"Is anyone ever going to be held accountable for the behind-the-scenes sweetheart deals that passed tens of billions of taxpayer dollars through the AIG shell game to the very banks that caused the financial meltdown?" - Robert Scheer
"The purloined e-mail correspondence published by skeptics last week -- portraying some leading climate researchers as petty, vindictive and tremendously eager to make their data fit accepted theories -- does not prove that global warming is a fraud." - Eugene Robinson
cattle mutilations! OK, not to the poor rancher who sold off the rest of his calves and is eying his cows nervously: "A creepy string of calf mutilations in southern Colorado has a rancher and sheriff's officials mystified. Four calves were found dead in a pasture just north of the New Mexico state line in recent weeks. The dead calves had their skins peeled back and organs cleared from the rib cage. One calf had its tongue removed.
But rancher Manuel Sanchez has found no signs of human attackers, such as footprints or ATV tracks. And there are no signs of an animal attack by a coyote or mountain lion. Usually predators leave pools of blood or drag marks from carrying away the livestock. Two officers from the Costilla County Sheriff's Office have investigated the mutilations but say they don't know what's killing the calves.
"There's nothing really to go by," said Sanchez, who's ranched for nearly 50 years. "I can't figure it out."
Theorists trying to explain this phenomena take potshots everywhere, from satanic cults to UFO's : "At locations of cattle mutilations there are usually sightings of UFO's or unmarked black helicopters. Some ranchers have even reported seeing a UFO abducting the cattle in their fields. These sightings and the surgical precision of the mutilations have led some researchers to believe that extraterrestrials are to blame. The researchers speculate that the extraterrestrials take the animals' parts and blood to study at their leisure.
Skeptics contend that these cattle mutilations can be blamed on satanic cults and natural predators. They suggest that scavengers like ants and vultures go first for the softest dead tissue like the lips, eyes, and rectum. They argue that once the cow's heart stops pumping the blood will flow to and coagulate in the lowest portion of the body, giving it an appearance of being drained of all blood."
The San Luis Valley is quite large, spanning six counties with the Sangre DeChristo Mountains forming the Eastern end. Originally part of Ute Indian territory, it's now home to ranchers and many artists. It has a history of cattle mutilations that date back to the 1970's, and lots of other incredible strange happenings as well. I've read of everything from black helicopters, to floating orbs of colored light, to sightings of Sasquatch-like beings and dwarf-like creatures, to sounds of howling packs of animals always staying just ahead of the investigators, until they give up looking. Most of this continues today, but the mutilations had stopped for a few years. Now it looks like, cue the sound from the "Twilight Zone," they're baaacckk...
crazy in the caribbean...
"The queen of England will still rules — formally at least — over the eastern Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines after voters in a referendum rejected a plan to replace her with a president chosen by Parliament. Preliminary results showed 56 percent voted against the change, even though both of the country’s parties have sought to replace the queen with a president as head of state. Opposition leaders had urged voters to reject the proposal, arguing that it did not sufficiently reduce the powers of the prime minister, who would remain as head of government." Either this is a rejection of extending democratic principles in favor of an autocratic system, or they just fancy the old lady, or is it a blatant attempt at power grabbing by the local Parliament? This was only a piece of filler in the New York Times, they couldn't be bothered to do more research and analysis.
"They also said citizens, rather than Parliament, should elect the president.""Haiti’s electoral council banned Fanmi Lavalas, the influential party of the exiled former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, from next year’s legislative elections. It was one of 17 groups, including the Lespwa movement that formed around President Rene Preval, listed as banned because they submitted improper documents. Mr. Aristide, who was overthrown during a 2004 rebellion and is living in exile in South Africa, said in an interview with Radio Solidarité that the decision to eliminate Lavalas was “an electoral coup d’état.” Haiti’s legislature chose a new prime minister last week, and tensions remain high over the presence of 9,000 United Nations peacekeepers, who arrived in the impoverished country after the 2004 rebellion."
Jeez, what's next, the reforming of the Tonton Macoute, if they've really ever left: "In 1959, he created the force, which were granted automatic amnesty for any crime committed during any official act.
They were known for wearing dark glasses, wielding machetes, and leaving their victims hanging in a public place as a warning to others. They cultivated the image of being vodun demons or zombies. It is alleged that the death squad continues to operate in Haiti..." Both Papa Doc Duvalier and his son, Baby Doc, were dictators in the worst sense. They deforested 98% of the island's trees, leading to the depletion of the topsoil, fished out most of the surrounding waters, and made millions being a shipping terminal for Columbian cocaine. The only act of justice carried out against them, besides kicking Baby Doc out of the country, was when his wife left him once they got to the French Riviera for safety. The area where Baby Doc lives alone is known as Dictator's Row, where several exiled leaders lived with the money they had ripped off from their equally poor countries. Thank God for aid from the USA...
don't let the door hit your ass on the way out...
Finally, the Obama administration is doing something that is positive reform in Washington. Yes, kicking out the lobbyists from all governmental advisory posts: "The initiative is aimed at a system of advisory committees so vast that federal officials don't have exact numbers for its size; the most recent estimates tally nearly 1,000 panels with total membership exceeding 60,000 people.
Under the policy, which is being phased in over the coming months, none of the more than 13,000 lobbyists in Washington would be able to hold seats on the committees, which advise agencies on trade rules, troop levels, environmental regulations, consumer protections and thousands of other government policies.
"Some folks have developed a comfortable Beltway perch sitting on these boards while at the same time working as lobbyists to influence the government," said White House ethics counsel Norm Eisen."
"But lobbyists and many of the businesses they represent say K Street is being unfairly demonized by a White House intent on scoring political points with scandal-weary voters. They warn that the latest policy will severely handicap federal regulators, who rely heavily on advisory boards for technical advice and to serve as liaisons between government and industry." Dudes, they will still get advice, just not from you... The Obama administration has also made it harder for a lobbyist to get a job with the government, and there is now a moratorium period when a government official can sign up as a lobbyist once they no longer work for the government. Unfortunately, any former Congressman is free to do so immediately.
Does anybody think that a paid professional for an industry does not have an agenda and could ever be neutral? Unless you are a Republican who worked for the Bush administration? Any member from an interested company is welcome to try and join an advisory committee. This just takes away some of the overpaid, overblown livelihood of K Street's 13,000 registered bloodsuckers. One small step for us honest folks...
"It's healthy to move away from the professional advocates for the special interests and let some new voices be heard."
Now, a moment of Universal Zen: