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Has she washed her ear? 30 June 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
61 comments

elephant trunk, bigger than mites, guppies or grains of rice
What can I say, I wanted something bigger than mites, guppies or grains of rice.

“He looked at me, and the look in his eyes was worth 1,000 words,” said Mack, now a regional field organizer. Obama hugged her and whispered something in her ear – she was so thrilled she doesn’t remember what it was. [Sacramento Bee]

hmm maybe if she writes the campaign and asks, they immortalise his secret words, written out in full on grains of rice… she can order one and keep it in her ear. She’ll be warm in winter and cool in summer. The grain of rice will speak to her, help her when she needs comfort. And love. (Oh please it is almost that bad.)

Arthur Silber takes a look at Obama-mites. Or, are they guppies?? (My mother confessed years later, she always let some slide down the drain.)

Among the horrors of the twentieth century were several notable leaders who initiated events that led to slaughter and destruction on an ungraspably monumental scale. These charismatic leaders evoked a response from their followers almost identical to that called forth by Obama. These leaders specialized in “personal stories of political conversion.” Doesn’t anyone see the connection? Doesn’t anyone remember any of this?

By now I am unsure it matters… what is in motion is moving fast. If people were labeled racist for not voting for him, and they were and are with a big broad brush, can you imagine complaining about St Pretzeldent? Quiick as a wink, the faithful will be exhorted to help him again at the mid-terms. Then, the argument will be re-election. He needs you. I keep saying, people should have their Jesus.

In a related vein, I noticed this

“At first I thought it was just this random thing with Blogger’s spam bots,” she told me in a phone interview. “I thought that perhaps in their looking across the blogger universe, that I got accidentally flagged somehow. Stuff like that happens.”

But a short time later Snedeker received an email from another blogger claiming that a number of anti-Obama blogs had been “hacked” that same night. After some digging it became apparent that several Blogspot accounts had been shut down because of similar spam issues, and nearly all of them had three things in common: Most were pro-Hillary Clinton blogs, all were anti-Barack Obama, and several were listed on justsaynodeal.com, an anti-Obama website.

Let freedom ring. Try to remember I was not and am not for any of the party’s offerings. All were overcooked, burnt beyond recognition. As for the blogger spasm, who knows. Other than the above I did not bother to poke around.

One blogger I am in contact with was shut out of Typepad (someone, a local Democratic elected official, claimed to have been outed thru her own blog being linked to, Typepad took the part of the aggrieved and demanded he remove her name, and in effect, never name anyone at his site, things declined, what a shock), after his local Democratic organization, of which he was a part, shunned him. They had endorsed Obama, he tried to keep his blog, and himself, officially non-aligned during the primary.. He had two FPers who were for Obama, but would discuss criticism of Ob. He was harrassed at the blog, in threads, and by email. Obama supporters complained he did not attend enough Obama events. His tires were slashed. Hard to say by whom.

My sense is this run let just as much thugdom run free as any other campaign. Spit shine that “new” and “different” button. Maybe Obama’s Holy Water is extra special blooooo.

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We have 1400 fires in the state – most of them in Northern California, not that many structures and homes burned, but masses of acreage. Last night and even into this am, I thought I would have to shut down for a while… too much to deal with, along with the smoke. And remember I am about as well positioned in terms of the fires, as I could be… a chance for breeze in every direction. No near by fires. By one pm today, things were lightening and brightening. So, we shall see… ;)

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Closer to god… 29 June 2008

Posted by marisacat in California / Pacific Coast, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, San Francisco, WAR!.
109 comments

… and not interested in selling us any bibles.

Condor 72, photo from 2002

Steven Mull was only feet away from this California Condor, bird number 72, a male born on April 12, 2002, as it perched near the Lookout Studio on the South Rim at Grand Canyon Village.

Fewer than two dozen California Condors (Gymnogyps californianus) remained when the last wild individuals were captured in 1987 for captive breeding. [Read more about California Condors and the efforts being made to save the species.] They have since been reintroduced into Grand Canyon National Park and remote areas of California. [Birder’s World]

So many mixed messages about the fires in Big Sur… the first article I landed on and linked to yesterday, seemed hopeful, maybe too hopeful (that the tourists scheduled for 3 weeks from today don’t cancel in a hurry, I guess) as soon after I posted it, I read containment there was at 3%. A few hours later on the evening news, they reported 80% containment.

Here is the answer, too many effing fires to count:

A lightning-sparked wildfire in the Big Sur region of the Los Padres National Forest has burned 42 square miles and destroyed 16 homes. The blaze, which was only 3 percent contained, has forced the closure of a 12-mile stretch of coastal Highway 1 and driven away visitors at the peak of the tourist season.

Farther south in the forest, a wildfire that started three weeks ago has scorched 92 square miles of remote wilderness. It was 80 percent contained Saturday.

11 pm news says the fires have merged.

“This is not going away anytime soon,” said Mark Savage, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service.

^^^

It’s not fog.

6/26/08 SF in the haze

Haze from a series of wildfires covers the San Francisco skyline on Wednesday, June 25, 2008. Fire crews from Nevada and Oregon have arrived to help California firefighters battle hundreds of blazes that are darkening the sky over the San Francisco Bay area and Central Valley, leading public health officials to issue air-quality warnings. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Something’s wrong as the air just got worse in SF at around 7pm Saturday… as we should have (they promised us! waa waa) a front of moist cool air moving in from the ocean. Maybe it went to Vegas to gamble. Or, DC to lose its mind and pad its pockets.

What we have none of, MO is awash

As river rushes into Mo. town, residents file out

WINFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A makeshift barrier holding back the Mississippi River failed early Saturday, swamping the low-lying part of the small community of Winfield and ending a valiant but ultimately doomed battle against the surging river.

“I figured it was a long shot,” said Jan Fox, 50, who finally left her mobile home Friday night when her power went out. She called the show of support overwhelming.

“It was wonderful, all the people who came, the sandbaggers, the military,” she said.

Around town Saturday, gratitude for the last-ditch effort was mixed with a feeling of resignation. Many were ready to move forward.

“It was a valiant effort,” said Chris Azar of the Winfield-Foley Fire Department. “It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t do more, but Mother Nature won. Now, just give it time for the water to recede.”

Across the central part of the state, the Missouri River, which joins the Mississippi near St. Louis, is rising because of heavy rain that fell on Thursday and early Friday. The National Weather Service predicts moderate flooding in parts of mid-Missouri by Monday.

While Winfield lost the battle to save its levee, some Missouri towns have apparently weathered the threat.

The levee held at Alexandria, a tiny town near the Iowa state line, and water is receding, allowing evacuees to move back home. A few houses had water inside, but nothing irreparable.

A massive sandbagging effort was still protecting most of the businesses in Clarksville, and water was still high but receding in nearby Louisiana. Both of those towns don’t have levees.

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Back to life and death, of a slightly different sort:

condor feast al fresco....

A HISTORIC FEAST: Seafood Buffet: A pair of California condors get all they can eat on a remote beach in Big Sur.— Ryan Choi, Ventana Wildlife Society

The report is from 2006 so I made like a bandit and stole the whole.... In honor of the vultures, you know.. ;)

He believes that the whale died of natural causes and probably washed onto shore during the last major winter storm in the middle of April. A few days later, the Big Sur community and California State Parks alerted VWS that condors were feeding on the body.

Since VWS started observing the area, the nonprofit’s biologists have witnessed condors on the carcass three or four times a week. One time, field biologist Ryan Choi recorded five condors by the beached whale.

As a plane high above zippers across the sky, Burnett estimates that the condors will probably be able to use the whale as a food source for three to four months. He explains that the condors eat by creating a hole or using a pre-existing one like an eye socket. “They take the path of least resistance,” he says.

Then, they dip their sharp beaks and serrated tongues into the dead animal searching for meat. “They go in like a vacuum cleaner,” Burnett says.

Burnett, who has worked for VWS for 13 years, goes on to say that the condors feeding on marine animals like whales is a truly great thing for the species. Terrestrial creatures like deer often have levels of lead in their systems. Condors, like other animals including humans, can only take so much exposure to lead. Meanwhile, whale meat appears to have low levels of contaminants.

Burnett believes that this event, along with the birds beginning to feed on sea lion carcasses in 1999, is one of the most impressive things that he has witnessed while working for VWS recovery program, which currently has 25 birds released in the wild. The next big milestone Burnett is hoping to see is for some of the birds in Big Sur to hatch a chick.

We watch as a handful of seagulls take their turn and feed on the beached whale. Overhead, a peregrine falcon soars above the carcass, and a Layson albatross makes a landing on the beach.

“There is a whole ecosystem around this whale now,” Burnett says. “I couldn’t have dreamed up this set-up.”

San Diego Wild park

A view of a California condor through its own primary feathers.
Photographer: Joel Sartore Location: San Diego Wild Animal Park, California.

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The thing that bothers me is the assumption that if I make a judgment that’s different from yours, then it must mean I am less progressive or my goals are different, meaning I must be not really committed to helping people but rather I am trying to triangulate or drift toward the DLC [Democratic Leadership Council].”

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Saturday slip and slide in the smoke and fire… 28 June 2008

Posted by marisacat in California / Pacific Coast, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
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Fire encroaches on Nepenthe
Kirk Gafill, general manager of Nepenthe restaurant, eyes the wildfire approaching his family-owned business in Big Sur. Gov. Schwarzenegger asks President Bush to declare a state of emergency as 1,200 fires continue to spread across Northern California, scorching more than 80,000 acres.. [June 26, 2008 LA Times]

It looks like they may have beat back the fires at Big Sur… Nepenthe, Esalen, Post Ranch Inn, Tassajara Zen Buddhist Center, Deetjens coastal roadhouse – and the Arthur Miller Library… I suppose the California heart beats at quite a few places, but Big Sur is one. The last time I sat on this deck thru the afternoon into evening then to night .. by night you looked out into the most amazing, deep darkness. No lights, no habitation… no longer able to see the Pacific Ocean, but knowing it was out there, as some great beyond.

^^^^^^^^^^^^

An article at LA Times takes a look at 200 dollar a barrel oil and 7 dollars at the gas pump. They also have a nifty cartoon of the lower 48 drowning, pulled down, tethered to a barrel of oil. But I thought Gawd Blessed Us? Every president and wanna be told me so……… They lied? Who knew…

“You’d have massive changes going on throughout the economy,” said Robert Wescott, president of Keybridge Research, a Washington economic analysis firm. “Some activities are just plain going to be shut down.”

Besides the obvious effect $7-a-gallon gasoline would have on commuters, automakers, airlines, truckers and shipping firms, $200 oil would drive up the price of a broad spectrum of products: Insecticides and hand lotions, cosmetics and food preservatives, shaving cream and rubber cement, plastic bottles and crayons — all have ingredients derived from oil.

The pain would probably be particularly intense in Southern California, which is known for its long commutes and high cost of living.

“Throughout our history, we have grown on the assumption that energy costs would be low,” said Michael Woo, a former Los Angeles city councilman and a current member of the city Planning Commission. “Now that those assumptions are shifting, it changes assumptions about housing, cars and how cities grow.”

Push prices up fast enough, he said, and “it would be the urban-planning equivalent of an earthquake.

… the article had a few thoughts on trade:

The fee increases on the ferry would be nothing compared with the added cost of transoceanic shipping if oil goes to $200. Some experts say high energy costs are altering global trade and slowing the pace of globalization.

It takes about 7,000 tons of bunker-fuel to fill the tanks of a 5,000-container cargo ship for a trip from Shanghai to Los Angeles. Over the last year and half, the cost of that fuel has jumped 87% to $552 a ton, according to the World Shipping Council, boosting the cost of a fill-up to more than $3.8 million.

“To put things in perspective, today’s extra shipping cost from East Asia is the equivalent of imposing a 9% tariff on East Asian goods entering North America,” said Rubin of CIBC World Markets. “At $200 per barrel, the tariff equivalent rate will rise to 15%.”

If oil continues to rise from current levels, officials at the Port of Los Angeles believe West Coast ports would gain business because they are 10 to 12 days’ sailing time from Asia, versus the 18-to-20-day route from Asia to the East Coast through the Panama Canal.

But local ports could lose business if shipping costs get so out of hand that companies begin shifting production back to North America from Asia — something that’s happening in the steel industry, Rubin said.

Two words, slow food.

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I scream, you scream, we all scream for …. 27 June 2008

Posted by marisacat in California / Pacific Coast, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, San Francisco.
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bee bee

… ice cream…

The San Francisco Chronicle has a good update on the colony collapse / honey bee problem… and Haagen Dazs over in Oakland is worried… what if there are no strawberries?

PDT Washington — Could strawberry ice cream disappear from our lives? What about vanilla Swiss almond?

The folks at Haagen-Dazs are worried enough that they and others have mounted a campaign to halt the shocking decline of honeybees and other pollinators of strawberry plants, almond trees and the rest of the roughly 90 percent of terrestrial plant life that needs pollination.

Officials of the Oakland company told Congress on Thursday that more than 40 percent of its product’s flavors, derived from fruits and nuts, depend on honeybees. Without bees, fruits and nuts cannot exist.

As for whether strawberry, raspberry or almond ice cream could disappear, Haagen-Dazs brand director Katty Pien said, “We hope not, but that’s why there is such a sense of urgency, so that the millions of people who love our strawberry ice cream can have it forever.”

Honeybees mysteriously began to abandon their colonies in 2006, destroying about a third of U.S. hives. The rate of decline is accelerating, reaching 36 percent last winter.

“How would our federal government respond if 1 out of every 3 cows was dying?” Maryann Frazier, a bee expert at the University of Pennsylvania, asked during testimony to the House subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture.

And this…

Federal research dollars are beginning to flow and will jump dramatically with the newly passed farm bill, but scientists remain baffled about the cause of pollinator decline. The problem extends not just to the commercialized honeybee imported from Europe 400 years ago but, etymologists say, to other native pollinators.

Those include native bees such as bumblebees that are also showing rapid declines, plus butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, hummingbirds and bats. Lack of data on these species hinders measurement.

fuzzy bee asleep

When I first saw this bee laying motionless on its side, I wasn’t sure if it was dead or just sleeping, as I have seen solitary desert bees sleeping in flowers before. I took this photo and wandered off to take some more wildflower photos. When I came back, the bee was still there. I just had to know if it was alive or not, so I bumped the flower. The little fuzzy bee woke up and flew off to another Apache Plume flower, where I left the sleepy bee undisturbed this time. [Bee sleeping in a flower, from The Firefly Forest]

And a bit more…

Visalia beekeeper Steve Godlin said 1.3 million honeybee hives are trucked in each spring from around the country to pollinate the California almond crop, which is fast replacing cotton in the Central Valley. The collapse of honeybee hives and the enormous demand for almond pollination has sent its price soaring.

That will show up soon in grocery store prices, said committee Chairman Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Fresno. Haagen-Dazs’ Pien said the company is bracing for not just higher costs but a reduction in the supply of pollinated ingredients.

After a survey showed half the public is not even aware of the bee decline, the company awarded a $250,000 research grant to UC Davis and the University of Pennsylvania. It also opened a public education campaign, starting with a limited edition flavor called Vanilla Honey Bee and a goal to distribute 1 million flower seeds to consumers and community groups to aid native pollinators. A Web site, www.helpthehoneybees.com, provides information.

I think that 50% have heard of the problem with the honey bee is GOOD… more than I would have expected.

The article has several links to information about the collapse or what can be done with the plain old home garden to help…

The group, at www.pollinator.org, is issuing guides for each of 35 eco-regions of the country that can be used by farmers, public-land managers, corporations and consumers for choosing pollinator-friendly plants and practices.

“People who were afraid when they saw a bee are now afraid when they don’t see one,” Adams said.

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Just saw this near the end of the previous thread…

Arcturus

We are the last “first” people. We forget that. We act big, misuse our land, ourselves. We lose our own primary.

–Charles Olson, Call Me Ishmael: A Study of Melville, 1947

spermaceti to petrol

1. Farewell to the Holocene

Our world, our old world that we have inhabited for the last 12,000 years, has ended, even if no newspaper in North America or Europe has yet printed its scientific obituary.
. . .

This planetary deficit of opportunity and social justice is captured in the fact that more than one billion people, according to UN-Habitat, currently live in slums and that their number is expected to double by 2030. An equal number, or more, forage in the so-called informal sector (a first-world euphemism for mass unemployment). Sheer demographic momentum, meanwhile, will increase the world’s urban population by 3 billion people over the next 40 years (90% of them in poor cities), and no one — absolutely no one — has a clue how a planet of slums, with growing food and energy crises, will accommodate their biological survival, much less their inevitable aspirations to basic happiness and dignity.

If this seems unduly apocalyptic, consider that most climate models project impacts that will uncannily reinforce the present geography of inequality. One of the pioneer analysts of the economics of global warming, Petersen Institute fellow William R. Cline, recently published a country-by-country study of the likely effects of climate change on agriculture by the later decades of this century. Even in the most optimistic simulations, the agricultural systems of Pakistan (a 20% decrease from current farm output predicted) and Northwestern India (a 30% decrease) are likely to be devastated, along with much of the Middle East, the Maghreb, the Sahel belt, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Twenty-nine developing countries will lose 20% or more of their current farm output to global warming, while agriculture in the already rich north is likely to receive, on average, an 8% boost.

In light of such studies, the current ruthless competition between energy and food markets, amplified by international speculation in commodities and agricultural land, is only a modest portent of the chaos that could soon grow exponentially from the convergence of resource depletion, intractable inequality, and climate change. The real danger is that human solidarity itself, like a West Antarctic ice shelf, will suddenly fracture and shatter into a thousand shards.

Mike Davis, “Living on the Ice Shelf: Humanity’s Melt Down,” 26 June 2008

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Tatiana, Sumerican Tiger, SF Zoo

Photo of Tatiana by Thomas Hawk, thomashawk.com

On Tatiana, the tiger at the SF Zoo:

Diet and Weight

Before she arrived in San Francisco, it appeared Tatiana was reaching her physical maturity. In the six months before she left Denver after steady growth as a cub, zoo records show her weight fluctuated only slightly, between 292 and 299 pounds, in the middle weight range for Siberian females.

But in San Francisco, her weight declined steadily, dropping into the 270s in her first year at the zoo in 2006, into the 260s the first half of last year, then into the 250s last fall. In her last live weighing last December, two weeks before the fatal attack, Tatiana weighed just 244. Her necropsy set her weight at death at 242 pounds, 50 pounds less than her zoo arrival weight as noted in the San Francisco Zoo’s “Individual Specimen Report.”

In Denver, she was being fed 42 pounds of meat a week: six pounds a day, seven days a week. The Denver Zoo says she was in good shape, and that there was no indication she was over-weight when she was sent to her new home.

But upon her arrival in San Francisco, zoo records show she was fed less, 36 pounds a week: six pounds six days a week, with the seventh day a “fast day” that is not uncommon in big cat zoo diets. Her weight records show Tatiana lost 20 pounds in her first month in San Francisco.

.. and this:

“Frantic for Food”

In the months that followed the return to the smaller diet, Tatiana’s keepers made note several times of her apparent hunger for more food in the log entries. From the zookeeper’s log of April 21, 2007: Tatiana “frantic for food.” From the log of June 1: Tatiana “frantic for food.” From the log of June 3: Tatiana “very hungry.” From a November 11 zookeeper report, noting Tatiana’s theft of part of a male tiger’s meal: “Animal got double her ration today. She acted like she wanted more.”

The San Francisco Zoo’s Jencek said the keepers’ notes were not unusual. “You want the animals to be excited about meal time. That’s the kind of response you want from them. I don’t want an animal being sluggish. I’d rather have an animal that’s active and enthusiastic.”

But some outside experts disagreed, saying zookeepers make note of the unusual, not of normal behavior. “You do want some eagerness to eat, but it sounds like this was on the other side of that,” said Richardson. “At least the keeper thought it was, or he wouldn’t have written that. You know maybe we’re not giving her enough. First thing that pops into my mind. That’s without seeing her, but that’s the most common reason a cat would be that hungry and act that hungry is that she’s not getting enough.”

Pat Derby, founder and president of PAWS (Performing Animal Welfare Society) and a veteran of 35 years working with tigers and other captive wildlife, said feeding behavior is important. “We instruct our keepers if the animals eat everything that you feed and they still display signs of hunger, if they’re snarly and they attack the meat, you want to increase their diet. Behavioral signs are critical to any diagnosis. You can’t just look at an animal and say they look thin or fat.”

Throw the zoo officials and any city officials involved into the tiger grotto. Every chapter of that Christmas day at the Zoo is a nightmare.

^^^^^^^^^^^

The Chron also has an report on local reaction to the ruling in Heller

[T]he National Rifle Association immediately said it would use the ruling for a new round of legal challenges to gun-control laws, including the ban on handgun possession in public housing in San Francisco.

San Francisco voters approved a broader prohibition on handgun possession by city residents in 2005, but it was overturned by state courts, which said it conflicted with California law.

Trigger-lock law threatened

A separate ordinance, passed by the Board of Supervisors in 2007, requires gun-owning residents to keep their weapons in locked boxes or to disable them with trigger locks. Cox said the NRA might challenge that law as well.

That restriction, the court said, “makes it impossible for citizens to use them for the core lawful purpose of self-defense.” One advantage of having a loaded handgun available, Scalia observed, is that “it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police.”

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris said both the Housing Authority ban and the local trigger-lock requirement appear to be vulnerable under the ruling.

The ruling “leaves open for dispute and interpretation some of the existing laws that we have restricting or regulating gun ownership and use,” said Harris, who was co-author of a brief signed by 18 prosecutors around the nation urging the court to rule narrowly and leave local regulations intact.

The courts will be busy

Guns and presidential runs………… 26 June 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Border Issues, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
comments closed

packing heat

From November 2007, with some brief background…:

(CBS/AP) The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will decide whether the District of Columbia can ban handguns, a case that could produce one of the most in-depth examinations of the constitutional right to “keep and bear arms.”

The justices’ decision to hear the case could make the divisive debate over guns an issue in the 2008 presidential and congressional elections.

The Court has agreed to hear the case of Dick Heller, who’s challenging the 31-year-old ban on owning handguns in the District of Columbia, reports CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews. Heller, a security guard, packs a handgun during the day, but can’t have one in his own home.

“We the people have the right to defend ourselves with whatever firearm is most practical,” said Dick Heller.

That simple argument has led to the most important gun case in decades, adds Andrews.

“It’s one of the rare times when the Supreme Court gets to tell us what the text of the Constitution means,” said professor Randy Barnett. ::snip::

AND saw this poking around…

Mayors brace for D.C. gun ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to soon issue a ruling in the Washington, D.C. gun case and Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin worries that cities may be hampered in their crime-fighting efforts if the justices strike down the D.C. gun control laws.

“If the justices agree with the lower court’s ruling, cities and states throughout the country may face challenge after challenge to the constitutionality of firearm regulations enacted to protect the public and prosecute criminals. And city attorneys may find themselves spending as much time fighting lawsuits as they do fighting crime,” writes Franklin, in an opinion column signed by several other mayors. “Those resource-draining challenges would come at an inconvenient time. Gun violence is a national crisis, but one that disproportionately affects those of us who live in urban areas. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 340,000 homicides were committed in large American cities between 1976 and 2005. About 64 percent of those homicides involved firearms.” ::snip::

Apparently hand guns are banned inside DC proper, shotguns may be kept but the law requires they be unloaded in the home and under lock and key. For years I have read people simply leave DC, go near or far and buy what they want.

Well, here I am in SF, we have all of ONE gun store. Of course CA has plenty… plenty of gun owners in SF… despite what people may think.

Jeralyn at TL has a good overview

Several court watchers think so. Concurring Opinions believes it will be authored by Justice Anton Scalia, who has yet to write an opinion in the March sitting cases. Heller is also the only case remaining among the March sitting cases.

And this…

Goldstein of Scotus Blog believes if Scalia authors the opinion:

So, that’s a good sign for advocates of a strong individual rights conception of the Second Amendment and a bad sign for D.C

^^^^^^^

And this tidbit…from Potomac Confidential in the Wapo – which gave me a laugh:

[D]uring a 30-plus-year career with D.C. police, the U.S. Marshals office and the D.C. corrections department, Lucas taught hundreds of officers how to handle and shoot firearms. A fourth-generation Washingtonian, he had the bad luck to practice his skill and love in a city that since 1976 has maintained the nation’s strictest gun ban, which prohibits handgun ownership.

No one ever accused the government of being terribly logical, but get this: The District, throughout the three decades of its gun ban, has continued to license firearms instructors — Lucas is one of about 60 licensees — but has declined to let them open businesses where they could use their licenses.

Since he retired from the police force, Lucas has trained security guards and other licensed gun owners who work in the District. To do so, he must take his clients, and their tax dollars, to ranges in Chantilly or Upper Marlboro. “How can they license me to do a job that they then don’t allow me to do?” Lucas asks. ::snip::

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From the Obama presser Wednesday…

(from the CNN transcript)

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) The Supreme Court is expected to rule tomorrow on the D.C. gun ban.

Can you review for us where you stand on that?

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: Why don’t I wait until the decision comes out, and then I will comment on it, as opposed to trying to prognosticate what the Supreme Court is going to decide tomorrow?

QUESTION: You commented on it before you — you support the D.C. gun ban (OFF-MIKE)

OBAMA: What I have said is that I do not — what I have said is, is that I’m a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but I do not think that that precludes local governments being able to provide some commonsense gun laws that keep guns out of the hands of gangbangers or children, that local jurisdictions are going to have different sets of problems, and that this is a very fact-intensive decision that has to be made.

But I do think that the Second Amendment is an individual right. So, what I would like to do is wait and see how the Supreme Court comes down, and evaluate the actual reasoning in the case to see how broad or narrow the decision’s going to be.

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hmm mmm beats being a jackass ……;) [WHUPDATE, titmouse bleed] 24 June 2008

Posted by marisacat in Big Box Blogs, DC Politics, Democrats, Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, la morte de St Germain Dog - the best the BLAHgers had, Political Blogs.
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beats being a jackass... LOL

gatto kiev

nothing much to add… ;)

Tho, here are the Obama comments from my comment in the last thread, with the original links

Obama spokesman Bill Burton on October 24, 2007: “To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.”

Barack Obama, June 20, 2008: “Given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as president, I will carefully monitor the program.”

Tidbits from October, at the TPM link…. Enjoy!

***********************

TITMOUSE WHUPDATE, 10:32 am

I see a titmouse has bled….

So, I say to the belching, bleeding titmouse: put up or shut up.

I have two examples from my own experience (0.00 / 0)

Maryscott O’Connor posted privileged (private) information about me on her site in retaliation for a disagreement we had. I forced her to take down the information, but had to threaten legal action to do so. I have The O’Connor’s home address, cell phone number, and lots of other personal information, but no matter how bad the dispute between us got, I’d NEVER post it

Marisacat posted my IP address on her site–or at least what she THOUGHT was my IP address (turns out that dim old Shadowthief knows how to spoof his IP address!). I have Marisa’s real first and last name and her full address, but once again, I’d NEVER post it. [bolding is mine, Mcat]

Not even Kos or Hunter or the odious Booman stooped so low as to do the things The O’Connor and Miss Kitty did (or if they did, I certainly don’t know about it).

Yet both Marisacat and The O’Connor assume the High and Mighty Pose to this day, despite the fact that both of them are full-fledged members of the Disloyal Order of Hypocrites.*

I appreciate that Peeder respects the online/real life boundary, but I find it a bit depressing that he has to reassure that he won’t. That should be a given.

The ethics of most blog owners, including Moulitsas, O’Connor, and Marisa (real last name redacted to protect the guilty), are a notch below child molestor.

*not actual societies to my knowledge, but you have to admit that if they don’t formally exist, they ought to…

by Shadowthief @ Sat May 31, 2008 at 07:26:50 AM CDT
Link to the sub thread, link to the PffterPoofter post (a peeder house specialty).

An online friend was passed the comment recently, by an itinerant reader at PFF (anyone wants the email forwarded, let me know)… probably accounts for the delay.

I don’t recall reading the peeder post, nor the comment from the titmouse (with many masks). I think I’d remember such a juvenile declaration.

Again: put up or shut up, to the titmouse with the small, smelly belches. And the many masks.

I have Marisa’s real first and last name and her full address, but once again, I’d NEVER post it.

Too fucking chicken, then email ME with my personal information: Marisacat@aol.com

PUT UP — OR SHUT UP.

Passerelle a Paris 23 June 2008

Posted by marisacat in France, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Paris, Viva La Revolucion!.
comments closed

Because it came up in a round about way in the last thread (and I am out of ideas, LOL) the newest bridge, a passerelle or foot bridge in Paris, Pont Simone de Beavoir:

passerelle Simone de Beauvoir, a Paris

It is lit at night from beneath the hand rails, so no lamp post interrupts the curves.

day shot

I think the palm tree is an itinerant summer visitor when, for the past several years, Paris Plage (think I am remembering the name right) pops up along the banks.. beach sand, recliners and tropical bars with fusion music, drenched island atmosphere — and a big little break from city life…

Anyhoo as I said, I am out of ideas… ;)

SdeB

Simone de Beavoir

From wikipedia:

Death and afterwards

Beauvoir's grave at the Cimetière du Montparnasse

Beauvoir’s grave at the Cimetière du Montparnasse

Beauvoir died of pneumonia. She is buried next to Sartre at the Cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris. Since her death, her reputation has grown, not only because she is seen as the mother of post-1968 feminism, especially in academia, but also because of a growing awareness of her as a major French thinker, existentialist philosopher and otherwise.

There is much contemporary discussion about the influences of Beauvoir and Sartre on one another. She is seen as having influenced Sartre’s masterpiece, Being and Nothingness, while also having written much on philosophy that is independent of Sartrean existentialism. Some scholars have explored the influences of her earlier philosophical essays and treatises upon Sartre’s later thought. She is studied by many respected academics both within and outside of philosophy circles, including Margaret A. Simons and Sally Scholtz. Beauvoir’s life has also inspired numerous biographies.

In 2006, the architect Dietmar Feichtinger designed a sophisticated footbridge across the Seine, named the Passerelle Simone-de-Beauvoir after Beauvoir. The bridge features feminine curves and leads to the new Bibliothèque nationale de France.

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Sunday evening thread………….. 22 June 2008

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
68 comments

India moonsoons

India’s annual monsoon rains have arrived early, causing floods that have killed at least 23 people in the north-east of the country. [AP via BBC]

I’m calling it off, LOL. Offered Brokaw, I’d take Russert back. Both are July 4th and hot dogs, flags flapping – and whatever else, both wrote atrocious mittel mittel books and pandered miserably, but Russert, on balance (or off!), was slightly more alive (when he was). It’s not saying much.

What a choice. We are so screwed.

Life as a colorist…….. 21 June 2008

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
comments closed

A Fijian Crested Iguana is held by a zoo keeper at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia [REUTERS, from UK Telegraph, Pictures of the Week]

Love those bright pink bubble finger tips… ;)

I just washed some dishes in the kitchen, there is a big window at the sink that faces the tiny spit of a garden… and I felt a breeze. Thanks be to god, as we are in swelter land. During the night, I opened the window in my bathroom and smelled smoke, burning, acrid fire. Even tho there are several fires going, or contained or just over, it seemed close, but i had heard no sirens… Then I heard this am, fires in Golden Gate Park (about 30 or so blocks west of me) during the evening and night.

Slight cooling tomorrow they say…………..

So, shall we all get a tattoo? E pluribus Obama? 20 June 2008

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
94 comments

From The Caucus:

At a discussion with a dozen Democratic governors in Chicago on Friday morning, each of the governors was identified with a small name plate but Senator Barack Obama sat behind a low rostrum to which was attached an official-looking seal no one had seen before.

It is emblazoned with a fierce-looking eagle clutching an olive branch in one claw and arrows in the other and is deliberately reminiscent of the official seal of the president of the United States. Around the top border are the words “Obama for America;” across the bottom is the campaign’s Web address. It also contains the logo of the Obama campaign, variously interpreted as a sunrise or a view down an open road.

Just above the eagle’s head are the words “Vero Possumus,” roughly translated “Yes we can.” Not exactly E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One), the motto on the presidential seal and the dollar bill. Then again, Mr. Obama is not the president.

I so hope he will be tho. People should live with their chosen Jesus, as I keep saying.

BTW, I can barely look at the Elevated One anymore, but displayed above (and not caught often in a still shot) is the upper half of what might charitably be called a “professorial” seated position. I first caught it during the Kennedy, Ted and Caroline edition, endorse. The lower half mimics the upper half, the legs go into a double twist. Sometimes the arm that crosses the body is under the opposing elbow, that arm then rising to the two fingered face application. “Professorial” is the descriptive ”out” used by his handlers and the dedicated pundit class for his interpersonal failures (waves of disdain washing from his face and body language as people, poor, hapless voters coming in supplication, recount the horrors of modern USA! USA! life if you are not healthy, wealthy and Mr and Mrs Obama – or any of the others who ran for the noms).

It may sound petty (racist, mean, whatever) to note a seated posture (and tangled engagement of the limbs) but not when you add it to everything else.

Too right, count me out. Sorry to be blunt. Hail Jesus, a rolling, massive, about-to-burst-all-over-us-like -a-festering-pimple JOKE.

I had noticed, earlier this week, a Stop Me Before I Vote Again reverie on the Obama as Jove eagle (the website representation was softened for the ObamaLand imprimatur)….

[H]ere, however, the bland circlet appears oddly superimposed on a bad-tempered, reptilian eagle, clearly spoiling for a fight. As iconology goes, there’s nothing anodyne about the Jovian bird, the Roman legionary bird, the bird so abundant in the visual rhetoric of American pugnacity that every street in this broad land ought to be knee-deep in mephitic raptor guano(*) ::snip::

and when I went to collect the link, what rode at the top of the SMBIVA page, but exposition of the latest tag team member to enlist Eric Prince for Darfur dreaming. And killing. How utterly disgusting.

Mia Farrow, the actress and activist, has asked Blackwater, the US private security company active in Iraq, for help in Darfur….

Ms Farrow said she had approached Erik Prince, founder and owner of Blackwater, to discuss whether a military role was either feasible or desirable.

She acknowledged that many people might have reservations about Blackwater being involved in Darfur – the company’s men were involved in the fatal shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians last September – but said the threat of violence to refugees meant all options had to be explored….

A bumper crop of useful idiots. If only we could have a real drought, flood of poisonous water, killing fire – in those fields.

Out of words. Wear a rubber bracelet, show you care.

^^^^^^^^^^

Speaking of FISA, congress, collusion and presumptive noms … (You Tube version)

OLBERMANN: “Never appease political bullies,” President Bush admonished at the Israeli Knesset. Oddly, House Democrats chose to ignore him on the subject of dealing with him.

A new FISA bill that gives President Bush exactly what he wants, increase abilities to spy on Americans without warrants and the level of immunity for the telecom companies who already illegally spied on Americans for him.

Our fourth story on the COUNTDOWN: And the Democrats may split over the tentative deal. The bipartisan bill will allow the government to use broad wiretaps to wiretap foreigners and the chance to spy on Americans without any warrant, if they think it‘s an emergency, for up to seven days. It also gives the phone companies immunity for past crimes, if a district judge decided they get or got a valid wiretap request from the White House.

This is expected to go to the floor tomorrow and to the Senate next week. Well, House Majority Leader Stanley Hoyer supports what he refers to as a compromise bill, emphasis on the “compromise.” Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid actually praised parts of it.

Senator Russ Feingold ripped the thing, and implicitly, his fellow Democrats who agreed to it apart, quoting him, “The proposed FISA deal is not a compromise; it is capitulation. The House and Senate should not be taking up this bill, which effectively guarantees immunity for telecom companies alleged to have participated in the president‘s illegal program, and which fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans at home. Allowing courts to review the question of immunity is meaningless when the same legislation essentially requires the court to grant immunity.”

Let‘s turn now once again to George Washington University, law professor and constitutional expert, Jonathan Turley.

Thanks for your time tonight, Jon.

JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: Hi, Keith.

OLBERMANN: Have the Democrats blinked or Mr. Feingold and Mr. Leahy are going to kill this in the Senate?

TURLEY: Well, this is more like a one-man staring contest. I mean, the Democrats never really were engaged in this. In fact, they repeatedly tried to cave in to the White House, only be stopped by civil libertarians and bloggers. And each time they would put it on the shelf, wait a few months, they did this before, reintroduced it with Jay Rockefeller‘s support, and then there was another great, you know, dustup and they pulled it back.

I think they‘re simply waiting to see if the public‘s interest will wane and we‘ll see that tomorrow, because this bill has, quite literally, no public value for citizens or civil liberties. It is reverse engineering, though the type of thing that the Bush administration is famous for, and now the Democrats are doing—that is to change the law to conform to past conduct.

It‘s what any criminal would love to do. You rob a bank, go to the legislature, and change the law to say that robbing banks is lawful.

OLBERMANN: But, of course, it‘s not just that. I mean, extensively, it is about granting immunity to the telecoms for what they‘ve already done that would be illegal. But is it also not about giving them a pass on what they yet do that may yet be illegal?

TURLEY: Yes. This is a very frightening bill. What people have to understand is that FISA itself is controversial. This court issued tens of thousands of warrants granted applications for surveillance without turning down any. Only recently did they turn down two.

So, the standard is already so low that they have virtually never refused a request. That standard, however, was too high for the Bush administration.

And, so, people need to be very, very much aware of this bill. What you‘re seeing in this bill is an evisceration of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. It is something that allows the president and the government to go in to law-abiding homes on their word alone, their suspicion alone, and to engage in warrantless surveillance. That‘s what the framers that drafted the Fourth Amendment wanted to prevent.

OLBERMANN: And, also hidden in here behind this headline – if you immunize the telecoms, are you not also immunizing the president, the Bush administration and, to some degree, the Congress that went along with all of these crimes in the last seven years?

TURLEY: Well, there‘s no question in my mind that there is an obvious level of collusion here. We now know that Democratic leadership knew about the illegal surveillance program almost from its inception. Even when they were campaigning about fighting for civil liberties, they were aware of an unlawful surveillance program as well as a torture program. And ever since that came out, the Democrats have been silently trying to kill any effort to hold anyone accountable because that list could very well include some of their own members.

And, I‘m afraid this is Washington politics at the worst. And, so, I think that what you‘re seeing with this bill is not just caving in to a very powerful lobby, but also caving in to sort of the worst motivations on Capitol Hill since 9/11. You know, the administration was very adept at bringing in Democrats at a time when they knew they couldn‘t refuse, to make them buy in to this program, and now that investment is bearing fruit.

OLBERMANN: So, it‘s self-protection is the answer to the question of why Congress didn‘t let FISA, this bill, at least, go sunset and do this in the next administration. The answer is really self-protection?

TURLEY: I‘m afraid it is. And I also don‘t understand why they didn‘t let that happen, because what you would be left with was, would be judges who would have to look at whether there was a basis for engaging a surveillance. What‘s so horrible about that? The old FISA law, by the way, had a provision that said that if there was an emergency, you didn‘t have to get an immediate FISA approval, something that the president continually omits from his comments, making it sound like you would have to stand there knocking on doors before you could chase al Qaeda. That was never the case.

OLBERMANN: So, this is not FISA, this CYA.

Jonathan Turley of George Washington University—as always, Jon, our great thanks.

TURLEY: Thank you, Keith.

Be sure and vote. It’s your civic duty.

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UPDATE, 5:02 pm

Just up at The Page:

The presumptive Democratic nominee discusses what his thinks the GOP’s general election strategy will be. He says at a Jacksonville, Florida fundraiser:

“We know what kind of campaign they’re going to run. They’re going to try to make you afraid. They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?”

Read pool report here.

Don’t miss “… and did i mention he’s black?”

Be sure and vote. Racists – using race – ON BOTH SIDES..

From a Belafonte essay:

[H]e seemed quite agitated and preoccupied, and I asked him what the problem was. “I’ve come upon something that disturbs me deeply,” he said. “We have fought hard and long for integration, as I believe we should have, and I know that we will win. But I’ve come to believe we’re integrating into a burning house.”

That statement took me aback. It was the last thing I would have expected to hear, considering the nature of our struggle, and I asked him what he meant. “I’m afraid that America may be losing what moral vision she may have had,” he answered. “And I’m afraid that even as we integrate, we are walking into a place that does not understand that this nation needs to be deeply concerned with the plight of the poor and disenfranchised. Until we commit ourselves to ensuring that the underclass is given justice and opportunity, we will continue to perpetuate the anger and violence that tears at the soul of this nation.”

I would like to see black America honestly examine where we are at this point in history. We must stop relying on Democrats or Republicans or institutions that oppress us, and take responsibility for ourselves. Whenever we’ve stepped out to assume responsibility for our future, we’ve succeeded in our mission. White America didn’t give us the gains we’ve made. Through various movements we went out and fought for our liberation and made ourselves a better people, and the world a better place. I am far from disillusioned. Deep in my soul, I know there are more Rosa Parks, more Dr. Kings, and more Ella Bakers ready to emerge. Perhaps we are the firefighters who can save the burning house. Martin would have embraced such a thought.

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