Thursday, July 31, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Torture and Amerika
Slate: The Bauer of Suggestion: Our torture policy has deeper roots in Fox television than the Constitution.
NYRB: Jane Mayer: The Battle for a Country's Soul
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Sustainable Living Solar Homes Tour
Today we drove down to Westcliffe for the Solar Homes Tour. At left is Dave Tonsing (with dog), owner of the earthship behind him and Tyler Stein of Sustainable Ways. We joined the tour along with about 40 others at the courthouse in Westcliffe at 8:30 this morning. Dan Miller and Jennifer Younger made our aquaintance and joined us to car pool to the three featured homes. Later we had lunch with this delightful couple in Westcliffe and drove down to see their magnificent home in the Cuerno Verde development 10 miles south of Westcliffe where I also own 20 acres.
The first home was a passive solar home using thermal mass blocks of 85% recycled styrofoam and 15% concrete mix. It also used radiant floor heating and was "on grid" though it was highly energy efficient. Next we visited Dave Tonsing's earthship which is 100% off-grid and fully uses sustainable energy--solar for electric and passive solar for heat. Dave has built 10 earthships in the valley and consulted on three more and was a wealth of information.
The final home of the Solar tour was an adobe home that is nearly completely passive solar, but they added a small wood stove to get them through times when indoor temperatures occasionally drop to the low 50's. I was pleased to make new friends in Custer County and particularly to make contact with professionals who can help me build an earthship on my property.
Friday, July 25, 2008
ACLU obtains key memos authorizing CIA Torture Methods through FOIA
ACLU Obtains Key Memos Authorizing CIA Torture Methods
The American Civil Liberties Union today obtained three redacted documents related to the Bush administration's brutal interrogation policies, including a previously withheld Justice Department memo authorizing the CIA's use of torture. The government was ordered to turn over the documents in response to an ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought in 2004 by the ACLU and other organizations seeking records on the treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody overseas.
"These documents supply further evidence, if any were needed, that the Justice Department authorized the CIA to torture prisoners in its custody," said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project. "The Justice Department twisted the law, and in some cases ignored it altogether, in order to permit interrogators to use barbaric methods that the U.S. once prosecuted as war crimes."
Thursday, July 24, 2008
A Social History of the Surge
Juan Cole set the record straight weighing in with "A Social History of the Surge"
Must Read: Evidence of the US Banking System Teetering on the Brink of Collapse There is roughly $6.84 Trillion in bank deposits. $2.60 Trillion of that is uninsured. There is only $53 billion in FDIC insurance to cover $6.84 Trillion in bank deposits. Indymac will eat up roughly $8 billion of that.
Of the $6.84 Trillion in bank deposits, the total cash on hand at banks is a mere $273.7 Billion. Where is the rest of the loot? The answer is in off balance sheet SIVs, imploding commercial real estate deals, Alt-A liar loans, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds, toggle bonds where debt is amazingly paid back with more debt, and all sorts of other silly (and arguably fraudulent) financial wizardry schemes that have bank and brokerage firms leveraged at 30-1 or more. Those loans cannot be paid back.
What cannot be paid back will be defaulted on. If you did not know it before, you do now. The entire US banking system is insolvent.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
HuffPo: Congressional Interest in Bugliosi book on Prosecuting Bush for Murder
I am almost finished reading Vincent Bugliosi's book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. One cannot read this screed and emerge anything but enraged at the phony prep boy who avoided service in Viet Nam and sent our boys to a war of choice that is bankrupting our nation and destroying our moral foundation. Our boys have not died in Iraq for freedom. They have not died for America. They have died needless deaths of ignominy for Bush and Cheney. Send Bush to prison for life. While we are it include Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld. Liars. Disgraceful deceivers.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Harper's: Six Questions for Jane Mayar
Harper's: Six Questions for Jane Mayar, author of The Dark Side: The Inside Story of how the War on Terror turned into a War on American Ideals
Here she is interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air: Terror and the Unraveling of America's Moral Fabric
Friday, July 18, 2008
New Blogs from my Brother, Dr. Doug Bremner
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
John Lennon: We're all Hitler inside, we're all Christ Inside: I Met the Walrus
Mr Obama goes to Berlin
The Washington Note: Mr Obama goes to Berlin
HuffPo: Joseph Palermo: Does Anyone Remember the Oil Spill in Santa Barbara?
UK Telegraph: U.S. faces Global Funding Crisis, warns Merril Lynch It's bad. It is really bad.
NYT Archives (1916): Electric Trains over the Rockies
Proposal from The Oil Drum to electrify 36,000 miles of strategic rail across the U.S. It would cost $90B, require about 2% of the current electric grid and prevent the importing of millions of barrels of oil.
Gordon Brown, British PM with major speech on the post-peak oil economy and what Britain is going to do about it. Now this is leadership!!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Earth's Endgame etc.
Derrick Jensen: Endgame
The Specter of Mass Extinction in the Anthropocene Age
The Only Diet for a Peacemaker is a Vegetarian Diet
Vincent Bugliosi's book "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder" has been ignored by the MSM and he has not been given any interviews. Despite this his book is on the best seller lists. What a sad commentary on our media. We have no MSM.
Mayer: Cheney ‘Repeatedly’ Held ‘Highly Unusual’ Meetings With CIA IG Before Torture Probe Stopped
TomDispatch: The Wedding Crashers: A Short Till-Death-Do-Us-Part History of Bush's Wars
Barack Obama New Yorker Cover
HuffPo on the Barack Obama as Muslim New Yorker Cover
NYT Opinionator on the New Yorker Cover flap
Interview with David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker on the Obama cover
What do I think? At first I thought it was over the top, but on reflection I think it is funny... and totally in character for New Yorker covers. Ask the Bush administration.
Dear Senator Barack Obama: A Truthout open letter on FISA
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Manitou Springs (my town) Mayor, Eric Drummond leads by example, bringing environmentalism home
Kyle Skaggs Smashes Hardrock 100 record!! (by 2hrs 45min!!)
I can deal with and understand this New Yorker cover depicting Obama as a Muslim and his wife as a terrorist. I'm not sure the subleties are going to play very well though.
Fannie and Freddie are surely doomed. This will bankrupt the nation. To guarantee Fannie and Freddie will mean doubling the deficit. The dollar will go down the tubes, interest rates will skyrocket and the downward spiral will be relentless. Collapse is imminent. Just like the former Soviet Union in the 90's. We are going down. Stock up on food stores.
Green Light on Torture
VanityFair.com: The Green Light on Torture: Philippe Sands follows the torture trail, and holds out the possibility of war crimes charges. See his new book: Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values
Frank Rich: The Real-Life ‘24’ of Summer 2008 see the new book by New Yorker writer Jane Mayer: The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals
I think there now the possibility of war crimes trials. That is the only way for America to return to her former greatness. There must be accountability from the top. Clearly torture as policy was directed from the White House. We all should be ashamed if we don't act as a nation to rectify this deplorable situation.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Guernica Mag: Darfur Crisis, A conversation with Mia Farrow and Bernard-Henri Lévy
The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability
Scaling Buildings to Alert on Global Warming (Did you know that beef-eaters cause 4X the global warming effects as plant eaters? About the same as a Prius driver compared to an SUV-Driver)
Why is Conyers stalling on IMPEACHMENT?
LA Times: The Old Man who Farms with the Sea Feature from Vanity Fair on Hodges and another interview of the gentleman expounding on the possibilities of saltwater loving plants with the potential to help out with global warming
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
The Fruit Hunters
Tonight's Democracy Now! program was highly entertaining! Amy Goodman interviewed the author of "The Fruit Hunters": Adam Leith Gollner. He talks about some of the thousands of exotic fruits he has sought out all over the world in this video. The miracle fruit changes your taste buds from sour to sweet.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
HuffPO: Naomi Wolf calls out Condi Rice on Sex Crimes in the White House and Torture
NPR Music: Rogue's Gallery: Songs of the Sea and In Baghdad
FEED: Tomato Scare highlights broken food system
Al Franken on David Letterman makes a lot of sense when he calls for Congresspeoples to be banned for life from becoming lobbyists.
Larisa Alexandrovna: At-Largely: McCain Wrong about Petraeus' "Central Front" also More Info coming out on Siegleman case
Philippe Sands' Torture Team is on my list of must reads
HuffPo: Joe Lauria talks about his and Senator Mike Gravel's new book: "A Political Odyssey: The Rise of American Militarism and One Man's Fight to stop it" Why Bush has won in Iraq and the rest of us have lost
Monday, July 07, 2008
Chronicaling the destruction of species to make room for more peoples
Orangutans on fast track to extinction
Polar Bear extinct within 100 years
The Anthropocene Age: Extinction of species caused by man On track to be the greatest extinction of species since the Permian Extinction of 250 million years ago (this was massively greater than the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago)
Sunday, July 06, 2008
HuffPo: Lloyd Alter: A Field Guide to the New Environmentalists
Wall-E: A World Without Us and Frank Rich: Wall-E for President
Google Video (2+ hours) (must watch) Alex Jones: Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement
Related: The Money Masters
My Letter to the Colorado Springs Gazette Editor regarding drilling ANWR.... Some lame responses a few days later
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
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
- February 2005
- March 2005
- April 2005
- May 2005
- June 2005
- July 2005
- August 2005
- September 2005
- October 2005
- November 2005
- December 2005
- January 2006
- February 2006
- March 2006
- April 2006
- May 2006
- June 2006
- July 2006
- August 2006
- September 2006
- October 2006
- November 2006
- December 2006
- January 2007
- February 2007
- March 2007
- April 2007
- May 2007
- June 2007
- July 2007
- August 2007
- September 2007
- October 2007
- November 2007
- December 2007
- January 2008
- February 2008
- March 2008
- April 2008
- May 2008
- June 2008
- July 2008
- 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