Monday, August 18, 2008

Hurricane supplies: "food, water, whiskey"

While having their priorities out of order--you always have to get more booze and beer than you think 'cause with power out what else can you do but get hammered?--nevertheless these folk got it covered:

[Willie Dykes, 58, and friend Essy Pastrana, 48, live on a sailboat in Key West, and said they weren't going anywhere. The pair was filling up gas cans Monday morning and buying supplies like food, water and whiskey.

"We're gonna ride it out," Dykes said, his fluffy white beard blowing sideways in the wind. "We're not worried about it. We've seen this movie before."]

Woodstock ended 39 years ago today; peace and love; I miss Nixon

Woodstock may mark the height of the counterculture and rock and roll of the 60's.

Sure the US had a "No good lying SOB"--Truman's words in Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman--as President who won with a secret plan to end the Second Indochinese War.

Surprise, Surprise, secret plan escalated conflict with thousands more American troops dead and wounded, illegal exspansion of war into Cambodia and Laos, tens of thousands more Vietnamese civilians dead and maimed, US troops and civilians still poisoned over 40 years later by dioxin, some vets now homeless, and Nixon still got the same terms to get out 3 years later: "peace with honor."

Extra side of surge with your escalation anyone? Depleted Uranium for dessert?

"There is nothing new under the sun," wrote the preacher in Ecclesiastes. Then, US supported a small Catholic military minority in a mostly Buddhist country. Now our troops sit amidst a religious civil war, sparked anew by President Cheney, of longer duration than the 100 years war.

At least then we had a media that questioned rather than caved and legislators like Senator Sam Ervin who defended the Constitution rather than cravenly crush it to fight a "global war on terror."

Now we have a presidential candidate who preaches "victory" in the Iraqi war but can't define it,

Peace with honor indeed.

What a fascist, cowardly crock! Like Vidal wrote, "You can't declare war on a noun."

May the Lord have mercy on my soul. I actually miss Nixon!

Lest you think this frivolous ar nostalgic, read a contemporary account by NY Times reporter quoted at Wikipeda saying: ""Every major Times editor up to and including executive editor James Reston insisted that the tenor of the story must be a social catastrophe in the making. It was difficult to persuade them that the relative lack of serious mischief and the fascinating cooperation, caring and politeness among so many people was the significant point. I had to resort to refusing to write the story unless it reflected to a great extent my on-the-scene conviction that 'peace' and 'love' was the actual emphasis, not the preconceived opinions of Manhattan-bound editors. After many acrimonious telephone exchanges, the editors agreed to publish the story as I saw it, and although the nuts-and-bolts matters of gridlock and minor lawbreaking were put close to the lead of the stories, the real flavor of the gathering was permitted to get across. After the first day's Times story appeared on page 1, the event was widely recognized for the amazing and beautiful accident it was."

Woodstock: Country Joe and the Fish (Language Warning)

Hendrix at Woodstock: "Purple Haze"

"By the Time We Got to Woodstock, We Were Half a Million Strong"

Senator Nelson Hates Democratic Congress of Today

Just watched tv campaign commercial for US Rep Fl Distict 08 Dem candidate Charlie Stuart and former FL senator Bob Graham says he's "very dissappointed in today's Congress."

Since this comes in a US House primary campaign, one presumes he means the US House of Representatives rather than "Congress" denoting both legislative branches.

So alleged Dem Stuart runs for US Rep by running against the Democrat controlled House.

Last cycle, he ran a tv ad where he literally wrapped himself in an American flag.

Why do I get the feeling he would vote with Blue Dog Democrats, apostates who've enabled much of the Cheney adminstration legislation?

Oh kill me now: Charles Samuel Stewart wants a new politics based on seeing things through the eyes of a child.


Of course, he wants to end the "old" politics such as "Protecting partisan positions over sensible compromise," endorsing the pathetic impotence of the spineless Democratic majority in the House.

If it barks like a blue dog, grandma sez pobably 'tis.

Makes me wish I cared enough to go to 1 of the primary debates.

At least 1 of his opponents, Alan Grayson has run a tv ad decrying corrupt Iraq contractors costing the US 100's of billions of dollars.

Golly, Charlie, do you think the Republikkkns will run this ad against you?

Monday, August 4, 2008

George Bush Tour of Destruction of US

Found at America Blog, because a great nation needs a great blog.

NASA Outsourcing Space Travel to Russia

"Dismantling of the shuttle program is right on track." Replacement not so much.

Unfortunately with a clueles Cheney administration, NASA has no replacement ready and needs a waiver to law to buy Russian launch vehicles, [A little-known law intended to prevent the sale of nuclear technology to Iran would also bar NASA from buying Russian Soyuz spacecraft after 2011..."

"It takes 36 months to fulfill an order," said Yevgeny Khorishko, the Russian Embassy spokesman in Washington. "So if U.S. Congress does not grant a waiver by the end of September, it means your astronauts in 2012 will be preparing for their missions on the ground and will not be flying."](emphasis added)

So after 50 years of NASA exploring space and making Americans proud, Pres. Cheney has reduced the US to paying Russia for reaching orbit.

One can argue the US space shuttle program has become broken beyond repair and requires replacing, basically because it got built for unrealistic aims: building a totally reuseable spacecraft.

So what does NASA do to replace the shuttle? Retire it before any US made alternative becomes ready and try to privatize US space travel.

This administration tried privatizing US space travel..

So while jobs at NASA and contractors get cut, taxpayers pay millions of $ to private companies to try to develop spacecraft, including 1 company, SpaceX that built a rocket that "fizzled" on the third test rather than reach orbit.

At least that company, Space X, launched and failed. Planet Space hasn't actually built a damn thing.

Let's lay it out: Tried to privatize US space flight.


(For irony, SpaceX launches from U.S. Army's Reagan Test Site in the central Pacific Ocean.}

Americans get laid off and the US has to pay Russia to fly to space

For those too young too remember, the space race with Russia became one of the dominant themes in the 60's and 70's, not just for the US but the civilized world.

Now we gotta pay the godless commies to fly. Despicable

[In April, NASA said more than 8,000 space contractor jobs -- including 1,300 at Michoud and 6,400 at KSC -- could be eliminated after the shuttle is retired to make way for the Constellation program, which is developing the next-generation rockets to go to the moon and later to Mars.

But whereas the Constellation program is encountering technical problems and some schedule delays, the dismantling of the shuttle program is right on track.]

[(Former astronaut and senator John)Glenn used the hearing as chance to lash out at the Bush administration for failing to provide leadership on space, and failing to request adequate funding for his Vision for Space Exploration. He accused the administration of “cannibalizing” research on the international space station to pay for NASA’s next generation moon program, called Constellation.

Glenn, who has expressed his anger before at various events, said he was deeply upset by the administration permitting a gap between the end of the shuttle program in 2010 and the first launch of the Constellation program, now scheduled for 2015 at the earliest. He said the decision made America dependent on the Russians to get American astronauts to the space station until Constellation was ready. He said he never thought “we’d have to pay for a ticket to fly on a Russian vehicle.”]emphasis added

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cheney Administration and War with Iran

Despite President Cheney allowing a senior US diplomat to attend talks with Iran and subsequent drop in oil and gas prices, US officials have "not abandoned all possibility of a military attack on Iran," reported the LA Times.

[WASHINGTON -- Bush administration officials reassured Israel's defense minister this week that the United States has not abandoned all possibility of a military attack on Iran, despite widespread Israeli concern that Washington has begun softening its position toward Tehran.

In meetings Monday and Tuesday, administration officials told Defense Minister Ehud Barak that the option of attacking Iran over its nuclear program remains on the table, though U.S. officials are primarily seeking a diplomatic solution.]

While reasonable people pray the Cheney administration to pursue negotiations rather than war which would drive gas prices astronomically high, why should they start using reason now with just over 172 days left before inauguration day 2009?

"In recent months, several major developments have strengthened the case for dealing with Iran diplomatically rather than militarily. The U.S. military is more overstretched in Iraq and Afghanistan than ever. The resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan has required a significant increase in the number of U.S. and NATO troops during the past year. Iranian proxies in Iraq and Afghanistan could easily target U.S. bases with Katyusha rockets in retaliation for any U.S. strike on the nuclear research facilities at Natanz near Isfahan," wrote professor Juan Cole in Salon (Last para page 1).

Even professional military men like chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff Admiral Mullen, "Mullen seemed to warn hawks in the U.S. and Israel against a strike on Iran of the sort Cheney had earlier envisaged, saying that in light of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, "opening up a third front right now would be extremely stressful on us." Mullen admitted when pressed that the Iranians "have capabilities which could certainly hazard the Strait of Hormuz," though he was confident that the U.S. could reopen it. Despite that confidence, Mullen said that he was worried about instability in the Middle East, and about anything that might contribute to it."

"Both the U.S. and its European allies know that the negative fallout from a war could be immense. Its effect on the world oil supply would be catastrophic. Iran's perennial threats to close the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf in the event that it is attacked have to be taken especially seriously when oil supplies are as tight as they are now. Some 40 percent of the world's petroleum flows through that choke point, and any significant interruption of supply under today's conditions could send prices skyrocketing so far as to threaten the world with another Great Depression. In short, Iran is far more powerful when petroleum is $127 a barrel than when it is $25 a barrel, and that power makes it more prudent to negotiate with it than to rattle sabers. The opening to Iran was not a victory of the realists, but of realism."

Let's all hope professor Cole wrote rightly about return to realism.

Nevertheless if Obama does win the election, let's expect an attack on Iran.

"You can depend on the worst always happening/You need a busload of fatih to get by."
Lou Reed