Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Laura Bush greets "Beekeeper of the Year"

Celebrating 200 years of American apiculture.

Monday, October 22, 2007

We do not torture

On Sept. 11, 2001, an Egyptian national named Abdallah Higazy was staying in a New York City hotel room when the planes hit. Higazy and other guests quickly evacuated the building, and a short time later hotel workers found a device in Higazy's room that enables a person to communicate with airline pilots.

Authorities suspected Higazy was involved in the 9/11 plot and arrested him. So far, so good.

But the FBI got a little crazy and threatened Higazy's family with extradition to an Egyptian torture chamber if he didn't confess. Higazy at first denied any knowledge of the strange device, but he couldn't hold out for long. He finally confessed, thus sparing his wife and children. A despondent, shocked Higazy headed for the bowels of the New York City justice system.

Meanwhile, an airline pilot showed up at Higazy's hotel and asked if anyone had seen the radio that he accidentally left in the hotel room closet.

So the courts free Higazy (Hey guy, sorry about that. No hard feelings, right?), and Higazy lawyers up and sue the hotel and the fascist prick FBI agent that threatened his wife and kids.

Now the story gets real interesting. Steve Bergstein, a legal blogger at Psychsound, was checking federal court decisions one day not long ago and came across a 44-page document on the Higazy case. Then he posted the story on his blog as he ate lunch, cause that's what blogging lawyers do. Then, well, I'll let Steve tell the story:

Then something strange happened: a few minutes after I posted the blog, the opinion vanished from the Court of Appeals website! I had never seen this before, and what made all the more strange was that it involved a coerced confession over 9/11. What the hell was going on?

I let some other legal bloggers know about this, particularly the How Appealing blog and Appellate Law and Practice. They both ran a commentary on the missing opinion. Then someone sent How Appealing a PDF of the decision (probably very few of them were floating around since the opinion was posted for a brief period of time) and How Appealing posted the decision.

Then things got even stranger. The Court of Appeals actually phoned How Appealing to request that he remove the opinion from his website since it contained classified information. The Court said that a revised opinion would come out the next day without the classified information. How Appealing actually refused to remove the opinion. Through it all, hundreds of people came to my legal blog to see my summary of the opinion. It was either my blog or printing out and reading a 44 page epic.

The next day, the Court of Appeals reissued the Higazy opinion. With a redaction. The court simply omitted from the revised decision facts about how the FBI agent extracted the false confession from Higazy. For some reason, this information is classified. Just as the opinion gets interesting, when we are about to learn how an FBI agent named Templeton squeezed the "truth" out of Higazy, the opinion reads at page 7: "This opinion has been redacted because portions of the record are under seal. For the purposes of the summary judgment motion, Templeton did not contest that Higazy's statements were coerced."
Fortunately, the US Court of Appeals for Manhattan ruled for Higazy, so his suit can proceed.

More global warming denialist comments

Because some people were put on Earth for my amusement:
The sun is hotter now, the earth has warmed because of increased solar activity. That seems so simple to me, why would anyone believe that a naturaly accuring gas like CO2 could raise the earths temp?
Because some borderline retarded, self serving, pompous, hipocrit tells you it does?
Global warming is real, we cannot stop it, we need to stop wasting resorces on prevention and start working towards a nation that thrives in the warmer climate.
Such as investing in Florida waterfront property, currently located in Georgia.
Gore was very pissed after 2000 elections and he wanted to fight those that beat him. Bush being an oil man made Gore choose Global Warming as his platform.If Gore had won that election all this Global Warming fear would not have been an issue. That is as political as it gets Gore!
Don't leave out the Decline and Fall of the American Empire fear. Or the Arrest and Detention Without a Warrant Fear.
It is politically motivated and has already cost Americans billions of dollars.Power companies have had to retro-fit power plants to remove emissions that volcanos around the world spit out at a rates higher than all plants combined. Just one example of how it is political.
Volcanoes are Republicans?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What can brown do for you?

How does a non-white candidate for office overcome racism to become governor of the poorest, least-educated state in the union? By acting more ignorant than his constituents!

Bobby Jindal, the son of Indian immigrants, was elected governor of Louisiana yesterday. Jindal, 36, is Oxford educated, yet supports teaching intelligent design as an alternative to evolution, and banning all abortions. No word on whether he plans to marry his first cousin, too.

Lousiana hasn't elected a non-white governor in over 100 years, but this time things are different:
Yet Mr. Jindal, with his decisive victory on Saturday, appears to have overcome a significant racial hurdle that blocked him in 2003, according to analysts: race-based opposition in the deeply conservative northern and eastern parishes of Louisiana that once supported the Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

A born-again Roman Catholic, Mr. Jindal made a particular campaign target of these areas, visiting them frequently and bringing his brand of devout Christianity to their rural churches. His social-conservative message — teaching “intelligent design” as an alternative to evolution in public schools, a total ban on abortion, repealing hate-crimes laws — would have been welcome in these areas.
Also welcome in "these areas" - non-uppity minorities. Mr. Jindal will fit in perfectly.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Meet Trent Wisecup

This is what panic looks like.

Trent Wisecup, the chief of staff to Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Bush's BFF), runs interference for his boss when a constituent starts asking questions. Apparently Wisecup's idea of constituent service is to channel Sean Hannity on a bad day. A sample of Wisecup's witty remarks:

"You're pro-Toyota and you live in Detroit."
"You're blinded by your hatred of this country."
"You're a political activited with a poilitical agenda."
"Go away. We don't want you here."

This really is how they think.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Congratulations Mr. Gore

A Nobel Peace Prize for Al Gore is small consolation for a stolen election, but I'll settle for that, plus the sound of Rush Limbaugh's head exploding.

Man's contribution to global warming is as close to scientific certainty as it's going to get. Only fools and scientific illiterates disagree. And here's what they're saying:
After looking through the comments it seems everyone has rightly realized that Gore's arguments are see-through.

i believe the same tactics are used in arguing for evolution. all this crap about scientific consensus and how all other people who disagree are flat earth people. its just plain brainwashing.
I blame Galileo. Stupid empiricism.
answer this question ... you have an Olympic sized swimming pool (50m x 25m x 2m) filled with the current atmosphere. 2,500,000 liters worth. How many of these liters are man-made greenhouse gases? (CO2, CH4, N2O, CFCm CCl4, CH3CCl3, CHF3, etc.)
Does this mean we'll have to wear Speedos and shower before we go outside?
I've studied the problem and done the math. The amount of green house gases in the atmosphere are man-made is less than 0.002% of the total. That's a tiny tiny amount, yet, we've been led to believe this amount is some how the tipping factor to global warming. What a crock. The problem is that these lies have been promoted as the truth, and the real truth is some kind of oil industry smear campaign. That IS the problem.
And I'll be presenting my data at the Cletus County Adult Education Science Fair tomorrow night.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Clifford May: liar and coward

That's right, Mr. May. Deal with it.
Can someone tell me what controversial procedures have been used at Guantanamo Bay? As far as I'm aware there is not a shred of hard evidence — and certainly no proof — that torture or even enhanced interrogation methods have been employed there.

Hey, we all make mistakes. But only creepy little fascists like Clifford May make mistakes and then stick by their words. He has a President to protect.

This is what I don't get about the neo-con right. They had this vision for how to project American power in a way that assured "an American century". I was OK with that, on a very abstract level. I mean I'd rather live the rest of my life in an American century than a Chinese century or a Brazilian century. And American values of free-speech and respect for human rights have had a pretty good run for the last 100 years or so.

But the neo-con vision didn't work out quite the way May and the other pukes planned it, and thinking people have tossed their fetid ideology in the compost bin of history, where it will slowly decompose with the dessicated orange rinds of communism and the stale coffee grounds of fascism. But still the neo-cons fight on with one ridiculous lie after another. We do not torture! The terrorists will follow us home!

It's not reasonable to expect corrupt wantwits like Clifford May to correct themselves, to admit what everybody already knows. They are not about accountability, or self respect, or contributing to the marketplace of ideas. For Clifford May and the rest, it's about saving their hides, the one thing about America least worth saving.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Taps for Larry Craig

A Minnesota judge today ruled that Sen. Larry Craig's (R-Closet) guilty plea to disorderly conduct was "accurate, voluntary and intelligent" and "the conviction is supported by the evidence."

It may be a while before Craig is called intelligent again. Senate Republicans are pledging their own ethics investigation into Senator Wide Stance, because (a) they want him out of their party and (b) a GOP show trial will divert the public's attention from Republican scandals involving the US Attorney firings, mercenaries running AMOK with no accountability, the administration's war crimes involving torture of prisoners, and several others I won't add because this sentence is already too long.

The case may seem open and shut, much like a bathroom stall door, but the ACLU has lined up behind Craig, figuratively anyway. Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a charge which has been used for decades against gays and other minorities to quell dissent and quash otherwise harmless behavior.