Monday, February 18, 2008

What makes people happy?

Great story. Tip to

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Banality of Evil

It may have been Eli Wiesel who most forcefully made the connection between banality and evil during the holocaust. Evil doesn't truly show itself in the grand and twisted schemes of an evil genius, but in the workaday and humdrum life of all its ministers.

"Nazi women epitomized the everyday 'banality of evil.' Carrying out traditional women's roles.... they cooperated with war, genocide and terror by ignoring it and helping to create an image that all was well." -- Claudia Koonz, Competition for Women's Lebensraum.'
Even the banalities of the Limbaughs, Coulters and Hannitys of the world pale in comparison to the nameless clockwork figures who ideologically tic and toc inside our government. Consider the EPA and the kinds of ministers George Bush has crammed it with - little ideological drones who punctiliously pursue the dictum of their master.

It has been known for decades that Mercury is a neurotoxin and that it is especially lethal in children. It has poisoned our fish supply and has become so concentrated in the larger sea mammals, such as dolphins and whales, that they are inedible. Period. Even so, this doesn't stop the Japanese from ladling out this toxic brew of Mercury laden flesh, every day, to their school age children. They continue to hunt whales and dolphins for food. Apparently, the much vaunted intelligence of the Japanese only goes so far.

In the United States, under the direction of George Bush and Dick Cheney, the EPA was (and presumably still is) under direct orders to stop all efforts by the States, otherwise known as federalism, to individually regulate mercury pollution. In some cases, the EPA requirements would have allowed plants to put more mercury into the air, not less.

"Many state officials believed under the federal trading program "some plants could go totally unregulated. That was totally unacceptable to many states," Becker said."

"About the same time, Nevada objected to the EPA's wanting to flood its power plants with pollution allowances far beyond the amount mercury the plants actually produced. That approach included a large bloc of allowances to a coal burning plant that had been shut down because of clean air violations."

The science behind the lethality of mercury is demonstrable and unquestioned by any peer-reviewed scientists. Fortunately for the United States and our children, a federal appeals court struck down Bush's big money-friendly approach for mercury reduction. Bizarrely, Bush's plan would have allowed plants with excessive smokestack emissions to buy pollution rights from other plants that foul the air less, effectively making the net change in our mercury pollution - Zero.

Some in the media might snarkily refer to this post as an example of "Bush Derangement Syndrome". If so, then explain to me who staffed the EPA and set their agenda? Explain to me any reasonable rationale for why we should continue to bathe our landscape in mercury?

This is one of the most neurologically toxic metals known to man, yet Bush & Cheney think the "economy" comes first.

Well, whose "economy"?

It's certainly not the "economy" of the children suffering from Mercury poisoning, or their mothers and fathers. It's not the "economy" of the fisherman netting fish that are too poisonous to consume. It's not the "economy" of the states whose rivers & lakes are increasingly too toxic to enjoy.

I think we all know whose "economy" Bush & Cheney are protecting.

Jonah Goldturd

I saw this guy try to hawk his book "Liberal Fascism" on the daily show, and John Stewart made mincemeat of him. Using the words "Nazi" and "Fascist" as adjectives for the group of people who brought us the civil rights movement, is quite a feat of the imagination. There is no question that certain political ideologies can use civil rights concepts in order to strong arm policy, but to conjure up connotations of wartime Italy and Germany is really pathetic. In this segment, Alan Colmes actually goes on the offensive:

Here are the basic points of Goldberg's argument. Note that he goes out of his way to insist that he is not *really* comparing liberals to Hitler et al. Whatever.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sex, Texas & Walmart

Just read that the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals "ruled that the Texas law making it illegal to sell or promote obscene devices, punishable by as many as two years in jail, violated the right to privacy guaranteed by the 14th Amendment." Apparently, those beacons of morality and civilization (read religion) (Alabama and Mississippi) still ban their sales.

Sherri Williams, owner of a sex toy business, was quoted as saying: "I think the courts are finally listening to the people," Williams said Wednesday. "You have 'Sex and the City,' 'Desperate Housewives' and other shows promoting what society is doing. I think the courts have finally opened their eyes and looked around, which is a miracle in the South."

In related news, the unabashedly Christian Walmart has begun selling lubricants, such as 'Wet', in its pharmaceutical sections. Since Walmart is probably the state store of Alabama and Mississippi, I have to wonder if the morality police have taken notice? Selling the lubricant in the pharmacy is a neat dodge. Since it's in the pharmacy, I suppose it's a medicinal "sex aid" or a "relationship aid". However, morality police should take note, flavoring the lubricants surely crosses the line into sex toy. After all, what possible medicinal use could Mango be?

The elegant toy above is $215.00 and is called the Dutch Delight (love the cork). The website states that the "Oooms and Grosemans’ “Dutch Delight” dildo was commissioned for the “Dutch Souvenir” project initiated by .ekwc in the Netherlands in 2003. Check it out here.

I wonder what kinds of memorabilia the Alabama souvenir project commissions? - the Alabama Chastity Belt tastefully emblazoned with the Crucifix?

Friday, February 08, 2008

Beyond Belief 2.0

Beyond Belief 2.0

Last year I had the huge pleasure of watching this entire 3 day seminar. It was extraordinary, and now version 2.0 is available for viewing. It took place October 31st- November 2nd.

I just finished watching Sam Harris' lecture. Nothing particularly new was introduced. But the question/answer/debate at the end was ELECTRICAL. The furious war between him and Scot Atran (whose views of Islam are in many ways diametrical to Sam's) continues. Harris says that Atran is "utterly wrong" and "irresponsible". Atran says that Harris "doesn't know what he's talking about" concerning Islam and hastens to add that not a single person at the conference knows what they are talking about concerning Islam. Harris tells Atran that he owes it to himself to have a public debate against someone like Ayaan Hirsi Ali who does know Islam firsthand. Atran considers it, but this was in October and as far as I know no such debate has taken place.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Washington Post/ABC News Poll

* The economy: Dems led Republicans, 52% to 33%
* Immigration: Dems led Republicans, 40% to 37%
* Iraq: Dems led Republicans, 48% to 34%
* The budget deficit: Dems led Republicans, 52% to 31%
* Taxes: Dems led Republicans, 48% to 40%
* The U.S. campaign against terrorism: Dems led Republicans, 44% to 37%
* Health care: Dems led Republicans, 56% to 29%

<--- Picture of Pat Robertson's face while reading latest poll results.

Friday, February 01, 2008


I am endorsing
The website is still in it's infancy but it is a great idea. You use play money to bet on a myriad of news outcomes. Odds are made based on monetary values of voters on each possible outcome. You can also invent your own questions. Some news stories provide wagers for the long term and others short term. There is a leaderboard for top players. So far I am 5/5 on my bets. But after superbowl Sunday I won't be anymore I'm sure. Check it out.

Hell Freezes Over

Is this the makings of a landslide for Dem's? The neocon talk radio slime ball network is fractured. They hate McCain more than they hate Hillary!!!

And it's looking like nobody is going to stop McCain. He was nowhere in the horserace a handful of weeks ago and then all of a sudden I think he became the default candidate when everyone gave up on Guiliani and Romney.

Ann Coultergeist appeared on the bewildered Fox News in front of a pale faced Sean Hannity to say that not only would she endorse Hillary if she goes up against McCain, but she would *campaign* for her! No, I'm serious.