Thursday, November 30, 2006

Blog Shift

Hello Everybody.

As of January 1st, 2007 I will shift into a new blog, titled Capt.ainment, which combines all the elements off all my blogs into one location. With Labels (that will ensure you view exactly what you want to see) or just everything all at once. A thousand apologies to everyone for my billionth change in main locations, but I think that this may be the last in a long while. I will slowly be moving postings over into one blog.

Newsbits can be found with the label News. You can also jump into the subcategories of Random Facts, and Current Facts, as well as the year end headline Recaps.
For the latest Entertainment updates; Monthly Musical Interests, Internet (formery Internet Junk) links, Nitpicks & Rumors (formerly two posts, Picks & Grips, and Rumors), and Jokes.

Thus, my Entertainment Jumper page has also changed to Main Menu.

The right side pannel will contain a wide assortment of quick links (at all times, at any post link) which include; a jump to my own MySpace page, my Yahoo/Launchcast Music Station, access to view Excite (personal pages are not set up for public access), a jump to my own 360° page, my own LiveJournal, Bebo and MSN Spaces pages. Direct quick links to eVite and NetFlix. Quick jumps to the Research posting (which includes a link to Job Search posting), and Google Reader. It also has a Main Menu jump (for those times you want quick access to that). It also contains a (a temporary) link to the older News blog and Entertainment blog, as well as jumps to the Time Killers and Games postings.

It also includes the last five items I marked as "share" from my Google Reader (consolidated from over 300 RSS Feed Subscriptions), and a drop down list of all the available labels. Check it out if your not already using it!

thanks for your time and feedback!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Debunkin Global Warming

Source: Mother Jones, May / June 2005 Taken from PR Watch
"No company appears to be working harder to support those who debunk global warming" than ExxonMobil, writes Chris Mooney. "Some 40 ExxonMobil-funded organizations ... have sought to undermine mainstream scientific findings on global climate change or have maintained affiliations with a small group of 'skeptic' scientists who continue to do so." From 2000 to 2003, ExxonMobil gave $8.7 million to such SourceWatch favorites as the American Council on Science and Health, Atlas Economic Research Foundation, Capital Research Center, Heartland Institute, International Policy Network, Mercatus Center, National Center for Public Policy Research, Tech Central Station, and groups associated with Steve Milloy (the full list is here). As an American Petroleum Institute memo stated, "Victory will be achieved when ... recognition of uncertainty [about global warming] becomes part of the 'conventional wisdom.'"

New Dinosaur

See picture here.

Now paleontologists in Utah say they have found the missing link in a new species of feathered dinosaur. Falcarius utahensis, whose name means "sickle maker from Utah," appeared about 125 million years ago. The creature, with 4-inch claws on its outsized forefeet, measured about 12 feet from its snout to the tip of its long, skinny tail. It stood just over 3 feet tall at the hip and could apparently reach about five feet off the ground with its long neck to munch leaves or fruit, said Utah state paleontologist James Kirkland.
It had the built-for-speed legs of meat eaters but was developing the bigger belly of plant eaters. It had already lost the serrated teeth needed for tearing flesh; those were replaced with the smaller, duller vegetarian variety.

Human Rights Blow

The UN's top human rights investigator in Afghanistan has been forced out under American pressure just days after he presented a report criticising the US military for detaining suspects without trial and holding them in secret prisons.

Federal Forests Reopened to Road Construction

The U.S. Forest service cancels a Clinton administration policy that banned road building in nearly 60 million acres of national forests. The agency also sets out a new policy that will give governors a say in what happens in these areas. Critics say they will fight the change, which they say opens pristine wilderness to commercial interests.

Read more here

Conflict of Interest

Source: The Hill, May 1, 2005 Taken from PR Watch
Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is opening a lobbying firm, the Ashcroft Group, to provide "strategic consulting, security and internal investigative services, and crisis counseling" to countries, corporations, and industry and political associations. According to a spokesperson, the new firm expects "to grow rapidly." Ashcroft Group staff include David Ayres, formerly Ashcroft's chief of staff, and Juleanna Glover Weiss, a lobbyist at the Clark & Weinstock firm, where she "helped the Iraqi Governing Council's U.S. rep on 'messaging'," according to O'Dwyer's PR Daily. Previously, Glover Weiss was Vice-President Dick Cheney's press secretary. The Center for Responsive Politics' Larry Noble said Ashcroft is "clearly trading off the whole anti-terrorism and 9/11 aspect of his being attorney general. ... I think he'll probably find it very profitable."

Thursday, May 05, 2005

A Euro Cry for Impeachment

The top-level government memo marked "Secret & Strictly Personal," dated eight months before Bush sent us into Iraq, following a closed meeting with the President, reads, "Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." Read that again: "The intelligence and facts were being fixed...."

For years, after each damning report on BBC TV, viewers inevitably ask me, "Isn't this grounds for impeachment?" -- vote rigging, a blind eye to terror and the bin Ladens before 9-11, and so on. Evil, stupidity and self-dealing are shameful but not impeachable. What's needed is a "high crime or misdemeanor."

The memo, uncovered this week by the (London) Times, goes on to describe an elaborate plan by George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to hoodwink the planet into supporting an attack on Iraq knowing full well the evidence for war was a phony.

Here's more. "Bush had made up his mind to take military action. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."Really? But Mr. Bush told us, "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."A month ago, the Silberman-Robb Commission issued its report on WMD intelligence before the war, dismissing claims that Bush fixed the facts with this snooty, condescending conclusion written directly to the President, "After a thorough review, the Commission found no indication that the Intelligence Community distorted the evidence regarding Iraq's weapons."

The invasion build-up was then set, says the memo, "beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections." Mission accomplished.
The Republicans impeached Bill Clinton over his cigar and Monica's affections. And the US media could print nothing else. Now, we have the stone, cold evidence of bending intelligence to sell us on death by the thousands, and neither a Republican Congress nor what is laughably called US journalism thought it worth a second look.

Click here and scroll down to view a copy of said memo.

Excerpts taken from an article By Greg Palast, Thursday, May 5, 2005, IMPEACHMENT TIME: "FACTS WERE FIXED."

Another extensive piece can be found at AlterNet.

However, it should be said that "While the memo makes observations about U.S. intentions toward Iraq, the document does not specify which Bush administration officials met with Dearlove."
The memo, in which British foreign-policy aide Matthew Rycroft summarized a July 23, 2002, meeting of Prime Minister Tony Blair with top security advisers, reports on a U.S. visit by Richard Dearlove, then head of Britain's MI-6 intelligence service.

Taken from the Seattle Times

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Laura Roasts Hubby

First Lady Laura Bush (You can view it here about 1 hour and 15 minutes in. ): Not that old joke — not again.
Ladies and gentlemen, I've been attending these dinners for years and just quietly sitting there. Well, I've got a few things I want to say for a change.
This is going to be fun because he really doesn't have a clue about what I'm gonna' to say next.
George always says he's delighted to come to these press dinners. Baloney. He's usually in bed by now.
I'm not kidding.
I said to him the other day, "George, if you really want to end tyranny in the world, you're going to have to stay up later."
I am married to the president of the United States, and here's our typical evening: Nine o'clock, Mr. Excitement here is sound asleep, and I'm watching Desperate Housewives— with Lynne Cheney. Ladies and gentlemen, I am a desperate housewife. I mean, if those women on that show think they're desperate, they oughta be with George.
One night, after George went to bed, Lynne Cheney, Condi Rice, Karen Hughes and I went to Chippendale's. I wouldn't even mention it except Ruth Ginsberg and Sandra Day O'Connor saw us there. I won't tell you what happened, but Lynne's Secret Service codename is now "Dollar Bill."
But George and I are complete opposites — I'm quiet, he's talkative, I'm introverted, he's extroverted, I can pronounce nuclear —
The amazing thing, however, is that George and I were just meant to be. I was the librarian who speant 12 hours a day in the library, yet somehow I met George.
We met, and married, and I became one of the regulars up at Kennebunkport. All the Bushes love Kennebunkport, which is like Crawford, but without the nightlife. People ask me what it's like to be up there with the whole Bush clan. Lemme put it this way: First prize — three-day vacation with the Bush family. Second prize — 10 days.
Speaking of prizes brings me to my mother-in-law. So many mothers today are just not involved in their children's lives — Not a problem with Barbara Bush. People often wonder what my mother-in-law's really like. People think she's a sweet, grandmotherly, Aunt Bea type. She's actually more like, mmm, Don Corleone.
Cedric, am I doing all right?
I saw my in-laws down at the ranch over Easter. We like it down there. George didn't know much about ranches when we bought the place. Andover and Yale don't have a real strong ranching program. But I'm proud of George. He's learned a lot about ranching since that first year when he tried to milk the horse. What's worse, it was a male horse.
Now, of course, he spends his days clearing brush, cutting trails, taking down trees, or, as the girls call it, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. George's answer to any problem at the ranch is to cut it down with a chainsaw — which I think is why he and Cheney and Rumsfeld get along so well.
It's always very interesting to see how the ranch air invigorates people when they come down from Washington. Recently, when Vice President Cheney was down, he got up early one morning, he put on his hiking boots, and he went on a brisk, 20- to 30-foot walk.
But actually, in all seriousness, I do love the ranch, and I love the whole Bush family. I was an only child, and when I married into the extended Bush clan, I got brothers and sisters and wonderful in-laws, all of whom opened their arms to me. And included in the package, I got this guy here.
I think when you marry someone, you unconsciously are looking for something in your spouse to help fulfill something in you, and George did that for me. He brought fun and energy into my life and so many other things. George is a very good listener, he's easy to be around, and on top of it all, he's a loving father whose daughters absolutely adore him.
So in the future, when you see me just quietly sitting up here, I want you to know that I'm happy to be here for a reason — I love, and enjoy being with, the man who usually speaks to you on these occasions.
So George and I thank you for inviting us, thank you for all of the good work that you and the press do, and thank you for your very kind hospitality this evening.

---Good for Laura. I think better of her a whole lot more after this...yet my feelings are mixed.
1. The biggest thing that stands out to me is when she said, "He's learned a lot about ranching since that first year when he tried to milk the horse. What's worse, it was a male horse." Wow. Given the FCC crash down on people like Howard Stern, the pressure on television (Jacksons boob) and so on, this was a risque quote. If some comedian had said this on TV, you bet there would be all kinds of termoil. The Daily show reported (an exaggeration off this joke) that some regulations are trying to be made to apply those changes to cable...and Jon Stewart gave the best response by censor swearing back.
2. "George, if you really want to end tyranny in the world, you're going to have to stay up later." Dang. For a president who broke the record for most days on vacation (back in his first year) and takes plenty of naps, this jab really jabs.
3. "I was the librarian who speant 12 hours a day in the library, yet somehow I met George." Ouch. That sure says a lot about No Child Left Behind.
4. "Now, of course, he spends his days clearing brush, cutting trails, taking down trees, or, as the girls call it, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. George's answer to any problem at the ranch is to cut it down with a chainsaw — which I think is why he and Cheney and Rumsfeld get along so well." Yowie, that is a zinger. Take that mother nature! (Elaborate at will).

Good humored and above all, It shows how she cares about him (and addresses lightly that she has concerns but backs him). Whereas I can see the good intention she had, I can't help but see how this sums up so much that disturbs many today.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Wave Goodbye to ATM Fees

Ramping up their efforts to woo new customers, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (PNC) and Commerce Bancorp Inc. (CBH) recently said that they not only will stop charging some customers for using competitors' ATMs, but also will reimburse the customers for the surcharges that the other banks slap on the transactions…industry observers expect a wave of banks to follow PNC and Commerce's lead and put ATM fees on the chopping block.

Anat Bird, a banking industry expert and consultant in Granite Bay, Calif., said that in the next two years, ATM fees probably will disappear among small and mid-sized banks that are operating in competitive markets. Offering refunds can help the smaller players neutralize the competitive advantages enjoyed by national banks that have much more extensive ATM networks.

Excerpt taken from a David Enrich article found in the Seattle Times, April 16, 2005, p. E15, or you can view it here.

State Department Stops Annual Report

The State Department decided to stop publishing an annual report on international terrorism after the government's top terrorism center concluded that there were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any year since 1985, the first year the publication covered.

Last year, the number of incidents in 2003 was undercounted, forcing a revision of the report, "Patterns of Global Terrorism."

But other current and former officials charged that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's office ordered "Patterns of Global Terrorism" eliminated several weeks ago because the 2004 statistics raised disturbing questions about the Bush's administration's frequent claims of progress in the war against terrorism.

According to Johnson and US intelligence officials familiar with the issue, statistics that the National Counterterrorism Center provided to the State Department reported 625 "significant" terrorist attacks in 2004.

That compared with 175 such incidents in 2003, the highest number in two decades.

The statistics didn't include attacks on American troops in Iraq, which President Bush as recently as Tuesday called "a central front in the war on terror."

Taken from an article By Jonathan S. Landay,in Knight Ridder Newspapers