Saturday, July 08, 2006

Dominionist Theocracy

Deconstructing the Dominionists -- part I, part II, part III.

Won't Let Him Off The Hook

Exactly, but, if true, I'm glad to have it come out.

Man indicted in phone jamming case will argue Administration approved election scheme

Shaun Hansen, the former owner of the company that placed hang-up calls to jam Democratic phone lines, was indicted in March for conspiring to commit and aiding and abetting the commission of interstate telephone harassment relating to a scheme to thwart get out the vote efforts on Election Day, 2002.

His lawyer's motion signals that Hansen intends to argue that he was entrapped because the Administration allegedly told his superiors the calls were legal. The filing indicates, however, that Hansen does not have firsthand knowledge of Administration intervention.

Hansen’s lawyer offered an inside look of his defense strategy in yesterday's filing: his client will assert that he believed he was acting on behalf of the government and the Republican Party through his work with GOP Marketplace, the company which subcontracted the phone jamming efforts.

Phone Jammer to Argue DC Officials Approved

Rather, his defense strategy will be to persuade a jury that he may have been persuaded not just that the phone jamming was legal, but that he would be carrying out the scheme on behalf of the United States government.

Climate Change and Wildfires

Climate Change Blamed for Western U.S. Wildfires

"When you have a warm spring and early summer, you get rapid snowmelt. With the snowmelt coming out a month earlier, areas get drier overall. There is a longer season in which a fire can be started and more opportunity for ignition."

Friday, July 07, 2006

Statutory Poetry

US Copyright Code, in verse!

Canadian First Nations with No Safe Water

Water may be deadly

"We've got death at the tap," said Tony Stienhaurer, who says the reserve has also been under a boil-water order since 2004.

True Patriotism

Patriotism and Participation

Government is not a service we buy, it's a process we participate in. Many of us in my generation have forgotten this, and in outsourcing our government we've allowed a lot of the process to go wrong. As long as we treat it as a service, we've no standing for complaining when it's provided to us as a service, just as the Coca Cola corporation provides us soft drinks that may not be terribly healthy for us but taste good at the time.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Advisory? I think not.

Endless War on Terror (Phase Two)

For his part, Bush has hinted that he may treat the Supreme Court’s [recent Guantanamo] ruling as more of an advisory opinion than a binding decision.

Responding to a reporter’s question shortly after the court’s decision, Bush rhetorically put quote marks around the word “ruling.”

“Yeah, I – thank you for the question,” Bush said, “on a quote, ‘ruling’ that literally came out in the midst of my meeting with the prime minister [of Japan], and so I haven’t had a chance to fully review the findings of the Supreme Court.”

Between the quote marks around “ruling” and the later reference to the court’s “findings,” Bush conveyed a sense that he didn’t necessarily consider the decision to be binding on his actions.

Now, I'm not sure how much of a sense Bush actually conveyed, but I'll tell you this:

The Court does not issue advisory opinions, and it has refused to do so, when asked. The Court *only* sits "cases and controversies", as the Constitution authorizes it to do.

The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

The Quote That Changed My Life

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential causes of Rome's decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Nail. Hammer. Bang.

Simple and succinct, from the Booman Tribune:

I still can't understand why Middle America thinks the threat of terrorism warrants the loss of our inalienable rights. We live with all these live in a fantasy land. We are not afraid. We would give up no rights to protect ourselves. You call us coddlers of terrorists and tell us the NSA must spy without warrants. Fuck you.
[thanks Medley, for the tip]

I've said it before and I'll say it again: The Republican Party is full of wimps. Wimps who would rather cower, afraid, then stand up and be real patriots.

Maybe they could ask us to leave?

Iraqi demands justice in rape-slay case

The justice minister demanded Tuesday that the U.N. Security Council ensure that a group of U.S. troops are punished in the alleged rape and murder of a young Iraqi and the killing of her family, calling the attack "monstrous and inhuman."

Surprise! Fat People Not Jolly!

Well, I really only have one thing to say -- duh.

Fat people not more jolly, says study

Fat people are not more jolly, according to a study that found obesity is strongly linked with depression and other mood disorders.

Whether obesity might cause these problems or is the result of them is not certain, and the research does not provide an answer, but there are theories to support both arguments.

Depression often causes people to abandon activities, and some medications used to treat mental illness can cause weight gain. On the other hand, obesity is often seen as a stigma and overweight people often are subject to teasing and other hurtful behaviour.

No! Really! Boy, here in weight-obsessed America, I would never have noticed that, "pleasingly plump" woman that I am, if someone hadn't told me.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

UK Creates Wetlands

Wow. Huge marine wetland starts life

Salt marsh is more rare than rainforest, and is important to people, particularly as a flood and storm defence, and to wildlife.

Monday, July 03, 2006

UK to US: You are cruel, arrogant, and racist

British trust in 'arrogant' US leadership plummets to just 12%

The YouGov survey found that only 12 per cent of Britons trusted Americans to deal wisely with current world problems - half the number who had faith in the 1975 White House.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance

New UN body approves disappearance treaty

Geneva - The United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday unanimously approved an international treaty that would ban states from abducting perceived enemies and hiding them in secret prisons or killing them.

The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance would require states to keep registers of detainees and tell their families the truth about their disappearance, as well as paying compensation.

It still has to be adopted in the UN General Assembly, and then individual governments would need to approve it.

Rights experts say the United States, in the spotlight over allegations that it has been transferring terrorism suspects to secret jails in other countries, is not expected to ratify the pact.