Belize Photos

The digging continues, more so with a trowel than shovels now. Although when we work on the steps of the East slope we do some shoveling. Most of my work is on the South Slope of El Castillo, the main pyramid of the Xunantunich complex.

The heat is unrelenting, although at about 1130 every day a nice breeze whips around the pyramid and cools us. But the nights are brutal. My room is like a blast furnace. Top bunk sucks. Heat rises. No A/C and the fans are less than useful.

Alas, I am learning a great deal.

More soon. Enjoy some new photos! Only a few but we did discover some interesting pottery this week.

Bear Tracking: Blackwater

“Corporate personhood” is something that seems only recently to have garnered the attention of the media. The rising awareness of this legal fiction is to be welcomed.

The 2002 book Unequal Protection by Thom Hartmann highlighted the anomaly in US legal history that has made this business configuration an ongoing nightmare. Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor has referred to it in at least one of her early opinions. Justice Ginsberg has provoked the recent discussion with her Hobby Lobby dissent.

Hartmann, in his book, established two things that need to be repeatedly driven home in the media:

1) that the Founding Fathers considered corporations a danger to the nation–an opinion that was well understood and widely adhered to through the mid 1800′s; and

2) that the initial legal equivalence of the corporation to bipedal United States citizens originates from an erroneous application of a Supreme Court case summary (Santa Clara County v Southern Pacific Railroad Company) converting it into a Supreme Court disposition on the 14th Amendment. It was the equivalent of the justices basing an opinion on the book review instead of reading the book…and misreading it at that.

Actually, I think it evolved that a case summary about the Court’s refusal  to state a position on the application of  the 14th Amendment led to an inference about its application.

Read Hartmann’s book.
Continue reading Bear Tracking: Blackwater

Weekend Jukebox- Third Person: triangles, real or imagined

Rules this week:
- The first ten comments will have the music embedded- after that, probably not-we’ll see how the thread loads. Trying to determine whether any additional appeal of embed justifies effort. Editors’ posts will be left however they submit them.

- Any ranting at other’s music  choices will be expunged.:-).
After all that, post away – any style, any type from any time !


Patti Smith: “Boots of Spanish Leather”- great performance ,
sound quality primitive -for Robert Mapplethorpe

Continue reading Weekend Jukebox- Third Person: triangles, real or imagined

Friday Catblogging: Stoned

Washington & Colorado…for starters.

Continue reading Friday Catblogging: Stoned

Cheney and the Dickheads

I am pretty sure this characterization of putrid punditry is not original to me. Still, the label occurred to me as I read Phil Donahue’s remarks in the article linked here.

Phil is complaining (rightly) about the return of right wing talking heads who have appeared in all the standard media outlets to cheer a renewed war in the middle east, whether the bombing of Syria or return to Iraq or the throttling of Iran.

And who is invited to present the opposing point of view? Count them on one finger.

So I think it is appropriate to refer to the promoters of Mission Accomplished 2 (and 3 and 4)  as  “Dickheads” with no small irony.

Now that I think about it, that’s what we used to call the legions of Richard Nixon supporters too.

Meet the Next Florida

New York City

A new report released by research and news organization Climate Central predicts that by the year 2100 our usual 82 degree average summer weather will reach an average of around 91 degrees—the equivalent to an average July day spent in Lehigh Acres, Florida.

Of course, New York isn’t the only city with a rising thermometer; Los Angeles and Miami temperatures could both see a jump of seven degrees, while northeastern Pennsylvania could see an increase as large as 11 degrees.

The report examines projected daytime summer temperatures for 1,001 cities across the United States, and matches them to other cities who already experience those projected temperatures today. Frighteningly, some city projections are too hot to match, and had to be linked to other parts of the world.

“In some cases, summers will warm so dramatically that their best comparison is to cities in the Middle East. Take Las Vegas, for example. Summer highs there are projected to average a scorching 111°F, which is what summer temperatures are like today in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. And at an average 114°F°, living in Phoenix will feel like summering in sweltering Kuwait City,” the study states. Continue reading Meet the Next Florida

China to buy entire Fortune 500

China today tendered an offer for all 500 of the US top 500 companies, with the exception of defense and Information Technology companies.

China described as US defense companies as “Departments of the United States,” inefficient and unable to produce goods which meet China’s cost and quality standards. The IT companies, which became famous for their profit-margin-by-outsourcing strategies, were dismissed as being hotbeds of Indian Ideals and Activism. The Chinese spokesman continued, saying that China has its own classification system and did not want to become burdened with a “non-socialist class system from a corrupt and racist sub-continent.” US IT representatives were unavailable for comment

The offer states:
Continue reading China to buy entire Fortune 500

Photos from Belize

Here are the photos.  

It is hot.

The days are long. They start at 530. They end at 400.

It is 95*. I shovel and basically move about a couple dozen wheelbarrows full of dirt off the pyramid every day.

It is exhausting. That is all. 

All Wet: Files on UK role in CIA rendition accidentally destroyed, says minister

h/t Steve H.

Guardian -The British government’s problems with missing files deepened on Wednesday when the Foreign Office claimed documents on the UK’s role in a CIA global abduction operation had been accidentally destroyed when they became soaked with water.

In a statement that human rights groups said smacked of a cover-up, the department maintained that records of post-9/11 flights in and out of Diego Garcia, the British territory in the Indian Ocean, were “incomplete due to water damage”. The claim comes amid media reports in the US that a Senate report will identify Diego Garcia as a location where the CIA established a secret prison as part of its extraordinary rendition programme. According to one report, classified CIA documents say it was established with the “full cooperation” of the UK government.more

Got wet during the water boarding? ;-)

Is SPK really in Belize?

or is he greeting Obama in Denver?

Pretty Embarassing

If you hadn’t heard, World Cup host nation Brazil had its dreams shattered last evening.

Continue reading Pretty Embarassing

Gitmo brass testifying on force-feeding would be bad for morale, US says

Al Jazeera, By Jason Leopold, July 8

The former warden of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility should not be hauled into court to “defend against our enemies’ legal challenges” because it could lead to low morale among soldiers under his command who may question his leadership skills, the Justice Department argued in court documents.

Moreover, the government’s court papers state, the senior medical officer at Guantanamo should not have to “sacrifice his well earned military leave” to testify about a hunger striking detainee’s medical needs and the detention facility’s force-feeding practices.
Continue reading Gitmo brass testifying on force-feeding would be bad for morale, US says

Gov. Kasich Kisses Planet ByeBye

Reader Supported News

Ohio: Poster Child for Mindless Global Self-Destruction
Kill people, kill the planet – whatever makes a big profit is cool

Ohio Gov. John Kasich

Ohio Gov. John Kasich

John Kasich is a smart guy who knows better than to be an overt serial killer, so, as Governor of Ohio, he joins with others who prefer to do their mass killing by stealth, maybe spread the carnage out over future generations, who will be unable to hold the Kasiches and the ALECS of this world to account. Ever. However long that turns out to be.

This is not to single out Republican Gov. Kasich as the worst environmental monster in office (current term 2011-2015). On the contrary, his behavior seems rather centrist in the context of contemporary American Republican politics.
Continue reading Gov. Kasich Kisses Planet ByeBye

Gaza by the Numbers: Who the People are, how They got There

Juan Cole:
Population of Palestinians of Gaza: 1.7 million

Number of Palestinians in Gaza whose families were expelled as refugees from their homes in what is now southern Israel: 1.2 million

Number of Palestinians in Gaza still living in the 8 recognized refugee camps, “which have one of the highest population densities in the world”: over 500,000

Compensation Palestinians of Gaza have received for the billions of dollars of property taken from them by Israelis in Beersheva, Sderot, etc.: $0

Years since Israel allowed Palestinians of Gaza to export what they produce: 7   

Update(CSM) : Info on new Hamas Rockets in comments

Hey, Remember How VW Wanted to Open More Factories in the United States?

And remember how they supported unions, the (informed) workers supported unions, and hell, most of America wanted to see those plants opening up here because, jobs? And it was only a small handful of conservative morons who were all Socialism!!!!!, which of course neglects the fact that the same “socialism” was expanding production into America?

Continue reading Hey, Remember How VW Wanted to Open More Factories in the United States?