Monthly Archives: May 2005

Bush: Amnesty report ‘absurd’, Denny: George Bush a complete idiot

CNN, that bastion of truth, is reporting on Bush’s response to Amnesty’s torture report:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush called a human rights report “absurd” for criticizing the United States’ detention of terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and said Tuesday the allegations were made by “people who hate America.”

“It’s absurd. It’s an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world,” Bush said of the Amnesty International report that compared Guantanamo to a Soviet-era gulag.

George Bush, you are a complete fucktard…. a very arrogant, evil fucktard at that.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Crude awakening

The Sand Diego Union-Tribune discusses oil: Difficult choices await a nation – and world – stuck on oil.

To be sure, America long ago lost its energy independence and has at times lost control of prices, as it did when OPEC flexed its muscle in the 1970s.

But new forces in world energy markets, unrestrained consumption epitomized by the boom in sport utility vehicles and the depletion of oil have subjected the United States to buffeting by forces outside its control.
Call it the era of the permanent oil shock.

China and India have developed enough economic strength for a substantial number of their citizens to begin buying automobiles, said Raghuram Rajan, research director at the IMF.
In both countries, demand for oil has doubled in 10 years. Although ox-drawn carts are still common as the two nations leapfrog from the 19th century into the 21st, the impact on the oil market has been enormous.

“This demand starts taking off in a tremendous way,” Rajan said. “Our sense is that the growth in transport demand will account for a very, very big chunk of the growth in oil demand going forward.”
Said Stephen Levy, director of the Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy, “They have doubled their use in a decade, and eventually that kind of doubling gets you.”

But it’s misleading to assign Asia sole responsibility for the surge in world oil prices. The United States uses twice as much oil as India and China, despite having a less than a sixth of the comibined population. Person for person, the United States uses 15 times as much oil as China.

Again, I’m glad to see this coverage and I’m sure there will be more but it is a case of too little, too late. We’ve waited far too long to begin this discussion. There is a part of me that is so angry… truth is I hardly ever go out anymore because I cannot bear to look at my fellow citizens as they motor down the road in their SUVs. I’ve never been so disgusted and I fight back the urge… “I told you so” does not begin to describe it. Americans are, generally speaking, ignorant selfish fools and as this oil-based system comes crashing down around them they will have no one to blame but themselves. And remember, it’s not just about SUVs, it is also unbridled consumption at WalMart and Target… it is grass lawns and chemical-based agriculture… it is the culture of consumption.

Enjoy it while you’ve got it and remember, it comes at the expense of others.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Wow… USATODAY/AP reporting on Peak Oil?

The mass media may finally be picking up on a story that it should have been discussing for many years: Peak Oil. USA Today has an AP story that acknowledges the obvious fact that there is a finite supply of oil: Are we there yet? Oil joyride may be over.

Could the petroleum joyride — cheap, abundant oil that has sent the global economy whizzing along with the pedal to the metal and the AC blasting for decades — be coming to an end?

Some observers of the oil industry think so. They predict that this year, maybe next — almost certainly by the end of the decade — the world’s oil production, having grown exuberantly for more than a century, will peak and begin to decline.

And then it really will be all downhill. The price of oil will increase drastically. Major oil-consuming countries will experience crippling inflation, unemployment and economic instability. Princeton University geologist Kenneth S. Deffeyes predicts “a permanent state of oil shortage.”

It is a decent article and more than I would have expected. Of course the media coverage is too little too late. The same could be said in relation to the efforts and acknowledgment of the issue by government and the citizenry in general. One major failing in reporting such as this is that it under reports or completely fails to mention the use of oil as the basis for manufacturing and agriculture.

BLACK MAGIC. During the last century oil has transformed the world. British coal launched the Industrial Revolution, but American oil put the pedal to the metal. No other material has so profoundly changed the face of the world in such a short time. Petroleum is black magic, the lifeblood of our civilization. The petroleum industry provides 40% of the globe’s energy and is humanity’s largest commercial enterprise. Oil is our most concentrated, flexible, and convenient fuel. Without petroleum there would be no automobile industry, no tourism. Without petroleum 2% of Americans could not feed the remaining 98%. But oil is more than energy. It’s the key feedstock for plastics, medicines, clothing, pesticides, paint, and thousands of other products. Fueling Toyota or fabricated into Tupperware, petroleum is the world’s premier commodity. Soon, experts say, world oil production will reach an all-time high, an apex, a peak. Then, after a short plateau, it will decline forever. What historians will someday call the Oil Era will last just two centuries. In 1998 we are closer to its end than its beginning.

See this excellent article for more. Also check Surviving Peak Oil.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Newsweek and Corporate Media Contradictions

I was watching today’s Democracy Now! which included a segment on the current Newsweek dealio and an interview with Norman Solomon who has recently published a new book, War Made Easy. Excellent interview and discussion regarding the incredible idiocy and hypocrisy of the current flap with Newsweek and the White House. To sum it up, Newsweek published a little article which it then sort of retracted after White House went nutso because of the violence and protests that occurred, they say, in response to the article. Then the FBI releases documents which seem to verify the content of the article: that copies of the Koran were abused in front of prisoners as a part of a larger program of torture.

Meanwhile we can expect the corporate media (including Newsweek) to continue the trend of non-reporting, self-sensorship, and obedience set in place over the past 30 years. The vast majority of “news reporting” will continue to reflect the lies dictated by the masters of state and the profit priority. This is nothing new. The only difference in recent years is that the Bush administration are now caught serving a soup of lies used to wage a pre-emptive war. It’s a gigantic bowl of lies and corporate media has been vigorously lapping it up with no complaint. The resulting belches of violence produced by the war, 1,600+ U.S. soldiers and possibly 100,000+ Iraqi civilians is vast by comparison to the violence following the Newsweek article.

Oh, and let’s remember the cause of this current controversy: the torture of prisoners. The focus of attention should never have been diverted from that but of course that is the point, isn’t it? When you are the aggressor, when you wage a war based on a series of very deliberate lies, you have to be prepared to divert and distract.

Who knew George Bush and co. were such magnificent magicians?

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Amnesty condemns US example on human rights

Sarah Left, writing for the Guardian, reports on Amnesty International’s condemnation of US human rights record:

The US abdicated its responsibility to set a global example in upholding human rights in 2004 and, with the UK, led a “dangerous new agenda” by sanctioning torture in a failed attempt to combat terrorism, Amnesty International warned today.

The US came in for particular criticism over its pronouncements on torture and for “usurping the language of justice and freedom to pursue policies of fear and insecurity”, she told a London press conference.

“The USA, as the unrivalled political, military and economic hyperpower, sets the tone for governmental behaviour worldwide,” she said. “When the most powerful country in the world thumbs its nose at the rule of law and human rights, it grants a licence to others to commit abuse with impunity.”

“The detention facility at Guantánamo Bay has become the gulag of our times, entrenching the practice of arbitrary and indefinite detention in violation of international law,” she said. ” Guantánamo evokes memories of Soviet repression.”

Ms Khan likened the Bush administration’s practice of holding unregistered prisoners, or “ghost detainees”, at secret locations to tactics deployed in some Latin American countries.

Welcome to the New American Empire: Preemptive war and torture.

More available via Amnesty’s Annual Report on Human Rights Abuses.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

The lies before the preemptive war

Ah just playing catchup on an article by Walter Pincus posted a couple weeks ago by the Washington Post: British Intelligence Warned of Iraq War:

Blair Was Told of White House’s Determination to Use Military Against Hussein

Seven months before the invasion of Iraq, the head of British foreign intelligence reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair that President Bush wanted to topple Saddam Hussein by military action and warned that in Washington intelligence was “being fixed around the policy,” according to notes of a July 23, 2002, meeting with Blair at No. 10 Downing Street.”

Military action was now seen as inevitable,” said the notes, summarizing a report by Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6, British intelligence, who had just returned from consultations in Washington along with other senior British officials. Dearlove went on, “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”

“The case was thin,” summarized the notes taken by a British national security aide at the meeting. “Saddam was not threatening his neighbours and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.

The notes of the Blair meeting, attended by the prime minister’s senior national security team, also disclose for the first time that Britain’s intelligence boss believed that Bush had decided to go to war in mid-2002, and that he believed U.S. policymakers were trying to use the limited intelligence they had to make the Iraqi leader appear to be a bigger threat than was supported by known facts.

Although critics of the Iraq war have accused Bush and his top aides of misusing what has since been shown as limited intelligence in the prewar period, Bush’s critics have been unsuccessful in getting an investigation of that matter.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has dropped its previous plan to review how U.S. policymakers used Iraq intelligence, and the president’s commission on intelligence did not look into the subject because it was not authorized to do so by its charter, Laurence H. Silberman, the co-chairman, told reporters last month.

It continues to amaze me that instead of being impeached and imprisoned George Bush was re-elected. Then again, maybe it doesn’t amaze me at all. Perhaps it is just the most obvious evidence that American “democracy” is and was a lie. As I’ve asked many times in different ways, will the American people continue to play along with what is increasingly obvious? Will Americans, out of convenience, continue to accept the lies?

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

The Potential of Wind Power

Amit Asaravala over at Wired News has an interesting article about the vast potential of wind for the generation of power. According to the article researchers have recently compiled a map which reveals the airstream potential of more than 8,000 sites across the planet.

Wind power could generate enough electricity to support the world’s energy needs several times over, according to a new map of global wind speeds that scientists say is the first of its kind.

The map, compiled by researchers at Stanford University, shows wind speeds at more than 8,000 sites around the world. The researchers found that at least 13 percent of those sites experience winds fast enough to power a modern wind turbine. If turbines were set up in all these regions, they would generate 72 terawatts of electricity, according to the researchers.

That’s more than five times the world’s energy needs, which was roughly 14 terawatts in 2002, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Our Righteous Cause

Again I go to Irregular Times. J. Matthew writes about Our Righteous Cause:

“These people are motivated by a vision of the world that is backward and barbaric.” — George W. Bush, May 20, 2005

“We are not chaining people to the ceilings.” — General Daniel K. McNeill

“There is no neutral ground — no neutral ground — in the fight between civilization and terror, because there is no neutral ground between good and evil, freedom and slavery, and life and death. ” — George W. Bush, March 19, 2004

The prisoner, a slight, 22-year-old taxi driver known only as Dilawar, was hauled from his cell at the detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan, at around 2 a.m. to answer questions about a rocket attack on an American base. When he arrived in the interrogation room, an interpreter who was present said, his legs were bouncing uncontrollably in the plastic chair and his hands were numb. He had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of the previous four days.”

“The men on the wall here have put themselves on the list because of great acts of evil. They plan, promote and commit murder. They fill the minds of others with hate and lies. And by their cruelty and violence, they betray whatever faith they espouse. ” — George W. Bush, October 10, 2001

Mr. Dilawar asked for a drink of water, and one of the two interrogators, Specialist Joshua R. Claus, 21, picked up a large plastic bottle. But first he punched a hole in the bottom, the interpreter said, so as the prisoner fumbled weakly with the cap, the water poured out over his orange prison scrubs. The soldier then grabbed the bottle back and began squirting the water forcefully into Mr. Dilawar’s face. “Come on, drink!” the interpreter said Specialist Claus had shouted, as the prisoner gagged on the spray. “Drink!”

“This effort is part of a worldwide assault on terror. All our allies and friends will now be familiar with these evildoers and their associates. For those who join our coalition, we expect results.” — George W. Bush, October 10, 2001

“He had constantly been screaming, ‘Release me; I don’t want to be here.’ and things like that.”

“We’re going to find those who — those evil-doers, those barbaric people…” — George W. Bush, September 17, 2003

“He screamed out, ‘Allah! Allah! Allah!’ and my first reaction was that he was crying out to his god,” Specialist Jones said to his investigators. “Everybody heard him cry out and thought it was funny… It became a kind of running joke, and people kept showing up to give this detainee a common peroneal strike just to hear him scream out ‘Allah,’” he said. “It went on over a 24-hour period, and I would think that it was over 100 strikes.”

“I want justice. There’s an old poster out west, as I recall, that said, ‘Wanted: Dead or Alive.’ ” — George W. Bush, September 17, 2001

At the interrogator’s behest, a guard tried to force the young man to his knees. But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could no longer bend. An interrogator told Mr. Dilawar that he could see a doctor after they finished with him. When he was finally sent back to his cell, though, the guards were instructed only to chain the prisoner back to the ceiling. “Leave him up,” one of the guards quoted Specialist Claus as saying. Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. Dilawar. By then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen.

“We’re a great nation. We’re a nation of resolve. We’re a nation that can’t be cowed by evil-doers.” — George W. Bush, September 17, 2001

…the tissue in the young man’s legs “had basically been pulpified… I’ve seen similar injuries in an individual run over by a bus,” the coroner, Lt. Col. Elizabeth Rouse, added.

“This is a new kind of — a new kind of evil. And we understand. And the American people are beginning to understand. This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while. And the American people must be patient. I’m going to be patient.” — George W. Bush, September 17, 2001

It would be many months before Army investigators learned a final horrific detail: Most of the interrogators believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time.

“We fight against evil people.” — George W. Bush, October 17, 2001

The three passengers in Mr. Dilawar’s taxi were sent home from Guantanamo in March 2004, 15 months after their capture, with letters saying they posed “no threat” to American forces.

They were later visited by Mr. Dilawar’s parents, who begged them to explain what had happened to their son. But the men said they could not bring themselves to recount the details. “I told them he had a bed,” said Mr. Parkhudin. “I said the Americans were very nice because he had a heart problem.”

“Their hearts are filled with evil. They are — you can’t negotiate with them. There is no peace treaty you can sign with these kind of people. They’ve got a dim vision of the world. I resolved then that I will do whatever it takes to defend America.” — George W. Bush, July 9, 2004

Military spokesmen maintained that both men had died of natural causes, even after military coroners had ruled the deaths homicides.

Read more about the wrongful detention, torture and death of Dilawar in an article by Tim Golden in New York Times, from which the italicized text is taken.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Banning Newsweek?

NewsweekbannedMother Davis over at Irregular Times writes about Republicans that want to ban Newsweek:

I never thought that I would live to see the day when a significant element of America’s ruling party would be calling for the banning of publications that dare to question the actions of the government. There are problems with Newsweek’s use of an unnamed source to back up a one-sentence statement about desecration of the Koran in American prisons at Guantanamo Bay (allegations of which now appear to have been corroborated from dozens of sources). But, does a problem with a source used to support a single sentence in a news report really merit a government shut-down of a major news publication?

Scary, very scary. We live in a new America. I’ve been using that phrase for over a year now. It will get far worse before it ever gets better. The Republic has become the Empire.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Bird Tracker 1.0 – FileMaker Pro database

A simple little FileMakerPro database for keeping track of the birds you’ve seen. I’m new to birding so I may have left out fields important to more experienced birders. If you have a suggestion please write with your ideas.

Easy to use. Click in the common name field and choose from the drop down list which will then auto enter the genus and species for you. Enter all other data that you want. There are buttons for easy and automatic searching of Google for images and audio. There is also a button for searching of the Wikipedia.

Requirement: FileMakerPro 7.

This is freeware though I gladly accept donations.

More info at MacProductive.

Technorati Tags: , , ,