Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Headlines - Wednesday


So how did the Pilgrims celebrate Christmas?
Answer: they didn't. They viewed Christmas as a pagan celebration and the only celebration they allowed was attendance at daily church services or, if you were to be especially pious, fasting. The Pilgrims were big on that whole fasting thing. If the Indians had not shown up with all those turkeys and shit, their celebration of a successful harvest ("Thanksgiving") would have been a day of fasting. Their notion was that the way to show the Lord that you were pious was to deprive yourself, rather than indulge yourself.

Needless to say, I doubt you would have had any of these sombre dudes busy trampling people to death in their frenzy to get cheap goodies or any of the other trappings of America's secular christmas. They would have been too busy flogging young girls for dancing through the woods, or executing as "witches" women who were a little too uppity.

But of course you don't hear anything of the sort in today's American History classrooms. That would be "un-American", bringing these facts to the attention of our young people...


Gift cards can be lumps of coal:

A lot of failing retailers are hanging on long enough to get thru Christmas.
How many of them will file bankruptcy on Dec 26th?

If you get a gift card, be outside the store the day when it opens the day after Christmas. Maybe you can spend it all before the lawyers call from the courthouse to close the store.



Headline from The Telegraph: Pentagon hires British scientist to help build robot soldiers that 'won't commit war crimes'

The US Army and Navy have both hired experts in the ethics of building machines to prevent the creation of an amoral Terminator-style killing machine that murders indiscriminately.

By 2010 the US will have invested $4 billion in a research programme into "autonomous systems", the military jargon for robots, on the basis that they would not succumb to fear or the desire for vengeance that afflicts frontline soldiers.


Not suitable for work

3rd Race at The Honeymoon Is Over Downs:  
A Message for Climate Change Negotiators: Small Farmers Key to Combating Climate Change


Bush Still Lies about Iraqi Inspections.


The Bush Administration is in Vaughn Walker's courtroom today, trying to convince him to just give the telecoms immunity with no further scrutiny.

But given the questions Judge Walker has posed to the Administration, it looks like it won't be that easy. For example, there's this question, which highlights just how nutty this retroactive immunity is:

What exactly has Congress created with § 802 (in Pub L No 110-261, 122 Stat 2467, tit II, § 201 (2008))? It does not appear to be an affirmative defense but rather appears to be a retroactive immunity for completed acts that allegedly violated constitutional rights, but one that can only be activated by the executive branch. Is there any precedent for this type of enactment that is analogous in all of these respects: retroactivity; immunity for constitutional violations; and delegation of broad discretion to the executive branch to determine whether to invoke the provision? 

He goes from there to ask several more questions getting at that pesky separation of powers thing. You know--separation of powers, which says that the courts have the ajudicatory function?

In making the certification called for by section 802(a)(5), is the Attorney General performing an adjudicatory function? That is, is he not making a determination that only a court can make?

They are all good questions. And they suggest that Walker is not going to simply roll over and abdicate his Article III function. Which probably means this will be appealed beyond the time when the Bush Administration leaves office.

Which I guess means we ought to be preparing some questions for Eric Holder about FISA at his confirmation hearing.


Randy Goodman, 49, thought that he had the better of a deer when he shot a 240-pound buck with his .270 caliber rifle. This deer, however, refused to become venison before getting a little vengeance. 

Thinking the buck was dead, Goodman approached him only to have the deer jump up and attack him with his seven-point antlers. Goodman described it as "15 seconds of hell." It was not that great a couple of minutes for the deer either, which he shot two more times to kill.

The most embarrassed hunter, however, may be Matthew Marcum of Oregon who was shot in his buttocks by his own dog in a boat during a duck hunt.


Yesterday morning, the Washington Post reported that the White House would hang an 'impeach Bush' ornament on their tree.

Ornaments are supposed to showcase something special about each congressional district. Washington state's Rep. Jim McDermott's special something was that he wants George Bush impeached. 

The nine-inch ball is covered with swirly red and white stripes - and, in tiny glued-on text, salutes the Democratic congressman's support for a resolution to impeach President Bush. 

A White House spokesperson told the column that the ornament would not be removed but condemned the "divisive and partisan" message as inappropriate for the tree.

So the most justified impeachment in U.S. history is now being referred to as 'divisive' and partisan.'

Update: by yesterday afternoon, The Associated Press reported that the White House had changed its mind and wouldn't hang the onament afterall. 

Sally McDonough, a spokeswoman for Laura Bush: 

"It's inappropriate and it's not being hung," she said. She said that when asked about the issue yesterday, the White House tree decorations were not complete. "We reviewed the ornament along with all the [other] ornaments, and Mrs. Bush deemed it inappropriate for the holiday tree."

Holiday tree? Why isn't it being called a Christmas tree? Paging Bill O'Reilly.


100 nations sign cluster bomb ban - the U.S. still refuses:


In case you missed Part 1 of Charlie Gibson's interview with Dim Son, it's here:

Meanwhile, brother Jeb says the Republican party should not cave to a Democratic majority. Rather, they should set up a "shadow government" to provide a counter-agenda.

I think the 'shadow government' started here

By the way, Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL-Terri Schiavo fame) is retiring in 2010 and Jeb is seriously considering a run for his seat. 

The Bush family has done enough damage to this country. Can't they just go away?


Via Think Progress, we learn that the Vatican opposes a U.N. resolution that would urge nations to de-criminalize homosexuality:

The Vatican is drawing criticism from gay rights groups and newspapers editorials after Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Vatican's permanent observer to the United Nations, told a French Catholic news service that the Vatican opposes "a proposed U.N. resolution calling on governments worldwide to de-criminalise homosexuality." Migliore claimed that the resolution "would create new and implacable discriminations" against opponents of same-sex marriage.

The resolution has nothing to do with marriage. It's aimed, in part, at nations that kill gays. Killing gays. How Christian. That should make the Prada wearing Pope very proud. 


As expected, Georgia voters have sent the loathsome Saxby Chambliss back to the Senate. This means that the Democrats will not get to a 60-seat majority, no matter what happens in Minnesota.

So can we please turn this dark cloud into a silver lining and kick Joe Lieberman out of the caucus now?

I wonder if Chambliss had some help this time around too? ....

A Diebold whistleblower and a GOP cybersecurity expert agree: the 2002 Chambliss Senate race was rigged:

A former Diebold contractor who was in charge of preparing the 2002 election between Saxby Chambliss and war hero Max Cleland has stated that software patches may have rigged the election in favor of walking cesspool Chambliss. The contractor, Chris Hood, was ordered by the president of Diebold to secretly install uncertified software patches on machines in predominantly Democratic counties, according to Mr. Hood. Saxby Chambliss won a surprising victory after trailing badly in the pre-election polls and being a horrible excuse for a human being.

Stephen Spoonamore, a cybersecurity expert and lifelong Republican, has also stated that he believes that the race was rigged in favor of Chambliss. "If you look at the case of Saxby Chambliss, that's ridiculous. The man was not elected. He lost that election by five points. Max Cleland won. They flipped the votes, clear as day."

Non-profit org. Velvet Revolution has been working with whistleblowers who have stated that the GOP, under the direction of corpulent antichrist Karl Rove, has been using computers to change election results.

They are offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the Saxby Chambliss election rigging.


Those uncounted ballots in the Minnesota Senate race have now been counted and Al Franken has netted an additional 37 votes.


Conditions suitable for life existed on Earth 4.2 billion years ago.

That is 4,200,000,000 years ago. Not 6,000 years ago.

Yesterday, the White House approved "one of the most contentious" regulations officials are trying to push through in Bush's final weeks in office, making it "easier for coal companies to dump rock and dirt from mountaintop mining operations into nearby streams and valleys." Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson argued that the new rule would "protect fish, wildlife and streams."
And war is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.
Via CNBC: job cuts jump 148% since last November.
Bank of America talking about cutting 30,000 jobs.




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