Saturday, August 9, 2008

Interesting stuff

Ok, it's Saturday morning and it's raining in paradise, a summer rain here meaning clouds, showers and cool temperatures. Did I mention clouds. Not even The Mountain (Mount Rainier to everyone else) is out (visible) and locked in clouds, which is just that, inside clouds. The clouds actually encase the mountain from about 4,000 feet upward and over the peak.

Ok, enough bemoaning the lack of summer this year. The news or the news I thought interesting.

The war in Georgia. Not the state but Russia attacking the Georgian province of South Ossetia. It's a breakaway province that is predominately Russian (70% and 30% Georgian), but still in the territory of Georgia, so Russia has attacked and is occupying the land under the Georgian government. I doubt Russia will retreat since they're saying it's to protect "their" people and land stolen by Georgia.

So, how many of you know about this country and the events? The Web is full of news, stories and information, so what's keeping you from learning and expanding your world and mind?

And I listened to a story about Paraguay. The US Ambassador has a CD there of traditional song sung in the the native language. You can listen to the NPR story. So you learn a few songs and check out the atlas of the country too. And you never left home too.

Spies. Yup, the story of Mary Lou McFate/Sapone who infiltated numerous gun control groups as a spy for the NRA. For 15 years too. Read the story in Mother Jones. Scary what some folks will do. We knew the government has done it for decades but the NRA?

Seems logical, and maybe totally legal. All the while the people and groups she spied on never paid attention to the clues about her to see she was a spy. Did she and the NRA actually gain anything? Well, sorta' but getting the advance information what the groups were planning to prempt the strategy and tactics.

How about the FBI? They apologized for investigating reporters for the Washington Post and New York Times, getting phone records, without a warrant. In 2004 too. Apologizing now.

So how many more of the 60,000 of the information requests have warrants behind them? They suspect many if not most because the agents forgot to followup with the paperwork to the court or didn't actually have enough information to support a warrant. They simply had ideas or suggestions but nothing specific to justify a warrant. So they lie.

And of course they said they've destroyed the original material they got with the warrantless search. Yeah, right, and I have a bridge you can buy too.

This one I love. What doesn't NBC understand about tape delaying show doesn't work? Yes, you can rerun them but why not air the Olympics live too? NBC has exclusive right to broadcast the Olympics in the US but people are finding ways around the news and video. And now NBC is threatening Websites who have operations in the US (many of the videos are from outside the US) with lawsuits if they don't remove the videos, like Google and YouTube.

But the news is done and out there, so what's their bitch? Oh, yes, money from ads. Dear NBC, stop acting like jerks and show the events live and then rerun if you want. Tape delay doesn't work, and leads to bitter tastes in viewers' mouth. Get real. Everything isn't just TV. It's called the Internet.

Anyway, that's the news I saw which was interesting, and there's more but it's Saturday and too much to do. Parting jesture? This house.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Dear Democrats

How can I say this politely? How about, "Please, don't fuck or fuck with the American people." Too harsh? But honestly.

Don't sell public lands, our lands, to oil corporations in the name of reducing gas prices. It's a ruse and you know it, so don't think we won't see it for what you want or think we should, but for what it is, pure political bullshit. There is no credible evidence that leasing off-shore waters to oil exploration and drilling will reduce gas prices. The oil from any leases won't show up on the market for at least 3-5 years and won't effect prices by more than a percentage point or two, at most.

So, dear Democrats, stop the pandering to oil corporatios and lying to the American people. And don't cave into the Republican political rhetoric. Explain the truth to the American people to show they're pandering and lying. Get some backbone and do what's best for Americans and America.

Ranting? Not really.

The New York Times reports that the number of leases increased over three times for six years under the Bush administration than eight years of the Clintion administration, but the the production was 12% less from 111.5 million barrels per year to 97.9 million barrels under Bush. Only natural gas production increased 34%. So less oil on a 300% increase in leases.

Add the 68 million acres in leases where no exploration let alone production has been done and you begin to get the picture. The oil companies aren't producing more oil to reduce prices, so even more leases will help? What don't you get it's about acquiring leases than actually doing anything?

Oh, I do get it. It's about money, yours from the oil companies. It's the goal of the 2001 Cheney Energy Task Force, you remember secret one done with public money by our Vice President, to open all lands to oil and gas leases regardless if they're actually used. Just acquire the lease and sit on it until prices increase enough to produce lots of profits to give more money to Democrats. That's what you want, money.

And yes, I'm angry as a citizen and selling our public lands for nothing, especially off-shore waters and ANWR. That's our land and we don't want you to sell it for profit. And now Obama is backtracking like a coward afraid of losing votes than taking a stand for America and Americans.

Obama, get a gripe and a backbone. Or be a coward, like the rest of the Democrats and cowers under Republican fear mongering. And we know in 5 years a study will show the lease program didn't do what you promised about reducing gas prices. You know that now, so why lie to us?

But then I forgot you're Democrats. You lost my trust after 9/11 and you haven't done anything to get it back. And all I see is more of the same from ya'll, promises you won't keep but lie to us that you will.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Wandering through the news

Ok, the weekend is here, or close enough to consider it with the summer at hand. And after reading the papers and listening to news and interview radio shows (I don't watch TV news, too cryptic, what have I gleaned of importance enough to rant awhile here? LIke it matters? Except to me of course.

Ok, onward.

Why is that all the nations who have nuclear power industries, most with nuclear weapons programs, want to restrict if not prohibit non-nuclear nations from having nuclear industries and especially nuclear weapons? I'm against nuclear weapons, but I don't understand where the Bush administrations is helping India with its nuclear industry and now its nuclear weapons program even though they have not signed the innternational treaty on nuclear programs but is trying to restrict Pakistan's own nuclear weapons program because they developed theirs without US help (A.Q. Khan) and is trying to prevent Iran from having any nuclear industry let alone a weapons program?

Isn't that the definition of hypocracy? When 100 non-aligned and another 15 aligned nations nations agreed to allow nations indedendent nuclear industries endorsing Iran's program, what else can be said. It's the haves and have nots, and haves are being greedy? Yes, I know the dangers of nuclear weapons programs, but the US has never stopped developing new nuclear weapons against the nuclear weapons treaty.

What's not to understand the biggest hypocrit in the room is the US? And when we're trying to help nations develop industries and vibrant economies, the sad reality is that sometimes and some places nuclear power is the answer when other sources of energy isn't available or won't work. It's the nature of reality and we're being the bad guy?

It's about the water. That's what the investigation into the Salmonella discovered. The farm in Mexico which grew peppers and the company that processed for those and tomatoes where the souce of the illness was found. It wasn't the food itself, but the water, and why water treatment and processing is so important in the world today.

We have more than enough water to do what we want and we know how to treat water to restore it to better than when it was initially withdrawn from the environment. That's the simple truth. Water is so flexible, we only have to treat it, but that's the expensive part of the equation. We don't need new sources of water, just process what you have and return to the beginning of the cycle.

But we don't because it's far more expensive to do and cheaper to build new water supply and delivery systems and new water treatment plants to dump partially treated water into the environment. We only need to add the next step of tertiary treatment and we have new water again. So when will we learn?

Is the Bush talk of troops cuts in Iraq political fodder for McCain?

Why is Bush talking about troop drawdown when he's said that's not a reality? But he isn't promising drawdown, only the discussion of the possibility of potential drawdowns, meaning we're just thinking. But he also, as his advisors have probably told him, talking of something is good politics for the administration and especially the party in an election year and for the Republican nominee McCain.

This takes away the political criticism from Obama who can't talk about "them" wanting to sustain troops levels indefinitely. It doesn't matter that no significant drawdown has happened and even if they do, it's the drawdown of last year's surge, so the troop levels will continue to remain high as the troops are merely transferred to Afghanistan.

The reality is that it's simply talk to disguise doing nothing. It's about appearances and we, and especially the journalists, should recognize it for what it is, political rhetoric.

The good news?

A federal court judge has said that ex-administration officials are not covered by executive privilege. You have to be an active employee to be covered so all the ex-administration officials and advisors will have to answer to Congress and their subpoenas, even if they cite the 5th Amendment. It's about the legal rights of Congress and the supposed imperial presidency Bush and his advisors tried to build.

So to all those folks, including Mr. Cheney too, beware, Congress will be knocking on your door some day with a subpoena. We want the truth to know who lied when. We know you did about damn near everything you did. You fucked the people in your own arrogance about our republic and laws. And now we want Congress to get answers, or at least putting your butt in a chair before Congress.

And I really want to hear what Karl Rove has to say about his role as the senior advisor. I'm not sure who's worse Rove or Cheney, they're both equally bad, but Rove has a longer history with Bush.

Anyway, that's the news of the week I found interesting. And my parting jesture is a Granny and her cats. Have a good weekend.