Thursday, August 31, 2006
onegoodmove: Prophet or Quack?
Keith Olberman is brilliant. Is Rumsfeld a Prophet or Quack?
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Degrees of Difficulty
What is the most difficult language to learn? And other difficult undertakings.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
What a Moronic Presidential Press Conference!
Fred Kaplan - Slate Magazine: "As for Iraq, it's no news that Bush has no strategy. What did come as news—and, really, a bit of a shocker—is that he doesn't seem to know what 'strategy' means.
Asked if it might be time for a new strategy in Iraq, given the unceasing rise in casualties and chaos, Bush replied, 'The strategy is to help the Iraqi people achieve their objectives and dreams, which is a democratic society. That's the strategy. … Either you say, 'It's important we stay there and get it done,' or we leave. We're not leaving, so long as I'm the president.'
The reporter followed up, 'Sir, that's not really the question. The strategy—'
Bush interrupted, 'Sounded like the question to me.'
First, it's not clear that the Iraqi people want a 'democratic society' in the Western sense. Second, and more to the point, 'helping Iraqis achieve a democratic society' may be a strategic objective, but it's not a strategy—any more than 'ending poverty' or 'going to the moon' is a strategy.
Strategy involves how to achieve one's objectives—or, as the great British strategist B.H. Liddell Hart put it, 'the art of distributing and applying military means to fulfill the ends of policy.' These are the issues that Bush refuses to address publicly—what means and resources are to be applied, in what way, at what risk, and to what end, in pursuing his policy. Instead, he reduces everything to two options: 'Cut and run' or, 'Stay the course.' It's as if there's nothing in between, no alternative way of applying military means. Could it be that he doesn't grasp the distinction between an 'objective' and a 'strategy,' and so doesn't see that there might be alternatives? Might our situation be that grim?"
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Pikes Peak Marathon
I had a slower ascent time today than yesterday, but I got "crazy legs" for the downhill portion of the race, passing about 20 runners while getting passed by no one. I managed to run down the mountain in 1hr45min thereby sneaking below 5 hours for the marathon: 4:56.
Matt Carpenter won with an age group record (40-44) in both the ascent and the marathon. He ran the ascent in about 2:10 and the marathon in 3:33.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Pikes Peak Ascent 2006
The Power of Nightmares
Must see BBC documentary: "The Power of Nightmares". In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares. The most frightening of these is the threat of an international terror network. But just as the dreams were not true, neither are these nightmares.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Blogging With the Prez
Tim Flannery on Big Picture TV | Gristmill: The environmental news blog | Grist Magazine
Grist has this on Tim Flannery , author of "The Weather Makers" and
Monday, August 14, 2006
flumps.org - The *real* Spiderman
Beijing pledges 'a fight to the death' with Dalai Lama
Beijing pledges 'a fight to the death' with Dalai Lama - Times Online:
"China’s new top official in Tibet has embarked on a fierce campaign to crush loyalty to the exiled Dalai Lama and to extinguish religious beliefs among government officials.
Zhang Qingli, was appointed Communist Party secretary of the Tibetan Autonomous Region in May. An ally of Hu Jintao, China’s President, Mr Zhang, 55, has moved swiftly to tighten his grip over this deeply Buddhist region."
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Iraq Report 109th Congress
John Conyers: Patriot -- Iraq Report 109th Congress
The BEAST: America's Best Fiend
The BEAST: Top 50 America's Best Fiend: "2. Dick Cheney
Charges: At the forefront of nearly every administration effort to annihilate the constitution. A true psychopath with only one motivating force; insatiable greed. Insists that we can only remain 'free' through torture, spying and secrecy. Bears the crooked ugliness of a man whose entire life has been devoted to a senseless pursuit of power, and whose most effective weapon is a total lack of ethics, or even decorum. So cartoonishly evil he defies parody.
Exhibit A: 'I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.'
Sentence: Strapped to chair; eyes removed with melon baller. Nursed back to health. Lips sewn to a rubber hose connecting him to a 500 gallon nutrition shake. Nursed back to health. Fingers, hands, toes, feet, nose and genitals devoured by hungry pigs. Nursed back to health. Legs and arms ground to stubs with belt sander. Nursed back to health. Fitted with earphones that play only Christina Aguilera songs, and left alone to think about what he has done."
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo
www.petebevin.com: Possibly the weirdest sentence in the English language is: “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo”.
Sam the Wolfdog
Are We Running out of Oil?
Les Magoon: Are We Running out of Oil?
Wrong question. The correct question is: "When is the Big Rollover?".
Saturday, August 12, 2006
U.S. Lags World in Grasp of Genetics and Acceptance of Evolution
What a strange country we live in:
LiveScience.com - U.S. Lags World in Grasp of Genetics and Acceptance of Evolution: "A comparison of peoples' views in 34 countries finds that the United States ranks near the bottom when it comes to public acceptance of evolution. Only Turkey ranked lower.
Among the factors contributing to America's low score are poor understanding of biology, especially genetics, the politicization of science and the literal interpretation of the Bible by a small but vocal group of American Christians, the researchers say.
“American Protestantism is more fundamentalist than anybody except perhaps the Islamic fundamentalist, which is why Turkey and we are so close,” said study co-author Jon Miller of Michigan State University."
Sunrise on Pikes Peak
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Critics Blast Bush For Not Praying Hard Enough
Critics blast Bush for not Praying Enough: "President Bush, already facing the lowest approval ratings in history, is coming under fire from former supporters over what they call his 'ineffectual and incompetent' use of prayer for national guidance and assistance."
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
End This Tragedy Now
End This Tragedy Now: "As the world watches, Israel has besieged and ravaged our country, created a humanitarian and environmental disaster, and shattered our infrastructure and economy, putting an intolerable strain on our social and economic systems. Fuel, food and medical equipment are in short supply; homes, factories and warehouses have been destroyed; roads severed, bridges smashed and airports disabled.
The damage to infrastructure alone is running into the billions of dollars, as are the losses to owners of private property, and the long-term direct and indirect costs due to lost revenue in tourism, agriculture and industrial sectors are expected to be many more billions. Lebanon's well-known achievements in 15 years of postwar development have been wiped out in a matter of days by Israel's deadly military might.
For all this carnage and death, and on behalf of all Lebanese, we demand an international inquiry into Israel's criminal actions in Lebanon and insist that Israel pay compensation for its wanton destruction."
onegoodmove: Exxon Exposed
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Taken on the Barr Trail today as I ran to Pikes Peak's summit once again from Memorial Park in Manitou Springs. We've had a lot of rain recently and the mushrooms are plentiful. Don't eat these though! They are deadly poisonous.
I saw a bear next to Ruxton Creek around 6:30 this morning. The same bear I watched from my deck Friday night as he dropped down to Ruxton Creek from the road in front of my house. A little later I espied him walking along the tracks of the Cog Railway.
One Ring to Rule Them
One Ring to Rule Them
by Juan Cole. "It may be that that hawks are thinking this way: Destroy Lebanon, and destroy Hizbullah, and you reduce Iran's strategic depth. Destroy the Iranian nuclear program and you leave it helpless and vulnerable to having done to it what the Israelis did to Lebanon. You leave it vulnerable to regime change, and a dragooning of Iran back into the US sphere of influence, denying it to China and assuring its 500 tcf of natural gas to US corporations. You also politically reorient the entire Gulf, with both Saddam and Khamenei gone, toward the United States. Voila, you avoid peak oil problems in the US until a technological fix can be found, and you avoid a situation where China and India have special access to Iran and the Gulf."
Saturday, August 05, 2006
World's Water Resources Face Mounting Pressure
Future Wars will be over water:
World's Water Resources Face Mounting Pressure
Friday, August 04, 2006
Rep. Conyers Issues Report Identifying 26 Laws Broken by Bush Admin | BuzzFlash
Rep. Conyers Issues Report Identifying 26 Laws Broken by Bush Admin | BuzzFlash: "Many people are aware that George Bush has broken numerous laws during his presidency. BuzzFlash has certainly pointed out several instances. But today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI) released 'Constitution in Crisis,' a report identifying 26 specific laws and regulations implicated by the Bush Administration.
The 350-page document is divided into sections on Iraq and civil liberties and supported with more than 1,400 footnotes.
'The situation we find ourselves in today under the administration of George W. Bush is systemically worse than previous scandals such as Watergate and Iran-Contra,' Conyers said. 'The alleged acts of wrongdoing my staff has documented -- which include making misleading statements about the decision to go to war; manipulating intelligence; facilitating and countenancing torture; using classified information to out a CIA agent; and violating federal surveillance and privacy laws -- are quite serious.'
Conyers proposed a series of recommendations based on the report's findings, many of which are based on passing some of the many bills he and others have introduced to improve oversight and accountability."
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Colorado Media Matters
Media Matters debuts with a Colorado Edition exposing right-wing falsehoods.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
I run a lot. I get outdoors as much as I can. I read and I think. I love intellectual confrontation. I'm a liberal secular humanist atheist who speaks French (and German). I am the opposite of the "Christian Right".
Sibling Web sites
- Andrew Sullivan
- Raw Story
- Juan Cole -- Informed Comment
- Huffington Post
- One Good Move
- Brad Blog: on the Voting Fraud front
- The Belgravia Dispatch
- Think Progress
- Colorado Pols
Running in Colorado
- Steve Bremner's North American Outdoors
- Incline Club
- C.R.U.D. -- Coloradans Running Ultra-Distances
- Pikes Peak Marathon and more
- Barr Trail Race
- Grist Mag: Environmental News and Humour
- Waterkeepers: RFK, Jr battles corporate polluters
- National Audubon Society
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project
- The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
- The Canary Coalition
- Leonardo di Caprio has a damn good environmental web site
- Next Billion.net -- Development Through Enterprise -- Focusing on the 4B people at the bottom of the pyramid
- Save the Springs -- To preserve and enhance quality of life in the Pikes Peak region
- Kleercut: Wiping away ancient Forests
- COLORS: a most extraordinary magazine
- Scientific American's Blog
- Election Fraud 2004 (quick page of facts)
- Sudan: the passion of the present
- December 2004
- January 2005
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- April 2005
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- December 2005
- January 2006
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- March 2006
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- May 2006
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- July 2006
- August 2006
- September 2006
- October 2006
- November 2006
- December 2006
- January 2007
- February 2007
- March 2007
- April 2007
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- August 2008
“There is no question about it. In the next 40 years a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother has.”
Robert F. Kennedy (stated in 1968, when Robert was Attorney General, and his brother John had been the President)
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” - Philip K. Dick
“The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell.” Bertrand Russell
"Just as nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there is a twilight... and it is in such a twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air--however slight--lest we become unwilling victims of the darkness."
-- William O. Douglas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1939 to 1975
"If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
-- James Madison
"You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays, everybody's crazy."
-- Charles Manson, serial killer and one-time cult leader
"A very popular error-having the courage of one's convictions: Rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack upon one's convictions."
-- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche 1844-1900
"I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."
-- Thomas Jefferson
"There are no sects in geometry. One does not speak of a Euclidean, an Archimedean. When the truth is evident, it is impossible for parties and factions to arise.... Well, to what dogma do all minds agree? To the worship of a God, and to honesty. All the philosophers of the world who have had a religion have said in all ages: "There is a God, and one must be just." There, then, is the universal religion established in all ages and throughout mankind. The point in which they all agree is therefore true, and the systems through which they differ are therefore false."
"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
-- Albert Einstein
You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud
-- Bob Dylan, 'Masters of War'
"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended. Its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war . . . and in the degeneracy of manners and morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
James Madison, April 20, 1795
"In the end the party would announce that 2 plus 2 made 5, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim, sooner or later, the logic of their position demanded it."
-- George Orwell, in 1984
"God was invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand. Now, when you finally discover how something works, you get some laws which you're taking away from God; you don't need him anymore. But you need him for the other mysteries. So therefore you leave him to create the universe because we haven't figured that out yet; you need him for understanding those things which you don't believe the laws will explain, such as consciousness, or why you only live to a certain length of time -- life and death -- stuff like that. God is always associated with those things that you do not understand. Therefore I don't think that the laws can be considered to be like God because they have been figured out. " --€”Richard Feynman
"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.
"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
"I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise. They have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving: it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe."
--Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
--John Kenneth Galbraith
"We're all in this alone."
Long-haired preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right;
But when asked how 'bout something to eat
They will answer with voices so sweet:
You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You'll get pie in the sky when you die.
-Joe Hill, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), 1911
â€œThe more compelling our journalism, the angrier became the radical right of the Republican Party. Thatâ€™s because the one thing they loathe more than liberals is the truth. And the quickest way to be damned by them as liberal is to tell the truth.â€�
Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
"Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasure, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing." --Jerome K. Jerome
"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Benjamin Franklin
"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." --Aldo Leopold
"Living is a constant process of deciding what we are going to do." --Jose Ortega y Gasset
"The founders of our nation were nearly all Infidels, and that of the presidents who had thus far been elected [Washington; Adams; Jefferson; Madison; Monroe; Adams; Jackson] not a one had professed a belief in Christianity...."
"Among all our presidents from Washington downward, not one was a professor of religion, at least not of more than Unitarianism."
-- The Reverend Doctor Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister in Albany, New York, in a sermon preached in October, 1831
"Undoubtedly, all men are not equally fit subjects for civilization; and because the majority, like dogs and sheep, are tame by inherited disposition, this is no reason why the others should have their natures broken that they may be reduced to the same level." --Henry David Thoreau
"There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too. Where's evil? It's that large part of every man that wants to hate without limit, that wants to hate with God on its side. It's that part of every man that finds all kinds of ugliness so attractive. It's that part of an imbecile that punishes and vilifies and makes war gladly." --Kurt Vonnegut in his novel Mother Night
"I am Diogenes the Dog. I nuzzle the kind, bark at the greedy and bite scoundrels."
--Diogenes of Sinope (c. 408-323 B.C.)
"Consider the lilies of the field,
how they grow;
They toil not, neither do they spin;
And yet I say unto you,
that even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these."
"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." - Thomas Jefferson