arcana imperii :: the book of j


seen on the net

me: «why is my son dressed up in cowboy trousers and an indian top?»
tt: «because he's playing cowboys and indians.»
me: «but he's dressed up in cowboy trousers and an indian top. it doesn't make sense.»
tt: «yes it does. maybe he's bi-western.»

via my boyfriend is a twat.

obituary: alistair cooke

the voice of the broadcaster who for americans explained all things british and for britons explained all things american is silenced. alistair cooke, doyen of british broadcasters for decades, who retired this month due to failing health, has died aged 95.

«i gratefully accept your nomination for president of the united states!» ~alistair cooke, 1973

highlights of letter from america

radio legend cooke dies aged 95.
blair leads tributes to cooke.
a tribute to alistair by nick clarke, alistair cooke's official biographer.

alistair cooke's first letter

alistair cooke's first letter from america was broadcast in 1946 - and fifty years later, he returned to his first transcript and rebroadcast it, adding his reflections about the past and the future.

alistair cooke's final letter: «the democrats' growing confidence»

in the democrats' growing confidence, the final letter from america, alistair cooke considered how the war in iraq as well as domestic issues had become key elements in the run-up to the US presidential elections. it was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on friday, 20 February 2004.


japan tobacco courtesy campaign

this is one of several posters put up in trains by japan tobacco as part of a campaign to teach smokers to be more considerate. it just doesn't quite come across that clearly in english, does it? and so i must admit that i had to ponder the ad for a few... so... just as one is mindful, perhaps, of those poor souls walking or standing nearby before we let out, well, you know, some... wind, one should also be mindful of them when lighting up, making sure there's enough clean air in between... lol.

via lost focus / [photo: mark schreiber].

none so blind

"but i saw it with my own eyes..." yeah, right! the problem is that people remain unaware of the challenges to the validity of eyewitness testimony and the metaphor of memory as a video recording. the arrogance of humans that think that experience delivers the ultimate truth baffles me.

bush's misleading attack video

internet attack ad says that senator kerry got most “special interest money” of any senator. he didn't. and bush got lots more.

taxing social security & petrol: bush attack lacks context

senator kerry did support an increased tax on social security benefits, but he also supported a repeal and bush didn't.

bush accuses kerry of 350 votes for higher taxes... higher than what?

the bush campaign falsely accused Kerry of voting 350 times for tax increases. bush’s own words mislead reporters.

a conservative group engages in class warfare project

the conservative group citizens united launched an ad 08 march senator's kerry's expensive homes and habits, calling him “another rich, liberal elitist from massachusetts who claims he's a 'man of the people.'” the ad gets the facts of kerry's wealth pretty much right, but plenty of US presidents have been wealthy, including the incumbent. and who's “elitist” is, of course, a matter of opinion. it's brilliant, read more here...

what to do when your friends email lies to you.

Let me put the matter bluntly: an awful lot of the emailed messages zipping round the Internet are lies -- and too many are being sent on by gullible, lazy friends who ought to know better.

«play on; give me excess of it!»

a new study reports that music sharing doesn't kill CD sales.

even high levels of file-swapping translate into an effect on album sales that was «statistically indistinguishable from zero». the authors of the study noted the finding that «file sharing has only had a limited effect on record sales. while downloads occur on a vast scale, most users are likely individuals who would not have bought the album even in the absence of file sharing.»

naturally, the riaa (r-not only greedy but stupid and ignorant) claims to even have an argument... the spokeswoman for the nazi-like organisation, amy weiss stated that their «our own surveys show that those who are downloading more are buying less.» what a ridiculous jump to conclusions... perfect example of the fallacious post hoc ergo propter hoc... and american law-makers and judges eat it up... it's so offensive!

via sledgeblog.


«clarke urges 'debate' on terror preparations»

npr has assembled a feature on the 9/11 commission hearings and the serious revelations made in testimony regarding the administrations failures in preventing terrorism and pursuing its war against it.

«clarke is right»

especially if you focus on what clarke has said about this before the 9/11 commission when he wasn't beating up on condi rice et al, you hear a quite reasonable analysis of the US response to terrorism.

«clarke charges on bush seem to have sticking power»

political analysts have said the white house may have mishandled accusations levelled by their former counterterrorism adviser richard clarke by attacking his credibility, keeping the controversy firmly in the headlines into a second week. polls have shown that nınety percent of US voters were following the issue and that it was beginning to hurt bush. a newsweek poll released sunday found that fifty-seven percent of voters approved of the way he had handled terrorism and homeland security, down from 70 percent two months. i still despair for the fifty-seven percent

the truth of the matter

«how does a civil servant who has launched a major attack on the bush presidency protect himself from what he has unleashed?»

evolution - latest finding: «early humans swapped bite for brain»

humans owe their big brains and sophisticated culture to a single genetic mutation that weakened our jaw muscles about 2,4 million years ago, suggests a new study.

the slack muscles relaxed their hold on the human skull, giving the brain room to grow. Other primates remained stuck with mighty muscles that squeezed the skull in a vice-like grip.

peter currie, an expert on skeletal muscle development at the victor chang cardiac research institute in darlinghurst, australia considered the finding "pretty amazing". he said that changes in muscle anatomy are well known to alter the bones to which they attach, but that the exciting part of this is the mutation in the gene dates to exactly when this transition occurs in the fossil record.

how do you like them apples, mel gibson?

nasa jet flies at seven times speed of sound

ever so closer to warp speed!

an unmanned supersonic plane shattered the speed record for flight by flying at more than seven times the speed of sound this past saturday.

nasa's X-43A plane flew high above the pacific ocean for eleven seconds using an engine similar to those which power rockets, before gliding for several minutes and plunging into the ocean. it was the first successful demonstration of acceleration by a supersonic combustion ramjet or "scramjet" engine.

editorial: the the truth haunts bush

and hasn't it always?

«former white house counterterrorism chief richard clarke has blown the whistle on the bush administration's failed response to the threat of terrorism - not just before the 11 september 2001, attacks on the world trade centre and the pentagon [let's remember the third plane...] but also since those devastating assaults.

calmly, coolly and without hesitation, clarke has confirmed the worst fears of americans who believed that this administration was always more concerned about invading the oil-rich nation of iraq than in hunting down osama bin laden and other figures who pose a genuine threat to this country.»


don't kill the messenger! but top doctor backs picking your nose and eating it...

i know, go ahead and say it... «gross!» but one day you may credit this brief entry with saving your life! :-)

as it turns out, a top austrian physician has declared that picking one's nose and eating it is one of the best ways to stay healthy.

innsbruck-based lung specialist prof dr friedrich bischinger said people who pick their noses with their fingers were healthy, happier and probably better in tune with their bodies, adding that society should adopt a new approach to nose-picking and encourage children to take it up!

dr bischinger said that with the finger one can get to places one just can't reach with a handkerchief, keeping one's nose far cleaner and that eating the dry remains of what one pulls out is a great way of strengthening the body's immune system.

«medically it makes great sense and is a perfectly natural thing to do. In terms of the immune system the nose is a filter in which a great deal of bacteria are collected, and when this mixture arrives in the intestines it works just like a medicine.

«modern medicine is constantly trying to do the same thing through far more complicated methods, people who pick their nose and eat it get a natural boost to their immune system for free.»

the good doctor pointed out that children happily pick their noses, yet by the time they have become adults they have stopped under pressure from a society that has branded it disgusting and anti social. he said he'd rather recommend a new approach where children are encouraged to pick their nose noting that it is a completely natural response and medically a good idea as well.

he added that if anyone was really worried about what their neighbour was thinking, they could still enjoy picking their nose in private if they still wanted to get the benefits it offered.

via ananova.

quotation of the week

«perhaps, if i am very lucky, the feeble efforts of my lifetime will someday be noticed, and maybe, in some small way, they will be acknowledged as the greatest works of genius ever created by man.» ~jack handey



rapid oral test for HIV approved

officials declared friday that the food and drug administration has approved the first rapid saliva test for the virus that causes aids.

the test provides results within twenty minutes with ninety-nine percent accuracy. other approved rapid tests for the human immunodeficiency virus require taking blood samples.


a word i learned today

aquabib [ACK-wuh-bib] water drinker. someone hated by bartenders and waiters everywhere.

via oxford dictionaries.

now what?

john tritt of pa's the keystone offers his opinion on the immeditate future of the roadmap for peace.

"words cannot describe the emotion of anger and hate inside our hearts." the statement from recently assassinated sheik ahmed yassin's close associate ismail haniyeh sums up the feeling in palestine. monday, the israeli defence forces launched 3 missiles in front of a gaza city mosque, killing the hamas founder and 7 others while they were leaving. the united nation's roadmap for peace is beginning to look more like a roadmap to chaos, disorder and escalating violence.

new study shows abortions, miscarriages DO NOT increase breast cancer risk

scientists announced yesterday that having an abortion does not increase a woman's risk of getting breast cancer later, according to the most comprehensive and definitive analysis conducted on the controversial issue.

currently, several states, including texas, minnesota and kansas, tell women considering an abortion that it may increase their risk of breast cancer. other states are debating whether to require doctors to warn women of a risk. the federal government also had suggested that abortion might raise the risk, but it recently dropped that information from an official cancer information website. [you may recall that this is one of the issues cited by scientists protesting the bush administration's distortion of scientific fact as well as censorship and use of other objectionable strategies in order to advance its agenda, especially in the areas of religion and "faith" and the protection of big business interests].

the governmental assertions suggest that there is an ongoing scientific debate in which studies that found no link are balanced by others that did. the new analysis concludes that this approach distorts the truth. it is being published today in the lancet, the british medical journal.


oregon county bans ALL marriages

a county in the western state of oregon has banned all marriages, same-gender and hetero, until the state decides whether ignorance and bigotry will remain the law.

«the last marriage licences were handed out in benton county at 16:00 local time (19:00 EST) tuesday. as of yesterday, officials in the county of 79,000 people began telling couples applying for licences to go elsewhere until the gay marriage debate is settled.»

what if san francisco started doing the same? what if every other licence authority refused to grant them to breeders? wouldn't the indignation and self-righteous tantrums we'd witness finally expose the bigotry and discrimination perpetrated against same-gender couples?

via andymatic.

«thou shalt not make scientific progress»

medical research is poised to make a quantum leap that will benefit sufferers from alzheimer's, parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, diabetes and other diseases. but . george w bush's religious convictions stand in its way.

nice numbers

bush feels the heat, launches an all-out attack

the white house has launched a ferocious assault against clarke and it is nothing less than proof that republican strategists appreciate the seriousness of the moment and are determined to crush the threat as quickly and convincingly as possible.

free beer and sausages could have rigged election

officials in the city of ulm ordered the villagers of ballendorf back to the polls after the winning mayoral candidate was found to have bribed voters with free beer and sausages.

they said it was conceivable that the winning candidate had influenced the vote by handing out the free beer and sausages so now they had to vote again without the enticements.

«a different election result without such influence on voters is well within the realms of the possible,» an official said, noting how the winner's margin in the town of 650 residents was just 17 votes.

via ananova.

dean endorses kerry

democratic presidential candidate john kerry was formally endorsed by former opponent howard dean and will get backing from a 1,4 million-member union representing government workers as he seeks to unite his party for the election campaign against george w bush.

finally it's done. i wish to insist, however, that dean must continue to instruct his supporters to actually get out and vote for kerry in november as well as continue to register voters and convince undecided and republicans voters of the need to and importance of electing kerry president.

new blood & new acquisitions

i mentioned to an acquaintance the other night that i wish i could be in london especially this week in order to see new blood, the new exhibition which opened today at the saatchi gallery. a now-familiar blank expression greeted my enthusiasm and quickly extinguished it. the expression is now familiar because i'm slapped with it whenever i say anything that doesn't have to do with britney spears, american idol, bloody queer eye or some other mass-market, popular shit. "seek better company" i hear you saying... i know, let's just leave that for another time.

so the saatchi gallery is now celebrating its first anniversary at county hall and opening a new exhibition featuring work by a number of exciting young artists from around the world, alongside some of the new acquisitions made by the gallery in the last eighteen months. it will be the first uk museum presentation of tal r from denmark, nobuko tsuchiya from japan, muntean & rosenblum, daniel richter and jonathan meese from germany and many other british and international artists, like mat collishaw whose work, entitled madonna, we see in the kieran doherty/reuters photograph* above.

the beeb's emma saunders has had a look already and shares her impressions and the controversy surrounding the work of stella vine who has appropriately refused to remove the one piece on late heroin addict rachel whitear.

*näyttelyvieraat tutkivat englantilaisen mat collishaw'n taideteosta nimeltä madonna saatchin taidegalleriassa lontoossa. helsingin sanomat/maailman kuvia.


«scaffolding on dundas street, toronto»

Post No Bills
via the keen eye of rustyvalentine.

«no tears for sheik yassin»

slate has just posted lee smith's take on the assassination of sheik yassin and i urge a read.

the brain in love

birds do it, bees do it, and thanks to all that dopamine, our cousins the baboons do it too. just like us, they fall in love... but what is love? how does it happen? an article in scientific american explores the use of neurochemistry to try to unravel the experience of romantic passion.

vicar to say prayers for parishioners facing eviction

a vicar in the uk is to say prayers for parishioners whose picturesque rented homes are being sold by their landlord. oh boy, i bet the tenants will sleep like logs tonight! bloody hell what they need is dinero, you know, a lot of those pretty paper notes with the portrait of the sovereign on it. hey, i need some of these also... excuse me, is there a vicar in the house?

knickers, lesbians and methodists

another group of theists seems to have their knickers in a twist. conservative members of the united methodist church warned today that the decision to allow an openly gay woman to remain a minister in the church may tear apart the nation's third-largest christian denomination. oh, how i hope so since it only serves to showcase the hypocrisy of the entire clerical establishment throughout all creeds.

a united methodist clergy jury ruled unanimously saturday that karen dammann may remain a minister and stay in a lesbian relationship, despite a church law that declares homosexuality incompatible with christian teachings.

the controversy over this lesbian, who has been a united methodist pastor for a decade, marks the second time in a year that conflict over openly gay clergy threatens to tear apart a major christian denomination in the united states.

bush ignored warnings and downplayed threat

richard clarke, who served four US presidents and was the bush administration's former top counterintelligence official warned one week before the 11 september 2001 attacks that hundreds of americans could die in a terrorist strike. he testified today that the president did not consider terrorism an urgent issue and worse.

profile: new hamas leader khaled meshaal

the beeb's kathryn westcott offers an interesting profile of newly appointed hamas leader khaled meshaal.

after yassin

the assassination of sheikh ahmed yassin could be a watershed event - for the middle east as a whole perhaps, but certainly for hamas, the militant organisation that he founded. the beeb's martin asser offers his analysis.

upi review of the arab press

arab newspapers, for the second consecutive day, wednesday focused their commentaries and analyses on israel's assassination of hamas founder and spiritual leader sheikh ahmad yassin.

the assassination of sheikh ahmed yassin

at 05:20 monday 22 March 2004, israeli helicopter gunships fired three rockets at wheelchair-bound hamas figurehead sheikh ahmed yassin as he exited the islamic association mosque in the densely populated al-sabra neighbourhood in the centre of gaza city. the obvious point to make is that, if Yassin was responsible for planning attacks on civilians then -- like anyone who attempts to use civilians as their latest gory political billboard advertisement -- he deserved to be tried, convicted, and sentenced for his crimes. one would hope that the very process by which yassin was killed may place israel in the dock one day to answer questions about its own crimes against humanity. ei's nigel parry comments on the "targeted" killing of yassin.

out with the deity!

it finally seems possible that we will return to the original 1892 pledge of allegiance which does not include the offensive and riduculous words "under god" as the US supreme court agrees to examine whether the current, 1954 version of the oath violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

i find hilarious that those outside the court, praying, protesting and claiming that questioning the current version of the oath goes against the founding principles of our nation are indeed ignorant of the vile opinion our founding "brothers" held of religion and indeed god.

update: perhaps my hopes were not founded in reality. the court is made up of believers who really don't find anything wrong nor offensive and made it clear today they're finding it very difficult to understand newdow's objections. they don't even sound impartial and their objectivity seems compromised. i wouldn't be surprised if they even dismiss the case without settling the dispute.

highlight: rehnquist asked what the vote was when the US congress in 1954 added "under god" to the pledge as an effort to distinguish america's religious values and heritage from those of communism, which is atheistic. newdow replied the vote was unanimous and rehnquist said that did not sound divisive to him. «that's only because no atheist can get elected to public office,» newdow answered, triggering applause, a rare event in the high court. rehnquist sternly said, «the courtroom will be cleared if there is any more clapping».

note that the ruling could be the most important in years involving what role religion can play in schools and public life, which in my opinion should be NONE.

hear npr's nina totenberg.

not going to wait

jack handey wrote: «we tend to scoff at the beliefs of the ancients. but we can't scoff at them personally, to their faces, and this is what annoys me».

this is why i scoff at your beliefs now, in the present, face to face, via telephone, sms, mms, letter, electronic post, blog, phlog, radio, television, newspapers and magazines.


«it could explode at any moment»

the commander of the russian navy, admiral vladimir kuroyedov, said wednesday morning that the pyotr veliky, the nuclear-powered flagship of the northern fleet, was in such bad shape it could explode 'at any moment'.

russian news outlets quoted kuroyedov as saying that everything is in order in those parts of the ship where admirals walk, but as to places where they don't walk, everything is in such a condition that it could blow up into the air; the contents of the nuclear reactor, among other things.

the man's on a roll. while the world indeed needs to understand that the dangers of nuclear weapons are not limited to their use, the poor bastard can't seem to do anyting right. just last month he was roasted in the press for publicly denying the launch failure of an RSM-54 ballistic missile during a strategic war game 17 february attended by putin.

and as you may remember, kuroyedov is the man who shortly after the kursk sank killing all 118 on board told russian news agencies that the crew was in no danger and that air was being pumped into the submarine.


q&a: is the world a safer place?

a year after the start of the us-led attack, invasion and occupation of iraq, the bbc's security correspondent, frank gardner looks at the repercussions of that war on the international security situation. and it's a grim picture, naturally.

this should be the final nail, right?

while there is simply no acceptable excuse nor valid reason whatsoever to betray our country and our fellow americans by casting an intolerable and misguided vote for george bush in the presidential election later this year, some and perhaps even the majority of those who say they'll cast that reprehensible vote, say they'll do so because we'd be safer under bush as a result of his tough stance against terrorism (and which planet are these lost souls from again?)

well, it is the duty of the rest of us to correct their misunderstanding, to help them overcome the prejudice inherent in partisanship and disavow them of the misrepresentations and falsehoods disseminated by propaganda and public relations stunts.

to help us along, richard clarke, former white house security expert has accused bush of doing a terrible job of tackling terrorism having even ignored warnings of the threat from al-qaeda before the 11 september 2001 attacks.

«find it outrageous that the president is running for re-election on the grounds that he's done such great things about terrorism - he ignored it.» ~richard clarke on cbs' 60 Minutes.

quotation of the week

«piglet sidled up to pooh from behind. 'pooh!' he whispered. 'yes, piglet?' 'nothing,' said piglet, taking pooh's paw. 'i just wanted to be sure of you.'» ~a.a. milne



the world protests on anniversary of iraq war; rome draws largest crowd

hundreds of thousands of people in rome marched today demanding that italy pull its 2.600 troops out of iraq. organisers claimed as many as 2 million people actually participated in just one one of many protests round the world on the anniversary of the war's opening salvos.

people bearing torches form a giant peace sign on budapest's hero's square to protest against the war in iraq. (photo ap/bela szandelszky)

in memoriam juliana regina

«hare koninklijke hoogheid prinses juliana der nederlanden. 30 april 1909 - 20 maart 2004»

i am sad to comment on the passing at soestdijk palace of Her Royal Highness Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, "the mother of nation" at the age of ninety four.

in one of her last television interviews, juliana appeared to sum up the style and spirit of her reign when she said: «i have always done my best not to become old-fashioned».



once again, justice scalia refuses to recuse himself in good friend cheney case and while friendship hasn't traditionally been reason enough for recusal, even giving the impression of conflict of intererst has been and this administration is plagued with the shamelessness of not giving a damn about it. the severe political consequences facing cheney are tremendous and scalia's presence on the bench is simply unacceptable.

earth faces sixth mass extinction

the new scientist, one of my favourite publications ever reports that the strongest evidence yet suggests our planet may be on the brink of a sixth mass extinction on a par with the five others that have punctuated its history and it comes from the the rate at which species of plants and animals are disappearing around the world.

contempt for congress: the bush way

the washington post has published an editorial today noting how tension between the executive and legislative branches of government is inevitable (and i'd say that's the point of a system of checks and balances and rather healthy for democracy), but that the bush administration has tended to treat congress with an arrogance bordering on contempt. and it seems the news has travelled slowly eastward from california, but it's here and it's seen as the latest illustration of said arrogance and contempt. it involves the report that the medicare chief actuary was threatened with firing if he gave lawmakers his analysis of the likely costs of the new prescription drug legislation. there's more indeed...

just a thought

via t-shirt hell.

spain's next prime minister says US should dump bush

the washington post reports this morning that prime minister-elect josé luís rodríguez suggested american voters should follow the example set by spain and change their leadership by supporting sen john f kerry of massachusetts for president in november.

and half of the US, the thinking, intelligent, patriotic, visionary, progressive half agree! which half are you with?


intelligence errors sapped US credibility - lack of weapons of mass destruction comes back to haunt bush

the san francisco chronicle has published an article noting that iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, which served as the prime rationale advanced by bush for the war that began a year ago this week, have vanished like a desert mirage, and the issue has become potentially troubling for a president seeking re-election.

al pan, pan y al vino, vino part II

that's right. pet peeve time. it's been twice in one week now. so, please, call a spade a spade. and use the word momentarily correctly. it means FOR a moment, NOT, IN a moment, despite its wide and extended usage thusly in the united states.

think «he hesitated momentarily before entering the room» (he hesitated for a brief period of time, that is, FOR a moment) and NOT «the manager is on another line, but he'll be with you momentarily». ugh! just writing that phrase makes me furious!


spain's pm-elect calls iraq occupation a fiasco

spain's next prime minister spurned bush's appeal for unity today and branded the iraq occupation a fiasco as a probe into the madrid bombings that killed 201 people entered a «decisive phase».

«i will listen to mr bush but my position is very clear and very firm, the occupation is a fiasco.»

note: the pm-elect's name is josé luís rodríguez zapatero, rodríguez being his father's lastname and zapatero his mother's. therefore he's NOT to be referred as "zapatero," but as either rodríguez or as rodríguez zapatero. it's not just the ignorance that bothers me, but the fact that nobody even thinks about bloody asking!

an arse is an arse is an arse?

yahoo! news reports via reuters that according to police, a frustrated afghan soldier who could not afford to get married was released without charge after being caught having sex with a donkey. the soldier, who was not identified, was detained for several days last week after a young boy spotted him with the animal in an abandoned house in the southeastern town of gardez.

a local police officer told reuters that the man insisted he had no other choice but the donkey because he could not afford to pay a dowry to get married. the man had since been released without charge.

note that in many parts of afghanistan men must pay at least $3000 to the parents of their prospective bride, making marriage difficult for many in a country where the average annual income is only a few hundred dollars.

under the strict islamic rule of the fundamentalist taliban regime overthrown in 2001, sex outside of marriage or bestiality were punished by stoning to death or flogging. well, isn't the soldier lucky the us army is still occupying his country and defending his right to fck a mule? i mean, compared to the fact that very little has been accomplished in changing the deplorable status of say, women, since the taliban were defeated...

thx again to crisafer.

congratulate him? I DON'T THINK SO!

a year ago today, the bush administration was making its final push toward war in iraq. we know now (and some of us knew then) that much of what we were told about the threat that iraq posed was untrue. and rather than own up to their distortion of the facts, bush administration officials are denying they ever said such things.

but this sunday, defence secretary donald rumsfeld got caught blatantly contradicting his past statements, and there's video clip to prove it. go ahead, have a look!

the us congress has the responsibility to hold bush and his administration accountable for this pattern of deception -- that's why we have the constitution, right? but instead, congress today has been debating a resolution congratulating bush, for (they claim) making the world safer!

i insist we all must demand, at a minimum, that congress censure the president. it is the duty of our representatives to formally reprimand him for misleading us. and what better day to demand it than today, while they're debating their anniversary resolution?

more deceit / illegal covert propaganda

a story in the los angeles times tells how, with great fanfare, the bush administration unveiled thirty-second television adverts and a two-page flier that would be mailed to 41 million seniors and disabled people, touting the newly enacted medicare prescription drug benefit. missing from the publicity was any mention of «video news releases,» which feature «interviews» with government officials and voice-overs by production company employees posing as washington reporters, for use in local tv news shows.

this past monday, less than a week after it concluded that the administration's medicare commercials and fliers were technically legal but contained "notable omissions and errors," the general accounting office said it would conduct another investigation to determine whether the video news releases constituted illegal «covert propaganda». and it gets worse...

half of this country still intends to vote for bush? again i say, shame on you!

madrid honours victims of bombing

thousands, including Spain's Queen Sofia, attended a memorial service at almudena cathedral for those killed in the madrid bomb attacks.

outside madrid, in the commuter town of alcalá de henares - the home of about forty of the victims, and where the bombs were suspected to have been put on three of the four trains hit - residents held a silent evening march to protest against the violence. an estimated 50,000 marchers carried photos of victims and candles.

kerry wins illinois primary and secures nomination

not that anyone expected any other possible outcome, but US senator john kerry claimed victory in the illinois democratic primary, receiving enough delegates to secure his party's presidential nomination at its convention in july. let the games begin!

attack against the UK seems "inevitable"

the scotsman reports on the warning issued yesterday by metropolitan police commissioner, sir john stevens, that britain is now an inevitable target for international terrorists despite police success in thwarting previous attacks. his fears were echoed by london's mayor, ken livingstone, who said it would be "miraculous" if the capital escaped attack.

despite the gravity of his forecast, mr livingstone insisted london remained one of the safest cities in the world and urged the public to go about their usual business.

well, i'd say use a bit more of your common sense and take a moment to reflect upon time and place. at times when alerts are hightened, it just makes more sense to consciously avoid certain locations. once the threat level hits orange (according to the us homeland security system) i will, for instance, refrain from unavoidable travel, i will not use public transport nor be present at any large concentrations of people such as at tourist attractions, sporting events and shopping centres.

note that the heightened security in britain was echoed in paris where the interior ministry announced it had received threats of a possible attack from an islamist group. a recent letter, sent to several newspapers, threatened «to plunge france into terror and remorse and spill blood outside its frontiers».


a pause for reflection... and fun

the time has come to put friends, acquaintances and even strangers to the test and see how well they know me. :-) it's just ten questions, so go ahead, enjoy a bit of a break and have a go! cheers!

via the ever brilliant blah, blah, black sheep.

sports: "bracketology" for dummies: a primer

and i am an absolute dummy in this field. i've never placed a bet on the outcome of any sports event and don't have any particular interest in doing so, but being able to talk about it and even express an opinion on whom you should bet on or not is indeed right up my alley. have a look! it's quite interesting and it may even save/earn you a few greenbacks...

arabs, europeans still view US policy with mistrust and worse

a year after the US led attack, invasion and occupation of iraq, mistrust and discontent with america continues to grow both in europe and the arab world, according to a new poll by the pew research centre for the people and the press.

the report: a year after iraq war: mistrust of america in europe ever higher, muslim anger persists

note: «at least half of the respondents in every country except the US say the war in iraq hurt, not helped, the war on terrorism. fully two-thirds of moroccans (67%) express this opinion, as do solid majorities in germany (58%), pakistan (57%), turkey (56%) and france (55%).»

«at least half the people in countries other than the US say as a result of the war in iraq they have less confidence that the united states is trustworthy. similarly, majorities in all eight of these countries say they have less confidence that the US. wants to promote democracy globally.»

«solid majorities in six of the nine countries surveyed say that US and british leaders' prewar assertions that iraq had weapons of mass destruction were made mostly because the leaders "lied to provide a reason for invading Iraq," rather than because the leaders "were themselves misinformed by bad intelligence."»

npr's robert siegel talks about the survey with andrew kohut, director of the pew research centre.

bush's medicare deceit

the san francisco chronicle published today an editorial describing how, after first covering up and then misrepresenting the facts about the new medicare prescription drug benefit, the bush administration is now shamelessly working to further mislead the public by staging phony "news reports" about how well the law will work.

medicare's chief actuary, robert s foster, by law charged with providing nonpartisan counsel to lawmakers, was actually silenced by the white house to prevent congress from getting the true figures. threatened with "severe'' personal consequences, he was instead ordered to withhold the information, even if congress asked for it.

how can half of this country still dare consider voting for bush and his administration? shame on you!


congratulations are in order. a nyc education panel has approved mayor bloomberg's plan to end the social promotion of third graders. some will opose and criticise the fact that three members of the panel were sacked by bloomberg and quickly replaced before the vote when they refused to support the plan. i commend it. it is rather usual to see education panels, advisory neighbourhood commissions, liquor licence boards and the like to operate hijacked by the views of its members, regardless of what's best and what's supported by they people they are supposed to represent. this is most undemocratic and their removal is a courageous, necesssary and welcome act. i only hope mayor williams here in dc takes heart and decides to do the same and replace, as he has threatened in the past, the members of the local taxi and limousine commission preventing the switch to metred taxis in the city, which does make sense now and i support wholeheartedly.

starbucks, not just coffee and untoasted bagels anymore...

complain all you wish. you're most certainly wrong when it comes to the coffee, which is good. period. now, i myself won't set foot in one of these shops, but that's because they don't and won't toast bagels, which is nothing short of an abomination. i, as punter, am king, and if i want a toasted bagel with cream cheese i am to be served as ordered. starbucks won't, just like dc's annie's paramount steakhouse refuses to make and serve béarnaise sauce (ostensibly because the cost of eggs is too high). the humanity! do these places forget that when a paying customer walks in he's effectively hiring the staff and the venue for a meal, even if just an afternoon tea? i believe they get away with it because most americans feel they're still being done a favour whenever a paying service is performed for them and don't complain loudly and effectively.

in any case, the news is that starbucks will open today its first music cafe in the US serving up custom music CDs along with their usual assortment of drinks. but they still say nothing about the abominable untoasted bagels. btw, i am indeed aware that some strange people don't mind chewing untoasted bagels ad nauseam. i know it's probably the same people who chew gum like grazing cattle all day long, even in company and at gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and i do despair of you, but this is about me and i want my bagels toasted. period.

oh and at about $1,40 per song, they can rest assured i'll still burn at home while i make my own delicious coffee drink and eat my cake and have it too.

world press review

here's today's world press review courtesy of the beeb. note special links to the spanish press. also others to the the european, the russian, the korean, the israeli and the arab press.

«media relish bush v kerry»
«chavez under media fire»


rooney sparks outcry (among whom?) with gibson remark

bravo, mr rooney! i cheer you on indeed!

andy rooney, the 60 Minutes curmudgeon said yesterday that he received 30,000 pieces of mail and e-mail in response to his 22 february commentary, in which he called the passion of the christ filmmaker mel gibson a «wacko». that's it? he didn't call him an ignorant idiot of limited intelligence? he didn't call gibson whatever deservedly horrible noun applies to any and all literal believers of the bible? c'mon, mates! in any case, this was the biggest viewer response ever to a segment on the CBS newsmagazine, which has been on the air since 1968, said a spokesman.

rooney also called reverend pat robertson a "wacko" for saying he had a conversation with god, but not many people noticed that, he said. most of his mail concerned gibson.

rooney said on his sunday 60 Minutes commentary that he thinks the mail was a good indication of how bitterly divided our country is presently, and hopes he's not contributing to it— even though he believes he's right and everyone else is wrong, and rightly so! :-)

rooney read some of the mail on the air, including one letter that called him an «asinine, bottom-dwelling, numb-skulled, low-life, slimy, sickening, gutless, spineless, ignorant, pot-licking, cowardly pathetic little weasel.» that takes the icing off the cake! someone, undoubtedly a theist, stupid and ridiculous enough to be offended by reality and truth gets to call the messenger an ignorant pathetic little weasel? the humanity! but then again i've never met a single believer, especially if christian who didn't suffer from complete and absolute reflection/introspection disorder! it always seems that it's the christians who can't go a day without doing the most "un-christian things". even worse is that someone felt entitled and comfortable writing and posting said words to a respected media personality.

you see, that's part of what the jerry springers, riki lakes and shock jocks of our airwaves promote and condone: they make it seem acceptable to be violent, offensive, disrespectful and vulgar, even in puiblic and as a means of resolving conflict.

well, it isn't so to me and i consider it my duty to shame anybody who actively or passively becomes an enabler or accomplice, be it by watching the shows or missing any opportunity to point out the damage inflicted on society as a result.

but i digress somewhat... finally, rooney, now 85, noted that many of his critics took shots at his age. even fox news channel's bill o'reilly (ugh and ugh) said he was too old.

via mlive.com.

possible tenth planet found

discovery channel news has reported that later on today, nasa will announce the discovery of what could be the tenth planet in our solar system. the new "object" already bears a name: sedna, for the inuit "goddess" who "created" the sea animals of the arctic. its discoverers report that there may even be a tiny moon orbiting the planetoid, redder than any other body in our solar system except mars.

quotation of the week: a poem

«i am tired, beloved,
of chafing my heart against
the want of you;
of squeezing it into little inkdrops,
and posting it.»

~amy lowell, the letter



the unknown

«As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.»

[donald rumsfeld @ department of Defence news briefing, 12 February 2002]

bush praises man in women's week gaffe

george bush has marked international women's week - by paying tribute to a man.

he told reporters at the white house that the the libyan government had released fathi jahmi earlier today and that se was a a local government official imprisoned in 2002 for advocating free speech and democracy.

but he got his facts muddled. jahmi is "definitely male," said amnesty international's alistair hodgett.

the washington post reports jahmi, 62 is a male civil engineer sentenced to five years in jail after speaking out for a constitution and pluralism.

via ananova.



restoring the integrity of science

the united states has an impressive history of investing in the capabilities and respecting the independence of scientists. this legacy has brought us sustained economic progress, science-based public health policy, and unequalled scientific leadership within the global community.

however, actions by the bush administration threaten to undermine this legacy. on a wide range of issues, objective scientific analysis has been suppressed or distorted when it has failed to support the white house's political goals. the union of concerned scientists (ucs) has launched a major campaign to stop this misuse of science before it damages our health, safety, and environment.

ref: preeminent scientists protest bush administration's misuse of science.


eta denies responsibility for madrid attacks

«m-11: atentatua madrilen. ETA: "erakundeak ez du madrilgo atentatuan inongo erantzukizunik." arratsaldeko seirak pasata, GARA eguinkarira eginiko telefono dei baten bitartez, ETAren izenena hitzegin dun pertsona batek "erakundeak atzoko atentatuan ez du inongo erantzukizunik" esan du.»

english version.
version française.
en castellano.

female circumcision (MUTILATION) case in, well, georgia...

an ethiopian immigrant in georgia has been accused of mutilating the genitals of his his two-year-old daughter as part of a cultural practice condemned by the united nations. he now claims he is innocent and being set up by his ex-wife.

must read: legislators erase church-state line (in georgia, of course)

state lawmakers bent on trying to "out-god" each other, as senator nadine thomas (d-decatur) aptly describes it, ought to consider the fate of ethiopian emperor menelik II. menelik also believed that religion was a cure-all, so much so that he nibbled a few pages of the bible whenever he fell ill.

while recovering from a stroke in 1913, he ate the entire book of kings and died.

georgians are being force-fed religion this session by elected officials trampling the US constitution to appease religious conservatives. first, evolution was derided as a negative buzzword and stricken from the schools' proposed new curriculum until incensed voters rose up in protest.

then, the senate launched a campaign to enshrine a gay marriage ban in the state constitution, despite a georgia law already outlawing same-sex unions. although the debate is superfluous, it's also rancorous and loud, and serves the republican agenda of diverting rural voters from their diminishing job prospects, their failing schools and their uncertain futures.

and if gay marriage isn't enough to rouse people out of their recliners and into voting booths in november, the senate threw in the ten commandments as an added incentive this week. the senate voted 42-8 for a nonbinding resolution supporting the display of the ten commandments in public buildings to acknowledge "god's sovereignty over civil government."

the senators weren't deterred to learn that governments displaying the ten commandments are spending thousands of tax dollars defending themselves in court. nor were the senators concerned that they were goading citizens to commit what the high courts have said is an unlawful act.

only republican senator seth harp of midland broke with his party and opposed the resolution, saying, "we are asking the governor and this state to violate the law." harp showed greater respect not only for the rule of law in this country, but also for the 228 years of history built on an explicit separation of church and state.

as former president millard fillmore said: "if any sect suffered itself to be used for political objects i would meet it by political opposition. in my view church and state should be separate, not only in form, but fact. religion and politics should not be mingled."

in blending religion and government at every turn, georgia legislators are concocting an unpalatable brew. and like the emperor, they will discover it can be dangerous.»

wholesale from the opinion pages of the atlanta journal-constitution.

launch of «GODLESS AMERICANS» pac

the godless americans political action committee (GAMPAC) hosted a press conference tuesday 09 march at the national press club in washington, dc to announce the launch of the pac.

«GAMPAC endorses candidates for public office who support the first amendment separation of church and state; defend equal rights and protections for our nation's godless americans; inform the community of the voting records of their elected representatives on issues of concern; and support the goal of having "a place at the table" in formulating public policy.

in addition, GAMPAC will facilitate the training and development of those godless americans seeking to bring the talents of their organisations to the field of electoral politics.»

the constitution restoration act of 2004 - what the bloody hell?!

chris floyd has published an article titled pin heads in today's moscow times and i am wondering if this is some sort of russian april's fool joke or if the moscow times becomes like the brilliant the onion friday afternoons or if americans are truly asleep and are willing to let this impossible administration currently in power simply dismantle and abolish our constitution.

«...ignorant barbarians in washington are pushing a law through congress that would "acknowledge god as the sovereign source of law, liberty [and] government" in the united states. what's more, it would forbid all legal challenges to government officials who use the power of the state to enforce their own view of "god's sovereign authority." any judge who dared even hear such a challenge could be removed from office.

the "Constitution Restoration Act of 2004" is no joke; it was introduced last month by some of the bush regime's most powerful congressional sycophants. if enacted, it will effectively transform the american republic into a theocracy, where the arbitrary dictates of a "higher power" -- as interpreted by a judge, policeman, bureaucrat or president -- can override the rule of law.»

note: this is very real indeed. and it comes from the backwaters of the nation, from the embarrassing retrograde south, sponsored by none other than ignorant US senator richard c shelby (r-alabama) joined by former alabama supreme court chief justice roy "ten commandments" moore, representative robert aderholt (r-haleyville) among others.

email links al-qaeda and madrid bombs

the writer explains that «this is part of settling old accounts with spain.»

the toronto star reports via ap that the arabic newspaper al-quds al-arabi said today it had received a claim of responsibility for the madrid train bombings issued by the brigade of abu hafs al-masri in the name of al qaeda.

secular blasphemy noted bjørn stærk's partial translation of an article from norway's aftenposten regarding a document a terrorist research group at the norwegian defence research establishment found on an islamist website which indeed deserves attention.


in memoriam

madrid attack

199 dead. 1463 wounded or maimed, 38 of them in critical condition.
madrid, 11 march 2004.

note that the media reported that today is exactly 911 days from 11 spetember 2001. it's 912, actually, 2004 is a leap year.

just heard on npr...

i just heard a man presently in boston protesting same-gender marriage and supporting prejudice, bigotry and ignorance screaming: «what's next? people marrying children, cousins, dogs and dead people?»

yeah, go ahead and join me in a bloody deafening SCREEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM! i have no tolerance for willful ignorance and bigotry and i have no respect whatsoever for humans like the sad excuse for a biped i quoted above. and if you happen to think like him, SHAME ON YOU.

fakta fra verden

when the president of the United States declared, around new year, that USA would be first to touch down on Mars, it opened the matter to a lot of questions.
many tests have to be carried out to execute a perfect space journey.
as with Laika, the first dog in outer space, an animal will probably have to "carry the can" this time also.
the scientists at NASA would rather not send a small sympathetic animal with large Disney eyes.
"We need a really cruel, unsympathetic, evil and stupid animal." "We allready have one on the wish-list"
problem is, what if he gets re-elected?

re-elected? i thought to be re-elected one must get elected in the first place...

via dthprod. takk!

feel safer? more secure?

my friends have heard me say it often. i've thought that if there are really serious threats with which to concern ourselves, they'll have to do with trains and homicide bombings. anybody armed in any possible way can board any amtrak or commuter train at union station, dc or any other station in the country and do whatever he wishes. luggage isn't scanned nor passengers screened in any way. we certainly like it this way for travel is convenient and rather hassle-free. but i feel the threat of attack increases every day, just as the horrid massacre in madrid shows today.

the ignorant and unconscionable sheep in the US who wish to vote for dubya because they feel he'll keep them safe from terrorist attacks when the contrary is actually true best take notice. it could happen here any day and bush's foreign and trade policies are doing nothing to deal with the reasons that fuel the terror and the desire of the perpetrators to inflict it upon us.

upi's roland flamini offers interesting analysis of today's horror.

the current news: madrid train blasts kill over 180 and injures over 900.

note that eta's political wing has rejected the organisation's involvement and that a letter in which al-qaeda claims responsibility for the attack has been received in london and a van has been found in a madrid suburb containing incriminating material. three days of mourning have been declared by the spanish government.


world of words: be prepared!

«be prepared!», the motto of the boy scout movement is said have been based on the initials of its founder, robert baden-powell, who became a national hero after the relief of the besieged garrison at mafeking in the boer war. (in november 1899, the westminster gazette had reported ominously, "colonel baden-powell and his gallant garrison will have to keep their end up unassisted.") wild scenes of rejoicing greated news of the relief, and as well as lodging baden-powell in the national consciousness, mafeking had an impact on the language with the humorous coining by the press of the verb maffick, meaning to celebrate noisily and extravagantly.

today one is likely to think of baden-powell in association with others who saw principles instilled in youth as key to the formation of character: the world of henry newbolt's account of military disaster ("the gatling's jammed and the colonel's dead") in which, "the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks, play up! play up! and play the game!" it is a world of unquestioned verities rather than expediency, in which the colonial administrator lord milner could say in a speech of 1909, "if we believe a thing to be bad, and if we have a right to prevent it, it is our duty to try to prevent it and to damn the consequences."

newbolt's poem implies that values acquired in one's schooldays are the key to character, and through that to success in life, but baden-powell himself pointed to an earlier influence. in his autobiographical lessons from the varsity of life (1933) he wrote, "the whole secret of my getting on lay with my mother."

by: elizabeth knowles, 26 february 2004 via askoxford.

martha stewart: dishonesty is the worst policy

ms stewart was convicted for lying to investigators about a stock sale. ironically, dishonesty was a key subject she discused nine years ago in a 60 minutes interview airing tonight at 20:00 on cbs.

«you know, dishonesty seems to be something [that] once you get into it, people just seem not to be able to get out of it.»

can't help thinking that if she weren't martha stewart perchance she wouldn't even have been the subject of an investigation...

within a stone's throw of the big bang

how can mere mortals continue to hate, oppress, and kill for their intellectually untenable religions and non-existent deities when again, the mind and reason, fountainheads of human achivement bring us such brilliant and fascinating food for thought, awe and inspiration as the story of our very own hubble telescope and its approach to the dawn of creation.

my horoscope from the onion: 10 - 16 march 2004

«you have a right to be happy, but that might not outweigh the feelings of the dozens who so enjoy your misery.»
may the force be with me...


kerry leads bush in new poll

the latest cnn/usa today/gallup poll, released yesterday, found that among likely voters, senator john kerry was the choice of fifty-two percent and Bush fourty-four percent in a two-way matchup, with a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

note that the president's job approval rating in the poll was forty-nine percent, with forty-eight percent saying they disapproved of his performance.

however, despite kerry's lead and bush's approval numbers, fifty-two percent of those polled thought bush will win in november, compared to forty-two percent who thought kerry will prevail. and may they all be damned to hell, if they don't get off their overweight arses and vote properly.

and as if that were not enough, the president also held leads over kerry when potential voters were asked who would do a better job handling terrorism, iraq and world affairs. are these bloody idiots blind and deaf to truth and reality? damn and blast!

about time: world leaders want bush out

senator john kerry apparently gave the presidential campaign a jolt yesterday when he told democratic donors in florida he has met foreign leaders who want him to knock dubya out of the white house. well, what do you expect?! don't assume it's just chirac, schroeder and aristide!


quotation of the week

«to a worm in horseradish, the whole world is horseradish.» ~yiddish proverb



taking a break

i urge all to take a moment and enjoy a rather fresh and splendid look at electoral campaigning...

«please vote for me. i only have one eye but i can see out of the other one just fine. i am not spooky. my eye can keep track of many different objects at once. the other candidates are very bad. they support...»

gay anglican bishop invested in new hampshire

reuters reported just a few minutres ago that the rev canon v gene robinson became the ninth bishop of new hampshire earlier today, four months after his controversial installation as the first openly gay bishop in the US episcopal church.

«i, gene robinson, come to you desiring to be recognised and invested and seated in the chair which is a symbol of that office,» robinson said at a service in concord.

the installation in november sparked fury among conservative anglicans both within the United States and round the world. the american anglican council had condemned the november consecration as «heresy, blasphemy and sin» and vowed to create a new «mainstream anglican church in the united states». they certainly said the same when the first black man and the first woman were ordained priests in their church. the hypocrisy is flabbergasting.

interesting and rather hilarious also to witness how much is invested in these "controversies" regarding service for a deity that doesn't even exist.

scary comment of the moment

«i'm worried about the democrats taking control,» said stephanie rahaniotis, a republican from lynbrook, ny. she said after the 11 september attacks she feels safer with bush in charge and thinks democrats will «divert our attention from the military.»

this makes one wonder whether women should really have the right to vote. no, not true. she doesn't think like that because she's a woman (well, she is overly concerned with being "safe," right?) but because she's a republican and few republicans think. they rather apply labels and bromides to justify their intellectual laziness. see, this poor woman hasn't even bothered to look at the facts. she think's she's safer now and would remain so as long as democrats don't "take control". she's wrong. and even more so with the concept of "taking control". obviously for her, democracy is taking control (like bush being appointed president rather than being elected) and not assuming power by virtue of a democratic process.

she doesn't seem aware, for instance, that according to another ap/ipsos poll, a majority of people living in the two countries bordering the united states and in five major european countries say they think the war in iraq increased the threat of terrorism in the world. they are right and there's plenty of evidence, logic and reason to back it up.

danger, will robinson!

according the most recent associated press/ipsos poll bush and senator kerry are tied in the presidential race while nader gathers six per cent backing from young adults and independents. don't they realise how they, along with any sad excuse for a human voting for bush, will share the blame and responsibility if bush & co were to remain in power?

who the hell likes bush?

well, apparently NASCAR, rodeo and livestock exhibition enthusiasts like him because this ignorant, uncultured, corrupt, war-profiteer blind man leader of the deaf talks plainly, wears boots and to them, looks like a regular, macho guy. UGH! the fact that these people vote en masse and decide who rules this country disgusts me. why can't the rest of america get off their arses and hit the ballot box when it counts most?

the san francisco chronilce has more.


sex and drinking: dutch pills end «drink flops»

a dutch hangover pill which claims to also combat brewer's droop* has hit the market. the food supplement paraxine was developped to rid the bloodstream of alcohol fifty-five per cent faster than happens naturally, thus helping to get over hangovers quicker and even prevent them all together.

but the majority of 250 male testers said it, er, also helped in bed after heavy drinking!

a spokesman said: «[our product] will help with those tricky post-drinking moments.»

i wonder if similar "side effects" have been reported with use of ru-21!

*noun: marshmallowing of the penis due to excessive alcohol intake.

via ananova.


the republican national committee has, for the first time in its 150-year history, selected new york for its party congress and pushed the convention date to september this year. it's truly a shameful and shallow attempt at exploiting the lives lost at the world trade centre on 11 september 2001. this country has witnessed the attack, occupation and invasion of two countries. as a result, young american lives are lost daily overseas, and we are not more secure now than before the wars. our economy is depressed, the dollar has collapsed, $87 billion is being spent to boost war profiteering, the country is facing a health-care crisis, millions of children are being left behind, and republicans want four more years... new yorkers are joining the country and saying, ENOUGH!

republicans are trying again to curb free speech and silence opposition

the republican party must be beginning to realise that this country really wants the current administration out of power and is hence beginning to do what it does best: steamroll over dissent, fight screaming and kicking as loudly as possible using every mechanism at their disposal to scare the opposition into quivering fear and silence, whether their agument is supported by truth or is indeed fabricated.

the latest ploy to silence the opposition and to prevent americans from learning the truth about bush & co was implemented yesterday, when the republican national committee told televisions stations across the US not to broadcast ads from moveon.org voters fund alleging the political organisation is paying for them with funds raised in violation of the current campaign-finance law. as it happens, the law permits precisely this use of money for advertising and has done so for the past twenty-five years.

while every socially responsible american should be moved to taking action, republicans should realise that these tactics betray fundamental american values as well conservative ideals. your party and elected officials need to know you disapprove. go ahead, ring the rnc at 202.863.8500 and tell them you stand firmly against the party's attempts to curb political free-speech in this country. believe me, they tally every single comment they receive on any issue. you may also wish to tell them that you'll make sure you'll watch the ads now and that you can do so on the web and see how they like them apples!

the MoveOn family of organisations consists of three entities. moveon.org, a 501(c)(4) organisation, primarily focuses on education and advocacy on important national issues. moveon.org pac, a federal political action committee, primarily helps members elect candidates who reflect our values. and moveon.org voter fund, a 527 organisation, primarily runs ads exposing bush's failed policies in key "battleground" states.


action alert: the time has come to CENSURE BUSH

in an attempt to evade responsibility for the misleading statements that pushed the nation into war, bush formed an independent inquiry to look into what went wrong. this inquiry would serve the Bush administration well: it would envelop the issue in a fog of uncertainty, deflect blame onto the intelligence services, and delay any political damage until 2005, after the upcoming election.

but the facts need no clarification. despite repeated warnings from the cia and the defence intelligence agency, bush and his administration hyped and distorted the threat that iraq posed. and now that reality is setting in, bush wants to pin the blame on someone else. we can't let him.

congress has the power to censure the president — to formally reprimand him for betraying the nation's trust. if ever there was a time for this, it's now.


kerry locks up the democratic presidential nomination

sen john kerry of massachusetts effectively secured the democratic presidential nomination yesterday driving his last serious rival from the race with a string of decisive victories in the super tuesday primaries.

it's interesting to note that according to surveys of voters leaving the polls, kerry's victories tuesday were erected on a foundation of broad appeal to virtually every element of the democratic electoral coalition.

THIS IS SERIOUS: kerry was denied a clean sweep yesterday, but ironically not by edwards but by former gov howard dean, who left the race two weeks ago and won in his home state of vermont. while this "gesture" was of little if any consequence yesterday, dean supporters should not, under any circumstance insist on voting for him in november, for instance, as a write-in candidate. such irresponsible behavour could well cost kerry the presidency.


celebrating the «seussentennial»

theodor seuss geisel died in 1991, after authoring dozens of books that became bedtime rituals the world over. schoolchildren will celebrate dr seuss' 100th birthday today with special events across the country. teachers and celebrities will dress up like cat in the hat and lots of people will be reading seuss aloud.

npr's morning edition offers a special birthday card to dr seuss among other related reports.


take action! spread the word!

i just re-read the list of ten preliminary actions to defeat bush in 2004 a friend of mine had sent me back in november 2003 and realised that by publishing this blog i can check off the ninth item. with this entry i've reached the tenth. how about you?

«09. spread the word. tell as many friends, acquaintances, family members, and co-workers why you're taking action to defeat bush. appeal to their self-interest by talking about the issues they care about. discuss bush's record on the issues and give them handouts, books, magazines, articles, etc. that explain bush's record. emphasise not only the importance of taking action, but how taking action can be fun and does make a difference. If you reach them, give them a copy of this list and take action together. it’s much more fun working with people.

10. make copies of this list! this is NOT copyrighted; it can be reproduced in any way without the author's consent. post this list, legally, where people will be able to read it. make copies and hand them out. put the public on notice: you are not alone; tens of millions of americans want bush out. we can defeat him and must. with all of us, including you, taking action, we will succeed. perhaps then common sense will return to the white house.»

world press review

here's today's world press review courtesy of the beeb. note the links to the european, the russian and the arab press.

for today's newspaper headlines from all fifty states, the colony of the district of columbia and the world (about 250 in total), please visit and enjoy the newseum's front pages feature. it's brilliant!

quotation of the week

«our glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.»


possible, probable, improbable, impossible: you decide

the new york times has just published online david e rosenbaum's the art of the possible meets the science of the probable in which readers are informed that due to the way in which democratic delegates are chosen, senator john edwards cannot win his party's presidential nomination without improbable landslide victories in some large states tuesday and in the weeks to come, according to experts on the nomination process.

simply put, if you feel mr kerry should be the next president of the united states, and your state is holding a primary tuesday or in the weeks to come, make absolutely certain you cast your vote. do the same if you feel kerry's the man and then concentrate on doing your best, not just to vote again 02 november, but to make certain every responsible and progressive eligible voter gets to the polls that day as well. this country can't afford complacency nor apathy. much less the "my vote doesn't count" idiocy. if you know any shameful, sad excuse for a human that might be considering the possibility of betraying the nation and voting wrongly, make sure you show him the light and the errors of his ways. an individual opinion's may indeed be sacred, but only if he's right.

remember bullet tooth tony: «you should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity.»