The magazine section of Randall's Pages. This is the place to discuss issues be they political, social, technical, scientific or the arts (mostly music in my case). Views expressed belong entirely to me, except for those left by commenters for whom I take no responsiblity. However I will remove a comment upon reasonable request for just cause.
Mt. Denver in Winter
Name: Rag Machine
Location: West Kootenays, British Columbia, Canada
Mount Redoubt has erupted at least five times in the last couple of days, at one point spewing ash 10 miles into the Alaskan sky and grounding air travel around Anchorage at times. How difficult this may make it for Governor Palin to keep her eye on the nasty Ruskies just across the Bering Strait may put the national security at risk. But that's nothing compared to how silly it has made Bobby Jindal appear. (As if he needed any help!)
In the Globe and Mail, Caroline Alphonso addresses the effect of the smoke may have on Jindal's political aspirations in Blowing smoke on Bobby Jindal. Of course being a venal idiot hasn't usually harmed Republican candidates with their base.
The eruption of an Alaska volcano deflates the Republican Party's rising star
A month after Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal chided the Democrats for funding "something called volcano monitoring," the eruption of a volcano in Alaska is spewing ash 15 kilometres into the air.
"While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending and includes $300-million to buy new cars for the government, $8-billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a magnetic levitation line from Las Vegas to Disneyland, and $140-million for something called volcano monitoring," Mr. Jindal said. "Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C."
Mr. Jindal's attack on volcano monitoring was met with criticism from politicians, bloggers and some scientists. Democratic Senator Mark Begich of Alaska wrote in an open letter: "Volcano monitoring is a matter of life and death in Alaska. The science of volcano monitoring and the money needed to fund it is incredibly important in our state."
The senator's spokeswoman, Julie Hasquet, said yesterday that the eruption of Mount Redoubt over the past few days and its potential to cause damage in the state illustrate that this is "very serious for Alaskans, and we don't appreciate it when folks use it as a laugh line or a sound bite."
President Obama recently chose to make his first foreign social call to Ottawa, Canada. This was taken as a compliment and recognition that Canada was an important ally and partner to the Empire to the South. Of course a recent survey of Murcans showed that Murcans themselves consider Great Britain to be a better and closer friend - go figger!
Today, in Calgary, the last excuse for Preznit of the Empire, Bush the Lesser is making his first speech and foreign visit since leaving the White House. Of course Bush the Lesser probably has less countries to choose from for foreign jaunts, assuming he doesn't want to be arrested and forced to do a perp walk to the Hague. Of course this observer is convinced that this SUSPECT could be investigated/prosecuted for far more than merely war crimes. How about, obstruction of justice (the politicization of the DOJ), negligent homicide (Katrina),and election fraud (2000, 2004), to name just three possibilities.
Ralph Klein and Bush the Lesser having a beer together on St. Patrick's Day, in Texas North - now there is an image for the ages. I wonder what it costs to hire Bush to mangle the English Language and insult the intelligence of your group (assuming your group can host him in jurisdiction he isn't afraid to go to).
Paul Craig Roberts was not only Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Ronnie Raygun, but was also once an associate editor on the Wall Street Journal. His essay published today at Information Clearing House gives a different view of what's happening in the faraway Georgia from that promoted by the Crawford Caligula and his sychophants in the mainstream media.
.....today, August 9, 2008, as I write, it is the “liberal” Washington Post that has written an editorial urging the US to go to war with Russia.
With its editorial, “Stopping Russia: the US and its allies must unite against Moscow’s war on Georgia,” the Washington Post has established a world record for the maximum number of lies in the minimum number of words.
Except for the Washington Post, the entire world knows that Georgia (the birthplace of Joseph Stalin, not Georgia USA) initiated the aggression that killed Russian peacekeepers and hundreds of civilians in South Ossetia, peacekeepers who were there with the blessing of Georgia and international agreements.
The true facts are available all over the world press. But the “liberal” Washington Post serves up the lie that Russia has attacked Georgia and conceivably plans to conquer all of Georgia. “This is a grave challenge to the United States and Europe,” thunders the Bush Regime’s mouthpiece, aka, “the liberal media.”
Thirsting for blood, the “liberal media” declares: “The United States and its NATO allies must together impose a price on Russia.”
Here we see the combination of idiocy and delusion in one sentence. The United States has proved that it is incapable of occupying Iraq, much less Afghanistan. Russia has a large trade surplus. America’s NATO allies are dependent on Russian natural gas. Yet the “liberal” Washington Post wants a bankrupt US and “its NATO allies” who are dependent on Russian energy “to impose a price on Russia” for defending its peacekeepers!
I would recommend reading the complete article (follow link in title above) which is mainly about the MYTH of a "liberal" media.
He prefaces this essay with one of my favorite quotes from John Stuart Mill:
Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.
If you find yourself strapped to a gurney or appliance moving dolly and see this crew approaching, especially if Condi is outfittted in her thigh high black high heeled boots, you should probably hope that the morphine is just about to kick in real good. According to ABC News:
President George W. Bush's most senior advisers approved "enhanced interrogation techniques" of top al-Qaeda suspects by the Central Intelligence Agency
ABC reported that the so-called "principals" discussed interrogation details in dozens of top-secret talks and meetings in the White House.
Then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice chaired the meetings, which took place in the White House Situation Room and were typically attended by a select group of senior officials or their deputies, ABC said.
In addition to Rice, the principals at the time included Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft, the report said.
Not surprising none of the "principals" could be reached for comment on these revelations. John Ashcroft of the lovely tenor voice so easily offended by Lady Justice's bare bosom was quoted by another official as saying at the time -
"Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly."
No doggy biscuits for you today however Mr. Ashcroft. I'm sure you were fine with what was being proposed actually happening, but only concerned that by discussing it in the "White House" you had all perhaps lost "plausible deniability." But I'm of the impression you are a religious man, John, so in that case God will billet you in the lower reaches when that time comes. I hear torture is kinda the Soup de Jour, everyday, down there, if you catch my drift.
For the last eight years including today, the incumbent in the White House has had the honor of having his very own holiday. It may not be a statutory paid holiday, but it is a time we can reflect on the man it was named after and hopefull laugh a bit rather than the more appropriate gagging and crying. For the First Fool, well this is your day.
I wonder how often the executives over at CNN thank their lucky stars for the existence of Faux News. I mean if it wasn't for Faux, CNN would very likely be the worst, most condescending, most patronizing and in general the biggest chancre on what passes for media in the Land of Nod I mean Amerika. Only Faux can consistently outdo CNN at catering to the lowest common denominator while they guarantee to lower that denominator almost daily.
I guess it shouldn't be surpising that the comment board of the second dumbest channel would attract a somewhat less than intellectually stellar group of commenters. However some genius using the handle xxxxxxxxxx (Mod - name removed to protect the mentally challenged), which come to think of it almost sounds like a real name. Maybe I should look up her phone number and give her a call, just to remind her of the importance of remembering to breathe.
Anyway, this is in serious contention for being the very, very, very BEST reason to NOT vote for Obama - ever! Are you ready? Here's the reason, not to vote for Obama!
(He even bowls like a girl. lol)
Remember, you read it here first, that is unless you are a mouth breather that reads the comments over at CNN.
I'm not talking about the NCAA Tournament with the title of this post. Though the Tournament does signal the start of one of my favorite times of year, for spectator sports. Next come the Stanley Cup Playoffs and then the NBA Championships. Then it is time to get outside away from the tube.
No, I'm talking about the state of the rogue nation to my south, the United States of Greed, or as my youngest son used to call it the "Excited Snakes." I mean it's all crazy madness, the primaries, the economy, the Spitzer takedown and of course anything escaping from the mouth of the First Fool. Not that we don't have our own insanity and inanities in Ottawa, Alberta and Victoria, but that stuff is for another post.
Last week the first big thing was the fall of Eliot Spitzer the Governor of New York. Since he had been the "steamrolling" D.A and Attorney General, excising crime and unethical behavior where ever he found it, including busting "prostitution rings," it was at the least hypocritical for him to be availing himself of the services of a high class prostitute, I assume $4300 still purchases "high class" goods. Of course the fact that it was supposedly suspicious "banking transactions" that led to the discovery of Client #9 (Spitzer), one can only wonder how much his enemies among bankers and on Wall Street may have had to do with the "break" in the case. Greg Palast, as so often he does, provides a somewhat different perspective on the Spitzer Takedown in Eliot's Mess.
While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an ‘escort’ $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, George Bush’s new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators.
Both acts were wanton, wicked and lewd. But there’s a BIG difference. The Governor was using his own checkbook. Bush’s man Bernanke was using ours. ..../snip
Up until Wednesday, there was one single, lonely politician who stood in the way of this creepy little assignation at the bankers’ bordello: Eliot Spitzer.
Who are they kidding? Spitzer’s lynching and the bankers’ enriching are intimately tied. ..../snip
Not all crimes lead to federal bust or even public exposure. It’s up to something called “prosecutorial discretion.”
Funny thing, this ‘discretion.’ For example, Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, paid Washington DC prostitutes to put him diapers (ewww!), yet the Senator was not exposed by the US prosecutors busting the pimp-ring that pampered him.
Naming and shaming and ruining Spitzer – rarely done in these cases - was made at the ‘discretion’ of Bush’s Justice Department.
Or maybe we should say, 'indiscretion.'
A man as smart as Mr. Spitzer demonstrably was (he is "alleged" to have scored perfect on the LSAT)should have known that if he wanted to be in public life AND cavort with prostitutes, he should have joined the Republican Party!
Meanwhile even oily, sleaze-bag, neo-con enabling traitor Robert Novak in his Chicago Sun-Times column hinted at GOP involvement in Spitzer's takedown.
Predicting Spitzer's departure
Republican political operative Roger Stone, Eliot Spitzer's longtime antagonist, predicted his political demise more than three months in advance.
''Eliot Spitzer will not serve out his term as governor of the state of New York,'' Stone said Dec. 6 on Michael Smerconish's radio talk show. He gave no details.
Asked about his possible involvement in Spitzer's fall Stone said, "No comment," but did add that, "My work isn't done there. Just watch."
Just so we don't get the wrong impression of how classy Roger Stone is - he currently runs an anti-Clinton political 527 group, Citizens United Not Timid, a acronym of which, understandably, has sparked fury among liberal groups.
Other forms of the madness to the south will have to wait until another day. Things like the economy (if there still is one by the time I get around to discussing it) or the silliness over the pastor of the church attended by Barack Obama. In the meantime...
When I was a young lad we used to celebrate Lincoln's birthday on the 12th of February and George Washington's on February 22. In recent times somebody decided to split the difference and celebrate ALL presidents (including the current incompetent and evil example) on the third Monday in February (otherwise known as Black History Month). One good thing about this Presidents' Day in America is that is should be the last with the W as the incumbent - barring the imposition of Martial Law and/or coronations, of course. With a little help from Marty Kaplan (link from title) on the captions - let's celebrate in style.
...one of the most loathsome, preening, hubristic degradations of the presidency in all of American history
his guitar-strumming indifference to Katrina
There are many more highlowlights of the Shrub's time in office, but really, it is too easy, so I'll leave it at that. One benefit of the holiday in the USA and parts of Canada is that the North American securities markets are closed for one more day, making it likely that the impending crash will have to wait at least another day. Many of the economic wise men think there is light at the end of the tunnel, unfortunately I fear that it is a train of economic payback that will run over many of the people of the world, including many who had nothing to do with creating the monster we have yet to truly face down.
It's not normal in February for me to want to be in Manitoba, but at least there, today is Louis Riel Day.