Monthly Archives: October 2007

No county fire department in San Diego

NY Times:

San Diego County, the largest county in California without a fire department, relies on a hodgepodge of local departments that are almost all serving areas where populations are growing faster than their tax bases, and which are often low on money among a constituency that is generally allergic to taxes.


Filed under economics, FEMA/Homeland Security, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, global warming/environment

Great Lakes shrinking; climate change hits water levels, shipping

It doesn’t snow much in the upper Midwest in recent winters. Ski resorts are suffering. and so are the Great Lakes.

NY Times

Most environmental researchers say that low precipitation, mild winters and high evaporation, due largely to a lack of heavy ice covers to shield cold lake waters from the warmer air above, are depleting the lakes. The Great Lakes follow a natural cycle, their levels rising in the spring, peaking in the summer and reaching a low in the winter, as the evaporation rate rises.

In the past two years, evaporation has been higher than average, and not enough rain and snow have fallen in the upper lakes — Superior, Michigan and Huron — which supply water to the lower lakes, to restore the system to its normal levels, said Keith Kompoltowicz, a meteorologist at the Corps of Engineers’ office in Detroit, which monitors water levels in the lakes. “Mother Nature is largely the driving force on what the water levels are, and it plays a large role in what we project water levels to be,” Mr. Kompoltowicz said.

Leave a comment

Filed under Al Gore, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, global warming/environment

Who’s lying about air assault on ghetto by occupiers?

Washington Post has these accounts of US attack on Sadr City, in Baghdad. Think Warsaw, 1941:

U.S. Reports 49 Fighters Dead in Sadr City Raid; Residents, Officials Say Victims Are All Civilians

The U.S. military said its troops killed 49 fighters in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood, one of the highest death tolls for a military operation since President Bush declared an end to active combat in 2003.

,,,Iraqi officials and residents of the vast Shiite enclave, loyal to powerful anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, said 13 people were killed and all of the victims were innocent civilians, including children. They warned that the attack could lead Sadr to rescind a suspension of his militia’s operations.


According to the military, U.S. troops entered the neighborhood at 4 a.m. to target a militia chief responsible for an extensive Iranian-backed kidnapping ring. His name was not released.

Gunmen then began firing automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at the U.S. troops, the military said. It said ground forces returned fire, killing 33 fighters, then called in helicopter gunships, which killed six more.

As U.S. soldiers left the neighborhood at 7 a.m., they struck a roadside bomb but continued returning fire, killing 10 more, the military said. The target of the raid was not captured, and no U.S. troops were injured, military officials said.

But Sadr City residents and Iraqi officials said the only victims were civilians — whom they described as 13 dead and 52 injured.

“I have seen the dead children,” said Abu Zahara, an official in the local Sadr office. “We are a peaceful people. We are just sitting in our homes. We don’t want anything to do with the Americans. Just leave us alone.”

He said among the dead were a woman and four children, including a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy. Their 1-year-old brother was seriously wounded, he said.

“Why are the American soldiers fighting women and children?” said Abu Hawra, a local religious leader. “The American occupation forces started bombing the city for no reason.”

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that the government would investigate the raid and that coordination between U.S. and Iraqi forces was necessary to prevent such “woeful incidents.”

Salah al-Obeidi, a spokesman for Sadr in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, called the raid a “barbaric action” and a “crime” that should lead to criminal charges. He said no one in Sadr City attacked the Americans because Sadr in August had ordered his powerful militia, the Mahdi Army, to stop all fighting for six months.

Obeidi said Sadr’s order remained in effect. But several of his followers in Sadr City said they expected the attack to increase pressure on him to lift the order.

Mohammed Chaloub, 38, who works in the Interior Ministry, said he watched the raid from his roof and saw the damage it left: a bombed-out primary school, several destroyed shops and 18 burned cars. U.S. gunfire prevented firefighting vehicles from reaching the area, he said.

He said Sadr City residents were furious at the U.S. troops. “If you woke up in the morning and saw your entire family killed and your house burned out, what would your reaction be?” he said. “Nobody would accept that.”

You tell me; who’s lying?

Leave a comment

Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, Fred Kagan:an idiot running a war, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Politics

You want some hypocrisy? we got some for ya, but it may be a lot more than you wanted

Dick Cheney:

In all your discussions, and in all that lies ahead, you can be certain that our country will stay engaged in the Middle East, making the hard choices and providing the kind of leadership that makes this world a better place. We accept that responsibility for the sake of our own security and in service to our founding ideals. And as long as America continues to lead — steady in the face of the adversaries and firm in the defense of freedom — this young century will be a time of rising hopes, and of advancing peace.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Countdown to attack on Iran, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, Fred Kagan:an idiot running a war, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Politics

Wildfires and global warming


“As the spring is arriving earlier because of warming conditions, the snow on these high mountain areas is melting and running off. So the logs and the branches and the tree needles all can dry out more quickly and have a longer time period to be dry. And so there’s a longer time period and opportunity for fires to start,” Swetnam says

“The spring comes earlier, so the fire season is just longer,” Pelley remarks.

“That’s right. The fire season in the last 15 years or so has increased more than two months over the whole Western U.S. So actually 78 days of average longer fire season in the last 15 years compared to the previous 15 or 20 years,” Swetnam says.

Swetnam says that climate change — global warming — has increased temperatures in the West about one degree and that has caused four times more fires. Swetnam and his colleagues published those findings in the journal “Science,” and the world’s leading researchers on climate change have endorsed their conclusions.

But what was news to the scientists is something Tom Boatner has noticed for about ten years now. “This kind of low brush would normally be really moist and actually be a fairly good barrier to fire. But as I look at this I just see wilted leaves everywhere. There’s no moisture left in them. They’re dead,” he points out.

Leave a comment

Filed under Al Gore, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, global warming/environment, Politics, Republican politicians: are any of them normal

Book recommend: How Would a Patriot Act, by Glenn Greenwald.

Not just a great blogger, but a great mind and a great writer, Glenn Greenwald deserves wide attention from all points along the political spectrum.

From the preface:

Over the past five years, a creeping extremism has taken hold of our federal government, and it is threatening to radically alter our system of government and who we are as a nation. This extremism is neither conservative nor liberal in nature, but is instead driven by theories of unlimited presidential power that are wholly alien, and antithetical to the core political values that have governed this country since its founding.

1 Comment

Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, blogging, Congress, Countdown to attack on Iran, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, FEMA/Homeland Security, Fred Kagan:an idiot running a war, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Hillary Clinton:what does she stand for?, Iran, Iraq, Karl Rove:Bush's brain or Bush's as'hole?, Middle East, Mitt Romney: double guantanamo, Politics, public corruption, Republican politicians: are any of them normal, Rudy Giuliani: NYC doesn't even like him, Somalia

Trader Joe’s says no to “organic” Chinese products


Trader Joe’s, the hip, wholesome food store with 15 locations in the Chicago area, said Friday it will phase out foods imported from China amid concerns that standards on “organic” products from the country aren’t as stringent as they should be.

Alison Mochizuki, spokeswoman for the Monrovia, Calif.-based grocer, e-mailed a statement saying the grocer will phase out single-ingredient products from mainland China by Jan. 1.

The change apparently does not affect products containing multiple ingredients, of which some may be from China. Mochizuki declined to comment further.

Whole Foods has no plans to stop selling single-ingredient products from China, which make up “a very small percentage” of the grocer’s private label products, spokeswoman Kate Klotz said in a prepared statement.

Leave a comment

Filed under economics, food/drink, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, global warming/environment, healthcare

Jay Rockefeller, closet Republican


Joe Lieberman, Steny Hoyer, Diane Feinstein….these are the Senators who have betrayed the country, pretending to be Democrats, while supporting the greed and kill philosophy of the GOP of Karl Rove and George W. Bush. Now we can add Jay Rockefeller to the list.

When the history books pillory the Republicans for their assault on civil liberties in the post-9/11 era, they should put a little asterisk next to “Republicans”–in memory of Democrat Jay Rockefeller.

In his role first as ranking member and now as chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Rockefeller has been run over, bypassed, steamrolled and otherwise hoodwinked by the White House on so many occasions that he’s become something of a laughingstock among civil libertarians–at least among the more charitable of them. Whether he was antagonistic to civil liberties or simply ineffectual will be another question for the historians.

The latest surrender has come on the FISA bill, where the Senate version (.pdf) that emerged from a closed hearing last night included, to no one’s surprise, retroactive immunity for the telecommunications companies who cooperated with the President’s warrantless surveillance program. (In the years before the program was revealed by The New York Times, Rockefeller’s opposition to it consisted of fretting to the Vice President in a hand-written letter.)

“Political” contributions to Rockefeller from the telecom industry have gone from zero to large in the last year.  He’s a disgrace.

1 Comment

Filed under Alberto Gonzales:boob or simpleton-you decide, Congress, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Karl Rove:Bush's brain or Bush's as'hole?, Politics, public corruption, Republican politicians: are any of them normal, Steny Hoyer: isn't he really a Republican?

Baseball: LA Dodgers, a team on the cusp

The Dodgers covered a transitional year with several aging hulks and never was’s. They have a great young nucleus of players and several more in the pipeline. Now is the time to ax the Kents, Nomars, Gonzales’, and Pierres (maybe they can get one decent pitcher in exchange) and resist the temptation to bring in fence-buster (but also franchise-buster) A-Rod. If they figure out this simple strategy and give Clayton Kershaw another year to figure it out (he’s one year out of high school), they could challenge the Rockies in 2009 (maybe sooner).

Unfortunately, I don’t think that anyone who pays Juan Pierre 8 million bucks has got the brains to do it.  I hear they’re thinking about switching him to left field.  That would be interesting; the first left fielder in major league history to have zero home runs in a season.

Too bad.

1 Comment

Filed under baseball

Gore’s team responds to British “verdict” on An Inconvenient Truth. UPDATED.

Washington Post:

read it. The Gore team decided to take a rather “forest” view instead of “trees;” that is consistent with Gore’s non-confrontational approach. I think they could have refuted in somewhat more detail. For example, the idea that polar bears drowned because of a storm. Well, they have storms there all the time; the issue was that the bears were too far from their ice, because the ice is melting, and couldn’t get back to safety.

but who am I?

UPDATE: for a rather complete discussion, see RealClimate.

Leave a comment

Filed under Al Gore, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, global warming/environment, media, Movies