...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005
      ( 3:55 PM )
Cutting to the Chase

Kos makes a very concise and true point on the SC nomination of John Roberts:

Rather than take their time and find the right candidate, it looks like Bush, Rove and Co. simply picked the first guy that looked good.

Because in this administration, short-term political gain trumps everything.

Everything about this administration is short-term. There has never been one ounce of vision come out of this White House. "Political Capital" seems to be good only for immediate power plays - not to be used for the long term good of the citizens. Of course, considering every move George W. Bush and Karl Rove have made since they came on the political scene, how could we expect anything else?

The problem is, all their nearsighted decisions will do one thing: leave us all with long-term crap to have to clean up after them.

| -- permanent link

Thursday, July 14, 2005
      ( 6:36 AM )

It has actually arrived. Today is the very last day I will ever attend graduate school. It's been a VERY long 14 months (with many of my faithful blog readers left by the wayside due to my inconsistency over the last year!). But I survived! Master's Degree, teaching license in hand, I will begin my first job as a high school social studies teacher in August. But until then --- REST! The first leg of my holiday from brainwork begins this afternoon when I and my family will trek up to the glorious Olympic Penninsula for a long weekend of rainforest hiking, summit climbing and general beach relaxing. If you have never been to the Olympic Coast, you have really missed one of the wonders this nation holds for us.

I will be taking with me my new telescope with which to view the vivid starry nights - as some of you know, my growing hobby is amateur astrononomy (see sidebar links), one other thing that I had to leave on the wayside this last year. But I am planning on picking it up again with vigor this weekend. In celebration, I share this REALLY cool discovery:

A newly discovered planet has bountiful sunshine, with not one, not two, but three suns glowing in its sky.

It is the first extrasolar planet found in a system with three stars. How a planet was born amidst these competing gravitational forces will be a challenge for planet formation theories.

"The environment in which this planet exists is quite spectacular," said Maciej Konacki from the California Institute of Technology. "With three suns, the sky view must be out of this world -- literally and figuratively."


Have a great weekend, earthlings.

| -- permanent link

Wednesday, July 13, 2005
      ( 8:07 PM )
The Real Story

As usual, Tom Burka has got the inside track on the real story...

In a press conference yesterday, White House spokesperson Scott McClellan refused to confirm that the President knew a "Karl Rove" or that he had ever come across anyone by that name.

"I will not comment upon whether the name is even vaguely familiar to me," said McClellan, saying that "the White House has a policy of not giving potentially damaging information to the public at any time."

Read on -- you'll not get this kind of crack reporting anywhere else.

P.S. On the more serious side of things, John over at AmericaBlog notes that Daniel Schorr's commentary on the issue gets right to the point. This isn't about a small leaking scandal, this is about engaging in a war based on lies. The shame of the Republican Party is only one corner of this travesty. The deaths of thousands is a much, much bigger issue that Karl Rove and George W. Bush must answer for.

| -- permanent link

Tuesday, July 12, 2005
      ( 6:15 AM )
We're Not Afraid

You may decry many things about globalization, but one thing I cannot regret is the ability of humanity to come together against the forces that want to keep us apart - (both those that threaten with bombs and those that threaten with power to try to keep us afraid so we will acquiesce to their empire building).

Check it out. It will do your soul good.

| -- permanent link

Monday, July 11, 2005
      ( 5:28 PM )
Ignominious Anniversary

There is an article in the NY Times and an editorial today marking the tenth anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide - where Serbs massacred tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims and committed atrocious crimes against humanity on thousands more. What I found compelling was not the obvious questions about what it will do to the soul of Serbia not to deal with the crimes that were committed - but rather the example that it leaves for us in these current times. Ten years ago the world barely acknowledged the genocide that was happening until it was almost over - then moves to punish the higher-up criminals began. But the Serbs as a people are in full-on denial and whitewash of what happened.

At the end of the Second World War, Allied troops forced German citizens to walk through Nazi death camps. They were confronted by crimes committed in their name, in order to ensure that those crimes could not be denied or minimized later. The people of Serbia and Montenegro, by contrast, have never been forced to acknowledge the crimes committed in their name.

The model used in South Africa was the most difficult path for reconciliation. The Truth and Reconciliation model requires that those who were victims be willing to exchange punishment of those who victimized them in order to learn the full truth. The South Africans would never say this was an easy path, but it is what they chose. Reconciliation in the Balkans cannot be possible until the Serbs are willing to face the truth that what was suffered at the hands of the Serbs was far and away more grave than what they suffered.

This reminds me of our own situation now. We are already amongst revisionists who want us to believe that we continue to suffer these horrible crimes against us by fundamentalists who endanger our very existence. Yet, the crimes against humanity that we have visited upon an entire region of people so far outweighs our ongoing "suffering." 9/11 was a horrible, shocking crime against us - the appropriate response would have been to find those responsible and punish them. Instead, we have launched ourselves into a situation where innocent people are being hurt and killed every day because we wanted retribution far and away unequal to what was logical. We are complicit in torture while our leaders try to pshaw away the inhumanity of our actions towards Iraqis, Afghans and our own soldiers and their families. Will we ever be able to face the truth about what we have allowed to happen in our name? We do not even see the coffins coming home or the thousands of wounded and maimed who fill our hospitals because history is already being revised. Will we exchange our pride for the truth? I hope so.

| -- permanent link

Wednesday, July 06, 2005
      ( 8:06 PM )
Happpy Birthday Mr. President

I think what I'll get you this year is a helmet with its own set of training wheels on top.

Then again, maybe just a renewed membership in AA?

| -- permanent link