Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Israel v. Palestine again and again and again



So let's go over this one more time.

A. Some Palestinians (Hamas) shoot some un-aimed missiles into Israel (if they're lucky) causing some damage and injuries and a death or two if they get lucky.

B. The Israelis bomb the fuck out of Palestine killing hundreds, mostly civilians.

C. In retaliation to the incredibly lopsided Israeli response to the first missiles, Hamas shoots some more missiles into Israel, occasionally hitting their own people by accident.

D. The Israelis bomb the Palestinians even harder and invade with tanks, destroying all buildings and everything else that might help the Palestinians without actually affecting Hamas.

E. Angry Palestinians blow themselves up to kill Israelis.

F. Israel blows up more of Gaza and takes more Palestinian land by cutting it off with a fence.

G. Go back to A.

And around and around and around we go.

Every time this has happened since I was a child I've thought Israel's response was WAY over the top, punishing the Palestinian people for the act of a group they do not necessarily support. But the more civilians Israel kills, the more people support the attacks. After the deaths of civilians and bystanders the Palestinian people march in the streets against Israel. This is especially senseless in the case of these rocket attacks as by the time Israel responds the trucks that fired those rockets are miles away so Israel is punishing the people that had the misfortune of living there. Does Israel expect shopkeepers and teachers to run out and attempt to stop the rocket launch?!? Do they doubt the rapid response from an AK-47 that would result? Israel treats all Palestinians as combatants, is this fair? It makes no sense to me yet something like this happens every time. And in retaliation this time Israel directly targeted the Gaza police force, including a graduation ceremony. Even if some of these police are Hamas fighters, what about all the ones that aren't? Doesn't Israel need a robust police force in their neighbor? Kill 'em all seems to be the Israeli motto. It would not surprise me if Israel becomes the second country to use a nuclear bomb.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Presidential Pardons for as Little As $40,000!!!

Ah, the pardoning of the scum has begun. More evidence of how completely compromised our justice system has become under Bush and the fact that forgiveness is only for the rich:
President Bush pardoned a Brooklyn real estate developer accused of scamming hundreds of poor, minority homebuyers - and whose father donated $28,500 to the Republican Party this year.

Bush pardoned Isaac Toussie, 36, two days before Christmas in a gesture of mercy that outraged ex-customers who said they were duped into buying overpriced, defective homes.

"We're in the middle of a mortgage crisis [and] this is somebody who was alleged to have participated in predatory lending practices," said Peter Seidman, a lawyer who represents 460 people who say they were fleeced.

"To pardon Isaac Toussie is a kick in the teeth to homeowners struggling with mortgages they can't afford."

But it gets better! Much amazed that anyone noticed him pardoning such a scumbag*, Bush is now attempting to rescind his pardon.

Experts said Wednesday they knew of no other instance of a presidential pardon being revoked. Some analysts suggested Toussie might be able to challenge the reversal in court.

"I can't think of another time that it's happened for a presidential pardon," said Margaret Love, who was the lead pardon attorney under President George H.W. Bush and for part of the Clinton administration. "It's not clear to me that it's as easy to do as all that."

White House aides said that the pardon did not take effect until it was "delivered" to Toussie and that that had not happened when Bush changed course Wednesday. The definition of "delivered" was unclear.
It has been suggested in a Harper's Magazine online editorial that if Bush's negation of this pardon is effective, it means that a future President might be able to rescind the current President's pardons. Wouldn't that be entertaining?

*to be fair, Bushco claims the President knew nothing of the campaign contributions. How it is possible that the team that developed the most organized fundraising apparatus in history (prior to Obama) did not instantly know this man's father contributed around $40k is difficult to believe.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bush Shoes Selling Like Hotcakes





Baydan has received orders for 300,000 pairs of the shoes since the attack, more than four times the number his company sold each year since the model was introduced in 1999. The company plans to employ 100 more staff to meet demand, he said.

“Model 271” is exported to markets including Iraq, Iran, Syria and Egypt. Customers in Iraq ordered 120,000 pairs this week and some Iraqis offered to set up distribution companies for the shoe, Baydan said.

They also claim to be in talks with a U.S. distributor.


via

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Xmas Greetings!



A merry Xmas to all y'all out there in space/time.

And yes, I've photoshopped my and my girlfriend's faces onto these frightened children that I stole from this site that I found through this blog post. There's no way real children's faces could look that creepy.

Cheers all!
Alan Evil

Monday, December 22, 2008

Nuclear Energy: Safe, Clean, Cheap ...?

I have three problems with nuclear energy:

1. Waste. This will be incredibly deadly for a period of time longer than the human race's existence. The very idea of burying our nuclear waste and thereby keeping it safe from the curiosity of future humans... or other future life form... or geology... is ludicrous.

2. Safety. Nuclear power plants are designed by, engineered by, built by, regulated by, and operated by humans. Therefore the possiblity of failure is possible at all levels. As Chernobyl proved, failure can be deadly or worse and for a very long time.

3. Expense. Even if we don't include the increasing cost and danger of stored waste (which is monstrous and exponentially increasing with time), even if we don't do that, nuclear power is phenomenally expensive. Add the incredible amount of energy used and environmental destruction wreaked just to create the fuel with the incredible expense of creating this incredibly complex machine and the unmeasurable expense of accidents and waste leaks and it equals "more expensive than is affordable."

It all boils down to not liking it. Burning coal is very bad in the short term, but at our present useage we will run out of coal long before our nuclear fuel will no longer be deadly. For that matter we will probably run out of all combustible materials on this planet before our nuclear waste is no longer toxic.

We must find a way to use the massive forces around us that we can tap as wind, hydro, and tide. We also must constrain the human population as we're pressing the planet to its limits right now, imagine it in 500 years! Everything boils down to too many humans and too small a planet for all of them.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Shoe Duck

And so it begins...





via

Bush Insulted



I don't think we have an insult as bad as this in the West. He is trying to hit him with his shoe (the dirtiest thing on earth) and calls him a dog (the lowest form of animal on earth). Something like that. All we got is "F#@! YOU!" At least the French hit politicians with pies.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rod Blagojevich


douchebag


Just when you start to feel pride in the president-elect's party* you get some douchebag like William Jefferson of New Orleans and now Rod Blagojevich of Illinois. You have got to be fucking kidding me on this one. William Jefferson was in Louisiana so stupid criminality is expected. Now this Blagojevich has the opportunity to fill the Senate seat of Barack Obama and he turns it into a bidding war. You don't think you're going to be watched like a hawk during the process of making this decision? Does everything have to be bartered? Do any of these people have souls***? Can we find a way to filter out scumbags?

*OK, "pride" is much too strong of a word. This is more like the absence of the ordinary feeling I have for the Democratic party which is chalk-in-the-back-of-your-mouth-you-can't-quite-incorporate-into-your-spit-and-get-it-out-of-you ickiness.**

**In comparison my feeling about the GOP is please-stop-fucking-me-in-the-ass-with-that-very-wide-hot-poker agony.

***Rumor has it that the reason this has been caught by the Justice Dept. is Blagojevich approached Rahm Emanuel who then pushed the investigation.

Kop Busters



Proving yet again the endemic corruption and disregard for the Constitution or law of any kind by our nation's police force. The Odessa, Texas police force is apparently driving around scanning houses with infrared calendars which the Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional.

KopBusters rented a house in Odessa, Texas and began growing two small Christmas trees under a grow light similar to those used for growing marijuana. When faced with a suspected marijuana grow, the police usually use illegal FLIR cameras and/or lie on the search warrant affidavit claiming they have probable cause to raid the house. Instead of conducting a proper investigation which usually leads to no probable cause, the Kops lie on the affidavit claiming a confidential informant saw the plants and/or the police could smell marijuana coming from the suspected house.

The trap was set and less than 24 hours later, the Odessa narcotics unit raided the house only to find KopBuster’s attorney waiting under a system of complex gadgetry and spy cameras that streamed online to the KopBuster’s secret mobile office nearby.

-

so amazing. here’s why the cops were definitely up to no good: “There was nothing illegal going on the bait house, just two evergreen trees and some grow lamps. There was no probable cause. So a couple of questions come up. First, how did the cops get turned on to the house in the first place? Cooper suspects they were using thermal imaging equipment to detect the grow lamps, a practice the Supreme Court has said is illegal. The second question is, what probable cause did the police put on the affidavit to get a judge to sign off on a search warrant? If there was nothing illegal going on in the house, it’s difficult to conceive of a scenario where either the police or one of their informants didn’t lie to get a warrant.”

this is interesting in part because arguments that police are doing illegal drug raids are usually raised by people who were raided and found to have illegal drugs, who don’t make great spokespeople for why the police shouldn’t be allowed to do this kind of thing. (boingboing)

Thanks to JM for the heads up.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

Update


Ah Xmas time. Between work, gift making, and holidays I feel rather like a rubber band approaching the big snap, but I somehow find myself just finishing my day's must-do list. Unfortunately that means to get everything else done I'm up late at night and have barely been able to update this blog for you as the world ends!!!

OK, maybe it's not quite that bad but the "free market" house of cards is collapsing in a hurry and most of us are not going to be able to get out of the way. In the meantime our tax dollars are now being openly shoveled into the open arms of the ultra wealthy in this bogus lie being called "The Bailout." Upper management is being paid bonuses with this money while investors and depositors are being bankrupted. That ain't right and it ain't American.

I know this sounds socialist because it kind of is: we need to strip the wealthiest Americans of their ill-gotten money and give it to the rest of us. These mind-bogglingly wealthy CEO's, hedge-fund managers, stock brokers, bank managers, hospital officers, etc. have segregated 90% of the nation's wealth by stealing it from the poor. Line them up, empty their pockets, and take possession of their houses, yachts, Ferraris, and jets and either convert them to something useful to those they've made destitute or chop them up for materials. This is not time to pretend these thieves are anything but thieves and they should be treated as the criminals they are. Burn the mansions to the ground and build ten single family houses on their ashes.

There are very wealthy people who have gotten there by providing something needed by people and in the process they've brought many other people along with them. They've provided health care for their employees, generous vacation and pensions, and generally a European standard of living. Our compromised Republican government has made sure those kind of business people don't stand a chance. The only way you can become ultra-wealthy these days is by screwing the poor and gaming the political system to ensure the ease of poor screwing.

At the top of this list I would place hospital CEO's, carefully pricing everything at the highest point the market will bear (assuring that more than half of us will be priced out) while "cutting costs" by skimping on cleanliness*, keeping pay for the people that clean up our shit and puke well below a living wage, and keeping fewer beds open than are needed in the best of times. As a result, not only is our healthcare system rated 72nd worldwide, but if we experience any kind of serious epidemic our healthcare system will be overrun before it starts. They already put patient beds in the halls of most large hospitals because the "management" has "cut costs" by "eliminating unnecessary additional capacity."

Right under the healthcare industry in the list of industries that are fucking up this country is the banking and credit industry in general. Between the subprime mortgage scams, fees, penalties, and credit card debt, the banking industry has made massive profits by fucking the poor in the ass and now that they've turned the ass into pulp they've moved around to the front and are taking our money through our taxes. We're carting wheelbarrows full of cash to the banks without any control over what they do with it, hundreds of businesses that have never been banks are suddenly calling themselves banks and are getting billions of dollars (what the FUCK is up with that?), and there is no effort whatsoever to stop it. So Barney Frank flaps his mouth but Henry Paulson has still handed out nearly a half a BILLION dollars with no strings attached. Meanwhile the poor are still subjugated to usuarous credit card interest rates (that can be raised arbitrarily or because you missed by a day a payment on something else), mindbogglingly high penalties for mistakes ($45-$60 per purchase for being overdrawn by a penny for the micro-second a computer takes to figure your end of day balance before crediting any deposits you've made, penalizing you for every single purchase made that day), and seemingly small things like ATM fees, or government fees levied in lieau of taxes on the wealhty.

I've already made a sketchy argument as to why the auto industry is its own biggest partner in fucking everything up. Add to that the education privatizers, the prison industry, and everyone else that intends to profit from that which should not be done for profit. Sometimes you just need to invest in a system to better the lives of all people. Education, clean energy, healthcare, criminal justice and law enforcement**, regulation of food and medicine, all these things are compromised when the profit motive is introduced. If that's socialism then I'm pretty sure it is proven to work better than capitalism.

I don't even know where I'm going with this rant. There is a huge injustice being perpetrated in this country and frankly I don't know how to fight it. Our government is firmly in the control of the wealthiest citizens and I'm afraid the only way to stop them is through violence. But they've got the really big guns in their pocket, don't they? Once the middle class has been completely destroyed will we rise up and stop the thievery that has been rife since the 70's? Can we reign in the military industrial, prison industrial, drug control industrial, health care industrial, private school industrial, evangelical religion industrial cabal that is buying our government officials and running the show?

*I own a house a few blocks from Louisville's massive hospital campus. From the front door I can see nine different hospitals. There is a public housing project behind my house and all day you can see exhausted people (mostly women) trudging home to their horrendous subsidized housing wearing the scrubs they will still be wearing when they return to the hospital. This is because to "save costs" the fuckwads that run the hospitals require their employees to wash their own uniforms rather than running a high quality sterilizing laundry service themselves. These people walk back to work in their scrubs, picking up germs all along their walk as well as from their crappy apartments and then they go clean up around people in critical care, with compromized immune systems or in a generally weakened state. It's little wonder that hospitals are the most likely place to receive an infection.

**At this point in time, most police departments in this country have become victim of the profit motive, persuing the arbitrary enforcement of drug laws in pursuit of federal money despit the lack of proof that it does any good. Most broad studies of the issue show that our current draconian drug law enforcement is detrimental to society not only monetarily but societally as well. Other than the politicians that are elected on bullshit "get tough" agendas, the owners of pirvate prisons, and the cops that get nice toys to bust more people with, who profits from long prison times and arbitrary arrests of minorities for the use, possession, and distribution of drugs? Prohibition doesn't work. Give people the fucking drugs and let them use them as they wish and give them treatment when they want to quit. It must be cheaper than the enforcement and imprisonment method we're using now.