horses and saddles sold cheap and other metaphors

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Reasonable property rights and why does Richard Pombo hate America

You're a one of the good guys/gals, that's why you're concered about the idea of preserving wildlife. maybe you like to fish or hunt. maybe you just like to take your family out to some place where there are trees, birds, streams, whatever. On the other hand, you want to be fair, if someone owns some property, you believe, as most people do, that there are certain rights that come along with that property. You believe in property rights. Nothing to be ashamed of or excessively proud about. You are also a property owner by virtue of work or inheritance, maybe by luck of the lottery. Now since you believe in property rights and I OWN the property next to yours, I know you won't mind if I start a pig farm, or maybe some guinea fowl. I love dogs and tinking with old cars, so you won't mind if have a few car bodies and a pin of a dozen dogs or so in the front yard. Oops, you say you do mind ? So really what you believe in is reasonable, not unlimited property rights. Thats a pretty mainstream belief as far as property rights go. If you don't believe in reasonable property rights just move next door to someone that has some guinea fowl, you'll swear on a stack of Bibles that property regulation of reasonable nature is neccessary or you'll have no choice but to beat your neighbor with a baseball bat.
However, if you were to raise your own flock, you'd more likely than not come to adore-rather than detest-these wacky birds. Their caterwauling would soon be music to your ears, since the cacophonous sounds would let you rest secure in the knowledge that your faithful feathered "watchdogs" were hard at work alerting you to any approaching strangers . . . human or animal.

Never underestimate the ability of someone with a species fetish to make excuses for their new infatuation. Representative Richard
(R-CA), chair of the House Resources Committee seems to have a fetish too, only his isn't anywhere near endearing.
Pombo's re-write would require the government (i.e. taxpayers) to compensate property owners who claim their plans for developing their property are being blocked by requirements of the ESA. "What Pombo really wants to protect," said the San Jose Mercury News, "is his excessive notion of property-owner rights." Pombo's ESA, said the editorial, is "an open invitation to dream up developments and get bought out of them at exorbitant prices by taxpayers." [2]

Pretty dangerous plan whereby you look at area studies of threatened or endangered species, buy the land , guarantee yourself a profit at taxpayer expense or let the developer go ahead and America loses just a little bit more of its natural heritage. As we all know there's a severe shortage of stripe malls and subdivsions.

Friday, January 06, 2006

38 million Americans live in hunger or are malnurished, one in four of the folks standing in line at a soup kichen are kids. America's Second Harvest, there's a box where you can enter your zip code to find a food bank in your area, if there is one.

I'm not sure how well this site will work since there's such a tremendous stigma attached to asking for help, Favorville!, but I like the idea of having something or a skill that someone might be in need and being able to donate what you have or volunteer your talent to help someone. Not much anymore, but in my younger days, bartering like this was not only considered altruistic, but neighborly; Your neighbor fixed your car and you gave them a portion of your next deer hunt. Hopefully it works out where everyone plays it forward. If you're a social-darwinists, or excuse me conservative, I know you won't go here because you a totally self contained, self sustaining island onto yourself, right?

Poets reading their poems, this is to the children's poetry, The Children's Poetry archive. Unfortunately, you need Real Player. Just my unsolicited advice to the Real Player folks, go completely to neutral formats like MP3 and MPEG.

…Passage of the ordinance was a mistake. To compare the plight of homosexuals to that of African Americans is an insult to my race. - Jocelyn-Tandy Torkwase Adande

I guess she has a very one dimensional definition of what she is and that there are no black or females homosexuals, thus in Jocelyn's world its OK to deny black homosexuals civil rights because homosexuality trumps being black, and female homosexuals deserve second rate societal status because they're both gay and non-black. How sad and ironic that a African-American woman has learned nothing about the issues that are the foundation of what many people see as a large part of the fight for social justice and legal equality.

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true. - Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Mine Inspectors Questioned Administration’s Commitment To Mine Safety

Mine Inspectors Questioned Administration’s Commitment To Mine Safety
and here......Miners deserve better
DRIVING SOLO IN A CALIFORNIA carpool lane carries a heftier fine than allowing combustible materials to accumulate in a coal mine.

That might help explain why the Sago mine in West Virginia, where an explosion this week killed 12 people, paid just a bit over $24,000 in fines on most of the 208 federal health and safety violations it racked up last year — triple the violations of the year before. This, even though many of the infractions were serious and repeat offenses, and there were at least a dozen roof collapses inside the mine last year. (Fines haven't yet been assessed for some of the more recent violations, and many occurred under a previous owner.)

There's a bigger problem here than one rogue mine. Federal regulations make it financially worthwhile to keep on breaking the rules, even when doing so endangers lives.

As long as Cons keep worshipping the great god of deregulation or ignoring regulation, we can expect more of the same.

Diversity Of Marine Life In Gulf Of Maine Much Greater Than Previously Thought
Among the species are 652 kinds of fish, 184 species of birds, and 32 species of mammals. Microscopic plants, including the algaes, alone account for an impressive 733 different species, or more than one of every five species in the Gulf of Maine region.

"This register is the first, essential step toward understanding the Gulf of Maine as a whole ecosystem," said Lewis Incze, chief scientist of the Gulf of Maine Census, which is based at the University of Southern Maine. "This lays the foundation for the next step, which is to understand how these species interact with each other and their surroundings to make the ecosystem work."

I thought that this was amazing, since the conventional wisdom was that the equatorial coastal regions was where all the action was as far as species diversity. Certianly easier to work in waters that are warmer and generally clearer year round which would explain in part why they've been studied more thouroughly. Glad to see the north coast catching up.

Lobbying Reform GOP Style at the redesigned pandagon
Republican leaders in the Senate have had a plan in place for the last two months to ;get ahead of; the Jack Abramoff scandal by coming up with a new proposal for lobbying reform. The leadership, decided in November that lobby reform for the Senate was a priority for this session, and Majority Leader Bill Frist placed Pennsylvania Republican Senator Rick Santorum in charge of it, Senate sources tell National Review Online.

Rick Santorum? The guy whos been running the K Street Project?

Why don't we get the zookeepers to put the lions in charge of the care of the antelopes.

Avedon Carol is not helping me at all with my desire to embrace "hero worshipping". She manages to catch the usually admirable Carl Levin being as naive or being an easy mark in the game of political poker.

And then, for reasons that escape me, Carl Levin (D-MI) decided to lend his name to a hideous GOP-added clause meant to deprive detainees of their Constitutional rights. That made it "bipartisan", so the media figured they didn't really need to pay much attention to such "uncontroversial" measures. Apparently, Levin accepted a promise from Republicans that the legislation would not apply to cases from detainees that were already in the system.

Carl, Carl, Carl we need to talk. Its a lot like a highschool pick-up basketball game, except the guys with the "R"s after their names are devious and will do anything to win, even though they can't even define what winning is.

A must read, especially if you're short on time and need to knock off a couple issues at once...Domestic Spy Story: Ripples and Rumors
...he would volunteer "to testify before Congress about illegal black ops programs at the NSA. Tice said, 'The freedom of the American people cannot be protected when our constitutional liberties are ignored and our nation has decayed into a police state'."

and referring to the current right-wing blogs and their President Clinton did it first meme on rendering
Scheuer claimed [to the New Yorker's Jane Mayer in February 2005] that "there was a legal process" undergirding these early renditions. Every suspect who was apprehended, he said, had been convicted in absentia."

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Chris Matthews Power Bottom ?

Too Many Creeps from James Wolcott
But my favorite bit was when Matthews blamed "creepy staffers" for undermining their bosses. It seems that these creepy staffers get hired when they're young and impressionable, susceptible to the glossy evil of an Abramoff in his expensive suits, shined shoes, and salon haircut. It isn't the Congresscritters who get corrupted, according to Matthews. It's these "creepy staffers," who pursue riches and exclusive entree otherwise denied those in their lowly status, and who proceed to drag their bosses down by forging all sorts of pacts with devils like Abramoff, who hypnotize them with their diamond lapel pins.

Only thing I can say for/to Chris is take at look at the tape of your lips stuck to the ass of the Republican party, it looks like he's a Power Bottom kisser.

Bush Assails Democrats Over Patriot Act
Adopting campaign-style tactics, Bush and his aides plan to accuse Democrats of jeopardizing national security to further their political agenda, a tack that worked well for the White House in the 2002 and 2004 elections. But the political environment is different now, with Bush less popular and Democrats better organized in opposition.

The tactics never change....The Dynamic of a Bush Scandal: How the Spying Story Will Unfold (and Fade)
1. POTUS circumvents the law - an impeachable offense.

2. The story breaks (in this case after having been concealed by a news organization until well after Election 2004).

3. The Bush crew floats a number of pushback strategies, settling on one that becomes the mantra of virtually every Republican surrogate. These Republicans face down poorly prepped Dem surrogates and shred them on cable news shows.

4. Rightwing attack dogs on talk radio, blogs, cable nets, and conservative editorial pages maul Bush's critics as traitors for questioning the CIC.

5. The Republican leadership plays defense for Bush, no matter how flagrant the Bush over-reach, no matter how damaging the administration's actions to America's reputation and to the Constitution. A few 'mavericks' like Hagel or Specter risk the inevitable rightwing backlash and meekly suggest that the president should obey the law. John McCain, always the Bush apologist when it really comes down to it, minimizes the scandal.

So I guess this means we're at phase four. Dems need to push back, Bush has already broken the law and abused his power, why should he be trusted with more until he gives a full accounting of his actions to a Senate committee under oath. What's that saying, if you've got nothing to hide.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

In memory of Lewis. African Elephant, Loxodonta africana
12 Found Alive in W.Va. Coal Mine
The miners had apparently done what they had been taught to do: barricaded themselves in a pocket with breathable air and awaited rescue.

How do ya shout hallelujah over the internet. update: Just reported over CNN there was only one miner reported alive. My deepest sympathies to all the families.

and now the bad news, Secret services say Iran is trying to assemble a nuclear missile
Scientists in Tehran are also shopping for parts for a ballistic missile capable of reaching Europe, with "import requests and acquisitions ... registered almost daily", the report seen by the Guardian concludes.

When the holocaust deniers are next door to Israel, Iranian president says Holocaust was 'fabricated', no one can say this is good news. Its also incredibily irresponsible for any European nation trying to make a few bucks to be helping these wackos.

So religious fanatics with nukes aside, back to some good news, Board Rescinds 'Intelligent Design' Policy, and One tail hair reveals elephant's life tale
Lewis had gourmet taste: Whenever the dry season browned grass in his Kenyan sanctuary, he'd abandon the other elephants and race 25 miles to the mountains - to raid farmers' corn fields under cover of night. A foot-long hair plucked from his tail, and GPS technology, tell the tale.
......Hair is "like a tape recorder," Cerling said, harboring for long periods traces of dietary chemicals.

I think I know Lewis or at least several southern white male cousins.

Monday, January 02, 2006

unimpressed Schumer did not respond more strongly to what Bush has done. And Wallace and others who push security need to be reminded even the President must work within the laws. Not to besmirch our friends to the Great White North, but Bush’s approach to the Constitution in this endless war is similar to the way referees call penalties in the National Hockey League Stanley Cup playoffs. They don’t call penalties at all. Bush here mugs the Constitution the way a goon would pull down an opponent in front of a hockey net.

Living with fear in any society is a given. Between natural disasters and street crime, there is that possibility of tragedy. When politicians use fear to coerce the people into allowing the leaders to live above the law, that is a shameful an act as any mugging, only worse.

BushHoodism: robbing the poor to give to the wealthy

CBPP on the Budget and Tax Cuts from the Angry Bear
As the GOP argues that Congress is cutting spending to reduce the deficit, Robert Greenstein, Joel Friedman, and Aviva Aron-Dine present evidence that demonstrate: (1) their actions will actually increase the deficit and (2) their actions are just another example of reverse Robin Hood-ism:

I have meet a few conservatives that actually work for a living. On the other hand most conservatives think that showing up, doing the least amount of work they can do and collecting a paycheck on Friday counts as work.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Arctic wolf, Canis lupus arctos

Home inventories increasing. Home sales fall, inventories jump. This could put a hurt'n on people that thought real estate was the fail safe method for investing their money. I don't see lots of people taking a bath as much as that nest egg they envisioned might not be quite what they thought it would be. Also it might be good news for the 28 Americans that still care about suburban sprawl. No need to build more to sell if what's' on the market is moving slow and cheaper.

Steve Benen writes at the Washington Monthly in response to Bush's latest round on inane straw-man argument:
Asked how he responds to Americans worried about violations of their privacy, he responded, "If somebody from al-Qaida is calling you, we'd like to know why.... I think most Americans understand the need to find out what the enemy's thinking."

Steve writes:
Yes, of course we want to know. To fight a war on terrorism and defend the country, we need to know. In fact, the FISA court would be delighted to give the administration a warrant so officials can know why someone is chatting with terrorists. It leads, of course, to the one question the president doesn't want to hear and can't answer: why not spy on the bad guys without circumventing the rule of law?

Two not very good things come to mind about what Bush said. One is that he really is so stupid that it doesn't know that the debate is not about spying on terrorists, or two he knows that the argument is about usurping Congressional authority and is trying to sell his illegal and unconstitutional behavior as OK, because after 9-11 he became the SupremeCommander of America. I am very partisan, but the idea that someday a Democratic president may use Bush's behavior for justification for his/her own dreams of unimpunible royalty is scary. No one deserves that kind of free ticket to skirt the law. No one, ever.

NSA Gave Other U.S. Agencies Information From Surveillance, this activity doesn't necessarily merit a blanket condemnation, but as with the other revelations we've had so far, how much of this is legal, does it comply with FISA, is there Congressional oversight, is it being abused, and how long will this program/s go on ?
And none of the acceptable answers to these questions involve, JUST TRUST US.

Steve Clemens writes Breaking the Daou Cycle: Conservative opposition to Bush's law-breaking
What matters more than anything else is keeping the focus exclusively on what this scandal is about. This is not about eavesdropping, or warrants, or the Fourth Amendment, or privacy. This scandal raises all of those issues secondarily, but that is not what this scandal is about. This scandal matters so much because George Bush broke the law and is vowing to continue to break the law because his lawyers have created legal theories which contend that the President during "wartime" has the right to break the law. As both Digby and Mark Kleiman have noted, this scandal is -- from beginning to end -- about law-breaking and, more specifically, the fact that the President of the United States really is claiming the power to break the law, not just in this instance, but generally.

Steve states one thing that I disagree with, that he believes there are some kind of "real conservatives" out there. Conservatism, for those keeping score don't really have a coherent world view, unless racism, cronyism, incompetence, and malice can be considered coherent political philosophies.
One conservative that has joined in the critism is William Safire. I've always thought he was a pompous loon and after today the right-wing bloggers will probably have their own opinions and not very nice ones at that....William Safire: "I'm with the critics"- over warrantless wiretapping

Men and Women are a little different, who would have known.

Men want facts, women seek relations on Web - survey
A larger number of men surf the Internet for pleasure, with 70 percent acknowledging they go online to pass time, compared with 63 percent of women. Men are more likely than women to listen to music, view Webcams and pay for digital content.
But women are catching up in several areas measured by the survey, and intensive use by younger women suggests some of the gaps will continue to narrow.
Already, women are heavier users of e-mail, often going beyond the matter-of-fact responses of male correspondents to use e-mail to share stories, solve issues and reach out to a wider network of friends and family.
Both genders look to the Web as a font of information and as an efficient communications tool, said Fallows in an interview.

I'd like to see a survey about the trade offs that engenders using the web. Have we lost time that would have be used for thinking...quiet time. Are people looking to the web to fulfill some need beyond just facts. I see a lot of misinformation expressed in blog comments, so do people know how to properly use reference resources on the web. Is the extra contact made by the ease ease of chat and e-mail increased people's knowledge of each other or is it just more filler, without a deeper context. Do people want the web to help them find better answers or just collaborative their beliefs. Do people feel more pressure because now there are phones, phone messages, e-mail, and chat messages that wait to be answered. There are so many "communities" on the web, what if any are the pressues to belong to one so you'll fit in, is the web in some ways another form of high school-like or business click.

My Ecosystem Details