Monday, December 31, 2007

John The Revelator

Sunday, December 30, 2007

One Warm Line

This is a 45 minute documentary on the Late Great Stan Rogers.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Giuliani Plans To Get Rid Of All Of The Muslims

h/t Crooks And Liars

Relish the good times now, because it looks like the next President is going run this nation off a cliff.

All of the candidates that look like they'll survive the primaries, seem ready to expand the war into other countries.

And now Giulliani plans to kill billions of Muslims? Is he really going to take us to war against Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Sudan, England, Germany, France, Spain, Israel, Russia, Libya, Kuwait, Qatar, Brazil... and on and on?

Will he give us death camps in the US, to get rid of Muslims here?

This is pretty scary stuff here.

Guardian Video Here

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christianity, The New Federal Religion...

The bill below passed the house on Dec 11th. I assume it'll make it to the President's desk. It effectively makes Christianity the official religion of the US Federal Government.

This opens the door to basing hiring firing decisions according to the faith a person practices and which Church they attend.

Now considering that the Religious Right are fundamentalists and mainly Baptists, I think it is safe to assume that Catholicism and other liberal sects of Christianity are going to end up having second class status if any. The illegal immigrants that are so hated in this country are mostly Catholics. So Catholicism may be forced into hiding underground in a few more election cycles.

It looks like the United States of America is becoming a Theocracy. Just look at the Presidential playing field. On the Republican side the current front runners are measured by how often God and Jesus sits down and has heart to heart talks with them. Our next President, like Bush, may serve his term taking orders from God.

Who would've thought that in our lifetimes, we'd adopt an Official State Religion?

Now it'll be up to Congress to start passing laws specifying how and when we must worship Jesus. Guidelines should be appearing in Government approved religious books and DVDs soon. And remember, what starts as a government guideline to worship, will soon enough become a Theocratic Law.

Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith. (Introduced in House)



1st Session

H. RES. 847

Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.


December 6, 2007

Mr. KING of Iowa (for himself, Mr. AKIN, Mrs. BACHMANN, Mr. BAKER, Mr. BARRETT of South Carolina, Mr. BISHOP of Utah, Mr. BOOZMAN, Mr. BRADY of Texas, Mr. BROUN of Georgia, Mr. BROWN of South Carolina, Mr. BURTON of Indiana, Mr. CARTER, Mr. CONAWAY, Mr. DAVID DAVIS of Tennessee, Mr. DOOLITTLE, Mr. FEENEY, Mr. FORTENBERRY, Ms. FOXX, Mr. FRANKS of Arizona, Mr. GINGREY, Mr. GOHMERT, Mr. HAYES, Mr. HERGER, Mr. ISSA, Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas, Mr. JONES of North Carolina, Mr. JORDAN of Ohio, Mr. KINGSTON, Mr. KLINE of Minnesota, Mr. KUHL of New York, Mr. LAHOOD, Mr. LAMBORN, Mr. LAMPSON, Mr. DANIEL E. LUNGREN of California, Mr. MCCAUL of Texas, Mr. MCINTYRE, Mrs. MCMORRIS RODGERS, Mr. MILLER of Florida, Mrs. MUSGRAVE, Mrs. MYRICK, Mr. NEUGEBAUER, Mr. POE, Mr. SALI, Mr. SHADEGG, Mr. SMITH of Texas, Mr. STEARNS, Mr. TERRY, Mr. TIAHRT, Mr. WALBERG, Mr. WELDON of Florida, Mr. WILSON of South Carolina, Mr. DAVIS of Kentucky, and Mrs. DRAKE) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.

Whereas Christmas, a holiday of great significance to Americans and many other cultures and nationalities, is celebrated annually by Christians throughout the United States and the world;

Whereas there are approximately 225,000,000 Christians in the United States, making Christianity the religion of over three-fourths of the American population;

Whereas there are approximately 2,000,000,000 Christians throughout the world, making Christianity the largest religion in the world and the religion of about one-third of the world population;

Whereas Christians identify themselves as those who believe in the salvation from sin offered to them through the sacrifice of their savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and who, out of gratitude for the gift of salvation, commit themselves to living their lives in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Bible;

Whereas Christians and Christianity have contributed greatly to the development of western civilization;

Whereas the United States, being founded as a constitutional republic in the traditions of western civilization, finds much in its history that points observers back to its roots in Christianity;

Whereas on December 25 of each calendar year, American Christians observe Christmas, the holiday celebrating the birth of their savior, Jesus Christ;

Whereas for Christians, Christmas is celebrated as a recognition of God's redemption, mercy, and Grace; and

Whereas many Christians and non-Christians throughout the United States and the rest of the world, celebrate Christmas as a time to serve others: Now, therefore be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) recognizes the Christian faith as one of the great religions of the world;

(2) expresses continued support for Christians in the United States and worldwide;

(3) acknowledges the international religious and historical importance of Christmas and the Christian faith;

(4) acknowledges and supports the role played by Christians and Christianity in the founding of the United States and in the formation of the western civilization;

(5) rejects bigotry and persecution directed against Christians, both in the United States and worldwide; and

(6) expresses its deepest respect to American Christians and Christians throughout the world.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dying For Your Mastercard

The Four Horsemen

On the 30th of September 2007, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens sat down for a first-of-its-kind, unmoderated 2-hour discussion, convened by RDFRS and filmed by Josh Timonen.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Finally! A Story That Makes Sense!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Department Of Explaining Things Good

h/t Crooks And Liars

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Chris Dodd

Jesus: Too Liberal For America

h/t Tennessee Guerrilla Women

Monday, December 17, 2007

Buy War Toys For Christmas!

Roy Zimmerman is becoming my favorite YouTube artist.

Go out and be good consumers and buy his stuff!

Give John Ashcroft A Bribe, And Avoid Prosecution

h/t Majikthise

It looks like John Ashcroft and the Justice Department are engaged in a racketeering conspiracy.

From the sound of how this works, the US Justice Department goes after a corporation that may or may not have run afoul of the law. They tell the principles that they'll defer prosecution if they pay John Ashcroft's firm millions of dollars in protection money. If they agree to give John Ashcroft's firm the bribes, then the US Justice Department goes looking for another victim to squeeze for protection money.

This is a favorite tactic of organized crime and many a mob boss has been put in prison for this reason. As the old saying goes, the reason that the government doesn't like organized crime is that they don't like competition.

Now the Racketeering Conspiracy is wrapped up in the guise of a Compliance and Monitoring Program. This sounds innocent, except that this is a for profit enterprise. Increasingly, our US Justice Department has become more like a welfare patron for corporation handouts, than a department dedicated to making impartial decisions in regard to the law. When justice is no longer about truth and impartiality, but is instead dedicated to maximizing profits for ex-Employees and powerful connected corporations, then we have no justice at all.

There is evidence and confessions all around that the Neocon goal is to completely privatize all of the functions of the US government. And those private corporations will, one by one be purchased by Saudi Princes, just as are utility corporations and most of our banks are. John Ashcroft's justice business is likely to be expanded and then purchased by Saudi royalty.

The same people who cut off heads over insults to Islam, will have a powerful influence over how our courts operate.

Here is the text of the agreement.
United States Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney, District of New Jersey
970 Broad Street, Seventh Floor
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Christopher J. Christie, U.S. Attorney
More Information? Call the Assistant U.S. Attorney or other contact listed below to see if more
information is available.
News on the Internet: News Releases and related documents are posted at our website.
Go to:
Public Affairs Office 973-645-2888
Michael Drewniak, PAO
Contact: hips0927.rel
Michael Drewniak, Public Information Officer FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
973-645-2888 Sept. 27, 2007
Five Companies in Hip and Knee Replacement Industry
Avoid Prosecution by Agreeing to Compliance Rules and Monitoring
NEWARK – Five companies that account for nearly 95 percent of the lucrative market in
hip and knee surgical implants have avoided criminal prosecution over financial
inducements paid to surgeons to use their products by agreeing to new corporate
compliance procedures and federal monitoring under 18-month agreements with the
Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie announced today.
Zimmer, Inc., Depuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Biomet Inc., and Smith & Nephew, Inc., have
executed Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs), which will expire in 18 months if
they meet all of their respective reform requirements. Criminal Complaints were also
filed today against those four companies, charging them with conspiring to violate the
federal anti-kickback statute. Those Complaints will be dismissed at the conclusion of
the DPAs if the companies comply with their terms.
The fifth company, Stryker Orthopedics, Inc., voluntarily cooperated with the U.S.
Attorney’s Office before any other company. Due to its cooperation, Stryker executed a
Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA) with the government, under which Stryker is required
to implement all the reforms imposed on the other companies under the DPAs, including
18 months of federal monitoring.
The criminal Complaints accuse the four companies of using consulting agreements with
orthopedic surgeons as inducements to use a particular company’s artificial hip and knee
reconstruction and replacement products. The investigation revealed that this was a
common practice by the companies from at least 2002 through 2006. Surgeons who had
agreements with the companies were typically paid tens to hundreds of thousands of
dollars per year for consulting contracts and were often lavished with trips and other
expensive perquisites.
Additionally, the four companies executing DPAs have reached civil settlements with the
Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of
Inspector General (HHS-OIG). The four companies have agreed to pay a total of $311
million to settle government claims under the anti-kickback statute and the civil federal
False Claims Act. They have also entered into five-year Corporate Integrity Agreements
(CIAs) with HHS-OIG. Those agreements require additional reforms and monitoring
under the supervision of HHS-OIG.
The financial settlements and CIAs release the four companies from any civil liability and
prevent them from being excluded from the Medicare reimbursement program by HHS
based on the conduct revealed in the investigation. Stryker did not enter into any civil
settlement with the Department of Justice or HHS. The company has not been given any
release from civil liability nor any release from HHS.
The five companies have all agreed to accept the appointment of federal monitors to
review compliance with the corporate reforms required of each of them. The companies,
the amount of their respective settlements and monitors are as follows:
• Zimmer Inc., based in Warsaw, Ind., will pay $169.5 million, and has agreed to be
monitored by former United States Attorney General John Ashcroft, currently Chairman
of the Ashcroft Group LLC of Washington, D.C.
• Depuy Orthopaedics, Inc., also based in Warsaw, Ind., a subsidiary of Johnson &
Johnson Corp. of New Brunswick, N.J., will pay $84.7 million, and has agreed to be
monitored by Debra Yang, the former U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California
in Los Angeles, and now a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles.
• Smith & Nephew Inc., of Memphis, Tenn., will pay $28.9 million and has agreed to be
monitored by David Samson, the former Attorney General of the State of New Jersey, and
now a partner at Wolff & Samson in West Orange, N.J.
• Biomet Orthopedics, Inc., also of Warsaw, Ind., will pay $26.9 million, and has agreed
to be monitored by David N. Kelley, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of
New York in Manhattan, and now a partner at Cahill, Gordon and Reindel in New York
• Stryker Orthopedics, Inc., of Mahwah, N.J., which has entered no civil settlement, has
agreed to be monitored by John Carley, former Senior Vice President for Legal Affairs at
Cendant Corp. and counsel to the Federal Trade Commission during the Reagan
“This industry routinely violated the anti-kickback statute by paying physicians for the
purpose of exclusively using their products,” Christie said. “Prior to our investigation,
many orthopedic surgeons in this country made decisions predicated on how much money
they could make – choosing which device to implant by going to the highest bidder. With
these agreements in place, we expect doctors to make decisions based on what is in the
best interests of their patients – not the best interests of their bank accounts.”
“Patients in federal health care programs deserve the best available treatment from
physicians and surgeons without the corrupting influence of kickbacks from the medical
device companies,” said Gary Heuer, Special Agent in Charge of the HHS-OIG in New
York. “We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to vigilantly
investigate schemes meant to defraud Medicare, and to prosecute those individuals to the
fullest extent of the law.”
The financial inducements in the form of consulting agreements were entered into with
hundreds of surgeons throughout the 2002-2006 timeframe. The investigation revealed
instances in which physicians did little or no work for the financial inducements but did
agree to exclusively use the paying company’s products.
The physician consultants also failed to disclose the existence of these relationships with
the companies to the hospitals where the surgeries were performed and, more importantly,
to the patients that they treated.
The federal Department of Health and Human Services reports that more than 700,000
total hip and knee replacement surgeries are performed in the U.S. each year. The
investigation revealed that approximately two-thirds are performed on patients who are
covered by Medicare.
Among the key requirements common to the DPAs and NPA:
• A federal monitor will be in place at each company to review compliance with the DPAs
and NPA and all new and existing consulting relationships with the companies;
• Each company is required to conduct a needs assessment to determine the reasonable
needs for educational consulting services, and new product-development consultants.
• All new consulting agreements shall require physicians to disclose their financial
engagements with any company to their patients and require the companies to disclose the
name of each consultant and what they have been paid on the company website.
Compliance with the federal law by all of these companies going forward is the key
element of these agreements. When devising the new compliance standard for this
industry, the current Zimmer Corporate Compliance Program provided many of the
requirements contained in the Agreements.
The complete cooperation by the management of Smith & Nephew also played a role in
forming elements of the DPA. We appreciate the company’s willingness to deal with
these historical issues and, given its cooperation, we have complete confidence in the
company’s management, their commitment to compliance with the law through this new
compliance standard and the will to make sure it is enforced throughout their company.
The government’s willingness to enter into a DPA with Biomet was due, in part, to the
initiative they recently developed to strengthen their compliance processes, procedures
and controls. This evidence of commitment to strict compliance with the law and the
providing of resources to make it companywide in scope shows Biomet’s commitment to
changing its previous practices and those of the industry.
During the course of this investigation, the government discovered DePuy’s commitment
to conducting comprehensive health care compliance training for its employees and
independent sales force. We found that even before they knew of this investigation,
Depuy had voluntarily implemented reforms. Indeed, the substance of the DPA reflects a
number of Depuy’s reforms.
The settlement monies paid by the companies are to resolve the covered conduct detailed
in the Civil Settlement Agreements with the Department of Justice. The differential in the
respective civil settlement amounts is reflective of market share and other related business
factors during the relevant time period, and not the relative culpability among the
Christie credited Special Agents of the Department of Health and Human Services Office
of the Inspector General, New York Regional Office, under the direction of Special Agent
in Charge Gary Heuer; Special Agents of the United States Postal Inspection Service,
under the direction of Special Agent in Charge David C. Collins; and Special Agents of
the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Weysan Dun, for their tireless
work which led to these agreements.
The criminal case was investigated and prosecuted by Counsel to the U.S. Attorney
Michele Brown and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin O’Dowd. AUSAs Brown and
O’Dowd were also ably assisted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marc Ferzan, Chief of the
Comercial Crimes Unit, and Grace Park. The civil case was handled by Assistant U.S.
Attorneys Rudolph Filko, Deputy Chief of the Civil Division, and Stuart Minkowitz,
Civil Health Care Fraud Coordinator.
Defense Attorneys:
For Zimmer – Frederick Robinson, Esq. of Fulbright & Jaworski for Zimmer
For Depuy – Walter Timpone, Esq. of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter
For Smith & Nephew – David Vicinanzo, Esq. of Nixon, Peabody
For Biomet – Steven Immelt, Esq. of Hogan & Hartson
For Stryker – Herbert Stern, Esq. of Stern & Kilcullen

Friday, December 14, 2007

Don't Watch This

Really! I mean it! Don't watch it!

h/t Crooks And Liars

But you should watch this...
h/t This Modern World

Thursday, December 13, 2007

DOJ Concubines

Dana Perino argues that the US Constitution places the Department of Justice under the Executive Branch, and so White House employees can't be placed in contempt for failing to appear before Congress.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Tomatoes In December?

Our tomatoes are still going like gangbusters in our backyard garden.

Yesterday we picked another big and fresh juicy Pink Brandywine. I think it's on tonight's menu.

Temps are supposed to get into the 80s this weekend.

I have never ever, had a summer garden survive into December. All of my life, an October or November freeze has taken out my least hardy veggies. It has been a yearly ritual to go out the night before a freeze and pick all the green tomatoes we can find. But now, we're edging up to Christmas and there is no basket of green tomatoes ripening on the dining room table. All of the fruit is still growing on the vine.

Along with my tomatoes, I also have basil and a variety of peppers that are doing great. My asparagus is still green, my parsley and mints are lush and full.

This is just freaky.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Iran, Lies And Video

New for today, a US intelligence report says Iran is not building nuclear weapons.

U.S. report: Iran stopped nuclear weapons work in 2003

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Iran halted work toward a nuclear weapon under international scrutiny in 2003 and is unlikely to be able to produce enough enriched uranium for a bomb until 2010 to 2015, a U.S. intelligence report says.

A declassified summary of the latest National Intelligence Estimate found with "high confidence" that the Islamic republic stopped an effort to develop nuclear weapons in the fall of 2003.

The estimate is less severe than a 2005 report that judged the Iranian leadership was "determined to develop nuclear weapons despite its international obligations and international pressure."


And now Reese Erlich author of "The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis"

51 mins 13 seconds...