Baking the McBush Dozen

McBush lists his goals to 2013:

  1. less violence in Iraq and Afghanistan,
  2. Osama bin Laden dead or captured,
  3. spending curbed by veto,
  4. flat tax,
  5. temporary worker program,
  6. British-style question periods in Congress [!],
  7. end of mindless, paralyzing partisan rancor [!],
  8. end of permanent campaigning [!],
  9. a “League of Democracies” to replace the UN [!],
  10. halt ‘signing statements’,
  11. charter schools,
  12. more commercial health care,
  13. 20 new nuclear reactors.

McCain said: “The Iraq war has been won. Iraq is a functioning democracy…” and also denied the war would be won by 2013 because there’s no timetable.

Campaigns and the media collaborated as architects of the modern presidential campaign, and we deserve equal blame for the regret we feel from time to time over its less-than-inspirational features,” he said.

Sums it up I think.

And oh yes, he announced his campaign for a second term. [story]

Nobody knows Bush

Anything and everything for the only friends he has left, Bush slipped a “controversial ingredient into his $770 million aid package to ease the world food crisis, adding language that would promote the use of genetically modified crops in food-deprived countries.”

The value or detriment of genetically modified, or bio-engineered, food is an intensely disputed issue in the U.S. and in Europe, where many countries have banned foods made from genetically modified organisms… [story]

Alone in the House, the man fails to see the world.

Overview of a music industry

The U.S. music industry issued nearly 80,000 new albums, of which 54,500 were in the physical format while 25,200 were in the digital format only. That represents a 5.2% increase over the 75,744 issued in 2006.

Of the nearly 80,000 releases issued in 2007, roughly 60 titles accounted for 30% of all new release sales, which totaled 70 million units. Meanwhile, nearly 62,000 new releases each sold less than 100 units.

Of the total new releases, nearly 11,000 albums were issued by the majors. Those albums sold nearly 151 million units, or 80% of total sales, which were about 180 million units last year.

While 4 million different tracks were downloaded last year, only 303 tracks scanned over 250,000 units while nearly 3.5 million tracks sold less than 100 units.

Less than 100 units??
More music being released, the majority of which doesn’t sell. [story]

War & Hate Too Everywhere

Palestinian children hold toy rifles, BBCActor Danny Glover has joined with Colorblind to produce video games that will not promote hate.

“Many existing games feature Western soldiers shooting Arabs, Afghans and other ethnic ‘enemies,’ as well as bad guys who are consistently of African descent, Latino, Arab or Muslim in general,”

“We think that only reinforces negative stereotypes.

“We’re introducing different types of heroes …to fight corruption, not people of another race.”

Glover said, “I am also excited to be involved in creating heroes for other regions like South Asia and Africa that have been ignored or handled insensitively by the existing game developers.”

McBush wool over us

Most Americans who will not vote will say a vote is meaningless. Voting for McBush is meaningless.

He’s merely arranging chairs, such as reappointing former CIA director James Woolsey and reigniting the Committee on the Present Danger. Loose and unrestrained, Woolsey asks us to support the idea we are in World War IV.

Founded in 1950 to combat the “red menace” of communism, revived in the 70s, McBush brings back the same lawmakers, academics, and business people into his fight with “Islamic terrorism”. Among this post-Wolfowitz cadre, most seek to include Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.

Too satisfied raising themselves to take America along their potted rhetoric, the Committee is cited in 2004 in The Washington Post saying that Islamic terrorism had become the greatest danger to American freedom.

The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks awoke all Americans to the capabilities and brutality of our new enemy, but today too many people are insufficiently aware of our enemy’s evil worldwide designs, which include waging jihad against all Americans and re-establishing a totalitarian religious empire in the Middle East. The past struggle against communism differed in some ways from the current war against Islamist terrorism. But America’s freedom and security, which each has aimed to undermine, are exactly the same.

I don’t argue that militants truly endanger us, nor that we must sustain alert and emboldened action, but these pirates fail to help us.

Our children have voice

Gas & bread prices, ominous portents of extinction, rising sea, volatile weather, staccato poverty, jets into buildings, war, insolvent leaders, argument, missive, moan, must scare our children.

A sofa of kids vaunt to say, No, How dare you? Severn Suzuki speaking at UN Earth Summit 1992.

I recommend this short video. A million+ have watched it, but still too few. Time Magazine updates her activity a few years later.

Shockingly Tibet

Tibetan plateauThe 7.8 quake that shook China is a shift of the Tibetan plateau [wiki].

India crashes into Tibet, China is drawn under. The Indian plate moves north at speeds of around 150mm per year—much faster than any plate. [link] Because India is hitting head-on, the Tibetan plateau is developing splits, or rifts, that curve away from the axis of impact. The Indian subcontinent is sliding under Tibet and lifting the plateau, already the highest region on earth. [link]

Different parts of the Tibetan plateau were elevated at different times. Interestingly, the great Himalaya mountains uplifted significantly later and were below sea level at a time when the central plateau was already more than 4,500 meters (14,850 feet). [link]

Fractures of  Tibetan mantleSurface-wave tomography of southeastern Tibet reveal numerous east-west tectonic fractures as continents of Eurasia collide.

This quake struck from a depth of ten kilometres, says USGS. [story]

It’s silly to project trends, but few westerners know there have been several forceful earthquakes in Asia recently. “A 7.3 magnitude earthquake occurred in Japan not long ago. On the Chinese mainland, a 6.9 magnitude quake took place in Tibet in January, while March saw a 7.3 magnitude quake in Xinjiang and now a 7.8 magnitude quake in Wenchuan.” [link]

An astronaut’s pic of the Tibetan Plateau here.


San Andreas fault separates California from Australia at Point ReyesTo remind us that San Francisco survives atop tectonic fractures, here’s a very impressive astronaut’s pic of California’s fault at Point Reyes.

The distinct blue line is the Tomales Bay over the rigorous San Andreas fault. The entire peninsula was once shifted 30 miles northward during one series of quakes – and may be remnant of lands near Australia as it’s circled the Pacific’s Ring of Fire.

Democrat, Republican, everybody

Awarded top video from submissions to MoveOn:

“I’m a veteran, I served under President Ronald Reagan and under the first President Bush. I’ve been a Republican since before I could actually vote. We need somebody in the White House that is strong. We need somebody who’s gonna represent the left and the right, the Democrat and the Republican, everybody. I’m a lifelong Republican and I’m voting for Barack Obama.”

[youTube]

MoveOn selected ‘Your Brain on Hope’ as the Funniest Video too.

Armed with privilege

Around the world the number of democratic nations has slipped in the last years. Blaming the unattractive Bush Administration is the first thought, but more likely its growing tension under poverty and, not oddly, a weakening of organized protest while governments equip with militian suppression – much exported by the USA too oddly, really.

Russia should be a study in America. We wasted much of a Century on it and hoisted a living infrastructure of hierarchy over our democracy to knock down only a wall or two and sundry silo.

I enjoyed the earnest translation in this analysis of Putin:

More than …being a Stalin to oneself.

The right for committing a crime has become a part of privileges granted to the official. The state has become an instrument for satisfying needs of any of its public servants – from president to district police officer. Well, the needs are rather primitive: oil, impunity, and praising.

States are attractive posits.

What You Wish 101

This might lead to common chutzpah consulting but I agree that drive delivers disjointed people. Worse.

“By the time executives get married, take on a mortgage, raise kids, cope with the crabgrass, climb the corporate ladder, do their best to manage career pressures, build their net worth and get into their 40s, they’ve lost touch with what they believe in and care about most deeply.

This downward drift up the corporate ladder…

A nickel’s equity

“If we can find approaches that meet the needs of the poor in ways that generate profits for business and votes for politicians, we will have found a sustainable way to reduce inequity in the world.” – Bill Gates

Is it silly to say if the poor can help the rich and keep liars in office, the poor win?

So much to ponder here. This prince on his dais pleads we give ovens to pay diamonds for bread. Somehow cake is better.

Lending to liars

Re-posting from 2007, I’m not yammering about greed and nonsense politics. I’m saying you and I did not crush our economy.

None of us laboring day to day in America did the horrid ruin we are. Unwatched crude and stupid folks we failed to teach, know little about, cannot find, let be rich; they screwed us, and repeatedly.

I’m reminding you not to blame poor folk nor the working all of us. Late payments are not housing’s slump. Rising wheat is not the price of bread.

The recent hurricane in the financial markets is blamed on mortgage loans to people unable to make their payments but is not blamed on people hiding these loans in Blue Ribbon packages while selling them offshore as top rated bonds.

I think the media failed miserably during the recent drop in global stock markets. Fear topped the headlines, editorials sent blame to all the wrong places, pundits invented diatribe that seldom identified the errors or the players.

Still details are lacking; we do not know the names or the divisions where our money has shrunk, but there are investigations underway in the offbalance sector of banks and financiers.

Banks and financial firms have two faces, core activity where activity is regulated and offsheet activity where activity is market driven – so-called free enterprise. Risk tolerance has been evolving in this area for several decades with most central regulators gradually inserting warning flags and balance sheet risk indicators rather than outright rules or constraints.

These gilt careers are seldom discussed in public. Ingenious packaging can make a quick fortune. Inventing financial products, not for the shopping center or the corner store but for the institutional trader, is one of the most promising careers on earth, until Ponzi shames us once again!

Foolish administration. Markets without regulation is license not nature.

If we’re stuck with bicycle transit, the fumes in our empty tank ought to flame our anger. If the French march for their holidays, let’s march for justice.

Never go

Earnest more rare than able.

Oh, shun quickly sour.
Betrayal shut forever.
Pain quit instantly.

But sweet is unafraid as sweet is genius. Put there, take it.
Doubt’s no refuge, savior, ability, sanity. Sweet love decides.

True moment. Given. Got. Yours. Kept.

Dogsonality?

I asked in 2007, “Does a dog have dogsonality?”
A year later there’s just 10 hits on Google and no replies.

If a person has a personality, does a dog have dogsonality?

What about a goose loose with moose?
Or nearly bare near bear?

Personwill. Personwon’t.
Abraca-do. Abraca-don’t.

For sense,
nonsense matters.

Neuronobics:
Never let a synapse see it coming.

Bosses reduce profits

When the cat’s away, mice make money.

When management is busy dealing with matters other than daily operations, employees shoulder a greater responsibility for their work ­– and efficiency is enhanced.

Magnus Hansson said in his doctoral dissertation at the Swedish Business School, “Innovative forces are released.”

read more at scienceblog

FOX fouls imagery

Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, running for Senate on Fox NewsYou can say illiteracy or inattention caused it.

Or is FOX News too eager to show a black candidate juxtaposed against a victorious white man?

Harl Delos noticed Fox News referring to the Lincoln-Douglas debate of 1860 between Lincoln, the Republican candidate for president, and Douglas, the Democratic candidate for president.

Stephen A. Douglas, 1858The actual Democratic candidate was Stephen A. Douglas, but the man pictured by Fox News was Frederick Douglass, one of the most prominent figures in African American history and a formidable public presence.

While invoking its foul propaganda, FOX also fails to mention Frederick Douglass was the running mate for Victoria Woodhull, who ran for president in 1872 on the Equal Rights Party ticket.


Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to run for the presidency. Her running mate Frederick Douglass was fond of saying,

“I would unite with anybody to do right
and with nobody to do wrong.”

The job is yours now!

Biased & Blind

Unusual tidbits to read in the news; rare because our media is broken:

NYT column by Frank Rich

The Republican party “does not have a single African-American among its collective 247 senators and representatives in Washington”.

So, here’s the situation. A (black) pastor spouting nonsense is apparently a big problem for a (black) presidential candidate. But white evangelists spouting nonsense are not seen by the US media as posing any kind of problem for a white Republican candidate.

Naughton’s Memex says, “This particular column is one of the best things I’ve read in ages, not least because its savage indignation never spills over into incoherence. It’s beautifully controlled from start to finish.”


Drinking fog

Professor Sarah Slaughter is vice chair of the Committee on Sustainability Infrastructure in the National Research Council. She says, listen now,

“…the pain caused by high oil prices is nothing like what looms as water, an even more basic and essential natural commodity, faces dwindling supplies and growing demand.

“As essential as it is taken for granted, water is The Next Oil.

“We once assumed that water is free, air is free, and power is cheap.

“It’s one thing not to be able to afford gas…. drought conditions have been exacerbated if not created by increased population density and land development, which, in turn, may have been made even worse by global warming, resulting in record-setting droughts.”

Record setting prices too!

While we think each monthly bill is a surprise, George Schultz, former Secretary of State and Bechtel president (where water prices are often made), told us in the 1980s that water prices would skyrocket.

CNN's fog drinkerI’ve been moaning about common incredulity and its horrid effect upon poor innovators. We so easily disbelieve new things and put the burden on the inventor to prove it, we waste their hard work and often hurt long efforts.

So to prove our survival might require ideas we won’t believe, drinking fog is a good test.

Or as Ecotality says it, “Man, every week there is something new out there that completely takes me by surprise. Take for instance this Coastal Fog Tower…. “

Chile Fog TowerAlberto Fernández and Susana Ortega’s Fog Tower can absorb and channel water from mist:

400 meters tall, almost 1/4 mile, the tower is a seaside spire that traps airborne water molecules, spiraling to catch basins below….

Inhabitat describes it as a stacked weave to trap and wick moisture from fog, much more efficient than desalinating sea water, with a planned performance of 2-20 liters per square meter of vertical surface.

CNN reports cloud-catching has been proven.

Can we believe it?

Where can we build one too?