Wednesday Reads: No Longer Listening for ET

A Sheep Drinking Coffee (Image by

Morning y’all, today I thought I’d start with something real important… highlighting one of the programs that are getting sacked because of the budget crunch. This particular program has used the computers of geeks across the world to assist the researchers in their quest for knowledge. I was one of them…

So what am I talking about? Why SETI of course. For those of you who do not know what the acronym SETI stands for, I will give you a hint…ET won’t be phoning home any time soon.  Earthly cash crunch stops US search for alien life – Monsters and Critics

San Francisco – Aliens can wait.

The chief astronomer at the SETI institute revealed Tuesday that the sophisticated telescopic array that trawls the universe looking for electromagnetic transmissions from other planets has been forced to shut down due to lack of funding.

Seth Shostak said that the Allen Telescope Array powered down on April 15 after the University of California, Berkeley ran out of the funds needed to operate the sophisticated receivers.

The array at SETI, which stands for the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, began working in 2007 after Microsoft co- founder Paul Allen provided 50 million dollars to construct the more than 40 radio dishes that scan distant planets for signs of life.


Shostak said the funding cut came just as SETI’s Allen Telescope Array some 500 kilometres north of San Francisco was honing in on over 1,000 planets identified by NASA’s Kepler satellite.

‘If this experiment is going to work, it’s going to work in a few dozen years, simply on the basis of the rapid improvement of the technology,’ Shostak said. ‘If we were to find a signal showing there was intelligent life, that would be an extraordinarily interesting thing. Not only for us but for every generation that follows us.’

Okay, on to another form of alien speak…today Bernanke will be taking questions from the press. I hope that Dak will be able to translate his answers for us. It just seems that when that beady eyed rat, I mean man, gets to talking, my mind begins to wander.  I start to imagine him in a cage, eagerly chewing on a big piece of American Cheese…funny the cheese seems to be green, and smells oddly like money, damp sweaty money.

Questions for Bernanke Should Focus on Fed Efforts During Financial Crisis | FDL News Desk

Tomorrow, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will give an unprecedented press conference after the Federal Open Market Committee releases a statement from their April meeting. Whether Bernanke is trying this to increase transparency or reassure investors with his command of the issues or build public trust in the institution, or whether he’s just making a bad decision, this represents the never-before-seen opportunity for the media to actually question Bernanke about his views on the economy, monetary policy, inflation and jobs. This comes at a time when the Fed is failing to reach both inflation or employment targets for three years running, so Bernanke has a lot to answer for.

This next article is about Ron Paul’s announcement that he is officially thinking about running for president. I don’t know why, but every time I hear or see Ron Paul’s name, I immediately think of RuPaul…What does that mean exactly? Can anyone explain that?

Ron Paul announces possible Republican 2012 presidential bid | World news | The Guardian

But many pundits see the emerging Republican field as short on the kind of name recognition and charisma that will be needed to challenge an incumbent president, even in the face of a still struggling American economy that has hurt Obama’s poll ratings.

Some big Republican names, like Mississippi governor Hayley Barbour, have already announced they will not run and powerful figures like former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee also appear to be reluctant.

Paul announced his move to a small audience in an airport hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, which conducts the opening contest in the nomination race.

I am wondering if all these GOP hopefuls will get into a big feud trying to out do one another in the crazy department. I can just imagine them in the first GOP Debate, lined up behind a screen, like the Dating Game…with a mass of ignorant registered voters blindly deciding which will be the lucky one that gets a chance to take them out on that four-year date.

And speaking of Crazy: The Maddow Blog – Louisiana bill would ban all abortions This is the dude that wants to bribe those rich college folks to breed, and pay poor  black women to get their tubes tied.

Louisiana State Representative John LaBruzzo

A new bill in the Louisiana state legislature would outlaw all abortions. A doctor who provided one could be brought up on charges of feticide, which carries a sentence of five to 15 years.

In its current form, the bill (pdf) would also leave women who choose abortion at risk of prosecution for the same crime. The Republican state representative who’s sponsoring the bill says that part’s a mistake. Representative John LaBruzzo tells the Times-Picayune he’ll take that measure out for practical reasons.

“That will be amended out before it is heard in committee,” LaBruzzo said Wednesday. “That is a mis-draft; that is not acceptable to me. That would make it too difficult to pass, otherwise.”

Suzie has a new post up over at C&L: Poll: Protecting Children’s Programs Is Voters’ First Priority In Budget War. People Want Taxes On The Rich, Not Cuts | Crooks and Liars

So the politicians haven’t done such a good job of selling their “cut, cut, cut” deficit hysteria to the general public, according to this poll released today:

Public and pundit reaction to the unveiling of the House Budget Committee Proposal and much of the budget debate so far has focused largely on seniors’ issues and the proposed changes to the Medicare system. This aspect of this proposal is immensely unpopular as a number of public opinion surveys this week and last week attest, including this one. But there is another voice in this budget debate, a voice rarely heard by politicians in Washington, but a voice that finds advocates among average voters: the voice of children.

Proposed cuts to programs affecting kids prove every inch as unpopular as cuts affecting seniors. Indeed, 70 percent oppose the $750 billion cut in Medicaid in the House Budget Committee Proposal. In a battery identifying a series of potential cuts that the Congress may consider in the broader budget debate, voters are more likely to hold harmless programs affecting kids than any other program on the chopping block.

In no way does this survey suggest voters are willing to trade cuts affecting seniors for cuts affecting children and vice versa. Voters recognize there is another option, specifically on the revenue side, as outlined by the President’s budget speech. By a 62 to 24 percent margin, voters prefer raising taxes on those earning over a million dollars over cutting important programs. By the end of the survey, after voters are made aware of the scale of the cuts currently being considered, 72 percent prefer increasing taxes over cutting programs.

Warning, this next link is to Hot Air…I just thought that with Wonk and Dak‘s post yesterday, it was another example of Obama’s true colours coming through. Report: Obama’s new Afghanistan ambassador is … Bush’s old Iraq ambassador « Hot Air

That would be Ryan Crocker, of course. Please don’t confuse him with David Petraeus, Obama’s top Afghanistan commander who used to be … Bush’s top Iraq commander. Or with Robert Gates, Obama’s Secretary of Defense who used to be … Bush’s Secretary of Defense.

Gates, of course, is stepping down in a few months. At this rate, I wonder if O will replace him with Rumsfeld.

Alright, so Obama is continuing to execute his habitual executive decision and appoint another Bushie to key positions in his Administration.

Monday night Jon Stewart had a great point to make about the recent protest about Manning from the fruit juice party.

Hall and Response – The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – 04/25/11 – Video Clip | Comedy Central

Watch it, funny stuff…the best part is when Stewart points out that you can’t protest a guy, then tell him you love him.

On to the next link, it seems that PJ has found a home: State College, PA – Former State Department Spokesman Crowley to Join Penn State Law School

“P.J.” Crowley, a former U.S. State Department spokesman under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will hold a key chair at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law.

The university announced Tuesday his 2011-2012 appointment to the Omar Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership. The chair is a joint initiative involving the United States Army War College, Dickinson College, the Penn State law school and the university’s School of International Affairs.

Its objective, according to a news release, is “to advance the study of strategic leadership and enhance civilian-military dialogue.”

Good for Crowley.  And now a few updates on MENA…

The Canadian Press: 16 journalists, including one Canadian, are missing or detained in Libya

Sixteen journalists covering the conflict in Libya are reported missing or detained by authorities in the North African country. One Canadian national and three Americans are on the list of endangered journalists, compiled Tuesday by the Committee to Protect Journalists and other reports.

Lotfi Ghars, a journalist with dual Canadian and Tunisian citizenships who was working for Iran’s state-run Al-Alam television news channel, was arrested on March 16 while trying to enter Libya from Tunisia, his news organization said.

Two American reporters were taken into custody on April 5 by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi: James Foley, a photojournalist working for GlobalPost, a Boston-based news agency; and Clare Morgana Gillis, who was covering the fighting for The Atlantic and USA Today. The third American is freelance journalist Matthew VanDyke.

16 people…I can’t believe this is not getting more media coverage.

Syria: EU considers sanctions as regime’s violent crackdown continues | World news | The Guardian

EU countries are discussing imposing sanctions on Syria if the regime continues its violent suppression of pro-democracy protests.

The foreign secretary, William Hague, said Damascus faced “a fork in the road” as opposition activists reported continuing government attacks in the southern town of Deraa and mass arrests and tanks in areas including Douma near the capital and Baniyas on the coast.

In Rome, Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi issued a joint call for an end to violence against the demonstrators. The French president described the situation as “unacceptable” but also made it clear that he was not contemplating direct intervention of the sort he championed against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.

“We are not going to intervene everywhere in the world and not all situations are necessarily the same,” Sarkozy said.

Possible EU sanctions would probably include travel bans and asset freezes targeting members of President Bashar al-Assad’s family and other senior regime figures, and would be co-ordinated with US punitive measures being prepared by the Obama administration.

BBC News – Libya: UN team to start probe of human rights abuses

A Libyan boy is treated after being wounded by shelling in Misrata - 25 April 2011 There are many reports Libyan forces have shelled the rebel-held city of Misrata indiscriminately

A UN team is due to arrive in Tripoli to investigate allegations of human rights violations in Libya since the start of the conflict in February.

The team was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council following the Libyan government’s crackdown on protesters.

The government has said it will co-operate with the inquiry.

The three investigators say they will look at all alleged abuses, including those the government says have been committed by rebels or Nato forces.

The original mandate – to examine human rights violations allegedly committed by the forces of Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi – remains the priority, says the BBC’s Imogen Foulkes in Geneva, where the UN Human Rights Council is based.

There have been reliable reports of enforced disappearances, torture and even killing of protesters, says our correspondent.

The picture of that injured baby is upsetting, isn’t it?

I want to leave you with something funny, I guess this guy was pissed off that the cough drops didn’t work…(I have to give my son credit for this comment.) I can’t think of any other reason the man would do this:  Video: Man Caught Peeing on Cough Drops in Drug Store

Police are looking for a man who urinated on more than 100 packages of cough drops inside a Walgreens in Florida.

It happened last Thursday around 10:30 p.m. at a Walgreens on S. French Avenue in Sanfiord.

Investigators say the man went to the aisle where the cough drops are kept, looked around, unzipped his pants, and urinated on about 110 packages of cough drops.

Police say he then walked back to the pharmacy and attempted to fill a prescription but didn’t have the proper documents.

The man then left the store.

Having lived in Orlando for many years, I’m really never surprised when any strange news comes out of that Central Florida area. Must be something in the water or air that makes people do wacky things. Maybe Disney is releasing some sort of toxic Happy Rat poison that affects the local population. Who knows…

So that is it for me, what are you all reading about today?

18 Comments on “Wednesday Reads: No Longer Listening for ET”

  1. fiscalliberal says:

    Good morning – additional news this morning. Patreas to take over CIA and Pannetta going to Defense. I guess I can see the Patreas nomination, but do not see the reason for Pannetta. It has been long rumored that Pannetta had a rough time at CIA, but turned it around in terms of morale, what ever that means.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I think they are both really bad choices!

    • paper doll says:

      Are you kidding? ….jebus…perhaps it doesn’t matter who is where, as the real decisions are made else where, AND they get to say let so and so ” find their feet” for 6 months as an answer to any question
      Speaking of Bush appointees ,Mueller is still at the FBI….what’s he going for? Hoover’s record?

  2. fiscalliberal says:

    I kind of feel that Bernanke is the sleepy little professor who is not up to his job. Part of that is due to him not recognizing the housing bubble untill it is to late. The books I read confirm that the consummer groups alerted and warned Greenspan and Bernanke about bad loan origination in the 2006 time frame and neither of them respondid with the power they had with the HOPEA act. There was plenty of evidence that things were going sour in the 2005 to 2007 time frame. Bernanke finly got something done by 2008 which was to late.

    Because of the range of problems he will not have time to address and explain all problems. I am looking to Dak to give us her perspective of the important questions to ask. One of mine would be the FED providing interest to the banks on their Reserves.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    A daily routine is rising each morning to see which state or legislator is planning another assault on women’s reproductive rights.

    Today’s “asshat of the day” is John Labruzzo from Lousiana!

    Who are these people? Where do they all come from? And what kind of people elect these fascists to serve?

  4. Branjor says:

    Where do they all come from?

    Where do you think? I’ve been pondering on and off for a few years now the significance of the fact that women literally birth their own enemies by the millions.

  5. Woman Voter says:

    Trump is blaming ‘The Clintons’ and ‘Hillary Clinton’ about Obama releasing his original birth certificate with signatures etc. I don’t recall this take on the birth certificate.

    Maybe Wonk is right about this being a distraction, as Oprah is a big Trump friend etc and she hasn’t said Trump is bunkers. He is speaking about his show… So, now trump is talking about his big show, but his mission is done, harpooning Hillary and Bill.

    When will blame the woman end…

  6. Fannie says:

    “I am the diamond’s glint on Snow.”

    RIP, Pheobe Snow 12 Jul 1950 – 26 Arp 2011

  7. Fannie says:

    “I am the diamond’s glint on Snow.”

    RIP, Pheobe Snow 12 Jul 1950 – 26 Apr 2011

  8. Pat Johnson says:

    Why is Trump being covered in the first place?

    He sounds like some raving and ranting “uncle” sitting at the dining room table at a holiday meal and making about as much sense.

    He will now claim “victory” for the rest of his life.

    Glenn Beck move over,your replacement has been found!

  9. bostonboomer says:

    White House releases long-form birth certificate. I can’t see any reason why they didn’t do it sooner. I wonder if this will shut Trump up? I’m sure the birthers will find fault with this somehow.

    • paper doll says:

      Great round up, thanks

      ” every time I hear or see Ron Paul’s name, I immediately think of RuPaul…What does that mean exactly? Can anyone explain that?”

      I think it means you are a cock eye optimist! lol! If only it was the fabulous RuPaul!

      You got to WORK Supermodel!

  10. Pat Johnson says:

    I am frothing at the mouth. Time to take a shower and get the hell out of the house for a few hours and away from the insanity that is US politics today.


  11. gregoryp says:

    I definitely prefer RuPaul to Ron Paul. The man has style and of course, big hair. Although he does look creepy, at least to me, when not in drag.

    With RuPaul I think you get a person who is a big time self promoter but also one who actually understands empathy which is the one thing most of our politicians desperately need. People who don’t have empathy can cut worthy and needed programs. People with empathy would never do such dastardly things.