Daily Archives: February 6, 2007

Tuesdays at the Rapture

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is this the Anti-Christ?
I just have this feeling that the Anti-Christ is here.
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click on image to enlarge (may have to wait a few seconds)

I thought I saw him on TV at the SuperBowl, but with the rain and all, it was hard to be sure. Did anyone else see him? look at the hairy guy in the Bird 33 jersey….IS IT HIM?

Oh, the Rapture Index? Not a frickin twitch this week…steady at 161….

Category of the week:

20. Tribulation Temple (scoring only a 2, for “lack of activity”}:

(2 Thes.2:3-4),(Dan.9:27) If the Antichrist will sit in God’s temple,
it is logical to conclude the temple must be rebuilt. Daniel foretold
that he will also stop the daily sacrifice.

As Jessica Simpson would say, “I got no idea what that means, but I want it.”

Don’t give up on us here at Rapture Tuesdays, just because the index isn’t goin anywhere….if you don’t come back, we would definitely feel left behind.

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Filed under gadgets, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Humor, religion, Uncategorized

Joe Lieberman hits on a plan that would definitely end the war

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Sen. Joseph Lieberman said on Tuesday that Congress should consider a tax to fund the U.S.-declared war on terrorism and reduce the need to cut domestic programs to pay for security spending.

A former Democrat who supports the Iraq war and backs President George W. Bush’s plan to send 21,500 additional troops to Iraq, Lieberman said the proposed increase in the Pentagon’s budget for next fiscal year will squeeze funding for critical domestic programs. “I think we have to start thinking about a war on terrorism tax,” the independent Connecticut lawmaker said.

I can’t think of a better way to convince Americans once and for all to get out of Iraq.
Count me in, Joe !!

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, John McCain for president of Del Boca Vista, Middle East, Politics

Ted Haggard HEALED !

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Photo array courtesy of Colorado Springs vice squad

The Rev. Ted Haggard emerged from three weeks of intensive counseling convinced he is “completely heterosexual” and told an oversight board that his sexual contact with men was limited to his accuser.That is according to one of the disgraced pastor’s overseers, who on Monday revealed new details about where Haggard has been and where he is headed.The Rev. Tim Ralph of Larkspur also said the four-man oversight board strongly urged Haggard to go into secular work instead of Christian ministry if Haggard and his wife follow through on plans to earn master’s degrees in psychology.

Haggard broke a three-month silence in e-mails over the weekend to select members of his former church. New Life Church interim senior pastor Ross Parsley forwarded Haggard’s message to the wider church body Monday.

In the message, Haggard revealed that he and his wife, Gayle, intend to leave Colorado Springs and pursue master’s degrees through online courses.

Haggard mentioned Missouri and Iowa as possible destinations. Another oversight board member, the Rev. Mike Ware of Westminster, said the group recommended the move out of town, and the Haggards agreed.

“This is a good place for Ted,” Ware said. “It’s hard to heal in Colorado Springs right now. It’s like an open wound. He needs to get somewhere he can get the wound healed.”
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Bravo, Ted; now just work on the lying and the drug use. See ya. Oh, and I get the Colorado Springs thing. I’d be scared too. Those people aren’t very ….what’s the word? charitable? forgiving? homophilic? gentle when they beat up queers, frauds and hypocrits?

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Filed under George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, healthcare, Politics, religion

National Review Online uses “the C-word” to describe Valerie Plame

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I guess these are desperate times for the National Review Online, for Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, and their gang of liars. But this is over the line. The C-word ?!

from Glenn Greenwald:

The sheer hatred directed at Valerie Plame by Bush followers has always been intense, extreme, and deeply personal — even when assessed within the context of their standard operating procedure of despising any government employee, civil servant, and especially any military or intelligence professional who is perceived to have done something politically harmful to the Leader (the textbook case for that were the immediate threats of criminal prosecution directed at former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill after he criticized the Leader upon resigning his position). But for reasons best left to the field of psychology rather than political science, many of them harbor a special, particularly deranged and particularly irrational hatred for Valerie Plame.

The NRO: bastion of bullshit and Sunday school pretenders.

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, internet, Iran, Iraq, John McCain for president of Del Boca Vista, Middle East, Politics

The US vs. Iran: The United Nations charter, article 51:self defense

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While some still doubt that the US will attack Iran, everyone agrees that what we are seeing is at least a damned good imitation. The Iranians themselves have now requested that the US submit any evidence of Iranian wrongdoing. So it seems appropriate to compile the relevant documents and follow the course of events at least a couple times a week.

Buscheney, unhampered by ethics, sanity, history, the Constitution, the law, and the sense of the public, are certainly not going to abide by the United Nations charter regarding Iran, any more than they did when they went to war against Iraq. But here is a good discussion. In reading this, keep in mind that the recent US barrage of claims against Iran (and hostile acts) seem to be based on the rationale that Iran is, in various ways, providing material support for attacks on our troops.

Under the UN Charter, there are only two circumstances in which the use of force is permissible: in collective or individual self-defense against an actual or imminent armed attack [article 51]; and when the Security Council has directed or authorized use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security [article 42].

Self-Defense

Article 51 of the UN Charter recognizes the inherent right of self-defense. It states:

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Under Article 51, the triggering condition for the exercise of self-defense is the occurrence of an armed attack (“if an armed attack occurs“). Notwithstanding the literal meaning of that language, some, though not all, authorities interpret Article 51 to permit anticipatory self-defense in response to an imminent attack. A generally recognized guide to the conditions for anticipatory self-defense is Daniel Webster’s statement regarding the Caroline affair of 1837: Self-defense is justified only when the necessity for action is “instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation.” (Letter from Daniel Webster, Secretary of State, to Lord Ashburton, August 6, 1842, reprinted in 2 John Bassett Moore, A Digest of International Law 409, 412 (1906)). A modern version of this approach is found in Oppenheim’s International Law: Ninth Edition, 1991, p. 412 (emphasis added):

The development of the law, particularly in the light of more recent state practice, in the 150 years since the Caroline incident suggests that action, even if it involves the use of armed force and the violation of another state’s territory, can be justified as self defence under international law where

  1. an armed attack is launched, or is immediately threatened, against a state’s territory or forces (and probably its nationals);
  2. there is an urgent necessity for defensive action against that attack;
  3. there is no practicable alternative to action in self-defence, and in particular another state or other authority which has the legal powers to stop or prevent the infringement does not, or cannot, use them to that effect;
  4. the action taken by way of self-defence is limited to what is necessary to stop or prevent the infringement, i.e. to the needs of defence…

Now, what little I can add to this discussion is mostly related to the cowboy/”close enough”/”we don’t need no steenkeeng badges” mentality of Buscheney and their monarchical justifier David Addington. Basically, they don’t care whether or not the standard of the charter is met. They just want to be able to make some gesture, something that can be seized upon by Rush Limbaugh, Bill Kristol, Michael Ledeen, Bill O’Reilly, John Gibson, Charles Krauthammer, and the rest of the 24 hour propaganda team and spit out as “we tried it their way…”, “they (the UN) don’t follow their own rules”, “it was self defense”, etc etc.
Now, this self defense line rationalization has run into a bit of reality, as Iran is demanding to see the evidence of its interference in Iraq:

Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad, Hassan Kazemi Qomi on Tuesday called on US to submit to the Iraqi government any available document that may prove Iran’s interference in the country’s affairs not included in Iran-Iraq agreement, rather than raising empty charges against Iranians.In an exclusive interview with IRNA reporter, he severely denied the US accusations that Iranian forces are involved in illegal activities in Iraq before noon on Sunday.

The Iranian ambassador to Iraq said that the charges raised by US officials against Iran on various pretexts mainly aim to avoid the situation in which they are currently involved in Iraq,” he added.

Kazemi Qomi called on Iraqi officials to investigate the issue more closely and seek the cause of the country’s domestic problems.

“The question is whether charging a foreign country and introducing it as culprit will solve the problems facing Iraq or should they look for the origin of the issue,” he added.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has decided that the compiled evidence is BS, so far. …a major setback for the mad bombers. And, the National Intelligence estimate seems to pooh-pooh any major Iranian role in the Iraq war, stating that “outside actors” such as Iran and Syria are “not likely to be a major driver of violence or the prospects for stability” in Iraq.

But the neocons will be back…”new intelligence…” And so will I.

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Iraq, John McCain for president of Del Boca Vista, Middle East, Politics

Microsoft researcher/sailor goes missing at sea; you can join the satellite photo search

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Jim Gray
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James Gray, 63, a Microsoft researcher and winner of the prestigious Turing Award, failed to return home from a sailing trip on Sunday, January 28.

He left from San Francisco Bay aboard a 40-foot sailing boat, and had intended to scatter his mother’s ashes at the nearby Farallon Islands.

Several days of intensive searching by the US Coast Guard and private planes revealed no sign of Dr Gray or his boat, so desperate friends and colleagues turned to the internet for help.

On Friday, engineers from NASA, online retailer Amazon and technology companies such as Google and Microsoft organised a satellite and high-altitude aircraft to photograph the area where he was believed to be located.

The photographs were then split into smaller tiles and uploaded to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk website, allowing virtually anyone to take part in the search effort.

The odd thing here is that no trace of Gray or his boat has been found, in spite of the best possible search and weather.

the Coast Guard searched for him across 40,000 square miles of ocean, calling off the search on Feb. 1. The route to the Farallons is straightforward; I’ve sailed it twice. It follows the commercial shipping channel, marked by buoys, for about half the distance. As you reach the area where the container ships and other commercial vessels take on their San Francisco Bay pilots to guide them through the Golden Gate, you have another 13 to 14 nautical miles to traverse, but as you leave the shoreline behind, there’s only an hour or two of open water before the Farallon Islands appear in front of you.

Experienced sailors are asking: Did the greatest calamity that can befall a single-handed sailing vessel occur? That is, did the skipper fall overboard and his boat sail away from him before he could get ahold on it? Single-handers typically wear a harness that keeps them linked to the boat, even if pitched overboard. Besides, we’re asking, where’s the boat? There are almost always ships within the 22- to 23-mile range that a radio distress signal carries, and no such signal was reported from any quarter. He also carried a beacon that would activate automatically if the boat sank. No beacon signals were picked up.

The weather was clear, the winds were light, the waves 4 to 5 feet high, according to reports. With Gray’s 40-foot boat, Tenacious, these conditions should not have presented a big challenge.

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The Mechanical Turk site is pretty cool, and worth a visit. I hope someone will find Gray, a brilliant and productive researcher.

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Romanesco: the fractal vegetable

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Romanesco

(h/t to Anne Julia Wyman)

There are several definitions of fractals, but to me, fractals are the patterns created by cells which all have the same rules for replication. This crazy vegetable Romanesco seems to have that quality. It is about the size of a cabbage, has the texture more or less of cauliflower, but more flavor, and it really looks appealing on the plate.

Romanesco … is a member of the species Brassica oleracea L., which includes cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collard greens, kohlrabi, and numerous other “cultivars” (cultivated variations). Plant species are broader and more diverse than those of animals. All of these plants, notwithstanding their gross morphological differences, can and have been crossed, resulting in such innovations as broccolini (a cross of Chinese kale and broccoli) and broccoflower (a cross of broccoli and cauliflower which superficially resembles Romanesco but lacks its near perfect self-similar fractal form).
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Romanesco’ is increasing in popularity. Eat raw and with dips to retain its crunchy sweet taste, and containing more beneficial health properties than a white cauliflower. Can also be stemed as a cooked vegetable.
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