Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Texas Border Wall Bypassing Wealthy Residents with Bush Admin Ties

The Basics: American land owners are being forced to give up land for the US/Mexican wall... unless you are a friend of George W or give him 35 million for his Presidential library.

"With the Texas Democratic primary and caucus less than a week away, the Bush administration’s plan to build a wall along part of the southern border has suddenly become a campaign issue. After many landowners refused to give over their land for the eighteen-foot-high wall, the Department of Homeland Security began filing lawsuits against some homeowners. At the same time, the government is leaving large gaps to avoid building the wall on the property of wealthy residents, including those with ties to President Bush."

Read more: Democracy Now

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cosmetic Darwinism?

I tend to disagree with this woman's viewpoint on plastic surgery — I actually even dipped into it myself for some love handle lipo last year, and was very pleased — but her points are valid. She considers the trend to more and more cosmetic procedures to be creating "Cosmetic Darwinism."

I think people (and many animals) have always wanted to look like whatever ideal their biology implies. Look better, more sex. More sex, more chances to reproduce. The downside when the look is artificial, of course, is that even though you had the doctor give you Angelina Jolie's lips, your kid will still have your genetically defined lips. At least until cosmetic surgery goes genetic.

People, life is short. If you look like DeVito and want to look like DiCaprio, go for it. Just don't cry if you end up like some kind of Star Trek transporter accident.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Texas Sex Toy Ban Overturned!

It's definitely going to be a happy Valentine's Day for the good horny people of Texas: the Lone Star State's infamous sex toy ban has finally been overturned. After years of needless meddling in people's sex lives, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the ban -- which made it a crime to sell sex toys shaped like human genitalia -- was in violation of the 14th Amendment, also known as the right to privacy.

Source, Fleshbot, BusinessWeek

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Quitt Romney

"If this were only about me, I'd go on. But it's never been only about me. I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, in this time of war I feel I have to now stand aside for our party and for our country."

"In this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror."

So all left-leaning people are helping the terrorists? What a shame you are leaving. You are truly the uniter the country needs. We really would have come together under your leadership.

Pandering until the very end... what a good soldier you are.

Fuck off Romney. Go home all ready... which ever political resume building place you call home.

Daily Show sums it up well:

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

You were a giant in your day, Netscape.

I've been a web designer since the mid 1990s. Back then you had very limited choices for browsing the web. No firefox, safari, or mozilla. In one corner, you had a horrible IE browser that is almost as bad as it is now (and was pushed upon the world via Microsoft's horrid monopoly). It sucked.

In the other corner, was the wonder and reliable Netscape. This was a great browser. I seem to remember version 3.04 being it's best version on the Mac.

This week, life support was pulled on the 17 year old browser. We'll remember you and your crummy lighthouse graphic.


Obama tune for Super Tuesday

Stump speech on the radio. This kind of marketing can't be defeated. Well done.

I voted for Mike Gravel today. I like Obama all well and good, but was put off by the media turning the volume down on otherwise good candidates with options to add to the conversation. I though Gravel, Kucinich and Ron Paul were all screwed. This was my symbolic protest again big politics before I do everything I can to get anything that remotely smells like George Bush out of the White House and Congress.

This is Kucinich's side of the story. I think we should be aware of this. Get past the dumb image of Willie Nelson and click on it.

Monday, February 4, 2008

BUSH: Iraq is expensive, let's cut the CDC, Medicare and Medicaid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Health experts denounced President George W. Bush's 2009 federal budget request on Monday, calling it a disaster for the health of Americans and saying they would look to Congress to change it.

Bush's $3.1 trillion spending plan proposes a 7 percent cut in funds for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as less money for Medicare and Medicaid -- the joint federal-state health insurance programs for the poor and elderly.

The budget for the fiscal year starting October 1, 2009 would reduce spending on Medicare by $12.8 billion and lower federal funds for Medicaid by $18.2 billion over five years.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

I'm still sorry about Iraq.

From last June... I still feel as strongly about this now as I did then.

Citizens of Iraq: I'm an American, and I have something to tell you that is long overdue. It does not come easily. Many people in my country would berate me for saying it, call me a coward, think me morally weak, or even worse – betraying the soldiers who fight on behalf of my freedom. But I do not believe any of that. I believe the those who fear saying what they believe are the true cowards, and are not free at all.

People of Iraq, I would like to tell you I am sorry.

I am sorry for the unjust suffering that my government has inflicted upon you in my name.

I am sorry that at the conclusion of our first war with Iraq when Saddam invaded Kuwait, our former President encouraged you to rise up, promising you our support, and when you did, we let you be killed by the thousands while we did nothing but watch.

I am sorry for a new war that was sold to America with outright lies, half-truths, and omissions of fact. I am sorry that most of us believed them, allowing ourselves to be frightened beyond reason by tales of secret Iraqi weapons, though many truly knowledgeable people knew better. The "yellow-cake" uranium from Africa. The aluminum centrifuges. The mobile poison gas facilities. The "smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud."

I am sorry we allowed those who questioned our government's assertions to be bullied into silence, sidelined, punished, or black-listed as un-American, including those of reason within our Congress, our military, and the news media we trusted to objectively inform us and protect our best interests.

I regret a fabricated coalition that was formed to invade your country. Fourty-nine countries, many of whom were present in name only to satisfy American demands. This so-called "coalition" cheapened the true coalitions of history that were created to fight for just and noble causes.

I regret that our soldiers were ordered to leave a worthy cause in Afghanistan to turn it's attentions upon your country, though I trust few of you were sorry to see Saddam ousted. Our soldiers are by-and-large good people with spirit and character. They sacrifice everything to protect their country. The deserve better than they have received, yet they still try to do what is decent and honorable.

I apologize that during the siege of your capital, the short-sightedness of our military planners – so focused on your oil – forgot to protect you and your national treasures from criminals, the mob, and fanatic warlords.

I am sorry that while years were spent planning the invasion of your country, only weeks were spent considering how to deal with what came after. I am sorry we put people in charge that had no credentials other than being ideologically aligned with our President and his staff.

I am deeply sorry that in our rush to oust the tyrant who brutalized your country, we did not study your history, which would have easily foretold the civil unrest and retribution killing which plague you now. Some did foresee this, though again, those voices were silenced or ignored. Without this insight, we allowed your communities to fall into chaos, causing many of you to flee homes your families have owned for generations and see loved ones murdered without cause.

I regret the thousands of people sent to Abu Ghraib to be tortured and humiliated. Torture has been proven time and again to not produce reliable information, though it often works well on American television. I fear our current leaders did not know the difference.

More over, I am deeply sorry that in this rush to war, we took our eyes off the true threats that we all share, and somehow must learn to face together.

Apologies can be hard to come by in uncertain times. They are particularly scarce from this American government.

People of Iraq, America is a nation of good people. We will spill our blood at a moment's notice for a worthy cause, even for people we have never met. 3,500 American soldiers have died, and 20,000 have been wounded for a cause they believe worthy. More innocent Iraqis have died and than can be reliably counted. But our government has betrayed us, and has betrayed you as well. I hope someday soon we will restore our government to one that is worthy of our people – and you will be able to rebuild your country free of tyranny and chaos.

Finally, and most importantly, I am so very sorry that we came to Iraq with the premise of defeating religious fanatics willing to kill for power, while not realizing we had those very same people in charge our own country.


Sting playing Fragile, September 11, 2001

Very Funny "I'm F*cking Matt Damon"

I guess this is payback to Kimmel for dissing Damon for years. Genius.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Is the US Embassy in Iraq being built with slave labor? Ummm.... yeah.

Like everything else related to the Iraq invasion, the new 104 acre American Embassy in Baghdad is behind schedule and over budget. This mega structure, wrapped in secrecy, is being built by First Kuwaiti General Trading and Contracting Co. Apparently they were given the contract without having to bid. But don't worry, because they are doing everything possible to cut costs, including using slave labor from the Philippines.

Over the summer Rory Mayberry, a former employee of First Kuwaiti testified to Congress that:
"when the airplane took off and the captain announced that we were heading to Baghdad, all you-know-what broke out on the airplane. The men started shouting, it wasn’t until the security guy working for First Kuwaiti waved an MP5 in the air that the men settled down. They realized that they had no other choice but to go to Baghdad. Let me spell it out clearly: I believe these men were kidnapped by First Kuwaiti to work at the US Embassy… I’ve read the State Department Inspector General’s report on the construction of the embassy. Mr. Chairman, it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on. This is a cover-up and I’m glad that I’ve had the opportunity to set the record straight."

Here's the testimony:

First Kuwaiti's website can be viewed HERE: They need a better website, but I'm afraid they may kidnap me and force me to build it.

Clinton and Obama show some class

In the last televised debate before "Super Tuesday", Clinton and Obama passionately discussed the issues with civility, in great detail and with great clarity. While making sure to set themselves apart from the other, they stated their positions without sidestepping and explained why their positions were better. They discussed a wide range of topics, many emailed from citizens and voted on for importance via the web.

Even Wolf Blitzer kept it business-like (beside perhaps a few jabs at Clinton) and kept the hype to a minimum.

Overall, an excellent showing for both would-be Presidents. After watching McCain and Romney get all ticky tacky with eachother the night before, this was a welcome change. Neither of these two are my ideal choice, but with the bar so low that it's practically in the dirt, we have some good choices for Democrats.

If we could only get the Holy Ghost Homo-paranoia out of Hucklebee, add in about 80% of Ron Paul's Common sense, Mitt's hair, and whatever good is left of McCain that hasn't been hollowed out by the Republican machinery, the other side would have a good candidate to match.

But let's not forget Mike Gravel in all of this... I still like that guy. Excluded from this debate, he still held his own to web stream an alternate debate where he could get his thoughts in.

Overview and clips: CNN