Thursday, September 28, 2006

Forget Habeas Corpus

Why do Rep. John Sweeney and Rep. John McHugh hate the US Constitution? They both just voted in favor of Bush's torture bill. In the Senate, Arlen Spector's amendmentto allowed terror suspects to file "habeas corpus" petitions in court was defeated 48-51.
"This is a constitutional requirement and it is fundamental that Congress not legislate contradiction to a constitutional interpretation of the Supreme Court," said Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
Sweeney and McHugh evidently are not familiar with Article 1, Section 9 of the US Constitution which specifically prohibits the Congress from suspending Habeas Corpus except in cases of rebellion or invasion. Too bad we are represented by such poor Congressmen.

What Did Bush Do to Prevent Terrorism Prior to 9/11?

Nothing. And now they are lying about it. Go here and click on the video. Watch the whole thing and decide for yourself. Then ask yourself why Bush didn't immediately resign after the 9/11 attacks.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

This Graph Says It All

I got this figure off "Larry Johnson's" blog "No Quarter". Mr. Johnson probably knows what he is talking about considering his experience in counter terrorism. He discusses the graph and the recently released NIE about Iraq HERE.

UPDATE: Want to create your own cool terrorism graphs. Go to the terrorism knowledge base and click HERE.

Forced Preventative Health

First it was cigarettes now its fat. The libertarians are going to have a field day with this one. The NYT's reports that the New York City Board of Health has voted unanimously to require restaurants to restrict the use of "trans fats" in their cooking. Where is our freedom to wreck our hearts going?

Trans unsaturated fatty acids, or trans fats, are solid fats produced artificially by heating liquid vegetable oils in the presence of metal catalysts and hydrogen. This process, partial hydrogenation, causes carbon atoms to bond in a straight configuration and remain in a solid state at room temperature. Naturally-occurring unsaturated fatty acids have carbon atoms that line up in a bent shape, resulting in a liquid state at room temperature.

Basically, unsaturated oils quickly become rancid. To solve this problem, manufacturers begain to "partially hydrogenate" the oils. Trans fats are created by the process used to "partially hydrogenate" oils. They also raise your serum levels of LDL or low density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol). This is thought to result in increased heart disease.

Proof that people will use the internet to advocate for almost anything is the web site

Personally, I am becoming more convinced that much heart disease is related to inflammation, possibly due to Chlamydia infection, rather than the effects of lipids.

Next time you have your cholesterol checked, ask your Doctor to check your c-reactive protein levels too.

Monday, September 25, 2006

NY Village and Town Courts

WNBZ News reports this morning that
"Franklin County’s Chief Assistant District Attorney is accusing a Saranac Lake judge of “making a mockery” of the local justice court system.

The comments came last week in court papers filed by Jack Delehanty surrounding Village Justice Paul Herrmann’s handling of a recent case. “Both the procedure and substance utilized by Judge Herrmann in this matter mock the administration of justice in our society,” Delehanty wrote.
Coincidently, there is an article about village and town courts in NYS in todays New York Times. The very first page of this article is not kind to Northern NY courts.
A woman in Malone, N.Y., was not amused. A mother of four, she went to court in that North Country village seeking an order of protection against her husband, who the police said had choked her, kicked her in the stomach and threatened to kill her. The justice, Donald R. Roberts, a former state trooper with a high school diploma, not only refused, according to state officials, but later told the court clerk, “Every woman needs a good pounding every now and then.”

A black soldier charged in a bar fight near Fort Drum became alarmed when his accuser described him in court as “that colored man.” But the village justice, Charles A. Pennington, a boat hauler and a high school graduate, denied his objections and later convicted him. “You know,” the justice said, “I could understand if he would have called you a Negro, or he had called you a nigger.”

And several people in the small town of Dannemora were intimidated by their longtime justice, Thomas R. Buckley, a phone-company repairman who cursed at defendants and jailed them without bail or a trial, state disciplinary officials found. Feuding with a neighbor over her dog’s running loose, he threatened to jail her and ordered the dog killed.

“I just follow my own common sense,” Mr. Buckley, in an interview, said of his 13 years on the bench. “And the hell with the law.”
NY is one of 30 states that do not require a town or village justice to be a lawyer. Elected justices get a six day training course. The article claims that NYS requires more training for manicurists and hair stylists than they do for town justices. The article goes on to say that justices are not screened "for competence, temperament or even reading ability." They only need to be elected.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Iraq War Has Made Us Safer

Well, not exactly. Today in the NYT:
A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.

The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document.

The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal appraisal of global
Now anyone with half a brain has realized for a couple of years that the Iraq War has not made us safer. Not only has it become a training ground for terrorists but everytime a muslim man, women or child is wrongly killed because of this war - some relative of those individuals becomes a convert to terrorism.

Bill Clinton Takes Down FOX News Chris Wallace

Love him or hate him you have got to admit that Bill Clinton is a politician and communicator of the first water. HERE he gets interviewed by FOX News Chris Wallace (an asshole of the first water). Clinton agreed to a format that would include half of the questions to be about the global initiative and the other half about anything else. About 2-3 min into the interview Wallace makes a very foolish mistake. He tries to take down Clinton. Everyone in the USA should be required to listen to this interview and then decide who is at fault for Osama Bin Laden still being at large.
WALLACE: Can I ask you about the Clinton Global Initiative?

CLINTON: You can.

WALLACE: I always intended to, sir.

CLINTON: No, you intended, though, to move your bones by doing this first, which is perfectly fine. But I don’t mind people asking me — I actually talked to the 9/11 Commission for four hours, Chris, and I told them the mistakes I thought I made. And I urged them to make those mistakes public, because I thought none of us had been perfect.

But instead of anybody talking about those things, I always get these clever little political yields (ph), where they ask me one-sided questions. And the other guys notice that. And it always comes from one source. And so…


CLINTON: And so…

WALLACE: I just want to ask you about the Clinton Global Initiative, but what’s the source? I mean, you seem upset, and I…

CLINTON: I am upset because…

WALLACE: And all I can say is, I’m asking you this in good faith because it’s on people’s minds, sir. And I wasn’t…

CLINTON: Well, there’s a reason it’s on people’s minds. That’s the point I’m trying to make. There’s a reason it’s on people’s minds: Because there’s been a serious disinformation campaign to create that impression.

This country only has one person who’s worked on this terror. From the terrorist incidents under Reagan to the terrorist incidents from 9/11, only one: Richard Clarke.

And all I can say to anybody is, you want to know what we did wrong or right, or anybody else did? Read his book.

The people on my political right who say I didn’t do enough spent the whole time I was president saying, Why is he so obsessed with bin Laden? That was wag the dog when he tried to kill him.

My Republican secretary of defense — and I think I’m the only president since World War II to have a secretary of defense of the opposite party — Richard Clarke and all the intelligence people said that I ordered a vigorous attempt to get bin Laden and came closer, apparently, than anybody has since.

WALLACE: All right.

CLINTON: And you guys try to create the opposite impression, when all you have to do is read Richard Clarke’s findings and you know it’s not true. It’s just not true.

And all this business about Somalia — the same people who criticized me about Somalia were demanding I leave the next day. The same exact crowd.

More at Think Progress. Click on the link above. It's so nice to be reminded what a real President sounds like. Bill Clinton commands respect, G.W. Bush demands it.