Archive for the 'Around the 'Net' Category
Newsporn star Bill O’Reilly showed his brand of professionalism when he yelled and shoved a Barack Obama campaign staffer. Bill’s response: "I might have called him an SOB." A consummate professional.
As they say: "And now for something completely different." (OK - so I couldn’t think up a reasonable segue. Sorry.)
Wired Magazine outlines the Top Ten New Organisms of 2007, starting with hypoallergenic cats and ending with a yeast that can "Smell" poison. way cool.
Filed under the tab of “I Wish I Wrote That,” is Chris Rowthorn’s blistering assessment of the Florida University Taser Incident as found on Smirking Chimp.
The four players in the present-day American political drama were all represented at the University of Florida on Monday:
1) Andrew Meyer writhing on the ground in agony represents the Constitution and the freedom of speech and the protection from unlawful arrest that it enshrines.
2) The police holding Mr. Meyer to the ground and inflicting torture with 50,000 volts of electricity represent the fascist forces in America led by George W. Bush and their attempts to kill the Constitution.
3) John Kerry droning impotently on in the background and allowing the torture to occur through his shameful lack of courage and principle represents today’s Democratic Party.
4) The majority of the students who sat passively by while one of their own was tortured for speaking out represent the largely apathetic American populace.
And, of course, after the fact, the fifth and perhaps most important player in the drama made its inevitable entrance: the press. Major press outlets and even some supposedly left-wing political blogs were united in suggesting that Mr. Meyer actually deserved to be tasered because of his history as a prankster. Thus, the American media has sanctioned the torture of an American citizen who exercised his freedom of speech. In this they stand firmly in the tradition of all fascist states, in which certain undesirables and those who dared to speak out were officially sanctioned as targets of violence.
After the smoke clears, no one is left standing. All the implemented capable have crept away. But that’s on the inside: on the outside, America has become a Terrorist Organization as well. From The Truth Will Set you Free comes a post called “Shake and Bake” that graphically illustrates (you’ve been warned) the effect of US Military policy in the 2005 pacification of Falluja. Apparently, Shake and Bake is the cutesy name for alternating rounds of high explosives and rounds of white phosphorus.
Although white phosphorus often has no effect on clothes, when it makes contact with a person’s skin, it will burn it down to the bone. If the gas is inhaled, it will blister the throat and lungs, causing rapid suffocation, burning the body from the inside.
How many gallons of blood does it take to refine a gallon of gasoline? How long will we remain the Apathetic Americans? How much longer can this go on? These are questions you should ask yourself. No possible answer can remotely satisfy.
“Republicans, Ron Paul clash over Iraqi war,” shouts a Fox television affiliate. Yahoo! News echoes the sentiment. In essence, while all other Republican presidential candidates are proud of their bloodthirstyness…
Sen. John McCain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Giuliani all stressed support for the war, at times even competing to show their commitment.
“The surge is apparently working,” said Romney, referring to the increase in troops.
That brought an instant rebuke from McCain, who said, “The surge is working, sir, no, not apparently. It’s working.”
…Ron Paul is standing firm against our involvement in New Halliburton.
“No! We should take our marching orders from our Constitution,” Paul shouted back, pointing his pen at Wallace for emphasis. “We should not go to war without a declaration” by Congress.
Occasionally interrupted by applause, Paul doggedly stuck to his point. “We have lost over 5,000 Americans over there in Afghanistan, in Iraq and plus the civilians killed,” he said during his exchange with Huckabee.
“How long — what do we have to pay to save face? That’s all we’re doing, is saving face. It’s time we came home,” Paul said
Cool. But what’s the Democrats saying about Iraq? According to this from the Iowa Debate, Ms Clinton said:
…and, of course, end the war in Iraq.
According to the same transcript, Obama dodges the issue and Edwards side-stepped it by morphing the Iraq issue into a “No Nukes” statement.
So while Hillary give lip service to a major Democratic platform item, Ron Paul is building his campaign with the same wood. Just when I though this whole election cycle was going to be as dusty as a west Texas ranch, things start looking interesting. At least one person is.
That’s exactly what I asked myself as I clicked the link at Digg.com. The resulting Wall Street Journal article highlights the emerging netroots efforts surrounding the Republican dark horse Presidential candidate. Not having paid much attention to the Re-thug-lican party, I hadn’t heard of him.
Further along the page of hot Diggs is another mention of Ron Paul, this one from a blogger concerned about America’s emerging governance trend. Here I find an article by the man himself, snipped for rapid propagation. I’ll highlight what caught my fancy:
Our love for liberty above all has been so diminished that we tolerate intrusions into our privacy that would have been abhorred just a few years ago. We tolerate inconveniences and infringements upon our liberties in a manner that reflects poorly on our great national character of rugged individualism. American history, at least in part, is a history of people who don’t like being told what to do. Yet we are increasingly empowering the federal government and its agents to run our lives.
Terror, fear, and crises like 9-11 are used to achieve complacency and obedience, especially when citizens are deluded into believing they are still a free people. The loss of liberty, we are assured, will be minimal, short-lived, and necessary. Many citizens believe that once the war on terror is over, restrictions on their liberties will be reversed. But this war is undeclared and open-ended, with no precise enemy and no expressly stated final goal. Terrorism will never be eradicated completely; does this mean future presidents will assert extraordinary war powers indefinitely?
Is this man the John Galt of our era? Probably not. But he’s got my attention.
That’s what the Google link said: The Saddest Thing On The Internet. So I clicked. It took me to http://www.poverty.com/. At the top of the page, a world topographical map is overlayed by images of people and their names, which also scroll along the right side of the map.
About 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. This is one person every three and a half seconds, as you can see on this display. Unfortunately, it is children who die most often.
Further along the left sidebar, the header reads: What You Can Do. First choice? Print A Letter. Here’s the American Letter:
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
We respectfully ask our government to help stop the tens of thousands of preventable deaths that occur every day from hunger and poverty-related diseases.
Specifically, we ask our country to honor the agreement it made and signed at the 2002 Monterrey Conference and again at the 2002 Johannesburg Summit to make concrete efforts towards giving 0.7% of our national income in aid to poor countries.
The United Nations estimates that when all 22 countries that signed the agreement meet the 0.7% goal, the resulting $195 billion each year will be enough to effectively end hunger and extreme poverty in the world.
We commend the countries that have already reached the 0.7% goal: Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.
We also commend the countries that have set up a schedule to meet the 0.7% goal and encourage them in their efforts to reach it as soon as possible: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
We respectfully ask the six remaining countries to honor their agreement and set up a schedule to reach the 0.7% goal: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United States.
2006 International Aid Donated COUNTRY Aid as % of income How close to the
Sweden 1.03 Already reached goal Luxembourg 0.89 Already reached goal Norway 0.89 Already reached goal Netherlands 0.81 Already reached goal Denmark 0.80 Already reached goal Ireland 0.53 Scheduled for 2012 United Kingdom 0.52 Scheduled for 2013 Belgium 0.50 Scheduled for 2010 Austria 0.48 Scheduled for 2015 France 0.47 Scheduled for 2012 Switzerland 0.39 No schedule yet Finland 0.39 Scheduled for 2010 Germany 0.36 Scheduled for 2014 Spain 0.32 Scheduled for 2012 Canada 0.30 No schedule yet Australia 0.30 No schedule yet New Zealand 0.27 No schedule yet Japan 0.25 No schedule yet Portugal 0.21 Scheduled for 2015 Italy 0.20 Scheduled for 2015 United States 0.17 No schedule yet Greece 0.16 Scheduled for 2015 Source: OECD
Today is another Cynical Sunrise for me: My first impulse is to holler "Yeah, George! Your Godforsaken War is killing even more people that we thought. Live up to your agreements, and give the money to these people." Then, upon a second glance at the included table (above), I note that the only industrialized nations that have lived up to their promises are Scandinavians and a few neighbors. What’s wrong with the rest of us?
I’m sick of this world. I’ve always thought it was going to Hell. It’s taking too long to get there. We humans deserve the Armageddon the Dominionists are angling for. Let’s just release the nukes and get it over with. Until and unless we start behaving civil toward each and every other human on this planet, then our "civilization" is only a poor and pathetic jest.
Please take a few minutes, an envelope and a stamp and send this letter to George Warmonger Bush and friends. They won’t care, but you’ll have done a good deed anyway. Then look into your soul, your pocketbook, your dreams for a better future, and give to an international hunger organization. Failing that, visit theHungerSite and click away… Do something - especially since our government won’t.
The Democrats have already screwed up. Their seats aren’t even warmed yet and they stuff $21 billion of pork barrel spending into the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill for FY2007. So much for integrity. The NY Times provides a PDF partial list of all "the other white meat" that Democratic congresspersons chose as payment for their votes. Porkbusters.org and Council for Citizens Against Public Waste are almost apoplectic. Who can blame them?
I would remind all the new Congressionals that much of the whining that got them their new chairs was about indiscriminate spending by congress. D’OH!
Our government hasn’t come to grip with the Internet yet. They haven’t understood the new era of transparency we’re heading into. Clinging to old-school methodology, our leaders still live in a world where the inner workings of the Hallowed Halls are mystical, where secrets are commonplace. Similarly, the quid pro quo chumminess governments have with major media outlets are circumvented. Instant access to information by the unwashed masses destroys these dynamics. This is, to my way of thinking, A Good Thing.
Tyranny breeds of secrecy, as does oppression, theft, warfare, and corruption. These common diseases of governments can be treated, if not cured, through unhindered sharing information. It is through the formation of a world in which no one can hide that may save humanity from itself.
Yet large beasts such as the American Political Animal are difficult to turn once the stampeding begins, and so in the fervor of power wresting, our Democratic majority has shown their anachronistic thinking, and their old bad habits. Akin to a pot smoker in remission, this vote selling is a tough habit to mask, and the Internet is a glass wall the addict is crouching behind ineffectively.
So clean up your act, servants of the public, your actions are plainly visible, your tracks impossible to cover. Welcome to a new world order of accountability and transparency, a world, I note, that you have paid for. Selling votes for unimportant pet projects in this time of war and astronomical deficits - after a bitter campaign of demanding accountability - is, well, to quote a certain American cultural icon: "it’s DesthPICable!"