Apparently... that just isn't enough.
How well did you do in the last minute or so of our oil-dependent economy?
FORMER NASA astronaut and moon-walker Dr Edgar Mitchell - a veteran of the Apollo 14 mission - has stunningly claimed aliens exist.And he says extra-terrestrials have visited Earth on several occasions - but the alien contact has been repeatedly covered up by governments for six decades. Dr Mitchell, 77, said during a radio interview that sources at the space agency who had had contact with aliens described the beings as 'little people who look strange to us.' He said supposedly real-life ET's were similar to the traditional image of a small frame, large eyes and head. Chillingly, he claimed our technology is "not nearly as sophisticated" as theirs and "had they been hostile", he warned "we would be been gone by now". Dr Mitchell, along with with Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard, holds the record for the longest ever moonwalk, at nine hours and 17 minutes following their 1971 mission.
I agree with Josh Marshall, this basically firebombs the McCain campaign for the presidency. The economy is an across the board disaster as a campaign issue for the Republicans and McCain was banking on his old white POW cred carrying him across the finish line with the traditional Republican advantage on security.
From Reuters:Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told a German magazine he supported prospective U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's proposal that U.S. troops should leave Iraq within 16 months.
In an interview with Der Spiegel released on Saturday, Maliki said he wanted U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible.
"U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."
ARLINGTON, VA -- Today, McCain 2008 Senior Foreign Policy Advisor Randy Scheunemann issued the following statement:
"The difference between John McCain and Barack Obama is that Barack Obama advocates an unconditional withdrawal that ignores the facts on the ground and the advice of our top military commanders. John McCain believes withdrawal must be based on conditions on the ground. Prime Minister Maliki has repeatedly affirmed the same view, and did so again today. Timing is not as important as whether we leave with victory and honor, which is of no apparent concern to Barack Obama. The fundamental truth remains that Senator McCain was right about the surge and Senator Obama was wrong. We would not be in the position to discuss a responsible withdrawal today if Senator Obama's views had prevailed."
Shrill, disingenuous and more than a little desperate. We may be about to watch one of the truly epic political meltdowns in American political history.
UPDATE: From a Republican Party McCain advisor: "We're fucked."
SAN JOSE, California -- Universal Music told a federal judge here Friday that takedown notices requiring online video-sharing sites to automatically remove content need not consider whether videos are protected by the "fair use" doctrine.This is important, as takedown notices have been illegally used to suppress criticism of public figures like Pastor Hagee trying to hide video of his bigoted and extremist remarks and corporations like Telus suppressing criticism from its workers and customers.
The doctrine permits limited use of copyright materials without the owner's permission.
Americans waiting longer to see doctors and more likely to die of preventable or treatable illnesses than people in other industrialized countries, a report released on Thursday said.This is the system that, despite all their denials, the proponents of more private sector involvement in Canada's system seek to emulate.
Americans squander money on wasteful administrative costs, illnesses caused by medical error and inefficient use of time, the report from the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund concluded.
"We lead the world in spending. We should be expecting much more in return," Commonwealth Fund senior vice president Cathy Schoen told reporters.
The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation, created a 100-point scorecard using 37 indicators such as health outcomes, quality, access and efficiency.
They compare the U.S. average on these to the best performing states, counties or hospitals, and to other countries. The United States scored 65 -- two points lower than in 2006.
The suit also accuses Blue Shield of falsely advertising its coverage, alleging that the company often reneges when its members need substantial medical care.Dr. Richard Frankenstein, (No, really - Cliff) president of the California Medical Assn., and Dr. Robert Bitonte, president-elect of the Los Angeles County Medical Assn., praised Delgadillo's efforts to stop the practice known as rescission."Having health insurance does not mean you will receive healthcare when you need it," Frankenstein said. "Insurance companies may promise you the moon and a thousand doctors, but if you really need your medical care you can bet they will be looking for a way to deny treatment or cancel your policy."
I believe there's another reason for the frowns and worry lines crossing the faces of oil and gas people here in Calgary. The same article, written for the Lifestyles section of the paper, would have an entirely different spin. Yes, there is a dark mood brewing among the people who work in the petrochemical business here. I've seen this mood a lot, having recently had the chance to work among a large number of Calgary's oil and gas people. And, for the most part, I don't believe any of it is directly caused by any of the above stated reasons.Matthew points out that while the price of a barrel of oil has increased by 580% in the last twenty years, the 99% of the people working in the industry who aren't taking the elevator to the executive floors aren't seeing anywhere near that kind of an increase in their pay.
The reaction of top Bush Administration officials to the ICRC report, from what I can gather, has been defensive and dismissive. They reject the ICRC’s legal analysis as incorrect. Yet my reporting shows that inside the White House there has been growing fear of criminal prosecution, particularly after the Supreme Court ruled in the Hamdan case that the Geneva Conventions applied to the treatment of the detainees. This nervousness resulted in the successful effort to add retroactive immunity to the Military Commission Act. Cheney personally spearheaded this effort. Fear of the consequences of exposure also weighed heavily in discussions about whether to shut the CIA program down. In White House meetings, Cheney warned that if they transferred the CIA’s prisoners to Guantanamo, “people will want to know where they have been—and what we’ve been doing with them.” Alberto Gonzales, a source said, “scared” everyone about the possibility of war crimes prosecutions. It was on their minds.One of the most successful and hard nosed criminal prosecutors in America flatly calls for the prosecution of George W. Bush for murder, but as Glenn Greenwald points out, the Democrats are so compromised by collusion with this criminal regime, we probably can't expect them to do their duty.
January 17, 2001
WASHINGTON, DC–Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over."
"My fellow Americans," Bush said, "at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us."
Bush swore to do "everything in [his] power" to undo the damage wrought by Clinton's two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.
During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.
The idea, which has captured the imagination of several architects in the United States and Europe in the past several years, just caught the eye of another big city dreamer: Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president.
When Mr. Stringer heard about the concept in June, he said he immediately pictured a “food farm” addition to the New York City skyline. “Obviously we don’t have vast amounts of vacant land,” he said in a phone interview. “But the sky is the limit in Manhattan.” Mr. Stringer’s office is “sketching out what it would take to pilot a vertical farm,” and plans to pitch a feasibility study to the mayor’s office within the next couple of months, he said.
“I think we can really do this,” he added. “We could get the funding.”
Dr. Despommier estimates that it would cost $20 million to $30 million to make a prototype of a vertical farm, but hundreds of millions to build one of the 30-story towers that he suggests could feed 50,000 people. “I’m viewed as kind of an outlier because it’s kind of a crazy idea,” Dr. Despommier, 68, said with a chuckle. “You’d think these are mythological creatures.”
From The Calgary Herald, who more honestly acknowledge the severe weaknesses in the case against Khadr and the abuse he's suffered in American hands:
He's believed to have tossed a grenade that killed an American Special Forces soldier.
He was 15 at the time.
Old enough to know better, many would say, but raised in a world far removed from ours -- mentally, at least.
It would be easier to condemn Khadr and condone any brutal treatment had he been linked to 9/11 or another clear act of terrorism rather than being on the wrong side of the war.
But even then, atrocity is atrocity no matter how you justify it.
Given his twisted family background, which is deeply rooted in sympathy and alleged support for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, it's easy to see how Khadr is one messed up young man.
He's not your typical Canadian by any stretch of the imagination.
It seems he was never given the chance and that window has closed forever.
Yet he was born in Canada and hence the dilemma.
In Khadr's case, specific mistreatment includes denial of timely medical treatment and pain relief for bullet wounds in the chest, long periods of solitary confinement under bright lights and cold temperatures, and sleep deprivation. At one point, prison guards terrorized Khadr to the point where he urinated himself. They then dipped him in disinfectant and used him as a human mop to wipe up his own urine. He would have been 17 at the time.UPDATE: Christ. Even The National Pest gets it.
Now we know, thanks to disclosure ordered by the Federal Court, that Canadian officials were aware of the abuse while it was happening.
Six years after Khadr was taken into detention, it recently came to light the report identifying him as the combatant who threw the grenade originally identified another combatant (executed on the battlefield) as the perpetrator. The report was altered after the fact.
We know evidence obtained by torture and cruel or degrading treatment will be admitted at trial. We know the original military commission judge assigned to hear the case was sacked and replaced after making a procedural ruling that the Bush administration considered unfavourable. Finally, we also know the Bush administration announced that, even if Khadr is acquitted of the charges against him, he can be detained indefinitely anyway.
Can anyone believe there is any merit to letting such a process run its course as a prerequisite to seeking Khadr's release?
I moved here about twenty years ago and, like many newcomers, I was fascinated by the tradition of "the Stampede Breakfast," in which various sponsors -- businesses, mostly -- would serve up free pancakes and sausages and juice packs to all who were willing to show up early in the morning and stand in line. I was intrigued by the concept. It was nice to know that the people making money in this town, back when oil was an outlandish $20 a barrel or so, were willing to share a little something with everyone else, even if it was only a tax-deductible token gesture.The whole notion of Calgarians being better or more generous people than others because they come from "a Western tradition" or because "they're cowboys at heart" is a lie of course, but some lies can be ennobling. And I admit I am a sucker for free food.Twenty years later, the Stampede Breakfast concept is still going strong. I've seen five of them in the last three days. Hardly anything has changed.Except that since I got here some twenty years ago, the average person's real income adjusted for inflation (in this town where everyone works so frantically) has gone down about 50 bucks a year. The banks and oil companies who usually host Stampede Breakfasts? Their profits are setting records. And now oil is $145.00 a barrel.Put another way: a barrel of West Texas Intermediate is now worth about six months income for one of the Chinese slaves made to stitch the Wal-Mart purchased boots and shirt of every faux cowpuncher lined up for those free scrambled eggs.One more thing that's changed? The five Stampede Breakfasts I've seen in the last three days have all had big "PRIVATE FUNCTION" signs posted in front of them. That, and security guards to keep away the homeless, the wage slaves, and the riff-raff.
McCain said this:So don't expect an AARP endorsement John.
Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace, and it's got to be fixed.
As anyone who knows anything about Social Security understands, "paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers" is pretty much the functional definition of Social Security. Always has been. That's what John McCain is calling an "absolute disgrace."
Climate change is the result of a colossal market failure. At least, that is one way to view the unimpeded dumping of carbon dioxide into Earth’s atmosphere. In the case of climate change, the cost of carbon dioxide emissions, measured as damage to the biosphere, has not been factored into the price of energy. The failure to account for these hidden costs encouraged the overuse of carbon-emitting technologies and has led ultimately to the market failure known as global warming.And after ripping into a big chunk of the Globe and Mail's comment section today, its only fair to point you to Joseph Stiglitz's masterful dissection of the utter failure of neoliberal economics.
The world has not been kind to neo-liberalism, that grab bag of ideas based on the fundamentalist notion that markets are self-correcting, allocate resources efficiently and serve the public interest well. It was this market fundamentalism that underlay Thatcherism, Reaganomics and the so-called “Washington Consensus” in favour of privatization, liberalization and independent central banks focusing single-mindedly on inflation.
For a quarter-century, there has been a contest among developing countries, and the losers are clear: Countries that pursued neo-liberal policies not only lost the growth sweepstakes; when they did grow, the benefits accrued disproportionately to those at the top.
Some people are applauding the child-protection service. Parents have no right, they say, to send a kid to school inked with symbols of racism and hate, where she will doubtless frighten other little tykes and spread her poison everywhere. These people have a point. But couldn't the school just send her home and tell her not to return until she washes it off? One hates to side with Aryan Nation, but the mom is right. Simply teaching your children odious and creepy beliefs is not enough to lose them to the stateUnless of course your name is Khadr and you're teaching your kids to become child soldiers.
Even after controversy erupted over the situation last month, the Harper government was evasive and unco-operative, dismissing detailed reports of torture as mere "allegations of the Taliban." This dismissive approach was echoed by Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente who made clear that her sympathies lay with Canadian military leaders, not with Afghans who reported being hung upside down and punched so hard their teeth fell out.Update: Good Lord. Even the National Pest sees the connection.
"I have deep sympathy for our military leaders," wrote Wente, explaining what she saw as the difficult bind our generals are in. "They can fight a war. Or they can babysit `our detainees' ..." To Wente, ensuring that our detainees aren't tortured – a requirement of the Geneva Conventions, which Canada has signed – is the equivalent of "babysitting" them.
Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% - far more than previously estimated - according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.
The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body.
The figure emphatically contradicts the US government's claims that plant-derived fuels contribute less than 3% to food-price rises. It will add to pressure on governments in Washington and across Europe, which have turned to plant-derived fuels to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and reduce their dependence on imported oil. Senior development sources believe the report, completed in April, has not been published to avoid embarrassing President George Bush.
"It is clear that some biofuels have huge impacts on food prices," said Dr David King, the government's former chief scientific adviser, last night. "All we are doing by supporting these is subsidising higher food prices, while doing nothing to tackle climate change."
Why should anyone mention you Elizabeth? You've made it quite clear that you view the Green Party as a Major Domo to the Liberals, a dogsbody if you will. You've taken the potential relevance, influence and credibility of the Greens and put them to work propping up another party. Why on Earth should anyone give you their support when you're flat out telling them to support someone else? And as for what you'll get for all that assiduous application of political capital...
Elizabeth May has had her thunder stolen. Call it the great green robbery. Carbon tax? Green shift? They were hers - until the Liberals moved in. Now green plans are the talk of the country. But no one's talking about her party.
"I mean, every time I open up a newspaper, I see green, green, green," she said. "But where is the mention of the Green Party?"
She has been cozy with the Grits since Stéphane Dion promised more than a year ago not to run a Liberal candidate against her in the riding, Central Nova, she is contesting in the next election. On Mr. Dion's green shift, Ms. May feels she was the inspiration. "Yes, I think so. I'm not just saying this in a foolish or naive sense. But we won over the Liberal Party from a policy point of view."
Oh that's so cute. She still believes Liberals keep promises when they aren't forced to.
"If you're asking me if the Green tax shift, which is our idea, has been stolen by the Liberals for the election, I don't know and I don't really care. As a party, we're at a point in our evolution that's not far off where Tommy Douglas was when Canada got health care, as advocated by a party not in power."Actually Elizabeth, the circumstances were quite different, involving the NDP holding the balance of power in a minority government and never being naive enough to think the Liberals could be counted on to do the right thing without being forced to. Tommy Douglas wasn't swooning over that dreamy Lester Pearson.
Our Congress, with the political and media elite cheering, is about to violate every one of these principles. They are taking away from the judiciary the power to adjudicate allegations of lawbreaking. They are creating a two-tiered system of justice in which our most powerful corporations can break the law with impunity and government officials remain immune from consequences. And they are, in unity, spewing rank propaganda to the commoners -- who continue to be subjected to the harsh punishment for violations of the law and one of the world's most merciless justice systems -- in order to convince them that granting license to our political and corporate elites to break the law is necessary for their own Good and for their Safety.
Video footage has emerged of an American woman dying on the floor of a New York City hospital as workers failed to help for more than an hour. Esmin Green, 49, who was said to have suffered a mental breakdown, had been waiting to be seen at Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn, for some 24 hours.