Saturday, July 15, 2006

Iraq War Timeline

This is a good timeline about the Iraq War. It starts with the invasion of Iraq March 19, 2003 and updated often.

Yes You Can Sue the Government

Want to know when, who and why you can sue a government official. You can read a short general primer about it over at Firedoglake. Learn the difference between Sovereign immunity, Absolute immunity and Qualified immunity. Concerning the Wilson/Plame Civil Action against Cheney and his evil minions, it looks like Cheney has Absolute immunity. But the evil minions, Rove and Libby, might be in trouble.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Iraq War Has Made the World Safer

Does anyone believe the Iraq War has made the world safer? I know GW Bush and Dick Cheney believe it, but they don't really live in the same world in which most of us live.

This is 'trouble' between Israel in Gaza and Lebanon due to Iranian and Syrian influences. Bush not discouraging Israel.

Afghanistan is slowly being retaken by the Taliban. Where is that Osama guy?

Our ally Pakistan 'supporting elements' that are bombing trains in India. US supplying fighter aircraft to both countries.

Iran insisting becoming a nuclear power.

N. Korea launching missiles and developing nuclear weapons, resulting in the Japanese wanting to move to the political 'right' (re: be more like Bush). S. Korea suspending food aid to N. Korea.

More and more sectarian violence in Iraq - close to civil war (who will we support?).

Russia moving back to it's 'old' ways (maybe this is good, we can go back to the old cold war days)

Let's not even discuss the problems in Africa - Congo, Sudan, Somalia etc (we never do anyway).
GW Bush: worst President ever, worst World leader ever.

No Such Thing As a Resting Macrophage

Just sat through a seminar by David Russell (Cornell Univ.) titled: Mycobacterium: Life and death in the phagosome." It was, in my opinion, a paradigm shifting seminar concerning the real time inner workings of the macrophage phagosome. His lab has developed techniques to measure the kinetics of phagosome maturation. Every immunologist needs to hear and/or read about this work. The 'activated macrophage' phagosome probably works just the opposite from how most immunologist think it does. Very soon immunology textbook explanations on macrophage phagosome function will need to be re-written. Here is a reference to part of the work.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Wanna Help Sue Dick Cheney & Karl Rove?


ADE and Saranac Lake School Board

At their organizational meeting a couple of weeks ago, The School Board of the Saranac Lake Central School District voted to make the Plattsburgh Press Republican their official newspaper rather than the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. The reason they dropped the ADE as official newspaper is explained in this ADE article written by Mike Lynch.
Citing biased and factually inaccurate reporting, the Saranac Lake Central School District School Board has dropped the Enterprise as its official newspaper.
It appears from the article that a majority of the BOE members felt the ADE has been biased against them. Cliff Donaldson, the one board member that the ADE has been very critical of, for non-school related matters, voted against making the Press Republican the offical newspaper. He was joined by BOE member Tom Finch.

The ADE responded to the BOE recently in an editorial suggesting that switching newspapers hurts only the District taxpayers. They make a good argument.
It will not only cost the school district more money to run legal notices now, but the district will also reach fewer people with the information about the school that the public needs to know. The public notice rates are set by the state Legislature according to the circulation of the paid publication. Our rates are lower, and our circulation coverage is higher than the Press-Republican’s in the Saranac Lake Central School District.
The problem with this incident seems to be a lack of adequate communications between the BOE and the ADE. Historically, the BOE has had difficulties communicating with the community and the taxpayers. Good communications, and it's not easy, is a basis for community support. For example, go the District website for the BOE and get a Board Members email address or phone number so you can communicate with them. Can't do it. No email, no phone number, not even an address to which you can address a letter. There are two important things they have done right; 1) You can access the agenda and minutes of their meetings and 2) The policy manual is accessible online. Very commendable! Please get rid of the grey blocks in the background though.

Next, go to the District website for the Superintendent's office. Ok, there is a picture and his name. You can click on contact form, nope nothing there (to be fair if you look around the website you can email the superintendent, just don't expect a reply). How about some information about the Superintendents education and experience. Nothing. You know those days your children have off because of 'Superintendent's Conference Day'? What do they do on those days? At least there are some pictures proving that people showed up, but don't you want to know what they accomplished? Too bad the District Administration and BOE aren't taking advantage of some pretty inexpensive ways to communicate with their taxpayers.

This doesn't excuse any mistakes made by the ADE concerning the District Budget. The ADE suggests that the BOE get together with them far sooner in the Spring to discuss the budget. Also, suggesting that the BOE is hindering first amendment rights might be going a bit far.
Even local governing bodies like the Saranac Lake Central School Board have chosen not to endorse a free press and freedom of speech when they voted last week to drop the Enterprise as their paper of record. They claimed that our editorials were too critical of their actions.
Wouldn't it be best to let go of the past, start afresh and work together?
Poor Sen. Ted Stevens

Making fun of an old man and his tubes.

If you haven't visited Wonkette, you are missing loads of fun commentary.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Barney Frank Rails the House for Restricting Our Liberty

Some liberal common sense.

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I want the 6th grade girl that wrote THIS to be our President when she is old enough. One paragraph follows:
School children have to pledge loyalty to this piece of cloth every morning. No one has to pledge loyalty to justice and equality and human decency. No one has to promise that people will get a fair wage, or enough food to eat, or affordable medicine, or clean water, or air free of harmful chemicals. But we all have to promise to love a rectangle of red, white, and blue cloth.

We Are Safe

Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo
The Amish Country Popcorn factory
The Mule Day Parade
The Sweetwater Flea Market
An unspecified “Beach at End of a Street.”

What do these places have in common? Answer, they are all included in the federal antiterrorism database. And guess what? Indiana has more likely terrorist target than New York, 8591 vs 5687 .
“We don’t find it embarrassing,” said the department’s deputy press secretary, Jarrod Agen. “The list is a valuable tool.”Here.

But no worries. Last night on 'Hardball' I heard that the US economy is going gangbusters, the federal deficit is being halved, there are plenty of great jobs and all is good in the world and the good ole USA.

UPDATE: Cool, I didn't know that Chris Matthews paid you a thousand bucks to be on Hardball. I'd lie on his show for that much!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Protect These White Deer - You Paid for Them

Thanks to York Staters for bringing this website to my attention. Start first by reading the York Staters blog about this issue. I've heard of Seneca White Deer before but I didn't know they had their own website or that their environment might be in trouble. Read how the White Deer came to be here.

Interesting Interview of John Dean

Keith Olbermann interviews John Dean about his new book "Conservatives Without Conscience"

Dean discusses how conservatives are using "fear mongering" over terror to keep control of the government. Fearful people want an authoritarian government. So keep them afraid is a good Republican mantra. Keep the people afraid of liberals, afraid of gays, afraid of immigrants and they will blindly follow you anywhere. Dean actually dares to mention authoritarian governments in Germany and Italy in the 1930's. Dean claims studies show that 23% of the US population would walk off a bridge if an authoritarian figure so ordered them to do so.

Andrew Sullivan Sees the Light

Andrew Sullivan, a conservative pundit, finally sees our president for what and who he really is. Why the hell did it take so long?
In the last few years, I have gone from lionizing this president's courage and fortitude to being dismayed at his incompetence and now to being resigned to mistrusting every word he speaks. I have never hated him. But now I can see, at least, that he is a liar on some of the gravest issues before the country. He doesn't trust us with the truth.
Courage??? Give me a break. GW Bush would run crying to his mean mother if he ever came face to face with danger. Fortitude? That strength or firmness of mind which enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage? Firmness of his mind isn't something that immediately comes to my mind when someone brings up GW Bush. There were many, many people crying out warnings at the time that GW was lying. But EVERYONE knew there were weapons of mass destruction. So what did we end up with because of King George's adventures in Iraq. North Korea lighting off missiles and purifying uranium; Iran insisting on becoming a nuclear power and now happy that they have a Shiite partner in Iraq; Afghanistan being retaken by the Taliban; 300 billion dollars and counting in war costs; no congressional oversight; torture; tossing out Geneva Convention; threatening to kill children; Worldwide distrust, even hatred of the US; and lets not even talk about losing an entire US city. But he has 'Partners' in the War on Terror such as Saudi Arabi, Egypt and Pakistan. A monkey rolling dice to make decisions could do better than GW Bush.

Monday, July 10, 2006

NY State Opposes Same Sex Marriage

Ok fine. But what is the reasoning behind this decision?
“Intuition and experience suggest that a child benefits from having before his or her eyes, every day, living models of what both a man and a woman are like.”
It will hurt the children. So kids currently living with gay parents get the message. You don't have real parents. How is this message good for these children?

UPDATE: Warning! I am not a journalist and I try very hard not to be a plagiarist. Sometimes when I'm in a hurry I take shortcuts. The above was a short-cut. It is an actual excerpt from the NY State Court of Appeals and you can find it here. I am not saying the ruling is necessarily wrong. I am saying that that particular statement is outrageous. I agree that our cowardly legislators should get off their big lazy behinds and vote on whether NYS is going to allow equal rights for all or not.

Given the current state of affairs in this Country I believe that people are more intolerant than ever and are even basing their intolerance on so called Christian religious principles. 50% of the people in this country don't give a damn about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. They actually are afraid of the freedoms that our Constitution guarantees. GW Bush said the terrorists hate our freedoms. So do almost half the people in this country. Allow torture, allow confinement forever based on GW's ok, allow Americans to be spied on without Congressional oversight, take away freedoms of speech, allow our government to become a theocracy. Tell me how this differs from the Taliban and Wahhabists?

Yeah, I'm not a journalist nor do I want to be. I'm a godless, pinko communist (thanks to a catholic school upbringing and a liberal arts education). I just want to rant about things I don't like. It helps me keep somewhat sane.

USA Reaches 300 Million Population in October

I can remember when the population was 180 million. How about you? Watch the USA population growth clock HERE.

One birth every.................................. 7 seconds
One death every.................................. 13 seconds
One international migrant (net) every............ 31 seconds
Net gain of one person every..................... 10 seconds