Friday, September 29, 2006

A call to action as our gov't votes for Torture

"What gate did we think we were crashing, exactly? A gate to a garden party? A cotillion, perhaps? An ivory tower nestled in the green, green fields of Oxford?
For the past couple of years, this site has been about nothing but taking control of a weak, ineffective and inbred party, making it strong with new leadership and new vision, and taking our country back from a rabid majority gang of power-hungry, self-serving, religious-pandering, imperialistic, militaristic, corrupt cronies. That, at least, was why I was here.
What? Were all the diaries entitled 'Worst. President. Ever.' just little jokes we made in cyberspace, as of much importance as flippant little theater reviews? Did we not realize years ago that this administration fully intended to gut the Constitution, create a unitary executive and render not just the Geneva Conventions but our Bill of Rights quaint?
We were all just - ha ha ha - kidding? Did we - we who pride ourselves on being so media savvy - buy into the spin that we were 'alarmist' and 'extremist' with all our dire warnings and that deep down, we never really believed it would come to this?
I sure as hell wasn't kidding. And I didn't think the rest of you were, either. This torture bill ... I'd call it a line in the sand but for the fact that there have been so many lines in the sand in the past six years there's no sand left. We're down to bedrock now, folks, and it ain't pretty. But then, I'd always assumed we never expected it to be. Frankly, I always thought it would come to this. This and far, far worse.
But that's why I thought we were here, to rebuild and retake control of a political party, not abandon it. After all, who's got the power? Ask Howard Dean. We've got the power.
This is democracy, people. Seize it. Take control. Grab hol"

Thursday, September 28, 2006

fascinating and disturbing

"California has a population of about 36 million and commands 55 electoral votes, far more than any other state. But the 12 inland states of the Great Plains and Far West (all won by Bush in 2004), with a combined population of 23 million, account for 59 electoral votes. Those 13 million extra Californians must not be real Americans after all, since their votes counted for so much less (.00000153 electoral votes apiece) than those of Arizonans, Nevadans, Idahoans or Nebraskans (.00000257 electoral votes each). Similarly, the 44 Democrats in the current Senate actually represent more citizens, and received more votes, than do the 55 Republicans. "

Is the homeland where America's heart is? | Salon Books

"Neither side in America's cultural and political wars -- Brian Mann calls the two camps the 'metros' and the 'homelanders' -- can quite get what they want. Homelanders have controlled Congress for 12 years and the White House for six. They've packed the federal judiciary with right-thinking conservatives who view our Constitution as a form of Talmudic writ whose interpretation requires reading the minds of those bickering 18th century farmers, the ones who got together in Philadelphia to figure out how to govern a rural nation of 13 states with a combined population smaller than present-day Arkansas. Yet big government has done nothing but get bigger, abortion remains a legal and (in most states) commonplace medical procedure, HBO programming includes the word 'fuck' every 38 seconds, homosexuals show no signs of melting away in shame, fewer and fewer people go to church, and undocumented immigrants have shown up in virtually every corner of the country, where they work hard at the jobs nobody else will do at all. On the other hand, the metropolitan liberals and moderates whose values seem to dominate the texture of actual American life can do nothing to stop a governing party that starts overseas wars for bad reasons, punishes poor people for living in the path of a hurricane, encourages environmental destruction and eagerly hands over as much power as possible (except that of the police state) to big corporations. "

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I am in love

in a way I never saw coming.

Newsweek covers aorund the world

perception is of these things is not like the others.

The Female Brain

It has been a frequent topic of conversation on the project that I am working on, the differences between the is also a topic I frequently read about and attempt to understand where science meets cultural perception. It is a particularly frustrating topic because of items like the below. There is so much "data" put out there in a pseudoscientific form that implies research and analysis, when in fact there is little of either. I think both genders "feel" that there are inherent differences between the genders, it seems like there must be...but then actual research puts that assumtion on fragile ground. It's not that I want the limitations of a "conclusive" scientific analysis, but it does "feel" like with current technology we should be closer to a more scientific understanding of our brains.

"Fact-checking 'The Female Brain'
Louann Brizendine's book 'The Female Brain,' which argues that there are strong neurological differences between the sexes, has been stirring up all kinds of controversy lately. But today in the Boston Globe, Mark Liberman, a trustee professor of phonetics at the University of Pennsylvania, fact-checks the book and finds that it comes up a few miles short.
Liberman starts by debunking a favorite saying among armchair psychologists and certain scholars: 'Women talk more than men.' This truism is often presented as scientific fact, and is used time and again to support a cultural perception of women as inherently communicative. But according to Liberman, measurements of how much men and women talk are all over the map -- it's possible to find claims of women's and men's daily word usage ranging anywhere from '50,000 vs. 25,000 down to 5,000 vs. 2,500.' Brizendine's 'The Female Brain' places the daily word differential at 20,000 for women vs. 7,000 for men. But Liberman is skeptical about Brizendine's source: a self-help book written by Allan Pease. In the past six years, Pease has cited widely different counts of men's and women's daily word usage, and is also the author of the assuredly fun reads 'Why Men Don't Have a Clue and Women Always Need More Shoes' and 'Why Men Can Only Do One Thing at a Time and Women Never Stop Talking.' In his analysis, Liberman found that 'Pease and his coauthors never cite any specific studies as the source of these various numbers.' "

Identical Twins Not So Identical

"Other studies have shown that the brains of identical twins look different upon close inspection of the wiring.
The new research, among the first to provide a detailed look at such differences at the genetic level, was led by Manel Esteller of the Spanish National Cancer Center in Madrid. The scientists studied 40 pairs of twins in Spain, Denmark and the United Kingdom, aged three through 74. The participants were surveyed on a range of health, exercise, eating habits and other lifestyle issues. Their blood was analyzed for epigenetic differences.
The youngest set of twins had the most identical genomes. Genetically, the oldest twins were the least alike.
Gene expression and behavior is altered by a process called methylation. Scientists think a better understanding of methylation could aid cancer research.
'One would expect identical twins to develop and express genes at the same levels, but in fact this changes over time,' Plass said. 'We think that methylation plays a genome-wide role in these changes.'"

Tall Women More Likely to Have Twins

"Taller women have more of an insulin-like growth factor that has been linked to height and to the rate of twins in previous work. Dr. Gary Steinman, an obstetrician at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, compared heights of 125 women who had twins and 24 who had triplets to the average height of U.S. women."

It is now official I am never giving birth!

Monday, September 25, 2006

cuz mcdreamy rules

"With a choice between the season premieres of Grey's Anatomy and CSI Thursday night, channel surfers, by and large, chose the ABC doctor drama.
Per final numbers from Nielsen Media Research, Grey's Anatomy won the 9-10 p.m. time slot with 25.4 million viewers; CSI trailed with 22.6 million. "

Crooks and Liars � Fox Clinton Interview - Part 1 - Osama bin Laden

Watch a democrat that can actually fight back, kick a reporter's ass :)

Another blow to the idea of fairness

Some of the courtrooms are not even courtrooms: tiny offices or basement rooms without a judge’s bench or jury box. Sometimes the public is not admitted, witnesses are not sworn to tell the truth, and there is no word-for-word record of the proceedings.
Nearly three-quarters of the judges are not lawyers, and many — truck drivers, sewer workers or laborers — have scant grasp of the most basic legal principles. Some never got through high school, and at least one went no further than grade school.

This is in New York, not a third world country...

But The Times reviewed public documents dating back decades and, unannounced, visited courts in every part of the state. It examined records of closed disciplinary hearings. It tracked down defendants, and interviewed prosecutors and defense lawyers, plaintiffs and bystanders.
The examination found overwhelming evidence that decade after decade and up to this day, people have often been denied fundamental legal rights. Defendants have been jailed illegally. Others have been subjected to racial and sexual bigotry so explicit it seems to come from some other place and time. People have been denied the right to a trial, an impartial judge and the presumption of innocence.
In 2003 alone, justices disciplined by the state included one in Montgomery County who had closed his court to the public and let prosecutors run the proceedings during 20 years in office. Another, in Westchester County, had warned the police not to arrest his political cronies for drunken driving, and asked a Lebanese-American with a parking ticket if she was a terrorist. A third, in Delaware County, had been convicted of having sex with a mentally retarded woman in his care.
New York is one of about 30 states that still rely on these kinds of local judges, descendants of the justices who kept the peace in Colonial days, when lawyers were scarce. Many states, alarmed by mistakes and abuse, have moved in recent decades to rein in their authority or require more training. Some, from Delaware to California, have overhauled the courts, scrapped them entirely or required that local judges be lawyers.
But New York has no such requirement. It demands more schooling for licensed manicurists and hair stylists.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Making of a Gay American: New Jersey Governor James McGreevey -- New York Magazine

Ironically, the dividing experience of my sexuality helped me thrive in that environment. As I climbed the electoral ladder—from state assemblyman to mayor of Woodbridge and finally to governor of New Jersey—political compromises came easy to me because I’d learned how to keep a part of myself innocent of them. I kept a steel wall around my moral and sexual instincts—protecting them, I thought, from the threats of the real world. This gave me a tremendous advantage in politics, if not in my soul. The true me, my spiritual core, slipped further and further from reach.

The growing practice of embryo eugenics. By William Saletan - Slate Magazine

"Once you screen for one gene, it's tempting to screen for others. The woman who's targeting arthritis, for example, added that gene to an already-planned test. Another patient, described in the same article, set out to scan his embryos for colon cancer and ended up chucking two more for Down syndrome. 'You kind of feel like you shouldn't be doing it,' his wife confessed. 'But then why would we go through all of this and not take those extra precautions?' Soon, you're hunting even for dormant genes. A PGD technique unveiled three months ago can find genes that won't harm your child but might, if combined with other genes, cause disease in a later generation. British patients are already asking clinics to filter out embryos carrying such genes."

Stories of this nature have been around for ages, although the details and the numbers coming out now are clearly more than anecdotal. As much as I try, I don't know how I feel about this issue. It really is very morally, ethically confusing. Anyone else?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

U.S. Health-Care System Gets a "D" - Yahoo! News

"The U.S. health-care system is doing poorly by virtually every measure. That's the conclusion of a national report card on the U.S. health-care system, released Sept. 20. Although there are pockets of excellence, the report, commissioned by the non-profit and non-partisan Commonwealth Fund, gave the U.S. system low grades on outcomes, quality of care, access to care, and efficiency, compared to other industrialized nations or generally accepted standards of care. Bottom line: U.S. health care barely passes with an overall grade of 66 out of 100. "


"'Deliver Us From Evil' focuses on a northern California priest, Father Oliver O'Grady, who admits on camera to being an active pedophile who was harbored by the church for more than 30 years. Lionsgate will release it on October 13."

I don't know if I could watch this.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Confessions of an Ex-Mortgage Lender - Yahoo! News

"Confession Time.
The strategy of lenders, he learned, is to maintain an uneven playing field with their clients. 'The average person only gets a mortgage every seven years. How can you become good at something you do every seven years, especially if you're dealing with somebody who knows all the ins and outs and is doing this several times a day?' he recently told
After a year of putting up with what he felt was the industry's lack of integrity, Janusz left the business for good. Still, he felt he was privy to information that the public rarely gets to see. He vented his frustrations -- and spilled his guts -- in the 2005 book Kickback: Confessions of a Mortgage Salesman (Insight).
The book details the sophisticated traps lenders set for clients they see as suckers. 'If somebody came in wearing cowboy boots and ripped-up jeans, those are the people you took to the cleaners on fees. That was the unwritten rule -- we were looking for people we'd see as having less-than-perfect credit.'"

Backstory: 'St. Jack' hits the religious right - Yahoo! News

"It's not discomfort with religious values in public life that's behind his new drive, the senator insists, but concern that religion is being used to deliberately divide Americans. Politics practiced rightly is the glue that keeps a diverse nation together and the catalyst that moves it forward, he believes. Yet today the political arena is plagued by rancor and incapable of resolving the most crucial issues confronting America. He sees a link between that unhappy state and the power of Christian conservatives within his own party. He's stirring a ruckus, he hopes, so that others will speak up."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

European Tribune - Community, Politics & Progress.

"Enormous losses at one of the nation's largest hedge funds resurrected worries yesterday that major bets by these secretive, unregulated investment partnerships could create widespread financial disruptions.
The hedge fund, Amaranth Advisors, based in Greenwich, Conn., made an estimated $1 billion on rising energy prices last year. Yesterday, the fund told its investors that it had lost more than $3 billion in the recent downturn in natural gas and that it was working with its lenders and selling its holdings 'to protect our investors.'"

women scientists and penis transplants

Hello all,

Sorry I haven't posted anything. I am completely swamped by a job I migh tnot have in a couple of months. Here is a link to Broadsheet which continues to post. Hope everyone is doing well and talking like a pirate.


Aye, tis' international talk like a pirate day!

What call thee yerself??

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Daily Kos: If the light of hope dances and curls about your spine

"All things by immortal power,
Near and Far
To each other linked are,
That thou canst not stir a flower
Without troubling of a star."
Francis Thompson quotes "

Germans reconsider religion

"'Christianity, and nothing else,' he wrote, 'is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [to Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter.'"

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ten reasons we already miss Ann Richards

Ann Richards, the famously silver-tongued and silver-haired former governor of Texas, died Wednesday from complications of esophageal cancer. She was 73. Here's just some of what we'll remember and miss about her:
1. Richards used her wit not only to disarm her political opponents but to encourage other women to get into politics: "Let me tell you, sisters, seeing dried egg on a plate in the morning is a lot dirtier than anything I've had to deal with in politics," she said.
2. As a homemaker raising four kids, Richards became politically involved by volunteering on campaigns, including helping elect Sarah Weddington, the 25-year-old lawyer who had successfully argued Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court, to the Texas House. Richards called Weddington the first "out-and-out feminist activist" she'd ever met, according to the
Washington Post.
3. Two years after undergoing rehab for alcoholism in 1982, Richards was elected state treasurer, making her the first woman elected to a statewide post in Texas in 50 years. Of her return from addiction, she said: "I believe in recovery, and I believe that as a role model I have the responsibility to let young people know that you can make a mistake and come back from it."
4. When Richards gave the
keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 1988 -- where she zinged the elder George Bush -- "Poor George. He can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth" -- she also reminded the audience that she was only the second woman to give the keynote address at the convention in 160 years. The first was Barbara Jordan.
5. Richards may have lost her reelection bid to George W. Bush in 1994, but she beat another rich Texas oilman in her first governor's race: Clayton "Claytie" Williams, who during the campaign compared rape to the weather: "As long as it's inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it." That race was dubbed a match between "Claytie and the Lady," in which "the Lady" prevailed by a narrow margin. Sixty-one percent of women voters supported her, and she became the second woman ever to be governor of Texas.
6. As a feminist, Richards championed ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in Texas. She led workshops for women campaign managers and political candidates before being elected to office herself. When she became the first woman in half a century to serve as governor, she celebrated by holding up a T-shirt that showed the State Capitol and read: "A woman's place is in the dome."
7. As governor, Richards made it a priority to appoint more women, African-Americans and Hispanics to state boards than any previous Texas governor. Before she left office in 1995, she said: "I did not want my tombstone to read, 'She kept a really clean house.' I think I'd like them to remember me by saying, 'She opened government to everyone.'" According to
KWTX-TV she appointed "the first black University of Texas regent; the first crime victim to join the state Criminal Justice Board; the first disabled person to serve on the human services board; and the first teacher to lead the State Board of Education."
8. For her 60th birthday, Richards got a license to ride a
9. Late in life, Richards continued her advocacy for reproductive freedom. Appearing at a pro-choice rally in Austin in 2003, she denounced the influence of "a small group of religious right-wingers" on the Bush administration's policies and on Texas' abstinence-only sex education programs. One of her daughters,
Cecile Richards, is now president of Planned Parenthood.
10. In her later years, Richards established the
Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, which will open in 2007. Her family requests that memorial gifts be made to the school, through the Austin Community Foundation.
There'll never be another Ann Richards, but here's hoping her school graduates generations of her successors.
-- Katharine Mieszkowski

Daily Kos: WSJ on Bush economy: when in hole, stop digging

Seriously, for those of you making large economic decisions, read this. it is disturbing.

In memory of Ann Richards

Remember when W was just a silly gubernatorial candidate?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

italian vogue pictures

Ok so I have received much feedback on these pictures that challenges my original assessment of them as inherently offensive. I think they are supposeded to be politically charged photos. I think they are degrading, but maybe that is the point..a police state is degrading, challenged by the fact that the models face don't express that they are being degraded. It's confusing but I retract my inital assessment.

heh heh

"'We met with the wives and girlfriends of gang members and they were worried some were not handing over their guns and that is where they came up with the idea of a vigil or a sex strike,' the mayor's spokesman told Reuters news agency.
'The message they are giving them is disarm,' he added.
Studies found that local gang members were drawn to criminality by the desire for status, power, and sexual attractiveness, not economic necessity, Colombian radio reported.
One of the girlfriends, Jennifer Bayer, told Britain's Guardian newspaper: 'We want them to know that violence is not sexy.'
Ms Bayer said the women had come up with a strike anthem rap song that included the lyrics: 'As women we are worth a lot. We don't want to fall for violent men because with them we lose too much.' "

Can we build a sane citadel somewhere?

Mars Hill wrests future converts searching for identity and purpose from the dominion of available sex and drugs that still make post-grunge Seattle a countercultural destination. Driscoll promises his followers they don't have to reprogram their iTunes catalog along with their beliefs -- culture from outside the Christian fold isn't just tolerated here, it's cherished. Hipster culture is what sweetens the proverbial Kool-Aid, which parishioners here seem to gulp by the gallon. This is a land where housewives cradle babies in tattooed arms, where young men balance responsibilities as breadwinners in their families and lead guitarists in their local rock bands, and where biblical orthodoxy rules as strictly as in Hasidism or Opus Dei.
Following Driscoll's biblical reading of prescribed gender roles, women quit their jobs and try to have as many babies as possible. And these are no mere women who fear independence, who are looking to live by the simple tenets of fundamentalist credo, enforced by a commanding husband: many of the women of Mars Hill reluctantly abandon successful lives lived on their own terms to serve their husbands and their Lord. Accountability and community is ballasted by intricately organized cells -- gender-isolated support groups that form a social life as warm and tight as swaddling clothes, or weekly coed sermon studies and family dinner parties that provide further insulation against the secular world. Parents share child care, realtors share clients, teachers share lesson plans, animé buffs share DVDs, and bands share songs.

Don't hassle the Hoff!

I have no words...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

If I were a better human I would give up sushi....

"'There is almost no more bluefin tuna to be fished in some of the oldest fishing grounds, especially in West Mediterranean,' the group said in a statement in which it called on the European Union to ban commercial fishing during the breeding season."

I think...

maybe sometimes that reality scares me.

link to actual photos.
creepy photos

Monday, September 11, 2006

I wish I could say it as well-Billmon Does it brilliantly

The Sixteen Acre Ditch
Five years after 9/11, this is what Ground Zero
looks like (or will, once the NYFD removes the jerry-rigged memorial "pool" it created for Shrub's photo op):
Five years after Sept. 11, 2001, ground zero remains a 16-acre, 70-foot-deep hole in the heart of Lower Manhattan. High above it, a scaffolded bank building, contaminated during the attack, hulks like a metal skeleton, waiting endlessly to be razed . . ."The problem," as John C. Whitehead, 84, the former chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, said baldly in an interview last spring, "is the 16-acre ditch."
If you had told me, five years ago, that on the fifth anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in history Ground Zero would still be nothing but an enormous hole in the ground, I wouldn't have believed you -- just as I wouldn't have believed that a major American city could be thoroughly trashed by a Category 4 hurricane and then left to moulder in the mud for a year while various federal, state and local bureaucrats and hack politicians tried to make up their minds what to do.
I would have said that while those kinds of things can and do happen in Third World kleptocracies or decaying Stalinist police states, they're simply not possible in the richest and most powerful nation in history. Even if the voters could somehow be bamboozled into accepting such incompetence, the wealthy elites and corporate technocrats who own and operate the world's only remaining superpower would never stand for it.
You can learn a lot about a country in five years.
What I've learned (from 9/11, the corporate scandals, the fiasco in Iraq, Katrina, the Cheney Administration's insane economic and environmental policies and the relentless dumbing down of the corporate media -- plus the repeated electoral triumphs of the Rovian brand of "reality management") is that the United States is moving down the curve of imperial decay at an amazingly rapid clip. If anything, the speed of our descent appears to be accelerating.
The physical symptoms -- a lost war, a derelict city, a Potemkin memorial hastily erected in a vacant lot -- aren't nearly as alarming as the moral and intellectual paralysis that seems to have taken hold of the system. The old feedback mechanisms are broken or in deep disrepair, leaving America with an opposition party that doesn't know how (or what) to oppose, a military run by uniformed yes men, intelligence czars who couldn't find their way through a garden gate with a GPS locator, TV networks that don't even pretend to cover the news unless there's a missing white woman or a suspected child rapist involved, and talk radio hosts who think nuking Mecca is the solution to all our problems in the Middle East. We've got think tanks that can't think, security agencies that can't secure and accounting firms that can't count (except when their clients ask them to make 2+2=5). Our churches are either annexes to shopping malls, halfway homes for pederasts, or GOP precinct headquarters in disguise. Our economy is based on asset bubbles, defense contracts and an open-ended line of credit from the People's Bank of China, and we still can't push the poverty rate down or the median wage up.
I could happily go on, but I imagine you get my point. It's hard to think of a major American institution, tradition or cultural value that has not, at some point over the past five years, been shown to be a.) totally out of touch, b.) criminally negligent, c.) hopelessly corrupt, d.) insanely hypocritical or e.) all of the above.
It's getting hard to see how these trends can be reversed. Maybe they can't (which would explain why all empires, at least so far, have eventually declined and fallen.) In the past I've used the economic concept of market failure to describe the
process whereby dissident voices and uncomfortable views are gradually weeded out of the "marketplace of ideas," allowing errors to go uncorrected, lies to go unchallenged (or ignored) and ideological orthodoxy to calcify into self-delusion:
Watching the punditocracy spin its ideological wheels these days, it's hard not to be reminded of the later years of the Soviet Union -- a nation dedicated to proposition that the marketplace of ideas should never be allowed to clear. As the system declined into senility it, too, became increasingly detached from reality. Soviet pundits and academic ideologues churned out reams of bad ideas and stupid policies. Soviet Krauthammers advised the Politburo to invade Afghanistan. ("It will be a cakewalk.") Soviet [James] Glassmans told it to crank up the central planning. ("Traditional capitalist measures of valuation mean nothing.")
When the public discourse on Edward R. Murrow's old network consists of Katie Couric introducing Rush Limbaugh's buffoonish views, you know the intellectual and ideological rot is well advanced -- maybe not quite as far as the Soviet Union in the '80s, but getting there. One of my favorite books about the Soviet collapse was titled "
The Age of Delirium" which I think perfectly captured the progressive insanity of a system that could no longer even understand, much less believe, its own lies. I think of that book practically every time George W. Bush or Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld open their mouths in public.
Some time ago, back when I still had comments on this blog, a jihadi sympathizer left a note on
one of my posts bragging about his movement's success in taking down the Soviets -- just as the armies of the Prophet succeeded in taking down the Persian Empire. The new Rome (that is, us) would be next, he boasted.
At the time I thought it was daft -- exactly the kind of thing a crazed religious fanatic would say. But these days I'm not so sure. The jihadis in Afghanistan didn't really take down the Soviet empire -- they just delivered a very hard punch to a giant that was already falling. Looking at the state of America five years after 9/11, it no longer seems completely implausible that the same thing might one day be said of us.
This is not, I know, the most inspiring way to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the event that essentially kicked off the new American century -- which at this point seems unlikely to last even a decade. If you want the standard patriotic rhetoric (hallowed ground, blessings of democracy, forward strategy for freedom, etc.) you'll have no trouble finding it elsewhere. There's no shortage of the stuff today ( is a good place to start). But I personally don't think the record of the past half decade (or the current condition of Ground Zero) really justifies that kind of self-serving, self-justifying pablum.
Do you?

They go after their own

"The group, which advocates tax cuts, free trade and limited government, has raised more than $700,000 for Chafee's conservative challenger and helped put the moderate senator at risk in Tuesday's Republican primary in Rhode Island."

Seriously you would think that the available polling would tell them to back off their own, but alas these nutjobs don't get how much trouble they are in.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Zoroastrians Keep the Faith, and Keep Dwindling - New York Times

"There is a palpable panic among Zoroastrians today - not only in the United States, but also around the world - that they are fighting the extinction of their faith, a monotheistic religion that most scholars say is at least 3,000 years old. "

Zoroastrianism predates Christianity and Islam, and many historians say it influenced those faiths and cross-fertilized Judaism as well, with its doctrines of one God, a dualistic universe of good and evil and a final day of judgment.

Microbes can clean up toxic waste dumps

"Microbes found in old waste sites in Australia not only tolerate lethal soil and water cocktails created by waste petroleum and chlorine, but can break them down so they no longer threaten humans, the scientist said on Friday.
'We have isolated bacteria which can live on those waste compounds,' Megha Mallavarapu, from a government-backed environmental research center based in South Australia state, told Reuters."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The 30-year-old virgins

"Some people may think Amanda is unique, maybe even a freak. But the fact is, there are a surprising number of women -- smart, savvy and attractive women -- who still haven't lost their virginity into their 20s or 30s. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, 7 percent of unmarried women between ages 25 and 29 have never had sex; neither have 5 percent between 30 and 34 and 4.3 percent between 35 and 39. It's hard to say how many of these women are actually waiting until marriage, but it's safe to assume that quite a few aren't. This month Jane magazine is sponsoring a contest to get a 29-year-old virgin laid, a cheap publicity stunt that misses the bigger point: Why does a 'funny, gorgeous' virgin need to place what is essentially an ad for sex at all? There was time when virginity was a prize, a treasure to be guarded and a badge of honor, but now, it seems that for the modern career woman virginity is nothing but a curse. What's worse, the longer she waits the harder it is to find a guy -- not just the right guy, but any guy -- to do the honors. Which prompts the question, Has the sexual revolution ironically made it impossible for a mature woman to get laid for the first time? "

Scientists see new global warming threat

"As the Earth warms, greenhouse gases once stuck in the long-frozen soil are bubbling into the atmosphere in much larger amounts than previously anticipated, according to a study in Thursday's journal Nature.
Methane trapped in a special type of permafrost is bubbling up at a rate five times faster than originally measured, the journal said."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


"A new study of nearly 6 million births has found that 'the risk of deaths to newborns delivered by voluntary Caesarean section is much higher than previously believed,' the New York Times reports. The study, which will be published in this month's issue of Birth: Issues in Prenatal Care, is particularly important because, according to its authors, it is the first to examine the risk of cesarean delivery among low-risk mothers 'who have no known medical reason for the operation.' "