Friday, March 30, 2007
"Then, much the way some companies go green, DOJ under Ashcroft went Pentecostal. In correspondence, use of the word "pride" was forbidden because the Bible calls pride a sin; employees were also asked to never use the phrase "no higher calling than public service." Ashcroft instituted prayer meetings, leading a Bible study at 8 a.m. sharp each day, some days even in his office, on others in a conference room at Main Justice. All department employees, regardless of their religious affiliation, were invited to attend, but in reality few did."
"After 9/11, the DOJ staff also received copies of the lyrics to a jingoistic song that Ashcroft had penned himself, "Let the Eagle Soar." He asked staff to sing it at the beginning of the work day at his prayer meetings."
Okay, I know I feel prayer should be separate from work. Kind of like an old boss of mine should not say in management meetings to hire women because they work at 25% less, thus increasing our profit margin. Or management staff using the C word to describe women in the office when the accountant leaves the room. These are unnecessary and discriminatory. Prayer is cool, but if you need to do it, do it quietly and to yourself. It is not a group activity, and should not be a cheerleading activity that does count when raises and advancement are concerned. Just like institutionalized prejudice and degradation of women may cause high employee turnover in traditional female clerical staff roles. (Can't understand why we can't keep women on our office staff?, duh! Yet six of my last hires have been women and there have been no "continual cat-fighting" among women.)
Set up a culture that cares little about justice and works from an agenda -- to lower the boundaries between religion and government and you have a very unappealing monoculture that doesn't see the irony of claiming that anyone can swear on the Koran to serve in public and be a citizen in a Christian country.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Mid-week musings before the shite hits the fan from the DOJ document dump—
March 18, 2003, courtesy of Frank Rich:
Barbara Bush tells Diane Sawyer on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she will not watch televised coverage of the war: “Why should we hear about body bags and deaths, and how many, what day it’s going to happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it’s, it’s not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”
Waste your beautiful mind worrying about things like death and suffering. Is it any wonder her son has little conscience for the suffering of others? I am reminded of numerous period pieces and character studies where the idly rich don’t worry about the poor folk, but are caught up in their little worlds of what is neat (Paris “dumber than snot” Hilton comes to mind as a 20th century equivalent). And fun. And fashionable. And beautiful. And why do people want to emulate them? Oh, that’s right, they have money, people to handle it for them, look good and have fun and don’t have to get dirty. You won’t see them sharing a camera with Mike Rowe. The one thing that self-absorbed people forget is their lives are trivial, but they have good toys. I just don’t understand the lack of compassion.
I came across a link to German green roofs, but lost it. Information on these can be found on the following Canadian report. http://www.urbanag.org.au/Green%20Roof%20Policies.pdf It is quite interesting and I have heard of little or none of this in the United States. Regionally, I live in the Southwest and I have a hard time imagining green roofs in the desert. Here in Denver, there is so little water that wastewater reuse is THE technology of the future. That’s right, drinking reclaimed poo will be the only way there will be enough water. Currently Aurora is going to be taking river water through the gravel aquifer of the Platte River downstream from the Denver Metro Wastewater Plant (and at times because of irrigation canal diversions, the effluent of the plant is THE ONLY FLOW in the river. Yes, that is right, the river flows through downtown Denver and then gets diverted to farmland around Brighton and if you are a regular bike rider on the bike trail you know the river goes dry two or three times per year until the wastewater plant effluent.) But in Chicago or NYC or Philly where there is water, this would help cool things and work. If you ever have seen John Todd’s work with aquatic farming and living machines, you can see where he has proposed this for years, along with storm drainage ponds and solar aquatic treatment of the same. It does work. His solar aquatic Wastewater Plants work to where there is no need for phosphorus removal. This could work well in the Southwest as WWTP, but would require investors.
But ehis is a digression of what to do with your roof in the Southwest. Here is an alternative. I have contacted the firm the see if it may work for our house.
http://renu.citizenre.com/index.php?c=1168291804 If my wife and I do not move for a year, I would like to sign a lease for photovoltaics on my roof. I would feel better about life.
“Privatizing profits in good times while socializing losses in bad times is another form of reckless corporate welfare that generates moral hazard while fostering new bubbles.”
These comments ring really true when it comes to corporate welfare. His comments were directed at what happens if the real estate bubble for sub-prime lending does require corporate bail out. It probably will and predictions are that it will be larger than the Bush family saving and loan scandals. There the government bailed out the beleaguered Savings and Loan industry at the cost of well over $30,000,000. And why did I mention the Bush family? Neil’s business acumen was worse than GW’s. Oh, excuse me, Neil received a $50,000 fine for Silverado—while he took home $200,000,000. How does that work? If I am late on a credit card payment, I get a late fee and higher interest rate. He gets a 0.25% fine for $200,000,000 and gets to keep the money.
The sub-prime interest scandal will cost more than the Savings and Loan scandal. It will cause a recession. Merrill Lynch is already predicting a 30% drop in the market this year. 401k kids be ready to eat it yet again. My 401k still has not recovered from 9/11, but I do not spend enough time moving money around. Some of that is my fault. I could be more aggressive and when the market drops like it did three weeks ago, I could buy stocks that drop. And wait. But I don’t. My personal life aside, what I am saying is that we pay for the bail out of the investor class. I know I the big picture, if the banks fail, we are screwed. If industry fails, we are screwed. No middle class, no big screen TVs, no college for your kids, no going to see the Eagles or the Police for $150 a pop (or more—like I can afford that). BUT NEVER LIE TO ME ABOUT FREE MARKET ECONOMY AGAIN!!! Corporate welfare costs us, taxpayers more every year than the mythical welfare queens ever have and that does not include the military industrial complex. Tell me you want to fuck me in the ass so you can have my money. Don’t talk to me about the glories of free market economy. It never works and never has worked unless you are rich to start and can pay off the right people. And have no conscience about living on the life blood of others.
Enough for now—a glorious spring day awaits. Creation is on the move and the flowers are starting to bloom. That is no bullshit. Just remember Barbara Bush’s statement when someone talks to you about compassionate conservatives and laugh in their faces. Hell, send them a link to my blog.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
What are the odds there will be a new butt boy in Washington? Who is going to take it in the ass for the boys in power? Get those leather chaps on...
The question only remains, will it be Torquemada Gonzalez? will it be Piggie Rove? How about "Dis is the Bog One" Cheney? Someone will go to protect Bush's ass. The question is who?
Gonzalez' top aide will not satisfy the blood lust of the righteous public outcry. In order to quell investigations, there will need to be a sacrificial lamb. But who?
The winner is----Harriet Miers. 3-1 odds. They don't call it the good ole boy network for nothin' and she ain't a boy. Gonzalez 7-1. If you want to take the over -- 5 mid-to-upper level administrators go.
Be almost as much fun as March Madness.
I have heard many people on talk radio ask why the Dems aren't doing enough. Why no impeachment? Why no confrontation with the White House?
Let's take a strategery look at this. 1) Go into open conflict with the mainstream media still mostly in the back pocket of conservatives. Who looks bad then. Remember just recently Andrea Mitchell on Hardball discussed how the majority (CNN poll says 18%--what a whopping mandate) of Americans wants Libby pardoned. They can can still get away with that type of overstatement in order to curry favor with the rulers. Any open conflict makes the administration more cuddly as the Progressives attack them. I know it is unrealistic spin, but that is what would happen. or 2) go through committees and oversight--pull pieces of the machine out one by one until people like Cheney and Rove end up with their head on a pole and being done so by much of the media, not just Keith Olbermanm. I am seeing where Gonzalez may get his soon. Same with Rove. A bit at a time without confrontation works for me. and in the long run completely discrediting the whole machine would be most effective.
That being said I am so grateful the blogs such as Americablog, juancole.com, dailykos are part of the infrastructure nowadays so it is not just the hard right that is organized with their Christian soldiers getting the word out. I hear a change blowing in the wind, but remem
Sunday, March 11, 2007
It has been a very, very busy week and a weekend, but there are some stories that I must comment on.
The leader of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, a Dr. Mohler stated:
One of the nation's leading Southern Baptists has called for a policy that would support medical treatment,” if it were to become available, to change the sexual orientation of a fetus inside its mother's womb from homosexual to heterosexual.” This latest assault on our dignity and existence comes from no less a personage than Rev. R. Albert Mohler, the president of the prominent and influential Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world. (synopsis from Dailykos)
This leads me to ask many questions. But it also makes me want to congratulate Dr. Mohler. Southern Baptists are admitting that some people are hard-wired to be gay in utero. This means that unlike other conservative Christian groups, they admit that this may actually be physiological rather than being something that you can be cured of by counseling. (Does anyone believe Ted Haggard is cured after one month of counseling when part of his payoff was to move from the State of Colorado. You know, far far away where no one knows you. Thanks James Dobson.)
But he goes further and adds that being gay is a blot on humanity and is a vestige of Original Sin; a sign that man fell from grace. So let me see if I can understand this specious reasoning. 1) Being gay is (or at least can be) a physiological trait you are hard-wired with in utero. 2) This is a sign of falling from grace during the fall from Eden. Let me look at this more closely. One thing he has not blatantly done (but tacitly) is to blame women for the fall. After all, you all descending from Eve and we have fallen from grace because you ate an apple 6,000 years ago. (I wish I could hear his diatribe about Lilith in Genesis—she must be the bitch that did not allow God’s plan of the necessity of humanity to fall from perfect creation so we could brutally murder his Son so we could have salvation if we only believed, not on how we act.) But we must live with the blot of the Fall, as he sees it. So what better way to change the world than to change DNA structure of gays in their mother’s womb.
I have to comment on an omnipotent Creator setting things up for a fall so everyone can suffer more. God as Pee Wee Herman—“I meant to do that.” as he crashes his ultimate bike trying to do tricks. Yeah, sure. And now we want to mess with genetic structure in order to eliminate sodomites.
What’s next? Genetic engineering a white NBA player that can shoot like Larry Bird but jump higher than paper? Or perhaps constructing a slave race. “I meant to do that.” And, of course, I am the conduit of God’s expression as I am the big teacher at the Southern Baptist Seminary. Oy!
Other items worthy of comment:
The almighty and omniscient Bill Kristol states:
“He (Bush) needs to pardon Libby now. I think that would actually reinvigorate his supporters and show that he’s willing to fight to defend his people and defend the war that he led us into.”
Uh, okay. Has this man ever been right about anything? When will the media quit interviewing him? And others quit caring what he says? I believe he was the one who stated that Sunnis and Shiites never have had a history of discord in Iraq. Yeah, there was strong man in power and those two factions could unite in their dislike of the Kurds. He never learned from Tito and Yugoslavia what happens when a strong man dictator dies or is ousted from power. Obvious answer—democracy. Yeah, right. Ethnic differences disappear in blissful acceptance of freedom. How fucking stoopid are you? So, we continue to give “fish-lips man” a venue in the media.
Speaking of Yugoslavia, particularly Serbia. Slobodan Milosevic’s grave was dug up and a stake was placed through his heart. I guess no one believed he was dead already.
And in Florida, Governor Crist is going to reinstate voting rights to convicted felons that have paid their debt to society. And electronic voting machines will have a paper trace. Six years too late. I can still remember GW stating his brother will deliver him Florida. Yup, no paper trail and abrogating voter rights. Good stuff. Worthy of a third world country. This administration has done more to destroy our country than Nixon did in his terms.
And amazingly enough Diebold is trying to divest itself of the electronic voting machine section of the firm. Could it be that they want to get rid of any trace of records now that there may be some oversight? Democrats come in, start having hearings and all of a sudden they must sell the voting machine division and its records.
Enough for now.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Tom Brady, the handsome strapping quarterback for the New England Patriots, had been the steady squeeze of Bridget Moynihan. They split up and guess who is a little preggers now. His new squeeze of about three months, Victoria's Secret heartthrob Gisele, announced today she is about two months preggers.
You would think a nice Irish Catholic boy would know the rhythm method, at least.
I am reminded of an old Steeley Dan song:
"Ain't never gonna do it without my fez on."
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Guilty, Guilty, Acquitted, Guilty and Guilty!!!!
Yet, I agree with Fitzman. To paraphrase "It is sad that this type of behavior happens at the highest levels of power in the government."
Libby is Cheney's butt-boy and unless he cracks, there is little that can be done. That evil bastard may walk yet. We know where the evil lies. At least at the level of Cheney, if not higher.
A blow job is admissible for impeachment and being a traitor by releasing a spy's identity is not.
Christ, what a country.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
1) James Dobson, he of Colorado Springs "I can cure any man of being gay fame", now claims that the furor over global warming is going to be the death of the evangelical movement. Too many evangelical ministers are actually taking seriously the call in the New Testament to be Stewards of the Earth. By golly, those ministers are having to interact with lefties and progressives and conservative values may be tainted. Also, there is a schism forming in the conservative evangelicals where the environment is taking an important level of importance. The stranglehold of the paradigm that the world is there for man's use may be challenged by the paradigm that the world may actually exist for its own use and we are citizens and stewards of it. That could change everything.
2) Here is an interview from http://sideshow.me.uk --
The Talking Dog: Too many Americans are willing to just assume that a European Moslem in Afghanistan in 2001 was up to some kind of mischief. Please describe what you were actually doing there. Also, please correct me if I am wrong, but did not a fair number of men doing what amounts to humanitarian work get swept up in the so-called war on terror and ended up at Bagram, Kandahar and/or Guantanamo Bay, where many are still held to this day?
Moazzam Begg: I went to Afghanistan in the summer of 2001. We had planned, funded and supported a school in Kabul- a girl's school. The program was to go to help, teach, expand and advance and to get some social value. I was also involved in digging some wells and a water project in a drought stricken region in NorthWestern Afghanistan.
It is hard to believe that the U.S. imprisoned this man and then moved him and kept him in jail for almost three years. It is a national embarrassment that we have been such bullies. On an international scale, we have broken rules and will not own up to it. We are an international embarrassment and yet refuse to admit it to ourselves. I am reminded of the Milgram experiment where actors were hired to act as if they were being shocked and "scientists" said they would take responsibility for the pain caused to the subject/actors as average, ordinary people administered supposedly increasing electroshocks. Every participant "shocked" the actors. And this is what we have now. Bullies doing everything and taking responsibility and telling us it will be all okay. When will we ever respond with a resounding "NO! "?
Saturday, March 03, 2007
About three weeks ago, I was in the middle of a work emergency where I had to put in over 100 hours of work at a wastewater plant with failing infrastructure in one week. It was rated at 1 million gallons per day (1 MGD). The influent flows because of rapid snow melt, leaking pipes (bad joints where ground water leaks in) , and possibly storm sewers connected to the wastewater system took the flows to over 2.6 MGD, or over twice what the plant was rated at.
Blogger updated to Google blogger and for some reason the screens needed to complete the sign up never all appeared on my computer. And, you know, I was too tired to care. I finally slept for the night last week for the first time. Being over 50 and sleeping only maybe 18 hours in one week, I was exhausted. I slept, slept, took vitamins and slept as I could.
So this morning I finally looked up google accounts and received the missing sign up pages.
and here I am.
weird stories I have seen I would like to comment on--
Binge eating is the largest (no pun intended) food disorder in the U.S. according the February issue of Biological Psychiatry. Much more common the anorexia and bulimia. Am I surprised? Not in the least. Remember this is the country that had to reinvent hypodermic needles because our collective asses are too fat. And I may not be the only one, but I would rather eat nachos than throw the damn things up. and eat them even if I am not hungry, just because they taste good. Eating when not hungry is an American past time. Maybe consumerism and constantly being bombarded by ads feed the fire. And maybe because sex is considered this side of Satan's pleasure so people find other pleasures. I don't know. I am not that smart, but I know the pleasure centers opened when I eat something tasty are second to orgasm, followed closely by the pleasure centers activated by nicotine and then caffeine. Maybe more study into bioelectrical responses in the brain need to be carried out to see what makes us tick. Then we may have a scientific basis for practical behavior modification. and the fun can begin to understand how spirituality actually fits into the mix. Yes, I know there is a major spiritual component to our being human and it so often confused with blind belief and didactic catechisms that the gulf between spiritual fulfillment and life as it is lived on earth, that the world is often mean, bullying and etc.
Second rant--The GAO is stating that the budget deficits may be insurmountable without new taxes. D'oh! And this is news? I want to have the same money system our country has in my personal life. No money, no matter, buy my debt. Then print more money. You don't have to back up your currency with any substance. And this makes sense how? If I am in debt or gain too much weight, I have to work my way out of it. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned personal responsibility? I had to quit buying CDs, going to rock shows and drinking to pay down my charge card, as my income potential was static. This country will have to tighten the belt, maybe cut down on social services, cut the military budget, figure out ways to grow new income (becoming a worldwide leader in renewable energy could, just COULD be a growth market!), and probably tax those that have money. How hard is this to figure? It then becomes how do we do that and what programs get cut. That's where it gets really hard. If we cut the donor cord and make elections public-funded, we will be less beholden to making sure special interests are served. Quit appointing cabinet heads from industry would be nice too. could public service really be a bad idea
Lehman Financial Services or Lehman Brothers have stated that over 30% of subprime loans granted in the past three years will default in the next year. That will glut the market. If you have money and can buy and wait for ten years, you win. If you need a house and are barely scraping by, you are screwed. And if you are like most middle Americans, you will lose your real estate investment. Ow! That will do wonders for the economy. But if you have the money, you will win. Just like this week's stock market "correction" will help those who can buy good stocks at the reduced prices. 401k and mutual funds investors get screwed though. WHAT A SURPRISE! If you can afford a financial adviser, you win if he is on the ball. If you are barely making ends meet, buy the Gravy Train with a Twist or Emeril's Bam! How to Stretch Your Pet Food as You Become Senior cookbook.