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Truth To Power

the strong do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must

Archive for December, 2006

I guess we invaded to get more dope.

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

Afghan heroin supply on rise across America

LOS ANGELES – The amount of high-quality heroin throughout America is surging because of an increasing supply from Afghanistan, and with it the fear that record-breaking poppy harvests after the U.S. invasion are fueling more addictions and overdose deaths back home.

Heroin-related deaths in Los Angeles County soared from 137 in 2002 to 282 in 2004 before dropping to 239 in 2005, still a jump of nearly 75 percent in three years, a period when other factors contributing to overdose deaths remained unchanged, experts said.

`The rise of heroin from Afghanistan is our biggest rising threat in the fight against narcotics,” said Orange County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino. “We are seeing more seizures and more overdoses.”

And even though it has nothing to do with the story, here’s my favorite picture of Keith:

keithpatience.jpg

Indeed.

Gerald Ford

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

When a former President dies, you respect the office even if you don’t give a bucket of warm spit about the person. Although I suspect most of us won’t be able to do so when King George slithers into his final resting place, as he’s so corrupted the notion of a President, but I digress.

Gerald Ford died. All of the accounts about him praise how he led the nation after Watergate, and how he was an “able statesman”. Me? I remember a few things:

He pardoned Nixon.

He vetoed the Freedom of Information Act. Thankfully Congress overrode his stupid ass.

He and death angel Kissinger approved the invasion of East Timor, where 30% of the population were slaughtered.

The office of the president, I respect. Gerald Ford? Rot in hell along with Tricky Dick, and save a bowlful of worms for Henry Kissinger. He’ll be along soon enough.

M83

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

m83.jpg

Ever wonder what Pink Floyd would sound like – if they were really paranoid?

M83, Before the Dawn Heals Us. Amazing stuff.

A few words on James Brown

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

Here.

20 months for sound warfare

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

Woman gets 20-months for loud music

TOKYO – A Japanese woman charged with inflicting injury on her neighbor by blasting rock music at her house for more than two years was given a 20-month prison term Tuesday, a court official said.

Miyoko Kawahara, 59, was sentenced by the Osaka High Court, revoking an initial ruling that had given her a one-year prison term, court spokesman Takanao Kawasaki said.

Kawahara in Heguri, Nara Prefecture (state) in western Japan, was accused of causing insomnia and headaches to her next-door neighbor by playing loud dance music almost 24 hours a day on a portable stereo she had pointed at her neighbor’s house, 20 feet away.

When I lived in the farm, we had an upstairs roommate who blasted dance music from the time he got home from work until he left to hit Limelight. Wish I knew then that I could have had him arrested!

Where did Lohachara island go?

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island

For the first time, an inhabited island has disappeared beneath rising seas.

Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India’s part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.

And whats this?

U.S. wants polar bears listed as “endangered”: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President George W. Bush’s administration is proposing to list the polar bear as an endangered species because of warming temperatures in the animal’s habitat, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

Oh my. This might mean that Al Gore was…right?

From Ted Rall

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

Earlier this year I contemplated filing a lawsuit for slander and libel against columnist Ann Coulter in order to hold her accountable for her verbal and written statements to the effect that I had entered Iran’s contest for cartoons about (presumably denying/mocking) the Holocaust. These statements, though false, prompted people ignorant of Coulter’s long history of publishing lies to believe that I was anti-Semitic. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I wanted the chance to set the record straight in court.

One needs to have two things on one’s side to win a lawsuit: money and the law. Toward the first end I reached out to readers outraged by Coulter’s malicious smears against me and others whose only crime is criticizing the Bush Administration. They–you–didn’t let me down. I obtained serious pledge commitments (I asked readers not to send the actual money until and unless I filed a suit) sufficient to make fighting a suit against a moneyed defendant like Coulter feasible.

Because I am opposed to burdening the legal system with vanity litigation, I decided that I would only sue if I had an excellent chance to win. Therefore I asked my attorneys to exhaustively research case precedents relative to slander and libel in New York State and under federal law. Months of research have forced me to conclude that, though a lawsuit against Coulter would certainly withstand initial challenges and motions to dismiss and might ultimately prevail through verdicts and subsequent appeals, the road ahead is too uncertain to justify spending thousands of dollars of pledges, not to mention my own money.

Unlike Bush, I don’t enter into battles I’m not certain of winning.

More than ever, I believe that Coulter’s attempts to assassinate my character are illegal as well a reprehensible. Unfortunately, she may have sufficiently muddied the waters with her toxic brand of commentary that she might be able to avoid a judgment against her by claiming First Amendment protection as a satirist. If Ann Coulter tells a joke, does anyone laugh? If not, is it a joke?

The interesting legal conundrum for Coulter is that she would have had to testify either that (a) she intended her audience to believe I had entered the Iranian cartoon contest or (b) it was just a joke. She couldn’t cop to (a) without getting smacked with a libel and/or slander judgment. If she claimed (b), however, she’d be admitting that she is not, as she presents herself on Fox and other TV networks, a serious political analyst, but rather a comedienne–or attempted one, anyway. It would have brought her ill-begotten career as a talking head, if not to a crashing halt, to a stall. So which is it, Ann? Are you a pundit or a comic? I regret that I’m not going to get to watch her figure that one out at a deposition.

So there’s not going to be a Rall v. Coulter–at least not now. Look at the bright side, though–she could still go down for possible vote fraud!

Thank you for your support and best wishes for a peaceful and prosperous 2007,
Ted

More here.

JB, RIP

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

jb.bmp

More to come.

Teddy Bear filmmakers can return to school

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

Judge: Let ‘teddy bear’ students return

KNIGHTSTOWN, Ind. – Making a movie in which evil teddy bears attack a teacher got two budding filmmakers expelled from their high school, but a federal judge says it was the school that was wrong.

However, the judge said the boys should apologize.

…The boys worked on the movie “The Teddy Bear Master” from fall 2005 through summer 2006. It depicts a “teddy bear master” ordering stuffed animals to kill a teacher who had embarrassed him, but students battle the toy beasts, according to documents filed in court.

If they play it right, this is a ticket to Tinseltown. Kudos, kids!

Ho Ho Ho…We’re broke

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

And by “we” I mean the entire country:

The US is insolvent. There is simply no way for our national bills to be paid under current levels of taxation and promised benefits. Our combined federal deficits now total more than 400% of GDP.

That is the conclusion of a recent Treasury/OMB report entitled Financial Report of the United States Government that was quietly slipped out on a Friday (12/15/06), deep in the holiday season, with little fanfare.

So, in the words of King George, go shopping.