Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Label Laws
Starting tomorrow Country of Origin Label Law goes into effect.

Starting tomorrow, consumers will be learning a lot more about the frozen ground beef, pork tenderloin, fresh tomatoes and raspberries that they put in their grocery carts.

That's the day that the Country of Origin Labeling Law goes into effect, which requires that labels for meat, poultry and produce clearly state what country they've come from.

Specifically, the law covers ground and whole cuts of beef, lamb, pork, chicken and goat meat; farm-raised fish and shellfish, wild fish and shellfish; fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; peanuts, pecans, ginseng and macadamia nuts. Country of origin labels (as well as labels indicating whether the fish was "farmed" or "wild") have been required for fish and shellfish since 2005.

Do not buy food from China.

Violations At 94% of Nursing Homes
The Bush administration is not exactly known for its oversight of for profit businesses.
WASHINGTON — More than 90 percent of nursing homes were cited for violations of federal health and safety standards last year, and for-profit homes were more likely to have problems than other types of nursing homes, federal investigators say in a report issued on Monday.[...]
“For-profit nursing homes had a higher average number of deficiencies than the other types of nursing homes,” Mr. Levinson said. “In 2007, for-profit nursing homes averaged 7.6 deficiencies per home, while not-for-profit and government homes averaged 5.7 and 6.3, respectively.”

Dead Zones
Ocean Dead zones are spreading.

OSLO (Reuters) - The number of polluted "dead zones" in the world's oceans is rising fast and coastal fish stocks are more vulnerable to collapse than previously feared, scientists said on Monday.

The spread of "dead zones" -- areas of oxygen-starved water -- "is emerging as a major threat to coastal ecosystems globally," the scientists wrote in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Such zones are found from the Gulf of Mexico to the Baltic Sea in areas where algae bloom and suck oxygen from the water, feeding on fertilizers washed from fields, sewage, animal wastes and pollutants from the burning of fossil fuels.

Monday, September 29, 2008

No Bailout
Peter Rothberg in the Nation.
'm glad the bill went down. It could and should be much, much better. As Arun Gupta and Medea Benjamin explain in a new post at TheNation.com, despite attempts by legislators to portray this as a compromise bill that helps both Wall Street and Main Street, in reality it represents an appalling transfer of wealth upward.

The Great Alleghany Passage
A nice article by Ken Hastings about his trip from McKeesport PA to Georgetown in Washington DC.
The Great Allegheny Passage is a network of rail trails connecting Pittsburgh, Pa., with the C&O Canal towpath in Cumberland, Md. If you like the idea of a more than 300-mile bicycle trip through history and fabulous scenery, making the entire trip to Washington, DC might just be an adventure you won’t soon forget. My trip this past summer certainly ranks near the top for me.
The adventure started off well before sunrise on a Sunday. My son, Ray, his friend, Karen, and I packed my Sequoia with camping gear, food, clothes, two bike trailers, etc. We loaded three bikes on the rack and started the five-hour trip to McKeesport, Pa.

He said he 110 pounds of gear and that sounds heavy. But in the slide show it looks like he has 110 pounds of gear. One of the bikes had a full size dish pan and a roll of paper towels. Way too much load for me.

Update. Added link to article. Whoops.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Randall Lee Smith Is Still Dead
An interesting article about the men who survived being shot by Smith. They recently did a reenactment for NBC's Dateline.
BLUEFIELD, Va. — Scott Johnston was exhausted Wednesday night after almost three full weeks of re-living a few moments of his life that forever changed him. The moments came on Tuesday, May 6, when a gunman shot Johnston and his friend at their campsite near the Appalachian Trail.

“It sort of seems like it happened yesterday,” Johnston said. “A friend of mine called me up about a week ago and said he hadn’t spoken to me in over a month. I couldn’t believe it. Time has been going by so fast since it happened.”

Saturday, September 27, 2008

No Goats On The Appalachian Trail
I'm not sure how much gear a goat can carry.

About a month ago we told you the story of a young man who was hiking the Appalachian Trail in the company of a goat. The goat, Ali Baba, seemed to engender good will wherever he went. But man and goat drew a very different response from the people who manage the trail.

Earlier this week, the National Park Service said they’d have to hike someplace else. Goats are considered pack animals and pack animals are not allowed on the Appalachian Trail.

Read it all.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Post Turtle

Post turtle II, originally uploaded by ET's Photo Home.

Palin is a post turtle. I just have to steal this from one fly.

An old Texas rancher was discussing Sarah Palin's bid to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. He said, “Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle.”
Not being familiar with the term, I asked, “What's a post turtle?”

The old rancher said, “When you're driving down a country road and you spy a fencepost with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle.”

He saw that I looked puzzled, so he continued, “You know she didn't get up there by herself; she doesn't belong up there; she doesn't know what to do while she is up there and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put her up there to begin with.

McCain Is 72. He Has Had Four Bouts With Cancer

MSNBC will not play this ad by Brave New PAC.
The Bible Can Justify Anything
Tony Alamo a christian preacher was arrested on child pornography charges.
"The Bible says the age of puberty is the age of consent," he said, emphasizing that he supports the idea of marriage to post-pubescent girls, but that members of his church don't act on that view and follow the law. "We don't have anyone married to children under the 18-year-old limit, but the Bible says that's OK if they're age 10 or 12, if they reached puberty."

Read the whole thing. It ain't pretty.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gore Urges Civil Disobedience
Al Gore wants you!

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nobel Peace Prize winner and environmental crusader Al Gore urged young people on Wednesday to engage in civil disobedience to stop the construction of coal plants without the ability to store carbon.

The former U.S. vice president, whose climate change documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" won an Academy Award, told a philanthropic meeting in New York City that "the world has lost ground to the climate crisis."

"If you're a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration," Gore told the Clinton Global Initiative gathering to loud applause.

It would be nice if say Al Gore had plans to lead an act of civil disobedience. Get some lawyers together, to get people out of jail. Perhaps ask some people for bail money. Make it happen other wise known as leading.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ask Questions
David Cay Johnston
The Administration has scared the markets and some key legislative leaders, but it has not laid out a coherent, specific and compelling need for this enormous proposal, which is the equivalent of a one-time 55 percent income tax surcharge. (Instead the money will be borrowed, so ask from whom and how this much can be raised so quickly if the credit markets are nearly seized up with fear.)

Ask this question -- are the credit markets really about to seize up?

If they are then lots of business owners should be eager to tell how their bank is calling their 90-day revolving loans, rejecting new loans and demanding more cash on deposit. I called businessmen I know yesterday and not one of them reported such problems. Indeed, Citibank offered yesterday to lend me tens of thousands of dollars on my signature at 2.99 percent, well below the nearly 5 percent inflation rate. That offer came after I said no last week to a 4.99 percent loan.

Nobody seems to be asking questions. But Do you trust Bush and Cheney with a trillion of your dollars?
Bail Out People Not Bankers
Peter Rothberg in the Nation.
Economists are widely panning Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's bailout package for lacking appropriate regulatory mechanisms to prevent another future crisis; for not providing homeowner relief; for richly rewarding corporate executives for their failure and for neglecting to provide meaningful oversight over how the aid is distributed.

This whole mess has given lie to the free market and called into question virtually the entire basis of late capitalist economic organization. The Feds are propping up stock prices, directing buyouts, nationalizing private industries and subsidizing crooks and swindlers who already made a killing off the mortgage bubble.

The Fed and Treasury are right to take steps to avert this disaster but the use of taxpayer money to exclusively prop up and reward the rich while the needs of everyone else are written off as too costly is both morally unacceptable and, to quote conservative economist Luigi Zingales of the University of Chicago School of Business, "will undermine the fundamental workings of the capitalist system."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bernie's Plan
Bernie sanders plan in more detail.
I have proposed a three part plan to accomplish that goal which includes a five-year, 10% surtax on the income of individuals above $500,000 a year, and $1 million a year for couples; a requirement that the price the government pays for any mortgage assets are discounted appropriately so that government can recover the amount it paid for them; and, finally, the government should receive equity in the companies it bails out so that when the stock of these companies rises after the bailout, taxpayers also have the opportunity to share in the resulting windfall. Taken together, these measures would provide the best guarantee that at the end of five years, the government will have gotten back the money it put out.

Tax, Regulate, and bail out the little guy. If mortgages keep failing the underling problem does not go away. We will see. Conservatives are always willing to give millions, billions, or now trillions to rich white republicans that can not take responsibility for themselves. But some poor guy who was screwed by the rich white republican can not have a couple of bucks to feed his family. That is conservatism for you.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Evil: It's The New Good
Mark Morford in the San Fransisco Chronicle.
The devil isn't evil, he just has lousy PR.

Examples? They are legion. Here's one the Powers That Be desperately hope you'll swallow, a nasty piece of marketing gall meant to stab at your intelligence and bitch-slap your intuition, but which is nevertheless being force-fed to you as happy environmental manna, a viciously deformed version of something called "progress."

Here is "clean coal." Isn't it beautiful? Truly, the hell-bound ad agency that coughed up that one even had the nerve to film a commercial featuring Kool and the Gang's "Celebrate" playing over perky scenes of manic Americans sucking down electricity like John McCain sucks down extra oxygen, claiming that coal is America's namesake resource and we should therefore kneel before it and worship it like apple pie and horrible sex-ed and Lindsay Lohan's nipples. Did I mention the coal industry's PR people are going to hell for this? Count on it.[...]
And lo, in the spirit of Wal-Mart and the Corn Refiners Association and the clean-coal cretins trying to make their rampant evils seem slightly less, well, evil, we humbly offer to McPalin this new marketing slogan: "The Republicans: An entirely new kind of contemptible you hadn't even thought of yet."

Rubber Ducky
Your the one, that makes melting glaciers so much fun.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - To help figure out what's happening inside the fastest-moving Greenland glacier, a U.S. rocket scientist sent 90 rubber ducks into the ice, hoping someone finds them if they emerge in Baffin Bay.

The common yellow plastic bath toys are one part of a sophisticated experiment to determine why glaciers speed up in the summer in their march to the sea, said Alberto Behar of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

Could be a while before the duckies manage to wiggle through.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It Must Be Unpalatable
Matt Stoller is showing e-mails from some anonymous congressmen. I particularly like this comment.
The only defense for the play is for a significant group of Democrats to say they won't vote for any proposal that isn't unpalatable to industry, and mean it. It's a pretty high stakes game of chicken, but otherwise we come out of this with nothing but a $700 billion giveaway to a crooked industry.

I think it says a lot of bad things about our society that we would consider anything that is acceptable to the industry. They failed. They should be punished. I propose a list of things that should be imposed on all companies that accept money in this crises.
  1. All CEOs, CFOs, and CEO's should be fired without any further compensation. Including past executives.
  2. All salaries are capped at $165,000 the amount a US Senator makes.
  3. Companies will stop all lobbying efforts while they are being bailed out.
  4. They will stop paying for any employee's social club dues. Including past employees
  5. They will stop paying for any employee's golf club membership. Including past employees.
  6. All corporate jets will be sold. Leases will be ended. Fly coach.
  7. All limousines will be sold. All employees will be expected to get to work on their own.
  8. All art that is worth more than a thousand dollars will be sold.
  9. All resort properties will be sold.
  10. No dividends payed until the tax payers get their money back.
The companies should be stripped to the bone to show they are serious about getting out of financial trouble.

They want our money, they should get a very bitter pill, if they take it.
Update: To be clear the monies from the sale items are to go to the tax payers.
No Deal
Paul Krugman does not like the Fed's plan to reward the players in the financial markets meltdown.

And there’s no quid pro quo here — nothing that gives taxpayers a stake in the upside, nothing that ensures that the money is used to stabilize the system rather than reward the undeserving.

I hope I’m wrong about this. But let me say it again: Treasury needs to explain why this is supposed to work — not try to panic Congress into giving it a blank check. Otherwise, no deal.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thank John McCain

Thank John McCain for eight years of George W Bush.
Via Blue Girl at They Gave Us A Republic.
Ten Fun Facts
About the Appalachian Trail, by Martin Mazloom in USA Today.

About 165,000 white "blazes" -- 2-by-6-inch paint marks on trees, posts and rocks -- mark the direction of the trail.

Two-thirds of the U.S. population live within a day's drive of the AT.

It takes about 5 million footsteps to complete the entire length of the Appalachian Trail.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bernie Sanders
The junior senator from Vermont has a plan for the financial problems facing the country. His speech should be read in its entirety.
To recap, as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee in 1999, then-Senator Phil Gramm, spearheaded legislation that bears his name, and that is the so-called Gramm-Leach-Bliley bill that broke down critical regulatory safeguards that the Government put in place after the Great Depression to prevent exactly what we are experiencing today. Having laid the groundwork for our crisis in the financial sector, the very next year, amazingly enough, Senator Gramm is credited with slipping legislation into a largely unrelated bill that deregulated the electronic energy market. Shockingly, when he slipped this measure into the law, a measure we now know as the Enron loophole, Senator Gramm's wife, Wendy Gramm, had recently been on the board of directors of--you guessed it--the Enron Corporation.

This deregulation of the energy markets has allowed speculators to drive up the price of a barrel of oil to as high as $147 and, as I mentioned earlier, there are many economists who believe the volatility and the high price of oil today is not supply and demand primarily, but it is because of speculation on the part of financial institutions and hedge funds.

Deregulation is bad!

This country can no longer afford companies that are too big to fail. If a company is so large that its failure would cause systemic harm to our economy, if it is too big to fail, then it is too big to exist. If it is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. We need, as a Congress, to assess which companies fall in this category. Bank of America is certainly one of them. Those companies need to be broken apart. We cannot have companies so huge that if they go under they take the world economy with them.

Then once we break them up, if a company wants to act in a risky manner, if they want to take risks in order to make some quick bucks, that is OK. If they want to take the risk and they want to lose money, that is OK. The American people should not have to, and would not be under those circumstances, be left to pick up the pieces.

Sink or Swim! I am all for it.

Finally, in terms of dealing with this unfolding disaster, we need to make sure working Americans, the middle class, do not foot the bill. If the economic calamity requires a Federal bailout, it should be paid for by those people who actually benefited from the reckless behavior of people empowered by the extreme economic views of Senator Gramm, President Bush, Senator McCain, and many others.

In other words, the point I am making is that in the last 10 years, many of these people have made billions and billions of dollars. It is unfair to simply ask the middle-class working families who are trying to figure out how they are going to pay their fuel bills, how they are going to send their kids to college, to bail out these large institutions from which many people made huge amounts of profits.

Eat the rich! Go Bernie Go!
Via Cernig at Newshoggers.
An OP/ED by Timothy Egan in the New York Times.

People should stop picking on vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin because she hired a high school classmate to oversee the state agriculture division, a woman who said she was qualified for the job because she liked cows when she was a kid. And they should lay off the governor for choosing another childhood friend to oversee a failing state-run dairy, allowing the Soviet-style business to ding taxpayers for $800,000 in additional losses.

What these critics don’t understand is that crony capitalism is how things are done in Alaska. They reward failure in the Last Frontier state. In that sense, it’s not unlike like Wall Street’s treatment of C.E.O.’s who run companies into the ground.

Look at Carly Fiorina, John McCain’s top economic surrogate — if you can find her this week, after the news and her narrative fused in a negative way. Dismissed as head of Hewlett-Packard after the company’s stock plunged and nearly 20,000 workers were let go, she was rewarded with $44 million in compensation. Sweet!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Palin Truth Squad
Zero/Zero Getting it Done
Zero/Zero is the trail name of Trevor Thomas, who is legally blind. He has made it through Mahoosuc Notch and is headed for Katahdin. For some reason in this article after the first paragraph they refer to Thomas as Taylor.
At this point, Taylor can still perceive patterns of light and dark, and make out some distorted shapes.”

But his mother, Judith, told The Citizen his vision “is so fuzzy that things disappear, and the tiny bit of peripheral vision he has is like looking in a fun-house mirror. Everything he does ‘see’ is misshapen and indecipherable. He says everything is getting worse as the days go by, but he can distinguish light at this point.”

Of his AT journey so far, Taylor writes: “Being on the AT is more surreal than any experience I can recall before I lost my sight, and I felt I had already done it all, from sky diving to mountain climbing.

“If I can encourage even one blind or otherwise disabled person to get off the sofa, my walk will have been worth it.”

I think he would like too help other blind people. So if you want his contact info is at the link.

Go Zero/Zero! Happy Trails!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Beretta Hockey Palin
Would be my name if I were Sarah Palin's child. What would yours be?
The Right Palin For President

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Long Carry
An Oregon man tries to hike the Oregon section of the Pacific Crest Trail(460 miles) without resupply. I think the most food I every carried was about 8 days, maybe 7 and a half.

Though traveling light from an equipment standpoint, Nicholson said his Kelty pack still weighed close to 80 pounds when a friend dropped him off near the Oregon-California border on Aug. 9.

He was looking ahead to nearly four weeks of eating cold, dry food, and a menu that varied little from one day to the next.

Nicholson’s diet on the trip consisted entirely of foods with a high calorie-to-weight ratio — peanut butter, cashews, macadamia nuts, raisins, marshmallows, maple syrup, energy bars, flaxseed cookies, cheese curls and summer sausage. He also took a bottle of multi-vitamins.

“I didn’t bring any ‘hiking food’ — I didn’t do any freeze dried or anything like that,” said Nicholson, who stocked his portable pantry at Winco.

I would have carried some dehydrated food and a stove. I think it would be lighter, plus I like the ritual of a cooked evening meal. Winco is an awesome place to shop for hiking. They sometimes even have freeze dried backpacking food. Not that I eat that stuff.

About halfway he stopped for a few days to rest a sore knee and infected ankle before walking out. I think hiking poles would have helped. But I could never have walked in the Crater Lake Lodge and not ordered food. The lodge is on the trail. It has really good food too!

It is well worth reading the entire article.

Do Not Buy Food From China.
Tainted milk this time.
BEIJING - Chinese investigators have uncovered more dairy products laced with a toxic chemical, state media reported Tuesday, as investigators included exported goods in an expanding probe triggered by the deaths of two infants who drank tainted baby formula.

Their food supply is worse than ours!

Monday, September 15, 2008

No Honor

Deception is all McCain has left. Obama's newest ad.
Faster Than Thought
Arctic melting is moving right along.
But the minimum amount of ice at summer's end this year will be near last year's total. In 2007, the extent of Arctic ice was 23 percent lower than the previous record in 2005. That 2007 total, which set a record, was 1.65 million square miles. As of Monday, satellite observations showed 1.78 million square miles.[...]
The cause of the ice loss is a combination of global warming from an increase of greenhouse gases and natural variations — winds that brought warm temperatures and blew ice to the Atlantic side, Overland said. If the cause was global warming alone, most scientists thought they wouldn't see this kind of ice loss for 30 years, he said.[...]
Two years ago, scientists didn't foresee major sea ice loss until 2050, but because of a combination of factors, "we're on a fast track," Overland said.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Full Moon!

My own full moon party at Koh Kut, originally uploaded by Bēn.

Full Moon

In Oregon
They do not flush their alligators down the toilet. They send them out hiking.

GRESHAM, Ore. (AP) — Turns out, there really was a large lizard roaming the area at the end of a Gresham hiking trail.

Gresham police for weeks had been hearing reports of the creature. On Friday they nabbed what turned out to be a three-foot alligator.

A couple hiking the Springwater Trail found their path blocked by the alligator and called 9-1-1.

Update: Pictures here.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Why Lie?
It works for republicans. A democrat does not have to lie for the media to call him a liar. See Al Gore 2000. The TV media with few exceptions will not call a republican a liar. The so called liberal New York Times will use every word but lie to describe what John "The Opportunist Liar" McCain does. The best a democrat can ever hope for is one on one with a republican liar.
Here is a good clip.

The democratic surrogate was allowed to talk to the republican surrogate with out interference from the host. Who was right? The host is not going to tell you. It is entertainment. Not news. Usually it is two or three republicans to every democrat.

Why in the clip above did the TV anchor not have an intern read the bill and say who was correct. The media says they do not want to pick side. Why not pick the truth? The media is here to entertain not inform. A large segment of the society actually wants to be informed. The media owners are pushing people to other sources.

John " The Opportunist Liar" McCain is going to keep doing this until all the media calls him a liar not just a few lefties.
But there's just something breathtaking about John McCain's 2008 campaign, and it's not just because he's running in part on his reputation for candor and integrity. We're talking about a candidate who's been lying about everything -- his record, his running mate, his opponent, his agenda, his past, and his policies. He'll lie, get caught, and then repeat the same lie. He'll lie, get caught, and then lie about lying. He'll lie about some things in which the truth was just as good, but lying came more naturally. And he seems to be lying more as the race unfolds.

There is no reason to believe he will be called on it by the sociopaths in the media.

Read this by Jameson Foser of Media Matters if you do not believe me.

If the lies are repeated and treated as the truth is why not lie?

Why is it that the ladies on the View can tell it like it is and CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, MSNBC, let John "the Opportunistic Liar" McCain lie again and again with saying he is lying.
More On The Lies
Ezra says:
if there were justice, or consistency, in electoral politics, than we'd have to admit something. John Kerry may have been a flip-flopper. But McCain is an opportunistic liar. And that's not a partisan judgment, there's simply no other way to interpret these facts.

Wheelchair Accessible
Near Killington Vermont the Green Mountain Club has rerouted the Appalachian Trail off the road and onto a sustainable wheelchair accessible trail. Good for them!

The boardwalk, which can be navigated with wheelchairs, is located at the foot of Thundering Falls. It descends from Thundering Brook Road through woods to the base of Thundering Falls, and then over the Ottauquechee River flood plain across 900 feet of boardwalk built by the Green Mountain Club.

Update: A better article about wheelchair accessibility on the Appalachian Trail.
Wheelchair accessible trails are usually sustainable. That is a good thing. More easily
maintainable, less erosion, genteeler grade.

Friday, September 12, 2008

McCain Is For Sex Predators

Really he believes sex predators should be allowed in you kids room unsupervised. Well, I made some of that up. After all if John McCain can lie so can I. A new ad by Planned Parenthood.
Liar Liar
Josh Marshall asks "How can we trust a liar a big as John McCain?"

I'm using the L-word. So that may come across as a slashing blog remark.

But let's slow down and look at the facts that are not being disputed. John McCain is telling lie after lie. Not off the cuff remarks that can be excused as accidents or flubs but the same lies consistently and many of them. Serial liars are never trustworthy people -- that is a truism. But it also demonstrates a deeper character flaw. A normal job applicant would be disregarded out of hand after such a record became clear.


Defenders of Wildlife's new ad about Sarah Palin's promotion of killing wolves from planes.
Update: Lindsay Beyerstein reports.
As governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin teamed up with lobbyist for the hunting industry to champion the aerial hunting of wolves an bears. In 2007, she spent $400,000 of taxpayer's money to propagandize the public about the benefits of shooting wildlife with air supremacy:

Very Sad
A couple was killed in a flash flood during a family outing.
ESCALANTE - Rain fell lightly on a slot canyon in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument on Wednesday afternoon, offering hikers there no warning of the raging flood waters that would moments later sweep them away.
The torrent of water overtook the hikers in the narrow canyon at 2:30 p.m. and, when it had passed, Kathy and Gordon Chapple, both 60, of Walnut Creek, Calif., were dead and two other family members injured in the Egypt trailhead area, said Garfield County spokeswoman Becki Bronson.
"Literally, it was a matter of minutes from the time it started raining to the time it began to flood," Bronson said.

My condolences to their friends and family.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Too Funny

Josh did a good job on this video. Sarah Palin is a liar. John McCain is a liar too. Neither can run on what they have done or what they will do because no one wants to live in a third world country. But that is what republican government is.

Here is Josh's colleague Kate Klonick on the earmarks.
According to Alaska's 2009 catalog of earmark requests the state's sea life are in great need of federal money. As Politico points out, Palin's office requested $2 million in federal monies to study crab mating habits; $494,900 for the recreational halibut harvest and $3.2 million for seal genetics research.

Those requests for the study of wildlife genetics and mating habits seems pretty antithetical to the long-standig views of Palin's running mate, John McCain.

"We're not going to spend $3 million of your tax dollars to study the DNA of bears in Montana," McCain said earlier this year, referring to a request from Montana for federal money to study the endangered grizzly bear. "I don't know if it was a paternity issue or criminal, but it was a waste of money."

They had no need to lie about Palin getting ear marks. It is a governors job to get as much federal money as they can. Why tell the truth when a couple of lies will do?

Oil Companies In Bed With The Government
It would be funny if this was from the Onion. Republican government is all about corporate profit, and the path of least resistance. But remember, the path of least resistance is why a river is crooked.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Interior Department employees who oversaw oil drilling on federal lands had sex and used illegal drugs with workers at energy companies where they were conducting official business, an internal government report said on Wednesday.

Employees at the department's Minerals Management Service "socialized with, and received a wide array of gifts and gratuities from, oil and gas companies," according to the department's inspector general, Earl Devaney.

It is really sad to watch republicans give this great country to their corporate masters profits.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

From PZ Myers who says, " I see nothing bit madness." A video of Sarah Palin's church of many years.

The song with the line " this world has nothing for us" is sung a few times. The line for me is particularly disturbing. Do you want someones finger on the button that can destroy the world, that does not believe the world is for them?

This is who the 72 year old cancer survivor wants to be a heart beat from the presidency.

Andrew Sullivan
McCain has demonstrated in the last two months that he does not have the character to be president of the United States. And that is why it is more important than ever to ensure that Barack Obama is the next president. The alternative is now unthinkable. And McCain - no one else - has proved it.

Josh Marshall
There's just no getting around it at this point, the man is not morally fit to serve as president.
Steve Benen
So, I'll just say this: John McCain has no business leading the greatest nation on earth.
UNFIT.... John McCain was presented with a choice: lose the election or lose his honor. As has become painfully clear, McCain chose the latter.

Brad DeLong
Nobody has any business voting for a sociopathic liar like John McCain.

Hold Your Heads Up
Bob Herbert tells it like it is.
Ignorance must really be bliss. How else, over so many years, could the G.O.P. get away with ridiculing all things liberal?

Troglodytes on the right are no respecters of reality. They say the most absurd things and hardly anyone calls them on it. Evolution? Don’t you believe it. Global warming? A figment of the liberal imagination.

Liberals have been so cowed by the pummeling they’ve taken from the right that they’ve tried to shed their own identity, calling themselves everything but liberal and hoping to pass conservative muster by presenting themselves as hyper-religious and lifelong lovers of rifles, handguns, whatever.

Read It all. No really read it all.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Not A Maverick

Just more of the same.
Melting in Switzerland has revealed an old hunter.
BERN (AFP) - Some 5,000 years ago a prehistoric person trod high up in what is now the Swiss Alps, wearing goat leather pants, leather shoes and armed with a bow and arrows.

The unremarkable journey through the Schnidejoch pass, a lofty trail 2,756 metres (9,000 feet) above sea level, has been a boon to scientists but it would never have emerged if climate change were not melting the nearby glacier.

So far, 300 objects dating as far back as the Neolithic or New Stone Age -- about 4,000 BC in Europe -- to the later Bronze and Iron Ages and the Medieval era have been found in the site's former icefields.

"We know now that the discoveries on Schnidejoch are the oldest of this kind ever made in the Alps," said Albert Hafner, an expert with the archaeology service in Bern canton.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Media Bias
Josh Marshall
The McCain campaign's ability to frame their message around a series of demonstrable lies is only possible because most of the press takes an agnostic position on whether his messages and ads are true or not. But if the press won't, don't we need to stop relying on the mainstream press to make that point? That's a very tall proposition. But this is a pattern we've seen cycle after cycle. Complaining about it only achieves a sort meaningless moral victory.

More Palin
Steve Benen
During her brief tenure in statewide office, Palin never demonstrated significant interest in federal issues. But more strikingly, she didn't seem especially engaged in state issues, either.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A hiker dies in New Hampshire.

A Massachusetts man on track to hike to the summits of the 100 tallest peaks in New England collapsed and died Saturday morning in the White Mountains, according to Fish and Game officials.

Charles Loring, 65, of Georgetown, Mass., had been hiking with two companions.

"Had he been successful, this would have been his 84th peak," said Fish and Game Lt. Todd Bogardus.

Loring's companions used a cell phone to make a 911 call just before noon on Saturday, reporting that a hiker had collapsed near an unnamed peak south of Haystack Mountain, which is also known as Nubble Mountain.

My condolences to his friends and family.

Sad To Hear
A hiker fell to his death near Mount Blanca, last week.
ALAMOSA - A search-and-rescue team retrieved the body of a 47-year-old Texas hiker Friday near 14,000-foot Blanca Peak.

Sheriff Dave Stong said he believed David Boyd of Houston may have incurred fatal injuries Wednesday when he fell 200 feet from a ridge that separates Blanca from Little Bear Peak, according to information from the man's GPS device.

Stong said a coroner's report on the manner and cause of death is pending.

Boyd used a help button on his GPS device to notify family members of his distress. They, in turn, contacted authorities.

My condolences to his friends and family.
McCain Is Not Stable

This is a video of Philip Butler, who was at the Naval Academy the same time as John McCain. He was also a prisoner of war with John McCain. He does not want McCain to be president. His essay here. A list of McCain's flip flops here.
Palin Is Not Green
John McCain's Vice presidential pick is in no way shape or form green. She is a global warming denier.
WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain's choice of a running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska , favors drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, questioned the science behind predictions of sea ice loss linked to global warming and opposed a state initiative that would have banned metal mines from discharging pollution into salmon streams.[...]

Earlier this month, the state of Alaska under Palin's guidance sued Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne in an attempt to reverse his decision to list polar bears as a threatened species. Palin said that scientists' predictions that global warming will eliminate the ice where the bears live in summer were unreliable.

Arctic sea ice shrank to a record low by the end of last summer, and satellites now show that the ice has been reduced to a level very close to last year's with some days remaining before a new winter season begins.

The Anchorage Daily News reported in May that the head of the marine mammals program for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and two other marine mammal biologists on his staff agreed with nine studies the federal government cited to justify listing polar bears as a threatened species.

She is in the hands of big oil. Just more of the same. But with big hair.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Missing Hiker
In Hawaii.
Rescue teams are searching for a 77-year-old Australian man, who was reported missing in Aiea today.

Police say Jon Parsons is an avid hiker, but may have gotten lost in the mountains above Kaonohi St.

He was last seen leaving his friend's house around 10 this morning and is still missing.

A police helicopter searched from the air, while others searched the hiking trails on foot.

Hopefully he will make it out OK
Update: Monday search crews will start looking in a new area based on a pig hunter's new information.

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Planet Is Fine

The people are f*ckd. George Carlin on global warming.
Via The Sietch Blog.
Missing Hiker
In the San Bernardino's of California.

Tony Jacquet was last seen Monday walking his dog Scamper on Valley of the Falls Drive in the Forest Falls area of the San Bernardino Mountains. Searchers combed the wilderness area Thursday with no sign of Jacquet. They went into the woods with bloodhounds hoping to pick up his trial.

Hopefully he will make it out OK.

Update: Sunday September 7, His body was found.

My condolences to his friends and family.

Greening The White House
Reuters has an article on which candidate is better for the environment. I will not quote the parts where the article says the are almost the same. I will not quote the lies about how John McCain is different from the other republicans. I will quote the last graph, the one about their actual voting record.
Contrasting with McCain's vice presidential pick, Obama's running mate is Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, whose rating by the League of Conservation Voters is identical to Obama's: both voted for the environment 67 percent of the time in 2007. McCain's rating by the league is zero for last year.

You have to be careful with the mainstream media. The answer partly in the article but not till the last graph. I think the biggest omission was the renewable energy tax credits votes this year. Obama and Biden voted for them all 8 times. McCain did not vote period all 8 times. Including the time it missed by one vote. So when McCain says he is for all energy sources he is lying. He is opposed to wind, solar, and geothermal.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Pints For Prostates
I'm thinking all right, beer is good for my prostate. But no, I am not that lucky. It is a cancer survivors way of getting the word out you need a prostate exam through the universal language of beer. However, I do not recommend walking into your local pub and buying a guy a pint and then suggesting a prostate exam. It might not go over so well.
Super Kill, Super Thrill

Defenders of Wildlife have just put out this ad about Sarah Palin and aerial hunting of wolves.
Via, Kate at Gristmill.
Ice Shelves Crumbling
National Geographic has a nice picture of the northern part of Ellesmere Island and the missing shelves. This will accelerate the melting on the island. Notice there is less white on Ellesmere Island on the 2008 picture. Melting sea ice does not raise ocean levels but land ice does.

Nearly 23 percent of the total area—more than three times the size of Manhattan—has disappeared since 2007, satellite images show (above).

In July the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf broke apart, followed by the surprise collapse in August of the Markham Ice Shelf, which is now adrift in the Arctic Ocean.

And the recently named Serson Ice Shelf has shrunk by 60 percent—an "incredible" loss, said Derek Mueller, the Roberta Bondar Fellow in Northern and Polar Studies at Trent University in Ontario.

Large swaths of open water surrounding the shelves near the northern coast of Ellesmere Island have allowed breathing room for the ice to disintegrate, Mueller told National Geographic News. (See map.)

"Highly unusual" temperatures, up to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) in some places, certainly aren't helping the situation, he added.

Its going get interesting.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Clean Coal My Ass

Their marketing people do not know what it is because there is no such thing as clean coal. But say it over and over and people will think there is such a thing.
Via MattY
Karl Metzer has fallen off pace to be the fastest to run the Appalachian Trail but if he picks up the pace....
"Karl has to average 60 miles a day from here out. There's no doubt in my mind he can do that if things go well. But it's a hard trip," Simpson said.

Follow his progress at whereskarl.com
I think it is a little too much for Speedgoat.
Missing Hiker
In Madera County California.

Madera County search and rescue teams Tuesday widened the hunt for a 71-year-old woman missing since Sunday, even as a Clovis man reported missing turned up safe Tuesday night.

Ruth Elaine Terry vanished Sunday while walking her dog near Wagner's Mammoth Pool Resort, about 50 miles from Bass Lake.

Tuesday, the search for Terry came up empty, although deputies were checking a call from someone who said he may have seen Terry's dog, Mopps, near North Fork, Stuart said.
Update: She was found alive and well. Good news.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Guye Peak

Guye Peak, originally uploaded by Ryan Hadley.

A hiker fell and died near Guye Peak.

A man hiking by himself fell to his death while hiking on Guye Peak near Snoqualmie Pass, said the King County Sheriff’s Office.

The wife of the 47-year-old Sammamish man called police Monday when he did not check in after his hike as he normally does, she said.

My condolences to his friends and family.
Sad To Hear
A young hiker fell to his death in Starved Rock State Park in Illinois.
Milos Hrsto was recovered and transported to Illinois Valley Community Hospital, Peru, where he was pronounced dead in the emergency room, according to La Salle County Coroner’s office.
My condolences to his friends and family.
Update: It looks like an accident.

Hrsto was hiking with a few family members to the upper trail of Pontiac Canyon when he and about three others in his party stepped off the marked trail about six to eight feet to venture to the canyon’s rim to look over the edge, said Sgt. Robert Frazier of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Conservation Police.

A family member told police Hrsto was leaning on a tree when the branch broke, which caused him to fall over the edge.

“The park adequately posted warning signs not to step off the trail,” Frazier said today. “We believe this was purely an accident and drugs and alcohol were not involved.”

A lady rowed from San Fransisco to Hawaii.

Savage, who set out from San Francisco on May 25 in an attempt to become the first woman to row alone across the Pacific Ocean, rowed before dawn through the choppy waters of Molokai Channel off Waikiki. After daylight she was met by supporters in a boat dispatched by the Waikiki Yacht Club.

The English-born Savage rowed the Atlantic Ocean in 2005, then spent two years in the cottage of a Woodside supporter while lining up sponsors for what is projected to be a three-part, 7,200-mile journey ending in Australia. She first set off in her customized 24-foot rowboat last year, but that launch foundered after 10 days.

Mighty lonely out there.

Besides food, a sea anchor and two laptop computers, Savage traveled with four iPods containing audio books - a diversion she didn't have on the Atlantic.

"I listened to 62 books," Savage said in a telephone call from her Waikiki hotel. "They passed the time and helped keep me sane."

Monday, September 01, 2008

Did not get any female ass for five and a half years in a Vietnamese prison camp so he picked Sarah Palin as his VP.

Via Libby at Newshoggers.
Her Palin observations at Detroit News.

The North West Passage
Is ice free, for the second year in a row. The melting ice is allowing the surrounding permafrost to release methane at a faster level than scientists previously thought. It will become a problem. Some say we may be at a tipping point. I believe we are past it.
The concern is that methane, unlike carbon dioxide can create a non-linear warming trend. That is very dangerous and could result in a 10-degree rise in temperature on a very short time scale, according to a Nature paper Wired Science covered in May. Others say that methane oxidizes in the atmosphere in seven to eight years and is not a long-lasting problem (CO2 lingers for almost a century). The bad news is that when methane oxidizes, it produces CO2.

When the land ice melts it is going to melt fast.