Wednesday, October 31, 2007
The Other $15 Billion Question: How Will Apple Spend Its Cash?: "The cash coffers are overflowing at Apple these days. While Silicon Valley is abuzz over the fact that social-networking startup Facebook is now worth $15 billion on paper, Cupertino-based Apple has at least that much money -- $15.4 billion to be exact -- in real, spendable cash."
UW students tout ignorance of Islam: "This brings me to -- drum roll, please -- 'Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week,' celebrated at more than 100 campuses across the country, including the University of Washington. Last week's nationwide event was aimed at fostering awareness of the terror threat posed by a fraction of those in the Islamic faith. Organizers also wanted to blast the 'silence of feminists' over the oppression of women of Islam. Their effort would have been better served by looking at how extremists everywhere, across the spectrum of beliefs, crap up the world. Robert Jamieson, Seattle PI columnist. ."
Image from, Handmaid's Tale, by Margarett Attwood.
Dear Mr. Jamieson,
I doubt you remember me but we met a few years ago at an African-American Jewish coalition meeting. You spoke that night and I remember you as a nice, sincere seeker of peace amongst folks, Good enough,
However, in this case you are the one who shows ignorance. There needs to be a line somewhere between tolerance and uncritical acceptance of behavior because it is dictated by someone's religion.
First, I suspect you and I would agree on the malintent of thegroup at the UW. Sure the Bushistas have exploited Islamic extremism. The UW Republicans are not even the mainstream Young Republican group on camous. They are a splinter group willing to trade some hype for a more visible presence on campus. I hope very much that President Obama or President Clintin will bring back some balance to our lives.
Balance, however, must not mean pretending there is no problem with Islam., The problems are real and can not be easily equated to other contemporaneous religious fundamentalisms.
The problems within Islam are not local to the Iraq mess fostered by our incompetent President. Saudi Arabi is rules by a bizare theocracy cum feudal aristocracy worthy of the worst times of European history. From Nigeria to Indonesia, efforts at Democracy are threatened by the success of organizations similar to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. These devout folks DO follow the Quran, DO believe in fairness for Muslims, and DO practice sharia .. including the laws that make you a Christian and I a Jew into dhimmi, tolerated people with far less tha equal rights. In that capacity though, we are far better off, my friend, than the Buddhists, Hindus or pagans sentenced, even to death by laws recited 1400 years ago in the name of Gabriel and Allah by the Prophet. The hero of Achebe's "Arrow of God," a nativist priest, could LEGALLY be sentenced t death for blasphemy in Sharia ruoles parts of Nigeria.
Nor is this issue restricted to traditionally Muslim lands. Any true democrat would treasure the French concept of tolerance, but even in France tolerance assumed that immigrants would accept common principles of French law. Not so for the Islamic minority. Nor is our own country free of worry. As recently as four years ago, a study by Freedom House of New York showed wide spread dissemination of extremist literature in American mosques.
Since i suspect you do not remember me, let me tell you I am known for being critical of devout religions in general. Some blog entries that might interest you include my comments on Christianity, the papacy, and so on. However, as unfair as some see me toward Christianity, even I would NEVER equate anything in modern Christianity to the norm of the Muslim world.
Mybe I can make my case by moving the focus to another religious group. What would YOU say if the Mormons:
1, Outlawed possession of a bible or celebration of the Mass or Xmas within Utah?
2. Insisted that Mormon law and Mormon courts rule the loves of all people in Utah As WELL AS in Washington State where M's are minority?
3. Forbade any Mormon to marry outside the Church on pain of death,
4. Required all non Mormons to pay a special tax, required non Mormons to carry ID indicating their status, and prevented any non Mormon church from being as large as the smallest mosque?
Reading what I just wrote, I feel badly. I know the church of LDS does nothing of the sort described here. But parts or all of these 4 rules obtain as law in Nigeria, Indonesia, Pakaistan, Saudi Arabia, .. basically all Muslim ruled states . Moderate Muslims advocate just this sort of law in Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt. Official antisemitic propaganda follows close on.
Have Christians been as bad as this? Yes, and there are horrid current examples, but comparing Ann Coulter to the majority of Muslims in Egypt or Iran is just wrong. A
nd my people, the Jews? Frankly how can you equate the half dozen or so orthodox Jews who have done bad deeds to the existence of entire states that preach hatred and even extermination of the Jews. Tolerating such behavior will not end with peace.
If you have time, please do take a look on at blog entries I wrote, some in some anger, about the error of tolerating unacceptable behavior in the name of religion.
Thanks for listening
Today's Top Breaking News Headlines for Seattle and the Nation - Examiner.com: "Sign-language chimp Washoe dies at 42 Washoe, a female chimpanzee said to be the first non-human to acquire human language, has died at the age of 42 at Central Washington University. Photo Spotlight This undated picture provided by Central Washington University on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007 shows Washoe, a female chimpanzee believed to be the first non-human to acquire human language. She died Tuesday night, Oct. 30, 2007 of natural causes at the research institute in Ellensburg, Wash. where she was kept, according to The Chimpanzee and Human Communications Institute at Central Washington University. She was born in Africa about 1965. (AP Photo/Central Washington University) Read more in 'Chimpanzee Who Knew Sign Language Dies'..."
Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "'New Scientist is reporting that 'non-human primates really can understand the meaning of numerals.' The small study of two rhesus monkeys reveals that cells in their brains respond selectively to specific number values — regardless of whether the amount is represented by dots on a screen or an Arabic numeral. For example, a given brain cell in the monkey will respond to the number three, but not the number one. The results suggest that individual cells in human brains might also have a fine-tuned preference for specific numerical values.' The report itself is online at PLoS Biology, Semantic Associations between Signs and Numerical Categories in the Prefrontal Cortex.'"
One third of primate species on the brink - earth - 01 November 2007 - New Scientist Environment: "Madagascar's silky sifaka is a prime candidate to claim the unenviable distinction of becoming the first primate to go extinct in two centuries. The sifaka (pictured) is one of 25 primate species identified by a new report as being most at risk. It found that almost one-third of all primate species are in danger of disappearing for good. The last primate known to have gone extinct was Xenothrix mcgregori - a species similar to the capuchin monkey - which disappeared from Jamaica in the early 1700s. Its mantle may not pass straight to the sifaka, however, as there ware a handful of even rarer species. The golden-headed langur of Vietnam and China's Hainan gibbon each number in the dozens, while the Horton Plains slender loris of Sri Lanka has been sighted just four times since 1937. The rarest of them all is thought to be Miss Waldron's red colobus monkey ..."
Elected to the state House of Representatives in 2004,
More than once, faced with a legal issue involving someone bigger than me, my attny has counseled to back off because they will outspend me in court. BTW, one of those making this threat was the State of Washington, under AG Gregoire. As some may know, I have a distaste for our governor and this is a (past) reason. BTW, the State backed of when, with the help of a friend at the Seattle Times, I managed to leak a version of the story to UW administrators. The number of dollars I was threatened with, in a situation where I would ultimately have won, was in the 100s of thousands of dollars. This sort of behavior, whether by the State or any $$ rich party, makes Tony Soprano’s knee capping sum buddy look benign.
My opinion on this matter also poisons my feelings toward John Edwards. I know he made a lot of $$ by helping a lot of poor people. As much as I like the sentiments of Mr. Edwards, this way of making $$ does bother me. If Edwards is sincere about supporting Jane and John Everyperson, then I would like to see him propose meaningful reform to equalize the playing field. BTW, I really get ticked when a lawyer used baseball or football terms as if the legal system were a damn game … you know like baseball? How much is A Rod asking for his services?
I will defer to others who know loads more than SJ about the law, but some thoughts about ways to make things at least somewhat better:
a. expand the scope of small claims court.
b. guarantee legal representation to the challenged side in any law suit. If BillyG sues, he ought not to be able to bankrupt me just cuz he controls Bogle and Gates.
c. For insurance companies, create review boards that have teeth. Hell, if a cop roughs up some poor soul, we review that. If a friggin insurance company does the same thing? Good luck if you ain’t rich.
d. tax the civil court attorney’s fees and use the tax to equalize the playing field. You wanna hire Clarence Darrow for 2 grand/hr? Fine. And we will collect $500 of that to subsidize the legal costs of your
victim target poor shumck opponent.
Obama, Edwards attack; Clinton bombs debate - Roger Simon - Politico.com: "PHILADELPHIA — We now know something that we did not know before: When Hillary Clinton has a bad night, she really has a bad night. ”You know, Tim,” Clinton replied, “this is where everybody plays ‘gotcha.’”
This approached Rovism.
HRC is quiet on certain issues because that is the statesman like thing to do. Without that sort of restraint a President can become entangled in commitments that make no sense and THEN be accused of lying. One can NOT get votes in the dem. primaries by telling the truth about withdrawal from Iraq, raising taxes, soc. security benefits, solution to our 12 million illegals issues, the dumb ass border wall, the reasons for global trade, the likely costs of weaning from oil, etc.
So, it is true she has gotten a bye until now while her opponents have been more forceful, often to the point of making unrealistic promises to withdraw the troops NOW (Edwards, Richardson) or to leave no combat forces within 1 years post the new Presidency (BHO). The there is John Edwards extensive promises of everything from health care to universal graduate education. He knows these things won't ha pen without massive and unlikely reforms.
My candidate has been especially careful. Obama has made few promises that make no sense and has even broached the importance of globalism to the future of Detroit. Most of his programs are short on specifics, but that is as it should be and is as true of everyone else with a realistic chance of election. At the same time, he has avoided the kind of ad hominem (is that OK for women?) attacks on program and character typical of the Bush-Rove machine. THAT took courage. This, well if you wanna be Prexy you gotta play the game?
I am somewhat dissapointed but, I suspect BHO's campaign folks are a lot more astute than I. Not getting elected is not the way to get things done either. Obama has to walk the thin ethical line between becoming a vaguely remembered intellectual senator from Illinois, (click the link if you can not figure out who I mean), the successor to FDR, or a Democratic version of the infamous "read my lips" Bush I.
So, I still support BHO, I just wish our system were not so utterly mucked up!
"John Edwards immediately went for the jugular. “Unless I missed something,” he said, “Sen. Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes. America is looking for a president who will say the same thing, who will be consistent, who will be straight with them.”
Barack Obama added: “I was confused [by] Sen. Clinton's answer. I can't tell whether she was for it or against it. One of the things that we have to do in this country is to be honest about the challenges that we face.”
Not always. BHO feels strongly about education reform, that requires standing up to the teacher's unions. Not bloody likely if he wants to get elected.
"Earlier, when Clinton was asked whether she had made one statement on Social Security publicly and a conflicting answer privately, she ducked the question, saying she believed in “fiscal responsibility.”
And when Russert asked her if she would make public certain communications between herself and President Clinton when she was first lady, she responded weakly: “Well, that’s not my decision to make.”
This seemed to me to be a real Achilles' heel moment. HRC dropped her usual lawyer;y guard last night by claiming that the Archives have not had the time to get to the documents from her time as First Lady. Worse, if GWB is interested in electing a Reprican successor, NOW would be a good time to offer the service of the excutive branch if Mr. Clinton so asks.
"Perhaps just as bad was her general tone and demeanor. All of her opponents seemed passionate about one issue or another. But Clinton seemed largely emotionless and detached, often just mouthing rehearsed answers from her briefing book.
True, she was relentlessly attacked all night. But she can’t claim that she was stabbed in the back. She was stabbed in the front.
“Who is honest? Who is sincere? Who has integrity?” Edwards asked and then provided the answer: Not Hillary.
“She has not been truthful and clear,” Obama said at one point.
Hillary Clinton will certainly live to fight another day. She still has a huge lead in the national polls, a good staff and a ton of money.
But, in the past, Clinton could always depend on her opponents to lose these debates. All she had to do was stay above the fray to win.
Those days seem to be over."
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Lets seee .. after learning biochemistry, psychiatry, anatomy, genetics .. we want our students to take MILITARY LAW? Really? Last time I looked the military teaches this themselves. Do ya supose Abu Grave happend outa iggorance? I wonder when someone is going to re-read the suttras and see if we could give a dual degree .. MD and Arhant (realized one in Buddhism)?
"Medical school students receive little instruction about military medical ethics and are often unaware of a physician’s ethical duties under the Geneva Conventions, according to a new study by Harvard Medical School faculty.
Of the 1,700 students surveyed around the country, 94 percent said that they had received less than one hour of military medical ethics instruction during medical school. The study also found that 33.8 percent of students did not know that the Geneva Conventions require that doctors “treat the sickest first, regardless of nationality.”
In addition to four multiple-choice questions, the students polled were also asked to name who they supported in the 2004 presidential election. The researchers found that supporters of President Bush were one-third less likely than supporters of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) to know that interrogation methods depriving prisoners of sleep, food, or water or employing threats are forbidden under the Geneva Conventions. Those who voted for Bush were also less likely to know when they would be required to disobey an unethical order from a superior.
...Boyd said that his team sent over 5,000 e-mail surveys to students at eight different medical schools around the country and received 1,700 responses. He said he would not release the names of the institutions surveyed because the researchers were not in “formal cooperation” with the schools, but said that one was in Massachusetts.
Boyd suggested that a couple of lectures devoted to the possibility of ending up in military service, the mandates of the Geneva Conventions, and supplements to the Geneva Conventions laid out by the World Medical Association would provide medical students with a greater awareness of military ethics.
“I feel like even a couple of hours, maybe even over lunchtime talks, would represent a great improvement,” said Boyd, who is also an attending psychiatrist at Cambridge Health Alliance."
On the other hand, a recent study suggests women need to to conceal their breasts. NEXT study at Harvard?
Monday, October 29, 2007
McConnell still leads the pack: "Still, the 47 percent who said they had a positive view of McConnell is higher than the 46 who don't. 'It's a mixed bag,' said Del Ali, president of the Olney, Md.-based firm Research 2000 that conducted the poll. 'He can rightly say 'I could be one of the higher-rated Republicans in the country, and I'm more of a target. In spite of that and the kitchen sink being thrown at me, there's a plurality who still think favorably of me.''" Best words for this sanctimonious leade rof the git Bill pack, "Don't look here for sympathy."
Arthur Kornberg, 89; Nobel laureate was the first to synthesize DNA - Los Angeles Times: "Arthur Kornberg, 89; Nobel laureate was the first to synthesize DNA Justin Sullivan / AFP / Getty Images Dr. Arthur Kornberg, the Nobel laureate who was the first to synthesize DNA in a test tube and whose identification of the enzymes used by cells to manufacture DNA laid the foundation for the biotechnology industry, died of respiratory failure Friday. By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer October 28, 2007 Dr. Arthur Kornberg, the Stanford University Nobel laureate who was the first to synthesize DNA in a test tube and whose identification of the enzymes used by cells to manufacture DNA laid the foundation for the biotechnology industry, died of respiratory failure Friday at Stanford Hospital. He was 89."
blatherWatch: "Fred Ebert, mathematician, academic, militarist bon vivant, pre-Bushite Republican and erstwhile KIRO evening host will do an hour at drivetime (5-6p) weeknightly on Olympia's KGTK 920 and 1400 KITZ AM in Port Orchard."
call in at: 360.874.1400
Intolerance is usually a Republican issue. But, there is all kinds of intolerance and the Obama cmapign is, perhaps inevitably, revealing some of the issues on the left.
It seems to me that this is a terrific. if difficult, lesson in the scope of tolerance. Is it not intolerant when gay men make a parody of femininity or even dress as nuns?
To me the line of tolerance was defined by Hillel 2000 years ago, "Do not do unto others what you would not have then do unto you." If Rev. McClurkin believes gays are convertibles and better off for being so, then he is in the same boat with Ann Coulter who wants Jews to become perfected. As long as these folks do not bother me, what right sdo I have to be intolerant of THEIR perverted beliefs?
I think I see the answer in Hillel. Coulter and MCClurkin's beliefs do intrude n my rights ot be gay or Jewish or anything else that is humanistically OK because, as part of the majority, their BELIEFS themselves "do not" those of us under the shadow of these ethical and moral judgments. OTOH, is it OK to be intolerant of Romney because his Mormonism includes beleifs that I consider blasphemous .. that contradict history? Or intolerant of Dino Rossi for believing in the Resurrection?
As I see it there is a resolution. Tolerance should stop at the border defined by Hillel, that is I should tolerant anyone else's beliefs as long as they do not intrude on me. The latter phrase is the problem. Mit Romney's religion worries me because it is based in a false conception of history. That would be OK IF I were reassured that nothing in his fantasy system would effect me or the country. However, suppose, just suppose, as President he rules that the public schools must offer the Mormon version of pre-Columbian history as an alternative reality? That would not be OK. The same issues are on both sides of the issue raised by Rev. McClurkin. His beliefs are his business, but what if he enocurages followers to act as if gay people are evil? What if he simply does aggressive evangeloims in the gay community ... these arem issues all Jews know about all to well. So, I think it is OK to to be intolerant of the Rev. At the same time, however, I think he3 also has the right to be intolerant of gay people who want "Johnh has Two Mommies" taight in the schools. Certainloy this teaching effects the Rev.
How do we find a middle ground when people's realities may not connect?
China, perhaps inevitably, acts more and more like the international imperial powers of the past. If the Bushies and the Demoes were not so fixed on their ideologies, this could be turned in our interest. We should quietly make it clear that China will not prodit from Iran unless Iran swe4ars off of the nuclear candy.
BUT .. The Theme Park Moves oN .. Bush's Fantasyland!
search for more on Bidet.
Red Sox Sweep Series, Beat Rockies 4-3: "This was hardly a repeat from 2004, when the Red Sox ended their 86- year championship drought by beating St. Louis. Boston is a major league bully these days, playing in rarefied air before crowds who demand to win. 'It doesn't get old,' manager Terry Francona said. Gone are those pleading, pathetic days when the Red Sox were practically begging to win a title. They've got this down pat now. At this rate, New England fans might get spoiled. Francona's team has become a perfect counterpart to coach Bill Belichick's bruisers on the Patriots. After trailing Cleveland 3-1 in the AL championship series, the Red Sox won seven straight games and won their seventh World Series crown. The wild-card Rockies, who won a remarkable 21 of 22 games to get this far, were a mere afterthought by the end. Brad Hawpe homered in the seventh inning and Garrett Atkins hit a two-run shot in the eighth that came too late. 'At the end of the day, you look back on the game. How did you execute?' Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. 'They executed better than us all four games.' Lester, undergoing chemotherapy at this time last year for cancer, pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning and Jonathan Papelbon closed with his third save of the Series. Lowell won the MVP award."
A-Rod Opts Out of Deal - Sports on The Huffington Post: "New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez tosses his bat in the air after hitting a two-out, walk-off, three-run home run in the Yankees 8-6 win over the Cleveland Indians in their baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York in this April 19, 2007, file photo. Rodriguez opted out of his US$252 million, 10-year contract with the Yankees on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007 in what appears to be the end of his career with New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)"
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Parochial Schools: "The more I think about it, the more it no longer amuses me. It is symptomatic of a mentality that sees no other people except those exactly like themselves. Perhaps depicting our forefathers in their actual clothes would lead to some uncomfortable questions from children as to why they must dress in black thick winter clothes. I would be interested to know what they learn at these schools or like-minded Yeshivot. Do they learn the Shulchan Aruch, The Zohar, Derech Hashem, Moreh Nevuchim, The Kuzari? All of these books are a mainstay in every place of Torah in the world and all were written by non-Ashkenazim. These places won’t let our children learn in a dignified manner but they will revere the books of our ancestors."
For a comparions, use the search tool here to look up Nigeria.
Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog: "October 26, 2007, 12:32 pm What Is Your Necktie Hiding? By Ryan Hagen If you’re wearing a necktie right now, you might want to take a moment to loosen it — especially if you’re a doctor. Years after studies first found that dangerous bacteria routinely hitch rides on the neckties of doctors, U.K. health officials have banished the old four-in-hand, along with jewelry and long sleeves, from their hospitals. They hope the ban will slow the spread of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a so-called superbug that accounts for more than 40 percent of inpatient blood infections in the U.K. (Health officials in the U.S. might be advised to follow suit: a 2004 study found that half of the neckties worn by doctors in a New York hospital harbored dangerous pathogens.) But your tie just might be hiding something besides germs. In a letter to the Financial Times, top Google lawyer Peter Fleischer had the following to say about neckties: Read more …"
Edwards plans big for presidency - A Concord Monitor Article - Your News Source - Concord NH 03301: "DAN HABIB / Monitor staff John Edwards Zoom Purchase Photos Online John Edwards says if he's elected president, he'll institute a New Deal-like suite of programs to fight poverty and stem growing wealth disparity. To do it, he said, he'll ask many Americans to make sacrifices, like paying higher taxes. Edwards, a former Democratic senator from North Carolina, says the federal government should underwrite universal pre-kindergarten, create matching savings accounts for low-income people, mandate a minimum wage of $9.50 and provide a million new Section 8 housing vouchers for the poor. He also pledged to start a government-funded public higher education program called 'College for Everyone.' 'It is central to what I want to do as president to do something about economic inequality. I do not believe it is okay for the United States of America to have 37 million people living in poverty,' he said in a meeting with Monitor reporters and editors this week. 'And I think we need, desperately need, a president who will say that to America and call on Americans to show their character.' At every stop, Edwards said, he tells voters he'll ask them to sacrifice. Asked to describe what he means, he described his plan for increases in capital gains taxes, saying taxes on "wealth income" should be in line with those on work income.
"I think if we want to fund the things that I think are important to share in prosperity, then people who have done well in this country, including me, have more of a responsibility to give back," he said. Later, he added: "There are no free meals.""
Obama Promises a Forceful Stand Against Clinton - New York Times: "Asked in the interview on Friday if Mrs. Clinton had been fully truthful with voters about what she would do as president, Mr. Obama replied, “No.” “I don’t think people know what her agenda exactly is,” Mr. Obama continued, citing Social Security, Iraq and Iran as issues on which he said she had not been fully forthcoming. “Now it’s been very deft politically, but one of the things that I firmly believe is that we’ve got to be clear with the American people right now about the important choices that we’re going to need to make in order to get a mandate for change, not to try to obfuscate and avoid being a target in the general election and then find yourself governing without any support for any bold propositions.”"
Let’s Get to the Bottom of It (The Grand Canyon): "scientists have computed that to provide a single protein molecule by chance combination would take 10^262 years. Take thins pieces of paper and write “1” and then zeros after them – you would fill up the entire known universe with paper before you could write that number. · Evolutionists would have us believe that things more complex than this happen all the time"
Friendly Atheist » 10262: "Wow. An amazing new fact I could only learn from a creationist! 10^262 cannot even be written! But, thanks to the *real-ultimate power* of the internets, we can actually see what this number looks like! (Warning, don’t print this webpage on your printer - it will use all the paper in the universe and still won’t be done printing!) 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000"
Al Jazeera English - News - Argentina Set For Presidential Vote: "Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina's first lady, is the overwhelming favourite to win Sunday's election for the presidency."
Buenos Aires Herald: "The power of populist patronage, especially in the northern provinces, could transform what is already a comfortable win for first lady Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (albeit well short of an absolute majority according to every opinion poll) into a veritable landslide — this would go far towards explaining the current paradox whereby hardly anybody among the metropolitan middle class seems to know anybody who intends to vote for Mrs. Kirchner and yet she is 25 percent ahead in the opinion polls. But any repeat of the Misiones result (where a Catholic-led coalition bested the local machine) would have a far more profound impact on the result than the heavily opposition tendencies of the urban middle class. Tomorrow this forgotten Argentina will have its say and it should not sell its votes lightly — either individually or collectively as regions. Misiones (a province where the urban middle-class vote is minimal) last year confounded the notion that the poor have no dignity and are only too happy to exchange their votes for election-day trifles like Manhattan Indians. Let us hope that these decisive votes are cast with more mature criteria. The poor could reflect that this year’s inflation (worst in the most basic items, including such lowly staples as potatoes and tomatoes) has hurt them more than anybody "
Buenos Aires Times Home: "Is the future a woman? Is the future a woman in the US, France and Argentina? That could be the case if Cristina Fernandez is confirmed as a candidate for Argentina’s presidency in 2007."
Saturday, October 27, 2007
The Daily Dish: "“I don’t think people know what her agenda exactly is,” Mr. Obama continued, citing Social Security, Iraq and Iran as issues on which she had not been fully forthcoming. “Now it’s been very deft politically, but one of the things that I firmly believe is that we’ve got to be clear with the American people right now about the important choices that we’re going to need to make in order to get a mandate for change, not to try to obfuscate and avoid being a target in the general election and then find yourself governing without any support for any bold propositions.” ... “There is a legacy that is both an enormous advantage to her in a Democratic primary, but also a disadvantage to her in a general election,” he said. “I don’t think anybody would claim that Senator Clinton is going to inspire a horde of new voters,” he said. “I don’t think it’s realistic that she is going to get a whole bunch of Republicans to think differently about her.”
"The Daily Dish: "Clinton is the hardest candidate to sell but equally the hardest candidate to beat. I think the salient questions are: how dangerous do you think the world now is? And how dangerous is the polarization that Clinton - with say a brutally divisive, Bush-style 51 percent victory - will, to my mind, inevitably deepen in that context? Those are the themes of my essay coming out in the next Atlantic, so I'll shut up now until people can read and respond to the full case for Obama I try to make."
The Daily Dish: "Rachael Grice of the UK poses in the Miss Figure 2 category during the Amateur Body Building Championships, October 27, 2007, in Southport, United Kingdom. By Sebastian Meyer/Getty Images."
tehran times : Powell urges talks between U.S., Iran: "Powell urges talks between U.S., Iran KIEV (Russia Today) -- Former U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell has condemned Bush's policy towards Iran, urging nuclear talks between the two countries. The U.S. refusal to negotiate with Iran has only increased tension between the two countries, Powell told university students in Kiev, Ukraine. ''The disagreement that I've had with my government over Iran is that we should talk to Iranians, but they've chosen a different path, President Bush, Ms. Rice, not including me,'' Russia Today quoted him as saying."
Powell Says Iran Is Pursuing Bomb (washingtonpost.com): "_____Web Resource_____ • In Focus: IAEA and Iran Source: IAEA.org _____Message Boards_____ • Post Your Comments Free E-mail Newsletters * Today's Headlines & Columnists See a Sample | Sign Up Now * Breaking News Alerts See a Sample | Sign Up Now 'I have seen some information that would suggest that they have been actively working on delivery systems. . . . You don't have a weapon until you put it in something that can deliver a weapon,' Powell told reporters traveling with him to Chile for an Asia-Pacific economic summit. 'I'm not talking about uranium or fissile material or the warhead; I'm talking about what one does with a warhead.'"
The Antarctic Sun: Extinct Hunt: "A second significant warming might have occurred even earlier, between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago with evidence of elephant seal activity as much as 7,000 years in the past. This season, the group is looking for more samples for radiocarbon dating that will help it pinpoint this second period."
South Pole Fire SchoolIt's a mild September day in Arvada, CO, a suburb west of Denver, with bluebird, cloudless skies. But the firefighter trainees are perspiring heavily in their yellow bunker gear, the sweat pouring off noses and down necks like candle wax melting.
The Antarctic Sun: South Pole Memorabilia: "Preserving Pole's past Station memorabilia gets new home in elevated station By Peter Rejcek, Antarctic Sun Editor Photos by Andy Martinez and Terry Eddington Posted October 26, 2007 Visitors to the newly constructed, elevated station at the South Pole will surely marvel at the sheer magnitude of materials and manpower it took to erect one of the world’s most high-tech, scientific research facilities in the middle of Nowhere, Antarctica."
Friday, October 26, 2007
Lifehacker, tips and downloads for getting things done: "Zoho Suite vs Google Docs zohovsgoogapps.jpg Slowly you've been moving the work you used to do in desktop applications online, and you've got two major choices to do that: Google Apps or Zoho's Office Suite. Both the big G and the little Z offer completely browser-based office applications like a word processor and spreadsheet, as well as communication tools like chat and email, as well as collaboration tools like project managers and wiki's. But the business-oriented Zoho and the consumer-oriented Google applications differ a little bit in offerings, and probably a whole lot when it comes to active users. After the jump, we compare Zoho and Google's current webapp offerings and you get the chance to pick your poison. more »"
In the emantime, one way to pay your debts is to devalue your currency.
David Goldstein, the estimable Goldy of KIRO, Drinking Liberally, and the iconic Seattle blog, HorsesAss. has the weirdest endorsement I have ever seen. In the current contest between David Della, an incumbent, and a challenger, Tom Burgess, Goldy advises not voting because Dell is clearly incompetent while Burgess is very competent but once worked for a PR firm "Then on the other hand, we have Tim Burgess, a man who has spent the better part of a decade writing fundraising letters for anti-gay, anti-woman, right-wing hate groups… letters that equated homosexuality with pedophilia and emergency contraception with abortion, and that accused the National Education Association of seeking to turn our public schools into gay propaganda and recruitment camps. Really. Sure, he says his positions have evolved… since 2005… but I can’t help but think he thinks we’re all stupid. No doubt he’d bring a great deal more competency to the council than Della — a great, great, great, great deal more competency, I imagine — but competency in the service of an agenda I do not trust, I can do without."
WADR, Goldy's judgments are and knowledge are usually far better than my own, BUT, in this case I think he is being doctrinaire . I do not see the purpose in Goldy's weak endorsement of Della. I too have had time with this man. he is arrogant and poorly informed ... not unlike Mr. Bush.
The issue with Burgess is, of course real, BUT it seems to me that we would be acting like the Repricans if we were to apply this sort of litmus test. Burgess' comment on the issue has been very honest, here he describes his own views "We don't like abortion. We value the sacredness of marriage between a woman and a man. We recognize that not everyone agrees with us and we know the law isn't a good mechanism to resolve these issues, but moral persuasion is."
On every other count, as Goldy himself shows, Burgess looks good or better than good. There is, moreover, no evidence of support for any activities that would limit Gay rights in the Emerald City and certainly nothing in Mr, Burgess record that suggests hew wants to make this an issue anymore than Democrats wanted to make gay marriage an issue in 04. \
I also find it disappointing that Goldy thinks we should elect Della because the man is so incompetent that hew ill be easy to beat in four years. It seems to me at least as likely that in 4 years Mr. Burgess will prove himself, while we all already know what Della is like.
So ,,, if you think Rovism on the Left is a good thing, the go ahead vote for Della. It is no worse than a "responsible" Reprican voting for the clearly incompetent GWB because he would be easy to replace in four more years.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Condoleezza Rice is wasting her time in the Middle East: Topic. Pravda.Ru: "Condoleezza Rice absolutely unable to bring peace to Israel and Palestine 10/17/2007 [news] / World Palestinians hope U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit to the birthplace of Jesus christ will help in easing the conflict with Israel. Rice has been conducting official meetings with the leaders of Israeli, Palestine and Egypt this week. The tour is being held as a part of preparations for a U.S.-hosted peace conference in November or December"
: Mikhail Gorbachev advertises Louis Vuitton bags to make his living: "That said, what is a reader to make of a Vuitton ad, coming in the big September books, that stars Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the last president of the Soviet Union? A decade ago, Mr. Gorbachev’s appearance in a Pizza Hut commercial was generally greeted as a low point in his career. The Vuitton ad, however, is part of a campaign to emphasize the company’s heritage in luggage and travel accessories. Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, the ads include other celebrities using Vuitton bags: Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf cuddling in a hotel room, their bags not yet unpacked; Catherine Deneuve resting on a trunk in front of a steaming locomotive; and Mr. Gorbachev in the back of a car with a duffel bag on the seat next to him. Of the group, Mr. Gorbachev appears
the least comfortable. He is holding on to a door handle, as if the bag contained polonium 210."
Paris Hilton to visit Moscow for two million dollars - Pravda.Ru: "Paris Hilton is expected to visit Moscow during the forthcoming several days. The notorious socialite is rumored to attend the Moscow Fashion Week which starts on October 24. Paris is said to appear at the show of Russian fashion designer Kira Plastinina, who makes clothes for Fabrika-7 TV show (an analogue of the American Idol). It is worthy of note that Kira Plastinina is only a teen girl, she is only 14 years old. Paris Hilton prepares to hit Moscow clubs Paris Hilton prepares to hit Moscow clubs BREAKING NEWS Californian paradise burns to the ground Turkey attacks Iraq New Chikatilo who murdered 63 people in Moscow found guilty Cute funny cats for your viewing pleasure More... Kira’s father, Sergei Plastinin, is a large shareholder of a world-famous holding. They say that the loving father can hardly turn down his daughter’s requests. Kira’s latest wish was Paris Hilton herself. The girl told his father that she adored Paris Hilton and would like to invite the notorious celebrity to Moscow for her fashion show. Hilton will reportedly be paid two million dollars – this is the price of her mere presence in Moscow. It is rumoured that Paris Hilton will appear in a TV advert for Kira Plastinina’s line of cl"
Amazon.com: Jaeger-leCoultre Reverso Platinum Men's Black Strap Grey Dial Skeleton Tourbillon Platinium Watch q2176440: Jewelry & Watches: Jaeger-leCoultre: "Jaeger-leCoultre Reverso Platinum Men's Black Strap Grey Dial Skeleton Tourbillon Platinium Watch q2176440 Other products by Jaeger-leCoultre No customer reviews yet. Be the first. | More about this product List Price: $83,000.00 Price: $47,719.99 You Save: $35,280.01 (43%)"
So for a mere 50k one can have a watch that is ??? ostentatious?? ??? a good investment ???
What intrigues me is that I know some artists, wonderful talents, who have major pieces for sale for a quite a but less. If anyone is tempted by the watch, email me and I will put you in touch with a much better investment.
Jews sans frontieres: "the Jewish state and the sons of Israel are at least as unpopular in the Middle East as their grandparents were in Europe just six decades ago. Seemingly, it is the personification of WW2 and the Holocaust that blinded the Israelis and their supporters from internalising the real meaning of the conditions and the events that led towards their destruction in the first place."
Commenst about a Palestinian Newpaper from South Afrua: "The publication is littered with ghoulish lies supporting the Nazi vituperation. Here’s an example “The Nazis imprinted serial numbers on the forearms of Jewish internees, and the Israelis have done the same to the Palestinians.” Really? You can't respond to that. It's like someone recently said in the comments of this blog -that in the battle for public opinion it is difficult to fight lies with truth because truth is limited but falsehood can be accommodated to match any argument. Moving on...it’s not just Israelis or Zionists that are caricatured as Nazis. “I saw face to face the obscene sadistic acts practiced by Jews against their helpless victims. These are not isolated behaviours. This is the norm, not the exception.” Another article attacks Ashkenazi (European) Jewry. “Today Israel and the US want Palestinians to lower the ceiling of their expectations. And for those who don’t know, this is a euphemism for surrender and capitulation to Ashkenazi Nazism.” The Nazi libel goes on and on and on. "
blatherWatch: Autumn oddems: cougarless radio; born-again wake-up; dead beetles; petrified alligator feet; the larry craig halloween mask; amy grant,
Olmert Dampens Meeting Expectations: "Olmert has repeatedly warned against expecting too much for the summit. If the gathering falls short of its goals, it could weaken his shaky coalition government and boost Israeli hardliners. On the Palestinian side, Abbas could suffer in his rivalry with the Hamas militant group. Israel and the international community have been trying to rally behind Abbas since Hamas routed forces from Abbas' Fatah movement and violently seized control of the Gaza Strip in June. With the sides struggling to bridge the gaps, the U.S. has not yet set a date for the summit or even formally announced who will attend. Washington hopes that moderate Arab countries that do not have relations with Israel, such as Saudi Arabia, will attend. But Arab countries want guarantees of firm results before committing. Egypt and Jordan, the only Arab countries with peace agreements with Israel, have said the U.S. should consider delaying the summit to give the sides more time to work out their differences. While Israel has been talking peace with Abbas, tensions in Gaza have been rising. Israel's defense minister, Ehud Barak, was expected Thursday to give final approval for a plan to cut electricity to Gaza every time Palestinian militants fire rockets into Israel."
BUT ... this may be the last, best chance for GWB to rescue his presidency and save the GOP from campaiging with an albatros around its collective neck.
But then, is the Deity amused?
Revelations: "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
Political Radar: Obama Asked about Obama-Gore '08 Ticket: "The supporter asked the '08 presidential hopeful if he would consider taking 'the wind out of Hillary’s sails' by asking Nobel prize winner former Vice President Al Gore to be his running mate before the primaries. 'I can promise you that as president I will have him involved in our administration in a very senior capacity in his role,' Obama responded that, 'having won the Nobel peach prize and an Oscar that being Vice President again would be probably a step down for him.'"
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The Genetics of Politics -- [ BEHAVIOR ]: Scientific American: "If genes do in part control voting, a single gene is unlikely to be responsible—hundreds of genes are probably involved, suggests behavioral geneticist Robert Plomin of King’s College London. Fowler hypothesizes that because “we obviously did not vote in large-scale elections in the Pleistocene,” the drive to vote or participate in politics may be linked with genes underlying more ancient behaviors, such as innate dispositions toward cooperation. The search for any such genes in our primate relatives could help determine “whether we share the neurobiological underpinnings of cooperation or whether humans are unique in this respect,” Fowler adds. Plomin states that “these findings are strong,” but in his analysis of the same data, he concludes that genetics was responsible for 40, and not 60, percent of differences in voting turnout between twin types. Forty percent is still “a lot,” he admits, and is also the average estimate of heritability seen in twin studies of personality, suggesting that voting is an example of a genetically influenced personality trait in general."
Google Image Result for http://www.you-got-mail.com/images/obama_yo_moma_gay2.jpg: "© 2007 George W. Bush. No rights reserved whatsoever. For media use please credit 'www.you-got-mail.com' or 'a bathroom wall in a truck stop'. For your information (if you care) I maintain this silliness as performance art. I do not hate AOL, Muslims, or anyone at all. This site is simply my reflection upon the insanity, stupidity, and insensitivity of human organizations; whether they are corporations, political groups, or religions. The history of humans is the history of war, oppression, and ignorance. Eventually the human spirit will prevail as we all, as a world culture, grow up. Thank you for visiting my site."
And then there ANN COULTER .....
What could be nore outrageous than this bigot?
Scientific tests reveal iPhone contains hazardous chemicals and materials, says Greenpeace - NewsCloud.com
Scientific tests reveal iPhone contains hazardous chemicals and materials, says Greenpeace - NewsCloud.com: "Amsterdam, International — Apple’s iPhone contains hazardous chemicals and materials, according to the results of scientific tests commissioned by Greenpeace. This is the first testing of an Apple product following the commitment by Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, to a ‘Greener Apple’, in May 2007."
BTW, there is a rumor that the Bushes plan to retire to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), This would give Laura a chnace for a new career in Islamofeminism and put GWB close to his financial interests in Arabia.
The Emirates are trying to evolve into a rival magnet for wealthy people form all over the world. On state, Dhubai, is building a branch of the Louvre!
If they do move, the Emirates would give the Bushes eight states to choose from: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Bidet, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain.
Bidet may be the choice, Bidet, long famous for its dates* is among the most European of the Emirates and is often compared to Paris in the sophisticated style of life, at least in the privacy of people's homes. The statelet is rich in oil and, although it lacks other natural resources, it expects recent additional economic diversification to draw more financial and banking firms.The country has a relatively high Human Development Index for the Asian continent. Bidet also offers branches of most Swiss bank accounts and is not party to any extradition treaties.
George is said to be having a hard time convincing Laura, bit the Emirate has offered to build a local branch of the GW Bush Library with a housing compound modelled after the Crawford Ranch (see map). Of course there are also huge financial advantages:
NPR : Halliburton Opening a Headquarters in Dubai: "Halliburton is... relocating its CEO and some executives from Houston to be closer to its customer base. ... Why Dubai? First of all, this is where the oil is, and the gas. . ... There's not much oil left in North America, .... The ... Chinese are here, pouring money in, ? We describe it as Las Vegas on steroids. ...It's got huge shopping malls, lots of golf. ... indoor skiing here. There's a great beach. Lots of Westerners are moving here to buy homes. So it's a very comfortable place — if you're a big executive in the states, you'd feel right at home here. And ....there are no corporate taxes, as far as I know, and no taxes on employees either in Dubai, as long as you're in one of their investment zones."The Emir, Mubarak ibn Umar, has announced that the Bush ranch will be built in a new investment zone, patterned after those in Dubai and called "New Crawford," in honor of Mr. Bush (see map). There is a rumor that Mr. Cheney is also considering buying property in the Budet Investment Zone (BIZ) when he resumes a management role at Halliburton, Ltd.,UAE.
*Ibn Umar, radiya ALLAHu anhuma, (may ALLAH be pleased with them) narrates that the Prophet, salla ALLAHu alaihi wa sallam, asked: There is a tree whose leaves do not shed and it is similar to a Muslim, so tell me about it. We were silent and I thought it was the date palm but I was to shy too speak, so we said, Tell us what it is. He, salla ALLAHu alaihi wa sallam, said: It is the date palm. (Reported by Al-Bukhari)