Friday, January 27, 2006


• He lied to Congress and the
American people to launch
an illegal war of aggression
• He set up a worldwide
network of secret prisons,
torture and assassinations
• He unleashed a massive
unconstitutional wiretap and
spying operation against the
people of the United States

--from an ad in today's New York Times, paid for in part by yours truly. See for more.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Princes of Evil

Crawford, Texas in April 2005: The ruling patriarchs of both the USA and Saudi Arabia get together for some powerful prayer.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Christian Warriors

From an op ed in the New York Times yesterday at the link above:

"The war sermons rallied the evangelical congregations behind the invasion of Iraq. An astonishing 87 percent of all white evangelical Christians in the United States supported the president's decision in April 2003. Recent polls indicate that 68 percent of white evangelicals continue to support the war. But what surprised me, looking at these sermons nearly three years later, was how little attention they paid to actual Christian moral doctrine. Some tried to square the American invasion with Christian "just war" theory, but such efforts could never quite reckon with the criterion that force must only be used as a last resort. As a result, many ministers dismissed the theory as no longer relevant."

[ And this is of course why I dismiss evangelicals as no longer relevant.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Will Civilization Burn Out?

Lovelock, the earth scientist who promoted the "Gaia hypothesis", is back with a new warning about planetary warming -- an extremely distressing prediction of inevitable climate change over the next 100,000 years, massive extinctions, and a receding core of the remnants of civilization, perhaps preseved like the lost knowledge of ancient manuscripts hidden in monasteries of the Dark Ages. He says we've passed the turning point already.

I suppose that if his prediction is right, we'll be entering The Hot Ages. Bad time to be living in the tropics.

Lovelock's essay is at the link above.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Students Protest Recruiters, Spied On.

The good old Banana Slug tradition continues at my alma mater: Students Against War protest against military recruiters on the campus of University of California, Santa Cruz. 4/2005 (Photo by Bill Lovejoy, Santa Cruz Sentinel).

"Racist, sexist, antigay
"Hey, recruiters, go away!"

The Pentagon then blacklisted and spied on students in this group as a "credible threat" to . . . well, the Pentagon I guess.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Glowing Neon Pigs

A transgenic fluorescent green pig bred by the National Taiwan University is seen in Taipei January 12, 2006. Taiwan, home to the world's first transgenic glowing fish, has successfully bred fluorescent green pigs . . .

I'm so happy that we've finally bred glow in the dark pigs! I'm so tired of tripping over pigs in the dark. Yea technology!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

2700 Coal Mines Closed

Cramped conditions on display at the Coal Miner's Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

China recently shut down 2,700 coal mines due to safety violations (link above). It is a dirty and dangerous job as the recent tragic accident in West Virgina reminds us, but it is one hundred times more dangerous in China than anywhere else. Last year, about 7,000 miners died in China according to an official estimate. Labor rights groups estimate about 20,000 deaths. At least they are finally beginning to address the problem, so probably the number of deaths for 2006 will be less.

Chinese coal miner, 21st century.

Chinese rescuers rush an injured miner to a hospital after a gas leak at the Zijiang mine in Lengshuijiang, central China's Hunan province, June 8, 2005.

This has been an update on last year's bloggence: China Remains in the Coal Age and also Miners Get the Blind Shaft . . .

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

2006: Peak Water, Peak Food, Peak Oil

Another in our ongoing series of predictions for 2006: Peak oil is so, like, yesterday man. We're already over the peak and sliding to an oily end. For this year, with 67,000,000 more people added to the list living beings, we will witness the beginning of the beginning of peak water and peak food.

In the current "world system" distribution of resources, as always the poorest of the poor will be unable to obtain sufficient water.

For more details on this from Bill McKibben, see Getting Resourceful About Resources.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Bush is Reading 2 Books

G.W. Bush, while on his 704th vacation, is reading two books. Since he's bragged about never finishing a whole book and seldom reading newspapers, we should be worried about how the very little that he reads overly impresses his untutored mind. And sure enough, he reads for inspiration the kinds of authors who fit comfortably into his narrowly distorted worldview. Here are the two books:

1. When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt After the White House by Patricia O'Toole. Speculation is that Bush is planning ahead for his own "after the White House" career, just like Teddy: safari, etc. Deeper speculation is that Bush looks for inspiration to TR on imperial leadership-- remember that TR was the macho mover behind the American shift away from a republic and toward a colonial power. It's not so much neoconservative as retro. Actually this book does not hero worship TR, but suggests his blinkered limitations also.

2. Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground by Robert Kaplan. This book is much more worrying -- by one of the most reactionary and pro-imperialist flag wavers of American might = right. Rather than "support our troops", this author would have us exploit their gruntness for world domination. The next time I run across Robert Kaplan at some bookstore reading, I'll be sure to explain to him why he's a danger to himself and others, and therefore legally insane.

And that's it for the GW Bush information this New Year -- a retro-imperialist and a neo-imperialist. Does this offer us any hope for the future of the Executive Branch?


For a more detailed description of these books, see:Jim Lobe: Anti-Imperialists Beware - Bush Is Reading Again

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Caught in Subdued Perspex

{Excerpt from another blog about one of Time Magazine's pictures of the year 2005 }

The picture above deserves international recognition and the widest exposure. It is awesome in its scope and depth. It is a photograph from the heart of a dead country. Where does one start? The lighted humanity of the three uniformed marines administering to their dead comrade (bending, touching, caring...)? Perpendicular (opposed) to the lines of the flag draping the coffin, the layers above the silver'd belly of the cargo hold—coloured red white and blue—and into which are frozen a multiplicity of waxen, glass-cased faces and attitudes of suited... what? Corporate America? The average citizen? Corpses? Like faded stills, their TV faces caught in subdued perspex, it is they who are trapped mute, dumb, and lifeless in their casket of tubular steel. And yet the hydraulic power of that door is evident; good to disgorge such remains (perhaps processed from the asses six feet above) into perpetuity.

{ see rest of this comment on the blog YBLOG ZA