And it's going so well over there now. (link Rising Hegemon)
And it's going so well over there now. (link Rising Hegemon)
Another excellent commentary on the recent 'donations' by the US. I see we are now up to almost as much as we are going to spend on the inaugural ball. And he's absolutely right, if you're disgusted with our government's response, you don't have to let those assholes speak for you. You may not have a choice about the $200,000,000/day that is spent in Iraq but you do have a choice about $20 or $50. Please follow the links and help if you can.
I don’t want to sound like I’m trying to make a political statement here, this isn’t the appropriate place for that kind of thing. This disaster transcends petty politics, no doubt. But, I have to say honestly, I’m effin ashamed of my country. We first pledged 15 million, and then increased it to 40 million. Forty-Million dollars … Sounds like a lot? To put that in perspective, we’re going to spend 40 to 50 million in Washington, DC, in one afternoon, on the Presidential Inauguration. To give our pledge some context, we’re spending about 100 to 200 million dollars a day in Iraq. We spend damn near 40 million for beer, chips, and soft drinks in this country every day.
Our leaders, the leaders of the richest, most prosperous nation on Earth, could have been flown in on Air Force One and other senior executive aircraft to the region in a few hours, check-book in hand, to respectfully represent our sorrow, our grief, and most important, our life-saving generosity. Surely that would have made a better photo-op than a carrier landing. They could have shown the Muslim World and the international community what the America you and I know is really about, and done so in a positive, charitable way. Instead, our White House is on vacation … Godamn, our response so far makes me feel ashamed to be an American. It’s not just poor leadership and poor PR, it’s immoral.
And you know what? I don’t have to put up with that shit. I don’t have to let those assholes speak for me. I just gave 50 dollars to Red Crescent, earmarked to save my brothers lives, and I feel pretty damn good about doing it! I felt so good about it, I gave another fifty for those of you who may be struggling. It’s a few days after Christmas, it would be truthful for me to say that things are a little tighter than usual around DarkSyde Manor. But that’s a cop-out. I can easily afford it. Hell, by not eating fast food at lunch for a month I can afford it. Save lives and avoid fast food for a month? That’s a bargain I can’t pass up. ...(link Pharyngula)
I see that the US has very slightly increased the amount of aid for the tsunami relief efforts, but it's still embarrassingly small. Why do they hate us? ...
John Barlow was arrested as the result of a very small amount of contraband found by the TSA during a search of his bags at SFO. They were NOT looking for explosives, what they found was a small quantity in the bottom of a Tylenol bottle. They had to look hard and specificially for something other than explosvies. This goes to court again on Decmeber 15.
...There is a lot at stake here. Although, as I say, the 4th Amendment is in rough shape, it remains quite clear in its prohibition of "general warrants," which are searches of unspecified members of the public for evidence of random illegal activity. But, whether by design or "mission drift," this is what TSA's checked baggage searches increasingly resemble. They're not just looking for explosives, folks.... Link via Dan Gillmor
I don't want to lose this link so I'm posting it here. This is very close to where I was a few years ago but I stayed in the city. This is a rural 'ecologdge' about 30 minutes from Lijiang for 12$/night including 3 meals a days. The scenery here really is spectacular. The tram I took up Jade Mountain Snow Dragon leads to a short trail that takes you up to the 4,680 meter level of the 5,596 meter peak.
...Wanna see 15 species of rhododendron? 71 species of migratory birds. Maybe 30 endangered species? How about 75% of all Tibetan medicinal herbs? Get yourself to NW Yunnan Province. (near the border with India and Tibet) And more specifically to the Wenhai EcoLodge. Perched in a valley at 10,000ft (3,000m) it can only be reached by horse or foot - you’ll need to trek in....Link
And a link to a NYT article. Well it would have been nice, but now there will be thousands of people and the price will probably almost imediately go from $12/day to $120/day. Oh well...
Duvall: "Smell that?... Do you smell that?"
Sam Bottoms: "What."
Duvall: "Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that... I love the smell of napalm in the morning... Ya know, that gasoline smell... It smells like... victory."
I've been reading dKos and other sites the last few weeks about our use of naplam (aka Mark 77 Firebombs - NOT napalm according to the Pentagon - it uses kerosene rather than gasoline) and white phosphorus in Iraq.
WE are the Bastards
I've been hesitant to really post about this, but it is becoming quite clear that the United States used NAPALM in Fallujah. Among the prime reasons declared as why we should act to overthrow Hussein was his use of chemical weapons against the Kurds in the late 1980s (which is true and abominable of course) -- a use which was enabled and tolerated by the Reagan Administration, and only used as a basis for acting against Hussein a generation later. Of course, we also went into the Iraq because we claimed they had WMD.
Well NAPALM is a WMD, but we are using it.
... A 1980 UN convention banned the use against civilian targets of napalm, a terrifying mixture of jet fuel and polystyrene that sticks to skin as it burns. The US, which did not sign the treaty, is one of the few countries that makes use of the weapon. It was employed notoriously against both civilian and military targets in the Vietnam war. ...(Link-Rising Hegemon)
Have you ever dreamed of being carried into the sky by a giant bouquet of colorful toy balloons?
That's the idea behind cluster ballooning. The pilot wears a harness, to which a cluster of large, helium-filled balloons are attached. Control is achieved by releasing ballast to ascend, or by bursting balloons to descend. Link (via Boing Boing)