Bush cuts funding for veterans affairs of all types and then he wants to downsize the armed services in the middle of a conflict in Iraq? WTF???
This is potentially quite chilling:
The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.
The scientist, James E. Hansen, longtime director of the agency's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in an interview that officials at NASA headquarters had ordered the public affairs staff to review his coming lectures, papers, postings on the Goddard Web site and requests for interviews from journalists.
Dean Acosta, deputy assistant administrator for public affairs at the space agency, said there was no effort to silence Dr. Hansen. "That's not the way we operate here at NASA," Mr. Acosta said. "We promote openness and we speak with the facts."
He said the restrictions on Dr. Hansen applied to all National Aeronautics and Space Administration personnel. He added that government scientists were free to discuss scientific findings, but that policy statements should be left to policy makers and appointed spokesmen.
Mr. Acosta said other reasons for requiring press officers to review interview requests were to have an orderly flow of information out of a sprawling agency and to avoid surprises. "This is not about any individual or any issue like global warming," he said. "It's about coordination."
What? You mean the ultra super-secret Bush administration that makes the Nixon white house look like it was made of glass is trying to silence a guy that would have us use less energy, and thus less potential profit for Bushco? Imagine that. Scientists aren't policy directors; the data is. All the scientists do is say 'according to my best guess (and since I don't think we want humans to die off this soon) we should reduce energy use.' And Bush acts like its treason because it keeps him from lying so freely.
Nothing like trying to make lobbying firms hire Republicans over Democrats to make sure that Big Business can write laws easier:
Republican lawmakers yesterday ended their long practice of routinely summoning lobbyists to the Capitol to try to persuade them to hire their aides and colleagues, in the wake of the Jack Abramoff political corruption scandal.
GOP lawmakers for years have regularly presented lists of job openings on K Street to lobbyists to encourage them to hire Republicans over Democrats. The program is a remnant of the K Street Project once championed by Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) as a way to coerce trade associations and companies to hire Republicans as their top lobbyists and to warn firms that hired Democrats that they would not be welcome.
Yesterday, the staff director of the Senate Republican Conference said that a K-Street-job-vacancies memo -- the heart of Congress's remaining involvement in the effort these days -- will no longer be distributed during high-level meetings hosted by the conference on Capitol Hill between lawmakers and lobbyists. Responsibility for the listings migrated from the House to the Senate several years ago, according to lobbyists.
While lobbyists and others could still obtain the information elsewhere, the change removes the formal involvement of lawmakers from the process and any implied encouragement by them to transform K Street into a Republican bastion.
So the Republicans will go underground with their conniving ways. Fits the pattern.
Five teachers at San Leandro High School have refused to comply with a school district order to display a rainbow-flag poster in their classrooms that reads, "This is a safe place to be who you are," because they say homosexuality violates their religious beliefs, Principal Amy Furtado said.
The high school's Gay-Straight Alliance designed the poster, which includes pink triangles and other symbols of gay pride. In December the school board approved a policy requiring all district teachers to hang the posters in their classrooms.
District officials said the poster is an effort to comply with state laws requiring schools to ensure students' safety and curb discrimination and harassment. They say that too often teachers do not reprimand students who use derogatory slurs or refer to homosexuality in a negative way.
"This is not about religion, sex, or a belief system,'' said district Superintendent Christine Lim, who initiated the poster policy. "This is about educators making sure our schools are safe for our children, regardless of their sexual orientation."
As long as there are Christians (in particular) in power, this kind of crap will continue to happen. While its probably not such a good thing for the district to try and force this on people, I didn't think that it'd be such a big deal to put a poster up that says 'we won't discriminate against you if you're gay.'
Here is William Dembski's page at the Discovery Institute.
He came as a guest of the KU Campus Crusade for Christ. The talk was billed as 'the scientific basis for intelligent design.' Well, this should be interesting, I thought.
I couldn't have been more wrong. To begin with, Dr. Dembski doesn't have a degree in anything resembling a physical science. Evolution is concerned with the physical sciences quite heavily. So where does he derive his credibility? If anyone knows, email me, because I'm simply not seeing it. His entire talk was talking about the 'failures of evolution', without EVEN BOTHERING to use the scientific method to come up with a potentially falsifiable hypothesis. So apparently he doesn't understand the scientific method, which roughly goes as follows:
1) Problem/Unexplained Phenomena
3) Experimental Design (to exclude one or more potential hypotheses)
5) Potential elimination of one or more hypotheses
Rinse and Repeat.
So it was basically an hour of this guy tearing into evolution. And then came Q and A. Two questions in particular stuck out:
The first was asking what hypothesis he has on how to prove 'Intelligent Design.' Of course he didn't answer about that.
The second question dealt with evidence that supports his assertion (whatever the hell it is, as he never actually said anything about that.). At this question, he froze up for a second and then talked about his website having the evidence. The questioner responded that she had read the documents in question and could find no evidence in them. Dr. Dembski then responded that his talk had 'fallen on deaf ears' that night. The questioner then stated that he couldn't possibly get published into a peer-reviewed journal or scientific conference with a lack of data. At this Dr. Dembski basically shut the question down. To me, it indicated that he is simply a charlatan, a huckster who is trying to sell the snake oil that is 'Intelligent Design.'
Another issue is simply Dembski's intellectual laziness. I can't come up with another reason why he would basically argue that only he (or his colleagues) could 'see the design inherent in nature.'
If this guy is the best ID has, no wonder they can't get traction anywhere.
According to Colin Powell:
Colin Powell, who warned President Bush on the eve of the Iraq war that US forces would have to stay for the long haul after toppling Saddam, yesterday predicted that troop withdrawals would begin by the end of this year.
He spoke as final results of the elections for a new Iraqi government left the Shia Muslim alliance 10 seats short of an outright parliamentary majority - boosting US and British hopes of a coalition including Sunni and Kurdish groups. Britain's ambassador to Iraq, William Patey, said after the results were announced that an 'inclusive government of national unity' would help chances of a 'significant' withdrawal of the UK's 8,000 troops.
Powell, the former Secretary of State, told The Observer that, while the 'characteristics of the new government' would be clearer in the weeks ahead, the US role was to 'make sure the process [of transition] unfolds successfully'.
During his policy battles with Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon hawks in the run-up to the Iraq war, Powell at one point reportedly cautioned Bush: 'If you break it, you own it.' Since stepping down as the administration's senior diplomat after the 2004 presidential election, he has reiterated his view that America must not cut and run.
2006 must be an election year. Too bad the Dems don't have the balls to do anything about it. It would be as simple as calling them out live on National TV.
Woo! Glad to know that Kerry is out in front of the Alito nomination:
Senator John Kerry says he will vote against Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito.Kerry tells A-B-C's George Stephanopoulos this morning that he fears Alito would take the country (quote) "backwards."
Of course Alito would. I think he would a) say anything to get on the court, and b) has contempt for all of us 'little people.'
But Google says 'no way!'
The move is part of a government effort to revive an Internet child protection law struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. The law was meant to punish online pornography sites that make their content accessible to minors. The government contends it needs the Google data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches.
In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Justice Department lawyers revealed that Google has refused to comply with a subpoena issued last year for the records, which include a request for 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period.
The Mountain View-based search and advertising giant opposes releasing the information on a variety of grounds, saying it would violate the privacy rights of its users and reveal company trade secrets, according to court documents.
Um, yeah. There is a huge amount of information about users out there. But what good is giving the government a weeks worth of searches by everyone? It seems like you'd have a hard time getting a warrant out of any of this. Unless the Bush admin is going to ignore the law again and just round people up. Or Bush could get a FISA warrant to wiretap everything going into Google.
I've always figured that some people would seek to stir the shit-pot and try to overturn 30+ years of law:
A Cincinnati legislator's bill to ban abortion in Ohio drew widespread support here Wednesday from a dozen groups eager to trigger a review of Roe v. Wade by what they see as an increasingly conservative U.S. Supreme Court.
Introduced nine months ago by Rep. Tom Brinkman, R-Mount Lookout, House Bill 228 would make it a felony to carry out abortions or transport a woman across state lines to have one. It would allow abortions only to save the life of a mother.
Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, warned that anti-abortion advocates "are using the states as laboratories" in their efforts to overturn Roe. Indiana, too, is considering a ban on abortions, and other states are adding restrictions to when abortions are allowed.
The interesting thing about this is that it doesn't actually outlaw getting and abortion, only for the doctor to perform them. Either way, its still not good, as this would a) punish rape victims, b) create a spate of unwanted children which will likely lead to an increase in the crime rate, and c) endanger the health of women who will take it into their own hands and have an abortion themselves. Some say that if the GOP/conservatives pull this off, it will destroy the GOP. I'm not so sure about that. What do you think?
By a margin of 52% to 43%, Americans want Congress to consider impeaching President Bush if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge's approval, according to a new poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003.
The poll was conducted by Zogby International, the highly-regarded non-partisan polling company. The poll interviewed 1,216 U.S. adults from January 9-12.
Bush better do something to scare us soon, otherwise he'll be impeached at some point.
The poll found that 52% agreed with the statement:
"If President Bush wiretapped American citizens without the approval of a judge, do you agree or disagree that Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment."
43% disagreed, and 6% said they didn't know or declined to answer. The poll has a +/- 2.9% margin of error.
"The American people are not buying Bush's outrageous claim that he has the power to wiretap American citizens without a warrant. Americans believe terrorism can be fought without turning our own government into Big Brother," said AfterDowningStreet.org co-founder Bob Fertik.