. 26. The vintage robots on display reflect Geismar's trained eye. "I've really restricted myself to ones that appealed to me as interesting, imaginative designs," he says.............
Sunday, May 18, 2008
By: Logan Murphy
It’s no secret that the right STILL hasn’t figured out how to effectively use the internets, so it comes as no surprise that the Grand Poobah of right wing radio talkies
The best story I’ve heard this week by far was told today over lunch. Apparently, a co-worker of mine named George listens to the Rush Limbaugh show in his car, and yesterday heard him discussing Barak Obama’s comments about similarities between the recent housing crisis and the lead-up to the Great Depression. I imagine the comments were referring to the obvious similarities between those who obtained ridiculous sub-prime loans and those in the 1920s who bought stock they couldn’t afford on margin. However, Limbaugh decided that Obama’s comments were the result of a crazy “liberal education” - and even remarks how “lucky” he is that he didn’t graduate from college, thus allowing him to escape the perils of actual knowledge..........
"Media Matters"; by Jamison Foser
Thumbs on the scale
During a speech to the Israeli parliament yesterday morning, President Bush attacked Barack Obama, comparing him to Nazi appeasers for the Illinois senator's willingness to hold discussions with Iran.
One problem: Bush's speech came just hours after The Washington Post reported that Bush's defense secretary, Robert Gates, said that the United States needs to "sit down and talk with" Iran. Not only that, Gates added, "We can't go to a discussion and be completely the demander."
and from Joe Biden: (via the crypt at politico)
Biden: Bush's comments were 'bullshit'
Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), piling on to Democratic complaints about President Bush’s speech in Israel today:
“This is bullshit, this is malarkey. This is outrageous, for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, to sit in the Knesset ... and make this kind of ridiculous statement.”
Eleven years ago, the neoconservative Project for a New American Century (PNAC) set out its statement of principles advocating the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, putting the country on the road to a preventative invasion of Iraq. Signatories included future Iraq war architects Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Elliott Abrams, as well as neoconservatives like Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan. From PNAC’s statement of foreign policy goals:
The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire.
You have to give George W. Bush credit, in a “My, that leech certainly sucks blood well,” sort of way. Just when you think he can’t get any lower, he proves you wrong.Every single time.
Before yesterday, I would have happily sworn on a first edition copy of Darwin’s On the Origin of the Species that Bush simply couldn’t act any more despicably in playing the “terrorism” card than he already has. Surely, I foolishly believed, there must be a saturation point for such things — a low that’s so low that it simply can’t be outdone.
Consider, after all, the dreary parade of his past dishonor.
Manipulating public fear of terrorism for political gain?
Been there, done that.
Falsely besmirching the patriotism of political opponents?
Oh, please! That’s just so 2002!
Using terrorism alerts to scare people when it’s politically helpful?
Just another day at the office.
Arguing that Americans must surrender their sacred freedoms in order to be safe from attack?
Does the phrase standard operating procedure mean anything to you?
Using the fear of terrorism to perpetrate a fraud on the nation leading to a disastrous war in Iraq?.............
because there's ...
Foldit is a revolutionary new computer game enabling you to contribute to important scientific research.
Foldit uses spare computer time, via a screensaver, to work out how proteins fold. Proteins are the building blocks of life inside cells; they are first made as long chains of molecules and work properly only after they have folded into their final shape. But understanding the rules of protein folding remains one of biology's central problems. Players use their computers to fold proteins. The more chemically stable the folded protein becomes, the more points the players are awarded.
Could you win a Nobel Prize in Medicine for playing a computer game? Foldit is a game for the PC and Mac that takes the Folding@Home concept and adds a more human element to the mix. Instead of having a network of computers work through all of the possible shapes for folding proteins, a problem so huge it could take centuries for all of the computers in the world to solve, Foldit presents unfolded proteins to the player in the form of puzzles, on the basis that human intuition could tackle the problem much faster.
"Some people are just able to look at the game and in less than two minutes, get to the top score," said (UW associate professor of computer science and engineering) Zoran Popovic. "They can't even explain what they're doing, but somehow they're able to do it."...........