Saturday, March 31, 2007

Voters Lean Towards More Divided Government In Early 2008 Election Polls

Early polls for the 2008 elections strongly suggest that the voters lean towards more divided government. While Rudolph Giuliani currently leans all three major Democratic opponents, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards in polls, both Edwards and Obama show a potential to make the race at least close at this point according to recent polls.

But the Democrats do stand a decent opportunity to knock off even more incumbent Republican senators in 2008 according to recent polls in Oregon and New Hampshire. Republican Senator Gordon Smith is currently trailing poosible Democratic opponent Representative Peter Defazio by a 42 to 38% margin. This is remarkable because Smith has proven a recent more moderate voting record including his recent opposition to the Iraq War and support for social programs such as opposing cuts to the Food Stamps program. In New Hampshire, incumbent Senator John Sununu is in even worse condition trailing former Democratic Governor Jeanne Sheehan by a serious 44-34% margin.

In Texas, Senator John Cornyn, and in Minnesota, Norm Coleman are slipping below a 50% voter public approval threshold and could even be vulnerable in 2008 as well.

The question is whether the public likes a divided government to provide checks and balances, or whether the current strength of Rudolph Giuliani while some other Republicans are on the skids is an indiuvidual phenomenon or subject to later fluctuation or not.

France's Space Agency Makes UFO Files Public

The French Space Agency with approval of the French government has become the first major world state to make public it's 50 years of UFO files and reports this week. There are details of 1,600 UFO incidents with 6,000 witness accounts, and at least 25% of the incidents in France since 1954 rank as "Type D" incidents which are seen as unexplained and with credible witnesses.

Some staggering accounts as well as photographic evidence of some very unusual activity are posted on the French Space Agency site at: although the site is written in the French language, so some translation skills are required to read the text or fully comprehend the data or photographs posted on the site.

In at least one incident, a saucer shaped craft landed in the South of France and left burnt marks on the soil when it took off shortly after landing. Other credible accounts offer staggering information, and some photos are absolutely startling as well as puzzling.

At one time both president Jimmy Carter, who once witnessed an UFO while fishing and then Ronald Reagan sought to make American UFO files more public. But when fomer CIA director George Bush entered office in 1989, he quickly move to again suppress any UFO information collected by the government from public view. Whether the French disclosures will inspire more world governments including the U.S. towards better public disclosure is yet to be seen.

U.S. Economy May Eventually Collapse From A "Perfect Storm" Of Building Problems

Serious mounting problems could eventually collapse the American economy unless some serious problems are reversed. No world society has ever managed to survive for many years the "perfect storm" of mounting problems that could collapse the American economy. Major areas of serious concern include:

The huge growth of the federal debt. In 1989 the federal debt was at $2.7 trilion dollars. By September 2000, the federal debt topped $5.6 trillion dollars. Under the Bush presidency, the debt total now exceeds $8.3 trillion dollars. Within ten years a federal debt of nearly $13 trillion seems likely. In Times Square in NYC a debt clock once posted the shocking increases in nationasl debt. However instead of actually fixing the problem, in 2000 the clock debt was turned off. Apparently no news was seen as better than bad news by the government and American economists who were making little progress fixing the debt problem.

Mr. Bush decided to only complicate the post 2001 recession problems with massive tax cuts to the wealthy class, expensive wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and effectively reduced revenues while spending at reckless rates with little restraints on spending.

Individual households are not only saddled with this national debt and resulting interest rates hich figures are roughly $76,000 per American households, but are falling into deeper personal debt themselves for mortgages and credit card debt. In the past five years, American mortgage debt has increased by nearly $3 trillion dollars.

Household savings have dramaticly declined, and many American households now have negative saving rates where nothing is being saved by many households, and more and more credit cards or loans with high interest rates are becoming traps for many households to provide quick solutions to deeper household debt and spending problems. Many Americans have a zero savings rate while workers in China have an average 23% savings rate by comparison.

Rapidly increasing world oil prices are soaring the billions of U.S. dollars flowing out of the nation on a daily basis to nations like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. By comparison U.S. exports lag far behind that of imports in both goods and real dollars.

The value of the U.S. dollar continues a slow slide against world currencies, with less and less value building over the weeks and months. Many conditions are developing similiar to the currency collapses and debt problems of Latin America in the 1980's for U.S. currency and also U.S. debt. Britain watched it's pound devalue from about $4 in the 1940's to less than $2 today. Britain no longer has the vital manufacturing base or automobile industry it once had, and now has to import many police and fire vehicles from Germany and Sweden because it can no longer even produce it's own emergency use vehicles. During the Reagan years, the U.S. dollar devalued by nearly 40% against it's foreign trading partners for example, while this administration continued to pump out political propaganda claiming how strong the economy was under their leadership when this was blantantly untrue based on the real value of the dollar, debt and foreign trade figures.

The current Iranian hostage crisis involving the 15 British sailors is fueling increases in the price of a barrel of oil by about 4o cents to almost $2 a dollars a day. The culmulative impact of this over just one week's time can be very inflationary all over the U.S. economy, as wages become stagnant or actually decrease.

Many factors on the horizon could be building up to a perfect storm for the U.S. economy unless some real government action to control these problems is in place. However the current administration only responds with more and more "free trade" agreements with countries with low priced labor that manage to take away American manufacturing jobs en masse.

Can the U.S. avoid a huge eventual economic collapse? It's possible. But is it likely?
More and more American businesses are seeking to cut either workers or wages to cut costs. Tens of thousands of American automobile workers have faced contract "buyouts". Electronic retailer Circuit City announced plans to lay off over 3,000 more highly paid workers and either rehire these workers at lower wages or else hire cheaper labor to replace these workers. While inflation of nearly all consumer goods, especially energy and medical care increases, American household wages fall.

Bush Approves New Counterintelligence Strategy

Quietly yesterday, President Bush approved sweeping new changes in counterintelligence operations that will both better coordinate public and private efforts as well as modernize intelligence to respond better to preventing devastating hacker attacks to government or private sector enterprises.

The latest report came from the office of the NCE. The National Counterintelligence Executive Agency which is headed by executive chairman, Joel F. Brenner was established in 2002 in response to some damaging spy actions which hurt the American intelligence community. It appears that both private as well as foreign intelligence agency computer hacking efforts arfe seen as a source of any future intelligence threats, where American security could be hurt by high tech hacking rather some spy infiltration. Hacking unfortunately gives foreign powers access to a wide array of military, economic or other important data and information and presents the most likely source of information loss in this modern age.

In previous years, agents who were covertly working as double agents for Russia, China or Cuba who infiltrated American security agencies were once the largest known threat. But now the computer age and high tech hacking efforts have replaced these older double agent threats.

Even the American business community faces substantial threats from hacking operations to extract trade or business secrets to advance foreign competition in many areas. American military contractors could be at substantial risk as hacking efforts could undermine U.S. defensive products and put American soldiers at risk.

Deeply disturbing is that even in conflicts like Iraq, adversaries find holes in U.S. defensive capabilities and exploit these with relatively low tech devices such as roadside bombs launched by garage door openers. As the U.S. military adapted to jamming devices to prevent such devices deadly effects, the insurgent forces continue to find new ways to adapt.

Both intelligence and military community efforts are a constant struggle to remain one step ahead of new threats, high tech or not that compromise these important agencies.

The American intelligence, military and business sector will always remain at risk and have to adapt to evolving threats as a covert "cat and mouse" struggle continues with many world adversaries.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Barack Obama Loses Ground To Clinton And Edwards

Although Barack Obama or his official campaign didn't have any connection whatsoever to an antiHillary Clinton video produced by a worker for an advertising company employed by the Obama campaign that was posted online last week, it seems to have taken a small toll on the Obama effort according to a new poll published on the Rasmussen website. Obama declined in the poll by about 5 points given the margin of error, while John Edwards picked up about 5 points, probably largely out of sympathy and respect for the cancer situation involving his wife. Hillary Clinton also picked up about 2 points, however this is likely within the poll's margin of error.

The most likely Republican nominee, Rudolph Giuliani leads all major Democrats though. Only Edwards and Obama run close to Giuliani, but Hillary Clinton trails by about 8 to 9 points. Clinton is the most likely to win the Democratic nomination, yet consistently runs weak against major Republican candidaes such as Giuliani or McCain.

Giuliani doesn't appear to be harmed by all of his own personal baggage or that of the Bush Administration so far, and remains by far the most likely to be elected president of any candidate running, Democrat or Republican in most polls.

Team Of Japanese Genetics Experts Hope To Bring Woolly Mammouths Back From Extinction

A group of Japanese genetics scientists hope to eventually find a long extinct woolly mammoth from the frozen tundra in Siberia, and using either frozen sperm or DNA, impregnate an elephant and bring a hybrid version of a prehistoric dinosaur era animal back to life. Many scientists discount this research into reviving a long extinct animal species by the use of sperm or DNA claiming the DNA or sperm may be too fragmented or degraded, yet these scientists are hopeful that suitable sperm or DNA preserved by the freezing cold of Siberia will yield a good enough sample to create a hybrid species.

Some pretty well preserved portions of the prehistoric animals closely related to elephants have been found before and put on display around the world in museum settings. But whether a suitably preserved sample of woolly mammouth DNA or sperm can be found to revive the species in hybrid form is a huge question. But this could mark the only possible chance to create a hybrid species from an extinct species from the dinosaur era, as all other species appear far too degraded, while the severe cold of Siberia where the woolly mammouths once roamed do provide a very faint and remote hope for a hybrid resurrection of this long extinct species of giant animal. It was thought that the last woolly mammouths perished 10,000 years ago, far later than other large prehistoric animals like the dinosaurs.

Navy Uses Dolphins For AntiTerrorism Patrols

To protect the U.S. Navy Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base at Puget Sound near Seattle from possible scuba diver terrorism, the navy is using 30 trained dolphins to detect swimmers or other possible threats to their ships. Iran is known to have special forces who scuba dive and can plant bombs on ships for example. However the recent tensions with Iran have little to deal with a long study of using marine mammals for military research or activity.

The navy has actually had a long relationship using marine mammals that goes back to the 1960's in fact. These trained animals have protected navy ships in many locations of the world, with only a few ever going AWOL. Dolphins have proven themselves to be intelligent and loyal sailors in the U.S. Navy.

Surprisingly, dolphins have also been the subject of a declassified document about a military program called Project Stargate, where experiments in ESP, remote viewing and other paranormal activities have been experimented with using dolphins to spy, plant explosives, or to protect naval vessels from possible harm.

Much of the public knows little about this military use of paranormal activity, or takes it very seriously, however both the U.S. and the former Soviet Union have spent much time and money investigating such activities. One claim from the former Soviet Union, claimed that an university professor was able to imagine a giant fist using just his mind, and then smash a giant sheet metal plate leaving a huge fist imprint on it. American experiments have involved the use of remote viewing, a controversial paranormal activity to spy on Soviet intelligence or military activity. The use of dolphins in experiments for this type of unusual military research is hardly unusual.

Massive New Violence In Iraq Undermines Hopes Of New Security Crackdown

It was to be hoped that the surge in Iraq and security crackdown would help to quell the violence. Instead, more and more evidence of car bombings and other violence spreading across the nation proves that the seurity crackdown is not really working, that violence has only largely been spread outside Baghdad. Yesterday, over 100 more in Iraq lost their lives to car bombings for example. The day before was bad as well.

Other claims that sectarian killings are down, are also questionable in the light that these killings are often done by Iraqi police units. But now that many Iraqi police are involved with joint american security duties, the opportunity for these killings is only down somewhat to 20-30 a day from the previous number around 40-50.

If the new security crackdown was at least working, then it could be argued that humanitarian goals are at least being achieved of limiting needless loss of lives among Iraqi civilians. But these depressing new violence figures prove that any real change in the violence level in Iraq is very minimal at best. Nothing seems to be really working in Iraq.

Tuskegee Airmen Honored For Excellent WWII Service

The Squadrons of African-American volunteer pilots who found both the Nazis as well racism during WWII, were honored at an emotional ceremony in the Capitol. About 1,000 of American's brightest among the African-American community formed this elite core of excellent fighter pilots who never lost a single allied bomber during the war with Germany, and destroyed 150 German aircraft in the air and 250 more on the ground in an estimated 15,000 bombing sorties. 66 of the African-American pilots were killed in combat with the Germans and another 34 were taken proisoner after being shot down. The Tuskegee Airmen were some of the very best pilots of WWII with their excellent record, and many of the former members of this elite group of pilots went on to become doctors or other top members of the African-American community.

The Tuskegee Airmen had such a fine record of providing safe bomber escorts that even some of the most racist White bomber crews asked for their escorts compared to the other groups with spotty records. The Tuskegee Airmen were excellent pilots and proved exceptional bravery and were very impressive as one of the best groups of American pilots ever during any wartime.

Even President Bush could not hold back back a tearful salute to their excellent service. Perhaps around 200 remain alive today, as "America's Greatest Generation" ages and passes away. But some all African-American military groups such as aircraft and tank units were known for being some of the finest American soldiers during WWII.

Some groups of Japanese-Americans who fought in Germany were also excellent units, and Navejo Native-Americans provided important code work in the Pacific were the Japanese were not able to break down this code. American ethnic groups provided some great services during WWII, and proved exceptional skills and bravery.

Iran Violating Geneva Convention Rules With 15 British Hostages

Iran is repeatedly violating Geneva Convention rules meant to protect the well-being of prisoners or war by pressuring or forcing the British hostages to produce propaganda videos. Parading prisoners of war in front of cameras in this way is an outrageous abuse. This is simply a contrived arrest of British soldiers in Iraqi waters to produce outrageous propaganda in order to rally support for lagging extremist government policies at home in Iraq, and meant to incite further antiWestern anger in the Muslim world. But it also serves the longer-term goal of Iran promoting sectarian violence in Iraq to make it a major Shiite state.

Also disturbing is a new condemnation by the Saudi Arabian King of the U.S. occupation in Iraq. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia seem content in using Iraq as a proxy battleground for their long- term Shitte and Sunni sectarian interests. There isn't any good reason to believe that if British and U.S., or other international troops were out of Iraq, that Iran and Saudi Arabia would not back even worse sectarian warfare in this country than is now witnessed.

Iraq's heterogeneous population split along Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish sectarian or ethnic lines and immense oil wealth made the nation a long-term pawn for various interests. During WWI, the area now known as Iraq was part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire and aligned with Germany. After this war, a treaty between Britain and France known as the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement divided up the MidEast with Britain given control of the area that became "Iraq" and Palestine, while France gained control over Syria and Lebanon. Britain found that control over Iraq was so difficult that in a losing occupation effort that took place place between 1922-1958, Britain had to destroy, bomb and mustard gas entire Iraqi villages. Britain even sided with Sunni interests in Iraq in hopes of that leading to peace that never happened. In 1958, the bloody Arab rebellion sweeping the region forced Britain to withdrawal occupation forces. After the 1956 Suez Crisis with Egyptian strongman, Gamal Nasser inspired the Arab Socialist movement that eventually gained power in Egypt, Syria and Iraq with homegrown Baathist parties.

But the sectarian violence in Iraq was only suppressed by strong arm governments in the "Iraq" area that masked centuries of sectarian conflict between the Sunni and Shiite sects of Islam that date back to the period following the death of Mohammed in 632. His father-in-law helped to form the Sunni followers of Mohammed, while direct descendents formed the Shiite sect of Islam. This created a serious rift between those who only felt that true Islam could could be between the descendents of the Prophet and not just the followers. It also started centuries of conflict between the Sunni and Shiite sects that both Iran and Saudi Arabia seem to be worsening today in Iraq, making it a battleground for their competing sectarian interests.

Iran's use of the British hostages to help force a removal from Iraq is only another effort to force other powers out of Iraq so that Iran can consolidate Shiite control of the battleground state. It is yet another sad chapter of the long-term religious violence in this land.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

China Quietly Builds The World's Second Largest Air Force

Virtually unknown to most Americans who believe in myths of their own military superiority, the Chinese have been using part of the immense industrial wealth of their economy to build the world's second largest air force. The People's Liberation Army Air Force now has over 6,000 warplanes, and more than 300,000 members, pilots or support staff. The U.S. Air Force comprises 6,2117 aircraft and 351,800 members, pilots and support staff.

Many of the aircraft are copies of Russian designed MIG 19 and 21 aircraft, however China is now purchasing the high tech Russian Sukhoi SU-27 as well as the J-10 strike fighter. China also has aircraft comparableb to the U.S. AWACS and matches the U.S. in nearly categories of aircraft except for stealth technology.

Antiship cruise missile and nuclear weapons carrying capability are the major mission of the Russian produced SU-30 bombers and other bomber class aircraft.

One thing that American retailers who carry so much Chinese made goods is just how much benefit this is providing their military. If China would choose to ever attack Taiwan, with such a huge force, the U.S. would have great difficulty repelling such a large military that could quickly overrun the Island.

Strange Alien Mystery Big News In Russia

A very weird and strange story about an alien being known as the "Uralien Alien" has become big news in Russia, including today's online edition of Pravda. Scientists in Russia are supposed to publicly resolve this bizarre mystery with more DNA tests and an explanation very soon. Claims in the Russian media like Pravda are that a creature who resembled an alien from Space has been tested for DNA and has not found to have to been either human or animal as the DNA resembles nothing found on Earth. The body of the strange being was found near the town of Kyshtym in the Urals.

Even stranger, are stories that those who examined this body have been striken with strange illnesses, including one researcher who was paralyzed from the waist down with a mystery illness.

The creature who is a dwarf compared to a human had a strange skull comprised of just four bones whereas a human skull has six bones in it. An old Russian peasant woman who was barely literate found the alien while it was still alive and even named it Alioshenka. But the being eventually died and a series of scientific tests and mysteries followed, along with the mystery illness of a main researcher. Some local church officials in Russia knew about the alien and even thought it was some sort of demon, but nothing suggests the being intentionally caused any harm while still alive.

It is a great mystery where this sttrange being came from, it's strange appearance and bone structure, and it's weird DNA with a strange gene unknown on Earth.

So far the U.S. media has ignored this very strange, but credible story that is big news in Russia. An explanation of this weird phenomenon will be interesting, explaining whether this is a significant find or just an elaborate hoax of some sort. But credible evidence so far suggests that that the being is geniune and the story not some hoax. But many mysteries remain around this weird story as it unfolds.

The Sanjaya Factor

Sanjaya Malakar, the controversial contestant over on AMERICAN IDOL is certainly drawing the range of opinions from the public. Tuesday's goofy "mohawk" hair style was yet another strange episode in this weird phenomenon, in which many believe that he is worst of the contestants, while a few others such as young girls think that he's cute and may have a teen idol appeal. Last week's crying 13 year old girl was cetainly helpful to his chances to stay in the competition.

While many think that he's awful, or ever blame Howard Stern voters for voting for the worst contestant and keeping Sanjaya in the competition, but there is probably still a core of supporters among young girls who genuinely like him. It is possible that he could actually sell millions of CDs and sell out concerts to screaming young girls, even though he is absolutely nothing like a new incarnation of The Beatles.

But stranger things have happened before. Look at the old STIFF Records in the late 1970's, who gathered togethed every strange, pathetic, disturbed, or handicapped personality, such as Ian Dury(Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll), Wreckless Eric, or others, and actually sold a decent number of records back then. STIFF Records began to resemble some sort of disability program in which pathetic personalites were rewarded with recording contracts, and for some bizarre reason, the records actually sold. Beiing crummy appears to be no handicap in the record business. The recording business appears to be the great equalizer for all persons, with talent or not.

In the universe of things, Sanjaya is certainly positioned to actually be a marketable personality. He may be funny to many in public, yet a young teenybopper audience may buy his records. He actually stands a real chance of becoming the next TIGER BEAT type personality, in which quality music does not really count, just good looks that are marketable. Some enterprising record executives should be able to see dollar signs in all of this.

Rudolph Giuliani Gets The Blessing Of Steve Forbes

Comic Dana Carvey once joked that the patron saint of the flat tax, Forbes magazine publisher, Steve Forbes, looked like he was "sewn together from dead people". Well, Forbes carries just about this much charisma with the general public, yet his endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani may well reap important donations from others on Wall Street, which may prove to be the most important benefit of a normally noneventual endorsement of a failed candidate like Forbes with little broadbased public support.

Forbes previous failed effort for the presidency certainly failed to excite the public once before. His dry style was more suited to the boardroom than anything. And his absolute lack of charisma coupled with the wealthy-class rights platform of his one note flat tax campaign, certainly failed to ring up much support among the working class who would benefit the least under this proposal. However, the Wall Street community would like to find a candidate to further their own economic interests. If the blessing of Forbes achieves simply this much for Giuliani, then Forbes has certainly proven that he commands a powerful group of voters; those with deep pocketbooks.

If Giuliani manages to couple the deep pockets of the Wall Street community along with voters who still think of him as some 9/11 hero figure, then Giuliani does indeed improve his standing for the Republican nomination. But whatever large business interests that hover towards Giuliani will also shape his policies as well, both domestic and foreign policy.

More than ever before in American presidential history, the Bush presidency proved to be a coup by big business interests. The oil and defense contractors were the main forces within this coup that effectively changed the nature of the American government into an oligarchy of business interests and certainly was the driving force towards the war for oil in Iraq. The main business interests that begin to surround Giuliani will provide an important clue to the direction of his foreign policy as president. If more oil and defense contractor interests begin to hover towards this campaign, then it can be wisely assumed that policies remarkably similiar to the current foreign policy will only continue. So far, Giuliani hasn't proven any major differences with the current Bush foreign policy. Voters will have to ask themselves whether they want to continue these type of policies for another four or even eight years.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tony Snow

Former FOX News reporter and current White House spokesman, Tony Snow, has sadly had his cancer return. This is indeed troubling news and all right thinking persons offer Mr. Snow their best wishes and prayers.

Mr. Snow is actually a very nice man. He is a mainstream conservative, but why he decided to risk his good reputation by defending the often indefensivable activities and policies of this administration is a good question. Maybe Mr. Snow likes a challenge. Maybe he thought that he could salvage this presidency into less than than near complete loss. Tony Snow has had to offer plausible answers to some serious problems, and Mr. Snow has done as well as he could with what he had to work with.

Unfortunately the return of Tony Snow's cancer again forces him to make the best of what he has to work with again. But this time a bipartisan public who respects Tony Snow is supporting him and offering their prayers, good wishes and support. A person does not have to agree with his personal politics to recognize that this is a decent man, who is very likable who has many years of life ahead of him to live. Tony Snow certainly deserves this chance to live more years. His return back to Fox after this administration leaves office would be perfect. The Republican Party could use more mainstream conservatives like Tony Snow, and far less from the extremist wing.

Military Outsourcing Far Worse Than Just The ITT Night Vision Scandal

The U.S. government took punitive actions against military contractor ITT for outsourcing what it claimed to be "sensitive" night vision technology to Chinese manufacturers to increase profits. However, night vision technology is hardly the worst example of U.S. military contractors using outsourcing to maximize profits.

A far more serious example has existed in U.S. defense cotractors using Chinese factories to produce the electronics for U.S. military missile systems. Yet, there has never been any U.S. government attempt to control this serious security issue. Yet the far less important night vision technology issue has become important is a huge question.

With outsourcing of missile electronics, it is possible for the Chinese military to not only copy the same designs and produce missiles of identical capability, but also to develop weapons to undermine these missiles and render them totally ineffective. It is also possible to undermine U.S. defenses against the Chinese Silkworm antiship missiles. During the short war in Lebanon last year, Israel had a warship badly damaged by a Chinese designed antiship missile fired by suspected Iranian soldiers. Israeli defenses were not able to detect or protect against the missile until the damage was done.

For the sake of profits, American military contractors may be significantly undermining our security with outsourcing. Much of the military hardware such as antiship missiles are from China that Iran owns. Britain and the U.S. may have greatly endangered some of their ships by too much outsourcing by military contractors, and could suffer some unexpected losses of some smaller warships because of this.

During WWII, the U.S. stupidly lost many merchant ships by allowing open shipping logs to be open by insurers, which allowed German spies to arrange for the sinking of many ships. In a conflict with Iran, many ships may be at risk because of the outrageous outsourcing of technology simply for profit.

The American government should have realized this problem long ago, however greatly relaxed standards from 1970's levels that once prevented even French ownership in Jeep because of security concerns. How far in the wrong direction this has gone.

Iran Profiting From British Hostage Crisis

Iran has been able to see world oil prices increase and profit handsomely from the crisis that they created by seizing 15 British saliors and marines. False rumors of early British or U.S. military action against Iran have resulted in an after hours spike of world oil prices last night, where oil even soared $5 a barrel at one point. Today oil is up over $1 a barrel again, with a cumulative effect over the the last few days. Certainly gas is headed to $3.00 a gallon average and beyond at this point.

Things will only get far worse if actual military action results against Iran. And Iran could choke off the flow of all MidEast oil from the Strait Of Hormuz, driving prices even higher for whenever a flow of oil could be restarted.

Unfortunately, the new UN sanctions have not hurt Iran so far. And their hostage crisis that they created has only made their oil more valuable to make up for any difference that the UN sanctions may create. But it is the customers of MidEast oil who have suffered the most so far, with higher oil prices. The U.S. and Britain are in a difficult position of applying pressure to Iran that does not hurt them more than Iran. Unfortunately, so far the hostage crisis has been a cash cow for Iran. That is not the way things should work.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Disgraced Former Congressman Offers Bad Advice To His President

Disgraced Congressman Tom Delay could do the right thing and simply go into another line of work. But instead he hangs around the edges of politics on the sidelines like some sports coach and is now in the business of offering advice as though he he is some great sage or like the wise Yoda from STAR WARS.

After disgracing himself, and losing his seat in Congress to one scandal way too many, he is in no good moral position to offer good advice to anyone. If anyone could not manage their personal or professional life, it is Tom Delay. One of his books describes his other problems with too many women for example, while his disgraceful fall from Congress is better known by most. Of course this valueless character holds up faith in God to justify all of his personal corruptions.

Delay is advising the Bush White House to stand tough against Congress and not give an inch. Well, maybe if Delay would have practiced a little more character and honesty while in Congress, he would be a respected member of Congress and not a disgraced former member. If anyone in the Bush White house needs advice on how to become former government members, then Tom Delay is probably the right source.

Why anyone like Delay who completely mismanaged his own life feels that he is some grand old sage and source of moral values and judgement can only be laid on his own issues of ego. If anyone wants to remain a member of government, and continue to have the respect of others, then Tom Delay would be a great source of advice to completely ignore.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Britain Doesn't Have Any Real Good Options In Their Hostage Crisis With Iran

Britain really has few good options in their hostage situation with Iran. Some on the political right always advocate a use of military force, however Iran could easily threaten the entire MidEast oil supply by choking off the Strait of Hormuz or even attacking both Saudi and Kuwaiti oil supplies in order to drive up oil supplies and choke off the Western world economies within a few weeks with gasoline prices that could soar to $5-8 dollars a gallon for gas. If gas rationing wouyld take effect, then entire workplaces may have to close, and prices for all store goods would skyrocket with greatly increased transportation prices.

Iran could also easily target Israel with massive numbers of chemical or biological warhead rockets, which could even trigger Israel to react and only invite some other nations to react and possiby join in support of Iran. Iraq, with a heavy Shiite population may become completely unmanageabler and even force a rapid retreat of all American, British or coalition peacekeepers, resulting in a huge bloodbath and an alignment with Iran.

Iran also would be no pushover for the British. Within this past year, Britain has begun to mothball nearly half of all it's 91 warships due to tight military budget money. Without U.S. support, Britain would be hard pressed to attack Iran. But with an American public and Congress both so sour on the Iraq War, there is no will or support for yet another war in the MidEast, and even less persons would like the consequences of this war which would likely include greatly increasec oil product prices, increased terrorism in the U.S. directed by Iranian cells, and other serious consequences.

Britain will need an intelligent and careful response to this crisis. This is not a situation that the political right can advocate bombing the way out. Military action would only invite the worst of consequences for all parties involved and could flaunt with the possibility of inviting WWIII by drawing in many combatants on all sides. The outcome of this would not be good, and is certainly to be avoided.

If You're Homeless In Portland, Oregon And Die, Your Body Might Be Sold For Research For $37.50

If you live the undignified life of a homeless or very poor person in Portland, Oregon, and you die, chances are very good that your body may end up sold to the local medical school for research for $37.50. This was a surprising new detail to come up recently when a longtime homeless man who transitioned to a low income housing complex and a small job died recently. Even more disturbing, there was little good attempt to contact his next of kin despite good contact information left at the hotel he rented a room in.

Certainly science is very important, and the local medical school a fine institution. But the shocking end for many homeless or very poor persons in Portland is indeed a surprising one.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Iran Pushes The Envelop In The Wrong Direction

What Iran really needed to do at this point is to convince the world community that they are a responsible regime. Instead, even Russia was so discouraged about their nuclear intentions that they withdrew any nuclear advisors from Iran last week and joined with China and the U.S. and others in voting for deeper sanctions against this outrageous regime in Tehran.

But even worse is the new crisis that Iran has provoked by the capture of 15 british sailors who patrol the narrow waterway that harbors the important Iraqi oil terminals that provide at least some funds for the government of Iraq to keep open schools and hospitals. If a boat loaded with explosives would damage these oil terminals, then the economy of Iraq would come to a grinding halt. British sailors have already stopped a flow of illegal arms and some explosives through this waterway. But Iran does not accept the normal boundaries of this waterway and has seized 15 sailors. Now Iran claims they will be put on trial.

It's up to Iran to prove to the world comunity that they are a responsible member. But so far little that they have done seems to prove this. Certainly avoiding war with this regime is important at all costs. However, diplomacy seems exceedinly difficult with such an international outlaw regime like the one in Tehran.

Needless Outsourcing Resulted In Needless Pet Deaths

Outsourcing is seldom done because foreign nations make better products than in the U.S., it is almost always done to cut labor or production costs and to boost profits. In Canada, the cheaper cost of labor has lured many former American jobs including from the Detroit automobile industry. But in the case of Menu Foods, not only do they use the lower Canadian labor costs to their advantage, but by outsourcing to China for wheat gluten products, where regulation of food products is very lax and poor, pets were put at risk from a rat poison contamination danger.

In this case outsourcing has proved fatal to pets. Next time it may kill humans, as more and more companies outsource in order to boost profits. More and more, import food sources from China or South America, where not only labor is very cheap, but also expenses are saved by very little and ineffective food safety regulations.

With recent scares about contaminated lettuce and spinach, and now this pet food scare, it will definately be only a matter of time before another major deadly food contamination problem hits the U.S. The time is now for less outsourcing of vital food products, along with more strict food quality standards among those that import to the U.S. The health and safety of the american public is clearly at risk from the huge growth of outsourcing.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Embattled Attorney General Gonzales Uses Children As A "Human Shield" In Pathetic Attempt To Keep Job

As tacky and awful as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is, he found a new offensive way to attempt to keep his job as he began using children as a form of "human shield" as a justification to keep his job. While the U.S. Senate wants answers on the highly suspect firings of 8 prosecutors, Gonzales attempted to stonewall the entire matter by a phony pandering effort to appear as some great new found advocate for children on Thursday. Some of the very worst politicians have been known to appear to be the "best friend" that children have ever known to justify some of their sleazy images. This is nothing new.

Congress wants answers from the Attorney and others in this case. Yet Gonzales believes that if he acts busy right now with a new crusade for kids, then he can avoid his responsibility to answer Congress.

Gonzales is under fire for "cherry picking" 8 federal prosecutors to fire who were conducting active investigations of Republicans in Congress who may have been involved with defense contractor scandals such as the one that landed Congressman "Duke" Cunningham in a federal prison for taking bribes in exchange for lucrative defense contracts, and who did not find enough good evidence to prosecute some Democrats in claimed "voter fraud" cases. Gonzales also fired some prosecutors who refused to seek political moltivated prosecutions of obscenity cases. The fact of the matter is that many juries believe in the First Amendment and will not put someone in prison for marketing an offensive CD, book, movie or magazine. But the far right Gonzales, sought a national crusade against freedom of expression in the last year, with few prosecutors really interested in his personal moraity and politics crusade against offensive speech.

Gonzales wants Congress to believe that he is suddenly important and irreplaceable by suddenly appearing as a champion for children on Thursday with a cardboard backdrop claiming child protection. But just like Saddam Hussein who once made an offensive attempt to use tourist children as human shields to avoid an attack by the U.S. or world community after the 1990 Kuwait invasion, Gonzales has pulled a page from this same book of cowardice by launching a fake crusade to appear important. This is cynical trash of the worst variety from someone who should comply with the Congressional investigation and be forthright for a change.

Pet Owners Face Problems With Significant Lawsuits Against Menu Foods

On the face of it, Menu Foods would seem to be liable for substantial damages after failure to disclose problems with their pet food products that they were aware since at least February 20, 2007, but did not notify the public until only last week as more pets became ill, cost their owners big vet bills, and many pets died. All of this seems highly damaging to Menu Foods, which has hurt their own case even more with the failure to even offer refunds for the defective pet food to buyers. On the surface, the entire matter appears to be a gross example of corporate greed and failure to protect the public.

But as damning as the facts against Menu Foods are, pet owners such as the Chicago woman who lost a cat who is seeking a class action lawsuit enjoining potentially hundreds of victim owners whose pets became ill or were killed does face a huge uphill battle in the courts against Menu Foods. For one thing, the court have steadily refused to grant any higher than property staus to dogs and cats, which seriously lowers any potential lawsuit amounts for damages beyond much more than a "property" replacement value. "Loss of companionship" damages have so far been unsuccessful in American courts in regards to pets. Every year dogs or cats are killed by angry neighbors or by careless automobile accidents, yet almost no pet owner has been able to recover much more than a "property" replacement value or vet bills at best.

This is the difficulty that pet owners face. As much as a pet owner loves their animals, the courts simply have accepted this love and placed a similar dollar value on it. Until this changes, pet owners aren't likely to see substantial damages for a loss of a pet, even if damning facts exist against the defendant. Some states such as Oregon do prosecute severe animal abuse cases as a felony, however ity would be very diificult to make a felony case against Menu Foods executives at this point and put any behind bars.

Lawyers for Menu Foods should make an attempt to pay vet bills and some damages to pet owners though, as they could still face losing a class action suit that could still cost them a great deal of money. At some point, this company needs to solve the mystery of what is wrong in their products, settle with pet owners, and begin a road back in business, although many brands will likely never fully regain their original sales level and be permanently damaged in the mind of many pet food buyers.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Portland, Oregon City Council To Urge Better Relations With Iran

As yet another growing sign at the frustration that some have with the curent foreign policy, the Portland, Oregon City Council is hoping to "use the tail to wag the dog" and urge that better relations with Iran be established. Ideally this sounds great. But realistically, the current government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is shaped by his radical cultist "end-timer" religious views in which he believes that an event such as a nuclear war with the Western world which is largely Christian would help bring about a "golden age" for Islam. This is far different than holding a peaceful dialogue on arms control with the old Soviet Union, which was a rational state and wanted to avoid open warfare in which there could be no winners. To those in radical Islam, only losing your life in a combat with nonbelievers is a path to salvation, unlike moderate Muslims who wish to live and let live.

As Mayor of Tehran, few in the West seem to realize that Ahmadinejad had the streets of the city widened to make room for a final Iman, or sort of prophet as an intent to prepare for end-times. Ahmadinejad has been obsessed with end=time events both as Mayor and as President of Iran, unlike far more secular based leaders.

The best hope is maintain some sort of open dialogue with Iran, but hope that a more moderate and rational leader eventually leads this large nation.

Oregon Legislature Passes Nonbinding Resolution Opposing Troop Surge And Seeking Withdrawal Of U.S. Forces

Although the legislature of the state of Oregon has no binding power to alter American foreign policy, they nonetheless passed a nonbinding resolution by a vote of 33-27 that opposes the troop surge in Iraq, and also proposes a timetable for a withdrawal of U.S. troops. Today, the Oregon Senate is expected to follow the Oregon House and approve the same measure. This sets up an interesting situation for Democratic Governor Ted Kulongoski who is a former Marine and who is known as a strong supporter of Oregon military forces. the Governor has attended virtually every funeral of a fallen soldier from both Iraq and Afghanistan, unlike any other governor in the nation.

And once again the important issue of leaving Iraq in some sort of more stable condition before the American troops exit is not answered in the nonbinding resolution as well. Essentially, the problem is that the U.S. broke Iraq in an effort to get rid of one bad dictator and to justify a search for oil by the big oil industry interests which are so powerful within the Bush Administration, but left Iraq with a sectarian civil war that threatens the entire region and all Western oil supplies should fighting spread to Iran and Saudi Arabia. The war has also left 2,000,000 refugees, yet the U.S. has only allowed about 700 Iraqi refugees a year into the U.S. , but this may soon be increased to thousands a year. Interestingly, Sweden has taken on many refugees in Europe, while Jordan and Syria have taken on many refugees in the MidEast.

In reality, probably no one in the U.S. really wants this war anymore. The Bush Administration is probably likely to eventually accept that many Iraqi military units are relatively effective, and then begin a politically based "withdrawal" after declaring some sort of technical victory. But with little doubt, Iraq will hardly be in as peaceful of condition as it was at one time. And it will be a long haul before the nation becomes peaceful enough to spur widespread business investment and really begin to grow an economy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Chief Prosecutor For International Criminal Court Suggests That Bush And Blair Could Potentially Face War Criminal Charges

In an interview, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who is the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court in the Hague, suggested that it is a "possibilty" that both George Bush and Tony blair could potentially face war criminal charges in the international court. Although this remains only a remote possibility, it is still the U.S. use of torture and other strongarm tactics that violate international standards and law that could lead to such charges as well as other factors that run contrary to the rule of law.

Whether charges are ever brought really depends on pressure and membership of the MidEast nations in the world court system and whether they would want to push for such charges. This would mark a rare incident in which a Western world nation would be charged with violations of international law.

Certainly controlling deadly terrorism is an important goal. Preventing the loss of life of any innocent civilians by extremists is an important goal. But all of this must be done within the legal contexts of international law where a defendant has the right to an attorney and cannot be tortured. Terrorism represents criminality of the very worst variety and a complete disregard for life. But all nations must only work within acceptable legal limitations, and any person who may be wrongly accused needs to be able to defend themselves.

Iraq Emergency Funding Bill Includes Pork Spending For Peanuts, Shrimp & Spinach

A new emergency Iraq spending bill reportedly includes completely unrelated spending provisions for peanut storage, shrimp fishing and spinach production. It was certainly hoped that things would be different with the new Democratic Congress, and adding unrelated pork to important legislation seems like the same old politics all over again.

Some in Congress may feel that this is the only way to get their pet legislation to benefit their district considered. But all bills should only include related issues. The merits of any benefit to the peanut, shrimp or spinach industry should have to stand on their own merits.

Canadian Pet Food Company Knew About Problem For Nearly One Month Before Recall

The Canadian pet food giant, Menu Foods, knew about problems with pet illness and death for nearly one month before they ordered the products recalled from store shelves, and instead conducted their own tests resulting in pet illness and deaths before making a decision to order a public recall of the products.

Fresh evidence proves that back as far as February 20, 2007, Menu foods knew about problems with at least some of their 88 brands of cat and dog food, and instead of taking immediate action to remove the dangerous products, began a series of tests on animals instead. Only after a number of animals, mostly cats died, then Menu decided that perhaps they should take some stronger action. Normally most companies that find glass or some other foreign material in a line of products will isolate what run of foods has been compromised, and immediately order a recall of that run of foods to protect the public. Why Menu waited for days while more animals became sick and some died, leaving their owners with big vet bills or loss of animal companionship is a very good question. But corporations don't like taking huge financial hits, and recalling around 60 million cans of food is a huge loss for a company.

It seems unacceptable that when reports of a defective product are emerging for a company not to take far quicker action. Yet many companies still resist acting in the public interest in many cases. A Portland, Oregon attorney is seeking a class action lawsuit against GM for defective speedometers in some of their SUVs and larger trucks that may indicate around 50mph but really be traveling at about 70mph. The cost to these owners has been around $500 for the repair. But the larger problem is that posted speed limits on streets and highways indicate the maximum safe speed for that street. Any increased speed beyond that level increases the possibility of injury and accidents. It is an important safety device that a speedometer work properly.

Often the public doesn't know of all problems with products. Often it is product liability attorneys who bring lawsuits to remove defective and dangerous products, as often the government is very slow to act. In fact, under the Bush Administration, federal regulation of defective products has grown far more lax and many potentially dangerous products are allowed to remain on store shelves, where individual action to remove these by pressing for state action or even lawsuits becomes the only viable route for public safety.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Kenneth Starr Returns To The Legal Stage

On Monday, Kenneth Starr returned to the stage by arguing an antifree speech position for a Juneau, Alaska high school that suspended a student for 10 days for a prank involving a banner with the absurd slogan, "Bong Hits For Jesus" on it.

How such a silly case even makes it to the Supreme Court is a good question. But it does raise important questions about what level of free speech should be tolerated by educational instutions. Does serious political or religious speech deserve protection, but not pranks? Was a prodrug message, or a controversial topic one entitled to free speech rights, the same as mainstream opinions or politics?

The student in question was once reportedly arrested for attempting to sell marijuana on a college campus. Did his banner promote illegal conduct near school property, but not actually on it? Does the state and school district in question have a stake in preventing certain activity such as drug use, where even public endorsement by students can be punished with suspensions, etc?

Kenneth Starr was right back on the side of the fense that you'd expect him to be. But how much of the educational and learning experience is enhanced when students develop an interest in politics when so few young people even know enough about politics to bother to vote is a worthwhile concept to ponder. The Supreme Court will likely hand down their decision in June.

Carol Burnett Launches Stupid Lawsuit Against Family Guy

Maybe Carol Burnett has a bad attorney, or maybe she cannot remember all the parodies of others she and Tim Conway and other cast members of her long running TV show were involved in, but she has launched an absurd lawsuit against the cartoon show FAMILY GUY contending copywrite infringement for some 2006 parody of her they did. Good luck.

Since the landmark lawsuit was lost by Jerry Falwell against Hustler magazine for a scathing outhouse parody, the U.S. Supreme Court awarded a far higher level of constitutional protection to parody and satire that is virtually untouchable by those who feel targeted. Carol Burnett's attorney should have known this.

Comedy, satire and parody are all important forms of editoral free speech. The satire or parody is simply used as a vehicle to transmit an opinion about a subject or person. This is given such a high level of free speech protection for this reason.

Why someone like Burnett, a very gifted comic who often made fun of others in parody or satire for laughs has not grown to accept the importance of satire and parody and respect in others is a very good question. With all of her jokes at the expense of others, at some point she should have expected to be the butt of some joke sometime. It goes with the territory.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

China Making Slow Progress Towards More Democracy In Their Government

In the National People's Congress and other top legislative bodies of the Communist government of China, there is at least some slow evolution towards more democracy probably driven by China's massive economy and more open trade with the world community.

More and more, Communist legislators in this one party government are actively seeking opinions of rank and file citizens on legislation as well a s showing a concern that legislation more fully reflect the public will and opinions. These baby steps towards more democracy within the one party rule formula do represent more democracy for China, where the will of the people is increasingly an important part.

China may be far, far from allowing multiparty elections or other steps really considered a part of a real democracy. But the growing will of government lawmakers to respect public opinion is at least a reasonable step towards democracy in this massive nation of 1.3 billion persons.

China is increasingly playing a major role in reponsible peacekeeping efforts with the UN, foreign aid to poor nations in Africa, and other steps that making it a respected nation in the world community. As more foreign trade pours into China, there is less isolation and China begins to fit in well with the Western world.

In small steps, the Chinese government seems to be evolving into a more open and reasonable institution, and will perhaps represent a sort of quasidemocracy somewhere down the road as long as some major situation like a dispute over Taiwan does not act to roll back progress.

China Intends To Enhance Great Wall Vistor Experience By Crackdown On Cheap Souvenir Vendors

Both tourists as well as the government of China has finally had enough of cheap souvenir vendors who are crowding along a popular portion of the Great Wall and even causing some damage to this great "wonder" of the world. Soon these vendors will be restricted to a market area far enough away from the wall to stop the circuslike atomsphere that these enterprising marketers have created, which many tourists feel has ruined their visit to this great landmark in mainland China.

As China becomes a popular tourist area with a growing number of massive beautiful hotels and other attractions, both for business and also tourism, there are attempts to clean up problems before the coming Olympics to cast a good image to the world.

Those that have ruined the awesomeness of the Great Wall are only part of the many problems that China hopes to improve as the Olympics draw closer.

Phil Spector's Murder Trial To Start Soon

The reclusive musical genuis, Phil Spector, is set to go trial soon, and perhaps become the latest sham Hollywood trial where a wealthy well known person goes on trial, buys a great defense to raise enough doubts and is set free despite any incriminating or circumstantial evidence that would be more than adequate to convict a less wealthy person.

As far as music goes, Spector, can only be admired as a genius of the very best caliber, creating his signature "wall of sound" production that highlighted such hits as MY SWEET LORD by George Harrison, IMAGINE by John Lennon, THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD by The Beatles, YOU"VE LOST THAT LOVIN' FEELIN' by the Righteous Brothers, DA DOO RON RON by the Crystals, and of course BE MY BABY by the great Ronettes among other acts. Few music producers could match the quality of sound that Spector could produce.

But the everyday and private life of Spector was far less good. Spector was known for many conflicts with others in the recording industry including artists and others on the business side as well. After a conflict with business partner, Leslie Sill, Spector pushed the Crystals to recording an umarketable dance single called (LET"S DANCE)THE SCREW with a crass chorus line absolutely unacceptable for airplay by 1963 standards, which was meant to both slam Sill as well as short them of any recording royalties.

A domineering marriage over recording star Ronnie Spector was another low point for Spector. But the worst incident of all is the murder charges that he now faces for the death of 40 year old actress, Lana Clarkson, who was found shot to death in his castle-like Los Angeles mansion. Spector did make some incriminating statements that a judge had prior ruled may be used against Spector at trial including, "I didn't mean to shoot her", and that he is "bipolar", but in the case of O.J. Simpson, Robert Blake or Michael Jackson, very good evidence did not seem enough to make a case with a jury against a celebrity in a Hollywood trial.

Spector's volatile nature has caused him to go through several defense attorneys already including O.J. "Dream Team" member, Robert Shapiro. Spector is now attempting to get back a $1 million dollar retainer paid Shapiro, while poor persons who rely on public defenders often are on about a $500 defense budget and have no money to hire private investigators or expert defense witnesses to testify.

At one time, it was a popular joke about Spector to claim that his bodyguards were needed to protect other people from him, and not the other way around. But with a tragic death and a murder trial, and another chance for Hollywood class justice to play itself out once again where famous and wealthy persons never seem to be ever convicted of a serious matter despite strong evidence, the upcoming Spector trial has a new opportunity to dominate the airwaves and pick up some of the trash news time that Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears have been so good at dominating recently.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Controversial Editorial In Pravda Predicts That American Empire Will Eventually End Just Like The Old Soviet One Did

A controversial new editorial in Pravda this weekend suggests that the American Empire is likely to eventually end just like the old Soviet one once did in 1989. The feature suggests such factors as young people believing that they are entitled to huge incomes will someday end as the economic system erodes, and that the American use of power to abduct terrorist suspects from around the world is another example of a radical regime that cannot forever continue such strongarm practices.

In reality, many Americans are so fearful of terrorism that they currently give some support to strong means to keep them safe. But others are concerned when American values such as the right to appeal a charge and seek legal representation are removed.

Naturally, Pravda will always see the U.S. in the worst possible light. But on the other hand, after 9/11, the U.S. had great world support and sympathy, but managed to now squander all this away and is now seen almost in the same international bad light as the former Soviet Union as a human rights abuser and a world bully.

All of this leaves a huge task for the next U.S. president to rehabilitate the image of the U.S. abroad, prevent the loss of high paying American jobs to labor cheap nations and strengthen the domestic economy of many Americans, and other numerous tasks that both the Clinton and to a far worse extent, the Bush Administrations have both achieved. Otherwise as the U.S. does face serious challenges that could slowly undo the Republic in the future.

Russia May Consider Expanding Missiles Aimed At USA, Old Europe and Former Soviet Empire States

Cold War tensions appear to be steadily escalating between Russia and the US, Old Europe and states like Georgia and Ukraine with missiles aimed in the direction of Russia. Russia is considering setting up a new battery of missiles aimed at the West, and triggering a new arms race of terror as a new Cold War appears to be taking shape.

Unlike the American role with China which is far more warm, the Russian-US relationship has far less trade involved, although a growing Russian economy is purchasing some American companies such as Oregon Steel, and has the tensions of former Soviet states wanting to become NATO members, giving Russia the sense of being surrounded.

Before relations worsen much more, and a new arms race ensues that presents a fresh danger to the world community, a dialogue to better integrate Russia back into a better relationship with the US and Europe needs to take place before a point of no return is reached. a new arms races not only endangers mankind, but will also sap the economies of all nations involved with massive cash outlays required for ultrahigh priced high tech weapons systems.

Donald Trump Also Highly Critical Of The Bush Administration

Billionaire Donald Trump, maybe now best known as a huge critic of Rosie O'Donnell, proved in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he is also a huge critic of the Bush Administration as well. Although Trump definately leans Republican in his politics, he still has a strongly independent streak, deeply respectful of some personalties of both parties such as two of his strongest favorites, Andrew Giuliani and Hillary Clinton.

Trump described the Bush Administration as being built on "all lies", such as the claim that Bush reads a book a week or even 60 books a year. In addition, Trump offers some resort time to wounded vets from the Iraq War and is highly critical of this war, although offfering the contradictory message that U.S. troops should withdrawal, yet concedes the war may expand regionally to include Iran once we leave. Trump also considers that a leader far worse than Saddam Hussein will soon control Iraq, and will likely be very antiAmerican as well.

Trump's biggest current project is with professional wrestling promoter Vince McMahan, in which the loser will have their head shaved ala Britney Spears. Trump said he couldn't turn it down because millions of dollars will aid charity, and that's very important to him. Trump and his wife also take time to personally visit wounded vets twice a week, and are active in efforts to help them as well.

Trump is a more complicated person than many will judge on the surface. On one hand, he seems to be the ultimate promoter, and the "king" of all hype, much like his loud and self-promoting friend, Howard Stern, but Trump also has a strongly decent side that cares about others, his native New York, and his country. Sometimes it's very hard to stand Trump, other times it's nearly impossible not to admire and respect him.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Torture Proves Itself Not To Work Once Again With The Laundry List Of Nonsense "Confessions" By Terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Ethical and modern nations don't practice torture for a good reason other than the immorality and unethical nature of it; it doesn't work. The latest example of this is the long laundry list of mostly nonsense "confessions" by terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who claimed a major role planning way more than just the deadly 9/11 attack or the brutal murder of WALL STREET JOURNAL reporter, Daniel Perle. In fact, KSM, as he likes to be known, claimed a major role in planning 28 different conspiracies including unknown plots against Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and the Pope among other things.

Likely, KSM is simply offfering up "confessions" to stop the torture such as "waterboarding" that the U.S. did by claiming getting timely information was vital. But in reality, torture often causes nonsense confessions to stop the pain and immediate danger. Torture simply does not work.

If the Bush Administration is not satisfied with this fact, then maybe they can torture KSM some more and he'll confess to a role in the Kennedy assassinations(both Bobby and John), the plot against Julius Caesar, the Lincoln assasination, his role in the Lindberg kidnapping, responsibility for the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, and his role as the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby. If the Bush Administration wants more nonsense confessions, then torture is the best route to this nonsense information and false confessions. Torture is unethical for a good reason.

Both ANDY BARKER P.I. and RAINES Look Great For NBC

Reviews have been very good for the new comedy vehicle for Andy Richter, ANDY BARKER P.I., and for the promising Jeff Goldblum vehicle, RAINES. Both premiere tonight on NBC at 9:30 to 11:00pm in the normal time slots of 30 ROCK and ER. Both have a decent chance of being picked up for more than their seven episode runs.

Iranian Government Ramps Up Anger At 300 Film

The new film 300, which depicts an ancient battle in which 300 Spartans held off a large army of Persian soldiers in 480 B.C. is being used by the Iranian government to ramp up antiWestern anger. At the same time some film analysts see some semblence of antiIranian sentiment in the film 300 which portrays the Persians as brutal and evil beings, compared to the far more civilized Greeks.

In a highly surreal style, the film 300, portrays this ancient battle where this small group of Spartans helped to defend Greece for three days from the onslaught of the Persian army.

It is a strange event when a popular Hollywood film depicting ancient history in a largely fictionalized manner with many historic inaccuracies is helping to drive current tense relations with Iran. It was hoped that a dialogue with Iran which has recently opened up over Iraq would help to improve relations, but this new film is proving to be something of a setback for a more constructive dialogue.

Strange how culture sometimes drives foreign relations for better or worse. DR. STRANGELOVE once drove many in the public to seek arms limitations with the old Soviet Union. Al Gore's film on global warming is helping to drive public policy to promote a more green lifestyle with a lessened carbon imprint by mankind on nature. Philips Light Bulbs, are heavily interested in phasing out current bulbs in favor of the compact fluorescent designs in response to public interest in more green products.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pressure Building On Politically Moltivated Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Over Prosecutor Firings

It was only a matter of time before the corrupt politically moltivated office of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would begin to destroy itself. Now with the highly questionable firings of some Federal prosecutors who apparently did not go along with Gonzales and White House pressures to bring charges against a number of Democrats right before last November's elections is beginning to break into a big scandal.

Rather than do his job as an impartial and fair Attorney General, Gonzales has always been about strict partisanship and political ideology. If some prosecutors did not bring charges against some politicians, it might well have been that they were simply unethical in their practices rather than illegal. When Gonzales uses his office as some sort of Republican dirty tricks committtee to bring politically moltivated charges against political opponents this is a form of corruption of his office of the worst variety. The idea that ethical prosecutors should be fired for not participating in partisan Republican Party dirty tricks to aid the White House is simply outrageous.

Attorney General Gonzales has always represented right wing extremism during his tenure in office. He brought politically moltivated charges against a California adult website for example, merely to satisfy right wing pressures. Two young people in their 20's face up to 50 years in prison and millions in fines to satisfy Gonzales' bloodlust to satisfy the far right of his partty. And his previous excuses to justify torture of some detainees is yet another example that Gonzales lacks the moral and ethical makings to be an honest and ethical Attorney General.

Both Democrats and Republicans who vote to confirm Gonzales in the first place are owing some blame. They knew he was no good, but voted to confirm him anyway. In the wake of this scandal it's about time that Gonzales resign and a ethical Attorney General be named. Despite his screwy politics, often more moltivated by fundamentalist religion than by a reral rule of law, even previous Attorney General John Ashcroft displayed more ethics than Gonzales. But the Attorney General's office has always been a weak link in many Republican administrations with the awful John Mitchell and Edwin Meese as two bad examples.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Conservative French President Jacques Chirac Won't Seek a Third Term

French President Jacques Chirac has always been something of enigma. In the 1950's he was a member of the French Communist Party, but slowly turned into a French neoReaganite sort of antitax, neosupply sider. His policies have not always been good for the working class of France, with high labor tensions. But with the unpopularity of the U.S. war in Iraq, Chirac was able to spin off enough popularity to keep his modern Gaullist party strong in the public relations polls. Now Chirac won't seek re-election, undoubtably creating a struggle for party leadership to succeed Chirac.

Both the Bush Administration and American political conservatives have long considered Chirac a huge roadblock to the foreign policy goals of the Bush Administration. But pragmatics may see things much differently. Looking back any warnings by Chirac against entry into Iraq certainly seem wise in the wake of all the sectarian violence that has been unleashed since the start of the 2003 war. Further, France had it's own serious political and military problems in the Ivory Coast, and could not spare more forces for yet another peacekeeping mission after any U.S. war changing the government of Iraq. In Iran, France has it's economic agenda just like the Russians of heavy trade with this rogue nation, and their softcore approach to Iran's nuclear program appears more moltivated by economic than anything.

It would probably be better for the U.S., if not the people of France that France has a new President. Tensions between the two powers have grown too deep. But at the same time, both France and the U.S. need room for honest disagreement on serious issues.

Strangely enough, the far more leftist former Socialist President of France, Francois Mitterand was able to better cooperate with past American presidents including Reagan than Chirac who should have more in common with the American Republican Party than Mitterand's Socialists. But international politics is more complex than mere ideolgy.

Ted Koppel's Pragmatic Views On Iraq

oThis weekend on MEET THE PRESS, former NIGHTLINE anchor Ted Koppel offered one of the most thoughtful and pragmatic assessments about the Iraq War situation with his views that the U.S. troops cannot really leave Iraq without leaving some political solution to the sectarian violence in Iraq set in place, or else risk a power vacuum situation in Iraq that could suck the entire MidEast into sectarian war and threaten the western world oil supply. This important fact seems to be ignored by those so angry over Iraq that they support a quick withdrawal from Iraq without this political solution set in place.

General Colin Powell's observations before the start of the 2003 Iraq War, warned that if the Bush Administration "breaks" Iraq, then we "bought it". This is now absolutely the problem keeping U.S. forces in Iraq. Centuries of regional Sunni and Shiite tensions have been unleashed in Iraq, and are now the biggest threat to creating regional tensions over even war between the Shiite state pd Iran, and the Sunni homeland of Saudi Arabia.

The way out of Iraq is not only to leave suitable, ethical, fair and honest Iraqi security forces in control, but also a promotion of a political solution to the sectarian violence ripping apart both Iraq and the MidEast region.

Those that argue for a quick U.S. exit from Iraq are not really considering that the 2003 war has so destabilized both Iraq and the region, that a political solution is vital to stemming the violence problems in the region unless the U.S. wants to risk a serious regional war threat if we quickly withdrawal. In the prophetic words of Colin Powell, we "broke it", now "we bought it".

Ford Will Sell Aston Martin Division To Kuwati Business Interests

As yet another sign of the sagging fortunes over at Ford, the Aston Martin high end sports car brand will be sold to Kuwati business investors. This represents an attempt by the company to cut free anything not seen as essential to the company's long term survival or highly productive in profits.

The move also proves the growing strength as well as diversification of MidEast business interests far beyond the oil industry. Business interests from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have recently proven great strength in business outside of the MidEast, purchasing existing businesses in other nations such as the U.S. and Britain. Unfortunately, as foreign business interests strengthen, so does their lobby and other interests to have far more influence over foreign and trade policy as well. China is a prime example of a nation with such strong U.S. trade and U.S. bond ownership that it was able to hold great sway over trade policy in the last Congress.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Dick Cheney's Old Company, Halliburton Moving It's Corporate Head Office To Dubai, UAE

Halliburton, the company that profited from the no-bid reconstruction projects after the 2003 Iraq War, that once had Dick Cheney as CEO, is moving it's coporate head offices from Houston to Dubai, UAE. All main functions of this company will now center from the UAE, although a U.S. branch office in Houston will remain open.

Oil exploration support services are a main business line for Halliburton. It was thought that a war in Iraq in 2003 would allow exploration for the 229 billion barrels of undiscovered oil in Iraq and Halliburton would handsomely profit from support services. Halliburton also handsomely profited from the use of $1 million dollar cruise missiles that damaged buildings in Iraq with no real military significance that Halliburton was given no-bid contacts by the military to rebuild.

The Bush Administration is comprised of 43 oil industry associated persons, 33 defense contractor associated persons, and heads of all three military branches, the Army, Navy and Air Force Secretary Offices were all replaced with executives associated with military contractors. The recent Walter Reed scandal has developed in the face of both cuts to veteran's service by the Bush Administration, as well cuts to Walter Reed administrators from 200 to 60, as well as eventiual plans to close this flagship veteran's hospital.

When you have a government dominated by oil and defense contractor interests, a war for oil exploration is about what you can expect to get.

Guns vs. Butter; Bush Plans Cuts To Education And Agriculture To Pay For More Troops To Iraq And Afghanistan

The twin deep foreign policy problems in Iraq and Afghanistan are having a big impact here at home in the U.S. as the Bush administration is proposing new cuts to education and agriculture, among other programs to pay for sending an additional 8,200 troops to Iraq and Afghanistan at a cost of $3.2 billion dollars. some estimates have claimed the total cost of sending one soldier to Iraq at $200,000 per soldier per year.

Of the 8,200 new troops, 4,700 are headed to Iraq on top of the recent surge of 21,500 troops already announced. $2.5 billion of the $3.5 billion proposal is for Iraq, while the remaider is to send new troops to Afghanistan to train up forces there to combat an expected Springtime spike in Taliban activity as the Winter mountain snows melt and the temperature begins to warm up.

The battle for "guns vs. butter" dollars is a classic one during every recent war. Not only do lower income persons bear the cost of government cuts in programs, but generally those with tighter home budgets also join the service, especially the National Guard or Reserves, because they need the extra money. Recent wars always seem to disportionately impact those one the lower end of the economic spectrum.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

What Kind Of A Huge Clock Mess Will The Three Week Early Daylight Saving Time Bring?

At 2am, it will be fascinatining what problems all of everyone's clocks, computers, VCRs, DVD recorders, etc will bring in this morning's mini-2yk. Please write a comment on Sunday about your personal experience with this and any problems you've had.

Smoker Demands Store Clerk Hand Over Carton Of KOOL Cigarettes, Then Shoots Clerk Paralyzing Him From Neck Down

A smoker is under arrest for exiting a late model Corvette and entering a small SouthEast Portland, Oregon grocery store, demanding a carton of KOOL cigarettes, then shooting the clerk in the neck severing his spinal cord and leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.

This same smoker has robbed at least 11 more businesses, nearly always asking for KOOL cigarettes. Police detectves were able to trace the robberies to the smoker because of his strong preference for KOOL cigarettes. How this smoker will cope with many prisons in which smoking is not allowed will be interesting. But when you Jones for cigarettes this bad, you've got a real problem. But cigarette addicts have been known to participate in robbery and prostitution to support their nicotine drug habit before. And the cigarette companies tell you their product isn't that addictive.

The grocery store's owner was attending a church service, so a family friend offered to watch the store for a few hours, when the gun toting smoker-robber came in.

That's one nasty nicotine drug addiction to cigarettes.

Former Clinton Advisor, Dick Morris, Becomes The First Admitted Client Of Washington Madam's Services

Former campaign advisor to Bill Clinton, turned Clinton critic, Dick Morris, has become the first high level Washington figure to admit to using the high end escort services of the Washington Madam. With this high of a personality involved with this controversia escortl service, it is higly likely that other major Washington figures possiby in the White House of one or more administrations as well as members of Congress or their aides may have been involved with this escort service. The other shoe will really hit the floor if and when the other 10,000 to 15,000 names are released publicly.

With Dick Morris admitting his involvement with this service for some unknown reason, it proves that very high level personalities in Washington have involvement with this escort service.

When the government seized the property and bank accounts of accused Washington Madam, Deborah Palfrey, it left her without any means to defend herself in court, making the sale of the "black book" of her clients her only real asset to use to raise legal defense money. Palfrey contends that she ran a legal business, and is bringing a lawsuit for $75,000 against one former worker who she contends crossed over the legal line simply to earn more money. Palfrey reportedly earned around $750,000 a year from her services.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Washington Madam May Create The Next Big Washington Scandal

The "Washington Madam", Deborah Palfrey, has threatened to sell or publicly disclose her 13 year "black book" which could implicate thousands in Washington, including members of Congress or others. This may spur the next giant Washington scandal.

Palfrey plead not guilty in a Washington courthouse, however local laws allow the government to seize her home, cash and other property prior to trial, leaving her broke and unable to afford a defense for her racketeering, promotion of prostitution, and other charges.

This is a major problem with government laws that allow the seizing of property before a person has even been convicted of crime. It exacts a penalty when guilt has not been established by a court prior to any actual conviction, and it denies a defendant the use of their own assets to assist in their own defense. On the face of it, all of this would appear to be unconstitutional.

With no real cash assets left because of the government's actions, about the only asset that Palfrey owns is her "black book" of 13 years of clients. This could be sold for a substantial sum of money, maybe even millions. But it could also destroy some in Congress or in major government agencies.

The powerful once head of the House Ways And Means Committee, Wilbur Mills was once destroyed in an embarrassing scandal with a stripper, Fannie Fox. The same danger may exist to members of Congress should the "black book" of Palfrey become public. But likely the selling price may be too high for a major customer to keep quiet, so a major media outlet such as a tabloid magazine or TV show could likely become the owner, and would certainly make any names public, especially of high profile persons.

As many as 10,000 clients are reportedly on this list of clients of the services of the Palfrey business, which she claims operated in a lawful manner, despite government claims or evidence to the contrary.

How Big Of A Factor Will The Baggage Of The Republican Presidential Candidates Become?

Nagging values, position, religion, family difficulty, divorce, adultery and other questions seem to hang around as major issues among many voters in the more socially conservative community that is known as the Republican Party voters. These voters are being asked to choose among a group of candidates with more personal baggage than ever for a group of Republican presidential candidates.

Among those voters who comprise the conservative voters of the religious right, the search for an acceptable candidate is especially difficult this year. Hard core political conservatives opposed to more liberalized immigration policies may begin to favor Congressman Duncan Hunter, however he is so far down in the polls that he cannot be considered a really viable candidate. It is among the top tier Republican candidates that the real question remains for many GOP voters.

Mitt Romney would seem to normally seem be the most likely to gain the votes of conservative voters. But his history of flip-flops on issues dealing with the gay community and other issues has alarmed many conservative voters. However, it is his Mormon faith that has become the biggest obstacle for Romney to overcome so far.

One possible conservative candidate not in the current running is Newt Gingrich, however a new interview with a religious right program revealed that he was having an affair at the very same time he he was critical of Bill Clinton's inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Revelations of an affair while his current wife was dying from cancer in a hospital bed cannot endear Gingrich to many women or conservative voters and be a good issue with conservative voters. And Gingrich has a history of ethical problems that forced him to resign his seat from Congress as well, which isn't a good issue at all.

John McCain would seem to be a good candidate, but he has been remarried, and now has a reputation as a flip-flopper on issues, as well as a support for a policy on Iraq that is to the right of the Bush Administration's own policy. Even among Republican voters, there is a growing mood for the situation in Iraq to reach acceptable conclusions that leave the nation and region stable so that the Republican Party can go on to other issues.

Rudolph Giuliani is the most popular of the Republican candidates, and still the most likely of all to be elected. However, new revelations that his son, Andrew, strongly dislikes him, is very unsettling. His multiple marriages, as well positions that are seen as liberal for a Republican such as support for abortion, gun control and Gay rights, all are not helpful among many GOP voters, especially the more conservative ones.

Of all the Republican candidates, Giuliani is still the most likely to win the nomination and to be elected president. However, will all of his political baggage become a drag as the campaign wears on? This is a good question. But if Giuliani is matched up against Hillary Clinton for example, could this negate some of the ethics questions surrounding the Clintons a bit? Unlike any past year, Republican voters, then the general pool of voters will have more character questions to answer than most years for the major Republican candidates.

Donald Trump Likes Both Rudolph Giuliani And Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump voiced strong support for both Rudolph Giuliani and Hillary Clinton when he called in early to the Don Imus radio program. Trump seemed to believe a race between these two would be a "win-win" situation where the country could not lose, and either would apparently make a great president according to Trump.

Although Trump likely leans more towards Rudolph Giuliani, his strong approval of Hillary Clinton is also helpful to her efforts as well.

It would be interesting to see which New Yorker wins their home state. It would be rare that both party nominees come from the same state.

Portland, Oregon Plans To Cut Energy Use By 50% In Next 15 Years

Testimony at Portland, Oregon's City Hall by experts on the energy industry is helping to shape a policy citywide intended to cut all energy use, gas, electricity, etc. by a full 50% in the next 15 years or so.

This has to be one of the most sweeping policies at the city level of any city in the U.S. Meanwhile the Governor of Oregon is pushing for new mandates for energy conservation at the state level.

Oregon's reputation as a "green state' and ecology friendly in the 60's and 70's is apparently finding new ways to maintain that reputation in the present and in the future.

Pravda's Strange New Interest in American Women

Under the old Soviet system, Pravda was the voice of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Today Pravda is still a propaganda voice for the Russian government, but with some strange choices in news coverage that would not be seen in the puritanical U.S.

Besides the news slanted towards a favorable view of the Russian government, today's Pravda website features a photo spread on American porn star, Jenna Jameson, photo spreads of old 1950's Playboy Playmates, sexy photos of American actresses and other layouts totally unexpected in a daily newspaper's website. In the morally uptight U.S., such sexy photo layouts would never become daily items in THE WASHINGTON POST, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, or other papers.

While the U.S. and Russian political relations continue to grow chilly, it seems that beautiful American women seem to be the greatest cultural bridge to Russia, or at least to Pravda. Equally, it seems that Britney Spears and other sexy young American women are popular photo essay subjects in the normally morally conservative China, at least in Xinhua, their main daily newspaper and website.

Pravda on one hand seems to provoke fear of new U.S. weapons, even if they are merely experimental, on one hand. On the other hand, the interest in beautiful American women as reflected in Pravda is one area where Cold War politics is strangely set aside. A strange world isn't it?

Little Known Report By John Edwards And Jack Kemp For The U.S. Council On Foreign Relations Predicts New Cold War With Russia

A little known report produced under the bipartisan direction of John Edwards and Jack Kemp for the U.S. Council On Foreign Relations actually expects relations to worsen between the U.S. and Russia after Bush leaves office, despite any new U.S. president, regardless of party.

The news seems to reflect this worsening state of relations as well, as big news on CNN this week was the shooting in the U.S. of another critic of Putin. CNN detailed the recent examples of Putin critics killed in nations outside of Russia, questioning whether the KGB is in the business of striking down enemies around the world.

All of this is not helpful. Russia should cooperate with any investigations of violence against critics of their president or state, and seek to maintain positive relations with the U.S. In turn, the U.S. must make Russia realize that a spirit of friendship must remain between the two states, and both need to strive to paper over any differences for the sake of world peace.

A new Cold war wouldn't serve any good purpose and needs to be avoided at all costs.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

As Many As 5,000 More Troops Needed For Iraq

The new ongoing security situation in Iraq is going to require as many as 5,000 more U.s. soldiers beyond the 21,500 number of suge forces according to military officials. And while the security situation has improved the violence rate in Baghdad somewhat, much of the violence seems to have moved outside the main capital city to soft targets such as religious pilgrims or open air markets.

The murder rate has improved in Baghdad with the new security measure down to just 20 from the previous 500 a month ago.

And there finally appears to be a little movement in Iraqi government institutions such as the corrupt Interior Ministry to rid themselves of 10,000 undesirable members either involved in corruption or torture of prisoners or other crimes.

Iraq is still far from what it should be, and it appears that the violence problem has only been moved to the suburbs and outskirts of Baghdad for the most part. But there appears to be some measurable humanitarian benefit to the new security arrangements. The change of command for the military and the removal of Donal Rumsfeld do appear to be offering some small gains in restoring some semblence of peace and stability to Iraq. Whether this can be enough is still a big question. But any movement in the right direction is certainly welcome.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Barack Obama Brings Huge International Respect Compared To The Present Administration

One of the worst downfalls for American respect overseas has been the lack of respect that the Bush administration commands overseas; beyond the slender 51% win in the 2004 election, or the current 33-41% who support this administration, this administration draws little support overseas. Contrast this with the wildly popular JFK or even Bill Clinton, either of which could probably have been elected world president if they ran for such a office.

For the first time since the Clinton years, Barack Obama is quickly becoming a world superstar, compared to an international rock star. Japanese TV even ran a one special report on him a few nights ago, which is practically unheard of there.

Could a possible Barack Obama election as president lead to greatly improved international respect for the U.S.? It's certainly more than likely it would as long as his policies as president would not appear as abrasive to the international community as the Bush administration's policies are. This might raise a new question for voters in that they might need to consider world respect in casting their vote. Some years back, Austria ignored world anger and elected former Nazi Kurt Waldheim, and faced a huge backlash. while you cannot compare the Bush Administration to this standard, still there is good reason not to elect an administration that cannot well work with the world community.

THE PRICE IS RIGHT Holding New Host Auditions

Behind the scenes of THE PRICE IS RIGHT, CBS is actively searching for a new host to replace retiring long-time host Bob Barker, who is retiring and his last show airs on June 15, 2007. CBS EARLY SHOW weatherman, Dave Price was the first to audition back in December in unaired auditions. FAMILY FEUD host John O'Hurley has also been test hosted by CBS as well. Todd Newton, Doug Davidson and the former host of BEAUTY AND THE GEEK, Mike Richards have also tried out in test screenings in January. But some informed sources seem to lean towards Dave Price as the favorite to land the coveted role to replace the retiring Bob Barker, who has hosted this ultrasuccessful game show since September 4, 1972 while most other daytime game shows have come and gone.

MONK Season Finale Drew Huge Ratings

The season finale of MONK over at the USA Network sure drew big ratings last week. According to published Nielsen figures, 5.7 million viewers chose to watch the final of 16 episodes which started back last summer of this quirky detective series. As far as cable ratings go, these figures are huge.

NBC is also going to air two new quirky detective shows on their broadcast network that both seem to be inspired by MONK, RAINES, starring Jeff Goldblum, and a purely comedy one, ANDY BARKER P.I., starring Andy Richter. The USA Network is the sister cable network of NBC.

MONK will return in early July with the first of a new 16 episode season, split up in segments of runs throughout the year of several episodes, ending again with a wrap next February or early March. Usually a special Christmas episode airs in the 16 episode series as well.

ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5TH GRADER? Turns Into A Huge Ratings Surprise For FOX

Comic Jeff Foxworthy's new game show turned out to be a far bigger hit than executives at FOX could have probably ever expected. Last week's three runs drew more than 26 million viewers one night, and more than 23 million on two other nights. This even far outpaced NBC's biggest hit TV show, DEAL OR NO DEAL which drew more than 17 million viewers by comparison.

With such monster ratings, executives at FOX will have to decide if cutting the program back to a regular run of just once a week is really wise. Sometimes you have to just strike when the iron is hot, and this new program has success written all over it.

Why the new Jeff Foxworthy program is such a huge draw is a bit of a mystery. But only a few TV programs have such a magical quality to be huge hits, and the public certainly loves this new show based on the monster ratings so far.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The "Scooter" Libby Verdict

On one hand you hate to see any person in legal problems, but then again it was "Scooter" Libby himself who decided to throw himself under a truck to defend "higher ups" in the Bush Administration. In this administration, especially in the Vice president's office you find a meaness and a vindicative nature not seen since the days of the corrupt Nixon Watergate administration. Any administration hell bent on "getting even" with opponents and schoolyard bully antics only sets itself up for investigations and prosecutions. This is not a mature way of conducting a national government.

It apparently so angered some members of the Bush Administration when an Ambassador wrote a piece that concluded that Saddam Hussein was not purchasing nuclear materials in Africa to turn into nuclear fuel for bombs, that some members of this administration decided to undermine intelligence security and out a CIA agent who was the wife of this Ambassador. This is politics of the worst.

Even former Republican Congressman, Dick Armey, has been highly critical of this Nixon "Watergate" type conduct in this administration. Dick Armey's sense of values and integrity have been deeply offended by this outrageous conduct in the Bush Administration.

Americans certainly have the right to expect far better of their government than this. This is only another way in which this administration has managed to let down the "integrity" it promised to put in the White House during the 2000 election run by candidate Bush. But did the public really expect much better from a former alcohol and cocaine abuser, with a shady history up to the age of about 40. Why someone with so much personal baggage ran for president, and why some actually expected integrity from him is the greatest leap of faith ever heard of.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Verizon And Other Advertisers Pulling Ads From Ann Coulter's Website

Some huge advertising accounts are pulling their ads from Ann Coulter's website in the wake of her antiGay slur and outrageous attacks on John Edwards this past weekend. One of the biggest is Verizon, and a large bank and another business are following in pulling their ads as well. Verizon reportedly has a company policy not to advertise on extremist political websites, and Coulter's site apparently violates this standard as being written by a political extremist and appealing to extremists.

Coulter's hateful language regarding all Muslims, weekend slur against Gay citizens, and features appearing in HUMAN EVENTS that seemed to nearly condone violence against a U.S. Senator, as well as wishing a U.S. Supreme Court Justice a heart attack, are apparently the last straw for large companies such as Verizon who are pulling the plug on advertising on such political extremist websites as Coulter's.

There simply is no moral justification for political extremists who seem to nearly condone violence against public officials or use widespread slurs to attack all Muslims and Gay Americans. Verizon is morally right to pull the plug on Couter's website. Reactionary thuggery like Coulter's offensive dribble doesn't deserve the support of the business community.

AntiACLU Propagandists Will Never Tell You About This!

AntiACLU propagandists will never paint an accurate portrait of the American Civil Liberties Union, instead focusing on a few court cases or positions that they strongly disagree with. These antiACLU opponents will never admit that the ACLU involves a wide range of lawyers and others concerned with law in their 400,000 membership numbers.

One of these diverse attorneys is Portland, Oregon based Charles F. Hinkle, a mild mannered champion for civil liberties. Hinkle not only holds a doctorate from Yale in law, but also a masters degree from Union Theological Seminary, graduating cum laude in 1968. Hinkle has been fighting for the rights of students at Portland Oregon's only Adventist high school to not have basketball games scheduled on the Lord's Sabbath in a case currently before the Oregon Supreme Court, that has involved a full 10 years of litigation. Hinkle is also past president of the Oregon ACLU and remains a top member.

Many who oppose the ACLU misleadingly refer themselves as Christians such as Dr. D. James Kennedy or others associated with, the American Center For Law And Justice, and other organizations, yet these persons do not worship on the Lord's Sabbath as commanded in the 10 Commandments and in Scripture, yet often very misleadingly refer to themselves as Christian to add legitmacy to their political views.

When a main ACLU member, who is a minister and an attorney fights for the faith of Adventist students to play basketball only on days that do not violate the Holy Scriptures and the Lord's Sabbath, then you hear nothing from the antiACLU activists who only paint a false and misleading image of this civil liberties organization.

Right down the line you find a wide range of departures from Scripture of many antiACLU opponents including not worshipping the Sabbath and dishonoring the 10 Commandments, preaching for a political kingdom on earth, when the Good News contained in the Bible is the future coming kingdom of Jesus.

Many antiACLU activists are proponents of false religion that is in sharp contrast to the Holy Scriptures, yet they proclaim themselves as Christian. Meanwhile, a mild mannered Portland attorney who is a top ACLU member fights hard for the rights of Adventist students to honor the Holy Scriptures to the best of their ability, while many fakes like Dr. D. James Kennedy make no attempt whatsoever to accurately follow the teachings of the Bible.