Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Danger Within

Whenever I hear another one of Ann Coulter’s disgusting personal attacks, or read some of the insults slung by certain blogs on an everyday basis, it takes me back to junior high where bullies reigned supreme. Now, since those days we’re back about the time that Noah was loading his ark with dinosaurs (hee- I’m kidding, about the dinosaurs that is), I’ve lived long enough to not be surprised by the fact that certain types of people never mature out of the hurling great witticisms like, “retard, fag, moonbat” stage. Instead they grow up, or at least get taller, continuing to use slurs and intimidation as their primary weapons in any debate.

It isn’t all that amazing that some “adults”, and I use that term loosely, rely on hate filled rhetoric to lash out at opponents, but what is surprising to me is just how big an audience there is for such pathetic discourse. Apparently if you want to sell a few million books or have an extremely popular blog, all you need do is spout out the most disgusting personal attacks you can and presto you’re a success. It doesn’t seem to matter that the authors of the malignant prose have nothing to offer in the way of actual reasoned argument, or new ideas. No, the fans of these people require nothing more than to be entertained, at their “enemies” expense, and encouraged in their own “righteous” hatred for anyone who has nerve enough to disagree with their opinions. It’s truly a symbiotic relationship, in that the purveyors of the hate are rewarded with money, fame and/or acclaim (and are therefore more than willing to continue to sell their souls), while their self-proclaimed fans, who reward them, are made to feel that their own base thoughts, feelings and prejudices are justifiable, even acceptable and so seek out more of the same drivel they find so reassuring. Thus, the cycle continues.

Now, obviously not everyone on the right or left sides of the political spectrum engage in this cycle, but enough people do to warrant concern, as this type of discourse benefits NO one and in fact succeeds only in further damaging our political system and our nation as a whole. Some would argue, that it’s “no big deal”, but I believe that anytime a great quantity of a democracy’s citizens engage in and propagate demeaning, hateful rhetoric as a replacement for a respectful dialogue and reasoned debate, it is only a matter of time before that nation implodes and fails. America was lucky to have come through one such period, when reason fell victim to pride and hatred and led to a Civil War. I'm not sure that She would be so blessed a second time.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Sick, sick, sick

Hi everyone. I just wanted to post a quick note to let my regular readers (all three of you-lol) know that I'm sick with a stomach virus, or flu or something and probably won't be posting until I feel better, which will hopefully be in the next day or two. Until then, take care.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Romneys Cruel Canine Vacation

The reporter intended the anecdote that opened part four of the Boston Globe's profile of Mitt Romney to illustrate, as the story said, "emotion-free crisis management": Father deals with minor — but gross — incident during a 1983 family vacation, and saves the day. But the details of the event are more than unseemly — they may, in fact, be illegal.

The incident: dog excrement found on the roof and windows of the Romney station wagon. How it got there: Romney strapped a dog carrier — with the family dog Seamus, an Irish Setter, in it — to the roof of the family station wagon for a twelve hour drive from Boston to Ontario, which the family apparently completed, despite Seamus's rather visceral protest.
This guy has some really great judgement, huh?!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Things That Make You Go Hmmm...

Anyone’s who’s been even semi-conscious for the last seven years knows this country is headed in the wrong direction. Some of us have watched with horror, at first pinching ourselves and then desperately slapping each other with the fruitless hope that it’s all been a nightmare and we will wake up in the hospital to be informed that Al Gore’s finishing up his second term and we’ve been in a coma since 2000, having been hit by a bus when we rushed into the street, delirious with joy over Al’s win…sorry I drifted off into my favorite daydream there for a minute. Where was I? Oh yeah, the country’s a freaking mess and when I’m not pretending that it isn’t really true (cause I haven’t mastered the art of completely fooling myself, which would make me a Republican), here are a few of the things I wonder about:

Why is it that being a “tax and spend” democrat is supposedly a bad thing, but being a cut taxes and spend and spend and spend republican is ok? I’m no economic genius, but isn’t it better to spend an income you actually have, then to cut your income and then spend ten times more (like a spoiled, drunken, frat boy-- but I digress)?

Why is it that another country having a fanatical, religious zealot leading it is a bad thing, but America having a fanatical, religious zealot leading it is a positive, moral good?

Why is it that Saddam was “an ok” guy when we supported him, while he gassed the Iranians during the Iran-Iraq war, giving him weapons and military know how, but a “bad” guy when we couldn’t capture Osama and wanted an enemy to attack?

Why was it wrong for Saddam to imprison his enemies without trials, torture them, lie to the U.N. and ignore the will of the Iraqi people, but it’s patriotic and good for the Bush administration to do the exact same things?

Why was it a horrible, evil, tragedy when terrorists attacked the U.S. and killed 3000 American civilians, but it’s perfectly ok that America attacked a country (Iraq) that did nothing to us and just unfortunate collateral damage that we’ve killed tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians?

Why is it morally justified to spend billions upon billions on an unnecessary war, but a wasteful handout to spend billions feeding, educating and insuring your own country’s citizens? (For that matter why is it the right thing to do for the Iraqi’s, but the wrong thing to do for our own countrymen?)

Why is it wrong to allow gays to marry, serve in the military, adopt kids etc., but right to collect the same amount of taxes from them as we do from heterosexuals who are allowed to marry, serve, adopt etc.? Why are convicted murderers, pedophiles, drug dealers etc. legally allowed to marry, but law abiding gay people aren’t?

Last but definitely not least, the thing I wonder about the most: What will be left of America; land of the free, beacon of opportunity, fairness and hope for the world, when our leaders get done imprisoning and torturing the untried, bombing and killing those they “think” a threat, and silencing dissent with more lies, propaganda and self-righteous declarations of who’s a real, patriotic American and who is not?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

No Confidence Vote

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Valid Choice or A Wasted Voice?

With all of the recent buzz over New York’s Mayor Bloomberg possibly getting ready to make a third party run for pres. in 08’ I’ve been giving a lot of thought to just what I think of the idea of third party presidential candidates. My feelings are mixed on the subject. On one hand, I think that the third party candidates of the recent past have had some interesting ideas and have helped open the presidential campaigns up to some great discussions. Their ability to cut through some of the political b.s. and say what they really think is refreshing and I understand why it appeals to many Americans. The fact that so far none of these candidates has had any real chance of getting elected has, I believe acted as a double edged sword, in that they have felt free to truly speak their minds on the issues since they have nothing to fear (like losing). It makes me wonder however, just how a really viable third party candidate would behave. If they had real political backing and an honest chance to win, would they still say and do the things that make them appealing in the first place? I wonder about that, but overall I’d love to see a viable third party take hold in America, as I think the current political parties and system are stagnant and would benefit from a shakeup

That said, I must admit the mere mention of Ralph Nader, presidential candidate, still makes me wince and fight the urge to look around for my old baseball bat. These feelings come from the very practical realization that there currently is no “true” third party, and unfortunately while Nader may have added wonderful debates and ideas to the campaigns it came at a very steep price, mainly the handing of the presidency to neoconservatives. The other side of that fence would be a Ross Perot, who drew most of his support from the Republicans and helped elect Bill Clinton. Either way, the fact of the matter is, since there is no established third party, what third party candidates currently accomplish is helping to elect the candidate who is the least like them and their ideas. In other words they help to thwart the majority and elect a candidate who may very well not share the ideals or national agenda most Americans support. Is this a dangerous trend, it’s hard to say, but it is definitely a frustrating one and is the main reason that unless something changes and a third party becomes more viable, while I may enjoy their candor and their thoughts, I will not vote for a third party candidate.

What say the rest of you? Have you or would you vote for a third party candidate? Why or why not?

Hairless Wonder?!

This poor thing looks sad and scared. Anyone know what it is?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Obama: Some Religious Leaders Have Hijacked Faith

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Sen. Barack Obama told a church convention Saturday that some right-wing evangelical leaders have exploited and politicized religious beliefs in an effort to sow division.
“Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked,” the Democratic presidential candidate said in remarks prepared for delivery before the national meeting of the United Church of Christ.
“Part of it’s because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who’ve been all too eager to exploit what divides us,” the Illinois senator said.
“At every opportunity, they’ve told evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage, school prayer andintelligent design,” according to an advance copy of his speech.
“There was even a time when the Christian Coalition determined that its number one legislative priority was tax cuts for the rich,” Obama said. “I don’t know what Bible they’re reading, but it doesn’t jibe with my version.”

Up until this point I haven't been a huge Obama fan, but he certainly got this one right. He said what many "unevangelical" Christians have been thinking and feeling for quite some time.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Is Cheney Above The Law?!

So after seven years of hiding behind “executive privilege” to prevent any over sight of his actions, Dick Cheney has now decided that the office of the Vice President is not part of the executive branch of the U.S. government. (I imagine this would come as a great shock to our founding fathers as it is clearly stated in article two of the Constitution that the office of vice president falls under the executive branch.) This convenient ‘decision’ comes just in time to prevent his office from having to submit to the over sight of the National Archives office, which is attempting to follow a presidential order to oversee the handling of classified documents by all executive branch offices. Cheney is the first vice-president in history to refuse to comply with this over sight, and when called on his actions he attempted to have the National Archives office in charge of the over sight abolished.

These actions by a standing vice president of the United States should be shocking, as they are an appalling attempt to thwart the Constitution in an unprecedented exertion of illegal powers, but with Cheney it’s just another day at the office-simply the latest of his many attempts to place himself, his office, and his actions above the scrutiny of the American people and beyond the reach of the laws of this land. Now, I’m sorry if it sounds melodramatic, but the simple truth is that when you’re an elected leader of a democratic government and you refuse to comply with the laws of the country you’re supposed to be governing there is only one name for you and that is “dictator”.

There is no question at this point that Dick Cheney has proven repeatedly, with his words and actions that he does not believe in America’s current form of government and feels he is somehow all powerful and beyond the scope of this democracy’s rule of law. It’s also obvious that Mr. Cheney has no respect for the American people as he “rules” over our democracy doing whatever he pleases with apparently no fear of facing any consequences. So far he’s been right not to worry, because the checks and balances placed in our government to prevent this type of behavior haven’t worked because the men and women of our legislative and judicial branch have not done their jobs. The only question left to answer is will the American people do theirs? Will the citizenry of this nation allow a man, to break its laws left and right, scoff at its Constitution and continue to grab more and more power for himself, or will it stand up and finally say “Enough!”?

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Panda

Save The Internet!

Do you buy books online, use Google, or download to an iPod? Everything we do online will be hurt if Congress passes a radical law next week that gives giant corporations more control over what we do and see on the Internet.

Internet providers like AT&T are lobbying Congress hard to gut Network Neutrality--the Internet's First Amendment and the key to Internet freedom. Net Neutrality prevents AT&T from choosing which websites open most easily for you based on which site pays AT&T more. doesn't have to outbid Amazon for the right to work properly on your computer.

If Net Neutrality is gutted, the voice of the little guy will be diminished online. Small businesses, activist groups, blogs, religious groups, and other everyday Internet users will never be able to outbid giant corporations for the right to have our websites open properly on people's computers.

You can do your part today--can you sign this petition telling your member of Congress to preserve Internet freedom? Click here:

I signed this petition, along with 1.6 million others so far. This petiton will be delivered to Congress. When you sign, you'll be kept informed of the next steps we can take to keep the heat on Congress., which monitors various causes that circulate on the Internet, explained:
Simply put, network neutrality means that no web site's traffic has precedence over any other's...Whether a user searches for recipes using Google, reads an article on, or looks at a friend's MySpace profile, all of that data is treated equally and delivered from the originating web site to the user's web browser with the same priority. In recent months, however, some of the telephone and cable companies that control the telecommunications networks over which Internet data flows have floated the idea of creating the electronic equivalent of a paid carpool lane.

Politicians don't think we are paying attention to this issue. Together, we can show them that we do care about preserving the free and open Internet.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Quotable Quotes

Here's a few quotes I thought were worth sharing:

"People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

"The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on."
-Joseph Heller (1923 - 1999)

"Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It's the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then--we elected them." - Lily Tomlin (1939 - )

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)

"The shaft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagle's own plumes. We often give our enemies the means of our own destruction." - Aesop (620 BC - 560 BC)

"Charity sees the need not the cause." - German Proverb

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Tragic Legacy

The following is an excerpt from "A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency," which will be published June 26.

By Glenn Greenwald

One of the principal dangers of vesting power in a leader who is convinced of his own righteousness -- who believes that, by virtue of his ascension to political power, he has been called to a crusade against Evil -- is that the moral imperative driving the mission will justify any and all means used to achieve it. Those who have become convinced that they are waging an epic and all-consuming existential war against Evil cannot, by the very premises of their belief system, accept any limitations -- moral, pragmatic, or otherwise -- on the methods adopted to triumph in this battle.

Efforts to impose limits on waging war against Evil will themselves be seen as impediments to Good, if not as an attempt to aid and abet Evil. In a Manichean worldview, there is no imperative that can compete with the mission of defeating Evil. The primacy of that mandate is unchallengeable. Hence, there are no valid reasons for declaring off-limits any weapons that can be deployed in service of the war against Evil.

Equally operative in the Manichean worldview is the principle that those who are warriors for a universal Good cannot recognize that the particular means they employ in service of their mission may be immoral or even misguided. The very fact that the instruments they embrace are employed in service of their Manichean mission renders any such objections incoherent. How can an act undertaken in order to strengthen the side of Good, and to weaken the forces of Evil, ever be anything other than Good in itself? Thus, any act undertaken by a warrior of Good in service of the war against Evil is inherently moral for that reason alone.
It is from these premises that the most amoral or even most reprehensible outcomes can be -- and often are -- produced by political movements and political leaders grounded in universal moral certainties. Intoxicated by his own righteousness and therefore immune from doubt, the Manichean warrior becomes capable of acts of moral monstrousness that would be unthinkable in the absence of such unquestionable moral conviction. One who believes himself to be leading a supreme war against Evil on behalf of Good will be incapable of understanding any claims that he himself is acting immorally.

These principles illuminate a central, and tragic, paradox at the heart of the Bush presidency.

If the rest of this book is half as good as this excerpt it should be an excellent read. Mr. Greenwald hits the nail on the head with the Bush administration. The biggest problem I’ve always had with Bushie & Co. is their ability to self-righteously attempt to justify any actions on Americas part, under the guise that we are the good guys (no matter what we do) fighting against the evil terrorist empires. (I personally think Bush has watched Star Wars one too many times and believes he’s Luke Skywalker. He doesn’t seem to realize that Darth Vader is his second in command-lol.)

The Bush administration has used the fear of terrorism and their own supposed moral imperative to not only break international law, with their new preemptive strike philosophy and discarding of the Geneva Convention, but to continuously break and manipulate America’s laws. These actions have left a new, virtually unrecognizable America, which gets little if any respect from the people of the world and has no respect for other nations nor for Americas own citizens. The idea that you’re the “good guys” simply because you say you are is inane. What made America “good” ,for the most part in the past, was its rule of law, its sense of justice for all, in other words, its principles. Bush has thrown those principles in the trash and with them any moral imperative this nation ever had.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Stem Cell Research Bill

Not much I can add to this one, as I think the cartoon speaks for itself quite eloquently.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Global Warming Gamble

I don’t know about you, but my parents taught me that if I used my common sense, nine times out of ten, I’d make good decisions and stay out of trouble. Keeping that advice in mind when looking at the whole “global warming” situation has lead me to one very simple conclusion, which is ‘better safe than sorry’. If you apply this old adage when examining the issue, I believe you’ll see pretty quickly that the current arguments about whether global warming is man made or a natural occurrence are pointless and a waste of everyone’s time. I think, people only need to ask themselves one question before deciding whether or not they think we need to curb carbon emissions and change our lifestyles to address environmental issues, that question is, are you willing to bet your children’s lives on your opinion?

Perhaps, you are convinced that the majority of scientists in the world are wrong, and that man made global warming doesn’t exist, that it’s all liberal propaganda etc., well if so I say to you I won’t argue the science with you. I won’t cite scientific studies or statistics and heck I won’t even tell you that you’re wrong. After all this is a free country and you have every right to believe whatever you want. There is only one thing I would like to point out to you and that is the simple fact that you are wagering an awful lot on the argument. The truth of the matter is I sincerely hope that you’re right! I hope with all my might that the scientists are wrong and global warming is a natural occurrence. The only difference between you and me is that I’m not willing to take the chance that they might be right. I’m not willing to sit back and do nothing, there by betting my life and/or the lives of future generations on the premise that they’re wrong. I’m sorry, but I’m definitely not that gutsy of a gambler! It makes far more sense to me to assume that global warming could be man made, and sacrifice some of my time, energy and money towards that premise, than it does to assume the opposite, change nothing and pray that I’m right because if I’m not mankind is toast. So, as far as I’m concerned I say to hell with arguing who’s right and whose wrong, to hell with defending an opinion, I’ll use my energy to change my lifestyle to be more eco-friendly, because while I may not know what to believe as to what causes global warming, I do know that my common sense is screaming at me that in this case it’s better to be safe than really damn sorry!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Squirrel Goes Nuts!

A ferocious squirrel went on the rampage in Germany this week, attacking three people before meeting its match in an angry 72-year-old.
Police in the southern town of Passau said the creature attacked a 70-year-old woman on Tuesday, sinking its teeth into her hand.
It next entered a building site and jumped on a construction worker, injuring his hand and arm before he fought it off with a pole.
A police spokesman said the squirrel then finally met its end - but it didn't go down without a fight.
"The squirrel went into the 72-year-old man's garden and attacked him on the arms, hand and thigh," the spokesman said. "Then he killed it with his crutch."
He explained that experts thought the creature's behaviour could have been brought on by the mating season, or it could have been ill.

I just thought this was a funny, bizarre story. So I guess the 72 year old guy is now known as "The Squirrelinator"!--hee

Saturday, June 16, 2007

So, Who's Your Horse?

So have you chosen a presidential candidate to support yet? If so, who and why? I know, I know…the election’s still a long way off, but as far as I’m concerned it can’t come soon enough, and meanwhile I can dream about it can’t I?-lol Right now, I’m leaning towards supporting Edwards (though I don’t think his chances of getting the nomination are very good), because I like his populist stances and appreciate the fact that he has come out with some actual plans which would attempt to solve some of the national problems. I have to admit though that my heart isn’t completely behind Edwards, as I’m still hoping that Gore will decide to jump into the race. Usually, I don’t believe in backing the same horse, so to speak, twice, but I was very impressed by his book “Assault on Reason”. It was apparent to me even back when Gore was vice-president that he was an intelligent guy, but the ideas and pure, stop and make you think logic he put forth in his book gave me new found respect for the man. If there are any other, dissatisfied with the current field, democrats out there, who like me still dream of seeing Al Gore’s name on the ballot you can find a petition urging him to run here,
What are everyone else’s thoughts on the present crop of candidates?

Photo Op

I'm hoping to have a post finished soon on global warming, but in the meantime this gave me a chuckle.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Pentagon Confirms It Sought To Build A 'Gay Bomb'

(CBS 5) BERKELEY A Berkeley watchdog organization that tracks military spending said it uncovered a strange U.S. military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting. Pentagon officials on Friday confirmed to CBS 5 that military leaders had considered, and then subsquently rejected, building the so-called "Gay Bomb."

Edward Hammond, of Berkeley's Sunshine Project, had used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of the proposal from the Air Force's Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio. As part of a military effort to develop non-lethal weapons, the proposal suggested, "One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior." The documents show the Air Force lab asked for $7.5 million to develop such a chemical weapon." The Ohio Air Force lab proposed that a bomb be developed that contained a chemical that would cause enemy soldiers to become gay, and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistably attractive to one another," Hammond said after reviewing the documents."The notion was that a chemical that would probably be pleasant in the human body in low quantities could be identified, and by virtue of either breathing or having their skin exposed to this chemical, the notion was that soliders would become gay," explained Hammond.
The Pentagon told CBS 5 that the proposal was made by the Air Force in 1994."The Department of Defense is committed to identifying, researching and developing non-lethal weapons that will support our men and women in uniform," said a DOD spokesperson, who indicated that the "gay bomb" idea was quickly dismissed. However, Hammond said the government records he obtained suggest the military gave the plan much stronger consideration than it has acknowledged."The truth of the matter is it would have never come to my attention if it was dismissed at the time it was proposed," he said. " In fact, the Pentagon has used it repeatedly and subsequently in an effort to promote non-lethal weapons, and in fact they submitted it to the highest scientific review body in the country for them to consider."
Military officials insisted Friday to CBS 5 that they are not currently working on any such idea and that the past plan was abandoned. Gay community leaders in California said Friday that they found the notion of a "gay bomb" both offensive and almost laughable at the same time."Throughout history we have had so many brave men and women who are gay and lesbian serving the military with distinction," said Geoff Kors of Equality California. "So, it's just offensive that they think by turning people gay that the other military would be incapable of doing their job. And its absurd because there's so much medical data that shows that sexual orientation is immutable and cannot be changed."
Well as a lesbian I suppose I should find this "brilliant" military idea offensive, but it's hard to work up much outrage when you're being overcome with waves of laughter. (I swear when I first saw this I almost peed myself!) The fact that our military establishment would give this serious consideration, is just so freaking hilarious in a very Maxwell Smart, "Get Smart" kind of way. It just goes to show you though, how little some "straight" people understand and know about homosexuality.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Likeability Factor

CNN has an article on its website entitled, “Do you have to be liked to be president?” it reaches the conclusion that while being liked isn’t the most important factor, it helps. Frankly, I think this conclusion is a bunch of bullshit, excuse my French! In fact, I find CNN even asking this question insulting, because it seems quite obvious to me, and I would think to anyone who follows politics, that the election of our president devolved into a popularity contest a long time ago.

You only have to look as far as our last few presidential elections to see that the sad truth is that in America today, likeability is not only a factor in who wins the presidency, it’s the main factor. I mean let’s be serious, did people vote for George W. in 2000 because he was the smartest, most qualified of the candidates, or did they vote for him because they thought he was “one of them” and the type of guy they’d like to have a beer with?! The flip side of that is did they choose not to vote for Gore or Kerry, because they were less qualified or less intelligent then Bush, or because Gore’s personality seemed stiff as a board and Kerry had the disadvantage of looking like Herman Munster?!

Frankly I don’t think its coincidence that this country elected, George W., with his down home charm and less than impressive credentials not once, but twice nor for that matter that the only democrat to win the White House in the last thirty odd years, Bill Clinton, was one of the most charming politicians to ever come along. In fact, the only person I can think of who’s been elected president any time recently who wasn’t strong on “likeability” was George Bush Senior and he had the benefit of running against Dukakis (who’s charm factor was pretty much zero), and also of riding the coattails of one of the most likeable Republicans to ever come along, Ronald Reagan.

Now I’m not saying that every American who casts their ballot for president does so based solely on who they think would be a great buddy to hang out with, but I do think a strong case can be made for the idea that many people in this country pay far too much attention to a candidates looks and charm and far too little to his intelligence, ideas and qualifications. I mean having a president who’s got movie star looks and can charm birds out of trees is all very well, but I for one would like the leader of the free world to be at least a few notches smarter than the majority of people, better educated and someone who “Wows” with his resume and not just his ability to tell a good joke.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Poll: Most Americans Back Immigration Legislation

Most Americans back a guest-worker program and a proposal allowing illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens that were part of legislation the Senate shelved last week after it failed to gain sufficient support. A new Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll shows that at least a plurality of Americans favors the two most contentious provisions of the bill, the proposal to offer 12 million undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship and the program for temporary workers. Of a third provision — a point system for immigrants based on professional qualifications — many say they don’t have enough information to have an opinion. Moreover, most of those surveyed appear to reject one of the central arguments deployed by the bill’s opponents: The poll finds that less than a third of all respondents, including Republicans, believe illegal immigrants take jobs away from Americans who need them.

Hee Hee, Ha Ha

Here's a few jokes that made me laugh, enjoy!

"When reporters of the Associated Press recently asked some of presidential candidates what their favorite reality shows were, Mitt Romney said 'American Idol.' Joe Biden said he didn't have a favorite show. And surprisingly, Rudy Giuliani picked 'Wife Swap.'" --Jay Leno

"Rudy Giuliani ... now leads Senator McCain in the latest polls by 22 points. 22. Or, as Giuliani himself might phrase it, 'Twice the number of points as the day of the month on which the World Trade Center was attacked while I was mayor. Did I mention I was mayor ... when the world was attacked ... on 9/11?'" --Jon Stewart

"Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said today that the toughest part about getting married to his current wife was finding a wedding song that they both haven't used before." --Jay Leno

"Bush visited Walter Reed today. When you've got a problem like Walter Reed that needs solving, what better sight than to see George Bush walk through the door? ... He's created so many disasters, I'm not sure he knows which is which anymore. He walked into Walter Reed, and he said he wanted to have it ready for next year's Mardi Gras." --Bill Maher

"The president is ... on a five-nation tour of Latin America. A lot of people are saying while he's below the border, what a great time to build that wall." --Bill Maher

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Powell: Guantanamo Prison Should Be Closed

Associated Press:
The notorious Guantanamo Bay military prison should be closed immediately, Colin Powell said Sunday.
The prison has tarnished the world's perception of the United States, the former U.S. secretary of state said, and its approximately 380 suspected terrorists should be moved to facilities in the U.S. legal system.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said Congress and the Bush administration should work together to allow imprisonment of the more dangerous detainees elsewhere so the military stockade in Cuba can be closed.
The Defense Department estimates it would take about three years to conduct 60 to 80 military commission trials.
Powell said the U.S. should do away with the military commission system in favor of procedures already established in federal law or the manual for courts-martial.
The Pentagon is asking military judges to reconsider their decision last Monday to dismiss charges against Omar Khadr, and another detainee.

Kudos to Colin Powell for stepping up and telling it like it is! So now that even America's military heros are saying it, the question is, will this country listen? I'm quite sure that our 'Commander Guy', who got us into this mess, has his ear plugs firmly in place. In fact I'm pretty sure at this point he's had them permenantly surgically attached so the pesky voice of the people can't interrupt his, "George is King of the World", daydreams.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Faith and Politics

Let me state at the outset of this post, to avoid any confusion, I am not an atheist, nor am I anti-religion, nor anti-Christian. What I am however, is an American who firmly believes that our forefathers set up our system of government with a separation of church and state for good reason. Needless to say, when I tuned into CNN last night and discovered they were broadcasting a program entitled, “Faith and Politics”, which consisted of a news anchor sitting down with all the major democratic candidates for president and asking them questions about their faith, I was appalled and disgusted. Seriously people, are we looking for a new president or for a new religious leader, because unless we’re willing to throw out our Constitution they cannot be one in the same.

I have heard many Christians who believe that there should be no separation of church and state point to the fact that the country’s founding fathers were themselves Christians and pious men. They use this fact to infer that America has always been a Christian nation and therefore assert that our forefathers intended for this country to allow a linkage between their faith and their government. This is completely and utterly untrue! We’re the founding fathers mostly good, pious Christians, yes, did they wish to protect Americans right to worship a religion of their choice from government interference, yes, but they were equally concerned and realized the dangers inherent in allowing any religiously based group to exert its belief system into and onto our systems of government. In other words, the founding fathers deliberately and with much forethought set up our system of government to protect both the rights of its citizens to worship freely AND to protect our nation from a religious movement to usurp our form of government and replace it with a theocracy. They worried about the latter, because they knew that in a democracy the majority would have great power and being students of history and human nature they smartly realized that there would be a great temptation for a religious majority to want to thrust its beliefs and faith into our laws, onto our government and hence onto all Americans, including those in the minority.

If we allow the majority religion of our nation, in this case Christianity, to become fully ensconced, at one, with our government (and I fear that we are leaning towards doing just that) then we will be no different then the countries ruled by the Taliban or any religious faction. We will have allowed, one powerful religious sect of our nation to make the rules and tell every American citizen how they are legally allowed to act, based on the majority’s religious beliefs of correct “moral” behavior. There are many Christians out there who believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with this premise, in fact they believe it’s a great idea, which is hardly surprising because it is their religious view as the majority which would be asserted. I have no doubt that they would change their minds in a hurry about the wisdom of mixing government and religion, if they we’re to find their religious faith suddenly in the minority. If you happen to be a Christian who isn’t worried because after all your faith is the majority opinion and that’s unlikely to change, give this some thought, even among Christians there are many differences of what is believed to be moral or immoral, for example many Christian sects believe dancing or women wearing pants, or listening to pop music etc. is immoral, if these particular brand of Christians were to be in control of our “Christian” government how long would it be before we had laws banning these acts? If the “Christian” prayer in school you are so keen to embrace became fifteen minutes of time allotted to speaking in tongues or reciting the rosary, or reading aloud from the book of Mormon, would you still feel this was a completely acceptable and in fact “great” idea? If you can not answer with a honest, heartfelt Yes to that scenario then maybe you better rethink the wisdom of inserting any religious majority’s faith into government and the public sphere. After all changes to our rule of government, which may seem to benefit you and your kind today, may very well be used against you tomorrow.

What's the Latest Reason?

I'm currently working on writing a post, but until it's complete I present you with this for your viewing pleasure. Hope you find it as accurately amusing as I did!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Swim With Da Fishes

Well, tonight is it. The finale to one of my favorite tv series, “The Sopranos”. I know that all good things must come to an end, but I hate to see it have to, ‘swim with da fishes’. All of “The Soprano’s” fans out there are trying to guess whether Tony will bite it or not, God knows this season has definitely shown he deserves to, but I’d personally hate to see him taken out by Phil Leatardo (who is a complete sanctimonious ass). Any other traumatized Sopranos fans out there, wondering what they’re going to do with their Sunday nights after this?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Conservative Blog B.S. (part 3)/ Bush Is No FDR!

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a, “Conservative Blog BS” post. Needless to say, that isn’t because some of the neocon blogs don’t give me plenty to write about, because every day is a cornucopia of bs on some of these sites. No, I haven’t written this type of post, not for lack of ammunition, but more because I haven’t been inspired enough to respond to the typical, “global warming isn’t real”, “we’re really making progress in Iraq, but the liberal media won’t report it”, crap. My usual reaction when I read or hear this stuff is to think, “why bother arguing, all the evidence in the world won’t convince this person because they’ve already made up their mind to ignore any facts that don’t concur with the conclusion they want to draw”. That said, occasionally I run across neocon b.s. that is simply too illogical and, insulting to common sense, to be ignored.

Yesterday was one of those times. I was innocently surfing the web, when I came upon a blog espousing an age old neocon favorite, how we could never win World War II if fought today, because the “nambie pambie liberals” would want to cut and run as soon as there were casualties. Now, I know this is going to be a shocker for many of the conservatives out there, so if that’s you please sit down before you read further, NOT EVERY war America fights in is like World War II! In fact, each and every separate conflict has its very own set of circumstances and while some wars, such as World War II, are necessary and clear cut ( because we were attacked, Hitler was a madman who was attempting to conquer the world etc.), the majority of wars are not so black and white. The current Iraq War for instance is a great example of a conflict which was completely unnecessary and if you want to cast it in a World War II mold, then we would fit the part of the Japanese, who attacked preemptively, much better than we would the white hatted America of that generation.

I mean seriously, I know conservatives by nature hate change, but it’s been over sixty years since World War II ended, let it go already!! It’s quite apparent that most of us yearn for the days when things were simple, when America knew exactly who the enemy was, where to find him and how to fight him, but unfortunately those days are over and fighting terrorism is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like fighting a conventional war. For those of you who insist upon comparing the “war on terror”, the war in Iraq and every other modern day conflict to World War II, give this some thought; some of the reasons we were successful in World War II-we had leaders who had a plan and knew what the hell they were doing, we attacked the nations who we’re actually involved in the conflict (for example we went after Germany and Japan, not Switzerland and Mexico), we had true allies who fought along side us-we did not attempt to go it alone, we abided by certain principles of morality such as the Geneva Convention and did not attempt to cast ourselves as the good guys and then when convenient throw our principles to the wind and emulate the actions of the, “bad guys”, we had a President who understood that giving tax cuts to wealthy Americans during a war and then crying that he needed more money to fund the war would probably not be a bright idea etc.

So I’ll tell you what, if you want to make comparisons between World War II and all of America’s modern conflicts, I as a liberal pledge to be just as supportive and “patriotic” as the WWII generation just as soon as you pledge to give me leaders as smart as FDR & Truman (who were democrats, I might add-lol) and to actually go after the people who attacked this country, Osama and Al Qaeda, NOT Saddam and Iraq!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Amazing Similarities

I realize this may be in some what bad taste, but I thought it was amusing and what the heck I never claimed to be all that noble anyway-lol!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Immigration Anxiety is Cultural

By Ruben Navarrette Jr.
SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) -- On Thursday, senators announced a rather remarkable bipartisan compromise on immigration reform that combines border enforcement, a guest worker program, a path to legalization for illegal immigrants, tougher employer sanctions, and an education/skills-based point system for future immigrants.
The same day, the Census Bureau reported what many Americans already know: The United States is becoming a Hispanic nation. Hispanics are the nation's largest minority with 44.3 million people and they account for almost half the growth in the U.S. population. Meanwhile, since 2000, the white school-age population dropped 4 percent, and the white population shrank in sixteen states.
The stories are connected. Anti-illegal immigration crusaders claim their worries are entirely practical -- tied to border security or the cost of entitlements or the fact that illegal immigrants supposedly depress wages for the low skilled.
(That reminds me. Memo to the low skilled: "Grow up. Stop complaining. And go get more skills. Then you won't have to suffer the humiliation of being driven out of the market by folks with a sixth-grade education who are here illegally and don't even speak English.")
But I digress ...
As someone who has written about immigration for more than 15 years, and heard from hundreds of thousands of readers along the way, I can tell you that most of the anxiety over illegal immigration is cultural. People worry about changing demographics, the encroachment of Spanish, the fear that the country is becoming Hispanic-ized, etc. One sociologist called it "cultural displacement" -- the fear that your children will grow up in a world different than the one you grew up in, with fewer advantages, where they will have to work harder for what they accomplish.
One of the more fearful members of Congress is Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-California. Last year, while campaigning, he told a largely white audience near San Diego that if we don't end illegal immigration, one day our children would live in a world where instead of electing to take Spanish in high school, they'll have to take Spanish. Bilbray now heads the House Immigration Reform Caucus. That's where members of Congress come together at regular meetings and complain about illegal immigration while counting the campaign contributions they collect from businesses back home, many of which undoubtedly profit from hiring illegal immigrants.
Last week, Bilbray popped up on one newscast after another and milked his 15 minutes. He opposes the Senate plan, which he calls -- wait for it -- amnesty. But, like most of the critics, he offers no alternate piece of legislation to solve the problem over which he claims to be worried sick.
The Senate compromise isn't perfect. But it's bold and thoughtful, and it's a start. It also did something that's very significant -- dividing traditional allies and uniting traditional adversaries.
If the deal crumbles, we'll return to the status quo. Illegal immigrants will still come to the United States do jobs that Americans won't do. And employers will still hire them. Nothing will change. No one will be punished or held accountable. There's a word for that. I know -- wait for it: amnesty.

I was going to write another post about illegal immigration, but when I ran across this I decided to post it instead because I think this guy makes some great points. I especially agree with his assertion that if this immigration bill fails, then we will be right back where we started with nothing whatsoever being done and illegals continuing to flood across our border. If America wants something accomplished in Congress/government for a change then we have to be able to compromise with one another, which means NO one will get everything they want out of any bill. Hence why it's called compromise!

See You Tomorrow!

Anyone who knows me or my blog knows that the only thing I enjoy more than ranting against the far right agenda in this country, is having a chuckle at it's expense. So on that note, here's a joke that brought a smile to my face.

One sunny day in 2008, an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue, where he'd been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with President George W. Bush." The Marine replied, "Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer President and doesn't reside here." The old man said, "Okay," and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President George W. Bush". The Marine again told the man, "Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer President and doesn't reside here." The man thanked him and again walked away . . .

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same Marine, saying "I would like to go in and meet with President George W. Bush." The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I've told you already several times that Mr. Bush is not the President anymore and doesn't reside here. Don't you understand?" The old man answered, "Oh, I understand you fine, I just love hearing your answer!" The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "See you tomorrow"

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Politics of Fear

In one of my recent posts, “The Age of Reason is Dead”, I stated some of the causes that I believe have lead this nation to be, if not completely without reason, at the very least with a severe shortage of it. There is no simple answer for what has lead to the decline of reasoned and rationale dialogue in America, but if we look back over the last seven years it is easy to identify one major factor in the change of discourse in this nation and that factor is fear.

It is a well established fact that fears and reason are natural enemies in every human being. For hundreds, even thousands of years the great minds of their time have warned that fear and wisdom cannot coexist. Take for example these quotes from throughout the past centuries:

- Where fear is present, wisdom cannot be.—Lactantius

- No passion so effectually robs the mind of all it's powers of acting and reasoning as fear. Edmund Burke

- 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 blind-folded fear.—Thomas Jefferson

The latest scientific studies of how our brains work have only confirmed what ancient men already knew; when the fear centers of our brains are activated, the reasoning centers shut down. This is common knowledge, and the last seven years of political maneuvering have proven not only that this is true, but also that people in power can use this, “fear response”to quite effectively manipulate the general public into going along with things that they might very well question and object to, if not in a heightened state of anxiety.

In the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks, America was gripped with fear, and with good cause as these horrible deeds committed in the very heart of America was both shocking and unprecedented. At that moment it was apparent to all Americans that the country needed to make changes and heighten our national security efforts. The pervading sense of fear in those early days after the attack was a healthy reaction to a national trauma. Our nation’s leaders at that moment had a rare chance to use the unusual sense of bi-partisanship and goodwill and the power it gave them to achieve some truly needed changes, both in America’s national security and in its reputation throughout the world. Our president was given a remarkable amount of power at that time, and Americans trusted him to use it wisely. He started well, by actually going after the people who had attacked us, in Afghanistan, but then veered off course when he realized that by using Americans fears and in fact even encouraging them he could have free reign to implement, without any sort of reasoned discussion or dissent, whatever laws or course of action he felt like.

The obvious example of the, ‘fear mongering brings unprecedented power strategy’ of the current administration is the lead up to and eventual invasion of Iraq. There was never any evidence and there still isn’t that Iraq had anything to do with the attacks on America, or in fact that they we’re any sort of imminent threat to us, yet with Bush and his cronies appearing all over our tv screens talking over and over about how if we didn’t go along with his plans, we could expect mushroom clouds over American cities, the few voices of reason who tried to speak out with logic we’re quickly drowned out by the cries of those filled with anxiety by the images, not only of Sept. 11th, but of the mushroom clouds sure to come. I believe most Americans would agree that at the very least there should be much reasoned discussion, and dialogue throughout the halls of power and the nation, before this country embarks on the serious course of starting a war, and yet in the case of Iraq there wasn’t. The President managed, without any evidence, to convince the vast majority of this country that the invasion of Iraq was necessary to keep them safe. He did this, using not reason nor logic, but the tool he has become expert at wielding, pure fear.

The Iraq invasion is but one example among many of how fear can and has been used to manipulate Americans into discarding their reason or common sense if you will and standing by or even encouraging actions which violate the very principles this nation was founded upon. Other examples of this in brief are; illegal wire-tapping of American homes, the suspension of habeas corpus (the right to appear before a judge and defend yourself if accused of a crime), the discarding of the Geneva Convention and allowance by law of torture. The list goes on, but frankly if this is not enough to wake you up to the idea that our fears of terrorism are blinding us to the very real threat to this democracy from within, then I FEAR America is destined to fall.

"Often fear of one evil leads us into a worse." –Nicholas Boileau Desprsaux

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What The Hell is This?

Taking a break from politics for a moment, does anyone know what the holy heck this is?? I'll be seeing this thing in my nightmares I suspect. Egads!

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Age of Reason is Dead!

It was murdered. There are many suspects in this heinous crime; greed, apathy, commercialization, special interests etc., but in this particular case I’m a firm believer that each of the above parties played a role. Yes, that’s right I’m liberal and I’m espousing a conspiracy theory! (lol) Unfortunately, there is nothing funny about the effects of reason’s death on America.

Our forefathers, who founded America, did so working under the premise that an informed populace would be able to make good decisions when choosing their representatives, and would further be able to then monitor their representatives and be kept appraised of their actions. The key to our forefathers assumptions, when setting up America’s political system, was that the populace would be properly informed therefore allowing for reasoned, rationale decisions. They could not possibly have foreseen however, the effects our modern day technology like radio and tv would have on the way America’s citizens receive information, much less the amount and quality of the information. We currently live in the so called, “Information Age”, where vast quantities of data are available to every American at the push of a button or the click of a mouse. This would seem to be a good thing, and perhaps it would be if the information we we’re receiving was not being filtered through the sieves of first; a few, wealthy individuals who own almost all of the tv and radio stations and second the fairly new idea that news bureaus don’t exist simply to inform the people, they have to be entertaining and above all profitable. Today’s television stations are especially guilty of treating their news programs to this, ratings and profit above all else mentality. Is it any wonder then why we have hours upon hours of lurid, Anna Nicole Smith type of coverage and very little hard news? I’ll be the first to admit that some of this drivel, disguised as news, is entertaining, but the real question is, is it keeping the American populace, the cornerstone of our democracy informed enough to use reason when making important decisions, or is it just making us crave cheeseburgers and more sensationalism?

The are many other aspects to what has killed reason in this country, but in the interest of keeping this post shorter than, “War and Peace”, I will close for now and write more on the subject in a second part/post. Before closing though, I do want to give credit and kudos to the newest Al Gore book, “The Assault on Reason”, which I am currently reading and which voices many similar points in a much clearer way. I would highly recommend it to one and all, as it is not a politically partisan work.

What's the Difference Between Vietnam & Iraq?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Marine Battles Military Over His Antiwar Activities

By Stephanie Ebbert, Globe Staff June 2, 2007
Liam Madden was leading a cause before he became one. The 22-year-old former Marine sergeant had co-founded Appeal for Redress, a campaign urging troops to press Congress for an end to the Iraq war.

Now, the Boston man is battling the military over his right to engage in antiwar activities, sparked when he received a certified letter threatening him with an "other than honorable discharge" from the reserves for wearing camouflage during a protest and for making "disloyal statements" accusing the Bush administration of war crimes.
He viewed the threat as ammunition for his antiwar efforts. "I thought, 'this is trying to intimidate and clamp down on political opposition to the war,' " Madden said,” and I saw it as an opportunity to make them regret that they're doing this."
Madden, who plans to attend Northeastern University in the fall, is one of three inactive reserve members facing Marine investigations for antiwar activities, in a controversial move that is spurring debate about free speech. As members of the Individual Ready Reserve, the men could be called up for service, but are not being paid or participating in training. They argue they have every right to be heard.
"It seems to me as a civilian he's just as free as you and I to say the Bush administration has done bad things in Iraq and we ought to get out," said Arthur Spitzer, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer in Washington, D.C., who was meeting with Madden yesterday. "Who is better qualified to speak to those issues than someone who has seen combat in Iraq? If what's going on here is an effort by the Marines to intimidate over 100,000 people in the Individual Ready Reserves from speaking out against the war, then it's a very nefarious activity on their part and very important to stop it."
The Marine Corps confirmed the administrative action against Madden and one of the other two activists, but did not return calls. "By contract, they are still members of the Marine Corps IRR and must maintain standards of conduct in accordance with their oath of enlistment," the statement said.
A Department of Defense spokesman, Major Stewart T. Upton, pointed to a policy covering reserves as well as active troops that warns against wearing a uniform during political events because it could be viewed as endorsement by the military.
"The Marine Corps' digital cammies are trademark," Upton said.
But the nation's largest combat veterans group urged the military yesterday to "exercise a little common sense" and call off its investigation, the Associated Press reported.
"Trying to hush up and punish fellow Americans for exercising the same democratic right we're trying to instill in Iraq is not what we're all about," said Gary Kurpius, national commander of the 2.4 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars. "Someone in the Marine Corps needs to exercise a little common sense and put an end to this matter before it turns into a circus. "
Madden, a Vermont native, enlisted months before the US invasion of Iraq and served about seven months in Anbar Province.
Honorably discharged after four years, Madden helped form the Appeal for Redress, urging troops to speak out respectfully, with attention to their legal rights and limitations. Active members of the military may attend demonstrations but only in the United States, off base, and out of uniform, his website warns.
Madden does not believe that a dishonorable discharge from the reserves would affect his benefits.
Madden spoke by cell phone while on a train to Washington, where he held a press conference at Union Station late yesterday before embarking by bus to Kansas City, Mo., with Adam Kokesh, a fellow Marine who faces a hearing Monday on his antiwar activities. Madden's own hearing has not yet been scheduled.
I could understand the military's perspective on this, if this guy was an active duty marine or even a reservist, but being part of the IRR simply means that you have already served your full active duty contract and your name is now part of a list (usually for two years after your contract's up) from which the military can call you up to return to active duty, if the country is in need. People are usually only called up from the IRR when the military is truly in dire straights. Personally, I don't think the military is doing itself any favors by trying to bully this guy or any American civilian into shutting up. What the hell does America stand for, or are our troops fighting for if a citizen is not allowed to freely state his or her opinion?!

Iraqi Vacation

It's good to know that the Iraqi government is taking our "benchmarks" so seriously, huh?!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Bombing Iran Could Be A Disastrous Mistake!

This post is for all of the Americans out there, including our “War” President, who appear to think that bombing Iran is a good idea. First off let me get this off my chest; are you out of your minds?! What planet are you people from? Seriously though, if I wasn’t seeing it with my own eyes, in the blogosphere and various articles, I don’t think I’d believe that there are really Americans who sincerely think that the best direction for our country to take at this point is to expand our aggression in the Middle East to yet another country.

I’ll grant you that Iran; with all of its crazy rhetoric, lies, nuclear ambitions and interference in Iraq, deserves a major comeuppance, but how smart a move would it be for the United States to involve itself in further hostilities when our military is already overstretched and the current war in Iraq is going anything but well? Some American neocons seem to believe that despite the strain our military is under, we can just drop a few rounds of precision bombs on Irans’ nuclear sites and walk away unscathed and triumphant (Of course, these are the same people who thought starting a preemptive war in Iraq was a great idea!). I would hope that if nothing else good has come out of the Iraq disaster, that we as Americans would have at least learned that war is messy and unpredictable and as such it should never be rushed into under the arrogant guise that it will be a simple solution to our problems. I’m hoping that the recent decision by President Bush to participate in talks with Iran, albeit only over Iraq, is a sign that he has learned this lesson, though I’m still doubtful of that.

If he hasn’t learned that lesson and he does bomb Iran, I believe that the outcome of that decision will make the current Iraq situation look like child’s play. Iran is no Iraq, and by that I mean Iran (formally known as Persia, until 1935) is a nation that has existed for over 2000 years. Iranians are an extremely proud people, who have managed to not only survive, but thrive throughout history. I do not believe that if attacked they will just sit there and take it and with most of America's ground forces directly across their border, they would not have far to go to retaliate. Iran’s military consists of approximately 545,000 active troops and 350,000 reserve forces. They also have a volunteer militia force called the Basij which includes about 90,000 full-time active duty members and a further 11 million men and women who could be mobilized. This is the largest number of troop mobilization in the world.

So for any Americans who are thinking that a bombing campaign is the best solution to the Iranian issue, I hope you are prepared for a full fledged ground war with a country well over twice the size of Iraq, whose military was not devastated in an earlier gulf war (plus years of sanctions) and whose people would most assuredly be completely behind their government. God knows we probably have the worlds best equipped and best trained military, but then so did the Germans going into World War II, and they found out the hard way that trying to fight a two front war was not the easiest of tasks and in fact proved their undoing. I pray that Americas leaders base their future decisions on logic, reason and an understanding of possible consequences, not on an arrogant sense of superiority and pride; for we all know what pride goeth before.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Finger Length May Fortell Academic Potential

I found the following article rather odd, but interesting. When I first read the title I have to tell you I was worried since I have the shortest, stubbiest fingers you've probably ever seen-lol. (No, this isn't a pic. of my hand) After reading further however, I was quite relieved to realize that my length challenged digits don't necessarily mean that I'm a moron. What a relief!-lol

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The length of children's fingers may hint at their natural abilities in math and language, a new study suggests.
In a study of 75 children between the ages of 6 and 7 years old, researchers found that finger length correlated with how well the children performed on standardized tests of math and verbal skills.
Specifically, boys whose index fingers were short compared with their ring fingers tended to excel at numbers and girls with index and ring fingers of similar length tended to do better on the verbal portion of the test.
The findings are reported in the British Journal of Psychology.
A number of studies have now found that "digit ratio," or the length of the index finger compared with the ring finger, is connected to cognitive performance, some personality traits, athletic prowess and the risk of certain medical conditions.
Researchers believe hormones explain the findings. Finger length is thought to be determined in the womb, with exposures to testosterone and estrogen playing a key role. Greater testosterone exposure appears to result in a shorter index finger relative to the ring finger, while estrogen encourages more equality between the two fingers.
Prenatal hormone exposure is also thought to influence brain development.
"Testosterone has been argued to promote development of the areas of the brain which are often associated with spatial and mathematical skills," study leader, Dr. Mark Brosnan, explained in a statement.
Estrogen, in turn, is thought to affect brain areas involved in language ability, noted Brosnan, who heads the psychology department at the University of Bath in the UK.
Therefore, finger length may serve as a marker of fetal hormone exposures, and possibly our inborn math and language abilities.
No one is saying that finger measurements should replace SAT tests, Brosnan added. But finger length does offer "an interesting insight into our innate abilities in key cognitive areas."
SOURCE: British Journal of Psychology, May 2007.
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