October 13, 2007
Gore Shares Peace Prize for Climate Change Work
By WALTER GIBBS and SARAH LYALL
New York Times
OSLO, Oct. 12 — Former Vice President Al Gore, who emerged from his loss in the muddled 2000 presidential election to devote himself to his passion as an environmental crusader, was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations network of scientists.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
"If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise don't even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives, jobs. And maybe your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery, isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance. Of how much you really want to do it. And you'll do it, despite rejection in the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods. And the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is . . ." —Henry Chinaski
This quote is from the last book I read in full called Women by Charles Bukowski. (Highly recommended.)It's been a very Bukowski day for me minus the whiskey and beer and chauvinism. Cheers to you, Hank.
I also recommend the nearly 3-hour documentary I watched on him today called "Born Into This". The following is a clip from said documentary.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone are geniuses.
Not to mention Alan Watts always suggests a simpler and more sensible kind of world view. Ahh.. Enjoy.
"Music and Life"
"Prickles and Goo"
Gooey Prickles & Prickly Goos...
makes me happy.
no mas! Read more!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I don't if this is true. I don't have time to verify this.
Here's the site I found it on.
“There over 800 prison camps in the United States, all fully operational and ready to receive prisoners. They are all staffed and even surrounded by full-time guards, but they are all empty. These camps are to be operated by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) should Martial Law need to be implemented in the United States and all it would take is a presidential signature on a proclamation and the attorney general’s signature on a warrant to which a list of names is attached. Ask yourself if you really want to be on Ashcroft’s list. The Rex 84 Program was established on the reasoning that if a “mass exodus” of illegal aliens crossed the Mexican/US border, they would be quickly rounded up and detained in detention centers by FEMA. Rex 84 allowed many military bases to be closed down and to be turned into prisons.
“Don’t think it can’t happen here!" – FEMA Concentration Camps: Locations and Executive Orders – Friends of Liberty (undated) 3sep04
“Operation Cable Splicer and Garden Plot are the two sub programs which will be implemented once the Rex 84 program is initiated for its proper purpose. Garden Plot is the program to control the population. Cable Splicer is the program for an orderly takeover of the state and local governments by the federal government. FEMA is the executive arm of the coming police state and thus will head up all operations.
The Presidential Executive Orders already listed on the Federal Register also are part of the legal framework for this operation.
“The camps all have railroad facilities as well as roads leading to and from the detention facilities. Many also have an airport nearby.The majority of the camps can house a population of 20,000 prisoners.
Currently, the largest of these facilities is just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. The Alaskan facility is a massive mental health facility and can hold approximately 2 million people.
End Post. Read more!
Armenia's president has welcomed a vote by US lawmakers backing the description of the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks after 1915 as genocide.
Robert Kocharian told reporters he hoped the vote would lead to "full [US] recognition... of the genocide".
Earlier Turkish President Abdullah Gul denounced the vote. Turkey has always denied any genocide took place.
The White House has also been critical, expressing fears Turkey could stop co-operating in the "war on terror".
The non-binding vote, passed by 27 to 21 votes by members of the congressional House Foreign Affairs Committee, is the first step towards holding a vote in the House of Representatives.
Divisions within the committee crossed party lines with eight Democrats voting against the measure and eight Republicans voting for it.
President Bush had argued against a vote in favour of the bill, saying "its passage would do great harm to our relations with a key ally in Nato and in the global war on terror".
Turkey is a regional operational hub for the US military, and some suggest access to Incirlik airbase, or other supply lines crucial to US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, could be cut in response.
The row has also erupted as US fears grow of a Turkish military incursion into northern Iraq to neutralise Kurdish separatist guerrillas there, who continue to cross the border to ambush Turkish troops, reports the BBC's diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus.
Speaking after talks with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Mr Kocharian praised the committee vote.
"We hope that this process will lead to the full recognition by the United States of America of the fact of the Armenian genocide," he said.
Mr Kocharian also appealed to Turkey to join Armenia in talks to restore bilateral relations, reported the news agency Associated Press.
Wednesday's vote was received angrily by President Gul, who made a statement late in the evening accusing US politicians of "sacrific[ing] big problems for small domestic political games".
"This unacceptable decision of the committee, like similar ones in the past, is not regarded by the Turkish people as valid or of any value," Mr Gul said, according to the Anatolia news agency.
Correspondents say the committee's vote means that only a change of heart by the opposition Democrats, who control Congress, can now stop a full vote on the bill.
Tom Lantos, the committee's chairman, had opened the debate by admitting the resolution posed a "sobering" choice.
"We have to weigh the desire to express our solidarity with the Armenian people... against the risk that it could cause young men and women in the uniform of the United States armed services to pay an even heavier price than they are currently paying," he said.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to take up its version of the resolution in the future.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has meanwhile confirmed that the Turkish parliament could discuss a motion as soon as Thursday that would authorise incursions into northern Iraq to hunt down Kurdish PKK separatists.
The move comes after an escalation in attacks by the PKK killed almost 30 soldiers and civilians in just over a week.
The government is under immense pressure though to act, but Washington has warned Ankara against any unilateral moves that would destabilise Iraq even further.
After the Armenian vote in Congress, correspondents say, Turkey will be far less inclined to heed instructions from the US on anything.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Australian doctors have kept an Italian tourist alive by feeding him vodka through a drip for three days, medical staff in Queensland say.
The 24-year-old man, who had swallowed a poison in an apparent suicide attempt, was treated while in a coma.
Doctors set up the drip after running out of medicinal alcohol, used as an antidote to the poison.
Medical staff said the patient had made a full recovery, and the hangover had worn off by the time he woke up.
He had been taken to hospital in the northern Queensland town of Mackay after swallowing ethylene glycol - a poison contained in anti-freeze.
"The patient was drip-fed about three standard drinks an hour for three days in the intensive care unit," Dr Todd Fraser said in a statement.
"Fortunately for him he was in a medically induced coma for a good portion of that. By the time he woke up I think his hangover would have well and truly gone."
He spent 20 days in hospital before being discharged.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/10/10 11:24:06 GMT
© BBC MMVII Read more!
Posted by Giancarlo at 10:28 PM
The House Passes The War Profiteering Prevention Act !!!!!!!
This bill makes war profiteering a federal felony. This bill strengthens the tools available to federal law enforcement to combat contracting fraud during wartime. Specifically, the bill makes war profiteering - overcharging in order to defraud or profit excessively from war, military action, or reconstruction efforts - a felony, subject to up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $1 million or twice the illegal profits of the crime. The bill also confers jurisdiction to U.S. federal courts to hear such cases.
War profiteering and reconstruction fraud by U.S. companies has become a significant problem in the Iraq War - with billions unaccounted for. The United States has devoted more than $50 billion to U.S . contractors for relief and reconstruction activities in Iraq alone, with billions of these dollars unaccounted for. For example, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction outlined in a report that the former Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq could not account for nearly $8.8 billion.
The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has more than 70 investigations open. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction currently has more than 70 open and active investigations regarding contracting fraud and abuse related to the Iraq war. These investigations include, among other things, investigations of illegal kickbacks, bid-rigging, embezzlement, and fraudulent over-billing. However, given the large number of investigations, there have been relatively few prosecutions for reconstruction fraud. This highlights the need for this legislation - giving federal law enforcement additional tools for prosecuting wartime contracting fraud.
Despite the number of investigations, there have been few prosecutions - highlighting the need for this bill. The lack of prosecutions underscores the inadequacies of current law. There is currently no federal statute specifically targeted at prohibiting contracting fraud during times of war, military action, or relief or reconstruction activities. Moreover, no federal law provides enhanced criminal punishment for fraudulent acts during times of war, or relief or reconstruction activities. In addition, none of the current fraud statutes explicitly extend extraterritorial jurisdiction.
According to the Defense Contract Audit Agency, there have been more than $10 billion in suspect billings in Iraqi contracts. In February, the head of the Defense Contract Audit Agency testified before Congress that the agency estimated that there have been more than $10 billion in questioned and unsupported costs relating to Iraq reconstruction and troop support contracts since the war began in 2003.
Of the $10 billion in suspect billings, the Defense Contract Audit Agency has identified $2.7 billion from one contractor alone - Halliburton. The largest private contractor operating in Iraq is Halliburton. Through its KBR subsidiary, Halliburton has held three large contracts in Iraq. The Defense Contract Audit Agency has identified $2.7 billion in suspect billings in these three contracts. Specifically, under Halliburton's largest Iraq contract, providing support services for the troops, Pentagon auditors have found $2.4 billion in questioned and unsupported costs - including $1.9 billion in questioned costs and $450 million in unsupported costs. Former Halliburton employees testified that the company charged $45 for cases of soda, billed $100 to clean 15-pound bags of laundry, and insisted on housing its staff at a five-star hotel in Kuwait. Halliburton procurement officials described the company's informal motto in Iraq as "Don't worry about price. It's cost-plus." Furthermore, a Halliburton manager was indicted for "major fraud against the United States" for allegedly billing more than $5.5 million for work that should have cost only $685,000 in exchange for a $1 million kickback from a Kuwaiti subcontractor.
The Custer Battles case in 2006, in which a verdict against a U.S. contractor for contract fraud in Iraq was overturned, also highlights the need for this bill. In the famous Custer Battles case, one contractor in Iraq was found guilty of 37 counts of fraud, including false billing, and was ordered to pay more than $10 million in damages. A federal judge subsequently overturned the decision on a technicality that the contracts were let through the Coalition Provisional Authority, which the court held not to be part of the United States government. This legislation addresses such gaps in existing law - including clarifying that the Coalition Provisional Authority is part of the U.S. government.
So we should all be happy with what has been accomplished. But this is no time to rest on our laurels. The fight to take our government back from the toe-tappers, Abramoff's tee-time partners and various "Dukesters" is ongoing.
Hmm.. I wonder how Dick Cheney's buddies at KBR must feel now that their greedy gods have decided to pull back one of the teets they've been so advertently nursing on..
This is really great news. Hallelujah for hope!
PLEASE DO READ MORE! Ah Said-- Read more!
"To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others; To give of one's self; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - This is to have succeeded."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Have an exceptionally blessed and conscious day, readers.
Do Not! Read more!
Sunday, October 7, 2007
"Fasting fakir flummoxes physicians"
By Rajeev Khanna
BBC correspondent in Ahmedabad
Doctors and experts are baffled by an Indian hermit who claims not to have eaten or drunk anything for several decades - but is still in perfect health.
Prahlad Jani, a holy man, or fakir, who is over 70 years old, has just spent 10 days under constant observation in Sterling Hospital, in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad.
During that time, he did not consume anything and "neither did he pass urine or stool", according to the hospital's deputy superintendent, Dr Dinesh Desai.
Yet he is in fine mental and physical fettle, say doctors.
Most people can live without food for several weeks, with the body drawing on its fat and protein stores. But the average human can survive for only three to four days without water.
Followers of Indian holy men and ascetics have often ascribed extraordinary powers to them, but such powers are seldom subject to scientific inspection.
"A series of tests conducted on him show his body mechanism is that of a normal person," said Dr Desai.
Mr Jani spends most of his time in a cave near the Ambaji temple in Gujarat state.
"He has never fallen ill and can continue to live like this"
-- Bhiku Prajapati, Mr Jani's devotee
He spent his 10 days in hospital in a specially prepared room, with a sealed-off toilet and constant video surveillance.
To help the doctors verify his claims, Mr Jani agreed to avoid bathing for his time in hospital.
The only fluid he was allowed was a small amount of water, to use as mouthwash.
One hundred millilitres of water were given to him, and then collected and measured in a beaker when he spat it out, to make sure none had been drunk.
A statement from Ahmedabad's Association of Physicians says that despite no water entering his body, urine nonetheless appeared to form in his bladder - only to be re-absorbed by the bladder walls.
At the end of his confinement, doctors noted no deterioration in his condition, other than a slight drop in his weight.
"I feel no need for food and water," says Mr Jani, who claims he was blessed by a goddess at the age of eight and has lived in caves ever since.
He grew up in Charod village in Mehsana district and wears the dress of a devotee of the goddess Ambaji - a red sari-like garment, nose ring, bangles and crimson flowers in the hair.
He also wears the vermilion "tika" mark on his forehead, more often seen on married Hindu women.
His followers call him "mataji" or goddess.
He says he has survived several decades without food or water because of a hole in his palate.
Drops of water filter through this hole, he says, sustaining him.
"He has never fallen ill and can continue to live like this," said Bhiku Prajapati, one of Mr Jani's many followers.
"A hole in the palate is an abnormal phenomenon," says Dr Desai.
His colleague, Dr Urman Dhruv, told the BBC a full medical report is being prepared on Mr Jani's 10 days under observation.
Doctors say they cannot verify his claim to have not eaten or drunk for decades - but by observing his feat under laboratory conditions, they hope to learn more about the human body.
It is likely that doctors will want to examine Mr Jani again in order to solve the medical mystery he has presented them with.
End Post. Read more!