Monday, May 21, 2007

Intel Accused of Predatory Pricing

The $100 a computer plan advocated by One Laptop per Child is under attack by Intel according to its spokesman. The sturdy and cheap computer are being distributed by the non profit around the world to try to bridge the world wide technology divide.

New Theory on the Big Die Off

New theory posits a extra-terrestial reason for ice age and die off of 13,000 years past.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

One for the Ages

Pope Benedict XVI on the imposition of Christianity in the Americas during his trip to Brazil this passed week:

"In effect, the proclamation of Jesus and of his Gospel did not at any point involve an alienation of the pre-Columbus cultures, nor was it the imposition of a foreign culture," he said.

What do we take from this quote? Is Ratzinger intentionally lying here? He knows the history from the likes of the eyewitness Bartolome de las Casas:

"After the wars and the killings had ended, when usually there survived only some boys, some women, and children, these survivors were distributed among the Christians to be slaves. The repartimiento or distribution was made according to the rank and importance of the Christian to whom the Indians were allocated, one of them being given thirty, another forty, still another, one or two hundred, and besides the rank of the Christian there was also to be considered in what favor he stood with the tyrant they called Governor. The pretext was that these allocated Indians were to be instructed in the articles of the Christian Faith. As if those Christians who were as a rule foolish and cruel and greedy and vicious could be caretakers of souls! And the care they took was to send the men to the mines to dig for gold, which is intolerable labor, and to send the women into the fields of the big ranches to hoe and till the land, work suitable for strong men. Nor to either the men or the women did they give any food except herbs and legumes, things of little substance. The milk in the breasts of the women with infants dried up and thus in a short while the infants perished. And since men and women were separated, there could be no marital relations. And the men died in the mines and the women died on the ranches from the same causes, exhaustion and hunger. And thus was depopulated that island which had been densely populated."

Source: Bartoleme de Las Casas, Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies. (1542)

The Pope's quote is the moral equivalent of Holocaust denial.

Here's the full text.

Columbia Support Group

Dear Members of CSN’s Urgent Action list :

CSN is sending along for your consideration the following letter. The letter is designed to encourage Colombia's Attorney General to carry forward sensitive investigations which he has begun. We are seeking signatures for this letter at the request of relatives of the Palace of Justice workers who were taken and disappeared by the Colombian Army and Police . If you decide to sign on please tell us how you want to be identified and what city, state or country you live in. Please circulate this letter to as many people as possible, so we can collect many signatures.
Thank you very much.Colombia Support Network Email :

May 13, 2007

The Honorable
Minister of Foreign Relations
of the Republic of Colombia

The Honorable
Fiscal General ot the Republic of

Dear Minister Araujo and Attorney General Iguaran :

It has come to our attention that the office of the Attorney General has decided to move forward the proceedings in the case of the citizens who were disappeared from the Palace of Justice in Bogota in November of 1985. On November 6, 1985, the Palace of Justice was taken over in a senseless mission by the April 19 guerrilla movement ( M- 19). In response the Colombian Army carried out a brutal assault on the building, which was approved by the civilian authorities. On December 7, 2005 Attorney General Iguaran transferred the case from the human rights unit of his office to the unit of prosecutors delegated to the Supreme Court.

We respectfully request that the Foreign Minister order the temporary removal from his post of the Military Attaché to the Colombian Embassy in Chile, Carlos Alberto Frasica Naranjo, until the Attorney General’s office, through the investigative process which it is carrying out concerning the disappearance from the Palace of Justice (Case # 9755), establishes the responsibility of this general in this crime against humanity. This is based upon testimony from the year 1985 of a soldier, Yesid Cardona, who said that by order of then Major Frasica he personally transferred personnel from the cafeteria to the Casa del Florero Museum. The reference for this testimony of Yesid Cardona is Annals of the Colombian Congress, Year XXIX, # 141, November 19, 1986, page 37.

Likewise, we wish to congratulate Attorney General Iguaran for his courage in giving impulse to the investigation of the Palace of Justice case, since this case, like others of crimes against humanity, will not be solved until the truth is known, justice is done, and full reparations are made to the relatives of the victims.

We also respectfully ask Attorney General Iguaran to facilitate the arrangements for receiving the testimony of witness Ricardo Gamez, accepting all of the conditions which he has requested, given the exceptional status of this witness. We as the international community request that Ricardo Gamez’s testimony be taken in the presence of international representatives, as well as protected witnesses. We also ask that his testimony be filmed and recorded in the place chosen by him for the purpose of insuring the validity and receptivity of the testimony as evidence. We will follow closely the steps taken by the Attorney General’s office to take this testimony.

We also ask that the high ranking officers of the Colombian Army of that time be linked to the case through investigation. Among these are Generals Jesus Armando Arias Cabrales and Rafael Samudio Molina; Luis Carlos Sadovnik Sanchez ; and Generals Jose Luis Vargas Silva and Victor Delgado Mallarino of the National Police.

The international community also demands an explanation of why until now, the following persons have not been linked as subjects of investigation for the major roles they played in the decisions taken by them during the Palace of Justice events : former President Belisario Betancur, who recognized publicly in a radio and television address on November 7, 1985 full responsibility for the military operation of the retaking of the Palace of Justice ; his Minister of Communications, Nohemi Sanin, who silenced the mass media, ordering them to transmit a soccer match while the Palace of Justice operation was going on, instead of live interviews with Supreme Court President Alfonso Reyes Echandia and other justices ; and former Mayor of Bogota and then Minister of Government Jaime Castro . These officials have only been called as witnesses to events.


Noam Chomsky, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA

Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621

Monday, May 14, 2007

Michael Moore Goes to Havana

I have an idea, let's pick on the biggest publicity hound since PT Barnum, that will surely further or master plan to isolate Cuba even more.

Friday, May 11th, 2007
Open Letter from Michael Moore to U.S. Treasury
Secretary Henry Paulson

Secretary Henry Paulson
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20220

May 11, 2007

Secretary Paulson,

I am contacting you in light of the document sent to me
dated May 2, 2007, which was received May 7, 2007
indicating that an investigation has been opened up with
regards to a trip I took to Cuba with a group of
Americans that included some 9/11 heroes in March 2007
related to the filming of my next documentary, on the
American Healthcare system. SiCKO, which will be seen in
theaters this summer, will expose the health care
industry's greed and control over America's political

I believe that the decision to conduct this
investigation represents the latest example of the Bush
Administration abusing the federal government for raw,
crass, political purposes. Over the last seven years of
the Bush Presidency, we have seen the abuse of
government to promote a political agenda designed to
benefit the conservative base of the Republican Party,
special interests and major financial contributors. From
holding secret meetings for the energy industry to re-
writing science findings to cooking the books on
intelligence to the firing of U.S. Attorneys, this
Administration has shown time and time again that it
will abuse its power and authority.

There are a number of specific facts that have led me to
conclude that politics could very well be driving this
Bush Administration investigation of me and my film.

First, the Bush Administration has been aware of this
matter for months (since October 2006) and never took
any action until less than two weeks before SiCKO is set
to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and a little
more than a month before it is scheduled to open in the
United States.

Second, the health care and insurance industry, which is
exposed in the movie and has expressed concerns about
the impact of the movie on their industries, is a major
corporate underwriter of President George W. Bush and
the Republican Party, having contributed over $13
million to the Bush presidential campaign in 2004 and
more than $180 million to Republican candidates over the
last two campaign cycles. It is well documented that the
industry is very concerned about the impact of SiCKO.
They have threatened their employees if they talk to me.
They have set up special internal crises lines should I
show up at their headquarters. Employees have been
warned about the consequences of participating in SiCKO.
Despite this, some employees, at great risk to
themselves, have gone on camera to tell the American
people the truth about the health care industry. I can
understand why that industry's main recipient of its
contributions -- President Bush -- would want to harass,
intimidate and potentially prevent this film from having
its widest possible audience.

And, third, this investigation is being opened in the
wake of misleading attacks on the purpose of the Cuba
trip from a possible leading Republican candidate for
president, Fred Thompson, a major conservative
newspaper, The New York Post, and various right wing

For five and a half years, the Bush administration has
ignored and neglected the heroes of the 9/11 community.
These heroic first responders have been left to fend for
themselves, without coverage and without care. I
understand why the Bush administration is coming after
me -- I have tried to help the very people they refuse
to help, but until George W. Bush outlaws helping your
fellow man, I have broken no laws and I have nothing to

I demand that the Bush Administration immediately end
this investigation and spend its time and resources
trying to support some of the real heroes of 9/11.


Michael Moore

Friday, May 11, 2007

Atheists Reviewed

Daniel Lazare on the resurgence of atheist ideas and the problem of solely being a contrarian. But he seems to fall to his own critique. He's good on showing the shortcomings of the latest rants but also does not put forward a program for a post-religious word.

I would propose a rational humanist vision based on Talmudic traditions of debate and dialectics. My atheist students tend to be some of the most thoughtful and creative although the A. adults I know tend to be cynical and dour. I'm not sure what this says but as a Catholic Atheist it seems the didactic nature of my catechism certainly did stick. What did Woody Allen say?, "they tried to beat religion into me."

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Brazilian Church

The numbers decline as the hierarchy clamps down on liberation theology proponents.

Unemployment in the Post-Industrial United States

Table 2:
Black Male Jobless Rates in Selected Metropolitan Areas: 2002-2005
(percentage of working-age (16-64) black males either
unemployed or out of the labor force)
2002 2005
Baltimore N/A Boston 28.3%
Minneapolis N/A Baltimore 31.6%
Cincinnati N/A Indianapolis 34.4%
Indianapolis 30.8% Kansas City 34.9%
Pittsburgh 31.9% Minneapolis 35.9%
Cleveland 32.3% Cincinnati 36.3%
Boston 36.4% Philadelphia 39.7%
Detroit 39.0% St. Louis 40.1%
Kansas City 39.1% Buffalo 40.4%
Philadelphia 39.7% Chicago 42.1%
Chicago 41.1% Detroit 42.7%
St. Louis 42.8% Cleveland 42.7%
Buffalo 45.7% Milwaukee 43.1%
Milwaukee 46.5% Pittsburgh 48.3%
Average 38.7% Average 39
The full report.

The War on Terror

Posada released!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Friday, May 04, 2007

The French Election

Why Tony Blair and others support Sarkozy.

Sudanese Man's Wife Dies

She was a goat.

The World is Flat!

"On another issue, three of the candidates said they did not believe Charles Darwin's theory of evolution."

Republicans debate the meaning of life.