Friday, September 15, 2006

What's the Problem With a Little Melting Ice?

Summer 2005: Scientists see a new trend of shrinking Arctic sea ice in the winter, at a time when it should be at its greatest size, as well as a continuing decline in the summer. The yellow border indicates the median edge of ice from 1979-2000. Photo courtesy of NASA. [From San Francisco Chronicle]

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Geneva Convention - Article 3

In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed ' hors de combat ' by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) taking of hostages;

(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

(2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.
The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention.
The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict.

Bush doesn't like it, the military does.
Pachelbel Canon in D Rocks

Yes, sometimes it can.

Yeah, you can fool this guy anytime.
Body Armor

From NYT:
The tough ad points to a Senate vote in 2003 by Mr. Allen, against a Democratic amendment aimed at providing $1 billion more for National Guard and Reserve equipment.

Although the amendment died when Republicans voted en masse to table it, that’s not the point of this powerful ad.

How many other patriotic Republicans voted against the amendment?

Psycho Montreal Murderer

His cached website is here. If that site gets pulled you can read alot about him here.

Jon Stewart's Advice to Bush

Go to and watch the Jon Stewart video. Watch it all the way to the end. He, and his writers, are geniuses.
Stewart: "What I’m saying it this; If this is a battle for civilization, make your case and gear it up. Let’s World War II this thing. Alright? And if it’s not, stop scaring the shit out of everybody every two years."

Tuberculosis Death Sentence

The New York Times is 'dead on' in more ways than one.
Tuberculosis is outrunning us. In the last few months, 53 patients in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal were found to have a form of the disease resistant to enough existing drugs that it is virtually incurable. All but one of those patients have died. Airborne and deadly, extensively drug-resistant TB is a nightmare disease. It has been found worldwide, including in the United States.

Most people in the USA do not realize that infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the one of the top killers of people worldwide. We don't have much TB in the USA so why should we worry. And even if I become infected, there are drugs to cure me.
The development of antibiotics had allowed wealthy nations to dismiss TB as a disease of the past. But H.I.V. and AIDS have changed that calculus. In Africa, active TB cases are rising by 4 percent a year, largely because H.I.V. activates latent TB infection.
This is definitely no longer the case and none of us are safe now. Drug resistant TB from KwaZulu-Natal can easily make its way to the USA. But because there is not much TB in the USA there is also not much money being spent on TB research. Thankfully, people like Bill Gates are willing to fund clinical TB research. But it is the responsibility of the US government to fund the basic research that allows us to better understand the disease and the immune responses to it. That is not being done and we don't do it, who will?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

NIH Grant Success Rate Since Republicans Took Control of Congress

Rep. John Sweeney: Loves Horses but What About People?

Our courageous Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY20) is to be commended for leading the fight against the slaughter of horses although I'm not sure why he doesn't care about cows, chickens, pigs and lambs. Maybe he just hates the French.

But does John Sweeney care about people?

He voted to restrict bankruptcy rules
He voted to ban family planning funding abroad
He voted no on same sex marriage
He voted to ban adoption by gays
He voted no on providing alternative sentencing (to prison)
He voted no on grants for black and hispanic colleges
He voted no on Kyoto protocol implementation
He voted to restrict independent grassroots political committees
He voted to decrease gun waiting period from 3 days to 1 day
He voted to limit prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients
He voted no on allowing reimportation of prescription drugs
He voted yes on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight
He voted no on strengthening the Social Security Lockbox
He voted yes on eliminating the Estate Tax (Paris Hilton tax)
He voted yes on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date

Bush Economy and You

I made the comment yesterday afternoon, in the presence of a staunch Republican, that incomes are down because of Bush and Republicans (policies). The person immediately became indignant and course claimed that was not true. Republicans have been 'in charge' of our country since the year 2000. An article in this week's Time Magazine called "Why Voters (and Politicians) are Anxious" provides the following statistics (since 2001):

Number of nonfarm jobs: up 2.3%

Gross domestic product: up 11.5%

Business worker productivity: up 18.4%

Domestic corporate profits: up 72%

Median household income: down 0.5%

Yeah the economy is going great guns. But not for you (at least most of you).

Bush Hatred

Jeff Jacoby, a columnist for the Boston Globe, thinks that Bush hatred has gotten out of hand. First of all, this is guy that Slate has given an honesty of score of c minus. It seems he has written stuff without providing proper credit.

In his column, Jacoby goes on to provide several instances of 'Bush Hatred'.
His detractors have accused him of being financially entwined with Osama bin Laden. Of presiding over an American gulag. Of being a latter-day Mussolini. Howard Dean has proffered the ``interesting theory" that the Saudis tipped off Bush in advance about 9/11. One US senator (Ted Kennedy) has called the war in Iraq a ``fraud" that Bush ``cooked up in Texas" for political gain; another ( Vermont independent James Jeffords) has charged him with planning a war in Iran as a strategy to put his brother in the White House. Cindy Sheehan has called him a ``lying bastard," a ``filth spewer," an ``evil maniac," a ``fuehrer," and a ``terrorist" guilty of ``blatant genocide" -- and been rewarded for her invective with oceans of media attention.

Has Bush presided over an American gulag? Well, if a gulag is a place where political prisoners are kept, maybe he has. We will never know whether some of the prisoners are political or not because they are not allowed access to the courts.

Is Bush a latter day Mussolini? Mussolini was a fascist, fascists have various characteristics. This website claims Bush has the characteristics of a fascist and provides examples.

I don't know if Bush was ever personally emeshed in OBL financial dealings but there certainly are unanswered questions about family connections with the bin Ladens.

There certainly are valid reasons why many Democrats and most progressives dislike G.W. Bush:

1. We question whether he was validly elected in 2000.
2. Given that he was, we question why he governs like he was elected by a vast majority.
3. He is a divider, not a uniter. He squandered worldwide goodwill towards the USA after 9/11. Worse, he continues to use 9/11 for political purposes.
4. He is not being held accountable and is incapable of admiting that he may have EVER made a mistake.
5. He is incompetent (Iraq War, Katrina).
6. He lies (we can go into the Plame affair here)
7. He believes he needs to take away protected rights to guarantee our safety.
8. The economy. Federal spending. Federal borrowing. Falling incomes, increased poverty.
9. Keeping us an oil dependent state.
10. His disbelief of science.

So yes Mr. Jacoby, maybe there are actual reasons people in the USA are increasingly becoming disillusioned with your hero G.W. Bush.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Science Buildings

Proposed new science building in China. Inspired by the cell with mitochonria.

Proposed new science building in the USA. Just, joking but it wouldn't surprise me if it happened.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Zipa Dee Doo Dah

No Democrats Allowed

You would think there might be one Democrat in NYC available for the 9/11 memorial service, but I guess not.

Voters need to wake up.

September 11, 2001

Sunday Herald:
Britain gave President Bush a categorical warning to expect multiple airline hijackings by the al-Qaeda network a month before the September 11 attacks which killed nearly 3000 people and triggered the international war against terrorism.

unheeded warnings, given President Bush and his top advisers during the summer of 2001.

Weeks before the terrorist attacks on 11 September, the United States and the United Nations ignored warnings from a secret Taliban emissary that Osama bin Laden was planning a huge attack on American soil.

Egyptian Pres Hosni Mubarak says in interview that Egyptian intelligence warned American officials approximately week before September 11 terrorist attacks

The Telegraph has learnt that two senior experts with Mossad, the Israeli military intelligence service, were sent to Washington in August to alert the CIA and FBI to the existence of a cell of as many of 200 terrorists said to be preparing a big operation.

Village Voice:
In June 2001, German intelligence warned the U.S., Britain, and Israel that Middle Eastern terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft and use them as weapons to attack; Russian president Vladimir Putin publicly stated that he ordered his intelligence agencies to alert the U.S. in the summer of 2001 that suicide pilots were training for attacks on U.S. targets; In late summer 2001, Jordanian intelligence intercepted a message stating that a major attack was being planned inside the U.S. and that aircraft would be used

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Inscrutable bunny

He's a great house bunny now and spends alot of time out of his cage.

My Favorite Place in NY - Crown Point

Looking at the barracks through the gate of the fort.

The officers and elisted mens barracks. The museum was openned so I learned that the armory and unfinished elisted barracks that were once here were made of red brick. Thus, when the fort was abandoned the locals tore the buildings down and used the bricks to build homes and chimneys.

The Crown Point truss span bridge looking towards Vermont.

The Crown Point bridge from the ramparts of the fort. Notice the collection of restored Parkard automobiles in the parking lot.
Monty Python