Wednesday, April 28, 2004


Cancer Treatment on a Chip
Scientists have developed what they say could become the world's smallest medical kit: a computer, made of DNA, that can diagnose disease and automatically dispense medicine to treat it.

The computer, so small that one trillion would fit into a drop of water, now works only in a test tube, and it could be decades before something like it is ready for practical use. But it offers an intriguing glimpse of a future in which molecular machines operate inside people, spotting diseases and treating them before noticeable symptoms even appear.

'Eventually we have this vision of a doctor in a cell,' said Dr. Ehud Shapiro of the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot, Israel, who led the work, published online yesterday by the journal Nature.

DNA's role is to store and process information, the genetic code. So it is not surprising that it can be used for other computing tasks as well, and scientists have in fact used it to solve various mathematical problems. But the Israeli scientists said theirs was the first DNA computer that could have a medical use.

The computer, a liquid solution of DNA and enzymes, was programmed to detect the kind of RNA (a DNA cousin) that would be present if particular genes associated with a disease were active.

In one example, the computer determined that two particular genes were active and two others inactive, and therefore made the diagnosis of prostate cancer. A piece of DNA, designed to act as a drug by interfering with the action of a different gene, was then automatically released from the end of the computer.

Experts called the work ingenious but pointed out that it had been done in a test tube, to which the RNA corresponding to the disease genes was added. It is not clear, they said, whether such a computer could work inside cells, where there would be many pieces of DNA, RNA and chemicals that could interfere.

'I think it's very elegant -it's almost like a beautiful mathematical proof," said Dr. George Church, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School. "But it's not working in human cells yet."
...
Elegant to be sure although I don't know about the whole mathematical proof analogy. As near as I can tell the "enzymes" are probably specific nucleases (RNase H being one) that will destroy DNA:RNA hybrids. So let's say we know that a disease/cancer produces (requires) a particular protein to be made and we know the DNA sequence of the transcript (gene) for that protein. The 'computer' would have this DNA sequence and in a person with the cancer/disease the RNA would be made and it would bind to the DNA in the computer and trigger release of the enzyme (or more likely production of the enzyme) that would destroy the bound RNA molecule and thus inhibit disease/cancer progression. It's a great idea but the intracellular environment is very different from a test tube and the necessary reactions could be competing with similar natural reactons in a cell or be inhibited in other ways as well, so its use is still a long ways off -but intriguing nonetheless.

Lulu To the Rescue

CANBERRA - A kangaroo named Lulu is to receive a national bravery award after raising the alarm to save an Australian farmer knocked unconscious by a fallen tree branch.

Hobby farmer Leonard Richards was checking for storm damage on his property at Tanjil South, 150 km (93 miles) east of Melbourne, last September when he was hit by a falling branch.

In a story reminiscent of the long-running Australian children's television series Skippy, in which a kangaroo rescued people in distress in the Australian bush, Lulu began barking until Richards' wife came to investigate, said the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).

She found her husband lying unconscious under a tree about 200 meters (650 feet) from the house, guarded by the kangaroo. Richards was taken to hospital to be treated for minor head injuries.

The RSPCA has given Lulu its animal valor award to recognize the kangaroo's heroic act with a certificate to be presented to Richards at a ceremony next month.
I don't think we'll have 'seeing eye' kangaroos any time soon but I wonder where exactly was 'man's best friend' when this happened. You'll note they're both getting treats in the picture -wonderful story.

Dealing With a HairyWooly Situation

BEFORE:

A VERY woolly New Zealand sheep that survived six years in the wild was today heading back into the hills near naked after his heavy fleece was shorn off on live worldwide television.

The merino wether was shorn of nearly 27 kilograms of fleece now being auctioned for the cancer charity Cure Kids.

Owner John Perriam said today that after the experience the sheep, named Shrek, was in 'fine fettle'.

'He's quite incredible. His personality has changed, he's almost saying 'thanks mate, I want to go back to the hills now' and he was pawing at the doors of the shed this morning,' Perriam told Radio New Zealand.
AFTER:



Wow, that's nearly 60 pounds of wool.

Six Million Kudos to Al
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Vice President Al Gore promised on Wednesday to give more than $6 million left over from his 2000 presidential bid to help Democrat John Kerry fight 'outrageous and misleading' Republican attacks.
Thanks, Al. 4 mil to the DNC and 1 mil each to the Democratic House and Senate committees.

63 Days To Sovereignty
FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) - The U.S. military has rushed more tanks and other armored vehicles to Iraq after requests from commanders in the bloodiest month for American troops since Saddam Hussein was toppled.

'That armor is either (in Iraq) now or is arriving as we speak. So those requests were quickly filled,' U.S. Marine Corps Major General John Sattler told reporters at the Pentagon by phone from the Gulf state of Qatar on Wednesday.

Sattler said the requests were made by commanders battling to stamp out guerrilla attacks in the so-called 'Sunni Triangle' north and west of Baghdad, including the flashpoint city of Falluja where U.S. Marines launched new air and ground attacks.

As U.S. helicopter gunships and jet aircraft pounded several districts across Falluja, west of Baghdad, President Bush said in Washington: 'Our military commanders will take whatever actions necessary to secure (the city).'
This is, apparently, what a 'return to normal' looks like - at least according to shrub
WASHINGTON -- President Bush said Wednesday he believes most parts of Fallujah are returning to 'normal' despite three days of battles with insurgents. Fighting and instability in Iraq will not force a delay in the June 30 transfer of power, he said.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004


Tom Oliphant As Witness
On the way to the fence where he threw some of his military decorations 33 years ago, I was 4 or 5 feet behind John Kerry.

As he neared the spot from which members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War were parting with a few of the trappings of their difficult past to help them face their future more squarely, I watched Kerry reach with his right hand into the breast pocket of his fatigue shirt. The hand emerged with several of the ribbons that most of the vets had been wearing that unique week of protest, much as they are worn on a uniform blouse.
...
At the spot where the men were symbolically letting go of their participation in the war, the authorities had erected a wood and wire fence that prevented them from getting close to the front of the US Capitol, and Kerry paused for several seconds. We had been talking for days -- about the war, politics, the veterans' demonstration -- but I could tell Kerry was upset to the point of anguish, and I decided to leave him be; his head was down as he approached the fence quietly.

In a voice I doubt I would have heard had I not been so close to him, Kerry said, as I recall vividly, 'There is no violent reason for this; I'm doing this for peace and justice and to try to help this country wake up once and for all.'

With that, he didn't really throw his handful toward the statue of John Marshall, America's first chief justice. Nor did he drop the decorations. He sort of lobbed them, and then walked off the stage.
...
What of Dubya's medals - don't tell me the Alabama National Guard didn't issue medals of valor for being AWOL. What about the drunken arrogant ass star?

An ElectedSelected Dictatorship
...
As Linda Greenhouse recently pointed out in The New York Times, the legal arguments the administration is making for the secrecy of the energy task force are 'strikingly similar' to those it makes for its right to detain, without trial, anyone it deems an enemy combatant. In both cases, as Ms. Greenhouse puts it, the administration has put forward 'a vision of presidential power . . . as far-reaching as any the court has seen.'

That same vision is apparent in many other actions. Just to mention one: we learn from Bob Woodward that the administration diverted funds earmarked for Afghanistan to preparations for an invasion of Iraq without asking or even notifying Congress.

What Mr. Cheney is defending, in other words, is a doctrine that makes the United States a sort of elected dictatorship: a system in which the president, once in office, can do whatever he likes, and isn't obliged to consult or inform either Congress or the public.

Not long ago I would have thought it inconceivable that the Supreme Court would endorse that doctrine. But I would also have thought it inconceivable that a president would propound such a vision in the first place.
The administration may argue separation of powers but what of checks and balances?

The Supreme Anointers Feign Impartiality and Solicitor General Olson Tries Stand-Up Comedy
...
The administration has lost two rounds in federal court. If the Supreme Court makes it three, Cheney could have to reveal potentially embarrassing records just before the presidential election. A lower court would have to work out details.

Justices were told by lawyers for the suing groups that the public has a right to information about committees like Cheney's. Former Enron Corp. Chairman Kenneth Lay and others were task force players, lawyers argued, but until the government produces records it won't be clear if they actually drafted the government's policies.

A ruling will come before July.

During arguments, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg questioned why the government was balking at the release of some records while giving out 36,000 pages from agencies on the same subject. 'If the whole thing is so misguided, if the application of this (law) violates the separation of powers, why did the government respond to the requests for information from the agencies?' she asked.

Solicitor General Theodore Olson said the administration did not want to be unnecessarily confrontational so it cooperated with some requests.[Nitpicker emphasis]
Why do I have the feeling the best outcome we can expect is for the supremes to kick it back to the lower court to ensure nothing comes out before the election for their precious.

Specter Squeezes By
PHILADELPHIA - Moderate Republican Sen. Arlen Specter beat back a tough primary threat Tuesday, barely defeating a conservative congressman who lacked support from party leaders but gained momentum by casting the four-term incumbent as too liberal.
I'm not entirely sure what to make of this. Granted, Specter may represent the lesser of evils when compared with Toomey, however he may also prove a more difficult opponent for Hoeffel (the Democratic candidate) in the general election. Also, even though it was extremely close, this will be touted as a victory for Bush -as he endorsed Specter.

64 Days to Sovereignty and ...
FALLUJAH, Iraq - U.S. warplanes and artillery attacked Sunni insurgents holed up in a slum in a thunderous show of force that rocked Fallujah Tuesday, sending huge plumes of black smoke into the night sky. The assault came after American troops killed 64 gunmen near the southern city of Najaf.

An American soldier was killed Tuesday in Baghdad, raising the U.S. death toll for April to 115 -the same number lost during the invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein last year. Up to 1,200 Iraqis also have been killed this month.[Nitpicker emphasis]
I suppose if we kill enough of them we won't need to worry about any inconvenient civil unrest.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Jimmy Breslin has a chat with God
...
I can't believe that Bush is so dumb that he thinks he actually talks to God.

When I am the only one I know of who talks to God.

I can prove that because God told me that no one else in America speaks to him directly.

I became involved in the religious crisis because I plan to run a religion to take over the Roman Catholic church that has failed so miserably. Let Bishop Breslin be your guide. He can talk to God. Not this cardinal in Rome running for pope, Francis Arinze, who wants to suffocate American temporal life by refusing Communion to any Catholic politician who does not oppose abortion, meaning John Kerry. Already, a past Arinze campaign speech at Georgetown had students leaving and a dean apologizing.

It shows how much I am needed. For I do not take these issues to some dim, musty Vatican.

I talk exclusively to the top of the sky.

'If I were to choose a people from these days of our tiny history, who would be the most favored?' I asked.

'I favor no country or group of people,' he told me when all this started. 'I am for all children, not just American whites.

'I have love for all my children.'

'Still, just tell me one group that has somewhat of an edge. I mean, after American Catholics, that's what I am, as you know. We are the best. Aren't we the best?'

'No.'

'How can that be? Catholics are the best because Catholics are against same-sex marriages.'

'Not quite.'

'Then who is really good?'

'Rwanda.'

'With all respect, how can you say that? What do they mean? America never even sent any troops into Rwanda.'

'They suffered.'

'What do they have in Rwanda? Muslims.'

'And Catholics.'

'And they each pray to their God?'

'There is only one God,' he said.
...
Go read the whole thang. Go on.

ScienceMissiles in Space
After President Bush's order that NASA redirect its energies toward human exploration of the Moon and Mars, the space agency has drastically shifted its scientific priorities, delaying missions and cutting the projected budgets of programs that it does not perceive as related to the exploration.

Much attention has been focused on the decision to let the Hubble Space Telescope die by canceling the shuttle mission to maintain it. But in the meantime, whole fields of science have been demoted to asterisks on NASA budget projections over the next few years, leading many scientists to fear for the future of science in space.
...
Dr. Lennard A. Fisk, a professor of space science at the University of Michigan and the chairman of the National Academy of Sciences' Space Studies Board, which helps set priorities for space research, said the emphasis on 'exploration' had thrown priorities out of balance, splitting the fields of science into 'haves' and 'have-nots.'

'Many of us feel this demarcation doesn't make sense,' Dr. Fisk said. 'Exploration is bigger than wandering around the solar system.'
Given that the Preznit wanders aimlessly around our little portion if the solar system it's not surprising that his view of exploration would be limited to that notion as well.

A start

First:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A divided U.S. Supreme Court let stand on Monday a ruling that reading a prayer before supper to Virginia Military Institute cadets violated the constitutionally required separation of church and state.
Second:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal prosecutor has been assigned to investigate Republican U.S. Senate staffers' improper accessing of thousands of Democratic computer files, a U.S. Justice Department official said on Monday.
Third:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two congressional Democrats on Monday demanded a full accounting of how the Bush administration used emergency money intended to respond to the Sept. 11 attacks, after a book alleged some funds were diverted to prepare for the Iraq war.
Tumblin'

Kerry's Quid Pro Quo
'If George Bush wants to ask me questions about that through his surrogates, he owes America an explanation about whether or not he showed up for duty in the National Guard. Prove it. That's what we ought to have,' Kerry told NBC News in an interview. 'I'm not going to stand around and let them play games.'
He does indeed - that is owe the American people an explanation. Hey George, you were a soldier -that means you didn't get to choose to not take a flight physical ...time to come clean. Keep pushin' Kerry.

Another Day Closer to Sovereignty
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A workshop believed to be producing chemical munitions exploded in flames Monday moments after U.S. troops broke in to search it, killing two soldiers and wounding five. Jubilant Iraqis swarmed over the Americans' charred Humvees, waving looted machine guns, a bandolier and a helmet.[Nitpicker emphasis]


More than a Million...



or about 1/40th of the votes needed to kiss his ass good-bye.

When Your Words Come Back To Haunt You

This excerpt of a Q & A with Anthony Zinny was posted by TBogg this weekend:
Do you think Saddam had any stocks of banned weapons?

I believe there probably might have been some laying around that he wasn't aware of. They would have been obsolete, even dangerous to move around. There might have been some that were destroyed, there just wasn't proper accounting. But he wasn't even focused on that; they (the U.N. arms inspectors) were. So my belief of what was there was the possible, the potential that you had to plan for, of old stocks, artillery shells, rocket rounds. There was probably about two dozen Scuds (ballistic missiles) that were unaccounted for at the outside that could have possibly been weaponized. But as time went on, these things would have been much more difficult to move, much more difficult to upload. If he possessed those tactical weapons, these things would have had maybe marginal tactical effect on the battlefield in the short term. But certainly nothing of a great threat to the United States. So I really did not think this was a major or imminent or grave and gathering or potential threat.

What should we have done, then, in your view?

Continue to contain them. Containment worked. The president has said containment didn't work. I disagree. First of all, containment worked with the Soviet Union, the Cubans, the North Koreans, thus far. Containment was done at very low cost. In Centcom, in my time there when we had the dual containment policy, there were less troops on a day-to-day basis in the entire theater than than report to work at the Pentagon every day in the entire theater.

[...]

You said all of the generals were against this war and the civilians were for it. What were the Chiefs of Staff doing? Weren't they doing the planning? How come that stuff that you're recommending wasn't done?

Look, when I was the commander in chief of Central Command, Gen. Hugh Shelton was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He required all the service chiefs and all the CINCS, to read 'Dereliction of Duty,' written by H.R. McMaster, a young Army major now colonel. It talked about the negligence of the joint chiefs during Vietnam who all knew what was being done was wrong in many aspects. Not only the strategy and policy in Vietnam, but also the way we were fighting the war, decisions like individual rotations rather than unit rotation. And we not only were forced to read the book and told to read it, we had a meeting in Washington where he brought in young McMasters, who addressed us about that negligence. So you ask why? It's a good question. There's going to be another dereliction of duty written in the future.

So you're suggesting the administration came in and said this is what we're going to do, shut up and do it?

The worst-kept secret in Washington is that as soon as this administration came in there was talk about taking down Iraq from day one. It's the worst-kept secret in Washington. There were Cabinet meetings where the deputy secretary of defense and others were pushing this. And certainly after 9/11 it was even more intense.
My favorite quote from the article is this:
So I really did not think this was a major or imminent or grave and gathering or potential threat.
Guess Zinni didn't appreciate their little semantic games either.

Surfin' for Health
MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush on Monday urged the U.S. Congress to make Internet access permanently tax free and to reduce regulations so high-speed access can be universally available by 2007.
Who needs health care when you can have high-speed internet access. I bet God told him to prioritize internet access right after they had the conversation about invading Iraq.

Friday, April 23, 2004


All in the Family

Two sisters involved in a bitter family battle over the ownership of the Patak curry sauce empire celebrated an £8 million victory over their brother and mother yesterday.

Outside the High Court in London, Chitralekha Mehta and Anila Shastri beamed with delight at the settlement. But their smiles masked the tragedy of a family rift that will never be healed.

They are split irrevocably from their mother, Shantagury Pathak, and brother, Kirit, 51, even though they are now co-owners in Patak Spices.
It's always refreshing to see that greed isn't a uniquely American trait.

Take a McHike
McDonald's is to include pedometers in adult versions of its Happy Meals in Britain later this year, it emerged yesterday.


The devices, which measure how many steps a wearer has taken, are part of a campaign to shake up the company's image as providers of unhealthy, high fat, high sugar food, and encourage customers to take more exercise.

However, health campaigners said the fat and sugar content of some McDonald's food was so great that a typical person would need to walk more than five and a half hours to burn off a meal.

Stung by criticism that its fast food is contributing to the obesity epidemic, and following threats of legal action from overweight Americans, the chain has revamped its menus over the past year.

The traditional staples of fries, burgers and shakes have been joined by salads, fresh fruit and bottled water. The company has also pledged to scrap its controversial 'supersize' portions of drinks and fries.

The new 'Go Active!' adult meal-in-a-box was launched in the United States last week and is expected to appear in Britain by the end of the year. The boxes contain salad, bottled water and a pedometer.[Nitpicker emphasisi]
Wouldn't it be more beneficial to include the pedometer in a fat-ladened Big Mac and Fries Happy Meal?

Life Imitating Art
A wealthy businessman whose marriage was in trouble offered $1 million to buy the wife of a close friend in a bizarre deal reminiscent of the Hollywood film Indecent Proposal, it was claimed in the High Court yesterday.
Okay, maybe not 'art'. I like Robert Redford but the film wasn't all that hot.

Ahead of Pace
WASHINGTON -Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader raised about $600,000 in the two months since announcing his candidacy, enough money to qualify for federal matching funds and well ahead of the fund-raising pace he set four years ago, his campaign announced Wednesday.
It may not seem like much but it qualifies him for matching federal funds; more reason for Kerry to be concerned.

Michael's Grand Jury

Michael Jackson was indicted. However, the charges for which he was indicted will evidently not be revealed until next week.

Time for Concern

The Kerry camp is reportedly unconcerned by Bush's performance in recent polls. If true, it appears as though, like myself, Richard Cohen thinks there is plenty for Kerry to be concerned about and time is not on his side.

Remembering Idealism

Bob Herbert on: A Muscular Idealism
Sargent Shriver is 88 years old, which is all the proof we need that time is flying. That he is not better known is a scandal.
...
Yet the author of a new biography of Mr. Shriver plausibly suggests that this idealistic and indefatigable man — who created and led the Peace Corps, founded Head Start, created the Job Corps and Legal Services for the poor, gave us Volunteers in Service to America, and was president and chairman of the Special Olympics — may have directly affected more people in a positive way than any American since Franklin Roosevelt.
...
Mr. Shriver, who has been married to John F. Kennedy's sister Eunice for more than 50 years, led the talent hunt for the new breed of public servants that staffed the Kennedy administration. You had to search hard, he felt, because those most suited for public office very often don't seek it.

The idea for the Peace Corps came up almost offhandedly during an address by Kennedy in the 1960 campaign. After the election the president asked Mr. Shriver to study the feasibility of such a program. Mr. Shriver has joked that he was the logical choice to create and lead the Peace Corps because everyone was sure it would be a disaster, and "it would be easier" for the president to fire his brother-in-law than anybody else.

A young Bill Moyers, who joined Mr. Shriver at the Peace Corps and eventually became its deputy director, said a crucial component of the corps was Mr. Shriver's deep commitment to the idea of America "as a social enterprise . . . of caring and cooperative people."

The Peace Corps turned out to be the signature success of Kennedy's New Frontier.
What a legacy.

Growing The Catholic Church
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- A top Vatican cardinal said Friday that priests must deny communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, but stopped short of saying whether it was right for John Kerry to receive communion.

Cardinal Francis Arinze spoke at a news conference to launch a new Vatican directive clamping down on liturgical abuses in Mass which bars lay people from giving sermons, non-Catholics from taking communion and rites of other religions from being introduced in the service.
Well, those wafers aren't so tasty and always stick to the roof of your mouth anyway.

While We Were Out Round Up

It's always a bit difficult to get back into the blogging thing after an absence, but in this case the more things change the more they stay the same appears an apt expression. So, by way of summary ... There was a new book, and an appearance, both of which corroborate Richard Clarke's statements. The administration continued to alter documents and lie; soldiers and civilians in Iraq continued to die. While the preznit suffered from the self-inflicted wounds of his inability to speak the English language and the ever-increasing leaks of incompetence and deception, one would think that his Democratic opponent could make great strides in the polls. Yet, alas, the bland Kerry, who has about as much appeal as rancid milk (okay, make that rancid milk with medals), fell behind in the polls during this time period. Yes, there was unprecedented ad-spending by the miserable failure during this time period but Kerry is still failing to provide an argument for people to vote for him. Is he better than Bush? Hell, plankton is arguably better than Bush - the bar's a bit low. Now, the morally bankrupt moron tells us he is not surprised that Americans are concerned about a possible terrorist attack between now and the election. Of course he isn't, he has Condi out in front with the fear meme telling Americans to expect an attack -though I'm sure there's no political motivation there. Air America Radio is back on in Chicago but not in L.A. So, have I missed anything?

Wednesday, April 14, 2004


Little Wonder
Text of Bush's Press Conference (washingtonpost.com): "QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

In the last campaign, you were asked a question about the biggest mistake you'd made in your life, and you used to like to joke that it was trading Sammy Sosa.

You've looked back before 9-11 for what mistakes might have been made. After 9-11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have learned from it?

BUSH: I wish you'd have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it.

John, I'm sure historians will look back and say, gosh, he could've done it better this way or that way. You know, I just -- I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn't yet.
I guess this answers why he couldn't see an al Queda attack coming. I mean if he didn't anticipate this question ...

Monday, April 12, 2004


Busy, Busy Busy

Between taxes and prep for an Earth Day event next weekend, blogging will be nonexistent to light (at best) 'til after the 18th.

Saturday, April 10, 2004


PDF of PDB

Here's a copy.

About what we might have expected - not specific but not 'historical' either; something that should have necessitated follow-up action ...so what was that? I also found the redaction at the bottom of each page, interesting. I would think that a memo for the preznit's eyes only would have some notation as to what page of the total number of pages each represented so that it would be evident whether or not the document was complete. For example, might the first page be page 1 of 3 and the second page be page 3 of 3 - then where's the middle page? See where constant deceit leads ... call me a skeptic. What would need to be redacted in that position on the page?

Friday, April 09, 2004


Well, Rabbits Are Rodents
Wellington - This weekend will not be a good time for the Easter bunny in the central Otago region of New Zealand's South Island.

More than 10 000 of them currently leaping about on farms in the area will not see the light of day on Sunday after 390 shooters take part in the annual Alexandra Easter Bunny Hunt.
No matter how you spend it, happy Easter weekend. Unless something dire happens, which, with this administration, is certainly not out of the question - I'll be back on Monday.

All Too Common
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The state bar association charged two former prosecutors with withholding evidence and lying to a judge in a 1998 murder trial resulting in a death sentence that was later thrown out.
Too many law schools; too few standards.

Indefensible
NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - A 9-year-old girl accused of stealing a rabbit and $10 from a neighbor's home was arrested, handcuffed and questioned at a police station.
Granted this child posed a serious threat to society...excuse me? Oh yes, the 'crime victim' wanted an arrest. So do I, if that allegedly adult 'crime victim' can't deal with this situation without wasting law enforcement resources, then she should be locked up and the key thrown away. The arresting officer? If that's how discretion is used in that department, some serious housecleaning is in order.

Vacationin' in Crawford
CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - Under pressure from the 9/11 commission, the White House on Friday worked to declassify an intelligence memo that was used to inform President Bush on Aug. 6, 2001, that Osama bin Laden wanted to launch attacks inside the United States.
Working to declassify? It's a friggin' memo, how much work can it take? Must be all that magic marker needed to obliterate all but the title which has, of course, already been 'released'.

LostGained in Translation

William Saletan provides a glossary for the translation of Condi's testimony yesterday:
Four years ago, when the Justice Department deposed Al Gore in the Clinton fund-raising scandal, I poked fun at Gore's self-serving, hypocritical redefinitions of everyday words. Today, National Security Adviser Condi Rice resorted to similar tactics in her testimony before the 9/11 commission. Here's a glossary of her terms.
Here's an addition ...Certainty: 'historical data' sufficient for the justification of invading a sovereign nation [Iraq] but insufficient for calling cabinet meetings or 'battle stations' in response to terrorist threats in the 'homeland'.

Thursday, April 08, 2004


Never Saw It Coming
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqi insurgents fought U.S. troops at two mosques in Fallujah and held sway over all or part of three southern cities in the worst chaos and violence since Baghdad fell a year ago Friday. In an ominous turn, kidnappers seized 13 foreign hostages and threatened to burn three Japanese captives alive if Tokyo did not withdraw its troops.
I suppose Condi and friends could never anticipate something like this any more than they could have anticipated forewarned terrorist attacks using hijacked planes. And, imagine, the insurgents show no hesitation to place themselves among 'innocents' - go figure... you'd have to be fu****' Kreskin to anticipate that. Depressing.

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

The 9/11 survivors have long awaited an apology from their government but save Richard Clarke's, none has been forthcoming. That would admit error, admission of fault, not the strong suit of the good ol' US of A. And of Iraq, I yield the blog to Elton John ... It's sad, so sad, it's a sad, sad situation and it's getting more and more absurd.

The Operation Was Successful But ...
The head of the US forces, Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez, announcing the start of Operation Resolute Sword in Baghdad, said: 'Let there be no doubt, we will continue our attacks till the al-Sadr influence is eliminated.'
Yet another 'operation'. Where do I apply to get the job of 'Operations' Titlist' - it must be at least a GS-15 don't you think? Here's a thought for the next operation ... Operation Get Your Heads Out Of Your Asses and Your Asses Out of Our Capitol - November is NOT soon enough.

Vague Specifics
MSNBC - Condoleezza Rice statement: Troubling, yes. But they don't tell us when; they don't tell us where; they don't tell us who; and they don't tell us how."
Is it just me or do all of this administration's denials regarding 9/11 (or anything else for that matter but let's stay on point) include specifics that not only make the claims ludicrous but indicate subterfuge. If we had know they were going to attack NYC with airplanes we would have done something? Damn those terrorists for not forwarding sufficient details of their intentions directly to the NSA so this administration would have been compelled to 'go to battle stations'. Sick, just sick - like a malignant tumor. Remind me to discuss 'the lump' - you know that lump in your throat that you may have experienced when hearing our national anthem or on some other occasion of positive stimuli rather than unity borne of tragedy - it's been such a long time gone.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004


Backing Biodiversity

More than 300 critically endangered species have no conservation protection in any part of their ranges, experts say.

Despite increases in the amount of protected land worldwide, many ecosystems fall outside this network of safe havens, scientists say in Nature.

This is because current protected areas do not represent enough of existing global biodiversity, the team claims.

They propose a shift in conservation planning to avoid species extinctions in coming decades.
...
They found the relationship between protected areas and patterns of biodiversity was uneven.

"Different countries need different levels of protection. Countries with many economic resources can afford that protection," Dr Rodrigues told BBC News Online.

"Most places where we've found these gaps are amongst the poorest countries in the world - poorest from an economic perspective, but richest in biodiversity."
...
The authors claim the number of species covered by the current network in their paper may be an overestimate because they had to assume that protected areas are adequate for protecting all species and that species can be protected equally effectively in any part of their range.

Gustavo Fonseca, executive vice president for programs and science at Conservation International commented:

"We should focus specifically on those places with the greatest concentrations of threatened and endemic species."
Bet you can figure out the common name for this little guy. Yep, it's a snake-necked turtle.

Really Tiny - Almost Ten To The Minus Avagadro
Scientists have developed a device able to measure the weight of a single cell, and they intend to weigh a virus next.

Made at Cornell University, it is a small cantilever whose vibration depends upon tiny masses placed on it.

The mass of a single cell of the E coli bacterium, they say in the Journal of Applied Physics, is 665 femtograms.

A femtogram is one-thousandth of a picogram, which is one-thousandth of a nanogram, which is a billionth of a gram.

The scale of the researcher's work is straining the number of prefixes needed to describe the world of the very small.

They have moved beyond the prefixes "nano", "pico" and "femto" to "atto," and now they have "zepto" in their sights. Officially zepto means one sextillionth of something, or one prefixed by 21 zeros.
Because they can?

Back to the Future: Second Class
It was the smallest of prangs, but the minor traffic accident between a top-of-the-range BMW and a rickety farmer's tractor has prompted the Chinese authorities into drastic action to prevent a head-on collision between the top and bottom classes of its increasingly divided society.

'The BMW incident,' as it is now widely known, forced the authorities to hold a retrial and made the propaganda ministry slam the brakes on internet chat-rooms filled with public resentment.

This thoroughly modern Chinese tale of social inequality, dubious justice and appalling driving began innocuously one day last October when Liu Zhongxia, a peasant woman, and her husband Dai Yiquan were rattling through Harbin, in Heliongjiang province, in a tractor piled high with onions.

A few years ago they would have enjoyed the freedom of almost empty roads, but China's booming economy is increasing the traffic at the rate of more than 20% a year. In one of the many changes of direction prompted by oncoming cars, Mr Liu scratched the wing-mirror of a new BMW X5, prompting an altercation which has still to die down six months later.

The details of the road rage incident have become the stuff of myth, but according to the local media, the driver of the BMW, Su Xiuwen, hit Mrs Liu with her purse and screamed: 'How can you afford to scratch my car?'

The furious woman - the wife of a business tycoon - then got back in her car, slammed her foot on the accelerator and ran over Mrs Liu, killing her and injuring a dozen other bystanders.

Public anger at this display of petulance was only increased by the trial on December 20, when Mrs Su was cleared of manslaughter and given a suspended sentence. In a hearing that lasted only two hours, the court accepted her claim that she had accidentally put her car into the wrong gear.
...
Not one witness turned up to testify, not even Mr Dai, who accepted an out-of-court settlement of 80,000 RMB (£6,000) - equivalent of eight years wages - for the death of his wife.

He told reporters he had had little choice. "I told police that she drove into the crowd on purpose," he said. "But no one dared stand up as a witness. I had to give up because I was helpless. I have no money, no power
."
...
Fearful that the BMW affair might become a cause celebre, the authorities ordered newspapers to play down or stop their coverage. The national propaganda department also instructed major chat-rooms to tone down the contributions they were receiving.

To placate opinion, Heilongjiang province ordered a retrial. But it was reported this week that the outcome was the same. With newspaper and website editors now under orders to dampen the emotions aroused by the affair, the verdict has been given scant coverage. But experts said it was unlikely to be the last China heard of such disturbances.[Nitpicker emphasis]
Can you imagine? Oh.

Sole Option
So now the president's war of choice has led to an occupation with no good options.
...
In any event, the administration still shows scant desire to surrender its control of the growing chaos. Jeremy Greenstock, Britain's commissioner in Iraq, has just given up his post in reported frustration over his inability to affect any of Bremer's decisions. And rather than internationalize control, it's increasingly apparent that we've opted to privatize our force -- relying on private security guards to supplement our official force on the ground. The decision epitomizes much that's wrong with the Bush presidency -- in particular, its desire to evade responsibility and accountability for its actions. If the bodies of the security guards killed in Fallujah had not been mutilated, how many American voters would have noticed? One recent poll shows that near-plurality of Americans now favors our leaving Iraq. But precisely because this was not a war we had to fight, just up and leaving would be politically and morally duplicitous. We wrested control of Iraq when we did not have to, and leaving it to its own devices as sectarian violence grows worse would be a dismal end. The only unequivocally good policy option before the American people is to dump the president who got us into this mess, who had no trouble sending our young people to Iraq but who cannot steel himself to face the Sept. 11 commission alone.[Nitpicker emphasis]
'nough said.

Got Your Back
A day after moving his News Corporation to the US, Rupert Murdoch got to work ingratiating himself
with the locals yesterday, telling George Bush he was on his way to an easy victory in this year's presidential election.
No worries here Georgie. No 'paid advertising' necessary here - we (Fox, Weekly Standard and the rest of my media empire as necessary) are at your disposal.

Steady Leadership Turnover
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush administration has faced a steady exodus of counterterrorism officials, many disappointed by a preoccupation with Iraq they said undermined the U.S. fight against terrorism.

Former counterterrorism officials said at least half a dozen have left the White House Office for Combating Terrorism or related agencies in frustration in the 2 1/2 years since the attacks.

Some also left because they felt President Bush had sidelined his counterterrorism experts and paid almost exclusive heed to the vice president, the defense secretary and other Cabinet members in planning the "war on terror," former counterterrorism officials said.

"I'm kind of hoping for regime change," one official who quit told Reuters.
...
The attrition among all levels of the Office for Combating Terrorism began shortly after the attacks and continued into this year. At least eight officials in the office -- which numbers a dozen people -- have left and been replaced since 9/11. Several of the officials were contacted by Reuters.[Nitpicker emphasis]
I guess that's understandable when you're all running around with your hair on fire and no one is paying attention.

Deja Vu Times Two
The wife of Enron's former finance chief pulled out of her plea bargain with prosecutors on Wednesday after a federal judge rejected a recommended prison term of five months, sending the case to trial.

Lea Fastow, a former Enron assistant treasurer, changed her plea to not guilty after U.S. District Judge David Hittner snubbed a deal the prosecution and defense had vigorously advocated.

As Lea Fastow stood before him, the judge said he saw no reason why she should not serve the 10 to 16 month term probation officials recommended in a pre-sentence report.
...
It was history repeating itself between the judge and DeGeurin. In 2000, Hittner rejected a plea-bargained sentence of six months for a woman in a drug case and gave her nearly five years.
Seems like we've been here before. Evidently for the judge and Fastow's attorney, DeGeurin, on more than one occasion. Bet Lea's hopin' the third time's a charm.

Fat Tony's 18-minute Gap
Two reporters were ordered Wednesday to erase their tape recordings of a speech by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at a Mississippi high school.
...
Scalia gave two speeches Wednesday in Hattiesburg, one at Presbyterian Christian High School and the other at William Carey College. The recording-device warning was made before the college speech.
Guess Fat Tony thought the 1st Amendment was for a free albeit fettered press. Quack.

It was a Map of Afghanistan

Ward Sutton gives us a visual of Condi's recollection of the days following the day that changed everything.

Rice to Detail Bush's Pre-9/11 Efforts.

Well, that should take about twenty seconds; wonder what she has planned for the rest of her 'testimony'.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004


When Everyone Gets a Ribbon

What would Joseph Pulitzer do?

This year's Pulitzer prizes were awarded yesterday.
In the latter years of the 19th century, Joseph Pulitzer stood out as the very embodiment of American journalism. Hungarian-born, an intense indomitable figure, Pulitzer was the most skillful of newspaper publishers, a passionate crusader against dishonest government, a fierce, hawk-like competitor who did not shrink from sensationalism in circulation struggles, and a visionary who richly endowed his profession. His innovative New York World and St. Louis Post-Dispatch reshaped newspaper journalism. Pulitzer was the first to call for the training of journalists at the university level in a school of journalism. And certainly, the lasting influence of the Pulitzer Prizes on journalism, literature, music, and drama is to be attributed to his visionary acumen. In writing his 1904 will, which made provision for the establishment of the Pulitzer Prizes as an incentive to excellence, Pulitzer specified solely four awards in journalism, four in letters and drama, one for education, and four traveling scholarships. In letters, prizes were to go to an American novel, an original American play performed in New York, a book on the history of the United States, an American biography, and a history of public service by the press. But, sensitive to the dynamic progression of his society Pulitzer made provision for broad changes in the system of awards. He established an overseer advisory board and willed it "power in its discretion to suspend or to change any subject or subjects, substituting, however, others in their places, if in the judgment of the board such suspension, changes, or substitutions shall be conducive to the public good or rendered advisable by public necessities, or by reason of change of time." He also empowered the board to withhold any award where entries fell below its standards of excellence. The assignment of power to the board was such that it could also overrule the recommendations for awards made by the juries subsequently set up in each of the categories. Since the inception of the prizes in 1917 the board, later renamed the Pulitzer Prize Board, has increased the number of awards to 21 and introduced poetry, music, and photography as subjects, while adhering to the spirit of the founder's will and its intent.[Nitpicker emphasis]
Given Pulitzer's intent and the Prize Board's broad discretion, it's difficult to understand the awarding of any prize in the area of journalistic excellence this year. I guess it's like 'grade inflation' - what's an "A" when everyone gets at least a "B" for just showing up. The prize for investigative reporting was given to a couple of reporters from a Toledo, Ohio newspaper, The Blade. They did a series on Vietnam War atrocities. Yes, that's right Vietnam War - more than 30 years ago. Granted their reporting resulted in renewed interest by the military regarding the initial inquiry and investigating any incident so far removed in time, offers unique challenges, but journalistic excellence? If the questions had been asked at the time... maybe. If anyone from The Blade or the Washington Post or the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal or [fill in the blank] had been asking the difficult questions three years ago... maybe.

Shhhhhh
The White House has refused to provide the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with a speech that national security adviser Condoleezza Rice was to have delivered on the night of the attacks touting missile defense as a priority rather than al-Qaida, sources close to the commission said Tuesday.

With Rice scheduled to publicly testify Thursday before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, the commission submitted a last-minute request for Rice's aborted Sept. 11 address, the sources told Reuters on condition of anonymity. But the White House has so far refused on the grounds that draft documents are confidential, the sources said.
Documentation. If the commission doesn't have it, it didn't happen. Yeah, all righty. Tumblin'

You Can Dance, You Can Jive But ...

No more having the time of your life.

3 to 1

Ratio of marines killed per 'contractors' thus far.

Monday, April 05, 2004


As usual, Orcinus has a thoughtful post about Fallujah and our own 'glass house'.

Bob Graham Must Truly Hate America

Senator Bob Graham Remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations:
BOB GRAHAM: Good morning and good afternoon and, Gerry, thank you very much for your kind introduction. I was saying I appreciate both your remembrance and your remarks.

I'm going to start at the outset this afternoon by saying that I will make some comments today that will not be well-received in the White House. I have observed the White House's reaction to comments that it does not well receive, and so in a matter of pre-emptive defense, I have a confession to make. When I was four years old, I was enrolled in the Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod Nursery School in Tallahassee, Florida. On a day in the spring of my enrollment in 1941, I kicked in a house made of blocks by some of the other students at Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod Nursery School. The director of the school told me, "Robert, we cannot have that behavior by the children at Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod. I am calling your mother and asking that she come and take you home, and that she not ever bring you back." Now, that's on the record, you can make whatever you wish of that confession.

Friends, this has been a painful week for our nation. The horrible tragedy of September 11 has been revisited, first in hearings by the [9/11] Commission and, second, by the revelations in the book ["Against All Enemies: Inside the White House's War on Terror--What Really Happened"] of the former White House counterterrorism director, Richard Clarke.

More painful than the memories which these events have resurrected, I believe is the growing realization that our leaders did not do everything that they could have done and should have done to protect Americans from a terrorist attack. The 9/11 Commission, for example, has reported that they endorse the recommendations of the Joint Congressional Inquiry [into the 9/11 terrorist attacks], which I co-chaired with my friend and colleague and fellow Floridian, Porter Goss. We found that failures of intelligence collection and analysis, compounded by a lack of information-sharing within the intelligence community and between the intelligence community and the law enforcement community, cost us the chance to detect and disrupt the plot of the 19 hijackers. In short, September 11 could have--indeed, should have--been prevented.

I share Richard Clarke's view that since September 11, President Bush and his key members of his administration have failed to keep their eye on the ball on the war on terrorism. Frankly, we had al Qaeda on the ropes in the spring of 2002. But rather than finishing the job and crushing the operational command structure of al Qaeda, we shifted our focus.

Let me share a personal story. [U.S.] Central Command, which has responsibility for our military actions in both Afghanistan and Iraq, is headquartered in Tampa, Florida, at MacDill Air Force Base. It has been my practice to periodically visit the Central Command, to receive a briefing as to what they are doing. I did that in February of 2002. After the formal briefing with PowerPoint [presentations] and all that goes with a military briefing, I was asked by one of the senior commanders of Central Command to go into his office. We did, the door was closed, and he turned to me, and he said, "Senator, we have stopped fighting the war on terror in Afghanistan. We are moving military and intelligence personnel and resources out of Afghanistan to get ready for a future war in Iraq." This is February of 2002. "Senator, what we are engaged in now is a manhunt not a war, and we are not trained to conduct a manhunt."

To draw a historical analogy, I think that what the Bush administration did, beginning as early as February of 2002, was to make a decision that we would fight a pre-emptive war against Mussolini and let Hitler run free. I agree with Richard Clarke, who concludes in his book that Iraq was a complete and unnecessary tangent. I have described [it] as a distraction.

Now, I don't mean to suggest, and I do not believe Richard Clarke means to suggest, that Saddam Hussein is anything other than a bad, evil person who did bad and evil things to his own people and his neighbors and would hoped to have done it more broadly. But the question was not a singular question about Saddam Hussein. It was, rather, a comparative question. Of all the evils in that neighborhood of the Middle East and Central Asia, which evil deserved to have our primary military attention?

As we have learned since the war in Iraq, our intelligence on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction was deeply flawed, and my good friend and former colleague, Senator [Charles S.] Robb [D-Va.], is going to be at the front seat of trying to determine why that was--if it was the case and, if so, why. [Robb co-chairs a bipartisan commission established in February by President Bush to examine U.S. intelligence-gathering.]

There has never been a shred of evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime had any ties to al Qaeda, despite the suggestions from the president and other key administration officials that they were, in some way, married. And at his campaign kickoff in my state of Florida on last Saturday, March 20, the president again gave the American people the clear impression that Saddam Hussein was, in some reason, linked to 9/11. In fact, Iraq and al Qaeda represented opposite ends of Islamic thought: Iraq, a secular government based in Baghdad with the traditional ambitions of a nation-state; al Qaeda, a shadowy, extremist movement that relied on the protection of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

As Gerry said, I voted against the resolution to go to war in Iraq. Let me explain why I did it and what I think it says about the Bush administration. I did it because I thought the standard as to which of the many evils in the Middle East and Central Asia we should apply our military force against was a rather--[inaudible]--strategy and a simple one. Which of those evils had the greatest capability to kill Americans? Now, you can argue--maybe you would have--a different standard. That was my standard.

And then I thought that there were three factors that would help answer that question. Which of the evils in the region had the greatest capability to kill Americans, particularly, had the number of trained persons in the art and skills of terrorism to do so? There was no question as to who had the greatest capability, particularly in light of the fact that, as we now know, Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction available for immediate use. It was al Qaeda.

Second, who had the greatest will to use that capability? In the National Intelligence Estimate that the consensus of our intelligence agencies produced in September of 2002 [and], after some effort, was finally willing to release publicly, they made the collective judgment of the American intelligence community that Saddam Hussein was not a threat to the United States unless he was attacked. And so what did we do? We attacked him.

On the other hand, al Qaeda, without provocation, had just killed 3,000 Americans on September 11. But I think the most significant criterion is not just capability and will, but rather presence. Unless we were engaged in a war like we were in the Cold War, where the Soviet Union had massive missiles to deliver their weapons of mass destruction, it is difficult to attack the United States with weapons of mass destruction unless you have some capacity inside the United States to do so.
...
Via The Poor Man
There's a good deal more so go finish reading. The Poor Man also shares my opinion [not favorable] of Air America thus far.

Before the 'Vetting'

Leaders of 9/11 Panel Say Attacks Were Probably Preventable and Republican Senator Richard Luger sides with Clarke.

Tumblin' Oh yeah, and Karen Hughes is lying and foaming at the mouth as usual.

Go Teddy.

White House to Edit Vet 9/11 Report Before Release
The White House will vet "line by line" the report of an independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks before it is publicly released, the commission chairman said on Sunday.
...
The disclosures indicate that although the White House has made concessions to the panel, including allowing national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to testify publicly this week, it still retains significant influence over the process.[Nitpicker emphasis]
I guess it all depends on your definitions of 'vet' and 'independent'. Influence? Duh.

Not Quite Ready to Flop

When asked about [what will no doubt turn out to be yet another Bush flip-flop] whether the current situation in Iraq should warrant reconsideration about the June 30th handover of 'sovereignty' to Iraq, Bush queried, "Did they change the November election date yet?"

Another Drunk German Story

I previously posted on a German sobriety test, now this:
A German man was forced to invite the police to his wedding after they arrested him for drunk driving the day of his marriage and had to escort him to the registry office, authorities said Monday.

'The police escort also offered the bridal pair his most heartfelt congratulations,' said police from the northern city of Bremen in a statement.

Police arrested the inebriated 36-year-old after he crashed his car and failed to disguise that he had been drinking heavily. He told police he had been out on his stag night and was on the way to pick up wedding flowers for his bride.
Okay, show of hands ladies - did the flowers do the trick?

Who Threw The Curveball?
An Iraqi defector nicknamed Curveball who wrongly claimed that Saddam Hussein had mobile chemical weapons factories was last night at the centre of a bitter row between the CIA and Germany's intelligence agency.

German officials said that they had warned American colleagues well before the Iraq war that Curveball's information was not credible - but the warning was ignored.

It was the Iraqi defector's testimony that led the Bush administration to claim that Saddam had built a fleet of trucks and railway wagons to produce anthrax and other deadly germs.

In his presentation to the UN security council in February last year, the US secretary of state, Colin Powell, explicitly used Curveball's now discredited claims as justification for war. The Iraqis were assembling 'mobile production facilities for biological agents', Mr Powell said, adding that his information came from 'a solid source'.

These 'killer caravans' allowed Saddam to produce anthrax 'on demand', it was claimed. US officials never had direct access to the defector, and have subsequently claimed that the Germans misled them.

Yesterday, however, German agents told Die Zeit newspaper that they had warned the Bush administration long before last year that there were 'problems' with Curveball's account. 'We gave a clear credibility assessment. On our side at least, there were no tricks before Colin Powell's presentation,' one source told the newspaper.
Yes, we think Colin Powell is tricksy.

In Case of Emergency Break Glass


MoDo was on target again as she writea on the optical delusions of this White House.

Would this make the situation in Iraq a quagmirage?

A Liar and a Cheat
In the botanical world, orchids are famed not only for their great beauty, but also for their powers of deceit, well established as the liars and cheats of the plant kingdom, making false promises of food, drink and even sex to the bees and other pollinators flying by.

Many orchids have a sweetly alluring fragrance but not a drop of the expected nectar. Others look and smell just like female bees, attracting male bees that try hopelessly to mate with the blossom.

Yet for more than a century, scientists have been unable to figure out why these species have evolved to be so unpleasant and unwelcoming to pollinators.

Now scientists report that the reason orchids treat their insect visitors so shabbily is that they want them to fly away.

A team from South Africa and Sweden says that once an insect visits an orchid flower and picks up a packet of pollen, the ideal outcome from an orchid's point of view is that the insect flies away and fertilizes other plants.

If the bee hangs about, visiting other flowers on the same plant, it will fertilize the plant with its own pollen, producing defective, inbred seeds that are unlikely to sprout into healthy offspring.
Ah, and even orchids know that inbreeding isn't such a good idea. No doubt a result of Intelligent Design rather than any evolutionary adaptation.[joke]

It's called Greed. Although a recent study from the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University refers to it as The Unprecedented Rising Tide of Corporate Profits and the Simultaneous Ebbing of Labor Compensation - Gainers and Losers from the National Economic Recovery in 2002 and 2003.

Excerpt from Hebert
The study found that the amount of income growth devoured by corporate profits in this recovery is 'historically unprecedented,' as is the 'low share ... accruing to the nation's workers in the form of labor compensation.'

I have to laugh when I hear conservatives complaining about class warfare. They know this terrain better than anyone. They launched the war. They're waging it. And they're winning it.[Nitpicker emphasis]

Sad, but true.