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Happy Yule
Author: BobR    Date: 12/21/2007 13:25:39

Today is the first day of winter, the shortest day of the year. Starting tomorrow, the days get longer every day until late June 2008. So happy winter solstice, or as some Wiccans refer to it: Yule (yes, all those "yuletide carols" are "pagan" in origin). I suppose it's no secret that I'm no Christian (I'm no Wiccan either), but the Christmas season (and Yule) has always been a special time for me. There's a warmth and generosity of spirit that springs up in people (perhaps to combat the cold and darkness).

There's also all the special food and music... and of course: the special Christmas comedy. So it's Friday, and it's my last "official" post before Christmas, so I've decided to have a little fun. Here's some of MY favorite Christmas "cheer"...

First, there's Santa getting busted ("it's my wife's sleigh" ).
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255 comments (Latest Comment: 12/22/2007 03:37:35 by Mondobubba)

Another amendment gone?
Author: Raine    Date: 12/20/2007 13:33:58

The Feds blocked California's Emmisions law.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday slapped down California’s bid for first-in-the-nation greenhouse gas limits on cars, trucks and SUVs, refusing the state a waiver that would have allowed those restrictions to take effect.

“The Bush administration is moving forward with a clear national solution — not a confusing patchwork of state rules,” EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson told reporters on a conference call. “I believe this is a better approach than if individual states were to act alone.”
Another example of the Bush administration not reading documents. The Tenth Amendment clearly states :
Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

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207 comments (Latest Comment: 12/21/2007 03:33:22 by livingonli)

I Endorse This Message
Author: BobR    Date: 12/19/2007 07:03:29

So sorry - it appears that my original blog post got replaced by some other Admin's comments by mistake.

Oh well...
241 comments (Latest Comment: 12/20/2007 04:20:08 by livingonli)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 12/18/2007 11:36:52

Good Morning.

It's a week before Christmas...do you know where your soldiers are?

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 3895
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3755
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3434
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3036
Since Election (1/31/05): 2457

Other Coalition Troops: 307
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 473

We find this morning's cost of war standing at:

$ 478, 037, 000, 000 .00

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103 comments (Latest Comment: 12/19/2007 05:34:53 by Raine)

The 5 Days of Impeachment
Author: Raine    Date: 12/17/2007 13:42:20

Good Monday morning.

Stayed up late last night doing the Christmas stuff. Actually, the entire weekend was filled with Christmas stuff, so instead of getting all in a tizzy about the administration, I was in a tizzy about Christmas. *sigh..*

What kept me going? The thought that unlike this administration the holidays would be over in a week. Oh, the other thing that kept me going was singing the Merry F*cking Christmas Song from South park (audio not work safe).. and listening to Steve Martin's Christmas wish song.

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161 comments (Latest Comment: 12/18/2007 04:23:34 by livingonli)

Fight Back Against Media Consolidation
Author: livingonli    Date: 12/15/2007 09:33:45

Greetings fellow bloggerinos. I’m filling in for Tri who’s off on a little expedition. A little weekend with the scouts in the cold while another nor-easter bears down upon us. I guess I prefer my creature comforts.

One thing about me is that I have been following the media for many years, and not just because I work in the industry. And the one thing that has been a very disturbing trend has been the concentration of ownership in fewer hands. It seems like as the number of options has increased between cable/satellite TV, satellite radio, digital TV and HD radio, the number of companies providing content has decreased considerably from the 30 companies that controlled most media when Ben Bagdikian first wrote The Media Monopoly in 1980 to about 5 or 6 today. How well are you informed about what’s going on in the world if all the information is being filtered through Disney, News Corp., GE, Viacom, Time Warner, and Clear Channel. To look at one example, here are the US Holdings of News Corp. (better known as 20th-Century Fox, whose news coverage serves as part of Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda mill). Here are their US holdings via the Wiki;

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25 comments (Latest Comment: 12/23/2007 13:48:15 by maggiesboy)

Weird Science
Author: BobR    Date: 12/14/2007 13:00:33

The news out of Washington has been so aggravating and frustrating and maddening lately that - being a Friday - it's perhaps in our own best interests to take a deep breath, let it out, and try to focus on things amusing and uplifting today.

Being a bit of a science geek, I thought maybe reviewing some of the science-related stories would be just what the doctor ordered.

To start with, scientists have been able to eliminate normal fear responses in mice:
A University of Iowa study shows that loss or chemical inhibition of a protein, known as acid sensing ion channel protein (ASIC1a), reduces innate fear behavior in lab animals, making normally timid mice relatively fearless.

The findings might provide useful insight into anxiety disorders and may even point the way to a new therapeutic target.

For humans and other animals, some fears seem to be, in large part, instinctive and inborn rather than learned. For example, laboratory animals fear certain predators even though they have never been exposed to a predator. However, little is known about the brain mechanisms involved in innate fear responses.

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235 comments (Latest Comment: 12/15/2007 07:49:50 by livingonli)

Bush Kills Children's health care-- AGAIN...
Author: Raine    Date: 12/13/2007 13:06:44

Sometimes it seems like Groundhog Day.
Bush vetoed the second passing of the SCHIP bill. HE did it in private, where he would not have to be a man and face people when he did this disgusting act. From The AP:

...It was Bush's seventh veto in seven years — all but one coming since Democrats took control of Congress in January. Wednesday was the deadline for Bush to act or let the bill become law....

The bill Bush vetoed would have increased federal funding for SCHIP by $35 billion over five years, to add an estimated 4 million people to the program that provides insurance coverage for children from families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance. The joint federal-state program currently provides benefits to roughly 6 million people, mostly children.

A major point of contention with the White House was Bush's demand that nearly all poor children eligible for the program be found and enrolled before any in slightly higher-income families could be covered. He originally proposed adding $5 billion to the program over five years but later said he was willing to go higher as long as his conditions were met.

...Of the 43 million people nationwide who lack health insurance, more than 6 million are under 18 years old. That's more than 9 percent of all children.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the House will take up the extension question Thursday in a bill that also will make adjustments to Medicare.

"We'll obviously need to put additional money" into the children's health insurance program, Hoyer said, because several states say they will have to remove recipients from their rolls if the current funding level continues into next year.

So, If no extension is done to this program, the current existing program will fold... leaving states to have to pay for this on their own. States Rights you say? Is this what Republicans wanted when they called for more states rights? The right to let it's citizens go without Healthcare? The right to go further in debt? The right to choose between Oil or Food or medicine?
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284 comments (Latest Comment: 12/14/2007 04:07:51 by livingonli)

The Forgotten War
Author: BobR    Date: 12/12/2007 13:08:57

With all the talk and focus on the "war" in Iraq, you almost never hear stories or discussion about the military actions happening in Afghanistan. It reminds me of the Katrina aftermath - all the discussion was about New Orleans and Biloxi got short shrift despite the heavy destruction they endured.

Sure there have been "only" 734 miitary deaths so far, compared to the 3000+ in Iraq. But this war is now in it's 6th year. What have we gotten for all of the time and money and blood, toil, tears, and sweat invested there?

Apparently, not enough. Sec. Def. Robert Gates is asking for more troops:
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363 comments (Latest Comment: 12/13/2007 12:16:04 by TriSec)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 12/11/2007 11:40:10

Good Morning.

Today is our 1,728th day in Iraq.

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 3887
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3748
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3427
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3028
Since Election (1/31/05): 2450

Other Coalition Troops: 306
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 469

We find today's cost of war standing at:

$ 476, 075, 050, 000.00

and for comparison's sake, I ran across this tidbit last night on a WWII trivia site:
From 1941 to 1945, a total of 17,955,000 Americans were medically examined for induction into the armed forces. Some 6,420,000 (35.8 percent) were rejected as unfit because of some physical disability. Altogether, 16,112,566 Americans served their country in World War 11. A total of 38.8 percent (6,332,000) were volunteers. In all, 405,399 American service men and women gave up their lives in a war that cost the US $288 Billion Dollars.

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187 comments (Latest Comment: 12/12/2007 02:53:53 by livingonli)

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