Monday, April 27, 2009

Google Swine Flu Tracker

Here. Note that not all of these are confirmed; some are suspected cases.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Torture Memo Author "Regrets" Writing Memo

I think this is very big news:

"I've heard him express regret at the contents of the memo," said a fellow legal scholar and longtime friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity while offering remarks that might appear as "piling on." "I've heard him express regret that the memo was misused. I've heard him express regret at the lack of context -- of the enormous pressure and the enormous time pressure that he was under. And anyone would have regrets simply because of the notoriety."

And other sources, not anonymous:

Tuan Samahon, a former clerk who recalled Bybee's remarks at the reunion dinner, said in an e-mail that the judge defended the legal reasoning behind the memos but not the policy decision. Bybee was disappointed by what was done to prisoners, saying that "the spirit of liberty has left the republic," Samahon said.

"Jay would be the sort of lawyer who would say, 'Look, I'll give you the legal advice, but it's up to someone else to make the policy decision whether you implement it,' " said Randall Guynn, who roomed with Bybee at Brigham Young University and remains close.

This is no accident. Bybee's friends have been sent to get this message out, and it is very bad for Bush officials, possibly including Bybee. He "regrets" writing the memo? I thought everything was perfect and perfectly legal and hunkey-dory with all this. Bybee's telegraphing to the press that it's not. How is that not huge news?

To put this another way: Say Bush and Cheney and the lot of them are accused of murder. They and their supporters keep going on TV and defending them, or distorting the issue, or whatever. Their lawyer, who helped them commit the crime, just said "they're guilty."

This is enormous news.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

1,500 Farmers Commit Mass Suicide

No words.

*Not much out about this story yet. Let's hope there are big mistakes in it.

More than 1,500 farmers in central India have reportedly committed mass suicide in the wake of crop failure and increasing debt.

The suicides took place in the agricultural state of Chattisgarh, where people mainly depend on seasonal crops, Earth Magazine reported.

Local residents told the magazine that many of the farmers felt that death was the only option in the face of their insurmountable debt.


"Farmers' suicides are increasing due to a vicious circle created by money lenders. They lure farmers to take money but when the crops fail, they are left with no option other than death," Prakash said.

At least 10,000 debt-ridden farmers in different parts of the country have committed suicide over the last decade.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Right-Wing Nutcases Upset That Cops Hate Right-Wing Nutcases [updts]

This is just too funny. The Department of Homeland Security (if I could tell you how much I hate that name) has released a report stating that right-wing extremism is rising in recent months. Big surprise, huh?

Malkin and other likeminded nutcases are Free King Out. It really is too funny. Look at the Malkin:

By contrast, the piece of crap report issued on April 7 is a sweeping indictment of conservatives.

Um, Malkin, the report is about violent extremists. Are you identifying with violent extremists? Sure seems like it.

And this really takes the cake. Read this:

DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.

You know what that is in Malkin and right-wing nutcase land? That's anti-military. Because saying that "right wing extremists will" do yada yada is anti-yada yada. Perfectly logical.

Hey, assholes: The cop killer in Pittsburgh fed off the kind of hate you've been preaching on a daily basis for years. So did the guy trying to build a dirty bomb in Vermont. So did the church shooter in Tennessee. Hell, the worst domestic terrorist in the country's history, Timothy McVeigh, fed on the same stuff. Get used to it being noticed and scrutinized under an administration that doesn't actually pander to that kind of thing.

Update: Even Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs calls the wingers crazy on this one. And notes that the assessment began more than a year ago, so it's hardly an Obama administration effort.

And oh, look: a DHS report on left-wing extremism. Go figure.

Update II: The national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars defends the report:

Glen M. Gardner Jr., national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, disputed claims that Homeland Security analysts were describing veterans as terror threats.

"The report should have been worded differently, but it made no blanket accusation that every soldier was capable of being a traitor like Benedict Arnold, or every veteran could be a lone wolf, homegrown terrorist like Timothy McVeigh," said Gardner, a Marine veteran from Round Rock, Texas. " It was just an assessment about possibilities that could take place."

Note: This post was up before this very good one.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Bottomfeeders Blogging

If you've got a need for a new song for your iPod or similar device, please consider a song from my CD, Bottomfeeders, at iTunes, or any of the several music sites under "Vital Links" to the right. (CDBaby is a nice little company here in Oregon.)

If you have a minute, go give it a listen, see if you find a song that suits you.

* This has been a blog advertising moment. Thanks for the time. *