Thursday, November 30, 2006
I'm flying to Indiana tomorrow to run my 42nd marathon state. The following weekend I'll be in Kentucky to run my 43rd... Both are trail marathons... I try to run trail marathons when at all possible these days... Easier recovery...
My only question is how does this match up with the great flood and a world only 6,000 years old?
Monday, November 27, 2006
Electrons to Enlightenment: A Five Part Series on Science and Religion.
They talk of an interesting sounding documentary on Cosmic Africa that sounds like it would be worth a look.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Washington, DC — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is frantically dispersing its library collections to preempt Congressional intervention, according to internal emails released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Contrary to promises by EPA Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock that all of the former library materials will be made available electronically, vast troves of unique technical reports and analyses will remain indefinitely inaccessible.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Iraq: Handicapping the Baker Report, Part Two
Maureen Dowd says: After the Thanksgiving Day Massacre of Shiites by Sunnis, President Bush should go on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and give an interview headlined: “If I did it, here’s how the civil war in Iraq happened.”
The Last Throes of the Insurgency
Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska (R) has this excellent piece: Leaving Iraq, Honorably.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Eric Schlosser: "Changing your eating habits can send ripples far and wide."
WHENEVER A WELL-KNOWN ATHLETE gets caught using anabolic steroids to run faster, pedal harder, or hit a baseball farther, there's a universal chorus of disapproval. Most Americans regard steroid use in sports as an unhealthy form of cheating. Under federal law, all performance-enhancing synthetic hormones are class III controlled substances; obtaining them without a prescription is a felony. Steroid users may suffer from a wide variety of physical and mental ailments, some of them irreversible--and the long-term effects of the drugs are unknown.
Meanwhile, for the past two decades, a number of the same steroids abused by athletes have been given to U.S. cattle on a massive scale. Without much publicity or government concern, growth hormones like testosterone are routinely administered to about 80 percent of the nation's feedlot cattle, accelerating their weight gain and making them profitable to slaughter at a younger age. The practice is legal in the United States but banned throughout the European Union, due to concerns about its effect on human health. A recent study by Danish scientists suggested that hormone residues in U.S. beef may be linked to high rates of breast and prostate cancer, as well as to early-onset puberty in girls. Hormone residues excreted in manure also wind up in rivers and streams. A 2003 study of male minnows downstream from one Nebraska feedlot found that many of them had unusually small testes. When female minnows in a laboratory were exposed to trenbolone--a synthetic hormone widely administered to cattle--they developed male sex organs.
Things that can't go on forever Don't!!
Dollar falls to 19 month low.
The Oil Drum: Europe: Analysis and Discussion of the European Energy Gap and Peak Oil
The Oil Drum: Discussions about energy and our future.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Church Rock Mine, N.M. -- Most of the mining companies that drilled, dug and blasted for uranium on the Navajo reservation during the Cold War did nothing to repair the environmental damage they left behind. For a time, tribal leaders staked their hopes for a cleanup on Superfund, the landmark legislation that forces polluters to pay for remediation of toxic sites.
More than 1,000 abandoned mines are scattered across the Navajo homeland, which covers 27,000 square miles in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.
It was just an ordinary day in the journalistic trenches when I got the call. "Gore Vidal has a new book out ... would you like to interview him?" said the voice on the other end of the phone, a well-known Los Angeles publicist.
"Isn't he the guy famous for saying, "It's not enough to succeed. Others must fail?" I asked."That's the one," she said.
"The one who said, 'I had never wanted to meet most of the people I had met, and the fact that I never got to know most of them took dedication and steadfastness on my part?"
"That's him," she answered.
"Sounds like a lovely opportunity," I said. "I'll take it."
OK, it didn't happen quite that way. But like everyone - like some people, anyway - I thought I knew who Gore Vidal was, at least on the surface: literary lion, scold, verbal jester, and political screed writer. To double-check my memory, I went on Wikipedia (just to make sure the upstart website was up to snuff):
Author of 25 novels, six plays, 200 essays, and several screenplays. Check. An early novel, "The City and the Pillar," and a later sexual farce, "Myra Breckinridge," credited with pushing the envelope of sexuality in modern literature. Check. Historical novels ranging from the Roman Empire ("Julian") to the birth of the American republic ("Burr") garnered wide respect among historians, and his "United States: Essays 1952-1992" won the 1993 National Book Award. Tried politics in the distant past. Check, check, and check.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Among these voters, even the weakest Democrat - agriculture commissioner candidate Eric Copeland - outpaced a much-better-known Republican incumbent by 551 votes.
The trend, which continues up the ticket to the race for governor and US Senate, suggests that if votes were truly cast and lost - as Democrat Christine Jennings maintains - they were votes that likely cost her the congressional election.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Results skewed nationwide in favor of Republicans by 4 percent, 3 million votes.
A major undercount of Democratic votes and an overcount of Republican votes in US House and Senate races across the country is indicated by an analysis of national exit polling data, by the Election Defense Alliance (EDA), a national election integrity organization.
These findings have led EDA to issue an urgent call for further investigation into the 2006 election results and a moratorium on deployment of all electronic election equipment.
"We see evidence of pervasive fraud, but apparently calibrated to political conditions existing before recent developments shifted the political landscape," said attorney Jonathan Simon, co-founder of Election Defense Alliance, "so 'the fix' turned out not to be sufficient for the actual circumstances." Explained Simon, "When you set out to rig an election, you want to do just enough to win. The greater the shift from expectations, (from exit polling, pre-election polling, demographics) the greater the risk of exposure--of provoking investigation. What was plenty to win on October 1 fell short on November 7.
Q. Really? How about all the warnings?
A. That’s a separate question. And it’s almost too easy to say, “I would have heeded the warnings.” In fact, I think I would have, I know I would have. We had several instances when the CIA’s alarm bells went off, and what we did when that happened was, we had emergency meetings and called everybody together and made sure that all systems were go and every agency was hitting on all cylinders, and we made them bring more information, and go into the second and third and fourth level of detail. And made suggestions on how we could respond in a more coordinated, more effective way. It is inconceivable to me that Bush would read a warning as stark and as clear [voice angry now] as the one he received on August 6th of 2001, and, according to some of the new histories, he turned to the briefer and said, “Well, you’ve covered your ass.” And never called a follow up meeting. Never made an inquiry. Never asked a single question. To this day, I don’t understand it. And, I think it’s fair to say that he personally does in fact bear a measure of blame for not doing his job at a time when we really needed him to do his job. And now the Woodward book has this episode that has been confirmed by the record that George Tenet, who was much abused by this administration, went over to the White House for the purpose of calling an emergency meeting and warning as clearly as possible about the extremely dangerous situation with Osama bin Laden, and was brushed off!
And I don’t know why—honestly—I mean, I understand how horrible this Congressman Foley situation with the instant messaging is, okay? I understand that. But, why didn’t these kinds of things produce a similar outrage? And you know, I’m even reluctant to talk about it in these terms because it’s so easy for people to hear this or read this as sort of cheap political game-playing. I understand how it could sound that way. [Practically screaming now] But dammit, whatever happened to the concept of accountability for catastrophic failure? This administration has been by far the most incompetent, inept, and with more moral cowardice, and obsequiousness to their wealthy contributors, and obliviousness to the public interest of any administration in modern history, and probably in the entire history of the country!
Blogged with Flock
For centuries, the Yellow River symbolized the greatness and sorrows of China’s ancient civilization, as emperors equated controlling the river and taming its catastrophic floods with controlling China. Now, the river is a very different symbol — of the dire state of China’s limited resources at a time when the country’s soaring economic growth needs more of everything.
“The Yellow River flows through all these densely populated parts of northern China,” said Liu Shiyin, a scientist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. “Without water in northern China, people can’t survive. And the economic development that has been going on cannot continue.”
Blogged with Flock
Friday, November 17, 2006
The Director of the CIA offers a refreshingly candid view of the Civil War in Iraq:
Violence in Iraq Called Increasingly Complex - washingtonpost.com
Blogged with Flock
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
After years of denials, the CIA has formally acknowledged the existence of two classified documents governing aggressive interrogation and detention policies for terrorism suspects, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
But CIA lawyers say the documents - memos from President Bush and the Justice Department - are still so sensitive that no portion can be released to the public.
The disclosures by the CIA general counsel's office came in a letter Friday to attorneys for the ACLU. The group had filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New York two years ago under the Freedom of Information Act, seeking records related to U.S. interrogation and detention policies.
Blogged with Flock
"I want to say that there's one solution here, and it's not to engage in a debate with the President, who has taken us down a path of disaster in Iraq, but it's for Congress to assume the full power that it has under the Constitution to cut off funds. We don't need to keep indulging in this debate about what to do, because as long as we keep temporizing, the situation gets worse in Iraq.
"We have to determine that the time has come to cut off funds. There’s enough money in the pipeline to achieve the orderly withdrawal that Senator McGovern is talking about. But cut off funds, we must. That's the ultimate power of the Congress, the power of the purse. That's how we'll end this war, and that’s the only way we’re going to end this war.
"We need to shift our direction."
Blogged with Flock
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Automakers and manufacturers, beware: There's a new environmental policy boss in town, she scowls a lot, and two of her favorite phrases are "global warming" and "extensive hearings."
Blogged with Flock
Private developers who tap Salt Lake City green must build green. City Council members Tuesday night unanimously adopted an ordinance requiring builders of commercial structures, apartments and condos to meet national environmental building standards if they are funded by city loans, grants or tax rebates. The ordinance also endorses Mayor Rocky Anderson's executive order mandating that municipal buildings - such as a new police and fire administration building, fire station, east-side police precinct and Sorenson Unity Center - also meet Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) standards. Anderson signed that LEED order in July 2005.
Blogged with Flock
Monday, November 13, 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
The growth in global emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels over the past five years was four times greater than for the preceding 10 years, according to a study that exposes critical flaws in the attempts to avert damaging climate change.
Data on carbon dioxide emissions shows that the global growth rate was 3.2 per cent in the five years to 2005 compared with 0.8 per cent from 1990 to 1999, despite efforts to reduce carbon pollution through the Kyoto agreement.
Much of the increase is probably due to the expansion of the Chinese economy, which has relied heavily on burning coal and other fossil fuels for its energy.
The Scottish journalist Muriel Gray wrote a beautiful account Richard Dawkins' dialogue with Bishop Holloway in the Glasgow Herald:
Holloway, as we all know, is the church leader who questioned his faith and found it wanting, and Dawkins of course is not simply world famous for his pioneering and award-winning scientific work, but also for his aggressive views concerning organised religion. A couple of audience members before the session began admitted they were worried that the two men might come to blows, or that a fundamentalist audience member might use the event to launch an offensive verbal attack on Dawkins. Instead the hour that seemed like five minutes was one filled with two startlingly intelligent men, each brimming with humanity, drawing personal pictures of just how awesome, mysterious and wonderful existence is. The sheer joy of hearing Holloway still trying to draw poetry and meaning from a religion he is not quite ready to dismiss completely out of hand, as Dawkins listened eagerly, trying to assist him without dismissing his desires as ignorant, was breath takingly inspiring. And all this was book-ended with Dawkins’s views on birthing universes, black holes, and the future of the human species when we start to form ourselves from silicone and alloys instead of vulnerable flesh. Now that’s what I call entertainment.
Read the rest here:
Friday, November 10, 2006
Not a "scientific poll" but 355,379 responses!!!!
|Do you believe President Bush's actions justify impeachment? * 355379 responses|
|Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial.|
|No, like any president, he has made a few missteps, but nothing approaching "high crimes and misdemeanors."|
|No, the man has done absolutely nothing wrong. Impeachment would just be a political lynching.|
|I don't know.|
Live Vote: Should Bush be impeached? - Politics - MSNBC.com
President Pelosi sounds real good to these military ears.
Many more photos here.
Joseph Galloway has a defense to-do list for the new Congress.
For the Democrats who will soon take charge of the House of Representatives and perhaps the Senate, too, here's a preliminary laundry list of some of the things that need doing:
-A comprehensive investigation of the pre-war intelligence on Iraq and how it was perverted, how the mine was salted, and by whom.
-A thorough investigation of what pre-war advice was offered by senior American military commanders on troop strength, equipment requirements and strategy and tactics. Did even one general ignore the bullying from on high and ask for more troops, and how did Rumsfeld respond?
-Why did the Pentagon send American troops into battle without enough armored vests, armored vehicles, rifles, ammunition, food and water? Who's responsible for that debacle, which cost so much in blood and money?
-Where did our money go? Billions of dollars of taxpayer money disappeared down various rat holes in Iraq, forked over to contractors without even so much as a handwritten receipt. Who got the money? What did they do for it? This is a fertile field that can be drilled for years, with a steady stream of indictments, trials and prison sentences.
-What about those no-bid Defense Department contracts that were parceled out to the Halliburtons and KBRs and Blackwaters in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other more costly weapons and equipment contracts that went to big defense industry conglomerates accustomed to writing very generous checks to the Republicans?
-Why did an administration that was hell-bent on going to war, with the inevitable and terrible human casualties among our troops, consistently underfund the Veterans Administration, which is charged with caring for our wounded and disabled?
-What's been the effect of the grotesque politicization of the selection and promotion system for senior military commanders by the office of the secretary of defense? What failures have resulted from that ill-conceived action? What responsibility do those generals and admirals chosen by Rumsfeld bear for the failure to prepare for and conduct effective action against an inevitable Iraqi insurgency?
-Who at the top bears responsibility for the torture and mistreatment of prisoners and detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and the Guantanamo detention camp? A score of Pentagon investigations got to the bottom of the chain of command but declared that the top, in Rumsfeld's office and the White House, was innocent.
-Who's responsible for breaking our understrength Army and Marine Corps with endless combat duty tours in Iraq and Afghanistan? Who refused all suggestions that the force was too small for the mission, and that 50,000 or 100,000 more men and women were needed in uniform? Who stubbornly refused even to consider the inevitable consequences of an Army so tied down trying to man these wars that it no longer could react to an emergency anywhere else in a dangerous world?
Simply put, the jig is up. President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld have come to the end of their free ride. No longer can they act without thought or ignore the boundaries of the Constitution, the law and common sense.
Blogged with Flock
Bradley succumbed to leukemia Thursday at age 65 after battling the disease for several years. For nearly 30 years, he sought solace in the Colorado mountains as a break from his fast-paced life chasing the big story around the world."Whenever I leave Woody Creek, before I go down to the airport, I always go down to the river and just sit for a minute or two, as long as I have, because it gives me sustenance to go back and do what I do," he told members of the Denver Press Club when he received its Damon Run yon award in 2003.
Blogged with Flock
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
“This is the most important vote that you’ll probably ever cast. Because should this gang of thugs continue in the two houses of Congress, there isn’t any chance of getting the ”Constitution back....
Monday, November 06, 2006
At first Blackman denied that he had sex with that "theological conman," saying that Haggard had been sent to his Denver hotel room and that he had only gotten a quick sermon. Yesterday Blackman admitted that some of the charges were true, but denied that he had ever supported social security privatization.
Today Blackman is entering the William F. Buckley Clinic for the Sexually Obsessed With Hypocritical Conservatives.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Environmentalists are outraged about the appointment of Lee Raymond. During his long tenure at ExxonMobil, the company spent $19 million on front groups designed to discredit the science on global warming. It also resisted funding clean energy alternatives and lobbied aggressively to drill in the Arctic Refuge."