Monthly Archives: August 2005

EZSmirkzz Aug 27-31, 2005

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Satterfield, Pollack and the AIPAC men.

Add this to the information in Justin’s article.

Is it just me, or does anyone else get the feeling that the American government is thoroughly penetrated by mobsters and spies? The level of graft and corruption in the House of Representatives, and the Iraq war machine, topped by the the inability to solve 9-11 and apprehend the UBL gang of thugs vis a vis the London cops less than splendid efforts that resulted in multiple apprehensions.

The patronage and looting in New Orleans is a pikers pillage next to this.

Mmm … I loves me some gay coffee.

I swear, the Christian right-wing has way too much time on their hands. I mean, with all the shit going on in the world right now, you’d think they’d be too busy spreading the gospel or something to bother with fussing about slogans on coffee cups. But of course, you’d be wrong, because there’s nothing evangelical fanatics love more than sticking it to the effete, latte-drinking liberal “man”:

A national Christian women’s organization is accusing the Seattle-based coffee maker of promoting a homosexual agenda because of a quote by author Armistead Maupin, whose “Tales of the City” chronicled San Francisco’s homosexual community in the 1970s and 1980s.
[ …Some right wing yada yada yada de da da…]
Look, first of all: Starbucks coffee cups are not media outlets. There’s no standard of “fair and balanced reporting” on receptacles for hot, caffeinated beverages. Honest. I looked it up. And second of all: the quotes Starbucks has selected actually do come from a wide variety of sources, including Jonah Goldberg, editor of the National Review online – which ain’t exactly a bastion of liberalism – and Michael Medved, nationally syndicated conservative columnist. So they’re already presenting a pretty balanced picture. So can y’all just back the hell off now? I’m sure there are snakes to be handled, tongues to be spoken, and progeny to be readied for years of therapy – how ’bout we lay off the nonsensical protests for a few days?

Yeah, what she said.

Our tsunami?

The BoingBoing reader who passed along the email noted this:

The poorest 20% (you can argue with the number — 10%? 18%? no one knows) of the city was left behind to drown. This was the plan. Forget the sanctimonious bullshit about the bullheaded people who wouldn’t leave. The evacuation plan was strictly laissez-faire. It depended on privately owned vehicles, and on having ready cash to fund an evacuation. The planners knew full well that the poor, who in new orleans are overwhelmingly black, wouldn’t be able to get out. The resources — meaning, the political will — weren’t there to get them out.

White per capita income in Orleans parish, 2000 census: $31,971. Black per capita: $11,332. Median *household* income in B.W. Cooper (Calliope) Housing Projects, 2000: $13,263.

This is a crisis, wrapped around a tragedy, soaked in disaster–all neatly curled around the true, racist heart of our deepest American shame.

Yeah, my blood’s so mad feels like coagulatin’
I’m sitting here just contemplatin’
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation.
Handful of senators don’t pass legislation
And marches alone can’t bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin’
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
You may leave here for 4 days in space
But when you return, it’s the same old place
The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace
And… tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend
You don’t believe
We’re on the eve
Of destruction
Mm, no no, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
of destruction.

by Barry McGuire

It ain’t About the Oil

Article 25: The state shall guarantee the reforming of the Iraqi economy according to modern economic bases, in a way that ensures complete investment of its resources, diversifying its sources and encouraging and developing the private sector.

Also gone was the provision affirming the Iraqi people’s collective ownership of Iraq ’s oil and other natural resources and obliging the state to protect and safeguard them. Instead, a new article lays the legal ground for selling off Iraq ’s oil and putting it under the control of the big multinational oil companies. Article 110 goes so far as to spell out that “the federal government and the governments of the producing regions and provinces together will draw up the necessary strategic policies to develop oil and gas wealth to bring the greatest benefit for the Iraqi people, relying on the most modern techniques of market principles and encouraging investment”.

By “modern techniques of market principles”, the draft is most likely referring to current plans – supported by the interim government’s top leadership – to privatize the Iraqi National Oil Company and to open up Iraq ’s oil reserves to the big oil companies. Referring to such plans, Adil Abdel Mahdi, a senior leader of SCIRI and now Iraq’s vice president, told an audience in Washington , just before the elections: “[T]his is very promising to the American investors and to American enterprises, certainly to oil companies.”

About two thirds of the way down the article is a table comparing the Constitution of 1990 with the June 30,2005 July 20, 2005, and August 25, 2005 fianl draft Constitutions.

The American Government under Bush really is amoral. As Jefferson said, “If God is just, I shudder for my nation.”.

Afghanistan’s Continuing Economic Recovery

Afghan farmers cut back plantings of opium poppies by a fifth this year, but a good harvest resulted in opium production being little changed, according to the latest United Nations figures….

Catapulting the Propaganda

The United States and its allies in WWII defeated the Third Reich, Italy, and Japan in 1364 days (that covers the period from 7 December 1941 until 2 September 1945, when Japan signed the surrender documents)

One thousand four hundred and forty nine days (1449) have elapsed since the attacks on 9-11 (today’s date, 31 August 2005).

since 2003 (we have gone from 203 significant attacks in 2003 to almost 700 significant attacks in 2004

Liberal Media?

Martin argues that the “framing” of U.S. labor coverage occurs through five means: 1. The consumer is king; 2. The process of production is none of the public’s business; 3. The economy is driven by great business leaders and entrepreneurs; 4. The workplace is a meritocracy; and 5. Collection economic action is bad. He also notes that corporate ownership of most media has led to a hostile relationship between unions and media outlets. None of those frames has anything to do with the plight of the worker, he added.

Seems spot on. Martin takes a close look at how the three major television networks, USA Today, and the New York Times covered five major labor issues in the 1990s, and concludes in each case that “media coverage predominantly focused on the effects on consumers and ignored the working conditions of employees.”

Flirting With Disaster

The title links to the five part series from the Times Picayne on the shift of federal funds to the war in Iraq, and other diversions of iinterests in this thing we call America.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2005
Times-Picayune’s 2002 five-part series warned of disaster

via War and Peace

Israel and 9/11: New Report Connects the Dots-

The “Able Danger” data-mining operation that supposedly uncovered the New Jersey cell of the 9/11 plotters was – for some reason yet to be determined – blocked and prevented from apprehending key figures in the plot, according to the testimony of at least three people who have direct knowledge of this matter. Shea’s memo opens up a possibility that may relate to (and explain) the “Able Danger” blockage: was surveillance of Arab terrorist groups in the U.S. subcontracted out to the Israelis, with the knowledge and complicity of the CIA, so that “Able Danger” was considered poaching on the Israelis’ preserve? Shea cites a piece in The Forward that describes Israeli covert activities in the U.S. as a violation of “a secret gentleman’s agreement between the two countries,” and avers:

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Bush Throws A Shutout: Poverty Level Goes Up All Four Years He’s Been In Office

via the Left Coaster;

Poverty Rate Rises to 12.7 Percent

WASHINGTON – The nation’s poverty rate rose to 12.7 percent of the population last year, the fourth consecutive annual increase, the
Census Bureau said Tuesday.

The percentage of people without health insurance did not change.

Overall, there were 37 million people living in poverty, up 1.1 million people from 2003.

Asians were the only ethnic group to show a decline in poverty — from 11.8 percent in 2003 to 9.8 percent last year. The poverty rate among the elderly declined as well, from 10.2 percent in 2003 to 9.8 percent last year.

Rumsfeld’s Army

This article and the one that follows are probably the heavy weights of the day, IMHO.

Pat Lang looks at the details and implications of the SoDs realignment of the US military, andits’ implications in various war time scenarios. The comments are worth a read through as well.

I wonder if this realignment of forces won’t wind up being the equivalent of the British Navy’s fater lighter battleships of WWII.

On of the commenters also brings up some good points on the new Iraqi Armed Forces and their capability to defend Iraq from Iran and Syria.

The Cuckoo’s Egg*: Starman Returns? Pnghou tu?

Update: Welcome sandia.gov visitors! BTW, if you’re NOT in the IG’s office, you might want to visit from home from now on. 😉
[…]
I’ve covered this story before, so I’ll refrain from expired equine abuse for a change. Read the whole article to get additional details.

Titan Rain II – Its TIME Has Arrived

Unable to resist a cool code name, TIME has plunged in to the Titan Rain story about Chinese hackers targeting US military networks. TIME gives us more new code names (“Spiderman” – OK, no points for originality there) but also has some details which suggest that this story may be a legitimately big deal.

via War and Peace

How to stop civil war

“When the US constitution was drafted, representative democracy was a radical and thrilling idea. Now it is an object of suspicion and even contempt, as people all over the world recognise that it allows us to change the management but not the firm. ”

Monday, August 29, 2005

Mockingbird

Tim Russert For Best Actor

“Its failings notwithstanding, there is much to be said in favor of journalism in that by giving us the opinion of the uneducated, it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.”
— Oscar Wilde

“Propaganda tries to force a doctrine on the whole people; the [party] organization embraces within its scope only those who do not threaten on psychological grounds to become a brake on the further dissemination of ideas.”
— Adolf Hitler.

Straw Men

In discussing the Bell Curve, supporters of it invariably trot out all kinds of straw men to argue with. Let’s deal with some of them.

What he said.

Oblivious to Oblivion

You know the man keeps telling me
stay the course, that things are getting better
I wonder just how blind you have be
to see the genius of the forgetter.

I hear the man has plan
success is around the corner
you need to run with the also ran
whose a loser and a loaner.

Seems to me that fly away
has crashed into a table
pretzel choked the locals say
smashed on the bottle of his fable.

Spell bound man mushroomed visions
from the fields and countless fissions
where Merlin waves and greets Meridian,
riding Phoenix into oblivion.

You know the man keeps telling me
stay the course, that things are getting better
I wonder just how blind you have be
to see the genius of the forgetter.

Demotion, The KY of W

A top Army contracting official who criticized a large, noncompetitive contract with the Halliburton Company for work in Iraq was demoted Saturday for what the Army called poor job performance.

The official, Bunnatine H. Greenhouse, has worked in military procurement for 20 years and for the past several years had been the chief overseer of contracts at the Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that has managed much of the reconstruction work in Iraq.

Known as a stickler for the rules on competition, Ms. Greenhouse initially received stellar performance ratings, Mr. Kohn said. But her reviews became negative at roughly the time she began objecting to decisions she saw as improperly favoring Kellogg Brown & Root, he said. Often she hand-wrote her concerns on the contract documents, a practice that corps leaders called unprofessional and confusing.

Following this; Profiling Report Leads to a Demotion at DOJ, and you tell me this is what Republicans suppor?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Kerry’s Salute

With the resolution of lightning
thundering through the night sky,
the vanguard of our nation
fuses valor to Semper Fi.

In the sculptured halls of courage
although no man stands alone,
God grants few to be the cutting edge
that he strikes against the stone.

Today the scabbard hangs empty.
Another eagle has paid his pledge.
While the high gloss polish of honor
is applied to the cutting edge.

Then, within the missing man formation,
where the cutting edge strikes the sky,
an honor gaurd of Angels cuts a path
to the Lord of Semper Fi.

In Memory of 1st Lt. Kerry D. Dale, U.S.M.C.

Good Reads for Sunday

James Wolcott plucks some Chickenhawks Once More into the Chickencoop

BillMon writes up Reporters, good and lousy in Notepads on the Ground
UpDate: BillMon gets a nod from the Independent in Iraqi activist taken up by Bush recants her views, via Antiwar

TBogg has a little fun with Move America Forward kicking The Protest Warriors asses. Splitters Of course if you’re queasy and uneasy with foul language then you might tag a barf bag with you, but I doubt you read this blog either.

Robert Farley deconstructs Matt’s dominoe theory in Yglesias, Domino Theorist UpDate: ,while Antiwar in Viewpoint carries his article at Prospect.

Tom Watson looks at things as they are, and in Sands of Death gives us a pretty melancholy reality check.

Juan Cole discusses how accurate Andrew Sullivan’s tantalizing vision of success is in Sullivan and Tantalus in Baghdad.

UpDate: dKos’ darksyde has Kossacks offering/seeking Relief, Rooms available@no charge, and Organization Thread

There is other good stuff out on the web, so I will leave it to you to do the clickety click thing you do so well. I just thought this was some of the best.

Short Sighted Narrow Minded Chauvinist

I try to keep an open mind about other people’s views, and what motivates them to hold those views, because you can’t learn anything from them if you have decided what they are all about with a prejudiced mental attitude that colors your perception of what they are saying.

In the end I try to listen to both sides of an issue, and the other points of view that do not fit the coin analogy, before concluding that this or that point of view is correct, or more correct, than another one.

Of course there are some fundamental things that I believe in as well, such as neocon policy is usually wrong, and frankly a hateful policy, but there isn’t a judgment as to the person holding, or advocating the policy, in that those who believe in American Imperialism are not necessarily evil people in and of themselves. Neoconservatism is almost a self loathing policy, in that it leads the nation to do things that will ultimately lead to its’ own destruction, and so the result of the policy is exactly opposite of the intentions of those who advocate it.

Conservatism in general I disagree with because it is based on a philosophy that assures narrow minded policy, the assuredness that traditional behavior and norms were superior to present day behavior and norms, which unfortunately does not take into account the negative aspects of that previous behavior, the unjustness of that previous normative, anymore than it can see those injustices current in the present moment.

Liberalism, when it looks at the past tries to rectify the normative, and modify the present behavior so as to prevent further injustices to individuals and groups, need not reject all traditions, in that not all traditional thinking, normatives, and behaviors are counter productive to building a better society.

Liberalism by its’ very nature should be open minded, since it looks to change and modify, while remembering that it cannot adopt a policy designed to destroy any group or individuals. It should seek to convince by reasoned arguments that those views held by conservatives are counter productive to the society that the conservative idealizes in their own philosophy. Liberalism should be coercive argumentation against current normatives and behaviors, that deny the fundamental rights of groups and individuals to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Modern liberalism however is starting to show signs of the closed mind, in that it argues against traditional values merely for being traditional values, not based on any argumentation that that tradition is detrimental to the public good. Liberalism is poor at best when dealing with sweeping generalizations that it itself has manufactured, or as the case may be, political operatives holding to conservatism have manufactured for it, such as Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Intelligent Design and Abortion Rights.

These are issues that coincide with life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, are traditional values, and so liberalism must answer with yes, but…, and present a positive argument for the changes it espouses. Liberalism has to be advocacy for a thing, or change and it cannot be based on convenience, or it gets clobbered in principles and morals. It cannot denigrate the traditionalists as they do the liberals because all liberal issues begin as the minority opinion, and minority views are often disdained, as was the case of democratic republicanism.

In fact democratic republicanism in the US and UK is still disdained in some quarters of the reactionary movement of conservatism, so that liberal attacks that impugn conservatism in toto, push more conservative minded individuals into reactive conservatism, and thus hinder the liberal cause all the more. Liberalism cannot afford to not be pragmatic. It cannot afford to answer every taunt. Liberalism has to be optimistic, positive and persuasive in its argumentation for a policy. Liberalism has to for the future, not against the past.

The best recourse to conservative’s ad hominem is to ask if they are referring to you individually, as a person, which they generally are not. They are more comfortable with the anonymous liberal that they attack than the individual liberal that they have become engaged in debate with, and who more often than not shares their values in all but a few details of policy, so it is up to the liberals to make sure that the debate remains specific in detail and personalities, because liberalism change’s hearts and minds of individuals on specific issues, not groups of individuals with sweeping generalizations.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Profiling Report Leads to a Demotion at DOJ

The flashpoint in the tensions between Mr. Greenfeld and his political supervisors came four months ago, when statisticians at the agency were preparing to announce the results of a major study on traffic stops and racial profiling, which found disparities in how racial groups were treated once they were stopped by the police.

Political supervisors within the Office of Justice Programs ordered Mr. Greenfeld to delete certain references to the disparities from a news release that was drafted to announce the findings, according to more than a half-dozen Justice Department officials with knowledge of the situation. The officials, most of whom said they were supporters of Mr. Greenfeld, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss personnel matters.

Mr. Greenfeld refused to delete the racial references, arguing to his supervisors that the omissions would make the public announcement incomplete and misleading. Instead, the Justice Department opted not to issue a news release on the findings and posted the report online.

[…]

Once they were stopped, Hispanic drivers were searched or had their vehicles searched by the police 11.4 percent of the time and blacks 10.2 percent of the time, compared with 3.5 percent for white drivers. Blacks and Hispanics were also subjected to force or the threat of force more often than whites, and the police were much more likely to issue tickets to Hispanics rather than simply giving them a warning, the study found.

Apparently the DoJ buried it here, which only took about thirty minutes to find. Citizen Jounalamismim time that its.

I will read the pdf, and if I am wrong update the link.

Here is the link to the page which links to the previously mentioned page above, and links to the NEW YORK: ETHNIC PROFILING AT ISSUE IN SUBWAY SEARCHES in the Buffaloe News and the ACLU lawsuit against NYPD racial profiling in the city of NY.

GUIDE FOR ANALYZING RACE DATA FROM VEHICLE STOPS
The Police Executive Research Forum has completed By the Numbers: A Guide for Analyzing Race Data from Vehicle Stops. The final version (with three new chapters) are available for free from the PERF web site. By the Numbers is a detailed “how to” guide for analyzing race data from vehicle stops. It provides a social science framework for understanding the challenges of trying to measure racial bias in policing and presents an array of methods for law enforcement professionals, researchers and other stakeholders to consider when interpreting the vehicle-stop data. The primary audience for this technical guide includes the people who will actually be conducting the analyses, though police professionals at all levels, policy makers and others have much to gain by reading the preliminary and final chapters. Following these introductory chapters, By the Numbers provides step-by-step guidance for implementing various benchmarking methods. Forthcoming is a shorter document entitled “Understanding Race Data from Vehicle Stops: A Stakeholder’s Guide” which will target policy makers and other concerned stakeholders and highlight the key themes of By the Numbers.

Thanks to MAUREEN DOWD for the heads up and links in column.

Mr. Lichtblau wrote that when Mr. Greenfeld sent the planned press release to the office of his supervisor, Tracy Henke, then an acting assistant attorney general, the section on the treatment of black and Hispanic drivers was crossed out with a notation: “Do we need this?” Ms. Henke herself had added a note: “Make the changes.”

Like Condi Rice, Stephen Hadley, John Bolton and others who helped spin reality to suit political ends, Ms. Henke was rewarded by the president. She has been nominated for a senior post in the Homeland Security Department.

Onward Through The Fog! -WP Editorial

There is no cause for despair, or for abandoning the basic U.S. strategy in Iraq, which is to support the election of a permanent national government and train security forces capable of defending it with continuing help from American troops.But it is dispiriting, and damaging to the chances for success, that President Bush still refuses to speak honestly to the country about the challenges the United States now faces, or how he intends to address them. In two major speeches on national security this week, Mr. Bush simply repeated the misleading description of Iraq he offered during his national television address in June, conflating the war with the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and describing the enemy as terrorists akin to al Qaeda.

So what’s new here? Is there a Green Zone in DC too? Bush has been prevaricating from the gitgo, with the conivances of certain editorial boards. Lets see. Iran is the main benefactor, Women are going to lose their human rights, continued training of Iraqi Benedict Arnolds who rat out intelligence to the insurgents, and who then help kill the US Forces, this is the WaPo’s idea of US Strategy?

If you want to CYA the least you could do is remove your heads from the same.

WHO declares tuberculosis emergency in Africa – US WHO Cares?

JOHANNESBURG (AFX) – The World Health Organisation has declared tuberculosis an emergency in Africa after cases of the killer disease tripled in countries with high rates of HIV and doubled on the continent as a whole since 1990.

We’re so sorry, but we must discuss ID, and stem cell research, stuff that matters. Quite sure you’ll muddle through. Good Luck – The Democratic Party USA

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EZSmirkzz Aug 24-26, 2005

Friday, August 26, 2005

Gaza Handover Ends in West Bank Conflict

JERUSALEM — Violence erupted in Jerusalem and the West Bank on Wednesday just as Israeli and Palestinian leaders said plans were taking shape for a peaceful handover of the Gaza Strip next month.

In the West Bank, Israeli troops killed four Palestinians, one of them Islamic Jihad leader Ribhi Amara, in a late-night undercover raid on Tulkarm refugee camp, witnesses said.

In Jerusalem, a Palestinian stabbed to death an ultra-Orthodox Jew and wounded another, ending a long period of relative calm in the walled Old City, police said.

The Russian & Chineese Rovian Feint

MOSCOW – The truth is out. The joint war games on northern Chinese beaches, part of a military exercise between China and Russia, are not designed to send warning messages to the United States about the limits of its global unilateralism.

It’s really all about China and Russia practicing for a joint occupation of North Korea, or so the Russian media will have us believe.

More mundanely, the unprecedented display of Russian and Chinese combined military might also sends a signal to Central Asian countries that both Moscow and Beijing will no longer ignore American inroads into the strategically important region. However, Moscow has dismissed speculation of moves toward a new military bloc or joint armed groupings involving Russia and China.

The Iranian Screw In The Coming War

The proposal to set up a petroleum bourse was first voiced in Iran’s development plan for 2000-2005. Last July, Heydar Mostakhdemin-Hosseini, who heads the board of directors of the Iranian Stock Exchange council, said authorities had agreed in principle to the establishment of the IOB, where petrochemicals, crude oil and oil and gas products will be traded. The oil exchange would strive to make Iran the main hub for oil deals in the region and most deals will be conducted via the Internet. Experts from London’s International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) and the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) have reportedly confirmed the feasibility of the project.

The IOB can count on two sharp arrows in its holster. It can – and probably will – lure European buyers with oil prices quoted in euros, saving them dollar transaction costs. And it can strike barter deals with oil-hungry giants like China and India who have a lot of products and commodities to offer. One doubts whether American hamburgers and legal services will be considered adequate collateral for the world’s most after-sought resource.

Another Screw In The Coming War Turns Right

JAKARTA – Ever since Indonesia’s highest Islamic authority, the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI), issued 11 fatwas or edicts against liberal Islam, a fierce debate has begun raging in the world’s most populous Muslim nation on what constitutes an Islamic society.

Though Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim nation, in these once-Hindu and Buddhist societies the practice of Islam is colored by the liberalism of the older faiths. Many urban middle-class Indonesians define their liberal interpretation of Islam as “secular”. But, MUI’s fatwas have thrown a direct challenge to both the government and to liberal Muslims in this country of 200 million people, of which 88% follow the Islamic faith while 8% is Christian and 3% Hindu or Buddhist. The 11 edicts, issued in late July, include one that states that Islamic interpretations based on liberalism, secularism and pluralism “contradict Islamic teachings”.

Also banned are inter-faith prayers performed with people of other religions and the intonation of amen to prayers that are led by a non-Muslim, a ritual deemed to be haram (forbidden under Islamic law) as also are interfaith marriages.

Acid Test: Are Women Human?

The DNA evidence has come in, and the answer is clear. Women are human beings. Who knew? Consider all the evidence to the contrary.

Sharon Hailed, But Faces Party Revolt

Israeli diplomats and Jewish activists in Washington say that Sharon’s government has been assured by the White House that the Bush administration will not pressure Jerusalem into additional territorial concessions in the West Bank until the Palestinian Authority disarms Palestinian terrorist groups.
[…]
While Israel and some Jewish groups are urging the Americans and the international community to deliver development funds to the Palestinians, Israel’s own request for American aid to develop its periphery in the Negev and the Galilee may encounter resistance in Congress.

Israel has not yet officially submitted its request to the White House, and in turn the administration has not submitted a request to Congress. But Israeli officials have publicly indicated that they intend to ask for as much as $2.2 billion in American aid. Several pro-Israeli members of Congress privately suggested to Israel that the aid should be requested in the form of loan guarantees rather than a cash grant, arguing that an additional $2 billion cash grant to America’s largest recipient of foreign aid would be tough to sell on Capitol Hill as lawmakers start the painful process of budget reconciliation that certainly will involve unpopular cuts to domestic programs.

Still, the Forward has learned, in an off-the-record briefing on the Hill, a senior lobbyist with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee recently told congressional staffers that Israel does intend to ask for a cash grant.

Synagogue Group Backs John Roberts Nomination

Leaders of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism sent a letter Monday to Senator Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, stating that Roberts “is qualified to serve.” The United Synagogue, with more than 700 congregations and claiming to represent 1.5 million followers, offered its backing, though the movement’s rabbis and members tend to lean left on domestic issues.

McCain beds down with AZ Taliban – supports marriage amendment

That’s it, John McCain’s completely over on the dark side of dirtbag wingnuttery. After his opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment, he turns around and supports the move by Arizona’s Taliban to pass a state amendment. Here’s the ecstatic, breathless chair of Protect Marriage Arizona, Lynn Stanley:

While McCain appears to be switching sides, he is at least being consistent to the Constitution, by opposing this at the Federal level. Marriage is the purview of the States.

These days a moderate Republican is one who respects the Constitution, which is almost as scary as Democrats that do too.

Utah Aurora & Computer Spots

Stargazers in Utah, Colorado, New York and other US states were treated to a rare display in the early hours of this morning, when the first of two large coronal mass ejections from the Sun collided with the Earth’s atmosphere, creating stunning Auroras.

A group of scientists has come up with a new explanation for the origins of spicules – jets of plasma that shoot up from the solar surface at speeds of around 90,000 kilometres per hour: the solar matter is propelled into space by sound waves entering the solar atmosphere.

The GIMP threatens PIN number securityThis must be a first: Linux image manipulation programme the GIMP has been fingered as a possible tool in uncovering people’s PIN numbers as sent through the post. It’s not all open source gloom, though, Photoshop can also be used to, in certain circumstances, enhance illicitly-obtained printed PIN numbers.

Polyglot IM worm targets MSNA new worm spreading over IM networks is the first to check system settings in order to send a message in the appropriate language. The Kelvir-HI instant messaging worm is spreading over MSN Messenger’s network, albeit modestly. IM security specialist Akonix classifies it as a low-risk threat.

Worm snaffles online gamers’ passwords
Players of one fantasy role-playing game Priston Tale1 have suffered a nasty attack of reality after virus writers created a worm programmed to steal their usernames, passwords and data.

Legal disassemblyWhen security researcher and ISS employee Michael Lynn went to give a presentation at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, little did he know he would ignite a legal firestorm questioning whether even the act of looking for security vulnerabilities violates the law.

Science: Earth’s Core Spins Faster than Earth

James Wolcott: Darkness at Noonan

While you read Mr. Wolcott dismantle Peggy Loonan, I’ll go walk the dog. Seriously, a real dog.

Rotten Elites & The Beacons of Neocon Hill

Digby has the usual good read this morning, if you haven’t made by Atrios’ yet. Also worth checking out is Antiwar. There on a roll today;
Highlights

Iraq: The Dems Are Just As Bad: Justin Raimondo
For Immediate Withdrawal: Alan Bock
Right From the Beginning: Steve Breyman
There’s Something Happening Here’: J. Galloway
Iraq Defies Neocon Logic: Jim Lobe

If you follow Justins links, especially on the Yugoslavian debacle it really will give you more insight into the Neocon mind bent.

I suppose I should thank James Wolcott for sending me swirling down the Neoconservative sewage pipe with the inevitable one link that leads to four more, and so on and so forth, until one has become quite use to the smell of ad hominem excrement that passes for Neoconpoop discourse.

This does give some insight into the thinking of those who hold the philosophy, although not much insight into the philosophy itself, other than they had a disagreement with the left at one point or another, and having lost the debate lost their religion, because politics is their religion.
So we will always have Neocons, as war hawk liberals exit the scene, denouncing the left as pacifists because their currently cherished casa belli war of foreign intervention and ideological dogma did not fit into the wider left’s definition of national self defense. The fact that the current misadventure is opposed from the libertarians and paleocons adds to their discomfiture, as they are left holding their Religious Right Tarot cards close to the Imam’s chests, and no one will help them light the candles for further seances into the absurd.

Their true consistency, in fact, is blaming the left because the wars we cautioned against in the run up to them, have consequently been executed poorly anyway, which are then rightly lost for many if not all of the diverse reasons previously enumerated by the left, reasons quite beyond the neocon intellectual prophalatic prophets to see. The insuing purges and slaughter of their allies and those poor miscreants who believed their assurances of the US government’s pledge of support, aid and comfort in perpetuity, after the inevitable withdrawal is then blamed on the left and antiwar movement that sprouts as naturally as flowers in spring. All until the events our forgotten by the public, whence the cycle can safely be repeated in the next war to make the world save for American Imperialism, seasons and reasons be damned.

The only constant is they always lose wars and it is never their fault, it always the antiwar anti-American left’s fault. Education it appears, is a dangerous thing for some people, so, many degrees not withstanding, it is avoided at all costs in practical experience, because the dream is the thing. This may explain their proclivity to smearing individuals, having already suffered the pangs of an intellectual defeat, the only recourse is an emotional outburst, for which the many degrees have provided at least a large vocabulary for the insuring bovine scatology that passes for their bloviations to mask their utter failure.

Now there is quite a bit of invective hurled at those who use the term, neocon. The most common being that of anti Semitic, followed by intellectual, and then of course a diverse quiver full of qualifying impugnments to disparage common sense.

David Horwitzwit, who wrote,” Joshua Muravchik and Ben Wattenberg, to name just two fellows at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), signed a public ad supporting Bill Clinton in 1992, without losing their jobs or suffering any other consequences.”, in a rant about Lind, failing to notice that he was exposing the reach of the War Party, the term the neocon’s really detest, because it says it all so well, so succinctly. Democrats may want to bear those names in mind when they go to the polls in November, because not all neocons are Republicans, nor all Republicans neocons. Neocons do not love their country, they worship it, and like all religious zealots they will kill and slander any that speak heresy against thier Baals, Wealth and Imperialism. Christians need to be aware of whom they are supporting, and what those people believe.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Army Confronts Guilt About Battlefield Killing

Other soldiers say they felt sadness only after they returned to the U.S. Sgt. Darrell Borst, a 22-year-old soldier who fought in Iraq with the 1st Armored Division, wasn’t bothered by his combat experience until his aunt asked him at a homecoming party if he had killed anyone. When he answered yes the room fell silent. “My family’s reaction really bothered me. There was sadness in their eyes. It still bothers me today,” he says. “It is like they remember you in a certain way and now you are different.”

I remember asking my father if he had killed any Germans during the war, and after a pause, he replied,”yeah, I guess I got a few.”

“What kid of gun did you have?”

A burb gun.”

It was the only time the subject was ever broached in a converstion with him. I didn’t know much except that he fought in WWII which was pretty common among fathers when I was growing up. It was only after he had died that I learned that he had fought in Europe and was awarded the Bronze Star at the Battle of the Bulge. He had made Sargent. Four years of his life just never really came up, and I never knew how he felt about my questioning him. Now I kind of do. I never thought of him as being different, or anything else other than my best friend.

He could be very open minded about most things, including my opposition to the Viet Nam War. He asked me one time if I would fight if the US was invaded and I had absolutely no qualms about saying yes which brought satisfication to his face. He always knew me better than anyone else. When I was nine all I wanted for Christmas was an American flag which we hung out that day. At sunset I dutifully took it down and folded it correctly and followed the instructions that came with the booklet to a T.

If I could tell Mr. Borst anything, it would be that you are different only in having aquired wisdom, at a heavy price, that the hardest person to forgive in life is yourself. Your best friend already have.

Schweitzer’s plan for US energy independence

Montana’s governor wants to solve America’s rising energy costs using a technology discovered in Germany 80 years ago that converts coal into gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel.

The Fischer-Tropsch technology, discovered by German researchers in 1923 and later used by the Nazis to convert coal into wartime fuels, was not economical as long as oil cost less than $30 a barrel.

But with U.S. crude oil now hitting more than double that price, Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s plan is getting more attention across the country and some analysts are taking him very seriously.

Montana is “sitting on more energy than they have in the Middle East,” Schweitzer told Reuters in an interview this week.

“I am leading this country in this desire and demand to convert coal into gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel. We can do it in Montana for $1 per gallon,” he said.

“We can do it cheaper than importing oil from the sheiks, dictators, rats and crooks that we’re bringing it from right now.”

Casey by CindySheehan

The most emotional thing for me though was walking through the main tent and seeing the huge painting on canvas of Casey. Many things hit me all at once: That this huge movement began because of Casey’s sacrifice; thousands, if not millions of people know about Casey and how he lived his life and the wrongful way in which he was killed; but the thing that hit me the hardest was how much I miss him.

DC Media Girl

With a story as tragic as the war in Iraq, it can be hard to pick one moment or one story that tips you over the edge; there’s so much tragedy to choose from, after all. Today, this story did it for me. After reading it I just cried and cried. This poor, poor man:

This is what war really is, and that is why nobody wants to talk about it. The casualties are in this Marines house, and across the street, as well. Because one man did his duty, to clean up the mess of Godless war.

How much blood does it take to wash away fear?

Divided They Stand – New York Times

Yesterday, after reading gloomy press accounts about the proposed Iraqi constitution, I thought it might be interesting to hear what Galbraith himself had to say. I finally tracked him down in Baghdad (at God knows what hour there)…

Mr. Brooks finds two opinions that boolster his own. I find it hard to imagine that he cannot tell what time it is in Bagdad by looking at his own clock on the wall, so I am assuming that he doesn’t know what time it is in issues large or small.

One of my other calls yesterday went to another smart Iraq analyst, Reuel Marc Gerecht, formerly of the C.I.A. and now at the American Enterprise Institute

Mr. Brooks, the CIA and AEI are hardly institutions that inspire confidence in all things Iraqi, unless one overlooks thier previous pontifications prior to going into Iraq. In fact they are better icons of failed American foreign policy than all but a few.

‘Peace Mom’ Returns to Texas War Protest

“The Bush White House and its right-wing allies are responding to Cindy Sheehan and the military families’ vigil in central Texas in the same way that they always respond to bad news _ by unleashing personal attacks and smears against her,” Wilson said in a statement released Wednesday.

This perception, even if it were untrue, is not conducive to the cause of Christianity. It cannot be overlooked that Christians do not bear false witness against their fellow man.

Mr. President, if these things are not being overlooked and hidden on earth by the things of the earth, how is it sir, that you think they are hidden from Heaven?

Pat Robertson’s Gift

Still, it is curious how some of Mr. Robertson’s fellow travelers have not been able to locate their tongues over this latest Robertson-inspired international disturbance. The Family Research Council and Traditional Values Coalition spare no moments in rushing forth to denounce irresponsibility on the part of those they dislike. Not so with Mr. Robertson, who only called for the United States to murder a foreign head of state. Even the Bush administration can’t bring itself to censure a fellow conservative who publicly calls for his country to break the law. “Inappropriate,” the State Department managed to say. The White House, embarrassed by Mr. Robertson yet again but too afraid to mix it up with his narrow but loyal base of support, simply averts its gaze.

If you gentlemen cannot remove the speck from your own eye, how will you remove the beam from others. As Paul has written, “I would hate to be condemned for that which I approve.”

Perhaps you have left us because you love the world more?

Robertson Apologizes for Calling for Assassination

Yesterday evening, however, Robertson issued a written clarification acknowledging that he had used the word “assassination.” He said he had ad-libbed his original comments Monday, which included the sentence “I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it.”

Robertson’s clarification went on to say: “Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him.”

Mr. Robertson is a man of the cloth, who compounded his error by denying saying what he said. To apologize for the first error is to beg the question of that for the second.

Mr. Robertson needs to repent, to turn around and stop doing bad. He failed to do so. He appears to be non repentant of all but the speaking in the first error. But he has brought reproach on all Christians with his error.

I reject his claim to any authority in the Church until he clears this up.

The apology did not address the sins, and so is rejected.

Dying for Israel – by Billmon

The Title says it all, and if one has ears to listen, so does the link.

WHAT GEORGE BUSH SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CASEY SHEEHAN

Larry Johnson has written two very powerfull pieces at TPMCafe, the one in the Title Link and this one.Why We Must Leave Iraq

All The Battles Won, The War is Lost.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Left Coaster: No Exit?

We said, “Don’t go there.” “It’ll be a quagmire.” “Can’t you see that BushCo is feeding propaganda to the country to get his war on?” I’ve been watching this slow moving train wreck since election night 2000. Had already forewarned people I knew that if elected, Bush would have us in another war…

Yeah some of us lefties did said that, didn’t we Lamar?

It’s the end of the world as we know it,
It’s the end of the world as we know it,
It’s the end of the world as we know it,
And I feel fine.

We can swim out past the breakers
and watch the world die.

Tell me over and over and over again my friend,
You don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Because I could not stop for death
He kindly stopped for me

Life is what happens to to you
when you’re busy doing other things

Down by the river
I shot my baby

You were bound to know it
when the bullet hit the bone

Die waiting to die waiting to die waiting to die waiting to die waiting to die waiting to die waiting to die waiting to die waiting to die waiting to die
waiting to die waiting to die waiting to die waiting to die waiting to die waiting to die waiting to die waiting to die waiting to die waiting to die

Sleep pretty darling do not cry
and I will sing a lulla bye

Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage! Rage! against the dying of the light.

All the leaves are brown
and the sky is grey

Nights in white satin never reaching an end
Letters I’ve written, never meaning to send

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
There’s nothing you can sing that can’t be sung

What if you knew her and saw her dead on the ground,
how can you run when you know?

My brother’s at home
with the Beatles and the Stones

When you see the Southern Cross for the first time
you’ll understand why you came this way

I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

G’day.

Ezra Klein: Feingold on Health Care

Ezra Klein: Feingold on Health Care

Feingold’s heart is in the right place, but his fear’s leaving the product incoherent. As he said on Iraq, someone needs to break the taboo over talking about withdrawal. Well, if he runs for president, someone needs to break the Party’s taboo on speaking truth about health care. And after the firestorm he started on Iraq, I can’t think of anyone more experienced at that kind of thing. Here’s hoping he gives Wellstone another read and takes the assignment.

This really worth a read through.

Googlley Eyes, For Whose Head?

Crooked Timber Google World

Pretty hair raising examination of Google from a privacy perspective. One shop stopping for the three letter boys.

Robertson lies about his Chavez comments;

Via Atrios

Pat Robertson compounds ignorance with stupidity in further remarks. There is something, sometimes, very humbling about being a Christian. Mr. Robertson ought to apply that thought to his spiritual deliberations.

As Pandagon points out in an article at linked at Eschaton, detailing Mr. Robertson’s contract status with ABC’s Family channel which;

“700 Club” has been a staple of the channel since it was known as the Family Channel, before Disney acquired it from News Corp. and Haim Saban in 2001. Robertson sold it to News Corp. in 1997 on the condition that “700 Club” air on the channel in perpetuity no matter who owns the channel.

News Corp is owner of FOX News.

Intelligent Design without the Bible Deepak Chopra

Deeprak Chopra weighs in to the Intelligent Design debate with a really interesting post, and is answered by mtHaddon here on his blog.

Gotta love it, Haddon writes a real good scientific outlook for a non scientist, just as Chopra writes a real good over view of Intelligent Design from a non Christian POV.

Go ahead and read them both, it’s like mind candy without the sweets.

The Strangely Deranged Pat Robertson

From punaise in the comments section of Digby’s post we are sent back yet again to TPM post with interesting Republican recoil from Mr. Roberts leap into the sublime.

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, appearing at a Pentagon news conference, said when asked: “Our department doesn’t do that kind of thing. It’s against the law. He’s a private citizen. Private citizens say all kinds of things all the time.”

“This is not the policy of the United States government. We do not share his views,” McCormack said in a flat refutation of Robertson’s suggestion that the United States “take out” Chavez to stop Venezuela from becoming a “launching pad for communist influence and Muslim extremism.”

In Caracas, Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel called Robertson’s statement criminal and terrorist. “The ball is in the U.S. court,” he said.

One does wonder if senility is a defense for making terroristic threats.

U.S. Senators Norm Coleman, Republican of Minnesota and Mel Martinez, Republican of Florida, said a call by U.S. televangelist Pat Robertson for the U.S. government to assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was “irresponsible” and “incredibly stupid.”

Aww the art of the understatement.

Update: from the Washingtomn Post

The Rev. Bob Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches and a former Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, said it “defies logic that a clergyman could so casually dismiss thousands of years of Judeo-Christian law, including the commandment that we are not to kill.”

The Rev. Rob Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council, a conservative advocacy group in Washington, issued a statement saying that he has always held Robertson in the “highest esteem,” but that the evangelist “must immediately apologize, retract his statement and clarify what the Bible and Christianity teaches about the permissibility of taking human life outside of law.”

Of course the good Reverends use the commandment that we are not to kill, which does not convey the true sense of the word, which is murder, it fits the Revrunts remarks to a Tee. As for the “permissibility of taking human life outside of law.”, I addressed that here in a response to Kos’ pragmatic pro warriorism post.

I wonder why the Theoligians, and Reverends cannot distinguish between our faith as Christians, and the religion of Jesus. They very conveniently use the Old or Hebrew Scriptures when it suits an agenda of their own, but had it been God’s intention for Christians to live under Mosaic Law, then that would have been stated clearly and for the record in Acts, and the Council of the Apostles. It was in fact rejected.

Perhaps the “New Jerusalem” would consider this;

Woe to her rebelling and being defiled, to the oppressing city! She did not listen to the voice; she did not receive correction; she did not trust in Jehovah; she did not draw near to her God. Her rulers within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they do not gnaw bones for the morning. Her prophets are proud, men of deceit; her priests have profaned the sanctuary; they have done violence to the Law.

The righteous Jehovah is in her midst; He will not act perversely. Every morning He gives His justice to the light; He does not fail, but the unjust knows no shame. I have cut off nations; their towers are ruined. I made their streets waste, so that none passes by. Their cities are laid waste, without a man, from there being not one living there. I said, Surely you will fear Me; you will receive instruction; then her dwelling shall not be cut off, all that I appointed for her. But they rose up early; they corrupted all their doings.

Therefore, wait for Me, declares Jehovah, for the day I rise up to the prey. For My judgment is to gather the nations, for Me to gather the kingdoms, to pour My fury out on them, all My hot anger. For all the earth shall be burned up with the fire of My jealousy.

Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, oh son of man, it tolls for thee.

Cheney’s to stump for DeLay

Via Talking Points Memo

A spokeswoman for Cheney said that security concerns precluded his office from releasing the vice president’s schedule more than a few days in advance.

“We are not making any announcements about events in mid-September,” the spokeswoman said.

DeLay’s office also would not comment.

However, the time and date of the event, 5-7 p.m. on Sept. 16, and location, the Westin Galleria Hotel, were posted on a Clear Lake GOP online bulletin board (groups.yahoo.com/group/ClearLakeGOP/message/34) and some invitations already have been sent out.
[…]
In mid-May, nearly 1,000 people attended an event organized by the American Conservative Union to defend DeLay against criticism.

More than a dozen conservative leaders and politicians offered words of support for the majority leader.

DeLay said the tribute stiffened his resolve to fight what he considers baseless Democrat attacks on his character.

How is pointing out factual matters an attack on his character? The facts accuse Mr. Delay’s characture, not the Democrats.

James Wolcott

“Ledeen also encourages his emailers ‘to read The War Against the Terror Masters, in which I said it was the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time, and predicted the current situation.'”

Interestingly, before June I had never read,(andstill don’t,) Vanity Fair nor had I heard of Mr. Wolcott until Atrios linked to him. The above words are precisely what I posted at the WaPo forums before the war started, so perhaps Lindsay Howerton can clarify when great minds started thinking alike. Admittedly I have no access to those remarks and the date I made them, as they were removed from the Prospero fora, as were many other points I have made, when I deleted the account I had with them. Perhaps they are buried away in a back up archive, but not to worry, I have a million of ’em. In either case it was months later, before Mr. Kennedy used them in remarks on the Senate floor.

Needless to say, I agree with Mr. Wolcott’s assessment completely. The War Party was wrong then, and they remain so today. The intellectual vacuity of Frum, Horowitz, Leeden et al is apparent now to all excepting themselves. Congratulations sirs, you have made the world a more dangerous and less pleasnt world to live in, not only for yourselves, but your children and grandchildren. I by all means hope that a suitable place is found to mount your busts, perhaps along the banks of a Tyson chicken farm drainage ditch, inwhich location you so fittingly belong. You must understand sirs, that Iraq and its’ consequences will be forever linked to your names, and the slaughter that ensues may make Hitler’s look like the efforts of a small scale pimp, and Neocon will be the derogation de jur, heretofore reserved for Nazi. AF,JWD.

It was a tough job to do, but you have exceeded at it beyond your wildess hopes, proving once again that, even if you have been educated beyond your intelligence, it is still possible to prove, that had you been half as smart as you think you are, you would have been proved twice as smart as you actually are.

Slouching Toward Civil War

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal warned with regard to disputes over the Iraqi constitution, that sectarian positions “will not lead to anything but the partition of Iraq along sectarian lines.” He called on Iraqi leaders to “let national interests supercede sectarian interests.” The Saudis are very caution and seldom speak out on such matters, preferring to work quietly and behind the scenes. So when the Saudi foreign minister speaks publicly in these terms, it means that the royal family is terrified that there really will be a civil war in Iraq. As I have tiresomely pointed out, such a war almost certainly would pull the Saudis into it, with catastrophic consequences for us all. Roger Hardy of the BBC points out,”There is no tradition in the Arab world of a successful decentralised state. The fear is that a weak multi-ethnic, multi-confessional state will go the way of Lebanon in the 1970s and 1980s – and descend into civil war.”

He also has some insights into the high cost of gasoline. Perhaps market forces are not cracking all they need to be.

The Democrats’ Dilemma – by Pat Buchanan

In the long run, the Democratic Party stands to lose far more from this war than a GOP whose president led us into it. How can that be? How can a war that will go down in history as “Bush’s War” end up dividing Democrats and gravely damaging their party?

First, there is the Democratic complicity in taking America into a war in which some of them never believed. In October 2002, when the war drums were beating and Bush was pawing the ground to take down Saddam, Sens. Clinton, Biden, Edwards, Kerry, and Daschle voted for the war. It is thus their war, as well as Bush’s war.

Some voted their interests, not their consciences. They did it to get the war issue, which was working for the Republicans in 2002, behind them.

So, How do you like it now, Gentlemen?

EZSmirkzz August 19-23, 2005

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Daily Kos: The War Pragmatists ??

I’m not anti-war. As I’ve said before, I’m a military hawk. I supported the Afghanistan War and I supported the Bosna and Kosovo interventions. I’m not one of these touchy-feely hippy types that thinks war is inherently bad. I laugh at people who think they can “visualize peace”.

Yet sometimes, many times, military force is a force for good. There are evil people in the world, doing evil things. And all the sanctions in the world, all the strongly worded denunciations, will never have the effect of a 1,000 pound bomb.

This is where I disagree with Kos, but I Think Therefore I Forgo the slanders and sweeping generalizations which many people use to define their positions with, that which they are not. Some of us, before our spiritual awakenings, were touchy feely hippy types who have lost teeth to pool cues and busted knuckles on a few heads when the lubricants of life robbed one of the good sense of hitting someone else in the neck and solar plexus until they feel down, thought then and still think, that war is inherently bad, because it is collective punishment on a civilian population for the activities of a government they usually have no influence, and or control over. Say like, the American people and theirs. I would imagine not too many civilians underneath Kos’ 1,000 pound bomb share his view either. That it hardly elevates his remarks above those of Pat Robertsons, it is a distinction without a difference, is obvious except for one fact, Pat Robertson claims to be a teacher of the good News.

However Kos is wrong for the same reason as Augustine as well. Wars of convenience are not based on principles, and are patently unethical. Augustine at least used the rubric of a Defensive war, which may be fine for non Christians, but does not comport with the teachings of Christ, and those who teach this doctrine of Augustine wash their hands in the blood of the innocent victimes of those wars. Augustine articulated his position when armies and calvaries fought other armies and calvaries, and even then innocents were killed and robbed just as surely as if a briggand had robbed and murdered them on the road to Jerusalem. To participate in a war is to deny the teachings of the Christ, and a profound denial of the Christian faith. If God is unable to protect those whom He loves, then He is unable to raise them from the dead as well. If a Christian does not have the hope of a resurrection, he is already dead. If Christ said that we as Christians would drink his cup, and be tested even unto death, then all these things are a test, and the taking up of arms is a failure of that test.

Again the failure of the individual is not theirs alone, because those who will bear a heavier judgement have taught them these things, and so as I judge these things, I judge the layity lightly. The failure of the Church however is profound and it is universal. We Christians cannot condemn Kos or anyone else that holds to the above view when the Churches of diverse countries teach and hold these same doctrines. It is inconsequential to the Church of one land to slaughter the believers in the Church of another, so we must condemn the Church, and acknowledge that it itself is as stained with blood as ancient Jerusalem was in the days of Jeremiah, and warn it that it too, faces the same judgement. This is the sword the Christ uses to divide brother from brother, sister from sister, mothers from daughters, and fathers from sons. Sometimes Christianity compels the believers to go beyond the forms of worship, and obey the laws of God rather than those of men, and this is equally applicable to the Clergy as it is to the non clergy.

To the sons I say then, you have learned what you were taught by the fathers, but to the fathers I say, behold the sins of the world which you yourself have taught were no sin. These are the traditions of man, these deviations that you teach as traditions of God, and you have mislead the entire inhabitated earth with them. You should repent, while there is yet time, because Behold the Kingdom of God will be upon you, like a thief in the night, and what will you do in that day, oh son of man?

The Fundamentalist Republic of America

You know, or maybe you don’t, but the Great Commission is just that, and as with all matters of conscience must be by choice, just as Paul wrote, “faith is not the possession of all men”. As Christians it is a difficult enough thing to do without misguided Evangelicals trying to legislate faith through government. If our faith cannot be legislated out of our hearts, then how is it that some presume that it can be legislated in to the hearts of others?

It should not be the providence of one Evangelical to inhibit the evangelizing of another, by building on someone elses foundation. If you do not understand the milk of love and the Scripture, then wouldn’t it be best to remain silent until you do? Even if you say to me you know the Scripture better than I and you may very well, I must remind you that it is also written, ” that those who think they are knowing a thing, do not yet know it as they ought to.”.

To that end I ask you to stop antagonizing the none believers, as you do not even serve your own purposes well, and those of others not at all. Like the Pharisee you are displaying a zeal for God, but without accurate knowledge, and your results will more than likely be the same. Perhaps you should drink a little wine for your stomachs.

MSNBC’s O’Donnell labeled Crawford protesters anti-war extremists

via Atrios

O’DONNELL: Coleen, let me ask you, why do you support Cindy Sheehan’s anti-war position?

ROWLEY: Well, I happened to be a person who spoke out publicly against the war a couple of weeks before it was started and warned that it would prove counterproductive to our efforts to combat terrorism. And if you have gone through this chain of mistakes that started with the pre-9-11 lapses and you have seen all of these errors that have occurred since, very serious to our country’s security. I don’t think you can do anything, except continue to speak out.

O’DONNELL: You’re a Democrat running for Congress. It was reported that Republican leaders in your state were just thrilled that you had decided to align yourself with anti-war extremists. Do you think that this could affect your race for Congress?

ROWLEY: Well, I will quickly correct the record that they are not anti-war extremists. The majority of the people I saw down in Crawford were actually veterans groups. There were military families and —

O’DONNELL: But, Coleen, they do oppose the war in Iraq, do they not?

ROWLEY: Yes, they do. But that does not make, I guess the term extremists. They’re really, I think, reflective of mainstream America in many ways.

So I guess the counter protesters are extremists too?

You know it would be nice if presenters in New York would at least get out of the house once in awhile, like reporters, and go talk to people before they talk about those people. Sheesh!

Wonkette – Lifting Material from the Blog World

via Nomoremisterniceblog

I suppose that might include pinching the comments from said blogs too. Face it, if you get paid to write then at least give a nod to those you pinch the idea from, who don’t.

Tom Watson: A Tale of Two GOPs

With the President’s approval rating at a Nixonian 36% with the Republicans pubicly debating both sides of the nation’s core issue, the “war is over but Bush doesn’t know it” theme continue to grow rapidly — almost as rapidly as the rabid responses of the increasingly crazed Bush supporters. This small group is virtually parallel to the membership of FreeRepublic, where one poster called for Hagel’s head on a pike and enjoined: “Let’s pray for President George W. Bush, the Greatest War-Time President in American History.” Not only does that do a terrible disservice to the memory of James Polk, but it places the mob mentality of the right squarely in the public eye: your with us, or the guillotine.

Running from Cindy

Who else but President AWOL would take a vacation from his vacation?

James Wolcott: The Squawk of a Chickenhawk

Two years ago, Ledeen sneered about Hagel’s “wimpery” about Iraq (a sneer I’d wager Ledeen wouldn’t dare be man enough to repeat to Hagel’s face), but it’s Hagel who’s been vindicated. The fact is that Ledeen and his neocons got the war they wanted, it was waged according to their blueprints, and it’s their fuck-up, their moral responsibility, their historical bloodstain, their arrogant, ignorant, blundering, inexcusable mess.,

Sadly, Yes.

Thanks for the Credit

This is really true, and my apologize to Atrios because I just linked to Media Matters in my Post
and he has a point. All that via stuff really does matter, not legally probably, but morally and ethically it does. Blogging doesn’t pay except for an honest nod from other bloggers, which merely signifies that we all have an idea or link once in awhile, and this one was that other persons.

Sadly, No!: The barrel just got deeper

As a side note;

Working Together To Help Move America Forward !
Move America Forward is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving our American heritage of freedom and liberty.

The organization was formed in early 2004 by The Honorable Howard Kaloogian (R-California 1994-2000) and acclaimed radio and television personality, Melanie Morgan (KSFO 560 AM — San Francisco).

Kaloogian and Morgan began working together during the Recall Gray Davis movement in California. Kaloogian was Chairman of the Recall Gray Davis Committee and Morgan launched the recall movement on her morning radio show, earning her the title of “Mother of the Recall.”

Maybe I don’t read English anymore but how is Move America Forward a non-profit, non-partisan organization? Sick puppies.

via Atrios

DISD vendor’s funding frozen

Federal authorities have frozen payments to a lead computer vendor for Dallas schools pending an inquiry into dealings between the company and district officials, including jobs, campaign donations and luxury boat rides.

In a letter received by the school district last week, the agency that runs the federal E-rate technology-in-schools program also warned it could seek to recover some of the $55 million already paid to vendors for work at the Dallas Independent School District since 1998.

The letter asks for a written explanation of practices revealed by The Dallas Morning News and warns that the district’s applications – $62 million of which are currently pending – and invoices will get extra scrutiny because of the reports. And the letter says the news reports, if substantiated, raise “serious concerns” about the school district’s future participation in the E-rate program.
[…]
Houston-based Micro System Enterprises, the computer vendor in question, released a statement calling the funding freeze “an administrative action brought on by an unfair attack” by The News.

More of DISD ongoing problems can be found here.

DallasISD.Com is a privately owned website not affiliated in any way with the Dallas Independent School District. It is devoted to exploring and reporting on issues with the DISD that affect all of us from students, citizens to teachers and administrators. Our goal is to keep things balanced while, at the same time, not pulling any punches. Students, teachers, administrators, parents and other citizens are welcome to blog here. Dallas.Org editors will try to keep things fair.

State might sell part of Big Bend Ranch

The state is considering selling one-sixth of its flagship park, the 300,000-acre Big Bend Ranch State Park, the American-Statesman has learned.

Texas Parks and Wildlife commissioners are scheduled to discuss the sale of 45,000 acres in a closed session at their meeting Wednesday in Austin. The first public discussion of the matter and a vote by the commission could come Thursday.

Houston businessman John Poindexter confirmed that he has been negotiating with the Parks and Wildlife Department. Poindexter, who owns the exclusive resort Cibolo Creek Ranch adjacent to the state park, had no further comment.

In other news, Republikans are considering using eminent domain to condemn The Alamo and make way for a Piggly Wiggly.

Bush Backers Amass to Counter ‘Peace Mom’

VACAVILLE, Calif. — A caravan proclaiming support for U.S. troops began a tour through California on Monday, stopping in the hometown of Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war mother who gained national prominence during a vigil outside President Bush’s Texas ranch.

[…]

A verbal confrontation erupted when the caravan arrived in Sacramento and was met by anti-war protesters chanting “Bring them home.”

Sheehan supporter Dan Elliott, 71, confronted caravan members by waving a sign reading “Death is not support” and heckling Johns as she addressed the crowd.

“You are ruining the morale over there,” responded Greg Parkinson, a Bush supporter.

Some caravan members called the anti-war protesters communists and said they were “aiding and abetting the enemy.” Those comments enraged Sheehan supporter Dee Ann Heath, who said she has two sons serving in Iraq and another preparing to leave.

“I don’t support the war, but I support my sons,” she said. “I simply want them to come home.”

Yeah Bush is a uniter, not a divider. This mess of ages is brought to you by George W Bush and the RNC.

HoustonChronicle.com – Strayhorn radio ad slams Perry on taxes

AUSTIN – The dust had hardly settled on Gov. Rick Perry’s unsuccessful special legislative sessions to cut property taxes Monday when re-election challenger Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn launched radio commercials attacking him — for wanting to raise taxes.

[…]

Strayhorn is challenging Perry in the Republican primary.

One of the biggest problems legislators had with efforts to cut local school property taxes was every plan required them to vote to increase state taxes in a trade-out.

Many lawmakers thought that would make them vulnerable to an opponent attacking them for raising taxes.

Strayhorn’s new commercial proved that was not an unfounded fear.

“Some politicians think it is easier to tax than to lead,” Strayhorn says in the commercial.

“Now, you might expect that kind of thing from a big taxing liberal in Washington, but here in Texas? From a Republican governor?”

Strayhorn says Perry raised state fees $2.7 billion in 2003 and then this year proposed “the largest tax increase in Texas history … and not one penny for education.

“No wonder our Republican Legislature had to tell him no twice.”

Mrs. Strayhorn is Scotty McClellan’s mother.

Texas loses money on energy deal

GALVESTON (AP) – Texas has lost more money than it’s made on a billion-dollar electricity marketing program promoted as a way of raising money for Texas schools, according to a review of records by a The Galveston County Daily News.

Under the State Power Program, the Texas General Land Office trades natural gas from public land to Reliant Energy for electricity it then sells to public customers such as schools, cities and counties. The program was approved by the Legislature in 1999.

[..]

From 2002 through 2004, the first three years of electricity deregulation, the state received just one-seventh, or $128 million, of the nearly $877 million Reliant collected, even though the land office supplies natural gas used to make the electricity.

[…]

Other information from the released records shows that:

# The program cost the state at least $2.7 million more than it made.

# Reliant was given about $17.5 million in tax breaks.

# Gas deals made by the land office for Reliant appear to have lost the state up to $4.9 million.

When Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst was land commissioner in 1999, he convinced lawmakers to create the power program, saying that converting gas to electricity would generate more money for the school fund than if the state simply sold its gas.

Brought to you by: The Big Rich Republican Party of Texas

Another Texas Republican Failure to Govern

AUSTIN – Blaming the Legislature for inaction during three failed special sessions, Gov. Rick Perry on Monday ordered the state education commissioner to restrict how much Texas schools can spend outside of direct classroom expenses.

[…]

The Legislature last week wrapped up the second special session of the summer – the fifth failed attempt to restructure the way Texas pays for public education. Classroom spending restrictions were among the more contentious provisions in the most recent education overhaul bills.

So much for the Republican controlled House, Senate, and Executive in Texas. No issue is to small for ideology, no issue is to great for graft. Republican governments are really sick puppies. Hogs in Washinghands DC and Dogs in Austin.

Saboteurs blamed for oil exports halt

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Saboteurs triggered a cascade of blackouts that halted Iraq’s entire oil export capacity for most of Monday, a move that cost the country almost $60 million in lost exports and rattled already jittery world markets.

Government officials blamed the outage on insurgent attacks that toppled key power pylons in central Iraq and darkened broad swaths of the country, including its two largest cities – Baghdad and Basra.

The Pincer

Probably the best political perspective for Democrats and Leftists to take.

The target is Bush, not each other.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Robertson called for the assassination of Venezuela’s president

ROBERTSON: There was a popular coup that overthrew him [Chavez]. And what did the United States State Department do about it? Virtually nothing. And as a result, within about 48 hours that coup was broken; Chavez was back in power, but we had a chance to move in. He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he’s going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent.

You know, I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war.

May the Soveriegn Lord Jehovah Rebuke you.

I Want Unintelligent Design Taught

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Wisconsin prison officials violated the 1st Amendment when they denied atheist prisoners the right to form a study group:

Atheism is Kaufman’s religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being…the defendants have not answered Kaufman’s argument that by accommodating some religious views, but not his, they are promoting the favored ones.

So if schools are going to include special codas in biology emphasizing that many believe the evidence of evolution indicates a complexity requiring a divine being, I want the opposite viewpoint taught.

As a Christian I agree, if the United States is a secular nation then the Christian Community needs to weigh the implication of their demands upon it, since the law of unintended consequence, cover the Christian Community as well.

So to the good people at the Discovery Institute, a hearty, “Job well done, you have set Christianity back a thousand years!”

If Anyone at the DLC can read, please do so

If there’s growing sentiment against the war in Iraq, many area veterans of the fight aren’t taking it personally.

Vets see the opposition as a protest against policy, not them or their service.

“I have run into people who don’t support the president’s views on Iraq or our objectives, but I haven’t run into a single person who said (he or she) doesn’t support the troops,” said Jason Crawford, a Purple Heart recipient who was shot in the face by opposition forces in December 2003 while in Iraq. “I think our society learned from Vietnam that it’s not the men and women who sacrifice their lives and signed on the dotted lines who make up the plans and objectives. I think pretty much everyone supports the troops.”

That’s even if they don’t approve of the U.S. involvement in Iraq that began in March 2003.

via Sirotablog

Malkanization Part Dos

Hey. I just noticed something.

This is Michelle Malkin, in August of 2004, explaining why she’s only occasionally going to allow comments on her blog:

Like most bloggers, I don’t have interns or assistants to help out with the blog.

This is Betsy Newmark, in August of 2005, subbing for Michelle Malkin on Malkin’s blog:

We’ve had to turn the trackbacks feature off while Michelle is away. There was some nasty porno spam in the trackbacks and some other problems. I believe that Michelle’s kind assistants are working on the problem and hope to turn it back on when she returns. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

So … there are assistants.

Oh Michelle, There you go again.

Ten Things Congress Could Demand from Bush on Iraq

I mean, we are always complaining, and rightly so, about the genocide in Darfur and the inattention to genocides in Rwanda and the Congo earlier. Can we really live with ourselves if we cast Iraqis into such a maelstrom deliberately?

Juan Cole weighs in on withdrawal. Since the subject has only been tossed around for less than a month, I don’t think the antiwar left and right need to be too concerned about the neocon critisms from either the Republican or Democratic party factions. It is the antiwar component of the population that is looking beyond, “Stay the Course”, which is a miserable failure.

While all this is well and good, the point we need to not overlook is that we are dicussing real people, Iraqi and American, who are being killed and maimed. As of yet, the articulated rationale for war that does not comport with the reality of the facts on the ground from the Neocons, leads me to believe that any exit strategy from that quadrant of the political sphere is just as likely to be delusional as the ones for the war were.

We may have to seriously consider the fact that the American national political leadership is for all intents and purposes, insane.

Neocons to Earth- “It’s Not Our Fault We Lost”

Why Are We In Iraq?- by Justin Raimondo:

“Amid the tortured syntax and self-conscious preciosity of the prose, Young avers that the failure of the ‘Iraqi project’ is due, not to the hallucinatory dogmas of its architects, but to the skeptics who never accepted on faith what experience has now proved delusional. Whose fault is the mess we created in Iraq? According to Young, it’s the Arab opponents of the invasion – not only in Iraq, but throughout the Middle East – who let their reactionary nationalism get in the way of fulsome support for the American conquistadors, although a good deal of the blame can be laid at the doorstep of Noam Chomsky, with those gloating ‘isolationists’ over at Antiwar.com and The American Conservative also claiming their fair share.”

Dancing Madly Backwards, Dancing on a Sea of Air

But concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need for it to be written. For you yourselves know accurately that the day of the Lord, as a thief in the night, so it comes For when they say, Peace and security! Then suddenly destruction will come upon them, like the travail to the one having babe in womb, and they shall not escape at all.

But you, brothers, are not in darkness, that the Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of day; we are not of night, nor of darkness. So then, we should not sleep, as the rest also do, but we should watch and be sober. For those sleeping sleep by night, and those having been drunk are drunk by night. But we being of day should be sober, “having put on the breastplate” of faith and love, and the hope of “salvation as a helmet;” because God has not appointed us to wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, He dying on our behalf, so that whether we watch or we sleep, we may live together with Him.

Therefore, encourage one another, and build up one another, as you indeed do. But, brothers, we entreat you to know those laboring among you, and taking the lead of you in the Lord, and warning you, even esteem them most exceedingly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.

And we exhort you, brothers, to warn the disobedient ones, comfort those that are fainthearted, cleave to the ones being weak, be long-suffering towards all. See that not any one returns evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue the good, both towards one another and towards all.

Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things, hold fast the good.

Keep back from every form of evil. And may the God of peace Himself fully sanctify you, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is the One calling you, who also will perform it. Brothers, pray concerning us. Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. I charge you by the Lord that this letter be read to all the holy brothers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A Reunion of Biblical Proportions

Forward Newspaper Online

Think you are a direct descendant of King David? Then make sure you have an invitation to his family reunion.

The Eshet Chayil Foundation is planning the first Eternal House of David Family Reunion, to be held in 2007. It’s a three-day event in Jerusalem for people who believe they are descendants of King
David.

[…]

The idea for the reunion was inspired by the co-chairman and founder of the foundation, Susan Roth, who said that when she started to look into her own ancestry, she found she could trace it back to King David.

In addition, some sources assert that recent advances in genetic testing can identify descendants of the Cohanim, or priestly class, who were from the House of David. Joseph Meyersdorf, the project coordinator, teamed up with Family Tree DNA’s founder, Bennett Greenspan. Their mission is to find a common DNA signature among those who claim to have an oral tradition linking them to King David.

Still, Meyersdorf added, those not blessed with the genetic marker will not be turned away — because biology is not the only determination of David-ism.

[…]

One group that is not invited, despite tradition or even genetic lineage, is the gentiles. “Throughout the generations there has been intermarriage, but this is a Jewish event,” Meyersdorf explained. “This is for the Jewish descendants of King David. This is to promote Jewish unity and Jewish continuity.

I’ve been intrigued by this since I first spoke to a woman named Sophia in Delphi Forum’s about it. While genetic markers may identify a group or population, I wonder if it can also indentify a small family within the group.

Also of interest to Christians is the reference to the Levitical High Priest lineage being in with that of David of the tribe of Judah. I do not purport to be a scholar of Judaism, and if one really is interested in that then you should consult with a Jewish Rabbi, and that one will teach you the Oral Law, and Targums, not me.

That said, the Christian’s also have the same bloodline of Levy and Judah, in the Messaich, which occurred in the Babylonian exile, so I do not dispute the contention. It is just one of those interesting historical footnotes to the secularist world, as is the ten tribe exile by Assyrians, when the Tribes of Levi and Simon where scattered throughout the people because of their behavior in the case of Dinah, their sister. That would leave four tribes left in the territory of Judah and Benjamin in the southern Kingdom of Judah. All in all the history is far more complex than most Christians realize.

A Ray of Sunlight

Forward Newspaper Online: Gaza Evacuation Transforms Israeli Landscape

Israeli and Palestinian officials emphasized that the cooperation thus far has involved technical issues only. Palestinian officials said they have not seen any Israeli willingness to open political discussions about the long-term peace process. On the Israeli side, officials said that they will not entertain political discussions until the Palestinians crack down on terrorist groups. Still, political insiders who have contacts with both sides said that the current cooperation already has generated a change in the tenor of discourse between some Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Yossi Beilin, a left-wing Israeli politician who has criticized the disengagement plan in the past, said, “Although they are only dealing with technical issues, people trust each other more and more. They are getting used to talking with each other again.”

Amazing thing that talking. Noah look at the children now!

May the hearts of these two people be healed, together. War takes one idiot with a gun, peace requires whole nations to aquire a heart. May you have peace by learning peace, may the true God bless all those who seek it, and aid all those who pursue it.

Malkanization – Riff Raff was Makin a Slash

It would be undecent and unAmerican to ignore this, even though you probably know about it.

“The government has apologized and provided cash compensation to victims who were forced into camps. There is no denying that what happened to Japanese-American internees was abhorrent and wrong.” -Michelle Malkin

I’ll be waiting for Drudge, O’Reilly and Limbaugh to point out this inconsistency, then start going through her legal and financial records to prove some other irrelevant, allegedly “incriminating” point; after all, shouldn’t Fox “News” contributors and celebrity wingnuts be held to the same standard they apply to a private citizen whose son died in Iraq? – DCMediaGirl

**crickets**

Michelle wrote this article in a rant against awarding people medals because of race.

That’s me in the Corner, Losing my Affiliation

First the very bad news. The article notes that the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) is once again undermining the Democratic Party. This time, it has “accused war critics of ‘anti-American bias'” (wonder if that includes Vietnam War hero and Republican Senator Chuck Hagel?). This is a pristine example of self-proclaimed Democrats literally regurgitating the most offensive and dishonest right-wing spin out there. There is nothing “anti-American” about wanting to bring our troops home. (Frankly, it’s the other way around: there is something “anti-American soldier” about wanting to indefinitely leave our troops in a shooting gallery without an exit strategy, without proper body armor, and without any semblance of a plan).

via Atrios

Has anyone at the DLC ever read “The Web of Life” ?

Supernova 2005: It’s a Whole New, Connected World

For those of you all a twitter about the shape of things to come, here are couple of thoughts to kick around the mental backyard.

“Something fundamentally big is happening that will profoundly affect the life of every person and every business over the next five to 15 years — the collapsing of everything into one single, global, ubiquitous, collaborative virtual IT world.”

So said Hossein Eslambolchi, president of AT&T’s Global Networking Technology Services, at the recent Supernova conference co-sponsored by Wharton in San Francisco. The conference, now in its fourth year, explores the forces in technology that are driving computing from a centralized model to a decentralized one, from the center to the ‘edge.’ These forces, which demand new systems and business models, represent both threat and opportunity, said conference organizer Kevin Werbach, a Wharton professor of legal studies and business ethics.

Supporting such collaborative work will be an intelligent computer network in the center — “the basis for everything” — with equally ‘smart’ devices such as phones and computers at the edge. Collaboration will dominate both the technology and the workplace. “You will really work on the network, not in the office,” said Eslambolchi, “and since the network could be anywhere, it constitutes a virtual office.”

<> (for those of you who prefer the double >>

Such all-knowing services might sound a little too Big-Brotherish to some, however, who worry about privacy and civil liberties. For the consumer, the question is, “Who owns the data?” noted David Sifry, CEO of Technorati, a search engine that tracks the world of blogs. “Something as important as where and how we spend our time should be ours; it should not belong to the services we use, such as Yahoo or Google. If I want a service provider to store my information, that’s fine — as long as I’m also able to retrieve it.”

Mission Accomplished !!

Islamic Law Primary in Iraqi Constitution
Thousands demonstrate against Federalism
Kurdish Masses demand right to Secede

Why oh Why can’t we have a decent Government?

Hullabaloo -Pssst

“I can guarantee that if the shoe were on the other foot, the Republicans would find a way to make these things known. They understand the concept of divide and conquer.”

Of Kurds and Crips, The Blood is Ubiquitous

Tony Shadid and his colleague Steve Fainaru — last seen at this blog cruising the Sunni Triangle with a bunch of Saddam-loving Iraqi Army recruits — have a long story in today’s Washington Post that reviews the transformation of Iraq into the new, juiced-up Lebanon:

The picture they paint is chaotic, thuggish and utterly detached from the political bickering now under way in the Green Zone — which might just as well be happening on another planet. The militias have already adopted their own constitution, which is loosely modeled on the one developed for the streets of South Central Los Angeles by the Crips and the Bloods:

Cakewalk Defered

WASHINGTON — The Army is planning for the possibility of keeping the current number of soldiers in Iraq — well over 100,000 — for four more years, the Army’s top general said Saturday.

I Was Looking Back to See…

Somewhere out there in the American expanse, beyond the polls and beneath (or above) the Rush Limbaugh vs. Michael Moore radar, there are tens of thousands of men and women and children who do just that. There are the Soldiers’ Angels and Any Soldier, the Wounded Warrior Project, the veterans affairs groups, Girls Scouts and Cub Scouts, the devoutly patriotic and, like Bair, just plain people of goodwill who want to help out

After I Have Spoken, You May Mock

Rise with me and I shall speak; then after I have spoken, you may mock. As for me, is my complaint to man? And why should not my spirit be short? Turn toward me and be astonished, and put your hand on your mouth. And if I remember, I am dismayed; and trembling seizes on my flesh.

Why do the wicked live? They grow old, and become mighty in power. Their seed is established with them before their face, and their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are in peace, without fear; nor is God’s rod on them. His bull passes semen and does not fail; his cow calves and does not miscarry. They send their little ones out as a flock; and their children dance. They lift up voice at the timbrel and lyre, and rejoice at the sound of the flute. They spend their days in good, and in a moment go down to Sheol. And they say to God, Depart from us, for we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways.

What is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what do we profit if we entreat Him? Behold, their good is not in their hand! The counsel of the wicked is far from me. How often is the lamp of the wicked put out, and their calamity comes on them! He shares out pangs in His anger; they are as straw before the wind, and as chaff that the tempest steals away. God stores up his iniquity for his sons; He repays him, and he knows. His eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty.

He also says in Hosea, I will call those Not My people, My people! And those not beloved, Beloved! “And it shall be, in the place where it was said to them, You are not My people, there they will be called, “Sons of the Living God.” Blessed are the peacemakers! For they shall be called sons of God.

But Isaiah cries on behalf of Israel, “If the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved.” For He is bringing the matter to an end, and having been cut short “in righteousness,” “because the Lord” “will do a thing cut short” “on the earth.” And as Isaiah has said before, “Except the Lord of hosts left a seed to us, we would have become as Sodom, and we would have become as Gomorrah.”

What then shall we say? That the nations not following after righteousness have taken on righteousness, but a righteousness of faith; but Israel following after a Law of righteousness did not arrive at a Law of righteousness? Why? Because it was not of faith, but as of works of Law. For they stumbled at the Stone-of-stumbling, as it has been written, “Behold, I place in” “Zion a Stone-of-stumbling,” “and a Rock-of-offense,” “and everyone believing on Him will not be shamed.”

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, He according to His great mercy having regenerated us to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, having been kept in Heaven for you the ones in the power of God being guarded through faith to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time; in which you exult; yet a little while, if need be, grieving in manifold trials, so that the proving of your faith, much more precious than perishing gold, but having been proved through fire, may be found to praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ; whom having not seen, you love; in whom not yet seeing, but believing, you exult with joy unspeakable and being glorified, obtaining the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls. About which salvation the prophets sought out and searched out, prophesying concerning the grace for you, searching for what, or what sort of time the Spirit of Christ made clear within them; testifying beforehand of the sufferings belonging to Christ, and the glories after these. To whom it was revealed that not to themselves, but to us they ministered the same things, which now were announced to you by those having preached the gospel to you in the Holy Spirit sent from Heaven; into which things angels long to look into.

Because of this, having girded up the loins of your mind, being sober, perfectly hope on the grace being brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ, as children of obedience, not fashioning yourselves to your former lusts in your ignorance, but according to the Holy One who has called you, you also become holy in all conduct; because it has been written, “Be holy,” “because I am holy.”

Having purified your souls in the obedience of the truth through the Spirit to unpretended brotherly love, love one another fervently out of a pure heart, being regenerated, not by corruptible seed, but incorruptible, through the living Word of God, and remaining forever. Because “all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of men as the flower of grass; the grass was dried, and its flower fell out, but the Word of the Lord remains forever.” And this is the Word announced as gospel to you.

Then laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil words, as newborn babes desire the pure soul-nourishing milk, that you may grow by it; if indeed you “tasted” “that the Lord is good;” to whom having drawn near, a living Stone, indeed having been rejected by men, but chosen by God, precious; you also as living stones are being built a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Because of this, it is also contained in the Scripture: “Behold,” I lay in Zion” an elect, “precious Stone,” “a Corner-foundation;” “and the one believing in Him shall not be ashamed, never!” Then to you who believe belongs the preciousness. But to disobeying ones, He is the “Stone which those building rejected; this One became the Head of the Corner,” and a Stone-of-stumbling, and a Rock-of-offense” to the ones stumbling, being disobedient to the Word, to which they were also appointed.

But you are “an elect race,” “a royal priesthood,” “a holy nation,” “a people for possession,” so that “you may openly speak of the virtues” of the One who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; you who then were “not a people, but now are the people” of God; “the one not pitied then but now pitied.” Beloved, I exhort you as pilgrims and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul; having your behavior good among the nations, in that which they speak against you as evildoers; by observing your good works, they may glorify God in a day of visitation.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Intelligent Design Yet Again.

This is one of those stories that rate right up there with the Christian Coalition donating money to an anti gambling effort run by a lobbyist for another gambling outfit.

One has to wonder if organized Christianity will ever, ever get a clue. I cannot imagine that they are so poor that they have to take money from people with such backgrounds, and so one must assume that expediency is more important to these people in advancing an agenda, other than the one Great Commission that they were commissioned to do. I wish the proponents of Intelligent Design would start showing some signs of it.

The Discovery Institute has a carefully crafted, poll-tested message, lively Web logs – and millions of dollars from foundations run by prominent conservatives like Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, Philip F. Anschutz and Richard Mellon Scaife.

Anti-evolution crusader Phillip Johnson, dedicated his 1997 book, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, to “Roberta and Howard, who understood ‘the wedge’ because they love the Truth.”

* Note the title of the book. This is not an attempt to put forth another theory, it is an attempt to discredit one, which is not necessarily in and of itself a bad thing, yet for Christians the need to honest and open is, especially when you are tied so directly to worldly politics, and antagonizing the very ones you should be reaching out to.

According to Group Watch, in the 1980s Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr. was a member of the highly secretive far-Right Council for National Policy, an organization that included Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, Major General John K. Singlaub and other Iran-Contra scandal notables, as well as former Klan members like Richard Shoff. Ahmanson, heir to a savings and loan fortune, is little reported on in the mainstream U.S. press. But, English papers like The Independent are a bit more forthcoming on Ahmanson’s politics.

The Christian community isn’t just who is alive,” Mrs. Ahmanson said. “Christians believe that we are in communion with the living and the dead….”

We seem to have two disjuncts here, one, the Son of God lived in poverty, and two the dead are those who do not follow Christ in announcing the Kingdom of God. Since most Christians do not understand the concept of the Kingdom of God they rarely talk about it, beyond a few mentions in Liturgy.

The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, a Roman Catholic priest and former Lutheran minister, wrote its founding statement and other neoconservatives joined an advisory board. (In addition to Father Neuhaus, the institute’s board of directors currently includes Mary Ellen Bork, wife of Judge Robert H. Bork, Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard and Fox News, and Michael Novak of the American Enterprise Institute.)…

Ms. Knippers, who spoke during two interviews in the last three months, said that during the 1980’s the institute’s initial budget of about $300,000 came entirely from a few conservative foundations, including the Scaife family foundations, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation as well as from the Ahmansons’ philanthropic arm Fieldstead & Company.

“The I.R.D. is a kind of parallel universe that upholds the conservative standpoint in the world of religion,” Mr. Schambra said. “It is no different in that sense from what the National Association of Scholars is for University Professors or the Federalist Society is for lawyers,” he said, referring to two other groups backed by the same foundations.

And answering, John said, Master, we saw someone casting out demons on Your name, and we stopped him because he does not follow with us. And Jesus said to them, Do not forbid, for whoever is not against us is for us.

The Nixon White House courted Scaife, but he was appalled by the spectacle of Watergate, and his paper advocated Nixon’s impeachment in March 1974. “My country comes first, my party comes second,” Scaife explained.

David Abshire at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and William Baroody Sr. at the American Enterprise Institute exposed Scaife to a world of intellectuals and political activism that he would not have seen without his ties to their organizations. Later Feulner cultivated Scaife assiduously, put him on the Heritage Board in 1985, then accepted a position on the board of the Sarah Scaife Foundation. Scaife has been vice chairman of Heritage’s board since 1992.

For all intents and purposes, this is another Karl Rove driven, Neocon issue. It will do nothing but divide the people for the gain of the few. It is a political straw man without doubt, so I would counsel the left to resist it at the local level through their own churches, whose denomination may or may not fit in with the Reconstructionist movement. I would suggest that the scientist at Discovery, Mr. Behe etc., stick to science and their own faith, which is being subverted for a political agenda, perhaps reviewing the teaching of Constantine the Great.

The end of the beginning.

Remember when the GOP almost cannibalized Specter? That was the most nationally visible beginning. More probably, it was the 2000 South Carolina Primary. The various GOP congresscriters speaking out against the Administration’s policy in Iraq was another sign. Bush’s Social Security “reform” slamming into a wall of opposition stronger even than the unreasoning fury against Clinton’s healthcare plan was an ominious shift in the political landscape. But with McCain’s revenge, snipping the gonads off of the organizers of Bush’s fundamentalist base, it’s no longer beginning. …

This links to real interesting summation of the insider dealings going on within Christian Coalition, and Rlaph Reed and Abramoff rippomg off the Indians in a anti-Gambling scheme.

I wish Christians in general would remember that God is more forgiving than people, and when you cheat, lie, steal, and kill it reflects on all of us, as well as yourself. I think we all need to remember that Christianity isn’t about “me”.

DOD Goes Snarky

The America-Hating… Department of Defense?

Here’s an absolute jewel (scroll to page 74 of the .pdf):

The only way to understand the motivations of an opponent is by having a real understanding of the historical and religious framework that has molded his culture. It is clear that Americans who waged the war and who have attempted to mold the aftermath have had no clear idea of the framework that has molded the personalities and attitudes of Iraqis. Finally, it might help if Americans and their leaders were to show less arrogance and more understanding of themselves and their place in history. Perhaps more than any other people, Americans display a consistent amnesia concerning their own past, as well as the history of those around them.

There’s a beautifully understated exasperation to those last two sentences that does my heart good. Too bad (a) it took the Pentagon to say it, and (b) the commander-in-chief will never read it.

Via Justin Logan.

Informed Comment

US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s apparent belief that Iran might be helping the radical Sunni fundamentalists in Iraq to kill Shiites is frankly nuts. But if there is anything more nuts, it is Iranian Supreme Jurisprudent Ali Khamenei’s counter-charge that the US military is secretly blowing things up in Iraq and blaming insurgents, so as to create a pretext to stay in Iraq.

Hey, Ali, the US Department of Defense doesn’t want to have to keep 138,000 troops in Iraq. They only probably want to keep a division there (say 20,000 men). So they aren’t blowing up all those bombs (including the ones that kill US troops) so that they have to remain overstretched and suffering in Iraq!

And, Don, radical Khomeinist Shiites don’t give bombs to radical Salafi Sunnis to use on Iraqi Shiites.

Jehosaphat, can we live in the real world here, folks? It’s like the inmates run the asylum.”

If you read the article all the way through you will notice the movement of the differing parties trying to come to some sort of compromise. It is not a process that can be rushed.

One should also note that almost all the parties to the constitutional negotiations want American forces to leave, as well as the American left and old right. I would imagine that the neocons in the two parties are the only ones still deluding themselves.

I think the antiwar movement, if it wants to have any real lasting impact will channel its’ energy into changing the letter and the spirit of the laws in the United States that do not prevent this stupidity from occurring in the first place. Peace starts at home. Amend your Constitution, abolish the War Powers act, and generally make it impossible for a President to go to war on the pretexts of preemptive and preventive wars.

In the end my friends, no matter how America was seduced into Iraq, you are quite pregnant with it, and your choices are to abort or carry to term, but you shall not regain your virtue with a paternity suit against its’ neocon father. We may have no choice but to redeem ourselves with the child. In either case, we are going to carry this load for a long time, and no time table for withdrawal is going to change that either.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Oil to Euro Correlation

Asia Times Online :: Daily Forex Report:

“If you think there is extreme speculation in crude, it might be a good reason your average trader is unloading euro. Why? Over the past month we have seen a very tight correlation between the movement of the euro and crude prices. In fact, our simple calculations show a correlation of positive 83.3%. ”

Another Penrose Drain Moment

Trade wars can lead to shooting wars By Henry C K Liu

“Suddenly, socio-economic Darwinism of survival of the fittest, celebrated in the United States since its founding, is no longer welcome by US policymakers when the US is no longer the fittest and the survival of US hegemony is at stake. To many in the US, particularly the militant neo-conservatives, international trends of socio-economic Darwinism now need to be stopped by war. “

But with wage parity, the Chinese economy will be five times the size of the US economy, a prospect not welcomed by the US geopolitical calculations. It was its superior economy that enabled the US to emerge as victor in the two world wars and to prevail in the Cold War.

Christian Nation, Ethical Nation, and the Cow Jumped Over the Moon Nation

WITH the percentage of American troops in Iraq who are National Guard or Reserve forces estimated at 40 percent, one in five National Guard members have no health care. The U.S. Government Accountability Office further estimates that this number rises to 40 percent when accounting for junior enlisted men and women. There are approximately 6,100 California National Guard members currently serving overseas in active duty.

Pegging the Bogosity meter to the max!

Texas official promises Iraq vet in-state tuition

I posted this up because everyone got there knickers in a knot,
and were leering down the lane like a luntic. Can two rite gud.

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson late Thursday announced Carl Basham, 27, of Austin, qualifies for a waiver.

“It’s been a pretty good day to help one Marine,” said Patterson, himself a retired Marine.

But Patterson says Basham changed his official residence to Austin more than a year ago.

The veteran has been registered to vote in Texas since 1998.

Basham also meets two waiver requirements, he has a valid will in Texas, plus he’s had a vehicle registered in Texas since 2001, according to Patterson.

Careful With That Ax EZ

Looking back over the posting I have done since I thought I might re-engage in political debate I have noticed a tendency to slide away from some of the things that are the core to my being, and so I have decided that I will withdraw from political commentary on partisan issues that do not ultimately affect my faith.

Over the last month or so I have spent an inordinate amount of time in trying to get back up to speed in policy issues, and politics is a very nuanced endeavor, which also requires some time to think about, and ultimately, formulate a concrete view about any given issue.

Unfortunately, American political debate is not really based on anything resembling principles, and each side is just as likely to hold to any given principle on any given issue, with equal inconsistency to that principle on the next issue, as is the other side. The only real consistency is that of opposing the other partisan’s side of any given issue. Issues are convenient dividers because they do not require anything but the convenience of opportunity to the one holding any particular opportunistic view.

Part of the problem of course is perceptions that do not comport to the reality of a situation, which is hardly confined to politics, and in fact is probably ubiquitous to Western man, and so permeates his institutions. Perhaps this explains the atheistic materialist’s hostility to Christianity in particular, because the perception of what Christianity is, or should be, and what it has produced, are quite at odds with each other.

A cursory reading of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and the public perception of America’s role in the world by Americans, in specific and the world in general, and one will note the dramatic disjunct between the two as well, although it is doubtful that many Americans can see it themselves, and so Americans don’t understand the underlying hostility of the world to the United States. What ever the good will generated after World War Two was when America actually allowed some self determination to nations that it had large military forces in, followed a slow decline along with the adherence to those principles by America for opportunistic, capitalistic exploitation, under the rubric of the Cold war.

That Christianity suffers the same fate is not surprising as it has lead the way, and the stagnation of the Western nations reflects Christianity’s’ own stagnation, writ large. Most Christians remain, as do most of the world’s people of whatever other faiths and philosophies, generally decent people that wish to raise their children and provide a better life for them than they themselves in the West enjoyed, or endured as the case may be, in the rest of the World.

Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian heritage and philosophy are very useful for those who are on the ascent, but apparently it leaves those on the top with nothing much left to do but maintain power, and meddle in the affairs of other people, because that is what the Greco-Roman aspect of the equation is all about, achieving and maintaining power, and so they manipulate the Judeo-Christian aspect of Western thought to do so. Unfortunately, this manipulation of the reasoning process is not exclusive to the political spectrum, as that is the very woof and warp the Church hierarchy, which has historically manipulated and used, and continues to use today, and has thus taught the politicians more about compelling certain behaviors in individuals than the other way around.

Given the situation of the teachings of the Churches superimposed on, and juxtaposed to, the teaching of the Christ and one sees the same behavior of thinking on the fundamental principles of the Christ within the Christian community as one sees within the body politic of the United States. It is hardly any wonder then that the secularists despise Christians, although their own ignorance does not allow them to distinguish between individual and institutional thinking in this anymore than in a political sense either. Christianity adheres to the form of Christ’s Church while discarding the principles of it for the Greco-Roman principles of the secularists. Partisanship and schism are not the root of the problem, they are branch and bough of the root of historic personalities making decisions based on convenience and not principle.

Instead of wasting my time in the tree, I shall climb down from it and begin looking for an ax with which to chop it down, because I have concluded that it is similar to a Tallow tree that is both old and rotten in the center. It has provided a shady resting place for eating fallen apples, true, but the world has become a smaller place and we can no longer afford to risk it falling on the house we al live in.

Is Your Boss a Psychopath?

…Robert Hare is the creator of the Psychopathy Checklist. The 20-item personality evaluation has exerted enormous influence in its quarter-century history. It’s the standard tool for making clinical diagnoses of psychopaths — the 1% of the general population that isn’t burdened by conscience….

According to the Canadian Press and Toronto Sun reporters who rescued the moment from obscurity, Hare began by talking about Mafia hit men and sex offenders, whose photos were projected on a large screen behind him. But then those images were replaced by pictures of top executives from WorldCom, which had just declared bankruptcy, and Enron, which imploded only months earlier. The securities frauds would eventually lead to long prison sentences for WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers and Enron CFO Andrew Fastow.

“These are callous, cold-blooded individuals,” Hare said.

“They don’t care that you have thoughts and feelings. They have no sense of guilt or remorse.”

Now I’m not not mentioning any names…

But here is a short test.

Via /.

Mac OS X security fix breaks 64-bit code -Fixed

Update Apple’s most recent Mac OS X Security Update, released on Monday, causes 64-bit applications to malfunction, it has emerged.

However, the Mac maker today issued a fix for the problem, posting Security Update 2005-007 version 1.1 via its Software Update tool.

Ah the complexity of elegance.

Exploit for unpatched IE vuln fuels hacker fears | The Register

Microsoft is investigating an IE security bug amid fears that a hacker attack based on the vulnerability is imminent. A flaw in Microsoft DDS Library Shape Control COM object (msdds.dll) is at the centre of the security flap.

Security researchers warn that msdss.dll might be called from a webpage loaded by Internet Explorer and crash in such a way that allows hackers to inject potentially hostile code into vulnerable systems. That’s because IE attempts to load COM objects found on a web page as ActiveX controls, as is the case with msdds.dll. A programming object is not supposed to be used in this way. So hackers might be able to take control of systems by tricking users into visiting a maliciously constructed web site. US-CERT warns that exploit code to do this is already available but Microsoft said it’s not aware of any attacks.

he SANS Institute’s Internet Storm Centre has upped its alert status to yellow because of concerns that “widespread malicious use of this vulnerability is imminent”.

The links are at the Reg.

Donklephant Promoting Democracy

Donklephant has some relatively good news here.

Eide Neurolearning Blog: Brain of the Blogger

Via Kevin Drum

But you knew this already, didn’t you?

Monk who united faithful is murdered in church

Christian leaders have paid tribute to an internationally celebrated apostle of church unity, Brother Roger, 90, who was stabbed to death in front of 2,500 young people in his own church in Taizé, Burgundy.

Pope Benedict yesterday led tributes to the Lutheran Brother Roger, which were echoed by Christian leaders all over the world. The Pope spoke of a “sad and terrifying” attack on a man dedicated to peace and healing the divisions of humanity. He said he had received a “moving and friendly” letter from Brother Roger on the day of his murder.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams said: “This is an indescribable shock. Brother Roger was one of the best-loved Christian leaders of our time and hundreds of thousands will be feeling his loss very personally, and remembering him in prayer and gratitude.”

At the entrance to the Church of Reconciliation in Taizé is a sign in many languages, which reads: “Let all who enter here be reconciled, brother with brother, sister with sister, nation with nation.”

Global warming: Will you listen now, America?

“‘The question is how much damage will be done before we start taking concrete action,’ Mr McCain said at a press conference in Anchorage. ‘Go up to places like we just came from. It’s a little scary.’ Mrs Clinton added: ‘I don’t think there’s any doubt left for anybody who actually looks at the science. There are still some holdouts, but they’re fighting a losing battle. The science is overwhelming.”

Man jailed in German 9/11 case retrial. 19/08/2005. ABC News Online

A court in Germany has jailed the only man convicted over the September 11 attacks for seven years for membership of a terrorist organisation.

An earlier conviction and sentence were set aside by the Supreme Court and a retrial was ordered.

Antiwar Populism: The Floodgates Open-

Saturday, September 24
Massive March, Rally & Anti-war Fair
Gather 11:00AM at the Washington Monument

Sat., Sept. 24 – Operation Ceasefire Concert
Sun., Sept. 25 – Interfaith Service, Grassroots Training
Mon., Sept. 26 – Grassroots Lobby Day and Mass Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Disobedience

Buy beleaguered, overworked White House aides enough drinks,” says one wag, and

“They describe a president whose public persona masks an angry, obscenity-spouting man who berates staff, unleashes tirades against those who disagree with him and ends meetings in the Oval Office with ‘get out of here!’ In fact, George W. Bush’s mood swings have become so drastic that White House e-mails often contain ‘weather reports’ to warn of the president’s demeanor. ‘Calm seas’ means Bush is calm while ‘tornado alert’ is a warning that he is pissed at the world.”

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
JUNE 16, 2005

Mr. ABERCROMBIE (for himself, Mr. JONES of North Carolina, Mr. KUCINICH,
Mr. PAUL, Mr. MEEHAN, Ms. WOOLSEY, and Ms. LEE) introduced the
following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International
Relations, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services,
for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case
for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the
committee concerned

JOINT RESOLUTION

Requiring the President to develop and implement a plan
for the withdrawal of United States Armed Forces from
Iraq, and for other purposes.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives 1
of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

EZSmirkzz Aug 16-18, 2005

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Perrspectives: Support the Troops

Perrspectives: Support the Troops

Hat tip to the TPMCafe crowd for this. More resources for the troops. Yeah I will link it.

This is one of those things that humbles you since I read Perrspectives, and alas Mudville Gazette too. Sheesh.

Billmon – The 51st State (Or the ethics of the DoJ)

The New Pravda has fingered one of the unnamed U.S. government officials implicated in the AIPAC spy scandal — while bending over backwards to make it clear the whole thing is really just a great big fuss about nothing. I mean, we’re talking about Israel, for Christ’s sake, not some foreign country.

On the face of it, it’s hard to grasp the legal logic for giving USG-01, USG-02 and DoD employees A and B a pass from prosecution (I kept waiting for the indictment to mention Little Cats C, D and E, but apparently the U.S. Attorney’s Office doesn’t read Dr. Seuss.) In Satterfield’s case, for example, the indictment clearly states he leaked classified information — including secret stuff about Al Qaeda — to Rosen, who then passed it along to the Israelis.

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The Ethics of Judge Roberts

By Jeff Berman From: Supreme Court Watch

So a judge decides she’s going to retire and wants to interview with a law firm to land a job that will set her up for the rest of her life. She talks to a firm with a case on her docket and neither recuses herself nor obtains a waiver from the opposing party. Sounds like a pretty big ethical violation. And, in fact, it is.

So John Roberts had a case before him in which the President was a defendant and the case involved the limits on the President’s power. The President calls and says, “Hey, John, I’d like you to pop over to the White House and talk about a job that will set you up for the rest of your life.” Roberts goes for the job interview but doesn’t recuse himself from the Presidential power case nor does he obtain a waiver from the opposing party.

How does John Roberts explain it? He hasn’t. How does the White House explain it? They say there was “no conflict whatsoever.” Three leading legal ethicists disagree.

Don’t ya just love this White House’s take on ethics?

Oh, and by the way, Roberts cast the deciding vote in the case, coming down to the right of Scalia and Thomas in his opinion.

This land is their land,
this land is their land,
from the redwood forest….

The Human Side of War

I am creating another category of links that will point to people and organizations that are helping soldiers as individuals, the wounded and their families with readjusting to life with tramatic injuries. I make no endorsements of any political office holder, businessman, or any of their positions. If you follow the link below to The Mudville Gazette, and scroll down, on the right hand side there are other links to other projects that may be more in line with what you wish to do. Thanks in advance, EZ.

The “Wounded Warrior” project seeks to assist those men and women of our armed forces who have been severely injured during the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the world. Many of the injuries are traumatic amputations, gunshot wounds, burns and blast injuries that will retire these brave warriors from military service.

The Soldiers’ Angels was started by a self-described “ordinary mother” of an ordinary young man turned hero, Sgt. Brandon Varn. Brandon was deployed in Iraq and has since honorably completed his mission and has returned back to his proud and loving family.

In the summer of 2003, he wrote home expressing his concern that some soldiers did not receive any mail or support from home. Being a caring and loving mother, she decided not to allow a situation like that to continue. She contacted a few friends and extended family to ask if they would write to a soldier or two.

Sergeant Brian Horn from LaPlata, Maryland, an Army Infantry Soldier with the 173rd Airborne Brigade was in the Kirkuk area of Iraq when he started the idea of Any Soldier to help care for his soldiers. He agreed to distribute packages, that came to him with “Attn: Any Soldier” in the address, to the soldiers who were not getting mail. Brian is in Afghanistan now, and Any Soldier Inc. continues with your support.

If you are a quilter or longarmer, I invite you to use your talents to show these brave young men and women how much we appreciate their sacrifice and service with something very American and very tangible: A War-Time Quilt of Valor.

This site provides one way to go about catching them in our QOV net of comfort and love and healing. If you want to do more than talk about supporting our troops, I invite you to take up your sewing implements and help make Quilts of Valor which DO make a difference in the road to recovery for our servicemembers. Catherine

Books for Soldiers — During the first Gulf War, several of my friends from school were in the reserves and were activated to fight the Iraqis. CNN reported that once the soldiers were deployed, they were faced with massive downtime and were restricted to their base due to the travel limitations set by the Saudi government.

I am a voracious reader and at the beginning of the Gulf War, I had a closet full of paperback books. Books that were not being used. So instead of selling them at the used book store, I packed them up in small care packages and sent them out to all the soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen I had addresses for.

The Fallen Patriot Fund of The Mark Cuban Foundation was established to help families of U.S. military personnel who were killed or seriously injured during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Financial resources are vital to enhancing the sustainability of the family unit who has suffered a loss because their loved one sacrificed him/herself for freedom. Within that group, grant recipients will be selected in accordance with criteria established by The Mark Cuban Foundation. All proceeds will be disbursed.

As of June 22, 2005, the Fallen Patriot Fund has awarded grants to 56 families totaling over $1,068,000

Operation Hero Miles was created by Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger in cooperation with close to a dozen United States Airlines in October, 2003. The program allows troops stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan to fly home on leave for free. It also gives family members of wounded servicemen and women free plane tickets to visit their loved ones recovering at military hospitals across the country. Operation Hero Miles gives ordinary citizens an opportunity to help our troops in a very direct way that makes a real difference in their lives.

The program is brilliant in its simplicity. Travelers donate their unused frequent flyer miles to the Pentagon and troops and families use them to get free tickets. In the first six months of the program, 540 million miles were donated – enough for 22,000 free tickets.

Tip of the hat to The Mudville Gazette, and Mr. and Mrs. GrayHawk, who despite their misguided political beliefs, (heh heh,) are decent human beings and whom without I could not have snarfed all the links. May God bless them. For my lefty friends a caveat, these sites tend to be conservative to the max, although not all of them are. In either case you are invited to snatch a link for your favorite project and tuck it into your blog or site as well. This is something we can all do that is positive, and healing, after the negativity and wounding inflicted on us all from those whom presume to rule, not govern the United States, and which pales in comparison to that of our troops.

US anti-war movement gains steam -BBC Reporter revealed as Tool

Story filed from the front lines of course,
DC that is
Swimming pools, and media stars
Y’all come back now, hear?

Speaking of Rats, I mean Judy in Di

You know, things are falling apart so fast on so many fronts that I am starting to compete with other great headline writers and riders too. Frank n Ernie watch out baby.

Judy in the clink
that’s where you are
with your outfit matching
those jail house bars
I try to sympathize
but your gig is plastic

Juan Cole Has a Point

David Satterfield, has been implicated in the AIPAC spy case. Satterfield is not known for being lock step with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. But I minded two things about this article in the NYT. First, the two persons it quotes on Satterfield, Indyk and Ross, both have a long association with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, which was set up by AIPAC as a think tank to promote Israeli interests in Washington. No critic of AIPAC is quoted in the article; none. Second, the article does not stop and consider how Iraqis are going to feel about this news. I mean, he is the deputy chief of mission, as I understand the description given by the NYT. If he did leak classified information to an Israeli lobby from the US Government, wouldn’t Iraqis be worried he was leaking to the Israelis from Baghdad? I mean, the US is always complaining that they are afraid anything they share with the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government goes straight to Iraq. I don’t know if Satterfield is guilty of anything, but an article about this issue should at least have involved one interview with an independent Iraqi politician about the meaning of it for the latter’s country.

So Chalabi passes info to Iran, and Satterfield passes it to Israel. America really needs to start spying on itself, so we know what everyone else does too.

I have a report of a bizarre, disturbing incident….

OK, there are two possibilities here: either John McCaslin, the “Inside the Beltway” columnist for The Washington Times, e-mails rough drafts of some of his work to right-wing blogs and then spends a week revising the e-mailed items before putting them in the paper — or he’s not above reading such blogs and doing a little unacknowledged “borrowing.”

Ok, there are two possibilities here; either I link and blockquote the whole article–or you go therre and read the whole thing there.

Avian Flu Bird Flocks Migrating By Mike Davis

The first bar-headed geese have already arrived at their wintering grounds near the Cauvery River in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. Over the next 10 weeks, 100,000 more geese, gulls and cormorants will leave their summer home at Lake Qinghai in western China, headed for India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and, eventually, Australia.

As the birds arrive in the wetlands of South Asia, they will excrete the virus into the water, where it risks spreading to migrating waterfowl from Europe, as well as to domestic poultry. In the worst-case scenario, this will bring avian flu to the doorstep of the dense slums of Dhaka, Kolkata, Karachi and Mumbai.

Chinese scientists, meanwhile, were horrified by the virulence of the new strain: when mice were infected they died even quicker than when injected with “genotype Z”, the fearsome H5N1 variant currently killing farmers and their children in Vietnam.

For most people standard hygene like washing your hands after physical contact, covering your mouth when you sneeze, and other such kindergarten lessons will help lessen the impact. Like governments however, viri exploit the weak and young, usually the poor weak and young, but apparently the US government will study this problem until it too blows up in their faces.

While I don’t like to, or want anyone else getting paranoid about this stuff, with the increase in international traffic it is only a matter of time before it shows up in N. America. So far I haven’t found any indication that it is morphing, but with non secured animal husbandry of bird stocks and hog stocks it probably is only a matter of time.

Operation Truth – Home

Nothing else need be said.

via dKos

Greedy Terrorists

Moviegoers know that the bad guys never run an efficient operation. There’s always some double-cross, or embezzlement, or various hijinks that throw a wrench in the gears. They’re the bad guys after all, and that’s what bad guys do. So much the worse for them. Anyway, in the January issue of Strategic Insights, Jacob Shapiro wrote a fun—and probably useful—paper called “The Greedy Terrorist,” which essentially argues that the same sort of inefficiencies plague terrorist networks too.

Maybe a little to heady for the Atilla and Attila boys, but for the rest of you it is written in English.

College tells veteran he is not a Texan

AUSTIN – Carl Basham was born in Beeville, registered to vote in Travis County in 1998, holds a Texas driver’s license and does his banking in Austin.

So he was shocked when Austin Community College told him a few weeks ago that he didn’t qualify as a Texas resident “for tuition purposes.” Basham, a former Marine corporal, said he was even more shocked when officials told him why: After two tours of duty in Iraq, he’s been out of the state too long to qualify.

“They told me that I have to physically live in the state of Texas for at least a year,” Basham said in an interview Tuesday. “It kind of hurts.” Austin Community College officials were unable to specify why Basham isn’t considered a Texas resident, only that he didn’t meet state requirements as determined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. A spokeswoman said privacy laws prevent a discussion of Basham’s case.”

UPDATE: The guy enlisted in Louisianna, which usually causes a problem if you try to go to school in Texas. I am not sure what repurcussions this will have on his Texas Veteran benefiits. It may pose a problem for the state as so many people have moved to Texas, to amend the criteria may bring a flood of veterans seeking Texas specific benefits to veterans.

I also fixed the loginname. Sorry about that.

Ed Note: login:boswellksmythe@hotmail.com PW: kma2bill

Soldiers sent to war ‘on a pack of lies’

After the formality was completed, the families’ solicitor, Phil Shiner and two of the bereaved parents involved in the case held a press conference on the front steps of the Royal Courts of Justice.

Tom Keys was killed in Al Majar, near Basra, on June 24, 2003, while serving with the Royal Military Police. His father said they would not be at court today “if weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq”.

He read out a list of 10 of the 17 soldiers who lost their lives.

Rose Gentle, from Pollok, Glasgow, whose 19-year-old son Gordon, of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra on June 28, 2004, said her son was sent to Iraq “on a pack of lies”.

“Only Love Can Break Your Heart”

When you were young
and on your own
How did it feel
to be alone?
I was always thinking
of games that I was playing.
Trying to make
the best of my time.

But only love
can break your heart
Try to be sure
right from the start
Yes only love
can break your heart
What if your world
should fall apart?

I have a friend
I’ve never seen
He hides his head
inside a dream
Someone should call him
and see if he can come out.
Try to lose
the down that he’s found.

But only love
can break your heart
Try to be sure
right from the start
Yes only love
can break your heart
What if your world
should fall apart?

I have a friend
I’ve never seen
He hides his head
inside a dream
Yes, only love
can break your heart
Yes, only love
can break your heart

Neil Young

U.S. soldier chronicles abuse, hard times in Iraq

Reuters AlertNet – U.S. soldier chronicles abuse, hard times in Iraq

LOS ANGELES, Aug 17 (Reuters) – The torture and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. troops was widespread and not limited to the high-profile cases at Abu Ghraib prison, according to a former soldier who participated in an interrogation that she said “crossed a line.”

Kayla Williams, 28, a former sergeant with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division in Iraq and the author of a new book, said soldiers interrogating a naked Iraqi asked her to humiliate him. She also saw fellow soldiers throwing lit cigarettes at him and hitting him in the face.

“It’s one thing to make fun of someone and attempt to humiliate him. With words. That’s one thing. But flicking lit cigarettes at somebody — like burning him — that’s illegal,” Williams writes in “Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army,” which hits U.S. bookstores Sept. 5.

Via Antiwar

Cindy Sheehan’s Tragic Critics | John Nichols

“The supporters of this war have run out of convincing lies and effective emotional appeals. Now, they are reduced to attacking the grieving mothers of dead soldiers. Samuel Johnson suggested that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. But, with their attacks on Cindy Sheehan, the apologists for George Bush’s infamy have found a new and darker refuge.”

Via Antiwar

Britain ‘needs stronger identity’

How about Bush’s Terrier?

Rapture This

BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | China-Russia war games under way

The Russian and Chinese armed forces have begun their first joint military exercises.

Marines will storm beaches and paratroopers will descend in a mock invasion of an imaginary country.

Families of dead troops hope to see Blair in court

This is more important to Bush’s illegacy than the Iraqi Constitution.

Bush legacy rests on Iraqi constitution

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Baghdad hit by bloodiest bombings for month

Police say blasts that killed 38 were remotely detonated, marking change of tactics.

The US military said one of its helicopter gunships was involved in a firefight with insurgents in Baghdad on Tuesday.

However witnesses said the helicopter wounded dozens of civilians after firing on labourers who were sleeping on a hotel rooftop.

Met chief tried to stop shooting inquiry

Britain’s top police officer, the Scotland Yard commissioner Sir Ian Blair, attempted to stop an independent external investigation into the shooting of a young Brazilian mistaken for a suicide bomber, it emerged yesterday.

Sir Ian wrote to John Gieve, the permanent secretary at the Home Office, on July 22, the morning Jean Charles de Menezes was shot at short range on the London tube. The commissioner argued for an internal inquiry into the killing on the grounds that the ongoing anti-terrorist investigation took precedence over any independent look into his death.

According to senior police and Whitehall sources, Sir Ian was concerned that an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission could impact on national security and intelligence. He was also understood to be worried that an outside investigation would damage the morale of CO19, the elite firearms section working under enormous pressure.

Well, there you have it, we cannot afford to lower the morale of the CO19. Maybe that is the logic at the Pentanglegon as well, we cannot investigate the chain of Command at Abu Graib it might lower the Officer Corp.’s morale.

When Matt and Brett are hobnobbing with the SoD and such, it may just make it more difficult to ask a question or two, like how is it that discipline broke down to such an extent? And if disipline has broken down to such an extent then how is it that the troops continue to go into places like Fallujah. If they cannot be compelled to behave within Military norms in relatively safe areas, how do you compell them to go into battle?

The truth is there is nothing wrong with the troops morale and there is no breaking down in discipline. These two areas are the NCOs area of influence and the NCOs are doing their jobs. Now if Matt and Brett would pull their heads out of the SoDs ass they may discover that they were once reporters.

Here is a clue for the big boys, Those people were ordered top do what they did, and all the CYA BS is not fooling anyone.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Making Sausage

The New “Southern Stategy” of Why is it always SS?

The Green Knight: Targeting Ministers

Targeting Ministers

Pam links to a story about a black lesbian minister who’s being targeted for speaking out against bigotry.

[Rev. McCray] has received numerous threatening phone calls and e-mails. “One of the calls said, ‘One who ministers to lesbians and punks should watch their backs,’” McCray said. “Someone else said, ‘Your voice needs to be shut up.’ A couple days before the window was smashed, I got a call saying I needed to watch my back, and then the phone slammed down.”

Pam points out that both the Democratic Party and the progressive media (including the big lefty blogs) are basically silent on the issue that this story illustrates: namely, the divide over homosexuality that is ripping apart the black Christian community in the United States. Because the anti-gay bigot that Reverend McCray was criticizing was a black pastor, and the threats she’s received came directly from her criticism of him.

Pam’s right. White bloggers like me often feel awkward talking about black issues — partly because we’re afraid of getting things wrong. And the Democratic Party often just fails to talk about black issues — mostly because it figures it’s got the black vote locked up anyhow.

Donklephant Barred

Donklephant � Blog Archive � Barred

Actually it links to this story

The bar is embedded in the center of the galaxy’s spiral arms and cuts across the heart of it all where a supermassive black hole resides. The survey found that the bar is longer than thought and sits at a sharp angle to the galaxy’s main plane.

The only comment had some humor ” 1. Chuck Flink Says:
August 17th, 2005 at 8:23 am

How appropriate for your blog! Barred spiral galaxies are probably produced by the near collision of two smaller galaxies… as they attempt to pass, they get caught in each other’s pull. The “bar” is formed by the line between the two older centers of…. thought?

The centers come together in “donklephant”.”

I don’t know that much about donklephant but the allusion is good.

The Pundit’s War

American Prospect Online

William Kristol: The Strategist

Charles Krauthammer: W.’s Maggie

Victor Davis Hanson: The Analogist Apologist

Thomas L. Friedman: The Enabler

Christopher Hitchens: Trotsky in Baghdad

The point here is not just that the pundits’ predictions were wrong — or, in the case, of Friedman, right, but he chose to ignore them — or their post-facto justifications pathetic. The point is that in the sway of ideology, or historical imperative, or loyalty to the administration’s hawks, they misrepresented supposition as fact, excused the misconduct of administration officials, and neglected to consider the predictable consequences of the war they promoted. If we truly lived in the culture of consequences that conservatives profess to support, the role of these pundits in our national conversation would be greatly, and justly, diminished.

Yeah what Atrios said.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch …

By WatchfulBabbler

One of the best narratives I have read on what’s happening in Crawford.

To get to the President’s ranch from Dallas, just take 35-E south through Carl’s Corner, where its eponymous service station is a shrine to Willie Nelson and his biodiesel initiative; West, an ethnic town with the regionally-famous kolaches of the Czech Stop; and on through Waco, home of the Texas Rangers museum (the officers, not the ballplayers) and the remains of the Branch Davidian compound. Having helped serve papers on the Davidians when they were alive, it seemed best to go past that grim memorial and go straight on to TX-6, which leads (by way of an intersection bristling with perhaps more cameras than traffic control could account for) to the one-crossroads town of Crawford, nestled where the Piney Woods give way to the Hill Country — some of the most beautiful land in Texas. As you drive into town, a blinking sign warns you to slow down — “heavy traffic ahead”

Lone Star Rising

Whiskey Bar: Lone Star Rising

Today, however, I promise to think nothing but nice thoughts about Texas and Texans — particularly this Texan:

One of President Bush’s neighbors will allow use of his land by dozens of war protesters who have camped in roadside ditches the past 11 days, giving them more room and halving their distance from Bush’s ranch.

Fred Mattlage, an Army veteran, said he sympathizes with the demonstrators whose makeshift camp off the winding, two-lane road leading to Bush’s ranch has angered most residents. Mattlage said the group will be safer on his corner 1-acre lot.

“I just think people should have a right to protest without being harassed,” Mattlage told The Associated Press on Tuesday night. “And I’m against the war. I don’t think it’s a war we need to be in.”

What’s Wrong With Michelle Malkin’s Post on RU-486?

The Continuing Kelo Outrage

The Hillary snub (which wasn’t)

How the Christian Right can continue to be associated with these people is beyond me. Politics makes strange bedfellows, which is a nice way of saying whore.

Crocodile Kills HIV

Reuters.com

The crocodile’s immune system is much more powerful than that of humans, preventing life-threatening infections after savage territorial fights which often leave the animals with gaping wounds and missing limbs.

“They tear limbs off each other and despite the fact that they live in this environment with all these microbes, they heal up very rapidly and normally almost always without infection,” said U.S. scientist Mark Merchant, who has been taking crocodile blood samples in the Northern Territory.

Initial studies of the crocodile immune system in 1998 found that several proteins (antibodies) in the reptile’s blood killed bacteria that were resistant to penicillin, such as Staphylococcus aureus or golden staph, Australian scientist Adam Britton told Reuters on Tuesday. It was also a more powerful killer of the HIV virus than the human immune system.

via slashdot

Sun’s Linux killer shows promise

The Register

Like any new OS, if you haven’t got boxen, then you will probably want to keep the OS you have on your box and wait and see. You folks with farms may want to look into it.

Just so I don’t get involved in ANOTHER religious war, I think the OS you use is depndent to a large extent on which apps you need to run. Personally I don’t care. But if you like to play around with this stuff there is a new toy.

Net bulges with illegal animal auctions

The Register

The International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW) three-month probe showed that during one week punters could avail themselves of no less than 9,000 live animals or products on sites such as eBay. Many of them – up to 70 per cent, claims IFAW – are endangered species, provoking the organisation to condemn the “lucrative trade that is driving the world’s most endangered species to the brink of extinction and causing untold suffering”.

Mad Cow DCs

StealthBadger.net: Beef, fugu-style.

What they don’t understand is that with 35,454,000 cattle slaughtered in 2003 (data from here, look at commerciallivestockslaughter.xls, they’re pulling the trigger a little faster than once a second, 24 hours a day, for the entire year.

In Defense of Cindy Sheehan- by Justin Raimondo

“My message to Hitchens & Co. is simple: It won’t work, guys! Not this time. You’re cornered. Now stand and fight fair, or go slinking back to your holes – and stop smearing patriotic Americans.”

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Malkanize this!

Voices in the Wilderness Fined for Defying Sanctions

When in the course of human events

“Voices will not pay a penny of this fine. The economic sanctions regime imposed brutal and lethal punishment on Iraqi people. The U.S. government would not allow Iraq to rebuild its water treatment system after the U.S. military deliberately destroyed it in 1991. The U.S. government denied Iraq the ability to purchase blood bags, medical needles, and medicine in adequate supplies – destroying Iraq’s health care ystem.

For those of you living in a vacume the situation is not dramatically improved today. One has to wonder if it is the official policy of the United States government to fail as miserably at war as at peace. How long will you tread down the weak and the poor, be they domestic or foriegn? Has the government of the United States no shame?

Mockingbird Gruel- The More Things Change…

Big-Name Journalists Spar Over Sources at NYC Gathering:

“Cohen said that everybody got it wrong, that reporters are not CIA agents, and that you have to rely on your sources. ‘I don’t fault reporters for getting it wrong,’ he said. “

MOCKINGBIRD — The CIA begins recruiting American news organizations and journalists to become spies and disseminators of propaganda. The effort is headed by Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham is publisher of The Washington Post, which becomes a major CIA player. Eventually, the CIA’s media assets will include ABC, NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Copley News Service and more. By the CIA’s own admission, at least 25 organizations and 400 journalists will become CIA assets.>

Now that’s what I call a pundit. Oh yeah Richard, The Association for Responsible Dissent estimates that by 1987, 6 million people had died as a result of CIA covert operations. (2) Former State Department official William Blum correctly calls this an “American Holocaust.”

Summer for Soldiers

If this shoe fits then by all means take it off

I feel disgusted: certainly with our President, but with our Congress, our institutions, our media, our people, myself. We do not serve, and we really don’t care beyond a few crocodile tears and tut-tuts about those who do; and we do not seem to care about the utter waste, not just of 1,800 lives but of 10,000 wounds, and tens of thousands of Iraqis.

James Wolcott: Black August and Beyond

James Wolcott: Black August and Beyond

Because to snarf a phrase He actually knows stuff, unlike, say, me, who knows very little and covers it up with a lot of “clever remarks.”

Sorry sir, I meant no offense and to be honest did not have you remotely in mind when I wrote the piece.

“An Honest Politician in America” III

“An Honest Politician In America” II

Yahoo! Search Results for “An Honest Politician In America”

We didn’t find any Web pages matching the following criteria:

* Containing this query term: “An Honest Politician In America”

“An Honest Politician in America”

“An Honest Politician in America” – Google Search:

“Your search – ‘An Honest Politician in America’ – did not match any documents.

Peace Is In Your Head

There is still time for peace, and by peace I don’t mean the absence of war, I mean the absence of hostility toward one another because of their activity and speech, or a comma splice as the case may be. Every one of us makes a personal choice, to say or do something that can either continue to inflame any given situation, or act as oil on the water of conversation and events. When someone else cuts you off on the freeway it is your decision to escalate the situation by shooting the finger, or diffuse the situation by considering yourself lucky not to have been clipped, and so driving on without further ado you have decided for peace.

When things become polarized as they are now, we as individuals still have a responsibility to remain peaceful with all men so long as it up to us, especially if we claim to be Christians. If we are willing to acknowledge that we as individuals are not always right, then we should also be willing to acknowledge that as groups we are not always right. It is as humanly possible to share the wrong opinion as the right opinion on any issue, which in political reality may never be verified by subsequent events or policy either. So they are strongly held opinions, without the ability to affect change, except in the possessor of those opinions. It is the equivalent of trying to switch lanes to exit the freeway while the guy in the car in the next lane drives at the same speed next to you oblivious to your intentions until you miss the exit. It is not his fault however that he failed to discern your need and there is no need in you escalating the situation by flipping the finger. No matter what the other guy was thinking, and you don’t know what it was, you are in charge of your fingers.

It is a slightly simpler thing to know and understand the political motivations that underlie a person’s personal political beliefs than it is to know and understand them as people. Political pundits will reduce both the political positions and the people that hold those positions to insignificance for their entertainment, I suppose, and for that of their readers, but when it gets to pontificating on an opponents personal motivations and personality the pundits are projecting their own personal view onto their adversary, which may or may not be true. There is no end to the number of people that believe that their candle burns a little brighter if they blow everyone else’s out, which by the amount of invective they produce one may discern just what category of blowhard they are.

It is also one thing to listen to and read these opinions and quite another to internalize them as our own. If you cannot control what stays in your mind as an accurate reflection of the person or their views as opposed to those of these other sources then you perhaps ought not listen to, or read those person’s views anymore. Contrary to their popular and publicly spread opinions of themselves, the pundits are not smarter and more intuitive than you are. You still decide what you think, and you have a voice inside your own head that is just as intelligent as the one coming from outside of it, and that voice inside is the one that controls your ability to be peaceful with your fellow man.

There are ditto heads on the left and the right, and sadly the sum of the ditto heads is equal to the number of people who refuse to think and take responsibility for their own thoughts, and consequently their own actions. Their immoral and illegal behavior is always justified and rationalized as a response to someone else. In that thinking they expose their humanity for all to see, because they are plain wrong. They expose their servitude as well, in that they are slaves to someone else’s thoughts which have provoked them emotionally into action.

EZSmirkz Aug 11-16, 2005

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Malkanize this!

Voices in the Wilderness Fined for Defying Sanctions

When in the course of human events

“Voices will not pay a penny of this fine. The economic sanctions regime imposed brutal and lethal punishment on Iraqi people. The U.S. government would not allow Iraq to rebuild its water treatment system after the U.S. military deliberately destroyed it in 1991. The U.S. government denied Iraq the ability to purchase blood bags, medical needles, and medicine in adequate supplies – destroying Iraq’s health care ystem.

For those of you living in a vacume the situation is not dramatically improved today. One has to wonder if it is the official policy of the United States government to fail as miserably at war as at peace. How long will you tread down the weak and the poor, be they domestic or foriegn? Has the government of the United States no shame?

Mockingbird Gruel- The More Things Change…

Big-Name Journalists Spar Over Sources at NYC Gathering:

“Cohen said that everybody got it wrong, that reporters are not CIA agents, and that you have to rely on your sources. ‘I don’t fault reporters for getting it wrong,’ he said. “

MOCKINGBIRD — The CIA begins recruiting American news organizations and journalists to become spies and disseminators of propaganda. The effort is headed by Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham is publisher of The Washington Post, which becomes a major CIA player. Eventually, the CIA’s media assets will include ABC, NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Copley News Service and more. By the CIA’s own admission, at least 25 organizations and 400 journalists will become CIA assets.>

Now that’s what I call a pundit. Oh yeah Richard, The Association for Responsible Dissent estimates that by 1987, 6 million people had died as a result of CIA covert operations. (2) Former State Department official William Blum correctly calls this an “American Holocaust.”

Summer for Soldiers

If this shoe fits then by all means take it off

I feel disgusted: certainly with our President, but with our Congress, our institutions, our media, our people, myself. We do not serve, and we really don’t care beyond a few crocodile tears and tut-tuts about those who do; and we do not seem to care about the utter waste, not just of 1,800 lives but of 10,000 wounds, and tens of thousands of Iraqis.

James Wolcott: Black August and Beyond

James Wolcott: Black August and Beyond

Because to snarf a phrase He actually knows stuff, unlike, say, me, who knows very little and covers it up with a lot of “clever remarks.”

Sorry sir, I meant no offense and to be honest did not have you remotely in mind when I wrote the piece.

“An Honest Politician in America” III

“An Honest Politician In America” II

Yahoo! Search Results for “An Honest Politician In America”

We didn’t find any Web pages matching the following criteria:

* Containing this query term: “An Honest Politician In America”

“An Honest Politician in America”

“An Honest Politician in America” – Google Search:

“Your search – ‘An Honest Politician in America’ – did not match any documents.

Peace Is In Your Head

There is still time for peace, and by peace I don’t mean the absence of war, I mean the absence of hostility toward one another because of their activity and speech, or a comma splice as the case may be. Every one of us makes a personal choice, to say or do something that can either continue to inflame any given situation, or act as oil on the water of conversation and events. When someone else cuts you off on the freeway it is your decision to escalate the situation by shooting the finger, or diffuse the situation by considering yourself lucky not to have been clipped, and so driving on without further ado you have decided for peace.

When things become polarized as they are now, we as individuals still have a responsibility to remain peaceful with all men so long as it up to us, especially if we claim to be Christians. If we are willing to acknowledge that we as individuals are not always right, then we should also be willing to acknowledge that as groups we are not always right. It is as humanly possible to share the wrong opinion as the right opinion on any issue, which in political reality may never be verified by subsequent events or policy either. So they are strongly held opinions, without the ability to affect change, except in the possessor of those opinions. It is the equivalent of trying to switch lanes to exit the freeway while the guy in the car in the next lane drives at the same speed next to you oblivious to your intentions until you miss the exit. It is not his fault however that he failed to discern your need and there is no need in you escalating the situation by flipping the finger. No matter what the other guy was thinking, and you don’t know what it was, you are in charge of your fingers.

It is a slightly simpler thing to know and understand the political motivations that underlie a person’s personal political beliefs than it is to know and understand them as people. Political pundits will reduce both the political positions and the people that hold those positions to insignificance for their entertainment, I suppose, and for that of their readers, but when it gets to pontificating on an opponents personal motivations and personality the pundits are projecting their own personal view onto their adversary, which may or may not be true. There is no end to the number of people that believe that their candle burns a little brighter if they blow everyone else’s out, which by the amount of invective they produce one may discern just what category of blowhard they are.

It is also one thing to listen to and read these opinions and quite another to internalize them as our own. If you cannot control what stays in your mind as an accurate reflection of the person or their views as opposed to those of these other sources then you perhaps ought not listen to, or read those person’s views anymore. Contrary to their popular and publicly spread opinions of themselves, the pundits are not smarter and more intuitive than you are. You still decide what you think, and you have a voice inside your own head that is just as intelligent as the one coming from outside of it, and that voice inside is the one that controls your ability to be peaceful with your fellow man.

There are ditto heads on the left and the right, and sadly the sum of the ditto heads is equal to the number of people who refuse to think and take responsibility for their own thoughts, and consequently their own actions. Their immoral and illegal behavior is always justified and rationalized as a response to someone else. In that thinking they expose their humanity for all to see, because they are plain wrong. They expose their servitude as well, in that they are slaves to someone else’s thoughts which have provoked them emotionally into action.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Daily Kos: The birth of the VRWC

via Reclaim Democracy this is a must read for those wishing to rebuild the Democratic party.

Confidential Memorandum:
Attack of American Free Enterprise System
DATE: August 23, 1971
TO: Mr. Eugene B. Sydnor, Jr., Chairman, Education Committee, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
FROM: Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

This memorandum is submitted at your request as a basis for the discussion on August 24 with Mr. Booth (executive vice president) and others at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The purpose is to identify the problem, and suggest possible avenues of action for further consideration.

Dimensions of the Attack
No thoughtful person can question that the American economic system is under broad attack.1 This varies in scope, intensity, in the techniques employed, and in the level of visibility.

There always have been some who opposed the American system, and preferred socialism or some form of statism (communism or fascism). Also, there always have been critics of the system, whose criticism has been wholesome and constructive so long as the objective was to improve rather than to subvert or destroy.

But what now concerns us is quite new in the history of America. We are not dealing with sporadic or isolated attacks from a relatively few extremists or even from the minority socialist cadre. Rather, the assault on the enterprise system is broadly based and consistently pursued. It is gaining momentum and converts.

Sources of the Attack
The sources are varied and diffused. They include, not unexpectedly, the Communists, New Leftists and other revolutionaries who would destroy the entire system, both political and economic. These extremists of the left are far more numerous, better financed, and increasingly are more welcomed and encouraged by other elements of society, than ever before in our history. But they remain a small minority, and are not yet the principal cause for concern.

The most disquieting voices joining the chorus of criticism come from perfectly respectable elements of society: from the college campus, the pulpit, the media, the intellectual and literary journals, the arts and sciences, and from politicians. In most of these groups the movement against the system is participated in only by minorities. Yet, these often are the most articulate, the most vocal, the most prolific in their writing and speaking.

Moreover, much of the media-for varying motives and in varying degrees-either voluntarily accords unique publicity to these “attackers,” or at least allows them to exploit the media for their purposes. This is especially true of television, which now plays such a predominant role in shaping the thinking, attitudes and emotions of our people.

One of the bewildering paradoxes of our time is the extent to which the enterprise system tolerates, if not participates in, its own destruction.

The campuses from which much of the criticism emanates are supported by (i) tax funds generated largely from American business, and (ii) contributions from capital funds controlled or generated by American business. The boards of trustees of our universities overwhelmingly are composed of men and women who are leaders in the system.

Now I wonder just what former SDSers I’d get to do the slogging on the campuses. It would need to be a whore witz wit, with a background in this sort of thing. Yeah this is agood read. BTW Kos is looking for a PI.

Sad and True

The Burka

Atrios takes a lot of flack because he notices things like this, and of course it is easier to shoot up the hill too.

The Burka

There’s a lot of wisdom in this one sentence by MoDo:

The most painless way for Muslim men to prove that they have not abandoned Arab culture and adopted Western ways is to tighten the burka.

This is true of the current obsessions of our religious conservatives as well. Old chestnuts – adultery (by males, at least) and divorce are no longer especially important. In fact, for the most part, individual behavior is no longer all that important, at least not more important than policy. Conservative religious morality in this country is increasingly defined by support of certain policies – anti-gay, funneling government money into churches, school prayer, anti-abortion. Personal moral behavior, except for actually having an abortion (easy to hide if you do) or having gay sex (easy to avoid if you’re not actually gay, true for most people), is entirely left out of it.

It’s pretty damn easy to be moral when all it requires is worrying about the morality of other people and not actually adjusting one’s own behavior.

Yeah that old beam in the eye thing tends to sting when some else points it out, so I would imagine that has a lot to do with a lot of the invective that gets tossed at Atrios. What he doesn’t mention however is how easy it is for the politicians to exploit these things, and so by saying we support school prayer and In God We Trust on this here shiny new nickel, and we think abortion is a bad thing and all life is sacred yada yada yada during the election cycle these politicians stick a lot of votes in their pocket until a more convienient time.

Of course when a national or state politician promises to put prayer back into schools it never occurs to the voters that they can’t do that anyway. No matter how they slice and dice it, the local school board is the only body with that authority. The national government can stop them from doing it, but they cannot compel them to do it. These politicians never say which denomination’s prayers they are going to put in schools either, because the godless grubbers believe that the entire body of bamboozelment is one body. President Bush can support Intelligent Design in schools because he isn’t running, except from Cindy Sheehan. If he really wanted intelligent design being taught in schools he’d fund the no child left behind series..

Politicians like to talk about the sanctity of life too, as long as it is fetal life. Since I am one of those odd ball Christians that reads the Bible I don’t believe in ensoulment, as I’ve stated before so I oppose abortion with the same enthusiasm as I do executions and wars. Of course being a Christian I am constrained to using word to dissuade which leaves me so far oh for three. I am not worried about it overly much since Christ is batting clean up so I don’t have to throw my bat into the crowd either. But after the fetus leaves the womb its’ canon fodder, plain and simple. Depending on where this child is born and under what circumstance will have a lot to do with the reception it receives from the Christian community too. Yeah, God is forgiving so Christians don’t have to be.

Wars and executions don’t quite stack up as killing the innocent because only the guilty are executed, and bombs only fall on all volunteer military personnel*. Yeah that old time religion is pretty convenient. Politicians like to say what gets votes and they avoid the truth nearly as well as the clergy. Both of them rake in large sums of money fleecing the sheep. Politicians erect huge regulatory barriers to prevent churches doing anything really useful, and churches hire pedophiles so that they will. Nice racket if you can stomach it. I suppose they have junkets on islands in the sea together, so they can feed sea gulls alka seltzers out of sight too.

Of course who can vote against a gay basher? I mean it says right here in Leviticus. Like any of this stops them from pocketing billions in lobbyists graft. The sins of the king is no sin at tall, says right here in… .hmmm, maybe that’s on page twenty as well, I’ll get back to you. But like Atrios points out, hey adultery, well pahpahpah, boys will be boys, and slut is for women not men. Nope its OK to have a trophy bride so long as your current wife is dying of cancer, or kind of got left back home to take of that office in the district that really requires some one that can be trusted to watch it, by someone who needs to take their eyes of the balls in DC.

But then behavior isn’t important if your saved. I mean once saved always saved means never having to say your sorry. That’s how we know the politicians are saved. They are so saved in fact that anyone can look at them objectively and see just how sorry they are. Yeah I hate that (insert your Christian invective here) Atrios.

*Note: I have removed a remark here about the officer corp., which was blantantly false. Deepest apologies to any families of those troops whom I may have offended.

Balloon Juice

The Anti-War Left’s Perfect Weapon

I think John has made some pretty good points in his post, although there is really nothing new about Cindy Sheehan’s being an activist. She’s been at it for awhile. She doesn’t just belong to the Gold Star Families for Peace, she helped found it.

What has surprised me is the reaction on both the left and right to what is a perfectly American act of political statement. I don’t mean that they object or support her either, I mean the pure inventiveness of their posts. Margaret Thatcher once remarked she was OK with those who attacked her with personal insults because they no longer had any political arguments to make. Probably made it in front of “smells like Chita”, Reagan too, I don’t know. The postings that John refers to I believe reveal the decline of the intelligent thought behind an ad Hominem attack, without negating Mrs. Hatcher’s point whatsoever.

I have on occasion told my opponent in debate that if they were half as smart as they think they are they would be twice as smart as they actually are. Even so, a good ad Hominem is equally applicable to all people. My adversaries could have easily applied to me as well, but they didn’t think of it first. It only works when it is an unexpected observation of something that is plainly apparent once the observation is noted.

What is regrettable in the blogs however, should be verboten in the “professions” of the mass media. Rush and Al and anyone else that takes a cheap shot do so because they don’t have any other political point to be made. If everyone in the mainstream were to stop making poor at best ad Hominem, they would soon run out of things to say and be exposed as the over paid slogs that they are, CEOs, just without a corporation.

They could always blog of course, but then I would have to go find a real job myself. I suppose in that case I could write a column for a major news outlet, but then I can’t think of enough issues to obscure with rhetorical flourishes on my own and would wind up serfing the blogs for them anyway. That is what us whores do after all, the message is the medium.

Don’t ask me I don’t give a Damn, Iraq ain’t Viet Nam

You and I know that there are a lot of allusions to Viet Nam when discussing the war in Iraq. I supposes that we need to frame the debate in terms and conditions that are easily grasped by ourselves and our readers, and for the baby boomers the Viet Nam war is almost a lynch pin of their ideology. Our music, the counter culture, (though fondly remembered as such, springs from the 1950s beats,) the styles and fashions of the cultural war, as if it were a war in any other sense other than senseless. Iraq is quite different from Viet Nam. The Viet Nam war was a misguided policy built on false assumptions, the War in Iraq is a misguided policy built on false assumptions by people too smart to learn from the past. Viet Nam was ignorance, Iraq was stupidity.

In both cases the policy has inflamed large segments of the population against one another which, as previously, denigrates into Barnes’ yard scatology to advance a “look at me too position”. while adding little to the actual debate. As I said earlier the intellectual level of ad hominem has fallen dramatically, as one and all pile on the wagon with diverse insults back and forth between the left and right.

The only real insults in all of this is to the speaker’s own intelligence, For all the pomposity of the pundits and talking heads, they really aren’t anymore intellectually astute than those to whom they pontificate. They just like the endorphic buzz of having said something clever, that for all practical purposes rises to the level of a junior high school study hall. Of course those of us with a modest high school degree have to endure this intellectual bombast, because these purveyors of the obtuse have a college degree which allowed them to getting a job and write a political speech which had a turn of phrase for some politician on the way to the crime syndicate, and so now they work for TV, radio and the newspapers which fortunately are not beamed out into the universe as the previous two are, thus lowering the number of intelligent beings that may become exposed to the pundits idiocy. But, I digress.

Now I’ve done my part to advance Cindy Sheehan’s cause, because I believe that she has the right message and a right to express that message, and I think the antiwar/pro peace crowd has as much right to express itself as the pro war/antipeace crowd does theirs. I also think we need to keep it in perspective too. I have a problem with anyone asking the President why his children aren’t in Iraq, just as I do with anyone taking pot shots at him if they get busted drinking under age. What his children do and what they think is not up for public discussion. The President cannot control his children any more than his father could control him. He can’t draft them, and if they don’t want to go then they don’t have too. My son enlisted and so if doesn’t want to go to bad, I’ll see him when he gets back. I advised him not to enlist, but he made up his mind based on so many incalculables I am not aware of, and I respect his decision.( His mother informs me that he now understands my disdain for the super fine patriots that leave their flags flying outside twenty four hours a day in all sorts of weather until the flag is little more than a faded rag with streamers, so there is some gratification to his course of action.)

I am sure that there is some merit to the right’s complaints about the left in this, just as I am sure that there are merits to the left’s complaints about the right. I am sure of this because neither side has any principles, they only have issues of he said she said with which to beat each other, because there are no American principles involved in the Iraqi war. It cannot be argued that it was self defense, nor can it be passed off under the rubric of advancing democracy around the world, unless of course we have abandoned our own principle of a peoples right of self determination. Principles are sticky little things because they compel us to live within an ethical framework that others might not want, or be able to share.

One of the drawbacks of living in a two party system is the parties invariable end up on different sides of a principle when it come to the issues of the day. Abortion and Iraq are two sides of the same coin, and depending on who’s side you flip your channel too, will probably determine whether you countenance the killing of innocent Iraqis or an innocent fetuses. It really is a matter of convenience, which like all hypocrisy generates more heat than light. Politicians know this too, I suppose, so that is why they play both sides of the issues. While the American people are busy arguing and haranguing each other over their “issues”, the politicians are busy looting the American peoples’ tills in cohort with the corporate class. That is the ethics of the war in Iraq.

.

Computer Bugs, and Such

Flaw on Tuesday, worm by Sunday | The Register:

“Virus writers have created a worm that spreads using a Microsoft Plug-and-Play vulnerability disclosed only last week. The ZoTob worm exploits a security weakness detailed just five days prior to its arrival last weekend.”

RIAA admits CD-R more a threat than P2P

The Recording Industry Ass. of America has acknowledged that P2P file-sharing is less of a threat to music sales than bootleg CDs.

The RIAA’s chief executive, Mitch Bainwol, last week said music fans acquire almost twice as many songs from illegally duplicated CDs as from unauthorised downloads, Associated Press reports.

US Copyright Office Considering MSIE-only website

War of words heats up at Minuteman session

HoustonChronicle.com
:

“Rick Dovalina, past national president and current district director for the League of United Latin American Citizens, got into a verbal scuffle with Minuteman member Bill Braux, who became incensed after Dovalina took down his license plate number.

‘You have the right and I don’t?’ Dovalina shouted at Braux, who kept asking why he needed his license plate number.”

Big-Government Conservatives

Washinghands Post

And President Bush has tried it, declaring on numerous occasions that he expected spending restraint from Congress.

Yeah and force is always a last resort, too.

We bamboozled to the left
we bamboozled to the right
we bamboozled in the churches
we bamboozled dark to light.

Where’s Warren Harding when you need an honest Republican?

More Fitzgerald, Rove, and Plame news.

whatever already!

But perhaps even more importantly, Rove also claimed that he first learned about Plame’s employment with the CIA– not from a classified source– but rather from a journalist.

What has not been previously reported until now (a blog breaks news!?), is that not only could Rove not remember the name of the journalist who purportedly might have told him of Plame’s CIA employment, but he also claimed to remember virtually nothing about the circumstances of the purported conversation. He could not even recall whether the conversation took place on the phone or in person.

via dKos and Talk Left

Disabled and Dangerous Wingnuts

Roger Ailes:

“Here’s a flashback to Weldon’s fellow Regnery fraud, Michelle Malkin, confessing her unfamiliarity with the truth:”

There’s only one Maverick, and his name is James Garner

James Wolcott:

“Meanwhile, over or at Chris Matthews set, it was a regular laugh fest as the panel–Norah O’Donnell, Julia Reed, David Gregory, David Brooks–chuckled and chortled through segments about Bush’s vacation routine at Crawford and the anniversary of Beatlemania as if they were giddy on giggle water. Morally, intellectually, professionally, the Washington press corps seems to be enjoying a permanant vacation.”

Informed Comment

Monday, August 15, 2005:

“So this is the time Bush chooses, as he is mired in an intractable conflict in Iraq in which its Shiites are moving close to Iran, to intimate that he could take military action against Iran over its nuclear program — in an interview broadcast from Israel (which rejected the nuclear nonproliferation treaty and made hundreds of atomic bombs with British help). The Rove theory of looking active and carrying the fight to the enemy isn’t working as well in the Middle East as it did against poor John Kerry.”

Bush Against the Generals- by Justin Raimondo

I left the really good stuff over there, go read it.

Bush Against the Generals- by Justin Raimondo:

“It doesn’t matter if the majority of Americans overwhelmingly oppose the president’s war plans, just as long as organized opposition can be effectively neutralized. Is a housewife from Vacaville threatening to show up the president as a coward and a liar? Then smear her and make her the issue – anything to divert attention away from the president’s own cowardice and the monstrous immorality of his foreign policy. Is a four-star general standing in the way of the neocons? Then smear him, too, on trumped-up charges and haul him out of his office in disgrace. Is the antiwar movement beginning to gain momentum? Then bring out the smear artists and begin a media campaign of demonization.”

I suppose one advantage of being a libertarian is you can be honest about Democratic and Republican policy.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The St. Patrick’s Four and Resistance to the War in Iraq

via stealthbadger discovered through Howard Kurtz of the Washinghands Post.

Two years ago today, March 17, 2003, four peace activists in Ithaca, New York, poured their own blood on the walls, posters, windows, and a US flag at a military recruiting center in order to try to stop the imminent invasion of Iraq. They took action based on international law. Then knelt in prayer and waited to be arrested. Though one state court jury refused to convict them, today they face serious federal charges.

Last year the peace activists convinced nine members of a state court jury that their actions were consistent with international law. Daniel Burns, 43, Clare Grady, 45, Teresa Grady 38, and Peter DeMott, 57, all members of the Magnificat Catholic Worker community in Ithaca, admitted to the jury from the very beginning that they poured blood in the recruiting center in order to try to stop the war in Iraq. They testified they risked arrest in order to protect our sons and daughters in the military and to protect our sisters and brothers in Iraq.

After twenty hours of deliberation, the jury locked up 9-3 to acquit them. As the jury was released, the crowded courtroom gave them a thunderous standing ovation. The power of the people to present their views about justice had prevailed over narrow law.

Later, the District Attorney announced he would not re-prosecute them, stating that he thought another jury trial would yield the same outcome.

Recently, however, the federal government jumped into the fray.

Last week the St. Patrick’s Four appeared in federal court in Binghamton, New York to be charged on four federal charges arising from the exact same action.

They are now charged with federal conspiracy “by force, intimidation, and threat” to impede an officer of the United States – a felony charge that carries punishment of up to six years in prison and a $250,000 fine. They are also charged with criminal damage to property and two counts of trespass, charges punishable by up to an additional 2 years in prison.

blogging out loud

blogging out loud:

“Two West Virginia mountain boys, Jim Boy and Billy-Bob, are sitting at their favorite bar, drinking beer. Jim turns to Bob and says, “You know, I’m tard of going through life without an edgecation. Tomorra I think I’ll go to the community college and sign up for some classes.”
Bob thinks it’s a good idea, and the two leave.

The next day Jim goes down to the college and meets the dean of admissions, who signs him up for the four basic classes: math, English, history, and logic.
“Logic?” Jim says. “Whazzat?”
The dean says, “I’ll show you. Do you own a weed eater?”
“Yeah.”
“Then logically because you own a weed eater, I think that you would have a yard.”
“Yeah, I gotta yard.”
“I’m not done,” the dean says. “Because you have a yard, I think logically that you would have a house.”
“Yup, I do.”
“And because you have a house, I think that you might logically have a family.”
“Got that too.”
“I’m not done yet. Because you have a family, then logically you must have a wife.”
“Yup, and she’s a bute.”
“And because you have a wife, then logically you must be a heterosexual.”
“If that’s liken’ girls, then yes, I am a heterosexual. That logic stuff is amazin’! All that because I own a weedeater!”

Excited to take the class now, Jim shakes the dean’s hand and leaves to go meet Bob at the bar.

He tells Bob about his classes, how he is signed up for math, English, history, and logic.
“Logic?” Bob says, “Whazzat?”
Jim says, “I’ll show ya. Do you have a weed eater?”
“No.”
“Yore queer, ain’tcha Bob?”

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Hacking Hybrids- Prius

Fax-back phishing scam targets PayPal

Channel Register

Phishers have gone retro with a scam that tries to dupe victims into faxing their banking details to fraudsters. Scam emails, (screengrab) which pose as messages from online payment outfit Paypal, urge users to fax back account information instead of the more usual tactic of handing over details to a bogus website.

Would-be victims are told the information is needed to investigate an alleged security breach involving an attempt to reset their password (have the lads from Lagos developed a sense of irony here?).

Microsoft’s “monkeys” find first zero-day exploit

On The Upside

Microsoft ‘s experimental Honeymonkey project has found almost 750 Web pages that attempt to load malicious code onto visitors’ computers and detected an attack using a vulnerability that had not been publicly disclosed, the software giant said in a paper released this month.
[…]
“In terms of detection capabilities, it’s a really elegant hack,” said Dan Kaminsky, principal security researcher for Doxpara Research. “The antivirus model — scan for dangerous patterns — can’t find previously unknown attacks. … No, the best way to find out if a web page, if executed, would attack the browser is to spawn a browser and let it execute potentially hostile code.”
[…]
In the first month, Microsoft’s legion of honeymonkeys found 752 different addresses at 287 Web sites that exploited various vulnerabilities in Windows XP, according to a paper published last week.

Unless you’re a spelunker this good news, otherwise it’s raining outside.

Netcraft: Exploits Released for Latest Microsoft Flaws

Exploits are circulating for at least two new vulnerabilities in Microsoft software, barely two days after the critical security holes were disclosed in security advisories. The swift availability of working exploit code provides additional incentive for Windows users to update their systems promptly following the monthly release of security patches.

Sigh. Via /.

Update:

Do you have Automatic Updates turned on? If not, have you downloaded those patches manually? Get after it, gang, if you have not.

Update: And Microsoft has a special warning for you Windows 2000 users, as well. (Spotted on Microsoft Watch.)

via TechBlog

Germany rejects Iran military option.

Mr Schroeder, one of the most prominent European opponents of the US-led war in Iraq, told an election rally in his home city of Hanover that the threat of force was not acceptable.

“I am worried about developments there because no-one can want the Iranian leadership to gain possession of atomic weapons,” Mr Schroeder said.

“The Europeans and the Americans are united in this goal. Up to now we were also united in the way to pursue this.

“This morning I read that military options are now on the table. My answer to that is: ‘Dear friends in Europe and America, let us work out a strong negotiating position. But let’s take the military option off the table. We have seen it doesn’t work’,” he said.
‘All options on table’

The comments came after Mr Bush told Israeli television that “all options are on the table”, including the use of force.

Mr Bush added that he was “sceptical” that Europe’s diplomatic approach to Iran would work.

You gotta get me to the world on time

What they have no prunes in Texas?
Oh well that will never do
of course we don’t we never did
will that be one or two?

The Future of Terrorism: What al-Qaida Really Wants

SPIEGEL ONLINE – News

The First Phase Known as “the awakening” — this has already been carried out and was supposed to have lasted from 2000 to 2003, or more precisely from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington to the fall of Baghdad in 2003. The aim of the attacks of 9/11 was to provoke the US into declaring war on the Islamic world and thereby “awakening” Muslims.

The Second Phase “Opening Eyes” is, according to Hussein’s definition, the period we are now in and should last until 2006. Hussein says the terrorists hope to make the western conspiracy aware of the “Islamic community.”

The Third Phase This is described as “Arising and Standing Up” and should last from 2007 to 2010. “There will be a focus on Syria,” prophesies Hussein, based on what his sources told him. The fighting cadres are supposedly already prepared and some are in Iraq. Attacks on Turkey and — even more explosive — in Israel are predicted.

The Fourth Phase Between 2010 and 2013, Hussein writes that al-Qaida will aim to bring about the collapse of the hated Arabic governments.

The 20-year plan is based mainly on religious ideas. It hardly has anything to do with reality — especially phases four to seven.

This is not as eerie as it sounds, although it will probably get the tweeters going.

There’s UFOs over New York and I ain’t to surprised….

Suspected Chemical Weapons Plant Uncovered in Mosul

Suspected Chemical Weapons Plant Uncovered in Mosul

Military officials did not immediately identify either the precursors or the agent they could have produced. “We don’t want to speculate on any possibilities until our analysis is complete,” Col. Henry Franke, a nuclear, biological and chemical defense officer, was quoted as saying in a military statement.

Of course not, that is what the right wing blogosphere is for. Tell me there aint collusion.

Wired 13.08: The Blogs of War

via Ballon Juice.

Post facto Rationale

Dangerous Days

In a certain sense, this death threat should bring comfort to Americans fighting in Iraq and to the Iraqis struggling to finish their delayed constitution, which is supposed to be ready on Monday.

Yeah in the sense of “I am clueless in DC.”

Had al Qaeda set out to prove to a growing number of doubters that the war in Iraq really is about democracy — and not about oil, hubris or imperialism — its leaders couldn’t have done so more clearly.

It is hard to believe this assertion when the DoD and not State is handling the political transition. The reasons for the invasion have not changed just because Al Qaeda opposes democracy, or because the President’s post war policy has failed. The WMD still ain’t there. The war may be about democracy now, but it does not absolve the Pentagon or the Administration of their failure to properly deploy in post invasion Iraq, nor give the Post any right to hide behind al Qaeda’s skirt.

The Post continues to make the August 15 deadline, as important as it is, an issue when in truth the deadline can be postponed. The Post would better serve their readers, and our troops, by not rushing the Iraqi people into a civil war and compounding their previous ignorance with the current stupidity. No one needs you to be a fog horn for al Qaeda positions anyway*. It is doubtful that you have accurately articulated al Qaeda’s position any better than you did the Administrations before the war either.

*Yeah I’ll do that!

Cindy Sheehan’s Pitched Battle

Far be it for me to tell the President what to do. If I were him however I would be President of all the people for a day and go talk to them. Sometimes leaders have to lead.

In the absence of wise counsels the people fall

False balances are hateful to Jehovah, but a perfect stone is His delight.
Pride comes, then shame comes, but with the lowly is wisdom.

The integrity of the upright guides them, the perversity of traitors devastate them.
Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.

The righteousness of the perfect shall make his way right, but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.
The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them, but traitors shall be taken in their lust.

In the death of a wicked man, his expectation shall perish, and the hope of the unjust shall be lost.
The righteous is delivered from distress, and the wicked goes in instead of him.

The ungodly is corrupting his neighbor with his mouth, but the just is delivered by knowledge.
When the righteous prospers, the city rejoices; at the wicked’s perishing is singing.

A city is lifted up by the blessing of the upright, but by the wicked’s mouth it is overthrown.
One despising his friend lacks heart, but an understanding man remains silent.

One going with slander is a revealer of secrets, but the faithful of spirit keeps a matter hidden.
In the absence of wise counsels the people fall, but safety is in abundance of counselors.

One suffers evil when he is surety for a stranger, but one hating strikers of hands is trusted.
A gracious woman holds to honor, and terrifying men hold to riches.

A merciful man does good to his own soul, but the cruel troubles his own flesh.
The wicked makes a deceitful wage, but one sowing righteousness has a reward of truth.

So righteousness leads to life, but one pursuing evil, to his death.
Hateful to Jehovah are the perverse hearted, but His delight is the upright in way.

Hand join to hand, the evil shall not be innocent, but the righteous seed escapes.
A ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a woman who is beautiful, yet turning aside discretion.

The desire of the righteous is only good, the hope of the wicked is wrath.
There is one who scatters yet increases more; but a withholder of just due comes only to poverty.

The blessed soul will be made fat; he who waters will also drink fully.
One holding back grain, the people curse him; but a blessing is to the head of one selling grain.

He who early is seeking good seeks favor; but one pursuing evil, it shall come to him.
One trusting in his riches, he shall fall; but like a green leaf the righteous shall sprout.

One troubling his house inherits the wind; and the fool is servant to the wise of heart.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he who takes hold of souls is wise.

Behold, the righteous shall be rewarded in the earth; much more the wicked and the sinner.

Proverbs 11

Friday, August 12, 2005

Neptunus Lex – Valour IT

Neptunus Lex – Valour IT

This is a great project for disabled Vets to get voice activated lap tops. Yeah I wish I had a lap top, but not that bad. Maybe the company will pitch in as well.

Antiwar- not Anti troops

Ed Note: I sticky posted this because I think it really is a worthwhile endeavor. If you peruse the military blogs I think you will discern the politicization of the military is not a myth, which is another reason to dismantle the Military Indistrial complex. But that doesn’t mean we should turn a cold sholder to those who have been injured in American wars. The troops do not make the decisions, they make the sacrifices. The left should not be constrained by the ignorance of the right in our efforts to help and support the troops, especially those who have suffered for the right’s right to be wrong. Please overcome your inclinations and help these folks out. Thanks.

Welcome to AdoptaPlatoon

If anyone has missed it I am definitely against the war. I also have a son active duty. This is one way to support the troops without having to make a showy display for the neighbores, and in fact as Christian I urge you to it in secret, as my Father who is in secret will repay you. These people are doing exactly as they should do in their positions, and the 99% should not suffer neglect and support because of the behavior of the 1%. These people are putting their lives on the line for us, and they are not the opposition. Thanks.

ALL BRANCHES OF THE U.S. MILITARY ARE SUPPORTED

What is AdoptaPlatoon?

The AdoptaPlatoon Soldier Support Effort (AAP) is a nonprofit 501C-3 organization managed by volunteer mothers. Our mission is to ensure that no U.S. deployed soldier is forgotten, rally the nation behind our troops and teach patriotism. To learn how the AAP was founded and more information about what the AAP is all about, please read, Moms across America. The AAP links moms, grandmothers, families, pen-pals, private companies, corporations, civic groups and other organizations such as American Legions, VFW’s, schools, synagogues, churches, scouts, and 4-H Clubs to the troops serving overseas, in the spirit of American patriotism. Please use your tax-deductible charitable dollars to support those who defend the freedom of our country and the AAP who makes this support possible! We ask everyone to remember that supporting men and women in uniform is a gift we give ourselves as they serve on our behalf. We support them asking nothing in return except for the honor of letting them know they are appreciated and never forgotten!

Decency Is Not In Them

-THE CUNNING REALIST

From

A lifelong conservative with a strong independent streak, I am a late-30’s resident of New York City and an executive in the financial industry. I have a B.A., and an M.B.A. in International Business from Columbia University.,

Even when something really outrages me, usually that outrage gives way to a bit of calm, measured thinking. With the Cindy Sheehan story, that’s not the case.

via

Investigation into the 2004 US Election

The Lone Star Iconoclast Online

‘Crawford 5’ Lawyer Aids Sheehan’s Legal Defense

UPDATES ON CINDY SHEEHAN VISIT TO CRAWFORD

By the end of the day Thursday, over 600 people are estimated to have walked through the doors of the Crawford Peace House.

Various gifts were given to the Peace House and supporters of Cindy, a few being six shuttle buses from radio personality Randi Rhodes, free wireless service for the Peace House, a barbecue grill being brought in by a man from Texarkana, and a few cases of beer (Jim Hightower would be proud).:-)

There have been thousands of other phone calls of support, as well as requests for rides from the airport to Crawford. One woman has paid the way for a Navajo activist to come to Crawford, said Kay Lucas, a member of Friends of Peace and Crawford Peace House supporter.

Johnny Wolf, the owner of the Peace House, returned from a meeting with Crawford’s new mayor, David Poston, and Chief Donnie Tidmore about securing Tonkawa Falls Park for a rally there on Saturday. The outcome of the meeting was that the Crawford Community Center and the park area have been tentatively granted to the supporters of Cindy for a rally. The officials are checking the schedule for any conflicts, as of this evening.

DeLay’s federal committee may have broken rules

This was posted late for a reason I suppose;

“There’s no games here. No tricks. It’s all technical stuff,” said Donald McGahn II, the lawyer representing ARMPAC in the audit. “Anytime you’ve raised over $3.5 million, you’re not short of money. You don’t need to resort to accounting gimmicks to stretch dollars. This is human beings keeping books.”

However, Melanie Sloan with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said the mere amount of money involved could result in the FEC’s levying a $500,000 fine against ARMPAC if the accounting errors were accidental and three times that amount if the money’s use was willful and intentional.

Sloan said her group will request a formal FEC investigation of the audit results by the agency’s enforcement division.

“What the audit reflects is they were using soft money where they weren’t allowed,” Sloan said.

“Soft money” under the federal law that existed in 2002 was corporate or individual donations that exceed federal limits. The money could not be used legally for any activities that supported candidates for federal office. It could be used for such things as state voter-registration drives, get-out-the-vote drives and informational ads on issues. “Hard” dollars were restricted money from individual donors that could be used to support candidates.

In the more serious instance, the FEC auditors found ARMPAC had been spending money from its nonfederal, soft-money account on federal election activities.

The auditors said this was because ARMPAC allocated too many expenses to the nonfederal account and had some bills paid for by soft money that should have been paid for with legal federal hard dollars.

Red Wing Democrats

Having read Michael Lind’s two Posts and Josh trying to get the conversation back on track at TPMCafe, I think I have finally figured out the Democratic center. They are the “I’ve made up my mind, don’t confuse me with facts, soft underbelly, somewhere just south of the pants of the once lofty Bluebird.

It is the part of the party that looks to fix blame instead of problems, always whining about the left or the Republican political machinations, never taking just one moment to consider that they themselves might just once in awhile be wrong. They lack political principles not political issues.

Sixty percent of the American public is against the war, finally, and where are the Red Wings? Eating seed in The White House Bush.

The Red Wings dislike the South, writing it off as a lost cause for the Democratic Party. Having built a wagon with ignorance they load it with stupidity by denigrating that which they do not understand, thereby helping assure that their perceptions become true.

The Red Wings dislike the Great Plains States that produce most of the food they eat, without one bit of concern for the farm workers and family farmers that toil for less than minimum wage or for a corporate farm head quartered in a city.

The Red Wings vote for and support CAFTA, which exploits foreign workers so they can enjoy the benefits of cheap consumerism.

The Red Wings support and vote for Bankruptcy
Reform while opposing National Health Insurance while many of those who file do so because of catastrophic medical bills.

Red Wings believe America is God’s gift to the world and ought to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations to achieve the foreign policy objectives of the business class of America.

Red Wings basically don’t have any policy positions to articulate at all, unless the Republicans propose an idea, inwhich case the Red Wings know how it should be modified. Modified because to Red Wings opposition is a four letter word.

The Strategic Class

Informed Comment

Atlanta Antiwar Action in Solidarity With Cindy Sheehan

How to Prosecute the Plame Case

9/11 Revisionism, Revisited

Justin Raimondo

You might want to read the links in the article too.

More Curt Weldon and Manucher Ghorbanifar news.

Lets’s talk about democracy

Ghorbanifar and Larry Franklin: where there’s smoke there’s fire?

In December of 2001, Ghorbanifar met in Rome with “two Farsi-speaking Pentagon officials, Defense Intelligence Agency Iran expert Larry Franklin and Harold Rhode, both then working for Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith,” having convinced Michael Ledeen, who has strong connections at the pentagon and the White House, that he could produce “Iranian informants with crucial intelligence about an alleged Tehran-backed terrorist threat to U.S. troops in Afghanistan.” Regime change in Iran also came up.

The meetings came to nothing, in a strange bit of timing at about the same time that “Ghorba” became persona non-gratis in the US intelligence community, again, Ali started talking to Weldon.

Larry Franklin has since been charged with giving secret information regarding US policy on Iran to two AIPAC officials, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman.

Every time I see this name, Ghorbanifar, I am reminded of Iran/Contra. Iran/Contra BCCI the S&L bailout. Lying to Congress while in uniform. The Neocon Right doesn’t hate the left because of our political positions, they hate us because we expose their crimes and hypocricy. Why do these people hate America? Having taken all that this nation has to offer and turning into a criminal enterprise under the guise of Republican politics. I feel more sadness for the Republicans and Democrats as political parties and those non aligned in the center than previously, because they actually believe the system works. It only works if the leadership is as honest as the people. Unfortunately they are not.

Don’t ask for whom the bell tolls, oh America, it tolls for thee.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Calf-Path

One day through the primeval wood
A calf walked home, as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.

Since then three hundred years have fled,
And I infer the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale:

The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way;
And then a wise bellwether sheep
Pursued the trail o’er hill and glade
Through those old woods a path was made.

And many men wound in and out
And dodged and turned and bent about
And uttered words of righteous wrath
Because ’twas such a crooked path;
But still they followed — do not laugh —
The first migrations of that calf,
And through this winding wood-way stalked
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane
That bent and turned and turned again;
This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a horse with his load
Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.
And thus a century and a half
They trod the footsteps of that calf.

The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street;
And thus, before men were aware,
A city’s crowded thoroughfare.
And soon the central street was this
Of a renowned metropolis;
And men two centuries and a half
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout
Followed this zigzag calf about
And o’er his crooked journey went
The traffic of a continent.

A hundred thousand men were led
By one calf near three centuries dead.
They followed still his crooked way,
And lost one hundred years a day;
For thus such reverence is lent
To well-established precedent.

For men are prone to go it blind,
Along the calf-paths of the mind;
And work away from sun to sun,
To do what other men have done.

They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,
And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.
They keep the path a sacred groove,
Along which all their lives they move.
But how the wise old wood gods laugh,
Who saw that first primeval calf!”

Sam Walter Foss, 1895

Who is at Crawford, TX with Cindy Sheehan?

TPMCafe || Methodological holism of American Politics

There’s a reason it’s called “spyware”

TechBlog: Updated

A company that develops antispyware software believes it has found a massive identity theft ring that appears to be using the evil and persistent CoolWebSearch spyware program.

Sunbelt’s Alex Eckelberry said the company has contacted the FBI to let them know that “we’re sitting upon literally thousands of pages of stolen identities that are being used right now.” The FBI responded and is on the case, he says.

He plans on making some of the transcripts public:

I will be providing more later as well as some (redacted) samples of what the files look like.

This was discovered by Patrick Jordan, a senior staff researcher here. Patrick is a veteran of spyware, and even he admits to never having seen something like this before. It’s pretty staggering.

The fix is here, a trial version, so you can at least clean the machine.

Protest by a grieving mother gains momentum

HoustonChronicle.com :

“A caravan of people left from Houston Wednesday to join her roadside encampment near Waco.”

[…]

Matt Rosine, 29, a minister at the First Colony Christian Church in Sugar Land, said since he had the day off Wednesday he decided to jump in his car and drive to Crawford.

Praise God and Pass the Biscuits

Feds seek bank fraud charges against lobbyist

HoustonChronicle.com

MIAMI — Federal prosecutors are seeking bank fraud charges against lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a key figure in investigations involving House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, The Associated Press learned today.

Another Delay delay

via The Stakeholder:

WASHINGTON — A federal audit of a political fundraising committee founded by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay found that it failed to report more than $300,000 in debts owed to vendors and incorrectly paid for some committee activities with money from another DeLay-connected political committee.

The Federal Election Commission’s report didn’t indicate whether it would pursue enforcement action against Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee.

ARMPAC’s executive director, Jim Ellis, was indicted in Texas in connection with a separate DeLay-connected committee, Texans for a Republican Majority. In that case, Ellis is charged with money laundering and accepting illegal political contributions for state legislative campaigns. DeLay has not been accused of any wrongdoing in the case.

Cindy Sheehan “changed her story on Bush”? Tracking a lie through the conservative media

Noble Cause – Bush’s Trifecta

Stan Goff: Homegrown Resistance

On the back of my old Veterans for Peace tee-shirt, there is a poem by Vietnam Veteran George Swiers:

If we do not
speak of it others
will surely rewrite
the script. Each
of the body bags
all of the mass
graves will be
opened and their
contents abracadabraed
into a noble cause.

An Open Letter to Bush, Rumsfeld & Cheney

Is Being a Conscientious Objector Now Criminal?

By MONICA BENDERMAN

As I am certain you are all aware, my husband, Sgt. Kevin Benderman, was sentenced to 15 months confinement, loss of rank, forfeiture of pay and a dishonorable discharge last week, the charge being “Missing Movement” or failure to get on a plane. In actuality, the charge was “filing a Conscientious Objector packet against the recommendation of his commander, who had no intention of allowing my husband to follow his conscience, and therefore serving notice to the rest of our military that they should not follow suit.”

Cindy Sheehan in Dallas

What One Mom has to Say to Bush

By MIKE FERNER

“And the other thing I want him to tell me is ‘just what was the noble cause Casey died for?’ Was it freedom and democracy? Bullshit! He died for oil. He died to make your friends richer. He died to expand American imperialism in the Middle East. We’re not freer here, thanks to your PATRIOT Act. Iraq is not free. You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you’ll stop the terrorism,” she exclaimed.

“There, I used the ‘I’ word – imperialism,” the 48 year-old mother quipped. “And now I’m going to use another ‘I’ word – impeachment – because we cannot have these people pardoned. They need to be tried on war crimes and go to jail.”

“Well your flag decal won’t get you
into heaven any more
it’s already over crowded
from your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don’t like killing
no matter what the reasons for
and flag decal won’t get you
into heaven anymore.

John Prine

9/11 Commission’s Staff Rejected Report on Early Identification of Chief Hijacker

New York Times:

“WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 – The Sept. 11 commission was warned by a uniformed military officer 10 days before issuing its final report that the account would be incomplete without reference to what he described as a secret military operation that by the summer of 2000 had identified as a potential threat the member of Al Qaeda who would lead the attacks more than a year later, commission officials said on Wednesday.”

Sigh.

Wanted: A Famine Fund

The Rise of a Market Mentality Means Many Go Hungry in Niger

The Washington Post Online

MARADI, Niger, Aug. 10 — With her family’s stocks of millet long gone, Rachida Abdou tied her shrunken baby girl to her back and grabbed the emaciated hand of her 7-year-old son. Together, they set out in search of food, or for somebody who might help.

On the fifth day of their journey, they stumbled into Maradi, a trading center. There, Abdou recounted, they saw something that they hadn’t encountered in a very long time: food. There were sacks of rice, bags of peanuts and baskets of millet in the bustling markets. There was enough food — here in the epicenter of a major hunger crisis — to feed her family and thousands like it, if only they had the cash.

“What can you do?” said Abdou, a tall woman of about 30 with dark, piercing eyes. She sounded frustrated, and a bit desperate. “The price of millet is very high.”
[…]
It is the result not only of food shortages but a host of other problems, including vendor profiteering, a government policy shift toward a free market, and a decline in the traditional culture of generosity that once helped communities in Niger survive cyclical periods of scarcity.

At the same time, Nigeriens said, the tradition of sharing in their society is giving way to sharper, more selfish attitudes as Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries, reaches for a more materialistic, Westernized future. That is especially true here, along the southern border with Nigeria, where an aggressive entrepreneurial culture has created the economic powerhouse of West Africa.

This is another example of ideology taken to far which subornes the faith of the Christian Community. I think the brothers and sisters need to do some self examination and with scriptural counsel redefine the lines between our primary loyalty and obligation, to God and the Kingdom of God, and America and Capitalism. As Paul wrote us, I would hate to be condemned for that which I approved of. I do not think we can differentiate between overt or tacit approval of capitalism over the hungry, or wars of aggression by our nation and then ask forgiveness because we were after all not told these things explicitly. The clergy has a lot of work to do.

Pakistan fires new cruise missile

BBC NEWS

Say America shoots a thousand cruise missles into Afghanistan, and 95% of them explode leaving 5% of them as duds, who do you think gets the duds? Hmmm Talibani?

Pakistan says it has fired its first cruise missile, describing the launch as a “milestone” in its history.

The Babur missile is capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads and has a range of 500km (310 miles), a military spokesman said.

Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said the launch was a birthday gift to President Pervez Musharraf.

It would really be a lot less expensive to the American taxpayers in treasure and lives to just put these thing into a box and ship them over with USAID deliveries.

Warming hits ‘tipping point’

Guardian Unlimited

A vast expanse of western Sibera is undergoing an unprecedented thaw that could dramatically increase the rate of global warming, climate scientists warn today.

Researchers who have recently returned from the region found that an area of permafrost spanning a million square kilometres – the size of France and Germany combined – has started to melt for the first time since it formed 11,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age.

The area, which covers the entire sub-Arctic region of western Siberia, is the world’s largest frozen peat bog and scientists fear that as it thaws, it will release billions of tonnes of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere.

It is a scenario climate scientists have feared since first identifying “tipping points” – delicate thresholds where a slight rise in the Earth’s temperature can cause a dramatic change in the environment that itself triggers a far greater increase in global temperatures.

Computer Security News

The Register

Glitch hits MS patch Tuesday

The updates available on Microsoft Update and Windows Update were not affected and are installing properly but the files posted for manual download became corrupted. As a result their digital signature became broken and the patches failed to load properly.

“We’ve identified the problem, removed the affected updates from the Download Center and will repost them shortly to correct the issue,” Microsoft techies said in a posting acknowledging the glitch in its IE blog.

Nuke news ruse used to spread Trojan.

Emails purporting to offer breaking news of an Iranian nuclear crisis are really the latest attempt by virus writers to use topical events to spread malware.

Subject lines used in the malicious emails include “Iran snubs pleas, resumes uranium shift”, “TThe PPhantom Menace” and several others. Windows users who make the mistake of following the web link in the maliciously targeted emails arrive at a website which poses as a fuller version of the story. But in the background the site exploits well-known vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer software to install the Cgab-A and Borodr-Fam Trojan horses. This malware lets hackers seize control of infected Windows PCs.

More known gnomes and unkown gnomes

The Cabals

3) Dictators receive little accurate information from below. This is critical because individual dictators cannot match the collective wisdom of the group. Groups bring together a much broader array of information, education, viewpoints, specialized skills, experiences and creative suggestions, all of which get aired during democratic debate. There are two reasons why this benefit is significantly reduced under dictatorships:

First, underlings often tell dictators what they want to hear, not the unpleasant truth. That’s because they are afraid to anger a person who has absolute power over them. Even if a dictator encourages people to speak their minds, few will feel genuinely free to criticize an authoritarian regime. In a dictatorship, underlings obey stupid laws out of fear; in a democracy, underlings criticize bad laws and tell their leaders exactly what they want, and the leaders must listen or risk getting thrown out of power. Furthermore, the people’s representatives in government must listen to each other’s positions in order to form compromises. The resulting laws inherently incorporate a greater share of collective wisdom.

Second, dictators usually find it irresistible to impose their own “Absolute Truth” onto the masses, rather than collect truth from them. Almost always, dictators shut down free speech and free press to ensure their own Absolute Truth goes unrivaled. Examples of this conceit include Hitler’s “Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment,” Lenin’s “party line” and the Catholic Church’s “orthodox faith.” People with different opinions are usually branded as “heretics” and persecuted by such “guardians of truth” as the Gestapo, the KGB or the Inquisition. This only reinforces the first problem (telling dictators what they want to hear, not the unpleasant truth).

The problem of learning accurate information in a dictatorship is impossible to understate. Hitler, Stalin, and countless other dictators eventually came to live in fantasy worlds, which were finally shattered only by some reality-based event like a military invasion or revolution. One common aspect of nearly all dictatorships is that their leaders come to believe the “reports” of their own propaganda machines, namely, that the masses are happy, even if in reality they are desperate. Stalin, for example, believed his “Socialist Realism” films that depicted happy peasants singing in the fields, even though actual peasants were resorting to cannibalism trying to survive famine.

4) Dictatorships waste enormous resources on security. Dictators often require a large army, internal police force and security apparatus to thwart rivals, stifle criticism and stay in power. In a democracy, free rivalry and criticism actually help to drive incompetent or corrupt leaders out of office. Democracies do have other costs, like periodic campaign advertising and elections, but these are usually far less than a permanent security force policing the entire population.

Society has recognized the shortcomings of dictatorship in government, but, curiously enough, dictatorship still thrives in many private institutions.

via Liberal Resurgence

EZSmirkz Aug 01-10, 2005 archive

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A Restatement of Belief

I firmly believe America’s road is toward a more democratic, inclusive society, built on respect for the individuals rights over the state, the states right to intercede and correct abuses of the majority and the powerful, and the majorities right to govern. I find little logic in appeals to the past and the good old days, especially from people who would be unable to survive in the times they seem to espouse and hold so dear. America’s past may be a beacon to some, but her future is a beacon to me. She is not nearly as great a nation as she could be, so those who hold to the status quo are robbing themselves of unknown riches, and holding all of our children hostages to their desire for the sedentary existence of a pond within the tree lined banks of conformity.

I wish a foreign policy based on the respect of individual nations for each other, to allow other nations to seek and find their own happiness within the political, social and economic systems that they determine to be most suitable to themselves to provide for the common welfare and happiness of their own people, without the influence or interference of or from our government. I seek an American foreign policy that does not project our military strength beyond our own borders except in self defense, and not for the narrow interests of the minority economically powerful, which endangers all Americans from the repercussions of their misdeeds. America should encourage freedom, liberty and democracy in all nations and not just the few, and not support repressive dictatorships and kingdoms for the economic convenience of our own people, or the narrow interests of corporations.

To quote Jefferson

“Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the Covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment… laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind… as that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, institutions must advance also, to keep pace with the times…. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain forever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

I mean look at my bling

I think I’m going to go through the “archive” and cull all the “news” links out because they make it impossible to find anything that I really want to find in them. Now before the blog police get their knickers in a knot, naw, they can get their knickers all bunched up if they want to, I suppose the anal retents like the cozy feeling anyway, so I’m doing them a favor. For the rest of you, you can dig through the archives of Antiwar or Cursor or Buzzflash or the Electronic Erata Etceteras, etc., and find the same links to the same articles.

I get tired of finding the same old same old linked ad infintum from blog to blog and electro pub to electro pub. Experience has taught me that most of the truth of any situation is found in obscure references that leave one having to google the night away anyway. Unless one has become one of the suborned and talks face to face with one of the primary exploiters of facts, i.e. government official, slash corporate officer, slash church official, that is obscuring the facts but has just got to let it out for truth, justice and the ego of the American way of elitism. Which is another way to say maintain the neon Platonic hegemony by calling it a science or a discipline so as to descend into a plethora of jargon, in which case truth is not obscured at all, it just can’t be conveyed in common English anymore.

Now I don’t really care about elites, one way or another, for the most part we all consider ourselves part of this or that elite, and the modern day cliff dwelling computer hermit at best consider themselves to be an elite of one. Yeah, we’re all special. Elitism is interchangeable with society, it is the warp and woof of our cultures, to which we apply the less offensive terms of specialization so that even layman and deacon become terms of elitism over the “heathen”, the scientific method over inductive reasoning. Nothing is lower than a buck private except a civilian, worse than a journalist than a blogger, a RINO or DINO differing from the elite opinions on these here dogmatic pages… yada yada yada.

Cream floats to the top, along with other solids that like to float and congregate in whatever bowl or National capital, financial, or religious center that guides whatever principles you live by . Elitism is really just as common as dirt. Nothing to look at here folks, just move along. Even breaking free from elitism makes one an elite, so that the cycle remains unbroken. Shlomo was right, whatever was before comes to be again, and circles around and comes to be again. Whatever ones perception of a prophet might be, human beings and their institutions are as predictable as the sunrise and sunset. We may have intelligence as individuals, but as collectives we’re not any smarter than mud.

The power elites are the ones that take the most hickeys because they are the biggest whores, not because their ideas and policies are that divergent from one other, or anything that we might do. Nothing so dispels the perception that education edifies a person as spending much time with anyone who has one. Originality is regurgitating the past into another nest of vultures, and education is teaching the young where to find the freshest carrion. For all their folk lore and superstitions the uneducated at least have the modesty to be cognizant of their own ignorance, which an educated person can rarely fathom in themselves. Like Solomon said, “It’s an old and foolish king who has become too wise in his own eyes to learn anything anymore”, hence the google bomb to make sure no one else learns anything either.

Yeah, elitism is a wondrous thing, we can kill other people in other nations because their elite disagrees with our elite, just don’t send me and my kids to do it, because as I’ve said I’m elite. We can steal money from the taxpayers or average Joes because we have guns and knives and besides we’re elite and so it is moral and ethical to do so, which if you were elite you would understand. We can enslave the mass of mankind with economic exploitation or starve them off the land or bull doze their shanties, and shove our religion and philosophy down their throats because we are elite. Yeah, we can pour our petrochemicals on the ground, spew our exhaust into the air, and shot nuclear dirty rods from space because we are after all, elite. Besides if you don’t do it, the elite will, because that’s what elites do, don’t ya know?

Weldon cites Hasternod

Via War and Piece:

Aww just go read it and do that clickity click thing you do so well.,

The Other Half Dirty Dozen

TomPaine.com

But as the full text of the indictment makes clear, the conspiracy involved not just Franklin and the AIPAC officials, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman,…

First, the indictment says that from “about April 1999 and continuing until on or about August 27, 2004” Franklin, Rosen and Weissman “did unlawfully, knowingly and willfully conspire” in criminal activity against the United States….

Second, the indictment makes it absolutely clear that the investigation was aimed at AIPAC, not at Franklin. The document charges that Rosen and Weissman met repeatedly with officials from a foreign government (Israel, though not named in the indictment) beginning in 1999, to provide them with classified information….

Rosen and Weissman were observed making illicit contact with several other U.S. officials between 1999 and 2004, although those officials are left unnamed (and unindicted). Might there be more to come? Who are these officials, cited merely as United States Government Official 1, USGO 2, etc.?…

Third, Franklin was introduced to Rosen-Weissman when the two AIPACers “called a Department of Defense employee (DOD employee A)…

. Later in the indictment, we learn that Franklin, Rosen and Weissman hobnobbed with “DOD employee B,” too….

Fourth, Rosen and Weissman told Franklin that they would try to get him a job at the White House, on the National Security Council staff…

Fifth, the charging document refers to “Foreign Official 1,” also known as FO-1, obviously referring to an Israeli embassy official or an Israeli intelligence officer. It also refers later to FO-2, FO-3, etc.,…

Whew and I thought it was all about Chalabi and the passing of the codes to Iran so that the Iranians knew we had them by the hair of their chinny chin chins, but I digress, that’s another National Insecurity lapse of the Neocon political machine that some WaPo columnist extolled the other day.

On another note the Neocons fired a four star for Klintonesque behavior, so we know morality is still job one, especially other peoples morality. I wish the rabid right would GET A CLUE!

via Antiwar

Half a Dirty Dozen

Tom, Jack, and Friends

It can get confusing keeping track of the colorful cast of characters connecting Tom Delay and one of his “closest and dearest friends,” Jack Abramoff. So here are my nominations for Jack Abramoff’s top six associates of questionable repute (feel free to share your own):

“LULAC upset by DeLay comment, wants talk with congressman”

KHOU:

From 11 News Staff Reports

Congressman Tom DeLay upset many Hispanics last week when he suggested the National Guard round up illegal immigrants and house them in tents.

Now LULAC, the League of United Latin American Citizens, has written a letter to DeLay inviting him to sit down with them and talk.

No word from DeLay’s office on whether he will accept the invitation.


More Republican Big Tent Politics

Charges against DeLay aides upheld

HoustonChronicle.com

AUSTIN – A state district judge refused Tuesday to dismiss charges of money laundering and accepting illegal political contributions against two associates of U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land.

Judge Bob Perkins denied arguments from John Colyandro and Jim Ellis that the charges were based on an unconstitutionally vague law and that the indictments were improperly worded.

Lawyers for Colyandro, who worked for DeLay’s fundraising committee Texans for a Republican Majority, and Jim Ellis, who worked for Americans for a Republican Majority, have said they will appeal, likely delaying any trial for at least several months.

Editors Note: To Mr Kramer and the bloggers ethics panel, I added a A in Austin which I attribute to keybaord error in my previous posting of this article’s lunk.

Baghdad Mayor Is Ousted by a Shiite Group and Replaced – New York Times

via The Left Coaster;

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 9 – Armed men entered Baghdad’s municipal building during a blinding dust storm on Monday, deposed the city’s mayor and installed a member of Iraq’s most powerful Shiite militia.

Mr. Tamimi, the deposed mayor, was appointed by the central government and held ministerial rank. He was originally put in place by L. Paul Bremer III, the top American administrator in the country until an Iraqi government took over in June 2004.

While Atrios and Digsby Play With Karl’s……

Two of my favorite boggers seem to be all hung up on ID, which is a drag. Putting it all in perspective, how many people live in Kansas, and how many Kansans want to have ID in school anyway?

Meanwhile back at the ranch;

No Sympathy for the Neocons- by Justin Raimondo

Good stuff in this post from Michael Crowley over at The New Republic blog … Someone should forward it to a few of those station execs in Montana who are getting bamboozled by Republican lawyers into pulling those ads about Sen. Conrad Burns’ cozy ties to Jack Abramoff. – Josh Marshall

Angry Mothers and Trembling Grizzlies: The Sheehan Effect
by Dr. Teresa Whitehurst

Four U.S. Soldiers Killed, 6 Wounded in Iraq Attack

She was a level headed dancer
on the road to alcohol
and I was just a soldier
on the way to Montreal ….

John Prine

Editors Note: My wife made me feel guilty for using repulsive slang. So I have changed the title, probably the hypelunk and incurred the wrath of the blogosphere ethicists and Mr.Murray. The things we do for love.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Left Coaster: Q&A with former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV: Part 1

John Roberts’s Undergraduate Papers … What They Show

Matthew Continetti: This is kinda sorta a cheap link, since the article is split in two for wider distribution, I suppose. Anyway the germane points I thought were:

Roberts was a nerd, in other words. But he was an extremely accomplished nerd. Roberts entered Harvard with sophomore standing; his first year, he won the William Scott Ferguson award–given annually to the sophomore history major who writes an “outstanding essay” as part of a class assignment. To win a second-year award in your first year is no small thing. Roberts’s essay was entitled “Marxism and Bolshevism: Theory and Practice.”

Two of Roberts’s college history papers survive, however, in the Harvard University Archives. For a few bucks the archivists will send you copies of “The Utopian Conservative: A Study of Continuity and Change in the Thought of Daniel Webster” and “Old and New Liberalism: The British Liberal Party’s Approach to the Social Problem, 1906-1914.” Roberts wrote both papers in his senior year, and while it’s safe to say they are bereft of any clues to how Roberts would rule as a Supreme Court justice, they make for lively reading and shed some light on his interests and his character as a young man.

[…]

Webster failed, of course. Ideas and politics overwhelmed economics. But why did Webster fail? Roberts concludes that he was a man out of step with his age. “Webster needed an idealistic society to support his realistic nationalism,” writes Roberts, “a society in which class and sectional conflict did not exist. The America of the 1850s was no such society; neither”–and here Roberts gives us a brief and rare glimpse into his personal beliefs–“is the America of the 1970s.”

“Established institutions are periodically assailed by new social forces which test their ability to survive,” Roberts begins.

And here’s Roberts on David Lloyd George, the last Liberal prime minister: “Passion, intellect, and determination, or, if you prefer–as many did then and now–zealotry, deviousness, and obduracy, were the characteristics which propelled Lloyd George.”

Roberts concludes his thesis by pointing out that “the individual initiative of the [Liberal] Party’s most dynamic leaders” helped to counteract forces in the party that “inhibited an energetic confrontation of the social problem.”

BTW don’t forget to click on the ad to go cruising with William Kristol! and Fred Barnes! to Mexico featuring William Kristol! and Fred Barnes! as featured speakers, and hot air ballons. Oh yeah did I mention that William Kristol! and Fred Barnes! would be on the cruise? Montezuma’s revenge never looked so …wait Terry Eastland and Hugh Hewitt will be there too!!!, and did I mention William Kristol! and Fred Barnes!? Never has America been more safe,

History News Network

Tom Harpur: Several Arguments for Jesus’ Existence

Having come back to my faith after reading “A Marxist Looks at Jesus“, I found this reveiw of The Pagan Christ over at HNN interesting.

Tom Harpur, in his book The Pagan Christ, advances the thesis that Jesus of Nazareth may not have been an actual historical person and that the gospel figure familiar to us is a mythic creation of the early Church.

There are, admittedly, few non-Christian sources from the first century after his death which refer to Jesus. Those that do, like Tacitus or Suetonius, can be said to reflect second-hand information likely derived from the local Christian community itself. But there is nothing unusual in this.

During his short public ministry, Jesus was a wandering sage with a small following in an “obscure” corner of the world from Rome’s perspective. Why would its historians take note of him?

There is also a scarcity of references by non-Christian historians to Christianity itself, despite the early Church’s rapid spread throughout the Roman Empire. This silence cuts both ways.

The testimony of the Jewish historian Josephus is also problematic since it says Jesus was the Christ and that after his death he appeared to his disciples. But if these aspects of the text are viewed as an interpolation into a shorter but authentic reference to Jesus as a wise man then we are left with a text little different from Josephus’s reconstruction of numerous other Jewish holy men.

Harpur’s theory also involves the paradox that while Jesus didn’t exist, his brother James, did. There is a reference to James in Josephus that cannot be so easily expunged as an interpolation, and Paul indicates he visited James in Jerusalem. Surely James would have remembered that he never had a brother named Jesus!…

This post links to the reveiw in the Toronto Star which has some added info;

Harpur is also willing to accept Paul as a historical figure but there are even fewer 1st century non-Christian references to Paul than to Jesus, despite Paul’s more extensive travels and longer ministry.

The argument of “embarrassment” states that material about Jesus which contains “embarrassing admissions” for the early Church is most likely authentic. This is not an absolute proof because an “embarrassing” fiction can serve a larger purpose. But the evidence here is cumulative: too many examples for all of them to be fictions. This category would include: Jesus’ baptism by John; the rejection during his lifetime by his own family, including James; the betrayal by Judas; the disciples fleeing at the arrest; the threefold denial of Peter; and the death by crucifixion.

As I noted in an earlier post there is nothing embarrassing about the babtism of Jesus, as it followed the form of cleansing for the Priesthood that he would assume.

There is also the argument of “distinctiveness.” Material may be attributed to Jesus if it is distinctive relative to the usual teachings of both first century Judaism and the early Church. It is unlikely that the Church would invent a teaching for Jesus distinctive from Judaism and then go on to change its practice into something different. The intimate address of God as “Abba” would be one example, while the characteristic willingness to dine with outcasts would be another.

This category includes teaching in parables. As Joachim Jeremias argues in The Parable of Jesus, “in all the rabbinic literature, not one single parable has come down to us from the period before Jesus.”

I cannot help but note that Western Intellictuals have spent more time and effort into trying to debunk the Bible, than they have any other book, demanding and dissecting it for evidences of its’ human origins, and failing so utterly and miserably. On the other hand this failure is probably the high point of secular academic endeavors, which has proven so far to be misunderstanding everything they see.

Sometimes it’s hard to be someone, but it all works out.
It really doesn’t matter much to me.

The Christian Left’s Vision (Remember Woody Guthrie?)

The Christian Left’s Vision (Remember Woody Guthrie?): “The legacy of Christian activism in the political arena is rich with examples of social justice ranging from the Great Awakening to the Social Gospel movement. This summer, as we celebrate what would be the 93rd birthday of Woody Guthrie, it is worth remembering the tradition of Christian socialism in this country epitomized in the life and music of the Oklahoman.”

[…]

” The Socialist Party in the Southwest, however, did not champion a materialistic atheism. Instead, the socialist tradition in states such as Oklahoma embraced millennial Christianity in which the meek would inherit the earth. Thus, the Socialist Party did well in areas where such Pentecostal groups as the Church of Christ enjoyed popular support, representing a primitive Christianity of the oppressed with its roots in the Great Awakening.”

Four in 9/11 Plot Are Called Tied to Qaeda in ’00 – New York Times

Oh Yeah I wonder, I wonder what she’s doing tonight

“WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 – More than a year before the Sept. 11 attacks, a small, highly classified military intelligence unit identified Mohammed Atta and three other future hijackers as likely members of a cell of Al Qaeda operating in the United States, according to a former defense intelligence official and a Republican member of Congress.”

During the interview in Mr. Weldon’s office, the former defense intelligence official showed a floor-sized chart depicting Al Qaeda networks around the world that he said was a larger, more detailed version similar to the one prepared by the Able Danger team in the summer of 2000.

He said the original chart, like the new one, had included the names and photographs of Mr. Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi, as well as Mr. Mihdhar and Mr. Hazmi, who were identified as members of what was described as an American-based “Brooklyn” cell, as one of five such Al Qaeda cells around the world.

There are Known gnomes and there are unknown gnomes.

Tancredo Blowback- How Much Do We Pay These Guys?

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Oil hits $64 a barrel and sends petrol prices soaring:

“Washington said it had shut its diplomatic missions in Riyadh and elsewhere in the country for two days because of a security threat, while Britain and Australia warned of possible attacks by militants in the country.”

The Left Coaster: Former Amb. Joseph Wilson

Just wanted to give readers a heads-up that, tomorrow, I will publish a Q&A with former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

Among other things, Mr. Wilson addresses the main criticisms he has faced in this Q&A.

eriposte

PrawfsBlawg: Law Professor Blogger Census (Version 2.0)

Via Crooked Timber: Lawblogs, for those who might wish to get off their lazy asses and do their own research.

Attytood: Cindy, Crawford, and the Bush Smear Machine

via Atrios

Attywood takes on Matt Drugde. Keep on squeezing!

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Big Picture: Real Estate Begins to Cool

via Calculated Risk

Two major themes we have been discussing for quite some time appear to be coming together:

A) Real Estate, though not a bubble, is an extended asset class overdue to retrace;
B) RE has been the dominant sector in the US economy since the recession ended.

Those themes lead us to following: 5 key factors suggest to us that Real Estate has finally begun to cool:

1. Inventory
2. Prices paid
3. time on the market
4. relative strength of Condo sales
5. Mortgage rates

Mortgage rates have ticked upwards to 6% on the decoupling of the Chinese Yuan from the Dollar and the reintroduction of the 30-year Treasury bond.

We expect a recession in the 2006-07 time frame.

Mali’s hunger overshadowed by Niger’s need

Mail & Guardian Online

Tears course from Sidi Mohammed’s protruding eyes and the frail, 12-month-old boy squirms and mewls in his mother’s arms as she tries to get him to drink from a blue plastic cup of vitamin-rich gruel that aid workers have brought to north-eastern Mali.

I believe Oxfam invented this gruel

In the worst-affected areas, between 16% and 33% of Malian children are believed malnourished, which untreated can kill or stunt growth and cause behaviour difficulties in later years, the government and aid groups say.

The WFP said an appeal for $7,5-million was facing a shortfall of 85% and called the lack of funding for Mali “devastating”.

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | NYC tests for biochemical attack

Officials in New York City have begun conducting a large-scale anti-terror test aimed at simulating the effects of a major biochemical attack.

Scientists released a harmless gas in the city’s underground railway system.

Hundreds of devices across New York are now tracking the way the gas is being carried by the airflows between Manhattan’s skyscrapers.

Officials hope the exercise will help in planning how and where people should be evacuated in case of a real attack.

IMPROVISED EXPRESSIONS of DISGUST

Bring the IED’s Home;

Whether anyone likes it or not there is no amount of political pressure that is going to bring the occupation of Iraq to any conclusion during this President’s term, or in this Congress. The American people will just have to live with the fact that the American political system has become so corrupted that the will of the people is no longer germane beyond the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November.

You can write letters, send e-mail, post up or post down, debate it all you want to on diverse web sites, but this government is just not going to budge.

So it is time for those who oppose a war the American people were deceived into supporting, by a corporate media, and a corporate Congress and a corporate Presidency to act.

The time has come for Improvised Expressions of Disgust. If they don’t want to listen to voice then it is time to find other nonviolent means to express our growing disgust. Corporate perps understand money, so let the American people speak to them in a language they can quickly double entry into their two sets of books by squeezing their corporate cojones.

Call in sick on Wednesday, or any other day that you and your fellow coworkers can Blue Flu, Flash Mob shopping centers and Malls with American Flags and anti war shirts, organize rolling thunder around State Capitals filing the streets with cars honking their horns, If your going to be in Houston, Dallas or San Antonio rent a car and drive through Crawford while the pResident is there and give Cindy Sheehan a moral boost. Boycott products from corporations and their subsidiaries that produce large sums of K street money. Make a list check it twice, post it up on your blog. It is time to Improvise people, the Beltway has got no ears for the little folk, but they will listen to the K street boys. Squeeze their balls.

whatever already!

whatever already!:

“A last rule for writers: I mentioned my own work here because if a writer doesn’t plug their own work, no-one else will… unless if you are Hemingway or something.”

OK consider myself plugged.

Koizumi commits political suicide

Asia Times

After weeks of fierce political infighting within the governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Japan’s Upper House of parliament has decisively rejected the flagship postal privatization bills of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, by 125 to 108 votes.

The humiliating defeat led Koizumi to call a snap general election, probably for September 11, which opinion polls indicate the LDP will find extremely difficult to win, and may herald a seismic shift in Japanese politics. The failure of the postal bills also probably marks the end of Koizumi’s political career. Even if the LDP retains power, the desperately divided party is highly unlikely to re-nominate a prime minister who attempted political suicide.

Minutemen: A home for extremists

Security download must clearly disclose adware

The
Register

Advertising.com has settled charges made by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that it failed adequately to disclose the bundling of adware with a free security download. The adware was mentioned, but only in a user licence that was easy to ignore.

The FTC began investigating Advertising.com after concerns were raised about its marketing in 2003 of free security software called SpyBlast.

Microsoft quells Vista virus concerns

The Register

Microsoft has confirmed that a new scripting tool will not ship as part of the next version of its operating system, Windows Vista. The disclosure dispels concerns that a virus writer had created the first “Vista viruses” by targeting a new interactive shell codenamed Monad (or MSH).

Hypothetically Speaking: Blade: Ohio Second?

Ohio First group formed outside state Nonprofit opposes voting-reform proposals.

The organization, whose public face so far has been lobbyist and former Senate President Richard Finan, made its public debut Thursday when it sued in Ohio Supreme Court to invalidate petitions being circulated by a coalition of mostly liberal to moderate-leaning groups calling itself Reform Ohio Now.

The coalition wants to place three proposed constitutional amendments on the Nov. 8 ballot, one of which would take the power to redraw congressional and state legislative districts out of the hands of politicians.

The proposed amendments also would strip the secretary of state of the authority to oversee Ohio elections, allow voters to cast absentee ballots without having to state a reason, and roll back increases in campaign contribution limits recently enacted by the General Assembly.

Sometimes Ya gotta do what You have to do

I’ll be doing a little writing over the next few days. Maybe go for a drive.

Update: In the mean time think about this;

2Co 8
But, brothers, we make known to you the grace of God which has been given among the assemblies of Macedonia, that in much testing of trouble, the overflowing of their joy and the depth of their poverty abounded to the riches of their generosity. For I testify that according to their ability and beyond their ability, they willingly gave, with much entreating, begging us to receive of us the grace and the fellowship of the ministry to the saints. And not as we hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us through the will of God, for us to call on Titus, that even as he began before, so also he might complete this grace to you also.

But even as you abound in everything, in faith, and in word, and in knowledge, and in all earnestness, and in your love in us, that you also should abound in this grace. I do not speak according to command, but through the earnestness of others and testing the trueness of your love. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that being rich, He became poor for your sake, so that you might become rich by the poverty of that One.

And I give judgment in this, for this is profitable for you, who began before not only to do, but also to be willing from last year. But now also finish the doing of it, so that even as there was the eagerness in the willing, so also the finishing, giving out of what you have. For if the eagerness is present, it is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have. For it is not that there may be ease to others, but trouble to you; but by equality in the present time, your abundance for their need; but also that their abundance may be for your need, that there may be equality; even as it has been written, “He gathering much, he had nothing left over, and he gathering little had no less.” Ex. 16:18

But thanks be to God, who gives the same earnestness for you in the heart of Titus. For truly he received the entreating, but being more earnest, he went out to you of his own accord. But we sent with him the brother whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the assemblies, and not only so, but also he having been chosen by the assemblies as a traveling companion to us with this gift being ministered by us to the glory of the Lord Himself, and your eagerness, avoiding this, lest anyone should blame us in this bounty being ministered by us; providing right things not only before the Lord, but also before men. Prov. 3:4 And we sent with them our brother whom we often proved in many things to be earnest, and now much more earnest by the great assurance which I have toward you. If any asks about Titus, he is my partner and a fellow worker for you; or about our brothers, they are messengers of the assemblies, the glory of Christ. Then show them a proof of your love and of our boastings on your behalf, even in the sight of the assemblies.

Camp Casey

Daily Kos

“So, I was so full of rage and feeling so helpless and like such a failure after all the work for peace that I have done. I was typing an email venting my rage when I had a brainstorm: I am going to Dallas for the Veterans for Peace convention, why don’t I travel up to Crawford and confront George Bush? Why don’t I go and demand answers to my questions. I deserve answers to my questions, it is Geroge’s moral obligation as the man who is responsible for my son’s death to see me”

Bizarro Iraq-

Justin Raimondo

“Cindy Sheehan is on a mission. The death of her son in combat in Iraq has sent her on her own personal odyssey, a quest for the answer to the question: Why? The latest stop in that journey: Crawford, Texas, right outside the presidential ranch, where she and a few intrepid antiwar protesters marched in the triple-digit heat, determined to confront the author of this war. Bush didn’t come out to meet her, but, surprisingly, she was met by two of his top aides – national security advisor Stephen Hadley and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin – who spoke to the distraught-but-determined Sheehan for 45 minutes.”

Though your brother’s bound and gagged
And they’ve chained him to a chair
Won’t you please come to Chicago
Just to sing
In a land that’s known as freedom
How can such a thing be fair
Won’t you plaese come to Chicago
For the help we can bring
We can change the world –
Re-arrange the world
It’s dying – to get better
Politicians sit yourself down,
There’s nothing for you here
Won’t you please come to Chicago
For a ride

Of the Many Deaths in Iraq, One Mother’s Loss Becomes a Problem for the President

New York Times

Ms. Sheehan has vowed to camp out on the spot until Mr. Bush agrees to meet with her, even if it means spending all of August under a broiling sun by the dusty road. Early on Sunday afternoon, 25 hours after she was turned back as she approached Mr. Bush’s ranch, Prairie Chapel, Ms. Sheehan stood red-faced from the heat at the makeshift campsite that she says will be her home until the president relents or leaves to go back to Washington. A reporter from The Associated Press had just finished interviewing her. CBS was taping a segment on her. She had already appeared on CNN, and was scheduled to appear live on ABC on Monday morning. Reporters from across the country were calling her cellphone.

You know what to do.

Peter Jennings

ABC News Anchor Was a Voice of the World

Another hole in the fabric of our lives. My condolences to his family and friends.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Angry Outsiders Boosting al-Qaida’s Ranks

El Paso Times – AP news

LONDON (AP) — They had roots in Pakistan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Jamaica: the suspected al-Qaida foot soldiers in Britain were immigrants or were children of immigrants – a new breed of recruits that underscores the changes in the organization since the Sept. 11 attacks, say experts studying the London bombings.

These experts, who include a pioneer in personality profiling, say al-Qaida, always loosely knit, is mutating into satellites that attract local operatives bound by disenchantment with the Western societies in which they grew up. It is no longer a hierarchy with Osama bin Laden calling the shots, they say.

“Al-Qaida version 1.0 is functionally dead,” said Jerrold Post, a founding director of the CIA’s Center for the Analysis of Personality and Political Behavior. “Al-Qaida version 2.0 is almost more an ideology. … It’s an adaptive organization responding to a crisis.”

Eschaton – Shut Down the IVF Clinics

“If I were a cranky liberal lawyer with a lot of time and money on my hands I’d be inspired by this story to file suit against every IVF clinic in the country. It’s true that some in the fetus fetish crowd are very quietly opposed to IVF treatments, but as is the case with divorce too many in their flock have had or would certainly pursue the option if necessary so they tend not to say all that much about it.

-Atrios 5:45 PM”

Sometimes you just have to call abortion for the rich abortion. In Vitro Fertilization whether anyone likes it or not almost always produces extra blastocysts, that may or may not be donated to other couples. Usually they are discarded, just like any other unwanted embryo, ie derminated pregnancy.

Conversely eSCR is the human equivalent of GM food.

Eventually the American people are going to have to come to grips with their schizophrenic principles, because the current definition leaves each side of the debate shooting themselves in the foot, which unfortunately is in their mouth.

Scorching heat fuels European fires.

ABC News Online

“Firefighters in Portugal, Spain and France are battling forest and brush fires as scorching temperatures punish the region, which has been hit by its worst drought in six decades.

The southern city of Cordoba was forecast to hit 43 degrees Celsius,(109F,) as Spain also continues to suffer under the worst drought it has seen in decades.”

Growers can exploit GM loophole

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports

“Supporters of GM crops can legally grow them in Britain by applying to the biotech company Monsanto for a sample pack of GM maize to test on a British farm.”

When the Guardian put this to the test, Monsanto offered to send a small quantity free provided the farmer sent the test results and undertook to protect the company’s interest by not breaching patents, for example, by selling the seed to a third party.”

[…]

“Two GM crops, oilseed rape and sugar beet, were found to damage the environment more than their conventional alternative, but GM maize did not do so. The companies who had applied for a licence to allow these crops to be sold commercially in this country decided not to proceed.”

Evolution of Consenses

Sometimes you just got to keep an eye on the otherside of the aisle RED-STATE.COM

I almost snarfed the whole thing, but hey click through is good too;

A survey taken this week of what are described as “right-of-center” bloggers revealed a similar dislike on the right of the “conservative” pundits on cable television. In the survey, John Hawkins of Right Wing News received responses from 47 bloggers about the 12 individuals who were their “Least Favorite People On The Right”. (For the record, I participated in this survey.) The responses were compiled, and the results were surprising.

Of the 12 individuals most often named by the respondents, only three were politicians (Senators John McCain, Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum) and two were politically active religious leaders (Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell). The remaining seven were all pundits. Topping the entire list is Pat Buchanan, a regular on MSNBC. Syndicated columnist and frequent TV talking head Ann Coulter is third overall, and fifth is radio talk-show host Michael Savage, who is persona non grata on television after being fired two years ago from MSNBC for making anti-gay comments on the air to a caller. Rounding out the “disliked dozen” are Fox News anchors Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, CNN regular Robert Novak — now suspended indefinitely from the network for swearing and walking off the set during a debate with James Carville on yesterday’s “Inside Politics” program — and MSNBC host Tucker Carlson.

New Dominion

Washington Post

…Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Jerry Kilgore are entangled in a noxious, gnarly, accentuate-the-negative race for governor.

The presence of malice in the campaign is a microcosmic reflection of a national schism, a fiercely superpartisan war that is sucking the centrism out of American politics. Political analyst William Schneider, a Virginian, told the Virginian-Pilot in the mid-1990s that “Virginia has a very powerful sense of political decorousness. . . . It’s almost gentlemanly.” Historically, public mudslinging in the land of Thomas Jefferson has been frowned upon.

The latest Mason-Dixon poll shows them neck-and-neck, each with nearly 40 percent of the vote and Potts carrying 9 percent.

Mr. Kaine will accept donations here.

Bush Aides Meet Angry Mother of Fallen Soldier

LA Times

Sheehan, a 48-year-old from Vacaville, Calif., was accompanied by about 50 placard-wielding antiwar activists. After police and Secret Service agents stopped their march on a country lane, Sheehan and half a dozen resolute supporters stayed put while others turned back, trudging down Prairie Chapel Road under the hot Central Texas sun.

After her conversation with national security advisor Stephen Hadley and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin, Sheehan said in an interview that she would remain in Crawford and continue to seek a meeting with Bush.

“I didn’t change my mind at all,” she said.

“They said the president really believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” Sheehan said.

“And I told them: ‘I might be a grieving mom, but you men are very intelligent, and I know you don’t believe what you’re telling me.’ “

Hadley and Hagin said they would relay her sentiments to Bush, according to Sheehan.

The president has met privately around the country with numerous family members of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, but not with relatives who actively oppose the war.

TPMCafe || Politics, Ideas & Lots Of Caffeine

Joshua Marshall points out another problem for Mr. Abramoff in the LA Times here.

Commenter Mike S added

Another interesting part of the article is this.

In 2002, Abramoff was retained by the Superior Court in what was an unusual arrangement for a public agency. The Times reported in May that Abramoff was paid with a series of $9,000 checks funneled through a Laguna Beach lawyer to disguise the lobbyist’s role working for the Guam court. No separate contract was authorized for Abramoff’s work.

snip

The auditor’s office is reviewing Abramoff’s payments totaling $324,000 in 36 separate checks for $9,000 paid through lawyer Howard Hills of Laguna Beach. Hills said he was a middleman.

In case some people don’t know, any payments of 10k or more have to be reported to the IRS.

TheAgitator.com: Mission Creep

See this is how the neener net works, I go here , because I heard about here, which brings me to this which is linked to that, so I go here, and here, all of which to find out that some Illinois Congress Perp, who takes illegal money from lobbyists for his legal defense fund, is really defending me and the kiddos from Islamomasticists and from some dude smoking scoobies in Canada. Of course none of this is in any mainstream media outlets because it’s just to sexy for it’s press.

Original Thinker Exposed

Well maybe not original, and well, maybe not a thinker, but Exposed!

Daily Kos: Heresy: The Press Getting Better?

Some of us spend a lot of time surfing the web, digging out little tidbits of information that relate to whatever topic has caught our current interest, and then we post it on up on the net with little hope that it will be read, or commented on. Most of the time we put a hyper link Via Source that reveals where we got a lead or tidbit, but sometimes we just snarf the link the original had. After all if your going to snarf stuff then you might as well do it on the Internet, because nobody know if you’re really a dog on the Internet anyway. I call it the Judy Miller school of snarfing, because it is a refusal to reveal a source of information that I am not writing about anyway. I am just posting up comments and tidbits of related information so my two loyal readers can make up their own minds about the current piqued interest, and they know that these non Via Source sources are my “informed sources”, that I can’t reveal because, The Washington Post Note or Internet Slab of Slate may have a web page the two readers can access from their computer too. It’s a competive, sneaky bidness, this bloggin.

Of I course I can’t speak for the mainstream blogosphere, or those odd folk over in blogostan, but I can read a pole. There are a lot of poles, and if you count Poland and capitalize on your intellectual acuity and capitalize Poles there are millions of them, polls show. Most poles give conflicting opinions on every issue, and sometimes the same pole will say that the garage sale is in two different places, which one knows has to be false because garage is in the singular. Journalist ought to know this too, but it takes the blogosphere to clarify these things sometimes.

Now I read over at an unViaed source that a couple of journalist are getting their knickers in knot because polls show that most people think the press stinks when it comes to honesty, but of course think their paper is OK. Then one of them compares this to our opinions on wives or husbands, well not really, they compare them to Congressional perps, but what the hey. Anyway the analogy is false because the grass is always perceived to be greener on the other side of the fence, as any purveyor of the straw man knows, but in reality the manure is always on this side of the fence. That’s why folks use air freshener after taking a dump, not because it stinks to them, but because it stinks to everyone else. That is a more accurate analogy, all puns intended. Journalists need to remember their bathroom manners. You stink if we say you stink, not because you stink, or say you don’t stink. That’s as plain as the writing on the wall. Journalist just need to come to grips with human nature, and not get their bowels in an uproar over sweeping generalizations.

Rich Liberals Vow to Fund Think Tanks

Rich Liberals Vow to Fund Think Tanks

I posted this up so I could post this ipod site up, and give some reply to the lie that bloggers are a vast information hoovering network that takes advantage of a poor misunderstood mainstream presses inability to have wierder hours. I actually clicked on an advertisers link. Why, what ever will I think of next?!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Vaccine Appears to Ward Off Bird Flu

This page 1 article Vaccine Appears to Ward Off Bird Flu in the Washington Post, and this page 1 article Avian Flu Vaccine Called Effective in Human Testing in the New York Times need to be tempered a little bit from this one Avian flu may tax vaccine makers, and this one too, Sanofi pasteur to Increase U.S. Influenza Vaccine Capacity With Construction of New Plant

“The new facility is expected to be completely online, validated and ready for production for the 2009 influenza season. “

Ministers linked to US casino chiefs

The Observer :

“Dramatic new evidence about the close relationship between ministers and some of the most senior figures in US gambling, who were planning to build Las Vegas-style super casinos across Britain, can be revealed today.”

The big casino bosses, the Vegas trips and the ministers

Saudis warned UK of London attacks

The Observer

Saudi Arabia officially warned Britain of an imminent terrorist attack on London just weeks ahead of the 7 July bombings after calls from one of al-Qaeda’s most wanted operatives were traced to an active cell in the United Kingdom.

Tim Russert meets Batman

Hullabaloo

Heh Heh

Badomba domba domba, domba dom.

Anyone remember the buzzard cartoons?

Mom of soldier killed in Iraq protests in Texas

HoustonChronicle.com

via BillMon

There is a bit more information on this gig at the Iconclast here.

12:40 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6

When Cindy Sheehan got off her bus in Crawford around 11:40 a.m. coming from the Veterans for Peace convention in Irving (near Dallas), she was greeted with applause and swarmed by reporters. Some of the meda covering the event, along with The Iconoclast, were ABC, CNN, CBS, NBC and AFP (Agency France Press).

Whether anyone likes it or not, even during the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show, parades stay off the highways. I think I am going to withold my judgement on this until I read more, but I can only imagine what pressure the Sherrifs Department is under with the pResident in Crawford, and I would suspect that more than one or two of them are sympathetic to Mrs. Sheehan’s plight. However when it comes to challenging their authority on their highways, I don’t think it serves the interests of the Antiwar movement, peace or justice to do so. Now if a hundred thousand people showed up then that might change the parameters of the situation. Plus I can’t imagine why anyone has forgotten this, but

In response, hundreds of angry Texas veterans, many riding motorcycles and waving flags, descended on Crawford (population 705) for a noisy street protest. The organizers didn’t have a permit to protest in Crawford, so the 400-vehicle procession just roared through town, honking horns and waving signs that said, “Don’t Bush Whack the Waco VA.”

A quick google of Cindy Sheehan, + Crawford = Results 11 – 20 of about 45,600 for Cindy Sheehan, + Crawford . (0.26 seconds)

craigblog: SCAM: site faking craigslist

craigblog: SCAM: site faking craigslist

August 03, 2005
SCAM: site faking craigslist

Just to let people know in a hurry, the site

http://www.pay-craigslist.org

has no relation to us, and we’re escalating dramatically now.

Please get the word out.

Thanks!
Posted by craig at August 3, 2005 11:03 AM

All Your Base Are Belong to US

Asia Times Online

US Senator Gary Hart captured the inconsistencies such construction reveal in the Bush administration’s rationale for its Iraq project. “If the goal … was to overthrow Saddam Hussein, install a friendly government in Baghdad, set up a permanent political and military presence in Iraq, and dominate the behavior of the region (including securing oil supplies) then you build permanent bases for some kind of permanent American military presence,” Hart wrote in May. “If the goal was to spread democracy and freedom, then you don’t.”

Whoops!

Via the HoustonChronicle.com

DeLay, R-Sugar Land, accepted contributions from five lobbyists and one lobbying firm totaling $8,000 between 2001 and 2004. He has returned $3,500 from two of the donors.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid accepted one lobbyist contribution of $3,000 in 1999.

Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., received $2,500 in donations from four lobbyists from 2001 to this year.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, received a lobbyist’s contribution of $3,000 in 1996,

Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., accepted a $1,000 lobbyist’s donation in 1997.

The donations were reported by the Center for Public Integrity, here

Russia finds more bird flu cases.

ABC News Online:

“However, the potentially deadly H5N1 strain has only been positively confirmed in one Russian region, Novosibirsk.”

1 million evacuated as typhoon hits China.

06/08/2005. ABC News Online

“More than 1.2 million people were evacuated as Typhoon Matsa pounded the coast of eastern China, causing widespread flooding.

The storm landed at Ganjiang town in Zhejiang province and was moving north-west towards six major cities including the scenic and touristy Hangzhou, the Xinhua news agency said.

Packing winds of 162 kilometres per hour, Matsa brought huge waves onto the shores.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Computers and science from the Nets

Six patches for MS August Patch Tuesday

An unpatched flaw in a core component of Windows 2000 might be exploited to launch computer worms, security researchers warns.

Via /.

Wikipedia, the Web encyclopaedia written and edited by Internet users from all over the world, plans to impose stricter editorial rules to prevent vandalism of its content, founder Jimmy Wales was quoted as saying Friday.”

Hurricane Ivan generated a wave almost 100ft high last September, as the storm passed over the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists reckon is the tallest wave ever measured in US waters, and that it would have had enough power to literally break a ship in two.

A team of astronomers might have solved one of the mysteries of astrophysics with the discovery of a clutch of quasars, hiding behind clouds of dust. The discovery was made using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, and could explain previously mysterious levels of cosmic background radiation.

Niger appeal raises 8m Pounds in three days

Guardian Unlimited

Brendan Gormley, from the DEC, praised the level of response to the appeal, which he said would make a “real impact” in the affected countries.

“Once again families across the UK are responding very generously so lives can be saved,” he said.

He added: “We can now make a real impact in Niger and for the people facing hunger in Mali, Mauritania and Burkina Faso.”

The DEC is an umbrella organisation uniting 13 of the UK’s major aid agencies to help with major disasters overseas.

Save the Children is working quickly to provide food and medical supplies to thousands of children who are facing severe food shortages following the lethal combination drought and locust infestation in the West African countries of Niger and Mali. We will watch closely the changing conditions in other African countries where we work that may be affected by droughts and if we are able to respond to help children in need, we may use your donations to support our work there as well. Your contribution can help us save lives, please donate now.

As many of you may not be aware, Save the Children usually gets 90% of donations into the service programs that they sponsor. That is pretty good by anyones book. I know that USAID has contibuted to the situation in Africa, and the Brits are doing their bit, and I know that you are tired of me asking for you to donate to this or that cause, but, Why doesn’t the netroots shine the US government and British people on on this, and donate some bucks US here? Thanks.

Intelligent Design and Evolution

Intelligent Design, sigh.

This is one of those topics I really dislike getting into because so much of the general public is as ignorant about evolution as it is of the Bible, although they are ardent supporters of one or the other.

Now I am a fundamentalist Christian, so I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, which puts me the company of all sorts of wingnuts, and I am a Liberal which puts me in company with all sorts of moonbats, and to avoid all the cutesy moonwing and batnuts remarks I’ll get them out of the way.

One of the first things you learn about scientists when you are born and raised in Los Alamos is that they are very egotistical, back stabbing bunch of liars. It must come from a childhood of being dweebs, so they get good at passive aggressive behavior. You’ll remember how many of them rushed to Wen Ho Lee’s defense in the late 90’s. Some things never change.

Most of the BS that passes for evolutionary science is BS from MSs or the Phd which many know means piled higher and deeper, and so working back you can figure out what BS and MS really stand for. It really is a field riddled with conjectures and artists conceptions and the type of forensic evidence that wouldn’t even get a black man a conviction in a standard American court. Unfortunately the court in this case is the court of public opinion, and that really is a scientific kangaroo court. But it does attempt to explain how things work and how they progressed in a scientific framework, which means that observations are followed by a hypothesis, and predictable results inferred which are subjected to experimentation, that can falsify the hypothesis. For the most part the proponents of Intelligent Design have poked holes in many hypotheses, without to my knowledge, proposing any hypothesis of their own, other than what is written in the Scripture.

I am not too interested in having religious views taught in Public Schools, because, as is the case with Christian theology, it is so patently corrupted that it shouldn’t be taught in private either. It is very similar in that respect to the current high school understanding of evolution. The Bible deals with time in ways that are not readily grasped, and could not be grasped until science had progressed pass both Darwin and Alexandrian theology. Alexandrian theology is premised on Tertullians equating the Christ to God as sunlight to the Sun, which was plausible until we discovered supernovas, and so the light from a sun long ago blown up is still racing towards us, and we see some of it every night as a star, a star which in reality no longer exists.

The Bible speaks in the first twelve verses of Genesis, (histories,) of the Earth being made before the sun and moon and stars, which is illogical except for the ambient temperature of the universe is 2.5 degrees Kelvin, or 2.5 degrees above absolute zero, and from the big bang to 2.5 degrees Kelvin ages the universe to 14 billion years old, with dozens of Cephids producing light that age them at 20 billion years of age. I guess somethings are older than their ma’s.

Now scientists will jump through all sorts of hoops to tell us where the original energy came from to compress into the singularity that became the big bang, but they can’t scientifically prove any of it, because like abiogenesis, you can’t get something from nothing. These are profound scientific problems which doesn’t mean they won’t be answered someday by science, or more likely by God, but it does mean that they are theories, and not facts like gravity. But our understanding of gravity has changed since Newton’s day, as has our understanding of genetic selection since Mendel, so for anyone to get adamant about their position on these things is to prove ones dweebness and thus, opinion invalid on the subject.

Young Earthers on the other hand display an uncanny knack for discounting both the Bible and scientific evidence. If a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day, as it is written, then how long was Noah on the ark? How is it that Abraham Isaac and Jacob, whose tombs and bones are amongst us today, are alive, since God is the God of the living and not the dead? I do not understand why you would want to limit the power of God, because of your inability to understand him. Many of you are scientists, so you are very aware of the advances in quantum physics, so how is it that mankind can conceive that time doesn’t really exist, without God having already been there to make it so?

Now I don’t have any personal digs with evolutionists and creationists and intelligent designers pushing their understanding of the universe that we live in, but I do wish you would realize that whatever you think you know , you do not these things as well as you should. Humble yourself before nature, and God, and they will teach things beyond human understanding, while giving the rest of us respite from your incessant squabbling.

Ignorance Is Bliss; Sometimes It’s Policy

I left the link to the Washington Post in the Title so that anyone coming out of a coma would know what topic I was referring to.

There are more than political reasons that people support or oppose embryonic stem cell research, although when a politician takes a position they are probably doing so for political reasons, and not some underlying fundamental personal value. Politicians pander, because that’s what they do.
Most religious people can give people a vague reason, or equate it with a past policy of some past useless dictator, but they cannot articulate what it is that really bugs them about it all. Science is a tool, and like all tools it can be used for purposes that we aren’t willing to accept as logical or right, but like using a hammer to drive a screw, it is done more often than we think.

Biology is an interesting topic, and no, in spite of what the punditry says, it is not based on Darwin’s evolution. Biology is the study of life, and evolution is a part of biology, not the other way around. As a Christian I admire some of the genetic work because of the benefits mankind has derived from it, from Mendel the Jesuit monk to drought resistant crops that have been developed. It isn’t a far leap from GM crops to stem cell research either, and depending on ones political persuasions one is for one and against the other.

I cannot articulate “the” Christians position on this issue, because I don’t think most Christians are informed enough about the situation to have developed an opinion of their own, and so they just echo whatever their spiritual leaders tell them about the subject, as they do with many other subjects as well, but I digress.

I would reiterate that I am definitely outside of the orbit of organized Christianity, so that my thinking on this topic cannot be construed as anything definitive either. It is my view, and that is about it, the opinion of one fundamentalist liberal. In saying that I am a fundamentalist I am saying that I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, and that it should be taken for that. It doesn’t mean I understand everything that it says. I do not wish anyone to think I agree with any of the Ayatollahs, Popes and Bishops, or Rabbi’s logic and reasons either, because I have absolutely no use for their opinions. If they knew what was what then the world wouldn’t be such a mess as it is, or their fruitage of their tree in religious speak..

The number of criticisms, many of them based more on the behaviors of those who claim a belief than on an actual knowledge of the Bible are well deserved criticisms of those individuals, but cannot be answered in one or a thousand articles about the Bible. I have no intention of getting involved in the water seeks its’ own level, unless it is a gas or solid type debates here either, although the story of Noah plays an important part in this piece.

The commonly held view of the Noah story states in so many words that God destroyed the Earth, which term in the Scripture has subtle distinctions from the term World, because of the rottenness of mankind. Like the fall of man and the story of Sodom and Gomorra this is a much misunderstood tale as well. Mankind likes to think that it is at the center of everything, when according to the Scriptures we are a peripheral issue in the main. The story of Eden is not about the rebellion of Adam and Eve, except as an ancillary rebellion to that of Satan. Sodom and Gomorra were destroyedbecause; Eze 16:48-50 As I live, declares the Lord Jehovah, your sister Sodom, she and her daughters, have not done as you and your daughters have done. Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and her daughters. Also, she did not strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. Also, they were haughty and did abomination before My face, so I turned them away as I saw fit.

The flood of Noah was the result of Angelic beings leaving their station to have sexual relations with mankind and the produce of those unions were Nephilim. These Nephilim were not the images of the Living God, as were mankind, nor were they Angelic as their fathers. So ESCR cuts to the core of gene flipping and the making of the uber man, as Mr. Dorgan was referring to, in poor word choice.

Now I for one have no problems with stem cell research, although I am not going to be naive about the ethics and morals of scientists and capitalists either. Even if we had a legal and ethical structure in place to deal with the cloning of parts and eventually the entire man, we do not have anyway to prevent those who would circumvent those ethics and laws, to wit look at DC now, and think about it tomorrow on Hiroshima day. Science gets out of hand, and more quickly with tax bucks than with private research.

Luk 17:26-30 And as it was in the days of Noah, so also it will be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating, drinking, marrying, giving in marriage, until the day Noah went into the ark. And the flood came and destroyed all. And likewise, as it was in the days of Lot, they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building; but on the day Lot went out from Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from the heaven and destroyed all. According to those things, it will be in the day the Son of Man is revealed.

Hopefully this little missive helps the non believer understand the Christian wariness of crossing the ESCR line, as the allusion to Sodom and Gomorra is already well developed within America and the west already. Some economists, (the smart ones anyway,) are concerned about a housing bubble, while Christians, are equally concerned about another sort of housing bubble.

A Civilized Man

Every once in awhile I can actually come up with something new to say that adds to the conversation, but not really that often. Oh, I can come up with something snarky all the time to say, but it doesn’t really add anything, although I guess if you count the physcological effect of laughing at other people, it adds to the conversation a bit. That is part of the problems with getting older, you just don’t think like you used too.

Thirty years ago I could write a poem a day, not good poems mind you, but once a day it seems a new riff would fall of the moon and into my head. Looking back on some of them I think that with a little work they might be passably decent, but I haven’t the inclination or emotional attachment to the piece to do the rework in meter and rhyme.

Modern poets write
poems like this
to save on metered time,
perhaps on mangled rhyme.
I don’t know though,
Isn’t it perverse
to write verse terse?

No, getting older gives you a little bit more pause, and if carried to its’ logical conclusion you become a reader extrodinaire. I don’t know any writers personally however, that make a lot of money by writing, because most of us already know everything that is going to be said, we just haven’t heard it said like that before. These people make money off people like me, and they are called professional writers, much like professional baseball players make money off other people who can’t just goof off playing baseball and so find real jobs doing really useless things for other people doing more useless things until it finally all makes sense to the writers who tell us why it make sense to them and why it should make sense to us. The really good writers focus on politics, because it is the most useless of mankind’s diversions, unless you happen to be one of the bottom feeders at the top, inwhich case it makes a lot of sense, because that is where the graft is. Getting to the top allows you to sink to new lows. Writers are a mark of civilization like professional baseball or football players. Hunter gatherers didn’t need any politicians to organize a grape eating expedition nor have need of writers to explain why it made sense for grape eating expeditions to be organized by politicians.

Journalists are a different breed of writer because they get paid for being nosey, with the added attraction of writing about what they find out about other people. They aren’t really writers as we know writers, they write short pithy lines meant to convey mass amounts of misinformation and conjectures with the eye catching phraseology of headlines. It is snark without the snark. Its’ not snooping around in other peoples business its’ NEWS, and news you can use, if your a writer who likes to make snarky remarks about other people, especially reporters. The really good journalists eventually end up as columnist so they can write snarky things as opinions for other columnists to admire, and as padding for editors to put around the Letters to the Editor, where non professional writers tell the world why we need to re organize the grape eating expedition along their line of reason.

Bloggers are something of a new phenomena, unprofessional writers in an unprofessional way that can be snarky just because they want to be. They are the people that the editors of the newspaper made the one letter a month rule for, and the reason if one really thinks about it, why God allowed Al Gore to invent the Internet. I know you know and I know that Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet, but if he had, that’s why he did it. Nope bloggers make sense of all the sense that writers make, and allow us one and all to be civilized, and to understand why we are civilized when we with a hot dog in our faces are yelling at blind people who don’t read, or have a clue what it means to be sitting in a stadium with the Greats of Grafs.

The Poor Man Cafe � The Global Struggle Against Straw

The Poor Man Cafe � The Global Struggle Against Straw

This article cantains a some language that may be offensive to you, if you haven’t been outside of the house in the last fifty years or so. Otherwise it is a pretty good write up of what most Americans actually are going through on, the Global War onTerror and Sanity.

via Atrios
who has noted; “The Editors can write. Someone send The Editors a check.”

You can buy Atrios something too, since it is Friday, and he like stuff too.

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall

Kurdish Rebels Kill Five Turkish Soldiers

FBI steps up AIPAC probe

United Press International:

“But a former federal law enforcement official said Israeli spying against the United States had been ‘widespread’ for many years, and that during the Cold War, Israeli penetration of U.S. operations was second ‘only to the Soviet Union.’

‘Few people realize that the Israeli Counterintelligence Desk at the Bureau was second in size only to the CI Soviet desk,’ he said.

A former very senior CIA counterintelligence official told UPI that in 1998-99, the CIA discovered an Israeli couple, who were subcontracted to a U.S. phone company, were working for Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service.

‘They did incredible damage — they got incredibly sensitive data, including key words identifying individuals or projects,’ this source said, adding he himself gave the case to the FBI.”

via Antiwar

However, not even I imagined the monstrous scale of this submerged giant: the earliest I could trace its movements was back to just before 9/11, based on the reporting of UPI’s Richard Sale. But 1999? Who woulda thought? And it isn’t just the timeline that’s disturbing: it seems that a number of apparently senior U.S. government officials are about to be dragged into this imbroglio of trouble and treason.

UPDATE: Via Joshua Marshall, this news just in: the Jewish Telegraphic Agency is reporting:

“A source close to the defense said that one of the U.S. officials involved, who has not been indicted, was recently appointed to a senior Bush administration post. The source, who asked not to be identified, would not name the official.”

Could it be this guy? Or this guy? The suspense is killing me! Inquiring minds need to know…

RIP Antiwar

Informed Comment-Fool me once, shame on you – Fool me–can’t get fooled again

Informed Comment

I was watching the tube and NBC, (a rare occasion lately,) as I skipped through the top stories, and I heard this report too.

“The bizarre report by Jim Miklaszewski of NBC news that US military sources are saying Iran is the source of more sophisticated bombs used by Sunni Arab guerrillas in Iraq seems so unbelievable because it is. Poor Jim is the victim of a high-level Department of Defense black psy-ops operation (or perhaps such an operation has been supplied by a sub-contractor). You wonder if it is Doug Feith’s parting gift to the American people– laying the groundwork for a war with Iran.

This is the give-away sentence:

‘ Intelligence officials believe the high-explosives were shipped into Iraq by the Iranian Revolutionary guard or the terrorist group Hezbollah, but are convinced it could not have happened without the full consent of the Iranian government.’ ”

Thursday, August 04, 2005

AIPAC lobbyists charged with classified leaks

USATODAY.com :

“Two former employees of a pro-Israel lobbying organization were indicted Thursday on charges they conspired to obtain and disclose classified U.S. defense information.

An indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., named Steven Rosen, formerly the director of foreign policy issues for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and Keith Weissman, the organization’s former senior Iran analyst.”

via TPM and Antiwar

Feeding the Beast Your Children’s Dinner

Economist’s View: Transfernomics:

“The tax cuts feed your children’s wealth to this generation and widen the income-gap in the process. Transfernomics. That’s the beast that’s eating up this budget.”

Reaching the Rubicon

Some said it couldn’t be done. But we’re Americans. “Can’t” isn’t in our vocabulary.

Personal Income News Release

“Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 0.0 percent in June, compared with 0.4 percent in May.”

Cisco security flap leaves millions scrambling for help |

The Register

“The aftermath of a security breach involving Cisco’s customer portal has left customers scrambling to get new passwords. Cisco reset passwords to Cisco Connection Online as a precaution following the discovery of a security bug in a Cisco.com search tool that could expose log-ins of registered users.”

Hasta la Vista, baby

The Register

“Virus writers have created proof of concept viruses targeting the scripting language behind prototype versions of Vista, the next version of Windows. An Austrian virus writer has published five simple viruses targeting Microsoft Command Shell (MSH), the command line interface and scripting language, in a virus writing magazine. None of these pieces of malware have been named as yet [How about phista – Ed?].”

Grand Juries Everywhere

Eschaton:

Nuff said

James Wolcott: How Do You Like It Now, Gentlemen?

James Wolcott: How Do You Like It Now, Gentlemen?

Anything more than the truth would make it seem too weak.

An Explosive Interview: Sibel Edmonds in Vanity Fair

An Explosive Interview: Sibel Edmonds in Vanity Fair

“The first crook to be named is… Dennis Hastert.

As Eric Garris announced the other day, Sibel Edmonds is in the new Vanity Fair. For those of you who don’t have access to the magazine, here’s a PDF that was scanned and blogged and I received from Sibel.”

via Antiwar

(hint, hint wink nudge)

The New Know-Nothings

The Huffington Post | The Blog

“Here’s the short version of postmodernism, via Wikipedia (I know I’m distilling a bit, but this is not, after all, a peer-reviewed academic blog):

“In the broadest sense, denial of objectivity is held to be the postmodern position, and a hostility towards claims advanced on the basis of objectivity its defining feature… all standards are arbitrary and meaningless.”

Sound like any defense secretaries you know?”

via Antiwar

Bush Fills Senior Pentagon Post with Recess Appointment

DefenseNews.com

“The appointment of Peter Flory as assistant secretary of defense for international security policy came just a day after Bush bypassed Congress by naming John Bolton ambassador to the United Nations.

The Senate Armed Services Committee reported Flory’s nomination to the full Senate on August 4 before Congress’ summer recess.

Under the constitution, Bush has the authority to make recess appointments when the Congress is in recess. They can serve only until the next Congress is seated, which is in January 2007.

”The Senate has had ample time to consider his nomination and to provide an up or down vote,” said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman. “

Via Antiwar

Waiting for a tsunami

Asia Times Online :: Asian news and current affairs:

“Since June 1999, national income has increased from $8,161 billion to $10,913 billion (as of March 2005). While an increase of 34% in six years may sound like a good thing, we need to examine this information in light of inflation and debt. During this same period, consumer credit went from $1,347 billion to $2,129 billion, an increase of 58%. I’m sure we can all share numerous stories of the telemarketer or the credit card applications in the mail. We have everything under the sun bought on credit. When we run up our credit card, if we are having trouble paying it off, we can always roll the balance to another credit card that has a 0% interest for a period of time.”

[..]

“In June 1999, total mortgages in the US stood at $6,021 billion. At the end of March 2005, the number is $10,774. This is a 79% increase. Keep in mind our incomes have only risen 34% while our credit card bill has grown by 58%. So what have we, as a nation, done? The answer is painful, if not obvious. We have borrowed the money with our homes as collateral for the loan. As our credit has got increasingly splotchy and our cash flow needs have increased, institutions have lowered their lending standards and moved toward riskier finance products. In a May 5, 2005 report issued by Fannie Mae, we see the share of interest-only Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) “A” paper selling in the Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) market has grown from 3% in 2001 to 50.9% in 2004 while ARMs for the same class and timeframe have grown from 18% to 72.1%. The Jumbo MBS market has grown from 5.4% to 52.5% during the same period. In addition to this we learn that the sub-prime MBS finished 2004 with 66% of their loans as two-year ARMs. In other words 66% of these notes face a likely upward adjustment in payments as early as 2006. These are astonishing numbers. ”

Misjudging Roberts

“Newsweek dismisses accurate information on judge’s record”:

“The first supposed falsehood: “Liberal bloggers floated conspiracy theories about the behind-the-scenes role he played on Bush’s legal team in the epic court fight after the 2000 election, a contribution that supposedly earned the president’s undying gratitude.” The reality, according to Newsweek: “Roberts’s role in the case of Bush v. Gore was minimal, according to colleagues who worked with him. Roberts did briefly go to Florida to be on hand as a legal consultant, but he was preoccupied with working on the adoption of a baby son.”

As it turns out, the liberal bloggers’ “conspiracy theories” were closer to the mark, as more careful reporting revealed that Roberts was an important part of the Bush legal team. According to a report in the Miami Herald (7/27/05), Roberts worked “as legal consultant, lawsuit editor and prep coach for arguments before the nation’s highest court, according to the man who drafted him for the job.” The Herald noted that Roberts was considered one of the top names for the effort, which he worked on for “a week to 10 days”; as Bush adviser Ted Cruz told the paper, “There was no one better for the job.””

Al-Qaeda No 2 warning for London

BBC NEWS | UK

Osama Bin Laden’s lieutenant Ayman al-Zawahri has warned London will face more attacks because of Tony Blair’s foreign policy decisions.

His comments were made in a videotape which was broadcast on Arab satellite channel al-Jazeera.

There is a massive police presence on London’s streets, with 6,000 officers watching for a repeat of the attacks two and four weeks ago.

What Went Wrong…

Balloon Juice

“But, as Gary Farber points out, few are paying attention to how this story became news”:

For Sgt. 1st Class Michael Pratt it would have been far easier to look away. If war is hell, after all, there are going to be some demons. And since hooking up with the Colorado-based 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Iraq in early 2003, the Utah National Guard soldier had learned it was simpler to ignore questionable actions than report them.

But the guardsman couldn’t look past what he had seen in the Al Qiem Detention Facility. Not after the death of an inmate whom he believed had been abused by a senior officer. Not even as the Army announced that the prisoner had died “of natural causes.”

Army records show that apparent abuses of inmates at the makeshift prison, known as the Blacksmith Hotel, may have been ignored had Pratt not reported his concerns to Utah Guard officials, outside the chain of command of the unit to which he was temporarily assigned. The documents, transcripts from testimony given by Pratt in a closed hearing last March, also detail the soldier’s struggles to do what he felt was right in the face of pressure to remain silent.

Everybody knows the secret,
Everybody knows the score,
I have finally found a way to live…

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Oxfam sounds warning over looming Mali crisis

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports

I have to be honest, I haven’t spent a lot of time digging around for American outfits doing this work in these countries, but there is absolutely no reason for starving people to have to beg the American people for a friggin bowl of rice or milet. If you are a Christian then do it for Christ, If you are a humanitarian do it for the humanity of it all.

More than 1 million people in Mali face a major food crisis because rich countries have not responded to calls for emergency funds, Oxfam said today.

Oxfam takes donations here and the UN World Food Program takes them here.

If it takes a village, we are the global village, If it takes a family, then we are all son and daughters of Noah. Don’t like the UN go to Oxfam, don’t like the Brits go to the UN. Or are you one of those let them eat cake kinda people?

More on the Ohio

Election 2004

The Conyers report details the disenfranchisement of Democrats through “intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio.”

Via Truthout

Novak Recycles Gannon on ‘Plame-Gate’

t r u t h o u t – Robert Parry :

” Novak’s column also resumed the Right’s long-running assault on Wilson’s credibility. Near the end of the column, Novak wrote that ‘Joseph Wilson was discarded a year ago by the Kerry presidential campaign after the Senate [intelligence] committee reported that much of what he [Wilson] said ‘had no basis in fact.”

However, Novak’s sentence appears to be wrong on both its points. The Senate Intelligence Committee did not conclude that Wilson’s statements about the Iraqi intelligence ‘had no basis in fact.’ That was a phrase that Novak culled from ‘additional views’ of three Republican senators.

The full committee refused to accept that opinion written by Sen. Pat Roberts and backed by two other conservative Republicans – Christopher Bond and Orrin Hatch – yet Novak left the impression that the phrase was part of what he called ‘a unanimous Senate intelligence committee report’ released in July 2004.

The other part of Novak’s attack on Wilson – about his supposed repudiation by Sen. John Kerry’s Democratic campaign – can be traced back to a story by Talon News’ former White House correspondent Jeff Gannon, whose real name is James Guckert.

On July 27, 2004, just over a year ago, a Talon News story under Gannon’s byline reported that Wilson ‘has apparently been jettisoned from the Kerry campaign.’ The article based its assumption on the fact that ‘all traces’ of Wilson ‘had disappeared from the Kerry Web site.’

The Talon News article reported that ‘Wilson had appeared on a Web site http://www.restorehonesty.com where he restated his criticism of the Bush administration. The link now goes directly to the main page of http://www.johnkerry.com and no reference to Wilson can be found on the entire site.'”

Via Consortium News

Whiskey Bar: Too Close for Comfort

Deja vu all over again Reminds me of CSN&Y tune, Ohio.

Dying ACT

Soros-Backed Activist Group Disbands as Interest Fades

via Tom Paine So long George, we hardly knew ya.

Preempting Cheney

TomPaine.com :

“Whatever plans Dick Cheney and his neo-conservatives may have had to conjure up a nuclear threat from Iran as ‘justification’ for military action have been sharply undercut by some timely leaks to the Washington Post. In a redux of President George W. Bush’s spin on the ‘grave and growing’ danger from Iraq, Cheney prot�g�and newly appointed U.N. Ambassador John Bolton is on record warning that Iranian ‘deception’ must not be allowed to continue much longer: ‘It will be too late. Iran will have nuclear weapons.’

Not for ten more years, report sources close to the U.S. intelligence community in yesterday’s lead story in the Post. Several government officials with access to the most recent National Intelligence Estimate on Iran have told journalist Dafna Linzer of its main judgments. By doing so, Linzer’s sources seem determined not to sit idly by as our country is misled once again into a war favored only by ‘neo-conservatives’ in Washington and their counterparts in the far-right Likud government in Israel who share a vision of remaking the map of the Middle East.”

Exploit writers team up to target Cisco routers

Security Focus

For those of you who are unaware of this hole, it is kinda sorta serious, and has to do with the large gaping security holes I’ve spoken of previously in things like milnet and fidnet, and other innoucous network backbones running these IOSes. Pretty good encryption is sometimes necessary, in lieu of the fact the government isn’t the only place you find crooks who wish to steal your information.

As per my previous post, these tools are free, BYMMV and you may want to look into some other products as well.

Spear phishers launch targeted attacks

The Register

Customised malware attacks are becoming more commonplace with virus-laden emails up 50 per cent in the first half of 2005 despite a decrease in volumes of spam and simple computer viruses, according to an IBM security report. The industry giant said that targeted attacks against specific organisations and industries – apparently geared towards stealing critical data, identities or extorting money – are on the rise. Government, financial services, manufacturing and healthcare industries are all in the firing line.

When I get to bottom I go back to the top…Ok

Firewalls and Antivirals and third party trackers detection and removal tools are free and simple to install and they really really like you.

US court files reveal Italian link to Indymedia server grab

The Register

The various documents, which are available at the EFF, here, show that the action took place as a consequence of a mutual legal assistance request from Italy to the US, relating to servers hosted by Rackspace in Texas. The Italian request pretty much confirms what it was possible to piece together a few weeks after the seizure. That is, an investigation into an anarchist grouping which the Italian authorities believed was connected to parcel bombs sent to, among other people, former EU Commission President Romano Prodi was trying to track the origins of some posting allegedly made at Indymedia Italy. Indymedia denies the existence of such postings, and insists that the group, the FAI, doesn’t use Indymedia, but as Indymedia was never contacted about the matter it has never had a chance to cooperate.

The US authorities seem receptive to the notion that Indymedia is the publishing arm of some kind of global conspiracy, and have had some run-ins with it over log files in the past. As far as we know Indymedia servers do not generally log originating IPs, and when requests for cooperation are made (generally to the ISP, rather than direct to Indymedia), Indymedia will usually try to resist them, within the bounds of legality. Which is pretty much what you’d expect your ISP to do for you, but as you may have noticed, most of them don’t.

14 Marines, Interpreter Killed in Northwestern Iraq

by Ellen Knickmeyer and Daniela Deane
Washington Post Staff Writers

“BAGHDAD, Aug. 3 — Insurgents killed 14 U.S. Marines and a civilian interpreter in northwestern Iraq, just one day after seven U.S. Marines were killed in a small-arms attack, the military said Wednesday.

The military said the Marines were killed Wednesday morning when their amphibious assault vehicle was attacked by a roadside bomb just south of the northwestern city of Haditha. One Marine was also wounded in the attack, the military said.”

RED-STATE.COM

The Michael Meckler weblog Via Hypothetically Speaking

August 3, 2005
Well, I made a right mess of trying to predict the outcome of yesterday’s special election in the 2nd Congressional District. Yes, Jean Schmidt won, but the organizational effort of Paul Hackett was impressive. Schmidt’s victory, by 4,000 votes, was ensured by a strong showing in her home base of Clermont County, but most of the other details from the election results defied conventional wisdom.

Turnout was much higher than expected, at nearly 115,000 votes or more than 25 percent. This was nearly twice what I had anticipated. And those additional voters were predominantly Democrats and former John Kerry supporters, many of whom skipped the primary. They were clearly energized by Paul Hackett’s campaign and by the perception that the race was winnable.

Advocate Blogs

Advocate Blogs

This is an example of the regional blogs Atrios was talking about a week or so ago. It isn’t Wolcott or BillMon caliber writing, just average folks with something to say about Jefferson’s estimation of the common man. This guy’s pretty blunt, and a tad snarky too.

With Friends Like This…

by Justin Raimondo

“The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz was first to break the story that Israel faced U.S.-imposed sanctions as a result of selling replacement parts for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to China, Harpy Killer unmanned attack drones, designed to take out radar systems – just the sort of thing the Red Army needs in order to make good on its threat to invade Taiwan.”

Justin Raimondo is one of those writers who is very good at articulating his positions and points of view, and has been for decades. If I were to say anything else it would be he needs to work on his pan handling and horn blowing skills.

Please save the world from these two short comingshere.

2 Aides to Rove Testify in C.I.A. Leak Inquiry – New York Times

New York Times

Digby Speaks We Listen

DeLay to Be on Christian Telecast on Courts

New York Times

Stepping into the debate over the Supreme Court nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr., Representative Tom DeLay, the majority leader, has agreed to appear in a telecast called “Justice Sunday II” to rally conservative Christian support for remaking the court.

“It is certainly not going to help the White House build support for Judge Roberts on Capitol Hill,” said Jim Manley, communications director for Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader. “To their credit, they have been working real hard to try to build bipartisan support for Judge Roberts, but Congressman DeLay’s comments about ‘judicial activism’ and ‘judicial tyranny’ are not going to help that cause up here on the Hill.”

Mr. DeLay’s decision to appear on the Nashville telecast was first reported by The Tennessean, Nashville’s largest daily.

I think the Christian community ought to contact the Family Research Coucil about their having anyone under the ethical and legal cloud that Mr. Delay is carrying, and remind them that their obligation to the body of Christ should always supercede partisan politics. Mr. Delay, because of his ethical problems, should not address the congregations of Christ, untill he has cleared up these matters.

American Journalist Found Dead in Iraq

Washington Post:

“In an opinion column published July 31 in The New York Times, Vincent wrote that Basra’s police force had been heavily infiltrated by members of Shiite political groups, including those loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.”

Update: Steven Vincent’s blog is here.

Documents Tell of Brutal Improvisation by GIs

I seem to recall that there were some mercenaries involved in this Abu Ghraib affair as well, and yet no word on these people. Oh I see paramilitary Iraqi’s under the CIA. Now if you will recall, the CIA and the Neo-cons are having a little dustup, and the Wapo was a propagandist for the Neocons, hmmmm wonder why this story is coming out now, could it be Rove? What a bunch of losers, or maybe the old no honor amongst thieves line is more apropo, but that is what is going on here, look another crime! Pay no attention to the US Attorney in the rear view mirror.

Documents Tell of Brutal Improvisation by GIs:

“Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush was being stubborn with his American captors, and a series of intense beatings and creative interrogation tactics were not enough to break his will. On the morning of Nov. 26, 2003, a U.S. Army interrogator and a military guard grabbed a green sleeping bag, stuffed Mowhoush inside, wrapped him in an electrical cord, laid him on the floor and began to go to work. Again.

It was inside the sleeping bag that the 56-year-old detainee took his last breath through broken ribs, lying on the floor beneath a U.S. soldier in Interrogation Room 6 in the western Iraqi desert. Two days before, a secret CIA-sponsored group of Iraqi paramilitaries, working with Army interrogators, had beaten Mowhoush nearly senseless, using fists, a club and a rubber hose, according to classified documents.”

“Previous interrogations were non-threatening; Abid was being treated very well. Not anymore,” the document reads. “The interrogation session lasted several hours and I took the gloves off because Abid refused to play ball.”

When Army efforts produced nothing useful, detainees would be handed over to members of Operational Detachment Alpha 531, soldiers with the 5th Special Forces Group, the CIA or a combination of the three. “The personnel were dressed in civilian clothes and wore balaclavas to hide their identity,” according to a Jan. 18, 2004, report for the commander of the 82nd Airborne Division.

If they did not get what they wanted, the interrogators would deliver the detainees to a small team of the CIA-sponsored Iraqi paramilitary squads, code-named Scorpions, according to a military source familiar with the operation.

Troops take over Mauritanian capital.

ABC News Online: “Army troops in the north-west African nation of Mauritania have taken over the armed forces headquarters, state radio and television buildings in the capital, Nouakchott.

The troops moved into the buildings early in the morning.

They have also blocked off access to the presidential palace.

President Maaouyia Ould Taya is in Saudi Arabia for the funeral of King Fahd.”

Bridging the hunger gap in Niger

Mail & Guardian Online:

“While mothers continue to bring children weak with hunger to feeding centres, market stalls are filled with food — but at prices well out of the reach of many in this desperately poor nation.

‘It is the government’s job to deal with the hungry, we the traders are here for business,’ said Ibrahim Baye, who sells millet, a staple in Niger, at Maradi market.

The well-stocked markets are deceptive. The food shortage is real. Last year locusts, in the worst invasion in 15 years, ravaged about 18 130 square kilometres of Niger farmland. That and a subsequent drought cut cereal production by 15% last year, according to the United Nations.

Fresh violence disrupts Khartoum : Mail & Guardian Online

Fresh violence disrupts Khartoum : Mail & Guardian Online:

“Violence broke out for a second day in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, on Tuesday after a morning of tense calm, a day after 36 people were killed in furious riots sparked by the death of Sudanese vice-president and former southern rebel leader John Garang.

In some neighbourhoods heavily populated by southerners on the outskirts of the city, outsiders were attacking people in the streets and raiding homes, said William Ezekiel, managing editor of the Khartoum Monitor. He said at least two people in southern Khartoum were shot and killed.

Oldest known Bible to go online

A team of experts from the UK, Europe, Egypt and Russia is currently digitising the parchment known as the Codex Sinaiticus, believed to originally been one of 50 copies of the scriptures commissioned by Roman Emperor Constantine after he converted to Christianity.

The Bible, which is currently in the British Library in London, dates from the 4th Century. The original document is so precious that it has only been seen by four scholars in the last 20 years.

The Codex Sinaiticus contains the whole of the Christian Bible; specifically, it has the oldest complete copy of the New Testament, as well as the Greek Old Testament, known as the Septuagint, which includes books now regarded as apocrypha.

The DLC,, Ralph Reed, Brian Lunde, Karl Rove and Why Democrats Lose

THE BRAD BLOG:

“This is a revolutionary redefinition of the party chairmanship,” said Brian Lunde, a former national party official who, during the 1980s, helped several Democrats win the chairmanship. “We are moving into totally uncharted waters.”

For many on the list, the Rove connection is a mutually beneficial two-way street. Brian Lunde, former executive director of the Democratic National Committee and one of the few Democrats on the list, helped the Bush 2000 campaign round up Democratic supporters.

After Bush took office, Lunde has recommended Democrats for White House appointments, especially in cases requiring selections from both parties. During consideration of trade proposals and protective measures for the steel industry, Lunde could suggest to Rove potential Democratic supporters, which, in turn, advanced the interests of such Lunde clients as the Business Roundtable and Nucor Steel, which backed the administration initiatives.

Check this out……

Election after election, political parties, election officials and the news media act surprised when fraud, intimidation and suppression activities occur. Now everyone is on notice that there’s a problem in the St. Louis area and those who don’t participate in a solution will be held accountable,” said Brian Lunde, ACVR Legislative Fund board member.

“Election after election, political parties, election officials and the news media act surprised when fraud, intimidation and suppression activities occur. Now everyone is on notice that there’s a problem in Seattle and those who don’t participate in a solution will be held accountable,” said Brian Lunde, ACVR Legislative Fund board member.

The other three Press Releases referring to the top “Election Fraud ‘Hot Spots'” have the same quote from Lunde, changed only to refer to the city in question: Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Cleveland.

Now I wonder who the Rove Rat was, from the DLC???

The few K Street lobbyists on Rove’s list — Ed Gillespie, Haley Barbour, Charlie Black and Don Fierce — are particularly fortunate because their influence makes them more valuable to corporate clients.

Rove’s contacts are not all supporters or natural allies. Rove checks in regularly with Michael Novak of AEI, who knew Rove for years but backed Steve Forbes in the GOP primary. “Karl’s a sponge,” said Novak, who has offered advice on welfare and Social Security. “He loves ideas, he loves information — and he loves adversarial stuff, too.”

Brazile, the former Gore campaign manager, knows about that. The two first started talking in January 2001, with a “good-natured taunt.” Now, Brazile said, “I respect him, I admire him, and though we come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, I enjoy the conversation.”

Brazile tells Rove how Bush policies are playing and checks in with him before her television appearances. “He bounces things off me, and I’ll say, ‘That’s going to get you in a lot of trouble,’ ” she said.

But Abramoff and Scanlon — who are now at the center of a Washington scandal sparked by the multimillion-dollar fees they charged several tribal clients — knew that to win any lobbying campaign in the South, they needed help mobilizing social and religious conservatives. So they turned to one of the best-known names on the religious right: Ralph Reed.

Since its founding in 1997, his consulting firm, Century Strategies, has racked up millions in fees from companies including Enron, Microsoft, Verizon, and other Fortune 100 companies, according to sources familiar with its client list.

Reed’s value to corporate America has been enhanced by his close ties to the Bush administration and especially to Karl Rove, the president’s chief political guru. Not long after Century Strategies started, Rove reportedly helped Reed land an Enron contract worth at least $300,000 to help build support for energy deregulation.

Among Reed’s clients is Channel One, a company that provides television equipment to schools in exchange for airing 10 minutes of news and 2 minutes of commercials daily. Prominent conservatives have blasted the company for exposing children to junk-food ads and explicit movie promos. In response, Channel One turned to Reed, who in 2002 helped the company deflect a proposed Texas Board of Education resolution that would have urged schools to jettison Channel One.

Reed also helped a powerful coalition of business groups, including Boeing and the Business Roundtable, to convince Congress to normalize trade relations with China — over the objections of many conservatives, who criticize China’s dismal record on religious freedom. Brian Lunde, a public relations executive who worked with Reed on the China issue in 2000, recalls that Reed was instrumental in persuading conservative members of Congress to support permanent normal trade relations with China, and that he helped write ads aimed at conservatives arguing that a closer economic relationship with China could improve human rights.

The Miller and Koch announcement give the Bush campaign a leg up in organizing a Democrats for Bush organization. In 2000, a similar effort directed by former Democratic National Committee chief of staff Brian Lunde — now a public affairs consultant in Washington, and a close ally of Bush strategist Karl Rove — came close to announcing endorsements of Bush by former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey and former Democratic National Chairman/U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union Robert Strauss.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Brits Discover Their Cooking

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | No laughing matter No offense to my cousins of course.

Zubaida Hassan – A true story

Zubaida Hassan – A true story via In DC Journal Because Republicans need love too.

NewDonkey.com Ralph Reed’s Slo-Mo Scandal

via Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall asked today why Ralph Reed’s not in more trouble back home in Georgia for his central involvement in the Abramoff/Scanlon Indian Casino Shakedown Scam.

Whiskey Bar: Intelligence Test

Keep on Rockin in the Free World

We now have some fairly solid evidence refuting the old Social Darwinist idea that inherited wealth is a byproduct of superior genes. Unfortunately, the evidence also happens to be the ranking Democrat on the Senate Whitewash Committee (aka the Senate Intelligence Committee.)

Some readers may recall that when the Downing Street Memos surfaced, I suggested one way to try to keep the story alive would be to focus on the second part of the Whitewash Committee’s investigation of the Iraq WMD snipe hunt — the part that was supposed to look at the administration’s use of the bogus data it was given by (official GOP view) or extorted from (reality) the intelligence community.

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: July 31, 2005 – August 06, 2005 Archives

Hullabaloo

OK, From the Top

A variant of the Mark of Rove is what might be called the Arabesque of Rove, in which the Administration openly makes a political move, but its meaning is presumed to be something else. A policy that looks like an appeal to one group is actually an appeal to another—the locus classicus being Bush’s promise to “leave no child behind” in education, which gestures, not disingenuously, toward ghetto kids but drives up Bush’s poll numbers with suburban women. (Rove, who salts his conversation with election and poll results, told me, “Remember, in 1996, if education’s your No. 1 issue, you vote for Clinton-Gore over Dole-Kemp by 76-16. By 2000, you vote for Gore-Lieberman over Bush-Cheney by 52-44.”) Or something will be aimed simultaneously at both “base” voters, on the right, and “swing” voters, in the middle, like the slogan “compassionate conservatism,” which moderates hear as “not all that conservative” and fundamentalists hear as “conservative and dedicated to serving Jesus Christ.” Or the Administration will propose something that receives the universal approbation of respectable opinion and also fails to pass, but that actually has hidden benefits, such as distracting liberal attention from something else, or propitiating an important Republican interest group.

Now is there anything else you don’t understand about ID, and Stem cell research being issues?

The American Spectator

The following article gets right to the crux of the matter. The fact that neither veiw can be falsified makes them unscientific on their face. Sheesh.

The American Spectator:

“Scientists who have been exploiting this gaffe for propagandistic purposes are very upset that Schonborn has clarified the Church’s rejection of evolutionary theory and are trying to dismiss his op-ed as the irrelevant musings of a theologian. But Schonborn’s point — and this is what really unnerves them — is that evolutionary theory is bad science, a misreading of nature, and that those who build theories on the basis of it are engaged in an ideological project.

‘Now at the beginning of the 21st century, faced with scientific claims like neo-Darwinism and the multiverse hypothesis in cosmology invented to avoid the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design found in modern science, the Catholic Church will again defend human reason by proclaiming that the immanent design evident in nature is real,’ he wrote. ‘Scientific theories that try to explain away the appearance of design as the result of ‘chance and necessity’ are not scientific at all, but, as John Paul put it, an abdication of human intelligence.'”

This is exactly what is wrong with the debates, everyone states emphatically as though they could not possibly be wrong. BTW padre what has mixing cosmology with evolution got to do with anything? This education costs $100K+? BWAAHAAHAA……BWAHAAHAAHAA heh.

Whiskey Bar: The Descent of Man

If the shoe fits…

The so-called scientific theorists which now lead the war against the teaching of Intelligent Design are nothing more, at bottom, than conspiracies of the inferior man against his equals. They mirror very accurately his congenital hatred of knowledge, his bitter enmity to the man who knows more than he does, and so gets more out of life . . .

Such organizations, of course, must have leaders; there must be men in them whose arrogance and imbecility must measure themselves greater than the arrogance and imbecility of the average. These super-Chandala often attain to a considerable power, especially in democratic states. Their followers trust them and look up to them; sometimes, when the pack is on the loose, it is necessary to conciliate them. But their puissance cannot conceal their incurable egos. They belong to the mob as surely as their dupes, and the thing that animates them is precisely the mob’s, hatred of commom sense. Whatever lies above the level of their comprehension is rightly called knowledge.

Some Revolutions in Evolution

This one of the articles I am reading from the ID camp, which I don’t imagine any closed minded individuals will look into, but for the border line I though I should at least use Mr. Sagans remarks as an opener.

“The belief that spontaneous regeneration, while admittedly very rare, is still attractive as illustrated by Sagan and Leonard’s conclusion, “Most scientists agree that life will appear spontaneously in any place where conditions remain sufficiently favorable for a very long time” (1972, p. 9). This claim then is followed by an admission from Sagan and Leonard that raises doubts not only about abiogenesis, but about Darwinism generally, namely, “this conviction [about the origin of life] is based on inferences and extrapolations.”

Emphasis added.

Yockey concludes that although Miller’s paradigm was at one time

worth consideration, now the entire effort in the primeval soup paradigm is self-deception based on the ideology of its champions… The history of science shows that a paradigm, once it has achieved the status of acceptance (and is incorporated in textbooks) and regardless of its failures, is declared invalid only when a new paradigm is available to replace it … It is a characteristic of the true believer in religion, philosophy and ideology that he must have a set of beliefs, come what may… There is no reason that this should be different in the research on the origin of life …Belief in a primeval soup on the grounds that no other paradigm is available is an example of the logical fallacy of the false alternative… (Yockey, 1992, p. 336 emphasis in original).

The most famous origin of life experiment was completed in 1953 by Stanley Miller at the University of Chicago. At the time Miller was a 23-year-old graduate student working under Urey who was trying to recreate in his laboratory the conditions then thought to have preceded the origin of life. The Miller/Urey experiments involved filling a sealed glass apparatus with methane, ammonia, hydrogen gases (representing what they thought composed the early atmosphere) and water vapor (to simulate the ocean). Next, they used a spark-discharge device to strike the gases in the flask with simulated lightning while a heating coil kept the water boiling. Within a few days, the water and gas mix produced a reddish stain on the sides of the flask. After analyzing the substances that had been formed, they found several types of amino acids. Eventually Miller and other scientists were able to produce 10 of the 20 amino acids required for life by techniques similar to the original Miller/ Urey experiments.

Urey and Miller assumed that the results were significant because some of the organic compounds produced were the building blocks of proteins, the basic structure of all life (Horgan, 1996, p. 130). Although widely heralded by the press as “proving” the origin of life could have occurred on the early earth under natural conditions without intelligence, the experiment actually provided compelling evidence for exactly the opposite conclusion. For example, equal quantities of both right- and left-handed organic molecules always were produced by the Urey/Miller procedure. In real life, nearly all amino acids found in proteins are left handed, almost all polymers of carbohydrates are right handed, and the opposite type can be toxic to the cell. In a summary the famous Urey/Miller origin-of-life experiment, Horgan concluded:

Miller’s results seem to provide stunning evidence that life could arise from what the British chemist J.B.S. Haldane had called the “primordial soup.” Pundits speculated that scientists, like Mary Shelley’s Dr. Frankenstein, would shortly conjure up living organisms in their laboratories and thereby demonstrate in detail how genesis unfolded. It hasn’t worked out that way. In fact, almost 40 years after his original experiment, Miller told me that solving the riddle of the origin of life had turned out to be more difficult than he or anyone else had envisioned (1996, p. 138).

We now realize that the Urey/Miller experiments did not produce evidence for abiogenesis because, although amino acids are the building blocks of life, the key to life is information (Pigliucci, 1999; Dembski, 1998). Natural objects in forms resembling the English alphabet (circles, straight lines and similar) abound in nature, but this does not help us to understand the origin of information (such as that in Shakespear’s plays) because this task requires intelligence both to create the information (the play) and then to translate that information into symbols. What must be explained is the source of the information in the text (the words and ideas), not the existence of circles and straight lines. Likewise, the information contained in the genome must be explained (Dembski, 1998). Complicating the situation is the fact that

research has since drawn Miller’s hypothetical atmosphere into question, causing many scientists to doubt the relevance of his findings. Recently, scientists have focused on an even more exotic amino acid source: meteorites. Chyba is one of several researchers who have evidence that extraterrestrial amino acids may have hitched a ride to Earth on far flung space rocks (Simpson, 1999, p. 26).

Yet another difficulty is, even if the source of the amino acids and the many other compounds needed for life could be explained, it still must be explained as to how these many diverse elements became aggregated in the same area and then properly assembled themselves. This problem is a major stumbling block to any theory of abiogenesis:

…no one has ever satisfactorily explained how the widely distributed ingredients linked up into proteins. Presumed conditions of primordial Earth would have driven the amino acids toward lonely isolation. That’s one of the strongest reasons that Wächtershäuser, Morowitz, and other hydrothermal vent theorists want to move the kitchen [that cooked life] to the ocean floor. If the process starts down deep at discrete vents, they say, it can build amino acids—and link them up—right there (Simpson, 1999, p. 26).

The warm pond and hot vent theories also have been seriously disputed by experimental research that has found the half-lives of many critically important compounds needed for life to be far “too short to allow for the adequate accumulation of these compounds” (Levy and Miller, 1998, p. 7933). Furthermore, research has documented that “unless the origin of life took place extremely rapidly (in less than 100 years), we conclude that a high temperature origin of life… cannot involve adenine, uracil, guanine or cytosine” because these compounds break down far too fast in a warm environment. In a hydrothermal environment, most of these compounds could neither form in the first place, nor exist for a significant amount of time (Levy and Miller, p. 7933).

As Levy and Miller explain, “the rapid rates of hydrolysis of the nucleotide bases A,U,G and T at temperatures much above 0° Celsius would present a major problem in the accumulation of these presumed essential components on the early earth” (p. 7933). For this reason, Levy and Miller postulated that either a two-letter code or an alternative base pair was used instead.

Bad News – New York Times

Bad News – New York Times:

“A serious newspaper, like The Times, is a large, hierarchical commercial enterprise that interposes layers of review, revision and correction between the reporter and the published report and that to finance its large staff depends on advertising revenues and hence on the good will of advertisers and (because advertising revenues depend to a great extent on circulation) readers. These dependences constrain a newspaper in a variety of ways. But in addition, with its reputation heavily invested in accuracy, so that every serious error is a potential scandal, a newspaper not only has to delay publication of many stories to permit adequate checking but also has to institute rules for avoiding error – like requiring more than a single source for a story or limiting its reporters’ reliance on anonymous sources – that cost it many scoops.

Judy Judy Judy

But probably the biggest reason for declining trust in the media is polarization. As media companies are pushed closer to one end of the political spectrum or the other, the trust placed in them erodes. Their motives are assumed to be political. This may explain recent Pew Research Center poll data that show Republicans increasingly regarding the media as too critical of the government and Democrats increasingly regarding them as not critical enough.”

via Roger Ailes, via atrios

Of course let’s not miss the point that the blogs send millions of readers to the main$tream press, who do advertise on their pages, so that the NYTimes and I are sort of symbiotic, except that I don’t advertise, and oh yeah I need to fix my email, and oh yeah I need to quit being so phlematic so that someone will comment on this ‘ere blog so that I know that I too am loved and admired by all of youse.

Bush endorses teaching “intelligent design” in schools

The Seattle Times

Bush, who is to leave today for a monthlong stay at his Texas ranch, compared the current debate to earlier disputes over “creationism,” a related view that adheres more closely to biblical explanations. As governor of Texas, Bush said students should be exposed to both creationism and evolution.

Yesterday the president said he favors the same approach for intelligent design “so people can understand what the debate is about.”

The Kansas Board of Education is considering changes to encourage the teaching of intelligent design in Kansas schools, and Christian conservatives are pushing for similar changes in other school districts across the country.

“I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought,” Bush said.

Scaled-back school funding plan draws education critics

The Victoria Advocate

AUSTIN – A massive school funding overhaul could be trimmed significantly as leaders began Monday to discuss a scaled-back version that funds textbooks and a teacher pay increase, but doesn’t offer promised tax relief to Texas homeowners.

This debacle sponsored by The Republican government of Texas.

CNOOC Expected to Drop Bid for Unocal

El Paso Times

SHANGHAI, China (AP) — Hong Kong-traded shares in CNOOC Ltd. gained sharply Tuesday following a report that the Chinese offshore oil company plans to soon drop its $18.5 billion offer for Unocal Corp.

CNOOC’s withdrawal would free the way for Chevron Corp. to clinch its $17.4 billion bid for El Segundo, Calif.-based Unocal.

Do the math. This is the Free Market economy? ROFLMAO Oil is fungible, so maybe Mainstreet is talking out it’s hat, or Maybe free means free sorta kinda gentler nation, or maybe American capitalists just say whatever in the world is convienient.

Warmer water on the Pacific Coast prompt concerns

HoustonChronicle.com

“There are strange things happening, but we don’t really understand how all the pieces fit together,” said Jane Lubchenco, a zoologist and climate change expert at Oregon State University. “It’s hard to say whether any single event is just an anomaly or a real indication of something serious happening.”

This much is known: From California to British Columbia, unusual weather patterns have disrupted the marine ecosystem.

“The bottom has fallen out of the coastal food chain, and there’s just not enough food out there,” said Julia Parrish, a seabird ecologist at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Dating Cheney’s Nuclear Drumbeat – by Jim Lobe and Tom Engelhardt

Framing the Plame Case by Jim Lobe”

Cheney’s initial public attempts to raise the nuclear nightmare did not in fact begin with his August 2002 barrage of nuclear speeches, but rather five months before that, just after his return from a tour of Arab capitals where he had tried in vain to gin up local support for military action against Iraq. Indeed, the specific date on which his campaign was launched was March 24, 2002, when, on return from the Middle East, he appeared on three major Sunday public-affairs television programs bearing similar messages on each.
[…]
Why do I think that Cheney moment, that particular barrage of statements about Saddam’s supposed nuclear program, remains so significant today, in light of the Plame affair?

For one thing, that Sunday’s drum roll of nuclear claims indicated that the “intelligence and facts” were already being “fixed around the policy” four months before Sir Richard Dearlove, head of Britain’s MI6, reached that conclusion, as recorded in the Downing Street Memo.

This is a must read … The uber liberal Clifford May, ex-New York Timesman, recent head of communications for the Republican National Committee (1997-2001), and president of the ultra-neoconservative Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD). or Foundation for the Uh Defense of Denocracies (FFuDD).

Iran Is Judged 10 Years From Nuclear Bomb

By Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writer

A major U.S. intelligence review has projected that Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years, according to government sources with firsthand knowledge of the new analysis.

The carefully hedged assessments, which represent consensus among U.S. intelligence agencies, contrast with forceful public statements by the White House. Administration officials have asserted, but have not offered proof, that Tehran is moving determinedly toward a nuclear arsenal. The new estimate could provide more time for diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear ambitions. President Bush has said that he wants the crisis resolved diplomatically but that “all options are on the table.”

Novak No Va

Monday, August 01, 2005

Curiouser and Curiouser

Suburban Guerrilla � The Regime

Like she said.

i’m sick and tired of hearing things
from uptight-short sighted-
narrow minded hypocritics
all i want is the truth
just give me some truth

i’ve had enough of reading things
by nuerotic-pyschotic-
pig headed politicians
all i want is the truth
just give me some truth

no short haired-yellow bellied
son of tricky dicky
is gonna mother hubbard
soft soap me
with just a pocketful of hope
money for dope
money for rope

i’m sick to death of seeing things
from tight lipped-
condescending -mommies little
chauvinists
all i want is the truth
just give me some truth

i’ve had enough of watching scenes
of schizophrenic – ego – centric
– paranoic – prima – donnas
all i want is the truth
just give me some truth

John Lennon – alrights reserved

Now Let’s Say You Like To Travel On Lobbyist Money

TPMCafe || Politics, Ideas & Lots Of Caffeine

On July 27th, Speaker Dennis Hastert sent a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House ethics committee, suggesting that the reason so many members of the House (like Reps. DeLay, Ney, et al.) have run into problems with lobbyist-paid junkets is the complexity of the House Ethics rules themselves. He asked the two to “as soon as possible” come up with a new system of approving privately funded member travel.

On Friday Ranking Member Alan B. Mollohan sent a letter (click link to see letter) to Hastert in which he said, in so many words, no dice. He also warned against attempts to blame members’ unethical behavior on the rules themselves.

Wrote Mollohan: “I believe we can all agree that Members who are sophisticated enough to pass the laws of the land are sophisticated enough to understand the straightforward House rules on privately funded travel.”

Now lets assume you go to Josh’s place and tell other folks what you think of Hastert’s delaying tactics.

New president handed a nuclear confrontation

By Safa Haeri :

“Iran has one nuclear-powered electricity plant near completion with Russian help and technology on the Persian Gulf at Bushehr.”

Now let’s see, here we read that the US lost three Nukes and perhaps that is where the high radioactivity comes from in the Iranian IAEA inspections, naw….they wouldn’t trade Russia salty missles for dual use technology would they?

The problem with letting the echo chamber of Washington frame the debate in the US, and really by all appearances it looks like an effective marketing scheme, we fail to see the big picture.

Let’s just for fun assume that the pharmaceutical companies, (no names here, (like Carlye, or Rumsfield,)) want to develope stem cells because they are altruistic and wish to cure poor folk like Christopher Reeves, and not for the big bucks, but those pesky Religious fundamentalists oppose it, and they support W who isn’t running for pResident, but Frist needs lots of bucks, and the middle of the roaders to forget he makes diagnosis from DC on people in Florida because he’s just that good. What would you do?

Now say you wanted a war machine to beat all war machines, but those pesky pacifists started to energize the pesky Christians, including those on the right? Where would you plant the corn?

Now lets say you did copious amounts of drugs in the sixties, seventies and eighties and so forgot counterintelpro and other shenanigans, and actually trusted the government to do the right thing, because the politicians had all been proven to do what they said they would do, and by golly by gum, you being educated and all that, knew they wanted to do it but that liberal media, (inspite of what Adam Apple Annie Coulter said,) blames it all on Kstreet and Corporatism, which is a good thing because by gooly by gum that’s where I make my living, and everyone I know is all right, yeppa yeppa yep.

You might be an American if you…

Fall for all that jazz.

You might be an American if you…

Don’t understand the concept of divide and conquer.

But I digress.

Death by secularism: Some statistical evidence

By Spengler :

Infertility is killing off the secular world, a number of writers have observed, including Phillip Longman, whose 1994 book The Empty Cradle I reviewed last year. [1] In the former Soviet empire, where atheism reigned as state policy for generations, the United Nations forecasts extreme declines in population by 2050, ranging from 22% for the Russian Federation to nearly 50% for the Ukraine. Secular western Europe will lose 4% to 12% of its population, while the population of the churchgoing United States continues to grow. Is secularism at fault? The numbers do not suggest otherwise”

Add your cheap shot here.

ActBlue – Eschaton

Hackett Packets

As a favor to Atrios, since he asked.

Hammerin’ Creationism

Balloon Juice

I am not quite sure how to present this, other than another example of faith-“the assured expectation of the thing hoped for, although not beheld.”, that currently runs through the debate. It is interesting to note the convergence of the Democrats and Republicans on this issue.

Evolution is one of the most powerful and elegant theories in all of human science and the bedrock of all modern biology. No offense to Krauthammer, but powerful yes, elegant no.

I think that the two sides of the issue will eventually converge as well, given enough time, when cosmologists and plasma physicists finally prove that time as we currently understand it does not exist.

I have to admit to not being very familiar with the Creationists arguments, but what little I have seen appears to be centered on the lapses and holes in the record and the dishonest presentation of Evolutionists of the record, which reminds me of the higher critics of the Bible, a lot of effort to disprove what one wishes not to believe.

My favorite definition of evolution as currently understood is; Douglas J. Futuyma in Evolutionary Biology,

“In the broadest sense, evolution is merely change, and so is all-pervasive; galaxies, languages, and political systems all evolve. Biological evolution … is change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. The ontogeny of an individual is not considered evolution; individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic material from one generation to the next. Biological evolution may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as those determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from the earliest protoorganism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions.”

Darwin proposed a mechanism for that change, natural selection. The Bible does not specifically exclude the time required for this sort of activity to occur, nor does it exclude the possibility that the ambient temperature of the universe makes it substantially younger than the Cephids within it. Ultimately the two sides of the issue supply more evidence for the arrogance of the current generation of mankind, both sides being as ignorant of the science of biological evolution as the other is of the power of God.

While the race is on to create parthenogenetic human embryos, considerable doubts remain regarding the safety and efficacy of this approach. Researchers believe that the male DNA that mixes with the females DNA in the egg probably has an important role to play in gene activation in at least some kinds of stem cells. For example, studies in mice produced parthenogenitically suggest that those stem cells differentiate more readily into neurons than into other cell types such a muscle. Obviously the Virgin birth of Christ is something that cannot be scientifically disproved either.

The search for life in the universe, or at least Mars and comets etc. etc. is also looking for a short cut in abiogenesis which primordial soup life sprang from cannot be conclusively proven to have existed on primitative Earth.

So far the only thing this debate is proving is as I stated above, Republicans and Democrats have more in common with each other than they give themselves credit for, and ultimately just how ignorant mankind really is, no matter how intelligent she may be, she don’t know squat about peas.

Mommy, Why is Jesus winking at me?

James Wolcott This post lead to this post which of course raises all the same arguments that we have heard ad infintum from People Bored in the American Way.

For those few who actually do not read and/or do not comprehend the Scriptures, there is absolutely no promise of a “soul” floating off to heaven or being condemned to hell in the book. ( In fact if the educated could even read English, it clearly states “man came to be a living soul.”, which is quite distinct from “came to have a living soul.”, sheesh. Sorry I missed college.) That concept is Greek philosophy, as ahem, you better educated well know. Following the slant of ignorance a little further you will also be aware of the Alexanderian school, that tried to reconcile Hebrew theology with the Greek Philosophy of the time, from whence the thought of dying and going to heaven entered into Christian theology, and since the clergy found it profitable it has become a mainstay lie. Rest asured that when you die, you die. Those who believe in a resurrection will not be as surprised as those who do not believe or cannot fathom the concept that caused so much grief to the Alexandrian elite.

The ignorance of the educated is almost as complete as that of the faithful, allowing that the educated are cognizant of the teaching and philosophy of Plato and the Stoics, and the above allusion. The faithful are in fact ignorant because of the educated, who teach BS from pulpit to seminary, knowing full well the history of their lessons. It is no wonder that the press, media, etc etc are full of propaganda. That is in fact the coin of the American realm, and not information as /.ers lead us to believe. You are enlightened by your own reason, which is only slightly less majical than the statue that some have come to mock and others to worship.

Perhaps you should have another sip of wine and eat some more cheese mon ami, …cigarette?

Sirotablog

Sirotablog: Grover Norquist, turncoats & the need to embrace movement politics

The New Yorker has a new piece on conservative activist Grover Norquist, and how he realized the one of the keys to helping Republicans effectively fight Democrats was to pressure GOP moderates and thus unify the right. As New Yorker reporter John Cassidy notes, today Norquist “criticize[s] moderate Republicans, such as John McCain and Lindsay Graham, because they think the moderates are holding back the conservative agenda.” In the states, Norquist is “attacking Republican governors and legislators who raise taxes. In the past few years, a lot of states and cities have been facing budget deficits, which they are legally obliged to close. You might think this justifies higher taxes, but Norquist doesn’t. He’s just brutal to Republican tax raisers.”

Speaking of the Future Establishment

AlterNet: WireTapt

Don’t Just Organize, Mobilize

Most students spoke with conviction and clarity about their values and goals. There were savvy strategists, organizers, and promoters. But as with the rest of progressive community, student organizers often fail to mobilize larger groups of people beyond their immediate activist circles.

The Case for a Democratic Marker — In These Times

The Case for a Democratic Marker — In These Times

Well, first of all, I’m a historian and the only time Democrats have been able to pull together a new majority and to grow was when they laid down these markers, pledges to ordinary Americans that the government would protect their economic interests.

Bolton’s Not the Only Bomb

Nuclear Warheads Lost from a B-52 Now in Iran? By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

Iran may have the weapons-grade uranium out of three nuclear warheads dumped out of a B-52 back in 1991. Or so at least the US government might have some reason to believe, according to a seemingly well-informed person talking to CounterPunch last week.

You Can’t Fight Terrorism With Racism

You Can’t Fight Terrorism With Racism

“A New York Times op-ed piece by Paul Sperry, a Hoover Institution media fellow [‘It’s the Age of Terror: What Would You Do?’], and a Post column by Charles Krauthammer [‘Give Grandma a Pass; Politically Correct Screening Won’t Catch Jihadists’] endorsed the practice of using ethnicity, national origin and religion as primary factors in deciding whom police should regard as possible terrorists — in other words, racial profiling. A second Times column, on Thursday, by Haim Watzman [‘When You Have to Shoot First’] argued that the London police officer who chased down and put seven bullets into the head of a Brazilian electrician without asking him any questions or giving him any warning ‘did the right thing.’

The three articles blessed behavior that makes a mockery of the rights to which people in this country are entitled.”

Spy’s Notes on Iraqi Aims Were Shelved, Suit Says

In court documents, the former officer says that he learned in 2003 that he was the subject of a counterintelligence investigation and accused of having sex with a female contact, a charge he denies. Eight months after learning of the investigation, he said in the court documents, the agency’s inspector general’s office informed him that he was under investigation for diverting to his own use money earmarked for payments to informants. He denies that, too.

A former senior staff member of the commission said the panel was not aware of the officer’s allegations. The claims were also not included in the 2004 report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on prewar intelligence. He and his lawyer met with staff members of that Senate committee in a closed-door session last December, months after the report was issued.

via Tom Paine

Taking Down the Neocons-

by Justin Raimondo

Whatever one thinks of the Libertarians, or Justin Raimondo, they stay on top some important issues. Go give them a read, and leave a fiver in the bucket.

Information wants to be free, but until then spare change?
BTW DC Media Girl is still scrapping for nickels too.

Riots after Sudan VP Garang dies

BBC NEWS | World :

“Mr Garang died in a helicopter crash as he was returning from Uganda.

He signed a deal to end 21 years of civil war in January and was sworn in as vice-president three weeks ago.”

Plenty of food – yet the poor are starving

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports:

“The starvation in Niger is not the inevitable consequence of poverty, or simply the fault of locusts or drought. It is also the result of a belief that the free market can solve the problems of one of the world’s poorest countries.

The price of grain has skyrocketed; a 100kg bag of millet, the staple grain, costs around 8,000 to 12,000 West African francs (around �13) last year but now costs more than 22,000 francs (�25). According to Washington-based analysts the Famine Early Warning System Network (Fewsnet), drought and pests have only had a ‘modest impact’ on grain production in Niger.”

I’ll quit Commons at next election, Blair tells family and friends

Guardian Unlimited Politics | Special Reports

“Tony Blair will stand down as an MP at the next general election, he has told his family and close political allies.

His move will help avert any charge that he is lingering in the Commons to act as a backseat driver to his expected Labour successor, Gordon Brown. “

Off to Carlyle then is it?

Rest in Peace

King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, the absolute monarch of the world’s largest oil-producing country, died today, Saudi state television announced.

The Saudi royal court issued a statement saying that the king had died and that his brother, Crown Prince Abdullah, had been appointed as the kingdom’s new monarch.