USA: Senator McCain, a danger to himself, the USA, and the world


Bush, McCain, and the Iraq war, cartoon

One US Republican hoping to succeed George W Bush is Senator John McCain.

He first became prominent in 1999, when, as a Presidential candidate, he lost the party’s nomination to Bush.

1999 was also the year of the war against Yugoslavia.

Though Republicans then were an opposition party, both McCain and Bush supported that war.

As did the previous Republican Presidential candidate against Bill Clinton, Bob Dole.

On the other hand, the Republicans tried to impeach Clinton on the consensual sex Lewinsky affair.

Wow, what a sense of priorities [sarcasm off]!

To paraphrase US comedian Will Rogers, ever since, McCain never met a war he didn’t like.

From PEEK blog in the USA:

McCain v. McCain… a bloody tangle [VIDEO]

Posted by Evan Derkacz at 7:20 PM on January 28, 2007.

Think you know John McCain?

Brave New Films put together this devastating film on “Straight Talkin'” John McCain’s whack-a-mole positions regarding Iraq, gay marriage, and the Christian Right as the champagne smash across the bow of a new website, therealmccain.com.

One of the virgin blogs on the site includes a link to Sidney Blumenthal’s chronicle of the destruction of the myth of John McCain.

It’s called: The Myth of John McCain. Here’s a key passage:

McCain’s political colleagues, however, know another side of the action hero – a volatile man with a hair-trigger temper, who shouted at Senator Ted Kennedy on the Senate floor to “shut up”, and called fellow Republican senators “shithead … fucking jerk … asshole”.

A few months ago, McCain suddenly rushed up to a friend of mine, a prominent Washington lawyer, at a social event, and threatened to beat him up because he represented a client McCain happened to dislike.

Then, just as suddenly, profusely and tearfully, he apologised.

So much for the Republican even liberals love..

McCain’s flip-flopping in support of Bush’s escalation in Iraq: here.

Right wingers in McCain’s campaign: here.

McCain in Baghdad: here.

US Republicans and Christian and secular voters: here.

Bush’s torture of Canadian goes too far even for Canadian Conservatives


Torture and Condoleezza Rice: cartoonFrom Alternet in the USA:

Torture Sours U.S.-Canadian Right-wing Lovefest

By Sarah Anderson

Posted January 29, 2007.

Stephen Harper, Canada’s conservative Prime Minister, campaigned on strengthening ties with the Bush administration.

But the love affair has ended over the American “rendition” of a Canadian citizen to Syria.

A U.S. Ambassador lashed out against a foreign official last week for standing up to the Bush Administration – and it wasn’t against Hugo Chavez or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or any of the other usual suspects.

It was Canadian Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day – a fundamentalist creationist, anti-abortion, anti-gay rights hawk who once spoke at a “Canadians for Bush” rally.

At the onset of the Iraq war, he published a pro-Bush letter in the Wall Street Journal with Stephen Harper, who would become Canada’s Prime Minister in 2006.

Day and Harper blasted their own government’s opposition to the U.S. invasion and lauded the Bush administration’s “fundamental vision of civilization and human values.”

That conservative lovefest is now over.

Last week Day and U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins exchanged the most hostile tit-for-tat to date over the case of Maher Arar.

In 2002, U.S. authorities detained Arar, a Canadian citizen, at JFK airport.

After accusing him of having links to al Qaeda, they sent him to Syria, where he was tortured for nearly a year before being released without charge.

After an exhaustive inquiry, an independent Canadian commission cleared Arar of any terrorist ties last fall.

On January 26, the Ottawa government announced it would apologize for its role in the debacle and compensate Arar to the tune of about US$8.5 million, plus legal fees.

But while the Canadian government has now admitted that Arar is indeed the innocent computer engineer and father of two he always said he was, the Bush Administration continues to insist that Arar belongs on their “no-fly” list of terrorism suspects.

Germany wants CIA agents arrested for “rendition”: here.

Kurnaz case in Germany: here.

US and torture flights: here.

US torture flights and Africa: here.

Torture and Canadians in Afghanistan: here.

New insect and sponge species discovered in Tasmania


Lake PedderFrom the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

New species discovered at Lake Pedder

Species predating the dinosaurs have been discovered in the frigid waters of Lake Pedder, in south-west Tasmania.

The lake has been the subject of long-running debate over its flooding by the Hydro in the 1970s.

Retired professors Andrew Osborn and Nigel Forteath were first lured to Lake Pedder by their love of fishing.

Over the years they have since discovered a new genus and two new species of mayfly, along with a new species of freshwater sponge and sponge fly.

They are also about to rename another mayfly, incorrectly identified in 1912.

Tasmania: video on short-tailed shearwaters.

Linnaeus year celebrations begin


Linneaus on Swedish bank noteAssociated Press reports:

Sweden Kicks Off Linnaeus Celebrations

By TOMMY GRANDELL

Associated Press Writer

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — There are places on the Moon named after him.

His face appears on Swedish currency, and an era of scientific history bears his name.

But Carl Linnaeus is best known for creating the system of classifying living organisms that became the international standard.

Sweden on Saturday began yearlong celebrations that will mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of its most famous scientist, launching festivities with music and fireworks in Linnaeus’ hometown.

“He has meant an incredible amount to the world because by systematizing just about every plant and animal, he helped organize it,” said Kajsa Eriksson, spokeswoman for the Linnaeus 2007 celebration.

Often called the father of taxonomy, Linnaeus laid the foundation for a new classification of plants and animals based on their reproductive systems.

His famous book Systema Naturae, classified 4,400 species of animals and 7,700 species of plants.

He is also credited for distinguishing humans as Homo sapiens and as primates in the class of mammals.

Linnaeus’ ideas have influenced generations of scientists, including Charles Darwin, and even those opposed to the philosophical and theological roots of his work.

Unknown in Linnaeus’ time: here.

Darwin and his predecessors: here.

Somalia, a country with 400 plant species newly discovered by science: here.

Fossil plants: here.

Eocene fossil coral reef found in Pakistan


Eocene coral from EnglandFrom Dawn daily in Pakistan:

‘Largest’ fossilised coral reef found near Dadu

By Qurban Ali Khushik

DADU, Jan 26: A number of fossils of fish, plants and other organisms have been found in a place said to be the largest fossilised coral reef in the world.

The place, called Bunjo after a spring, is in the Khirthar mountain range near Gaji Shah, some 50 kilometres away from Dadu city.

The reef contains several identified fossils, including fish, sponges, snails and flower plants.

It may be mentioned that coral reefs, also called sea gardens, are generally located in the ocean bed.

Local people use the spring’s water for drinking.

Experts say there is a treasure of fossils on the slopes of the Bunjo mountain.

Shafqat Wadho, an irrigation engineer with keen interest in geology, discovered the mountain formed of fossils during a visit to the Khirthar range.

Speaking at a press conference at his residence in Dadu on Friday, Mr Wadho said that the living organism had been fossilised millions of years ago.

He claimed that the site was actually fossilised coral reef and once it was a part of an ocean bed.

He said that the area was spread over 2.5 square kilometres and added that fossils in such large numbers might not be found at any other place in the world.

Mr Wadho said it was an open natural geological museum of an era dating back to 50 million years.

He appealed to geologists of the country to visit the Bunjo mountain for more research and called upon the federal and Sindh governments and the National Geographic channel to visit the area which was a treasure trove of geological wonders.

Corals of Scotland today: here.