Rick: October 2006 Archives
This would be funny if it wasn’t part of the pattern of people in charge going too far again …
The federal government's "no sex without marriage" message isn't just for kids anymore.
Now the government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs, which include millions of dollars in federal money that will be available to the states under revised federal grant guidelines for 2007.
The government says the change is a clarification. But critics say it's a clear signal of a more directed policy targeting the sexual behavior of adults.
"They've stepped over the line of common sense," said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that supports sex education. "To be preaching abstinence when 90% of people are having sex is in essence to lose touch with reality. It's an ideological campaign. It has nothing to do with public health."
Wake me when its over.
Especially check out the “Silk Road Radio” stream:
At the end of the 13th Century C.E., Marco Polo set out on a legendary journey from Europe to eastern Asia. Looking at rich musical traditions present along the Silk Road (the epic trade routes of Central Asia), music scholars beg the question, “What if Marco Polo had carried a tape recorder?” The central and westeran Asian music played here offers a glimpse of the rich musical life that an intrepid and curious traveler like Marco Polo might find in the lands of the Silk Road today. These tracks span from Xi'an (formerly Chang'an), the capital of ancient China, through central Asia to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and include sounds of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, and other Central Eurasian nations and peoples.
While music tracks are playing, a small window is opened and you can click on a link that opens up a web page that shows you “recording info” about the track you are listening to, and let’s you buy the music if you like.
The enemy still wants to strike us. The enemy still wants to achieve safe haven from which to plot and plan. The enemy would like to have weapons of mass destruction in order to attack us. These are lethal, cold-blooded killers. And we must do everything we can to protect the American people, including questioning detainees, or listening to their phone calls from outside the country to inside the country. And there was -- as you know, there was some recent votes on that issue. And the Democrats voted against giving our professionals the skill -- the tools necessary to protect the American people.
“The Democrats” have never “voted against giving our professionals the skill -- the tools necessary to protect the American people”. The issue at hand has always been to require the President to follow the law and have the authorization for wiretapping to be approved by the FISA court.
The press never asks him to justify why he is ignoring and violating the law.
This makes me crazy.
When he learned in 1995 that he had Alzheimer‘s disease, William Utermohlen, an American artist in London, responded in characteristic fashion.
“From that moment on, he began to try to understand it by painting himself,“� said his wife, Patricia Utermohlen, a professor of art history.
Mr. Utermohlen‘s self-portraits are being exhibited through Friday at the New York Academy of Medicine in Manhattan, by the Alzheimer‘s Association.
The paintings starkly reveal the artist‘s descent into dementia, as his world began to tilt, perspectives flattened and details melted away. His wife and his doctors said he seemed aware at times that technical flaws had crept into his work, but he could not figure out how to correct them.
From The Register:
The US has claimed "dibs" on the Universe with its new space policy. The document, signed by President Bush, was released on a Friday, just before a long weekend in the States. This, in itself has caused a bit of a stir, but not more so than the tone and content of the document.
In it, the US government allocates itself rights to access and use space without anyone else getting in its way. It also sets security at the heart of the space agenda, frequently citing its right to use space as part of its national defence.
Significantly, however, it does not commit to restrict, or even to join talks about restricting the development of space-based weapons. This is despite a UN vote last year in which 160 nations voted in favour of such talks.
The first bullet point outlining the principles of the programme sets the tone for the rest of the document:
"The United States is committed to the exploration and use of outer space by all nations for peaceful purposes, and for the benefit of all humanity. Consistent with this principle, 'peaceful purposes' allow US defence and intelligence-related activities in pursuit of national interests."
In other words: "Everyone has to use space peacefully, except us. We can do what we like, cos we were here first. And anyway, if you try to stop us, it won't stay peaceful for long, which would spoil the first part of our principle."
Manifest Destiny redux, I guess ...
From Professor Juan Cole’s Informed Comment today.
Year One of the Empire Bush: Resistance is Illogical
Bush and a supine, cowardly Congress shredded the US Constitution on Tuesday, abolishing the right of a court review (habeas corpus) for some classes of suspect. Suspect, mind you, not proven criminal.
In other words, we have to be confident that George W. Bush is so competent, all-knowing, and inherently just that we can just trust him. If he says someone is an enemy combatant, then he or she is. No need to check with a judge about why he or she is being held. And then Bush can have the suspect tortured to make him confess, and can convict him on the basis of the coerced confession, all in secret.
This law creates two classes of persons inside the United States, citizens with rights and non-citizens (12 million persons? Equivalent to the entire state of Michigan!) without rights.
Basically, Bush can issue them what the French kings used to call lettres de cachet.:
' In French history, lettres de cachet were letters signed by the king of France, countersigned by one of his ministers, and closed with the royal seal, or cachet. They contained orders directly from the king, often to enforce arbitrary actions and judgements that could not be appealed. . .'
We Americans made a revolution against such arbitrary practices of the French and other Empires.
Article 1, Section 9 of the US Constitution says, "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."
I look out my window. I don't see a general Rebellion or an invasion by a foreign power. The conditions, under which the right of the imprisoned to demand that a court establish whether there are genuine grounds to hold him is suspended, are absent.
The law is unconstitutional.Moreover, our founding documents did not admit of a distinction among human beings with regard to rights. The Declaration of Independence says:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."
All men here means all human beings. It says they are all created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights. All of them. Not some of them.
Of course we have had these periods of neo-Monarchy and temporary insanity before in our history. There was the Alien and Sedition Act, and the Red Scare after World War I, etc.
King George came on O'Reilly and said that it is "illogical" to disagree with his policies in Iraq and branded arguments that he is drifting along without a plan "propaganda."
Bush sounds more and more like the Borg every day. I swear to God, next we are going to get up in the morning and hear him proclaim, "Resistance is futile!"
So of course eventually Bush-think will lead to attempts to cure those of us who are critical of him of our illogicality, and to suppress our "propaganda." We'll all be right-thinking non-propagandists after a little water-boarding. You say we don't have to worry about that because we are citizens? But what is to stop Bush from declaring you an enemy combatant and stripping you of your citizenship? And then keeping you away from any civil court where those letters of cachet can be challenged?
The Republic is Dead, Long Live the Republic.
You want a resurrection of the Republic?
Read this sobering article Truthdig - Reports - Chris Hedges: Bush‘s Nuclear Apocalypse:
The aircraft carrier Eisenhower, accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio, guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage, guided-missile destroyer USS Mason and the fast-attack submarine USS Newport News, is, as I write, making its way to the Straits of Hormuz off Iran. The ships will be in place to strike Iran by the end of the month. It may be a bluff. It may be a feint. It may be a simple show of American power. But I doubt it.
War with Iran - a war that would unleash an apocalyptic scenario in the Middle East - is probable by the end of the Bush administration. It could begin in as little as three weeks. This administration, claiming to be anointed by a Christian God to reshape the world, and especially the Middle East, defined three states at the start of its reign as “the Axis of Evil.“ They were Iraq, now occupied; North Korea, which, because it has nuclear weapons, is untouchable; and Iran. Those who do not take this apocalyptic rhetoric seriously have ignored the twisted pathology of men like Elliott Abrams, who helped orchestrate the disastrous and illegal contra war in Nicaragua, and who now handles the Middle East for the National Security Council. He knew nothing about Central America. He knows nothing about the Middle East. He sees the world through the childish, binary lens of good and evil, us and them, the forces of darkness and the forces of light. And it is this strange, twilight mentality that now grips most of the civilian planners who are barreling us towards a crisis of epic proportions.
These men advocate a doctrine of permanent war, a doctrine which, as William R. Polk points out, is a slight corruption of Leon Trotsky’s doctrine of permanent revolution. These two revolutionary doctrines serve the same function, to intimidate and destroy all those classified as foreign opponents, to create permanent instability and fear and to silence domestic critics who challenge leaders in a time of national crisis. It works. The citizens of the United States, slowly being stripped of their civil liberties, are being herded sheep-like, once again, over a cliff.
What a wonderful idea!
REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - Iceland's capital and several towns plunged into darkness on Thursday as street lights were turned off for people to get a better view of the night sky.
"All the streets lights are off, we can see a few stars," said writer Andri Snaer Magnason, speaking by telephone from the darkened streets of downtown Reykjavik, Iceland's capital and home to about 200,000 people.
"I would have liked to have a completely clear sky, but you can't have everything. But it was nice," he added.
Magnason got the idea as a way to launch a film festival on the north Atlantic island, but said he had dreamt for years of doing such a thing.
An astronomer gave a commentary on national radio on what people could see in the half hour the lights were out.