A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Prophets to Humans: Mind yr own business!

About the Sudanese extremists rallying against that British teacher ... okay, she was a fool ... but really! What is it with these radical religious nuts? And I most certainly include the Christian nuts in these lively semi-united states. Why do they think that they have to rage and rage and march around and threaten violence to protect their gods or prophets. Come on ... does a god need that? Does a prophet? Prophets are extraordinary beings and rise above these small matters, don’t they? Do they need us fallible and flawed humans sticking up for them?

Plus, I think it points to the anti-woman feelings of those particular Muslims.


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Kudos to Conan; Hey, Jay, sell a couple of yr cars, be a mensch

Reuters photo

Kudos to Conan O’Brien -- paying his staff out of his own pockets during the writers' strike. Hey, Jay, sell a couple of yr cars, be a mensch like Conan.

David Letterman, announced shortly after the strike began that he would pay the salaries of staff members on "Late Show With David Letterman" and "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson," both of which are produced by his Worldwide Pants banner, through year's end.


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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Shock to Cheney's Heart

From today's Leah Garchik column in the San Francisco Chronicle:
-- Rick Sims says that administering a therapeutic shock to Vice President Dick Cheney's heart took twice as long as usual. "They had to thaw the heart out first."

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Are you discontent with the U.S. government? Don't have a fire in yr home ...

Dear Friend of TPC,

You heard right. Keith Olbermann reported the story last night and Raw Story has a blog about it. Here's an excerpt:

It was revealed last week that firefighters are being trained to not only keep an eye out for illegal materials in the course of their duties, but even to report back any expression of discontent with the government.

A year ago, Homeland Security gave security clearances to nine New York City fire chiefs and began sharing intelligence with them. Even before that, fire department personnel were being taught "to identify material or behavior that may indicate terrorist activities" and were also "told to be alert for a person who is hostile, uncooperative or expressing hate or discontent with the United States."

Unlike law enforcement officials, firemen can go onto private property without a warrant, not only while fighting fires but also for inspections.

Olbermann reported that if it's successful in NYCity, they will expand it to other major metropolitan areas -- UNLESS WE STOP THEM!

If you go to the Raw Story blog, you can watch the interview Olbermann had with a former FBI agent about this issue. This guy now works with the ACLU.

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I own and have read subversive books

I heard on the radio today that firemen are supposed to look for subversive books that American citizens might have in their libraries. Apparently it is becoming illegal to own such books and so I might as well freely confess my crime. I own and have read "1984" by George Orwell. I own and have read "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis. I own and have read books by Noam Chomsky, Al Franken, Molly Ivins, Joe Conason, Seymour Hersh, and others. Under Bush world, I am guilty of thought crime for having such books. To atone and get my mind right, let me now pledge allegiance:

I pledge allegiance to President Bush, dear leader and hero of America, and to his rule for which he stands, one nation, under foot, with total surveillance, mind control and perpetual war for all.

I mean, who needs the Constitution anyway. After all, it is just a stupid piece of paper. i know this because my new hero for life President Bush told me so. Now I feel better. Thank you.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Toxic Toys and Lipstick: Europe thinks it's dangerous, US says "Prove it" ... now Prove it again and again ...

Terry Gross, host of the popular radio show Fresh Air, has a really interesting (and scary) interview with Mark Schapiro about the difference in regulations and philosophy between Europe and the U.S. when it comes to toxic substances in our everyday goods like toys or cosmetics. I urge you to listen to it.

Here's what Fresh Air's website says about it:

Mark Schapiro, Exposing a Toxic U.S. Policy

Fresh Air from WHYY, November 26, 2007 · Investigative reporter Mark Schapiro explains in a new book that toxic chemicals exist in many of the products we handle every day — agents that can cause cancer, genetic damage and birth defects, lacing everything from our gadgets to our toys to our beauty products.

And unlike the European Union, the U.S. doesn't require businesses to minimize them — or even to list them, so consumers can evaluate the risks. Schapiro argues that that policy isn't just bad for public health: In an increasingly green economy, he says, American businesses stand to get shut out of a huge market.

Schapiro, editorial director of the nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting, has written for Harper's, The Nation, Mother Jones and The Atlantic Monthly. His book is called Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products, and What's at Stake for American Power.

One of the things that they talk about is how the European Union is a much bigger market than the U.S. This is starting to have a significant impact on businesses here in the U.S. Because if we sell something that doesn't live up to the standards set by the EU, it won't sell in the EU. So, from a purely capitalistic practical point of view ... why don't we change?

Some of the products that have toxic chemicals in them are cell phones and computers.

Really, the show is very interesting. I learned a lot.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007


It is Caturday once again. Two photos ... the first is of my two sentries. Guardians at the gate to my home--my Halloween cats, Willy and Boomer.

The next photo is of Willy with a curlicue shadow on his back.


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Troublesome citizen

On this day in 1961, Arundhati Roy, writer and activist, is born in India.

“The mullahs of the Islamic world and the mullahs of the Hindu world and the mullahs of the Christian world are all on the same side. And we are against them all.”
-- A. Roy

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Albert Camus on executions

"An execution is not simply death. It is just as different from the privation of life as a concentration camp is from prison. It adds to death a rule, a public premeditation known to the future victim, an organization which is itself a source of moral sufferings more terrible than death. Capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders, to which no criminal's deed, however calculated can be compared. For there to be an equivalency, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him and who, from that moment onward, had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private life."

-- Albert Camus from Reflections on the Guillotine, Resistance, Rebellion & Death 1966

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

And in 1967 ...

Vietnam War: American General William Westmoreland tells news reporters: "I am absolutely certain that whereas in 1965 the enemy was winning, today he is certainly losing."

These manipulators and liars ... they just keep using the same goddam concepts and words!


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On this day in 1620 ...

The Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact (date was signed as 11 Nov ... but by the Julian Calendar).

Wikipedia says this:
The Mayflower Compact was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It was drafted by the Pilgrims who crossed the Atlantic aboard the Mayflower, seeking religious freedom. It was signed on November 11, 1620 (O.S.) in what is now Provincetown Harbor near Cape Cod. The Pilgrims used the Julian Calendar which, at that time, was ten days behind the Gregorian Calendar, signing the covenant "ye .11. of November" (literal). Having landed at Plymouth (so named by Captain John Smith earlier), many of the Pilgrims aboard realized that they were in land uncharted by the London Company. For this reason the Mayflower Compact was written and adopted, based simultaneously upon a majoritarian model and the settlers' allegiance to the king. Many of the passengers knew that earlier settlements in the New World had failed due to a lack of government, and the Mayflower Compact was in essence a social contract in which the settlers consented to follow the rules and regulations of the government for the sake of survival. The government, in return, would derive its power from the consent of the governed.

Wikipedia even has the text from the document:
The original document was lost, but the transcriptions in Mourt's Relation and William Bradford's journal Of Plymouth Plantation are in agreement and accepted as accurate. Bradford's hand written manuscript is kept in a special vault at the State Library of Massachusetts. Bradford's transcription is as follows:
In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc. Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620.
And ... there goes the neighborhood!

Maybe we should borrow from the Pilgrims: "The disloyal subjects of our dread President Bush ..."

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McClellan: Bush and Company lied

The San Francisco Chronicle is picking up a story from the Associated Press about former White House press secretary Scott McClellan finally coming clean about the Bush Administration's involvement with the Valerie Plame leak.

Folks, leaking this kind of info used to be considered treason. And we thought Reagan was the teflon president! But when I stop and think WHY? ... why do things slide off these Republican presidents? The answer I always come up with is that so many of the Democrats high up must be dirty too ... so they don't push.

Anyway, here's an excerpt from the article:
Former Aide Blames Bush for Leak Deceit

By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer
Associated Press is reporting that

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

(11-21) 01:20 PST WASHINGTON, (AP) --

Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan blames President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for efforts to mislead the public about the role of White House aides in leaking the identity of a CIA operative.

In an excerpt from his forthcoming book, McClellan recounts the 2003 news conference in which he told reporters that aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby were "not involved" in the leak involving operative Valerie Plame.

"There was one problem. It was not true," McClellan writes, according to a brief excerpt released Tuesday. "I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff and the president himself."
It's amazing how many lies these politicians can get away with.

How can we turn our beloved country around? We've got to. And soon.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Science News: Diabetes

A six-year study led by Peter Doro and other researchers at the University of Szeged in Hungay has shown that people are 50 per cent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes in March than in August. The researchers speculate that cold weather, inactivity, and overeating might be responsible. People with type 2 diabetes have the greatest difficulty maintaining healthy blood glucose concentrations in March and April.
-- from Science News Vol. 169

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Economy: Fuel And Otherwise

Wow! How cool is this? Jonathan Goodwin, professional "car hacker," is messing around with various types of cars in the name of economy - fuel economy. And he's about to double the horsepower on a Hummer and convert it to biodiesel/electricity and get 60 mpg on it! Woof!

He's converting a car for Neil Young, too. His target is to get it to hit 100 mpg. All this, and he's cute, too.

But that aside - all these decades, our tax dollars have subsidised Big Auto while it cranked out low mpg, polluting hunks, simultaneously destroying the once-proud American auto industry, laying off workers, turning whole towns into ghosts of their former selves, fighting tooth and nail against giving workers wage increases while pouring buckets of money in the direction of executives.

In the meantime, industry and government have joined hands to stifle creativity and alternative fuels, increased mileage, lowered pollution - the things that benefit most of us. Now push has come to shove. We need to wean ourselves off the oil dependence teat, if we're going to survive. And Jonathan Goodwin, and people like him, can turn us around in no time flat! Yes!

I wish he lived down the road. I'd have my car to him so fast.

Found the pointer over at Biomes Blog, home of interesting information.

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Human Rights: Dershowitz Says Torture Is OK

What the fuck is wrong with Alan Dershowitz? There was a time when I thought of him as a brilliant scholar, a great legal mind, a man who used his legendary powers of thought on behalf of those who needed them most - people accused of criminal acts.

Lately, he just seems to have deteriorated into a shrill, hysterical loud-mouthed shill more interested in his personal power and fame. A tool. A pathetic, mean-minded morally corrupt little man who has long since said farewell to any moral sense whatsoever.

Here, for example, Dershowitz argues for the use of torture. What? What??? Every single person who is respected for their moral and spiritual authority has spoken out against torture, that it's morally wrong, that it reduces one below the level of animals (even animals who lack higher reasoning faculties as humans define them do not deliberately inflict pain and suffering on other animals for sport), that it is unworthy of a rational being, hell, it's unworthy of even non-rational beings.

How art thou fallen, O Lucifer, Son of the Morning.

Raw Story has the video.

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Caturday! Cosmo report

Cosmo's been sick now since the end of September -- serious liver problem. I'm giving him 5 pills in the morning, fluids in the scruff of his neck, and force feeding him. He's looking a lot better but he's still very skinny. He's got a very bony behind.

So here's the before I force feed him:

See how his ears are way back ... he really doesn't like it. Can you blame him? I was thinking today ... I wonder ... will someone someday be doing this to me?

And here he is afterwards:

What a tongue!


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Friday, November 16, 2007

Economy: You Really Believe It's Not Getting Worse?

India just announced that tourist sites will no longer accept U.S. dollars as payment of admission, according to Auntie Beeb.

From now on, if you want to visit the Taj Mahal, or any other tourist site in India, you can pay in rupees or you can stay out.

Does it hurt yet? Oh, yeah, I forgot to add, Paulson says the economy is OK.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Friday the continued rise in oil prices was "not a positive" for the economy, but downplayed its impact, noting both employment and the economy were still growing.

"The employment situation is very strong in this country, there's no doubt about it. We're creating new jobs -- 49 straight months," Paulson said on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's weekly radio program on WABC. Earlier Friday, crude oil topped $92 a barrel for the first time ever.

"Would I like to see oil at a lower price? Yes. But we are using energy more efficiently than we were a number of years ago, and this economy has held up very well against that challenge," Paulson said.
He completely neglects to mention that the number of jobs added are way below the number needed, as we pointed out in an earlier post. Ah, go read it for yourself.

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Politics: No Thanksgiving Holiday For Congress

They're staying in Washington to prevent the Coward in Chief from squeezing through more of his unqualified crony "recess appointments."

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have disappointed me bitterly, many times, but perhaps - just perhaps - they're finally listening to the enraged people.

At any rate, the Raw Story reports:
Reid explained Friday, "With the Thanksgiving break looming, the administration informed me that they would make several recess appointments. I indicated I would be willing to confirm various appointments if the administration would agree to move on Democratic appointments."

"They would not make that commitment," the Senate Majority Leader added.


Senate sources said Reid made the decision after he was unable to strike a deal with White House officials that would have allowed swift consideration of several key Democratic picks for the executive branch. In his statement, Reid points to the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Nuclear Regulatory Commission as examples where Democratic choices have not been moved along.
The article in question is available from the Roll Call, by subscription only.

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Politics: Republicans Refuse To End Iraq War

Send this snivelling wankbag home on the next train

Big surprise. Raw Story reports that Senate Republicans have blocked passage of a bill that would have forced the end of the Iraq war. Votes were 53-45 against. The article states, in part:
The 53-45 vote was seven votes short of the 60 needed to advance. It came minutes after the Senate rejected a Republican proposal to pay for the Iraq war without strings attached.

The Republican measure failed 45-53, 15 short of the number of votes needed to go forward.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the only way to get troops the money was to approve the restrictions outlined by Democrats.

"Our troops continue to fight and die valiantly. And our Treasury continues to be depleted rapidly, for a peace that we seem far more interested in achieving than Iraq's own political leaders," said Reid, D-Nev.
This is ridiculous. We need to find out who the missing votes were. We're fairly sure that Joe Lieberman either voted against ending the war or abstained from voting. And the other?

Did any Democrats vote against the bill? We'll try to find out and post their names. These morons must be called out by name and shamed for their stand on this illegal, immoral war. And everybody - if one of your representatives voted against the war - if you really want to end the war - then you need to call their office every day, if need be, and persuade all your relatives, friends, neighbours, colleagues, and acquaintances to do the same.

Watch your elected representatives like hawks and if they're enabling this war, then make sure you vote them out in the next election. The blood of the dead is on all our hands if we don't stop the war.

On the upside, the Democrats have vowed not to bring up a new war bill for the remainder of the year. The Pentagon is moaning about having to lay off employees. Having been laid off ourselves, we sympathize with the workers who will lose their jobs. But the war must end. If the Republicans are not willing to force the Boy-King to end it, then we must all pay the price. The price we pay for continuing this war is countless deaths and the bequeathment of a huge financial burden to our grandchildren, who are being born into the world with a $20,000 debt. That is unconscionable.

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Iraq: Bonus Update On Afghanistan

Because we're winning so winningly. In the winningest way. So winningly, in fact, that the poor exhausted soldiers - yes, those very troops whom we support by buying made-in-China yellow ribbon magnets for our SUVs while they lose their brains, bodies, minds, souls, and lives to keep those SUVs supplied with gasoline - are deserting! Those lousy cowards! How dare they refuse to sacrifice for us? How dare they force the Young Republicans on fine college campuses and golf courses everywhere to face the dreaded possibility of a (shudder) draft?

What's the matter with them? Have they stopped listening to Their Masters' Voice? Apparently. At least, Raw Story tells us that the number of soldiers deserting this year marks an 80 per cent increase over 2003. You think these guys might be tired or something? Too many deployments and stop-loss orders? Nah! They're children of the working class. They're used to working. Unlike the rich Republican youth, who've never had to soil their hands with work a day in their lives.

Besides, the Republikids are just following the excellent example of their duly appointed leaders. Didn't Shrubya's daddy get him a plum job in the TANG, so he'd never have to put his own butt on the line? Didn't Richard Bruce the Dork Lord have "more important priorities" than fighting a war meant for the "little people"? Didn't Mittens of Teh Sacred Underroos have God's work to do, instead of getting drafted?

The desertion rate is 42 per cent higher than it was last year.
According to the Army, about nine in every 1,000 soldiers deserted in fiscal year 2007, which ended Sept. 30, compared to nearly seven per 1,000 a year earlier. Overall, 4,698 soldiers deserted this year, compared to 3,301 last year.

Despite the continued increase in desertions, however, an Associated Press examination of Pentagon figures earlier this year showed that the military does little to find those who bolt, and rarely prosecutes the ones they get. Some are allowed to simply return to their units, while most are given less-than-honorable discharges.
Well, there you have it, boyz and girlz. That's one way to show your discontent. If enough of you desert or refuse to fight, you can stop the war. Instead of waiting for our political class, who don't have a single testicle or ovary among the lot of them. The Republicans will never cross Shrubya, who is holding on to the war with all four feet and teeth. And the Democrats don't have a veto-proof majority and are too fucking wimpy to rescue you from the quagmire.

If you want out of Iraq, lay down your arms and refuse to go. It's nothing short of horrifying that so many young people, American and Iraqi, are suffering unspeakably for the sake of cheap gasoline. Because, after all, as the AP points out, 2007 was the worst year in Iraq in terms of American casualties.

Meanwhile, over in Afghanistan, things are going just swimmingly. Here, for example we show you 59 dead Afghani children, five of their teachers, six lawmakers and five of their bodyguards, the handiwork of some crazed suicide bomber. One hundred other children were wounded in the attack. The population will totally support a war effort that ends up killing them and their children in droves, yeah.

The article goes on to state:
The insurgency being waged by the Taliban and other extremist outfits has gained steam since it was launched in the months after the hardliners were driven from government in 2001 by a US-led force.

More than 5,500 people have been killed so far this year -- most of them rebels.
It does not define how one ascertains that the dead might be "rebels." Given the high number of civilian deaths, one wonders if anybody, the Afghan government included, has the first fucking clue.

Meanwhile, the WaPoo announces that Afghan's opium production last year was a record-breaker. Yay! More street drugs for the average American to get hooked on. [/end sarcasm and disgust.]

Proving once again that the WH has the capacity for humour, the article went on to say:
In addition to a 26 percent production increase over past year -- for a total of 5,644 metric tons -- the amount of land under cultivation in opium poppies grew by 61 percent. Cultivation in the two main production provinces, Helmand in the southwest and Oruzgan in central Afghanistan, was up by 132 percent.

White House drug policy chief John Walters called the news "disappointing."
Well, of course they're producing record-busting quantities of opium. It's not like they have health care, education, peace, a working infrastructure, or jobs. Sheesh. The administration claims "a resurgent Taliban" is behind the increase in drug production. Given Shrubya's daddy's peeps' involvement in the drug trade in Nicaragua, one can't help but raise a questioning eyebrow.

Especially when one Gen. James L. Jones, the supreme allied commander for NATO, states that drug cartels with their own armies engage in regular combat with NATO forces deployed in Afghanistan,
"It would be wrong to say that this is just the Taliban. I think I need to set that record straight," he added.
In other news, MSNBC announced that 2007 was the deadliest year for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the invasion of that country in 2001.
Violence in Afghanistan this year has been the deadliest since the Taliban's ouster. More than 5,800 people, mostly militants, have died so far this year in insurgency-related violence, according to an Associated Press count based on figures from Afghan and Western officials.
Meanwhile, we're most decidedly winning in Turki, Reuters reports. The majority of Turks support an incursion into Kurdish territory in Iraq, and are dubious about joining the EU. They also view the U.S. as the chief threat to peace in the Middle-East.

And China just announced that they refuse to attend a meeting with the U.S. to discuss tougher sanctions on Iran. Given that we owe them the house, the car, and one and a half of the children, there's not much we can do about that, huh, Chimpidiot? Because you gave them the keys to the bank, fool, and now they just laugh when we bluster and howl.

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Science - Snippets From Science News

From Volume 169:

HIV and West Nile virus A genetic mutation that protects against the HIV virus has been shown to increase susceptibility to West Nile virus. Philip M. Murphy, an imunologist at NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) suggests that the protein (chemokine receptor-5, or CCR5) that is eliminated by the mutation might be essential in preventing West Nile virus from attacking the body. The virus causes encephalitis or meningitis in approximately 20 per cent of those infected. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), of 2,819 people who became ill as a result of infection with the mosquito-borne virus in 2005, 105 died.

CCR5 is the primary cell-surface receptor that the HIV virus commandeers in order to enter white blood cells. Several companies have designed drugs to block CCR5 in the hope that this will stop HIV from invading white blood cells. The new findings about CCR5 would indicate that individuals using those drugs must take extra precaustions to avoid infection by West Nile virus.

kakapo parrots - sex ratios Female kakapo parrots (Strigops habroptilus) that are too well-fed produce too many male chicks, endangering their already threatened numbers, according to Bruce Robertson of the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. With only 86 of the birds remaining, it is essential that more females be available to produce the coming generations. After putting the heaviest females on short rations, Robertson and his colleagues report that the new diet has ended the excess of male chicks. Kakapos can live for about 60 years.

bisphenol-A and insulin resistance Angel Nadal of Miguel Hernandez University of Elche in Spain reports that bisphenol-A, a synthetic chemical used to make dental sealants, microwavable plastics, linings for metal food and beverage containers, baby bottles, and other consumer products, can mimic estrogen's effects, can leach into food and water, and can contribute to insulin resistance. Nadal believes that this might explain the current global epidemic of diabetes. According to Ana M. Soto of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, animal studies have suggested that exposure to bisphenol-A in early life causes obesity. The chemical is also thought to contribute to gestational diabetes in women.

bone replacement and new ceramics Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California have discovered a way to replicate the toughness and strength of nacre (mother-of-pearl) in metal-ceramic composites that might be usable as a scaffold for new bone growth. Simple, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly, the method used by Sylvain Deville and his colleagues involves combining finely ground ceramic powder and polymer binders with water, which is then subjected to carefully controlled subfreezing temperatures. To create bonelike composites, the researches used epoxy mortared between plates of hydroxyapatite, which is the primary ceramic in bones and teeth.

prions and brain disease Glenn Telling, a microbiologist at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, and his colleagues have found that the muscles of deer infected with CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease, which results from malformed prions, like Creutzfeld-Jakob disease and bovine spongiform encephalopathy) can carry the misfolded prions, thus increasing the likelihood that hunters who eat these animals risk infection. Previously, it was assumed that only consumption of the brain or spinal tissue, or contamination by such infected tissue, would carry the disease.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Politics: Pelosi Says Impeachment Letters Rumour Untrue

According to Raw Story, there's a rumour flying about on the InnerTubes that Nancy Pelosi will put impeachment back on the table if she gets 10,000 letters urging her to do so. The rumour was born over on Thinking Out Loud, and swiftly dismissed
"It's obvious patent nonsense," pro-impeachment activist David Swanson told RAW STORY. "It's a sort-of rumor that's taken various forms for the past year and a half." Swanson's own website,, carries a reference to the Pelosi rumor, although he says he didn't author that particular entry and didn't realize it had been included in the post.

Although untrue, Swanson adds that the hearsay was still beneficial to the cause of those advocating for the impeachment of Cheney.

"It's one of these false rumors that's actually very helpful," he added. "There's a burst of people sending [letters] and that's good."
But a more interesting rumour is afoot. There's a rumour going round that an effort is underway to remove Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. From okfrank the blog comes a comment with links to various posts and comments regarding the possible removal of Pelosi as speaker.

Casa de Los Gatos had high hopes for Pelosi when she was first elected. She has turned out to be quite the disappointment though. No leadership at all, just an endless parrotting of what she regards as the common wisdom. We would not shed a tear at seeing her get the boot.

Over at the next hurrah, someone brings up a few salient points. To find the remaining posts and comments on dumping Pelosi, drop by at okfrank's. We have our doubts about both Pelosi's effectiveness, and the success of any attempt to get rid of her. Right now, she's up there with Feinstein, Schumer, Hoyer, and Rahm Emmanuel as worthless shites that should be dumped instantly if not sooner - ranking just a little lower than Holy Joe Lieberman, the Sanctimonious Whore.

On the other hand, there is nothing the Forces of Evil, as represented by Darth Cheney and Karl Rove and David Addington and their fellow thugs would like better than to see the Democratic Party tearing itself apart before the election that will finally rid us of Lord God High Panjandrum Shrubya the Lesser.

Read it for yourself and make up your own minds.

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Politics: No More Rendition

Today the FISA bill; now an end to "rendition." Okay, they haven't ended the Iraq debacle yet, but damn, teh Congresscritters deserve some lub for these two bills.

Raw Story reports that the House apparently snuck a provision into the $50 billion Iraq funding bill that
... would effectively end CIA renditions, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.


The Iraq funding measure revises the Army Field Manual to prohibit torture and abuse, including waterboarding, and authorizes an array of specific interrogation tactics. It specifically states that CIA operatives must adhere to these rules as well.
So even though the two Senate slimebuckets, Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein, voted to let "Waterboarding May Be Torture But You'll Never Get Me To Admit It" Mukasey be confirmed as the next attorney-general, the Democrats have found a way to make his appointment somewhat less toxic.

It's all good, folks. And if we keep their feet to the fire, keep working on the issues, it can only get better.

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Politics: Let The People's Voice Be Heard!

Somebody's holding a fundraiser for Dennis Kucinich, with the aim of raising ten million. We here at Casa de Los Gatos think that's a wonderful idea.
We've had it with the major candidates, who are all in our opinion too centrist and corpocratic to bring about the real, much-needed change that is the only thing that can save this great nation. Ron Paul raked in the bucks in a huge groundswell of support recently.

If you care about the Constitution, your civil liberties, peace, justice, human rights, send some money Kucinich's way. He's being far more creative and spinal with his appeal to the people than just about anyone (I'll make an exception for Ron Paul and John Edwards).

Let's reclaim the peace dividend! Enough money wasted on foreign wars and enriching oil companies! (Never forget, Bush, his father, Cheney, and Condi all have ties to oil companies.)

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Politics: FISA Passes, No Immunity

Wow. How much good news can I take before my head explodes? I'm a little under the weather today, so maybe this will keep me from getting sick before a long plane journey.

At any rate, Raw Story tells us that the House of Representatives passed the FISA bill requiring judicial oversight (yay! No more warrantless wiretaps! We hope.) and told the telcos that they've squeezed enough out of the ratepayers to afford their own goddamned lawyers. Yes!
On a 224-192 vote, largely along party lines, the House adopted its proposal to update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The measure, known as the RESTORE Act, would replace a temporary FISA update approved in August.

The bill does not include a provision to grant legal immunity to telecommunications companies that the Bush administration has demanded and it restores the role of the FISA court in approving surveillance methods used by the National Security Agency that could ensnare Americans.
In other news, the Senate is debating the bill currently, and their bill does grant immunity to the telcos, grrr. The only Senator who seems to ever stand up for the people, Russ Feingold, is planning to strip the telcos' immunity, but I'm sure Dianne "Brought My Own Lube, George" FeinSTAIN and Joe "Should I Bend Over And Spread 'Em Now, George?" LIEberwhore will fight tooth and nail to ensure that the people's rights get trampled in the rush to give the telcos whatever they fucking want. God I hate those two losers.

The vote was entirely along party lines, and man, am I glad we put more Democrats into office in 2006! Just looking back at the preceding six years and the plethora of civil rights abuses, corruption, scandal, rubberstamping - EESH!

Raw Story is working on the story right now, so pop by to toss them some dosh and catch the latest details.

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Politics: Go Dennis! And Go, Dennis.

Wow! A surfeit of good news today. Dennis Kucinich is not giving up on the impeachment of Snarly McCrashcart (tx Maru for that monicker). In fact, he is SO not giving up that he's launched his own Internet TV station - yup. KucinichTV. According to Raw Story's report,
KucinichTV will feature a live town hall meeting at 9 p.m. Wednesday as part of a series of broadcasts planned for the next 10 weeks, the campaign says.


On, the congressman lists the details of his impeachment measure, which he says is necessary to prevent Cheney from plunging the country into another war with Iran. Kucinich first introduced his impeachment resolution in April, accompanied by a lengthy list of alleged Cheney crimes, including pushing false intelligence in the run up to Iraq.
How cool is THAT??

According to Raw Story, so many people called in when Kucinich hosted a conference call on impeachment, they brought the switchboards down. Yay, Dennis! Peace, mighty man!

Dennis Hastert dressed up as a taxicab

In other happy, happy, joy, joy news, Raw Story reports that blubbertub Denny Hastert is easing his fat ass on down the road. Best known for his attempts to impersonate a New York taxicab and his shameless corruption and involvement in various Republican scandals (oh, just pick one, any one), Hastert announced he would not run for re-election once details of the scandals began leaking out. Apparently something has prodded the old lardbutt right out of his cozy Congressional seat - could it be hints of teh ghey, which have swirled around the corrupt congresscritter for, oh, forever?

Unfortunately, the fat worm hasn't announced a specific date, but he'll slither off sometime in December or January, necessitating a special election in his district. Perhaps they'll bust him for that sweet land deal he finagled for himself. Wouldn't that be nice? Denny and Tom "The Bugman" in adjoining cells?

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

2008 Elections: CBS/NYT Poll Shows Huckabee Moving Up

Looks like Huckabee is now second in line after Romney, and the difference between them is really very very small.

On the Democratic side, it looks like Hillary C very very narrowly leads John Edwards, who is followed by Barack Obama. Bill Richardson leads the remaining Democrats, whose numbers are in the single digits.

On the downside, Clinton's got the numbers among the likely caucus attendees. On the up side, Edwards and Obama are right close behind her. I'm hoping Edwards gets the nomination. Really, really hoping.

Of course, this poll reflects the Iowa numbers. Clinton and Romney have N.H. buttoned down, which is unfortunate, because we really need the other candidates to have more impact. Both Clinton and Romney are dreadful panderers.

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Civil Rights: Big Brother Is Watching You

Jack Cafferty sometimes annoys me no end. And then, at other times, he just wham! hits the issue of the day right on the button.

Today is an "on-the-button" day, don't you think? Check it out: Jack Cafferty wants to know if you trust government to guard the people's privacy. Well, don't you?

What's this all about, you ask? Well, see, about a month ago, one Donald Kerr, Principal Deputy Directory of National Intelligence, told us that the Fourth Amendment was deader than a pirate's wooden leg, and we, the people, need "a new definition of privacy."
"We need to move beyond the construct that equates anonymity with privacy and focus more on how we can protect essential privacy in this interconnected environment.... I think all of us have to really take stock of what we already are willing to give up, in terms of anonymity, but what safeguards we want in place to be sure that giving that up doesn't empty our bank account or do something equally bad elsewhere."

According to Kerr, privacy should mean only that government and business are safeguarding people's sensitive information, rather than relying on anonymity.
You trust government and business to protect your privacy, don't you? After all, what you're really looking for - what you need - is privacy from other ordinary citizens like yourself. You don't need privacy from the government, or from big business. You can trust them.

Why does this remind me of those infamous words, "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you"? The same government and big business buttwads who routinely lose our records in various ways now want us to trust them to maintain our privacy and ensure that we are not subject to the kind of identity theft that would empty our bank accounts and steal our house and home from right under us.

I don't think so.

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Politics: Republicans Demand Democrats Withdraw Truth

Substitute lies, instead, insists Sam Mossback.
Or not exactly. Senior Republicans on Congress' Joint Economic Committee, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KN) and Rep. James Saxon (R-NJ) are calling on Democrats to retract a staff report alleging the hidden costs of the Iraq war could total more than $1.5 trillion.
So the long and short of this explosion of completely bogus outrage is that the Democrats (finally, the spineless jellyfish) issued a report pointing out the true cost of Shrubya's pet war. Let's face it folks, it's ~500 billion today, but that's minus the required care for the 30 per cent of the troops who are showing up with PTSD, and the 20 per cent with TBI (traumatic brain injury) who will need help dressing, bathing, eating, fixing food, managing their lives; the 30,000+ who are badly injured, some missing one or more limbs; the families of the wounded and dead, who might have lost a primary breadwinner, and will need financial assistance to manage the loss of one or more full-time incomes; and the medical care that those families, their dependent children, and the injured themselves will need for the rest of their lives.

See, the Chimperor and his cronies think "supporting the troops" means buying flags made in China and those little metal magnet ribbons, and sticking them on your SUV. It has not yet dawned on them that when you ask a man or woman to give their life or one or more limbs or brain or soul for the country, you are obliged to take care of that person in whatever way they need care. Burial for the dead, assistance for the wounded, and care for their families and dependants.

Add that to gas prices that have doubled just over the past year. Add that to inflation. Add to that the mortgage crisis and credit crunch which are crushing the dollar on international markets and taking the homes of many families, with many more to come. What have you got? A perfect storm. The current health care system, military or civilian, is already breaking and falling apart. Hell, the whole goddamned country is falling apart. Does the Chimperor - and do his greedy rotten friends - really think the collapse of the infrastructure and the societal machine can be ignored? That no money should be set aside to fix cities, towns, sewage systems, roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, fire stations, police stations, libraries, museums?

Senator Mossback, you should concentrate on polishing some other turds right now. These are shining too brightly for the people to ignore them any longer. Find some shiny bright tinsel to wave in the faces of the media. Maybe Britney Spears has had plastic surgery on her coochie, or something. There must be something you can distract us with.

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Politics: Guantanamo Bay Manual Leaked

Snarly McCrashcart's repulsive visage courtesy of Mimus Pauly

Oh, my. How most fortunate that there are still people in government service and out, who believe in the Constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and their right to blow the whistle on a corrupt government.

Raw Story points us to a Wired expose on the leaking of a Guantanamo Bay manual on the InnerTubes. Yes!
The 238-page document, "Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures," is dated March 28, 2003. It is unclassified, but designated "For Official Use Only." It hit the web last Wednesday on
Wikileaks was set up by open-government activists to function as a clearinghouse for open disclosure. And a good thing, too.

A little sunshine will clean out the fetid swamp that the government has become. Nepotism, cronyism, bribery, corruption, prostitutes gay and straight, slave labour, lies, petty revenge, and secrecy. It's time for all of that to go. We're better than that.

We don't have to live in Darth Cheney's fantasy world of fear and nonexistent suitcase nukes. We don't have to live in Bubble Boy's propaganda world where everything you want is real if you only say it three times. We don't have to live in the hysterical, fearful world of the DHS and the NSA where every conversation and mouse-click must be spied on because somewhere out there among the 300 million or more, there could be one individual who might be dangerous. We're better than that.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Iraq: We're Winning, Right?

Right? Hello? Anybody out there?

Hmmm. About two months ago, in early September, General David "God" Petraeus testified before Congress that we were winning most winningly in Iraq. Everything, according to the general, was going just peachy-keen in The Land Of The Brown People. A week later, the WaPoo reports, the U.S. military commanders in Iraq put out "Help Wanted" ads, seeking private contractors to take the place of soldiers in combat-supply warehouses on U.S. bases throughout Iraq, the soldiers in question being required to do other, more urgent, soldierly tasks, like patrols and combat and stuff.
"With the increased insurgent activity, unit supply personnel must continue to pull force protection along with convoy escort and patrol duties," according to a statement of work that accompanied the Sept. 7 request for bidders from Multi-National Force-Iraq.


Some locations may end up being "completely manned by contract personnel," the statement says.
The contract workers will be given room and board, but medical care will only be provided for emergency medical and dental needs, danger to life, limb, and eyesight, broken bones or teeth, and life-saving drugs like insulin. Everything else is just not going to be provided.

Sounds like pretty rough conditions for a "winning" team.

Meanwhile, Bootsie Ferragamo, our doughty Secretary of Shoe-Shopping, plans to order up to 50 diplomats to Iraq next year. Apparently, they're a tad short of diplomatic personnel there. One can't help but wonder what happened to the others, you know, the ones who, er, used to be there? Incidentally, the WaPoo assures us that this is the first such large-scale forced assignment since the Vietnam War.

For some reason hitherto incomprehensible to me, Bootsie actually expects people to volunteer. And if they don't, or not enough of them do, she's bloody well ordering them to schlep their diplomatic asses over to the Baghdad embassy next summer.

In case you weren't up to speed on the issue, this is the same Embassy building that Reuters has claimed is "indefinitely delayed" while its Kuwaiti contractor fixes a punch list of problems, the State Department said on Tuesday. So far the cost overrun is around $150 million, and U.S. lawmakers say the building is marked by shoddy work by the contractor and poor oversight by the State Department. McClatchy's Washington Bureau has reported that the fire-safety systems don't work, the electrical system has melted down, due to the counterfeit wiring used by the contractor, and there are a slew of other problems with appliances and water mains.

Victims of the forced draft of diplomats will include "people who have not had a recent hardship tour," according to Bootsie's second in command.

Bootsie has ordered that positions in Iraq be filled before any other openings at the State Department headquarters in Washington or abroad are available. Victims have 10 days to file a written notice of objection. The review panel will consider the objections, but absent a serious, documented medical condition, the department will either send you there or fire your ass, boys and girls.

The union representing U.S. diplomats has officially objected to the Iraq call-up, referring to it as "a death trap." Well, the soldiers don't get to complain, so why the hell should you. Why not kill our few remaining foreign service officers who have any understanding of Islamic culture or speak the language? Then we can revel in our splendid isolation!
Steve Kashkett, vice president of the American Foreign Service Association, says: "Directed assignments, we fear, can be detrimental to the individual, to the post, and to the Foreign Service as a whole."

Kashkett said the association had contended in meetings with Rice and Thomas that a diplomatic draft is unnecessary and that "thousands" of diplomats have volunteered for Iraq over the past five years. "We're not weenies, we're not cowards, we're not cookie pushers in Europe," he said. "This has never been necessary in a generation."


At congressional hearings last summer, Kashkett testified that medical and psychiatric symptoms have become a growing problem for personnel serving in high-danger zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
Yeah, nothing like having mentally and psychiatrically damaged individuals serving in the diplomatic corps to enhance your standing. Wheeee!

Over at First Draft, Holden consoles the soon-to-be-drafted diplomats about Condi's care for their earthly remains, in the unlikely event of anything, uh, untoward, shall we say?
Are you a career State Department employee hesitant to volunteer for service in Iraq or Afghanistan? Well, if your worst fears are realized and you are killed at one of those posts Condi has already arranged for your death to be ignored.

If terrorists attack the U.S. embassy in Iraq and injure or kill American diplomats serving there, the State Department does not have to investigate the incident as it would if it occurred anywhere else in the world, thanks to a tweak to federal law.

Two years ago, the State Department quietly requested -- and received -- a legal provision exempting the secretary of state from a requirement she order rigorous after-action investigations into incidents against embassies or personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the congressman who sponsored the bill. The reason, the lawmaker told ABC News at the time, was that Rice was reluctant to send investigators into harm's way.
Go read it, fellas. Pretty educational.

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War: Suicide Rates For Veterans

Pic from the official site of the 1st Marine Corps District

Via Raw Story comes a report that CBS News has found veterans are committing suicide at twice the rate of the civilian population.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) estimates deaths from suicide in the civilian population aged 10 - 24 at approximately 4,600 in 2004, making suicide the third leading cause of death. Suicide deaths rose by 8 per cent from 2003. CDC reports that is the largest increase seen in 15 years.

The report on military suicides appears to be based on a study funded by the NIH (National Institutes of Health) that shows male veterans in the general U.S. population are twice as likely as their civilian peers to die by suicide. Results of the research by Mark S. Kaplan, DrPH, and colleagues from Portland State University and Oregon Health & Science University were published online June 11 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health and will appear in the July issue. The study also reported this intriguing fact:
... 75 percent of veterans do not get their health care through the VA ... .
A larger study, a joint effort between the Department of Veterans' Affairs and the University of Michigan, reports that veterans receiving treatment for depression are no more likely to take their own lives than are civilian patients, according to the New York Times. The report cautions, however, that because most former servicemen and women with mental problems do not seek treatment in the Veterans Affairs system, the results should not be applied too widely. Hmm. There it is again. That disturbing fact.

Numerous studies have shown that war has detrimental effects on the mental health of civilian and military populations.
Among the consequences of war, the impact on the mental health of the civilian population is one of the most significant. Studies of the general population show a definite increase in the incidence and prevalence of mental disorders. Women are more affected than men. Other vulnerable groups are children, the elderly and the disabled. Prevalence rates are associated with the degree of trauma, and the availability of physical and emotional support. The use of cultural and religious coping strategies is frequent in developing countries.
"Almost one-third of U.S. soldiers seeking government health care after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are diagnosed with a mental problem, researchers said on Monday in a study calling for more emphasis on the mental wounds of war."
And, from researcher Dr. Karen Seal of the University of California and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center:
... the prevalence of mental problems among veterans threatens "to bring the war back home as a costly personal and public health burden."

"Our results signal a need for improvements in the primary prevention of military service-related mental health disorders, particularly among our youngest service members,"
Seal wrote in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Seal reports that 31 percent of the 100,000+ veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were diagnosed with at least one mental health problem. These people are not getting the help they need. The cost to their families and society is huge and burdensome. Meanwhile Awol McChimpface continues to slash spending on veterans' health care, even as he accuses everyone but God of "not supporting teh troops."

The worthless blivet needs to be impeached.

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World: Philippine House Of Representatives

An explosion inside the Philippine House of Representatives has killed two and injured nine, reports the International Herald Tribune. The dead included Congressman Wahab Akbar and Marcial Talbo, the driver for Representative Luz Ilagan. Representative Ilagan suffered injuries to her right leg and back.

Congressman, Henry Teves, is in critical condition at the hospital, officials said. A total of nine people, some of them congressional staff members, were also hurt.
House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., who confirmed Akbar's death, called the explosion "an act of terrorism."

"I don't want to be frightened by these terrorists and destabilizers so I have ordered the sessions to resume tomorrow," de Venecia said by telephone.

He said the police were going to sweep the premises overnight for other possible explosives.


Cris Puno, a spokesman for Akbar, suggested that the attack was directed at the congressman. Akbar and his family have ruled Basilan, an island in the south notorious as a sanctuary for the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, for decades.


The country's legislators are currently deliberating whether to impeach Arroyo, who is accused of corruption and human rights violations.
Given the endemic corruption in the Philippines, this could well be an attack by Arroyo, or an attack by Abu Sayyaf against Akbar, or an attack by Basilan inhabitants who are tired of the fact that Akbar's family pretty much rules Basilan. Details will, I am sure, follow.

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Human Rights: Murder And Murderers

Update below.

Many years ago, when Daniel Gene-Vincent Sorensen was only 17 years old, he had sex with a 14-year-old girl. Sorenson claimed he thought the girl was 16 years old. Nevertheless, he was arrested and convicted of a crime in Tazewell County, Ill., and had to register as a sex offender after his release.

Recently, Daniel Sorensen was murdered. He was lured to someone's garage and stabbed multiple times in the back. He was decapitated, his hands and feet burned with a blowtorch, apparently to make identification of the corpse more difficult. His body was dumped in a cul-de-sac, doused with gasoline, and set on fire. His head was dumped in a river. According to the police, his status as a sex offender had nothing to do with the crime committed against him.

These are the murderers of Daniel Sorensen:

Jean-Pierre Orlewicz

Alexander James Letkemann

In a court of law, everyone is innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In the court of public opinion, guilty is as gossip does.

Jean-Pierre Orlewicz is 17 years old. Alexander James Letkeman is 18. Each of them is facing one count each of first-degree premeditated murder, felony murder, and mutilation of a corpse. Both have pleaded not guilty.

The murder charge carries a sentence of life in prison. Mutilation of a corpse carries a maximum prison sentence of ten years. Apparently, other people were involved in the brutal murder.

I just want to know what would cause two teenagers to murder another human being with such a chilling degree of malice aforethought. They - or someone else, in concert with them - planned this murder down to the last jot and tittle. They spread a tarp on the floor of the garage, so there would be less blood to clean up. They sawed the head off, thinking a headless body would be harder to identify. They blowtorched the hands and feet, hoping to prevent identification.

And now they have been caught. Was it worth it, guys? Why did you do this? The guy was your friend. The degree of alienation and lack of empathy shown by this casual murder is frightening. Are these kids psychopathic? Sociopathic? What made them turn out this way?

Let's hope that they are not wrongly accused and that if they did commit this terrible crime, they go to jail for life. If they are guilty, they are a danger to their fellow humans.

Fox News has the details here.

Update: What's really upsetting about this story is the reaction to it by commenters on various news sites and blogs. People are thrilled that Sorensen was murdered and decapitated. Are we a country of laws or men?

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Monday, November 12, 2007

World: Benazir Bhutto Under House Arrest Again

Associated Press reports that Pervez Musharraf has placed Benazir Bhutto under house arrest again. Lovely.
Bhutto's aide, Sen. Safdar Abbasi, said the seven-day detention order was not binding because neither Bhutto nor one of her representatives had been served with the document.

"We will go ahead with the march," he told The Associated Press.
The U.S. and the U.K. have been meddling in Pakistan's internal politics, and the whole mess has now blown up in their faces. We don't endorse Musharraf or Bhutto, but Pakistan is a sovereign nation, with the right to determine her own path. Bush is an utter failure at foreign policy or, indeed, any policy matters. He simply doesn't have the experience or wisdom to formulate policy. His idea of policy is to bind his balls up and strut across the deck of an aircraft carrier. That's not policy. That's braggartism.

Needless to say, all the messes that Bush has created were quite foreseeable to many - no, any - people with a reasonable degree of education and an understanding of negotiation and interaction. You don't win arguments by threatening to beat people up. You win them by understanding that everybody involved in an interaction has to feel like they're winning something, whatever that something might be. If you try beating up everyone else, either they'll join together and beat the holy living shit out of you, or they'll resent you and keep looking for ways to get back at you. And no one wins those prolonged, endless battles.

Well, I guess now that Idiot Boy has fucked up in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, and "Old Europe," it might be time to send him off to do what he does best - get drunk and clear brush. Impeachment, anyone?

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Politics: Alaska's Corrupt Politicians Caught In The Act

of selling their souls to the devil and bragging about it.

The Washington Post reports that the FBI ran a successful sting on Bill Allen, CEO of Veco, an oil-field services company, that seems to have netted a plethora of corrupt Alaska lawmakers. These people are so unashamed of their blatant corruption that they actually had baseball caps made up with the logo CBC (for Corrupt Bastards' Club), which they wore in public.

We here at Casa de Los Gatos would like to donate twenty whacks with the Golden Bat o'Clue to each of these miserable motherfuckers. We would hope that any lawmaker who wants to brag about their corruption would be dealt a swift torches-and-pitchforks treatment by their suffering constituents.

Holy Mother of God, these creeps tell us we can't afford health care for children, then turn around and vote for buckets of cash for their contractor friends enriching themselves off the rotting corpse of a country whose only fault is that it lies upon vast reserves of oil. Meanwhile, they slice away at the budget that is supposed to care for the poor soldiers who suffer in the mess they created, coming home with injured bodies, brains, and souls, limbs missing, close to madness. And they and their miserable friends laugh all the way to the bank as they line their pockets with our tax dollars, while all the time screaming about how the Democrats "will raise taxes." Fuck you, you liars and crooks. Fuck you all.

It's OK for you to pocket the existing tax money and rip old people off for health care and rip children off for health care and rip wounded veterans off for health care and let the whole goddamn country rot into a fetid pile of ancient and broken infrastructure, but heaven forfend anyone should raise taxes on the rich.

Here's your bat o'clue.

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Politics: Judge Slaps White House With Restraining Order

Oh, my. At last, a judge has the gumption to stand up to the lying shills in the WH. According to a Cox Newspapers Washington Bureau report, the WH has been told to
“ ... preserve media, no matter how described, presently in their possession or under their custody or control, that were created with the intention of preserving data in the event of its inadvertent destruction,” wrote Kennedy in a Nov. 12 opinion in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The order was sought by the National Security Archive, a public interest library at George Washington University, and the Washington-based watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Will we finally get to see what the crooks, liars, and thugs hiding in the White House have been up to all these years? Let's hope so.

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Children: Poor Parenting

Lately, the innate misanthropy of the inhabitants at Casa de Los Gatos is emerging full swing. It could be the general tide of world events - the brutal repression by our good friend and ally Pervez Musharraf, of his own people; the brutal idiots of the Burmese junta, crushing peaceful assmebly and protest; contaminated, toxic food, toys, and consumer products; a moron running this country into the ground; a moron running Iraq into the ground; things worsening in Afghanistan; the number of lying, hypocritical perverts exposed (so to speak) in the ongoing game of Republican whack-a-mole.

Today's example of piss-poor parenting comes from the Miami Herald, which reports on a family that has lost not one, but two, toddlers to accidents recently. I'm reminded of Oscar Wilde's snarky comment,
To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.
What have you to say to this family? Or about them?

The first child, aged 2, died in what was termed a "freak accident" as the father was cutting down a tree at the lot on which the family house stood. Now it's quite possible that something outrageously unexpected happened while the tree was being cut down and the child was killed in some way that no one could possibly have foreseen.

But the second child, 2-1/2 years old, is hard to explain. The father says he sat the child down on a woodpile and then moved his truck. The child wandered off the woodpile and into the path of the truck and was crushed by a wheel.

Why would anyone in their right mind leave a small child unsupervised around big vehicles? It's entirely foreseeable that children run out into the path of vehicles. They do it all the time.

If you've already lost one child to a tragic accident, wouldn't you be much more alert to the possibility of losing another? When hanging out with our best friend's daughter, we would never allow the child to walk on the side of the pavement closest to the road, because a driver might lose control of their car and accidentally hit her. We made her keep tight hold of an adult's hand at all times. We never ever put her car seat down on the side of the vehicle nearest the road. We watched that poor kid like a hawk.

So what kind of parent puts their toddler - the age at which most children have no fucking clue about safety - down near a truck that they plan to reverse out of a space? We would have had that child strapped into the truck right next to us.

We're sure the father is devastated and all that. But really, you have to start wondering about when we're going to require potential parents to get training and licensing first.

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Politics: Nutters No Longer Bother To Hide Nuttiness

You have to wonder why the stark raving insane are so well-represented in the Halls of Power. Is it just because the insular world of Warshingktown breeds insanity? Or is it because the inbreeding of the rich and powerful, read Republicans, has led to the worst of the gene pool expressing itself? Because these people are fruity as a nutcake, to come up with something like this:
GOP staffers sensed Pelosi plot in temporary Fox News blackout


When Fox News programming mysteriously disappeared last week from televisions at the US Capitol, some Republican Congressional aides were quick to suspect foul play, according to a DC newspaper.

"Staffers looking for their daily dose of 'We report, you decide' coverage on Wednesday flipped to the usual channel, only to be surprised to find dead air," report Roll Call's Emily Heil and Anna Palmer. "Conspiracy theories, unsurprisingly, abounded."

Raw Story has the full report. I mean, look at these people:

Would you trust them within 100 miles of the nuclear button?

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Human Rights: Burma (Update)

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the U.N.'s special envoy on human rights in Myanmar (Burma) visited Myanmar's notorious Insein prison today as part of his probe into rights abuses and the actual death toll from the junta's suppression of pro-democracy protests.

Now there's a man with guts. I'd like to see the Chimperor visit any country without full security detail.

Pinheiro will try to meet political detainees and investigate claims of abuses against ethnic minority groups. He leaves Burma on Thursday. He visited the notorious Insein jail outside Yangon for about two hours, according to Myanmar's state television. He was accompanied by UN and government officials, and escorted by police, witnesses said.

That would be Burmese police, of course. Think the Chimperor would dare visit Iraq with an Iraqi police escort? He takes his own security detail to friendly countries, where they foul up the traffic and irritate thousands of ordinary citizens who need to get things done, but must sit in their cars instead as the Lord God High Panjandrum Monkeyface and his minions drive by.

Pinheiro also held talks with senior Buddhist monks on Monday, the UN said, but did not reveal any details.

A Myanmar official confirmed that earlier Monday the envoy visited the Ngwekyaryan monastery in South Okkalapa, a satellite town of Yangon.

According to the Raw Story report on the visit,
Political analysts say the generals have allowed the UN visits to reduce pressure on them ahead of the annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which opens in Singapore on Sunday.
Daw Suu Kyi, the democratically elected leader of Burma, deserves your energies and activism on her behalf and the behalf of her brutally repressed people.

Talk to your political representatives and urge them to do something. The Chimperor is an ineffective and worthless loser, and no one is listening to him. Congress, or your equivalent parliamentary body, needs to do something. Instead of meddling in Iraq where we don't belong, and which we've now set on fire like a careless child with a box of matches, we should have been concentrating all along on Afghanistan and Burma and other such countries. But, no. The chimperor preferred killing your children and other people's children.

It's time to impeach the son-of-a-marsh sponge.

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