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Archive for July 18th, 2007

Cunningham: I’m A Liar And A Crook

by- Suzie-Q @ 6:44 PM MST

Even after Duke Cunningham pled guilty to accepting millions in bribes, he’d still tried to cast himself as somehow less than thoroughly greedy and corrupt. He’d accepted gifts from defense contractors, yes, and sure, he’d been instrumental in procuring tens of millions in government contracts for them, but that doesn’t mean they were bribes.

Well, a year in prison seems to have clarified things for Cunningham. Investigators sat down with him in February of this year, and as the FBI’s summary, obtained by The San Diego Union-Tribune, shows, Cunningham was straightforward about the extent of his corruption: He asked for, got, and worked to conceal bribes.

That’s bad news for Brent Wilkes, who’s been indicted for bribing Cunningham. Wilkes has gamely argued that he didn’t bribe Cunningham, so much as play the game the way it has to be played. “Transactional lobbying,” is Wilkes’ name for it, and that’s apparently what he plans to argue to a jury — that he was extorted, that he was a victim of Washington’s culture.

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Break time JB’s So that we can imagine whirled peas

by Geezer Power …5:13 PM PDT

Music in the wind and Pythagorean philosophy

On the Aeolian Harp.

It was observed above, that as action and re-action are equal, the effect is the same, whether the sonorous body strikes air, or the air strikes the sonorous body. In the case of a musical pipe this is plain enough: but it was not so well known, nor could it be so familiarly proved, till of late years, that the air can begin of itself to produce the effect, and fetch music out of a string, as a string fetches music out of the air.
We have now a curious illustration of this fact from the instrument called an Eolian harp. How far the ancients were masters of this experiment, is uncertain: but it has long been known, that the wind would bring musical sounds from the strings of an instrument. In the Jewish Talmud, where we should scarcely expect to find any thing valuable in philosophy, the wind is reported to have brought music out of the harp of David; which, as it is there said, “being every midnight constantly blown upon by the north wind, warbled of itself.” (Talmud in Berae, fol.6.)

This of course gives me an excuse to once more mention the behaviour of sound and light waves or any other waves we can think of for that matter, and the guy who explained a lot about it both philosophycly and mathematically.
Pythagoras was a Greek Mathematician born in 569 B.C. who studied math, music, and astronomy.

Pythagoras left Samos in disgust for its ruler Polycrates. He settled in Cretona, a Greek colony in southern Italy. There he founded a movement with religious, political and philosophical goals. To facilitate his movement, he created a school where his followers lived and worked. He had many devoted followers who were called Pythagoreans. They had to adhere to certain strict rules. Obedience, silence, abstinence from food, simplicity in dress and possessions, and the habit of frequent self examination were required of the Pythagoreans. They also believed in immortality and transmigration of souls.

The Pythagorean Theory of Music and Color

To Pythagoras music was one of the dependencies of the divine science of mathematics, and its harmonies were inflexibly controlled by mathematical proportions. The Pythagoreans averred that mathematics demonstrated the exact method by which the good established and maintained its universe. Number therefore preceded harmony, since it was the immutable law that governs all harmonic proportions. After discovering these harmonic ratios, Pythagoras gradually initiated his disciples into this, the supreme arcanum of his Mysteries. He divided the multitudinous parts of creation into a vast number of planes or spheres, to each of which he assigned a tone, a harmonic interval, a number, a name, a color, and a form. He then proceeded to prove the accuracy of his deductions by demonstrating them upon the different planes of intelligence and substance ranging from the most abstract logical premise to the most concrete geometrical solid. From the common agreement of these diversified methods of proof he established the indisputable existence of certain natural laws.

Having once established music as an exact science, Pythagoras applied his newly found law of harmonic intervals to all the phenomena of Nature, even going so far as to demonstrate the harmonic relationship of the planets, constellations, and elements to each other. A notable example of modern corroboration of ancient philosophical reaching is that of the progression of the elements according to harmonic ratios. While making a list of the elements in the ascending order of their atomic weights, John A. Newlands discovered at every eighth element a distinct repetition of properties. This discovery is known as the law of octaves in modern chemistry.

I admit that this is a long artical, but I would feel remiss if I omited Ishi, the last survivor of the Yahi tribe, who befriended the white man in 1911. He was the subject of much study, and was asked about music. Ishi recorded over 60 songs between 1911 and 1914.

According to Ishi, a bow left strung or standing in an upright position, gets tired and sweats. When not in use it should be lying down; no one should step over it; no child should handle it, and no woman should touch it. This brings bad luck and makes it shoot crooked. To expunge such an influence it is necessary to wash the bow in sand and water.

In his judgment, a good bow made a musical note when strung and the string is tapped with the arrow. This was man’s first harp, the great grandfather of the pianoforte.

By placing one end of his bow at the corner of his open mouth and tapping the string with an arrow, the Yana could make sweet music. It sounded like an Aeolian harp. To this accompaniment Ishi sang a folk-song telling of a great warrior whose bow was so strong that, dipping his arrow first in fire, then in the ocean, he shot at the sun. As swift as the wind, his arrow flew straight in the round open door of the sun and put out its light. Darkness fell upon the earth and men shivered with cold. To prevent themselves from freezing they grew feathers, and thus our brothers, the birds, were born.

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GOP Congressman Jerry Lewis Under Investigation

by- Suzie-Q @ 4:55 PM MST

Jerry Lewis (R-CA) is under investigation for his ties to lobbyist and former congressman Bill Lowery. The investigation is reportedly an extension of the Duke Cunningham investigation.

Lewis represents California’s 41st district and has been chair of the House Appropriations Committee since January 2005. From 1999-2005 Lewis chaired the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. He was first elected to Congress in 1978 and is currently serving his fourteenth consecutive term. He is up for re-election in November.

Follow breaking Lewis news at TPMmuckraker.

Key Points:

Lobbyist Bill Lowery, his associates and clients have given heavily to Lewis. Lewis, meanwhile, has earmarked hundreds of millions of dollars for Lowery’s clients.

Lewis and Lowery are longtime friends who served together on the House Appropriations Committee from 1985-1993. After Lowery moved on to a career as a lobbyist, Lewis greenlighted hundreds of millions of dollars in federal projects for clients of Lowery’s Washington lobbying firm Copeland Lowery Jacquez Denton & White. Lowery, the partners at his firm, and their clients have donated 37% of the $1.3 million that Lewis’s political action committee has received in the past six years.

In January 2006 Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a Department of Justice complaint against Lewis based on his relationship with Lowery.

One of Lowery’s clients was the Brent Wilkes-owned ADCS Inc.

Lewis has close connections to Duke Cunningham and Brent Wilkes.

TPM Muckraker

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Quote Of The Day

by- Suzie-Q @ 3:10 PM MST

“I’m not going to talk about my campaign anymore. I’m finished with talking about it. I’ve talked about it for two weeks. I will not discuss it or any aspect of it. Thank you.”

— John McCain, quoted by CNN losing his cool today with a reporter who asked yet again about his tanking campaign. Of course, that long and sleepless night in the Senate may have left him a bit more thin-skinned than usual…

TPM Cafe

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by- Suzie-Q @ 2:25 PM MST

Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) raced to the television cameras this afternoon to offer hyperbolic attacks against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, following Reid’s decision to pull the entire Defense Authorization bill from consideration. McCain and Kyl were quick to dishonestly politicize Reid’s maneuver, after obstructing passage of the bill over opposition to an Iraq redeployment amendment:

MCCAIN: What have we done by not passing the Defense Authorization bill? We are not allowing a 3 1/2 percent pay raise to men and women in the military. We’re not modernizing their equipment, including MRAP. We are not passing the wounded warriors legislation, which we all know is vitally needed to care for our wounded veterans. We have placed the care of our wounded veterans in a lower priority than a debate over Iraq.

KYL: It’s an act of petulance, it seems to me. But it’s also a very wreckless and irresponsible action because the troops depend upon the Defense Authorization bill passing. That’s what the bill authorizes…the care that they get, the weapons that they get, the training and all the other things they need to carry out the mission.

“It’s a commentary on where the priorities are of those who brought down this bill,” fumed McCain. “It clearly cannot be the welfare and benefit and arming and training of both of our active duty military and the medical care for our veterans,” he added.

McCain and Kyl’s argument that Reid’s maneuver will deny pay raises, equipment, and medical care to American troops is false on its face. Here are the facts:

1) The troops have all the funding they need. The defense authorization bill being debated in the Senate is for fiscal year 2008, which begins on October 1. Funding for the troops — including emergency appropriations — has already been earmarked through September 30th, 2007.

2) Conservatives are responsible for stalling passage of the bill. While McCain claims that Reid “brought down this bill,” in fact, Reid only resorted to pulling the bill after McCain and other pro-war senators blustered and stalled, refusing to allow an up-down vote on the Levin-Reed Iraq redeployment amendment. In fact, in his floor speech this morning, Reid specifically names McCain as one of “a handful of dedicated obstructionists” using procedural moves to block the vote.

Watch the video/Think Progress

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Using Death As A Fighting Chance For Life

by- Mentarch … 16:55 EDT

(Note: This entry constitutes my humble participation in BlogCatalog‘s first world wide blogger social campaign to raise awareness about organ donation and the issues surrounding organ donation, on this Wednesday July 18, 2007)

As of 2005, more than 4,000 Canadians were waiting for an organ transplant to save their lives. In the U.S., there are currently some 97000 transplantation candidates likewise awaiting for a chance to live.

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by- Suzie-Q @ 9:39 AM MST

The Office of Vice President Dick Cheney appears to be readying an independent assertion of executive privilege. The move came in an exchange of letters with the Senate Judiciary Committee, which granted an extension for the White House’s efforts to comply with a subpoena on documents related to President George W. Bush’s domestic spying program.

Shannen Coffin, Counsel to the Vice President, seemed to imply that Cheney’s office may assert executive privilege after it finishes reviewing documents that are responsive to the committee’s subpoena, which had a deadline of today, Wednesday, July 18.

“While the Office of the Vice President reserves legal protections that apply in this matter, we look forward to working to meet the Committee’s needs for information and on legislative matters to protect the Nation,” Coffin noted.

(more…)

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