Friday, February 27, 2004
** Spying

This article from The Independent puts into perspective just how spying is going on, including by the US and UK governments on their own citizens. Short, and definitely worth the read.
** Politics

Loudocracy hereby endorses John Kerry as the democratic nominee for President. My reasoning is as follows. If one of Kerry or Edwards were more electable, I would choose that candidate. I've thought about this, and I've decided that they are equally electable. Edwards may be a bit better with independents and people from the south, but Kerry can take the veteran / strong on security vote. I see it as break even.

Therefore the choice for me is who would make a better President. I choose Kerry over Edwards for two reasons. First, and most importantly, I agree with Kerry's views on trade. Edwards is too much of a protectionist. If Edwards' policies were enacted, it would be bad for the US, and bad for the world.

Second, Kerry would be superior with respect to the War on Drugs. As is pointed out at TalkLeft, The Marijuana Policy Project gives an "F" grade to John Edwards in its Voter's Guide. John Kerry gets an "A-".

I'm not aware of any other significant distinguishing characteristics between the candidates. John Kerry for President!

For the record, I'd take Dean or Clark over Kerry in a heartbeat. I may yet vote for Dean in the NY primary on March 2. At this point, any vote not for Edwards is a vote for Kerry. And my protest vote would be recorded, for whatever that's worth. (Not much).
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
* Science

Oral sex has been linked to cancer of the mouth. And in case you're wondering, yes, that's both fellatio and cunnilingus. The good news, if you can call it that, is that high consumption of alcohol and cigarettes is worse.
* Gay Marriage

Breaking news: Massachusetts Supreme Court Orders All Citizens To Gay Marry.
* Politics

Looks like Kerry has an overwhelming lead in NY. Since it's increasingly looking like my vote will just be a protest vote anyway, should I protest by voting for Dean, Edwards, or Kucinich? Right now I'm leaning Dean.
** Culture Wars

Today feels like a bad day in the Culture Wars. Along with the hateful gay marriage amendment, we've got Mel Gibson and his gory movie making big headlines. I have to hand it to Mel; he's created an audience for wingnut Hollywood fare out of nothing. I guess we can expect to see more stuff like this in the future.

Nonetheless, I'm not feeling too terrible. The gay marriage thing might (and hopefully this is not just wishful thinking) totally tank. I don't expect the amendment to pass through Congress. If it does, there have got to be at least 13 states that wouldn't ratify it, right? Right? Certainly I'll be demonstrating in the streets if either NY or CA comes close to ratifying this thing.

Since I haven't seen Mel's movie, it's harder to comment on it. On CNN this morning, Bill Hemmer couldn't stop talking about how everyone was just riveted in their seats. On the other hand, he saw it with a bible study group. I'll be interested to see how mainstream America reacts to this film. Perhaps it may be just a bit too disturbing and gory to become a hit with Joe Consumer. Regardless, I hope that someone starts making a parody film right away. Maybe something like Christ's Passion. Nah, I'm crazy to even think of such a thing. Forget I said it. Forget I published it on my blog and that it will be on Google forever.
** Gay Marriage

I highly recommend Josh Marshall's post on gay marriage and how the issue could affect some Rebuplican congresscritters negatively. His point is that this is all for the President, and legislators don't want this hot potato in their hands.

Speaking of Josh Marshall, I don't often link to his posts because he is such a staple that I am assuming that y'all are reading everything he writes. If you aren't, you should be. It's usually the first or second blog (along with Atrios) that I turn to every morning.
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
** Global Catastrophe and Election 2004

Billmon has an excellent (long) article that ties together my last two posts on Nader and global warming. Bottom line, this is serious business. The next election might determine the fate of humanity. Ok, maybe that's a bit overstated, but do you want to play around with this kind of risk?
* Nader

I have two points to make about Nader and them I'm done. Mind you, I basically agree with Nader's positions and supported his candidacy in 2000.

1) I agree with Cal Pundit that the blog world should basically ignore him.

2) Notwithstanding my support of his policies, I am upset that he is running. I think that this year, progressives should ally with mainstream democrats and ensure that Bush is removed from office. It's just that simple. We will have an easier time advancing the progressive agenda with Bush out of office. As a leader of the progressive movement, Nader should recognize this, and he should not be attempting to advance his own interests at some potential cost to the country.
Sunday, February 22, 2004
*** Life

A secret report prepared by the Pentagon warns that climate change may lead to global catastrophe costing millions of lives and is a far greater threat than terrorism.
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
* Politics

I've been on vacation and busy and stuff so sorry for the lack of posts. If you're looking for some reading material, I like this NYTimes piece on the Bush administration's lies about the supposed creation of 2.6 million jobs this year. Now some cabinet members are backing away from this number, and Kerry's quote is this: "Apparently George Bush is the only person left in the country who actually believes the far-fetched promises he's peddling".
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
** Iraq

If you like stories about infighting in the Bush administration, then you'll like this piece. Apparently the Pentagon is trying to slough off the whole Iraq mess to the State department.

via Atrios
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
* Health

More bad publicity for the Atkins diet. Apparently Atkins himself was obese when he died, and had a history of heart disease. His wife says: "I have been assured by my husband's physicians that my husband's health problems late in life were completely unrelated to his diet or any diet." Right. It's just a coincidence. Or it's all genetic. Or whatever.

My recommendation: Atkins is great if you want to lose some weight, but please don't stay on it forever.
* Politics

It's great seeing Bush bashed by everyone. But let's not get too excited quite yet. Remember that there will almost surely be shifts in momentum, some of which will favor the Pubs. See, for example, my last post.

On the other hand, I really like Kerry's long term prospects. Consider this. A big part of the country consists of people who are not religious fanatics, but who are strong on security and are fiscal conservatives. These people have been voting Republican for as long as I can remember, certainly since Reagan. But I don't think they'll vote for Bush. Why should they? Bush is a big spending religious fanatic who has actually hurt the country's security by leading us into an optional war under false pretenses. Kerry will win this demo, or at least be competitive. And he will crush Bush in the more traditional Democrat audience.

My biggest worry is not even winning the election, but what will happen afterwards. The economic problems we're facing are not going to go away just because there's a Democrat in office.
Monday, February 09, 2004
** Bush

Busy, busy, so busy, but if you have time, do check out this Salon piece on Bush.
Friday, February 06, 2004
** Humor / Politics

Flash funnies about Bush. Be sure to stick around after the comic plays so that you can play with the different suits and sayings. I especially recommend putting him into the flight suit and then clicking on "Old Saying". (You'll know what I mean when you go there.)
* Science

Guess how homing pigeons figure out how to get home? They follow roads.
Researchers at Oxford University spent 10 years studying homing pigeons using global positioning satellite (GPS) and were stunned to find the birds often don't navigate by taking bearing from the sun.

Instead they fly along motorways, turn at junctions and even go around roundabouts, adding miles to their journeys, British newspapers reported on Thursday.
I wonder whether they stop at red lights too.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004
** Entertainment / Politics

As I'm sure y'all know by now, Bush will be on Meet the Press this Sunday. Here's my prediction for what will transpire:

Russert has a perception of credibility with the American public. He will take efforts to maintain that.

Unfortunately, the efforts will be directed towards creating a perception that he was hard on Bush. He'll do that by having tough looks on his face, using a slightly non-deferential tone of voice sometimes, and asking a few questions that do not have answers that are obvious on their face.

In the end, Bush will come out looking like he survived a tough interview, and Russert will come out looking like he delivered one. Win win for both parties. Of course we all know that nothing of substance will have really happened, so it's lose lose for the citizens yet again.
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
* Entertainment

The "wardrobe malfunction" during the Stupid Bowl halftime show was the most replayed moment measured by TiVo in its entire history. We're not talking just this Stupid Bowl, but it was the all-time most replayed TiVo moment ever.
** Military / Iraq

This NYTimes piece takes an in-depth look at problems that the US military faced in the latest Iraq war.
The first official Army history of the Iraq war reveals that American forces were plagued by a "morass" of supply shortages, radios that could not reach far-flung troops, disappointing psychological operations and virtually no reliable intelligence on how Saddam Hussein would defend Baghdad.

Logistics problems, which senior Army officials played down at the time, were much worse than have previously been reported. While the study serves mainly as a technical examination of how the Army performed and the problems it faced, it could also serve as a political document that could advance the Army's interests within the Pentagon.
Despite all this, the public only got (and continues to get) rosy pictures of our "successes". My question is this: how long will it take before it is conventional wisdom / common knowledge that the government is just a bunch of liars?
Monday, February 02, 2004
* Entertainment

Yahoo's got a slideshow of the Stupid Bowl half-time incident. Just click on Justin Timberlake. Not safe for work.
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