Monthly Archives: October 2006

EZSmirkzz 3.4.Z 10/22/06 – 10/29/06 archive

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Between the thought and the action doth the tin foil hat lie.

If I were a Rot Rovian I would let a bunch of A.N.S.W.E.R.’s more colorful antiwar participants slip out of the free speech zone and into vapor zone of the Burrito in Chief, ( That’s, “email the street theater to come into a Presidential speech, heh heh, the back doors open,” for you who are new here,) to garner the, “poor guys had enough sympathy vote.”

I mean that’s what I would do. It almost works on me.

Why the Democrats Haven’t Got a Plan

This would seem to be a no brainer for Republican strategists to use, after three election cycles of seeing “No Child Left Behind,” Democratic initiatives bushwacked into “Every Kid for Themselves! The Graft Must Flow” I’m more than a little disinclined to offer anything approaching policy change. The Democrats may get a lot of trial lawyer money, but big bidness pays a lot of money to lawyers to change the meaning of words for Republicans too. Not going to happen until after the election.

I’m not a Democratic strategist either, but if I were, I would ask the Republicans, when they’re through talking around the food in their mouths about illegal immigrants, if they have a solution that works for getting the crops picked. I would presume that some educated guesser figures that with housing headed south so should the illegal aliens that built what Americans now need to protect from labor. I don’t think anyone is happy about waves of illegals swamping the retail stores and rental markets either. I don’t suppose now’s a good time to bring up NAFTA which was supposed to shift manufacturing southward toward this wave of illegals that have probably arrived since NAFTA, known now as NADA, rode the new wave to China.

I know that the MSM that Fred Barnes criticizes on the “Beltway Boys,” (when you get home Fred turn on the the TV, cable news, MSM. If you see yourself on TV, Fred, then you might just be the MSM. Otherwise see “Yellow Submarine Republican,) will rally around the vision, but as Rick Perry is so kind to point out in his advertising with the border sheriffs, Rick Perry has been doing what Fred Barnes says needs to be done.

No sir. The Republicans have borrowed one from the old saw, if you put five ( name your crop) farmers in a locked room and asked them one question on a particular policy, when they came out they would have ten positions, all firm.

Remind me of the Red Sea

Billmon’s The Enemies of Truth is a good read.

You could say: To hell with old media, they’re just a bunch of senile dinosaurs anyway, who cares who they pander to? But old media, for better or worse, still set the news agenda, and still dominate the political process. And they’re doing an energetic, if not yet totally successful, job of sucking up new media and sticking them in the same corporate straight jacket. If they decide, as matter of cold capitalist calculation, that one-party Republican rule is the smart way to bet, that could also become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

The beauty and sharpness of the reef.

All Things ScienceThe Lord God made Them All, After that It’s Turtles all the way Down

Reconstructing Inflation by Sean at Cosmic variance;

Dick and Lev were interested in what we should expect inflationary models to predict, and what data might ultimately teach us about the inflationary era. The primary observables connected with inflation are primordial perturbations — the tiny deviations from a perfectly smooth universe that were imprinted at early times. These deviations come in two forms: “scalar” perturbations, which are fluctuations in the energy density from place to place, and which eventually grow via gravitational instability into galaxies and clusters; and the “tensor” perturbations in the curvature of spacetime itself, which are just long-wavelength gravitational waves. Both arise from the zero-point vacuum fluctuations of quantum fields in the very early universe — for scalar fluctuations, the relevant field is the “inflaton” φ that actually drives inflation, while for tensor fluctuations it’s the spacetime metric itself.

is an interesting post in itself, but don’t neglect Darksyde today. Anyway this comment;

Plato on Oct 25th, 2006 at 11:06 am

Sometimes it is useful to find analogies to this process so I suggest sometimes to look at the “Chaldni plate” and then reassess your thinking to what Wayne Hu imparts as you travel to the B modes.

This is part of the process to encourage model thinking in relation to WMAP. Tying Wayne Hu and WMAP “mapping” is very important in my view.

“Omega” of course

brought to mind something I learned in the only real Biblical discussion I’ve ever had with a devout Jew, and I pray that G*d’s peace be with her.

Anyway, the connotation of perfect came up in a “You must be perfect as G*d is perfect,” discussion where it was noted that perfect also connotes complete, in that we as humans will always have flaws, but that we can be complete towards G*d, much as a circle we draw by hand is complete, and our eyes cannot detect the deviations from the arc, so too, if we as spiritual persons would roll our ways on the LORD, then He would complete our training, becomes more than a Biblical scripture to quote, but also a way for the non-scientist to understand things both physically and spiritually. It doesn’t mean they intrude on each others space, nor should they.

Friday, October 27, 2006

North Korea comes in from the cold

EU establishes diplomatic ties, starts on ‘very long … and stony road’ from CNN

Read this first. Kim Jong-Il: ‘mad as cheese’

Lightning in the Air

One of the primary aspects of politics is realizing that it is a two dimensional dance of people and events, which our various news organizations try to piece together into truthful accurate accounts of what the people involved in events have said or done leading up to those events, and conclude their report in a headline, which tends to support or weaken anyone person’s positions, previous or otherwise. Some lean one way or another, which makes it imperative for novice and pro alike in political analysis to scour many sources, ( which is hardly any great feat in intelligence gathering procedures for governments and business, ) which the internet provides to one and all. The WWW provides the most visible and popular internet application, which will wane with the end of equal WWW access. For those of you not paying attention to Net Neutrality, you should brush up on ftp, telnet, and ham radios, etc.

One of the strangest conundrums of man, I think, is liking two people who can’t stand each other. It shows something of their character if they both know this as well. I don’t know about anyone else, but I miss Colonel Hackworth, and I’m glad his mission is finally getting air time.

Many high profile individuals seem to take umbrage at the anonysphere, which I suppose is understandable if you study, work hard, play by the rules and scratch your way to the top to be seen by your peers as a success in your field, and your employers compensate you profusely to use your talents to whatever means are deemed worthy at the time by the aforementioned worthy employers. All of this filed under the rubric of social networking, which requires interpersonal politics that tends to stratify talent as well as their particular fields do. The internet, until recently, was a mind to mind exchange. Going defibrillator like certain unnamed former US Reps on FOX, is a visual thing that cannot carry the impact of an internet flame war exchange because the internet requires you dear readers to use your imagination, your own mind, instead of imprinting the visual emotions presented in any visual media. It is the enduring impact of the printed word, and of freedom of speech, that you are reading this as well as watching that. The written word carries not only the writers emotions but the readers as well.

I am never as surprised to find out that public people are alcoholics, ( especially actors, ) as I am to find out that an alcoholic isn’t an actor. There’s a lot to learn in anonymity, but public alcoholics have to be teachers and shining examples for the empathetic public. One of the smartest things an old timer ever told me was that I went to AA to stop drinking. The other defects of habits could wait too. A good thing for the empathetic to learn, as well is, to seek spiritual growth and not spiritual perfection.

Finally, I suppose, I had this inscribed on a silver photo journal I gave my wife on our 25th anniversary, which seems like a long two years ago after her illness;

An inheritance is from a father, A good wife is from the LORD.

A lot of us can say that, but only you know what it means to you. There isn’t anything two dimensional about that.

Edit: Had to fix the defibrillator

Torture R US

CIA luxury on terror transfers Richard Norton-Taylor, London October 28, 2006

IN JANUARY 2004, a crew of CIA agents checked into the five-star Marriott Son Antem golfing resort in Palma for a well-deserved rest.

The agents had just flown from Rabat in Morocco to Afghanistan and back to Algeria — a gruelling 12,800-kilometre journey — and were looking forward to luxuriating in the hotel’s spa where, as the brochure put it, they could “journey to deep inner peace”.

But as they basked in comfort at US taxpayers’ expense, there was little peace for their cargo. In the hold on that day was Benyam Mohammed, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee alleged to be one of the world’s most dedicated jihadists.

In Morocco, Mohammed would later allege, he had been doused in hot liquids, subjected to incessant loud noise and had his penis slashed with a scalpel.

This is attributed to the Guardian.

South Korea Says No to Bolton

Seoul dodges the dragon but feels the heat
By Donald Kirk

SEOUL – The prospect of John Bolton, fiery US ambassador to the United Nations, careering through Seoul, making speeches denouncing North Korea, attempting to talk South Korean leaders into hard-nosed enforcement of the UN sanctions against the North, was more than South Korean officials could bear.

A day or two after getting word that Bolton would be coming to Seoul, his visit was abruptly canceled, even as underlings at the US Embassy were trying to negotiate a schedule.

Heh, imagine that.

Bloggers like beer, want to be free.

Amnesty urges release of jailed bloggers

Prior to a UN meeting on governance of the internet next week, Amnesty International is seeking signatures for a petition calling for repressive regimes to free the bloggers they have imprisoned.

They may be able to return the favor someday.

GOP Strategic Thinking

I don’t know whether others are noticing this. But in every election there’s one big disconnect between the ‘issues’ that are getting the big play in tv shows and pundit commentary and the ones getting hammered on in flyers, tv ads and radio spots. And there’s no question that this year, for the GOP, that ‘issue’ is race tinged ads about Democrats wanting to give free dollars to hordes of Mexican illegals. Scratch the surface of any competitive race out there. You’ll find it.
— Josh Marshal

Has anyone informed the GOP of the declining majority status of whites? Anyway, Josh has the Yellow Submarine Republican Report

Hint: Don’t shoot anyone in the face.

Update: I’m pretty sure I’ll have to break down and start tags, because this really needs to be filed under Pinkie and the BrainCheney endorses simulated drowning

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thank you Michael Fox, and Katie too

Mr. Fox for presenting a rational argument for his cause, and hopefully reminding Katies three viewers, two of whom are my friends, that human disease has only two factors.

I want to thank Katie too, because she reminded me why I watched her and Matt all those years. Maybe when all this dies down I’ll challenge Matt to a game of golf, provided he lets me use a wood baseball bat on the tee shots. It won’t hurt my handicap, and ought to return some of the spice of life to the squirrels, cats, three legged dogs and one foot geese at most courses that I know of. First I’ll have to apologize to the people at the WaPo though, some of them may want to carry my bat for me between holes.

Update: Matt can have the rights to the story.

Over sixty percent of my friends are Republicans,

so two out of three ain’t bad.

I really make no pretense that 95 percent of Republicans are good people, which I suppose gets lost on the big three tomes of the right, bemoaning the coarsening of American political discourse now that they are included as well. I suppose they may wonder why I don’t say anything about the “baseball bats in the belfry” wing of the wing ding wing of the Republican Party. Well, Gentlemen, your silence on their soliloquies has spoken as eloquently as has their voices, and so in the unattributed words of Mr. Wolcott,

“How do you like it now, Gentlemen?”

The “We all live in a yellow submarine” Republican Report

I’ve always wondered , expains the title. Hint Jean Schmidt (R-OH) Josh has the scoop.

I would say 25% is steep

HT Atrios

Delusional

Bush to his media sycophants:

…”I mean, there’s – look, there’s some 25 percent or so that want us to get out, shouldn’t have been out there in the first place – and that’s fine. They’re wrong. But you can understand why they feel that way. They just don’t believe in war, and – at any cost. I believe when you get attacked and somebody declares war on you, you fight back. And that’s what we’re doing.”

One of the most overlooked aspects of the antiwar movement is its’ diversity, and I doubt that a huge chunk of the left is pacifist, in any shape or form. My faith lends itself very well to pacifism without precluding the states’ authority to respond to an attack. Each individual is responsible to their own conscience, and so the Amish, Witnesses and some Quakers all share pacifism if nothing else. Whether they vote or not is a political calculation for Presidents, but not for those individual pacifists. So far Justin’s the only one who had any idea of how big it was going to be four years ago, as far as I know. I’m sure there are and were others as well.

This antiwar movement springs from a deep sense of patriotism, and an awareness of the continuing danger of the current American foreign policy for our own lives, liberty and property, as well as to that of the world at large. I know that probably ninety nine percent of the antiwar movement are realists, but don’t worry Mr. President, I got them surrounded.

Update(OK, 85 percent. but I got two keyboards.)&YA Atrios points out that Irag didn’t attack the US.

God still Rules the Universe

Or for those who prefer,

The Universe is Unfolding as it Should

Otherwise No news, No plan.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Of course you do, dear.

US, EU sketch plans for global immigration database

Their aim is to stop criminals and other undesirable migrants at a vast, biometric border that is likely to include, at the very least, the EU countries, Australia, and Canada.

Troy Potter, biometrics programme manager for the US Department of Homeland Security’s biometric border control programme, told The Register only those countries “of like mind” would be allowed to join the scheme: “People with similar goals, aspirations, laws and ability to implement such a scheme.

“It’s about keeping out folks from countries, to have more of a global border per se,” he said. “Shouldn’t (*)like-minded countries be told when someone’s been kept out of the US? That’s a necessary next step [because] immigration has become a worldwide issue.”

* I prefer “people of our ilk,” because it puts the I first.

KYOTO has a gun

Tackle climate change or face deep recession, world’s leaders warned

Sir Nicholas Stern, a former chief economist with the World Bank, will warn that governments need to tackle the problem head-on by cutting emissions or face economic ruin. The findings, due to be released on Monday, will turn economic argument about global warming on its head by insisting that fighting global warming will save industrial nations money. The US refused to join the Kyoto protocol, the international agreement on greenhouse gas emissions, because George Bush said it would harm the economy.

The contents of the Stern review into the economics of climate change – commissioned by the Treasury – have been kept secret since the nature of the work was revealed to the world’s environment ministers in Mexico this month. But Sir David King, the government’s chief scientific adviser, yesterday gave the Guardian a preview of its main findings.

Well at least the President will have deep water to flip flop on in this one.

Zeeeooo

CIA tried to silence EU on torture flights

Richard Norton-Taylor
Thursday October 26, 2006
The Guardian

The CIA tried to persuade Germany to silence EU protests about the human rights record of one of America’s key allies in its clandestine torture flights programme, the Guardian can reveal.

Update: See also; German media are reporting

that the US had been torturing suspects at the Camp Eagle air base in Tuzla Bosnia since shortly after September 11th, among them a 70 year old man, and that German officials were aware of it. More here.

at War and Peace, and for a little Italian read the previous post.

Two things about Jesus we can all agree on

He was a very nice person. He challenged people, but gave freely as it was his want, and his to give, and hence he was friendly. For those who are stuggling to find a place to renew your works of Christianity, it enhanches the world around you as you listen and learn what you brother and sister need, and how to help there.

Update: Kinda like NY City, with religious trappings. I just never hear any religious people say that about Jesus.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The War Buzzards

Who Supports The Troops? Democrats, As It Turns Out…

Via Bob Geiger, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America took a look at 324 legislative votes in the last five years which affected American troops and veterans. Legislative proposals included veterans’ benefits, healthcare, and medical research dedicated towards injured soldiers (head injuries, etc.) Based on these votes, IAVA calculated which senators and congressmen had a history of supporting the troops, and which didn’t, and graded them on a curve.

The Republicduds anchored the team. Won’t you please come home to us Bill O’reilly, Hari Bushna blarney stone?

The economy – headed for a compassionate landing?

I had hoped for a lot more time blogging going into the elections, but, alas a job where obviously work has expanded to meet the needs of changing circumstances. For those of you who have been rudely interrupted before, the sign of impending disappeareancenish is obvious from the headlines that carry all that jazz. When it comes to the political cyclotron of the web then it is inevitable that I will collide at some point with the other side of the aisle.

Policy requires a huge amount of time to decipher, as the good docs of whichever field tend to obfuscate meanings with jargon, so you have to spend years learning the jargon so as to tell who’s whoing who, or in reality comes most close to your understanding. This can be fraught with embarrassing errors if one mistakes having an opinion as equal to having knowledge of the policy details, which in sunlit American government, also carries political agendas to screw the man/the poor etc, for my pards. One must absolutely try to fool all of the people all of the time, at some time or another, or it just isn’t worth being a leech. So I count on the educated guesses with an eye towards bogosity. I think I get a pretty eclectic mix of both.

Reading a lot tends to slow down one’s writing, as does thinking about what you want to say does too. Lord forbid blogging should break into bubbles and outlines, which is good for 101 as it is bad for creativity. Creative blogging is saying what everyone is thinking, or wishes not to think, in way that irritates the least people. BFH blogging tends to move really big things real quick if you hit them in the right place, which seems to irritate most people most of the time. If you can do both then maybe you too can be like Steve Jobs, and act non chalant while waiting on the bill for the dent in the universe, it’s a big universe and can handle a lot of dents I reckon, if that’s what you aim to do. It’s in your head.

When I look at the expanding bulk of human knowledge that remains to be explored by me, then I become acutely aware that our thinking capabilities are not up to snuff as a society because it is impossible convey all the information that any individual needs to have an accurate perception of reality, much as an ant is neither hive nor forest, but they are a numerous people with a perception of the hive. Hardly a thing to emulate except in work. We don’t need all the implants, we already are the Borg.

Anyway, I’m glad Clueless in chief is optimistic about the economy, he may actually have an educated guess how much cash the fed and the war are actually sloshing into the economy before the election. Probably approaching the level of graft. I hear 2007 is going to be an interesting year.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Is Hillary Clinton the anti-sex of George W Bush?

Just wondering.

Remember #V!L H$X)RS, you too can work for the NSA.

aaand finally, This really is funny.

Eating while blohhing

An Inquiring Mind Wants to Know

What the hell is Tony Blair still doing at 10 Downing?

Mote goof news fir Tony. (Chicken fried steak, french fries)

Which one will get closer to reality?

Bill Orielly interviewing Newt Gingrich on “values”, culture or otherwise, or the History Channel’s UFO Show?

Both are on right now.

(Left the on off)

The Good Ship Neocon and the lifeboat Tut tut

Time for the neocons to admit that the Iraq war was wrong from the start

The former hawks of press and politics now scramble for the status of visionaries let down by functionaries.

HT Antiwar

(fixed the link>

Well, perhaps they’ll go back and restudy

That statement was unanimously adopted by WELS in 1959 without any dissent. It reads:

Therefore on the basis of a renewed study of the pertinent Scriptures we reaffirm the statement of the Lutheran Confessions,

I’m not even going to repeat what was said. You can go read Kos’s post.

So maybe indigestion is Cut and Run

Stay the course.

I understand that most new business’ fail not from starvation, but indigestion. Taking on more work than the company is able to complete.

Just a good read

War, What is it Good For?

The world’s a stage

full of sound and fury
signifying nothing
And I am dumb to suck the dew of Heaven
from a sky raining fire.

Darfur

Blog notes

Sometimes I forget where we want to go, so I deleted the previous post.

I also clobbered 1 on Saturday that was a half baked work written in haste, and another yesterday, for the reason above.

Ploy and Destabilize

Babbling Idiots

Billmon burns some heavy fuel.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Finally a No News Round Up @ TPMCafe

By Ben Craw |

(That’s right, the Midterm Roundup just wrote an item, without adding anything new, about DK’s comment about Josh’s comment about how the news cycle is feeding on itself. The Roundup really believes it should get some kind of prize for this.)

If Steven C. picks this up, I’ll mirror it.

We’re in the Cheese

Housing Starts, Completions and Construction Employment

On Wednesday the Census Bureau released the September report for housing Permits, Starts and Completions. Although Starts rebounded slightly from the rate in August, from a long term perspective Starts are in free fall.

The President’s Rotten Record on Trade via PGL ought to take some of the gas out of the Presidents hummer on the economic highway. (It’s a longish read, YMMV.)

and Business Week on Halliburton and Iraq;

Swopa is correct about the role that the Iraq contracts have played in increasing Halliburton revenues, which rose from $16.3 billion in 2003 to $21.0 billion in 2005. Operating profits in 2003 were only $0.72 billion or 4.4% of revenue. In 2005, operating profits jumped to $2.66 billion representing a 12.7% operating margin.

Halliburton’s 10-K filing attributes much of the improvement in operating profits to developments with respect to its Energy Services Group (ESG):

News to Atrios

surprise, surprise!

I read skippy too.

what’s the difference between iraq and vietnam?

awol had a plan to get out of vietnam…

(close to orange as I can get)

Jane thinks I’m too snotty, but

Ted Kennedy, Movie Reviewer

It makes me very happy that our leaders are not only discussing this problem, but that the Clintonian “let’s all just find a way to move forward together” notion of triangulating forgiveness is not taking hold. The kleptocratic zomibies just keep coming back, generation after generation, plunging us into international chaos with their fickled, puerile visions of international diplomacy that always seems to result in other people dying and them getting rich.

Buy it, show it, learn it.

When the GOP starts listening to John Cole

Quick Hits, then I’ll start listening to the GOP.

Update: Back to the “Follies” by Pat Lang is worth a read too.

Dancing madly backwards

How Iraq came home to haunt America

Does a pretty good job of summarizing the conventional wisdom. I think the one factor not having been noted, or noted enough, is that the soccer moms are tired of being frightened, by events and especially by the rhetoric.

I would hate for the GOP to fall on its’ own sword, and miss the point. I am tired of being all red or all blue all the time too. The atmospherics of the right have left the air too thin for most Americans, and like the Weather of the new Left in the sixties, sucked the air out of the Republican revolution.

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EZSmirkzz 3.4.Z 10/15/06 – 10/22/06 aarchive

Friday, October 20, 2006

Meanwhile in the Greener Zone

I know Ignatius has been hammered, and I ain’t saying anything about piccolo players, but sir!

Declaring, honestly enough, that “people from the Old Media, like me, instinctively prefer a centrist style of civilized debate,…”

In which those of us who spent years in those debates presented fact after fact, refutation after refutation, on what has to be polite, been the equivalent of a car wreck, to no avail. How is it that so many people living inside the belchway privy to so many reasoned analysis’ of Iraq, centrists one and all, charge into Valley of the Smug with the Tinfoil Hat Brigade of the neocon’s Roundheads for New American Embarrassment?

“…Of course we do, say Halperin and Harris. We are the gatekeepers of the old order. The shrill voices of the New Media — the bloggers and talk-radio hosts and other partisan megaphones that Halperin and Harris describe as the “Freak Show” — don’t just threaten our beloved center. They might eventually put us out of business.

The problem isn’t with the center at all, the problem is people in DC pontificating about the heartland with;

In Montana, Democrat Jon Tester is running ahead of Republican Sen. Conrad Burns by presenting himself as the ultimate regular guy, a lumpy ex-farmer with a bad haircut. One of his spots, “Creating a Buzz,” actually celebrates his crew cut.

Look, fellow, I live in the boondocks. I am surrounded by farms and ranches of diverse sizes, I work for them sometimes, I have never meet a stupid farmer or rancher. That’s why I think Shane Sklar is going to clock Ron Paul in TX 14, which is what you learn if you leave DC once in awhile and go eat a burrito in Billings, Montana. Dennis Kucinic would’ve too.

Now I know that I am a liberal in a very “red”,( better red than dead, huh?,) area of the country and state, and I suppose my political views might chap a lot of people around here, sorta like Gus and Woodrow in “Lonesome Dove”, but when it gets to be down to Rocky Mountain Oyster harvesting time, they’re the salt of the earth and very well centered, thank you very much.

Someday

Rumors on the Potomac

I will begin to take seriously the current rumors of great things a coming when Bush or Tony start to “crack” in public. I have not seen it yet.

Pat Lang

Busy time for me next couple of days but,

Psa 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; those who love you shall prosper.
Psa 122:7 Peace be within your walls; prosperity in your towers.
Psa 122:8 Because of my brothers and my companions, I will now say, Peace be in you.
Psa 122:9 Because of the house of Jehovah, our God, I will seek your good.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hey Space Cowboy

New National Space Policy, Also Silly

Anyway, the key paragraph is:

The United States will oppose the development of new legal regimes or other restrictions that seek to prohibit or limit U.S. access to or use of space. Proposed arms control agreements or restrictions must not impair the rights of the United States to conduct research, development, testing, and operations or other activities in space for U.S. national interests.

Ladies and gentlemen, from the rocket scientists who compared treaties to terrorism.

Isn’t enough that you should wear out the ears of man,…?

It’s not Just the MSM

I have yet to read a report this morning in the Onion on the Wal Mart agreement with the federal and concerned state governments to allow underwear manufactured by prisoners the US to be labelled Made In USA in Wal Mart’s Chinese Super-imperialist running dogs Stores, which the Deportment of Commerce agreed was a good way to show the flag. China retaliated by saying “all underwear manufactured in China for the US will not carry labelling saying, “stick this in your running capitalist dog ass,”.” The usual, “Whole Universe laugh at you ass running dog” will still be weaved into subliminal messages in American export underwear.

Oh dear, even the womens aren’t safe.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Has anyone else ever watched the Cobert Report in a mirror?

He’s a scary lefty that way, but I turned around so I could watch him debunk Dawkin’s Delusions.

Thank God for reruns, or those of us in a missionary rut would never know what we can’t away with anymore.

If you don’t think I’m not observant

then why am I outing Tbogg’s photo props?

Just Don’t pinch John, or Tony

Thank God for Abraham, John Stewart, and Star Mitzvah, so that I can freshen up the blog without all that linkity link, clickity click, with “As popular as a fart at a Star Mitzvah,” instead of the rather understated “News and Views …,” (Which was done to google bomb all the inhabitants of the ‘samething happened here.’, crowd.), because I didn’t want to worry the Brits, who fear we may have all forgotten Guy what’s his name(?), who tried to blow up Parliment,((Sp) sorry about that, Tony, pip pip (squeak,) and all that rot)).

I dibbs “The dark secret behind Star Mitzvahs”, so don’t be pinching the stuff I’ve pinched.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

No way Republicans deserve this

Another update on Rep. Sue Kelly (R-NY).

I know the American people, the American people are friends of mine, and these are no friends of the American people.

But I read Clint Eastwood in Parade this Sunday, and to sorta quote, ‘one of the character’s said, “Deserve ain’t got nothin’ to do with it.”‘

It’s not enough to stand on the shoulders of giants,

sometimes you have to climb up on their heads and look around, light their hair on fire and yell theater.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The shot heard around the World Wide Web

Election 2006: A War Referendum

If this all you read today.

Sheesh, I said reliable sources

WASHINGTON (CNN) — An analysis of air samples collected shortly after North Korea declared it had conducted an underground nuclear explosion confirms the test took place, according to the office of the U.S. director of national intelligence.

The analysis detected radioactive debris, indicating the explosive yield was less than one kiloton, said a statement from John Negroponte’s office. That is relatively small for a nuclear test.

From the steno pool?

edit: It’s not just the reporting either, which rambles off into the tulees, but I don’t believe anything the US Government says with out a reliable leak.

Some people see things as they are and ask why

October 16 is World Food Day, an occasion to remember the plight of the world’s 850 million chronically hungry people. After decades of decline, that number has actually been growing by four million each year since the mid-1990s. Today, hunger still kills more people than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

Even those with nothing to give can fast. Peace.

3 edits

Swiftboat, “Hail Mary Pass,” found high and dry in VA

When we last left George Allen apologist Dan Riehl he was attempting to smear noted macaca S R Sidarth before feebly swinging and missing with this one (a personal favorite) .

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Yeah, but what do you really think?

Spying On The Enemy

The only logical reason they have adamantly insisted on maintaining this power to freely spy on Americans without any oversight is because they know that even the most rubber stamp court in the land would object to them spying on their political opponents. It’s the only thing that ever made any sense.

Sounds of Silencing

Somethings you have to experience.

Over and over

And that’s the way it is…

Washington Whispers isn’t usually in the daily must reads, but this from the Huffington Post, is too provocative for me to pass up, AYMK.

When Katie Couric pushed Bob Schieffer out of his CBS Evening News anchor chair, it wasn’t all bad for the newsman. That’s because it brought him back to Washington from New York, clearing the lone hurdle to his induction this month into the exclusive Gridiron Club of national journalists. “He’s probably the most popular journalist we have,” says the club president, John Hall of Media General. Hall jokes that the notably off-tune Schieffer is a perfect match for the club known most for its annual political skits. “He’ll fit right in because he can’t sing.” Also inducted: retiring Greenbrier Resort President Ted Kleisner as an honorary member. The club holds winter meetings at the West Virginia hotel.

I don’t care how popular Bob Scheiffer is with the Gridiron Club, in the end I can say I trusted him as much as any MSM reporter I have ever trusted, and that’s a lot of people to have trusted. The Foley story may have done more to rehabilitate the perception of the US MSM in the eyes of the US public, and I hope that it does.

Say what you may, Bob Scheiffer was an excellent choice for CBS News to make because he provided continuity to the Walter Cronkite era while Dan Rather swam back down creek after his swift boating, and held the chair while Katie Couric sat down.

In the end there are more Foley stories in newspaper offices around America, just like there are others in St. Pete. Blogistan imports the MSM’s oil and refines it into all sorts of fuels and fertilizer too, but the amount of expert opinion and analysis has exploded giving journalists that have never worked without computers a natural environment to filter the signal to noise signal inherent in the web. They also break stories now too, so there are Foley stories online as well, some of them still untouchable by the MSM or Virtual Media outlets even though well sourced, for the same reasons as ABC broke the story. One of the reliable little people went in told them the truth, and those are just as important and heroic as the reporters that tell their story.

Getting used to Katie at night will take some time, but that’s the way it was with Dan Rather too. Sometimes wise assed bloggers have to admit that journalist don’t show there asses as often as we would like to make it out to be the case, (we, being in the royal sense, there.) I hope she gets an award like Bob’s someday too.

A Final Look at the Sixties

The Faltering Counter Revolution

Some of this stuff I actually remember because it was part of the information flotsam that was around at the time, and so historical accuracy often came years after the rumors had lost any immediacy, as the one about playing the Beatles’ records backward, because I know people who discovered the joys of hacking a turn table to find out. Eight tracks probably ended the sixties, as they had been know since the fifties. Wavy Gravy made Time magazine I think, when the hippies had a funeral for Pigasius Pig in 1967. In 1966 one of the families passed through Santa Fe, NM on the way to obscurity, and I remember one of them talking to my best friend and me about drugs, because my friend had asked him about it, and he replied that “not all hippies do drugs, but most people who do drugs are hippies.”, which shows how much the times have changed in that regard, but he also said that to join a “family” you had to get voted in or out, which shows you how much like country club consciousness’ of the times were.

The Reagan administration carried the seeds of the Republican’s disdain for all things sixties, except draft resistance, which is where they have framed the issues since, but don’t think that a sleeping Democratic Congress on Iran Contra and the S&L bailout wasn’t lost on George W Bush, with a compliant Republican Congress and a George W Bush Presidency, there was gold in that there hill. If he pardons anybody for crimes they may or may not have committed in this life time or the next, it’s only an extension of Republican policy from the seventies.

The Republicans have raised personification to an art form so that cigarette manufactures are as Corporations “like” individuals that make mistakes, and Bill Clinton is “like” the draft dodging “hippies” of Charlie Manson fame. After Reagan took the now more conservative WWII generation and repentant post McHippy families with kids, Clinton couldn’t have inhaled. Reagan called the Ayatollah, denigrated the failed rescue, put Carter’s hard fought for Pershing Missiles in Europe, got blown up in Lebanon and started the war on liberals.

The current Republican failures lay in the basic inability of the American people as a whole to come to grips with the fact that the sixties went supernova and we are all like stars made up of the debris. We all have to shine as individuals because the sixties were bigger than any one individual no matter how big a star they became, and quite distinct from those that shed light in our primordial consciences and have since gone dark.

The time for looking back has come to an end. The time for standing still has come to an end. Life’s an adventure and the American people need to stick their thumbs out and go. We have major problems, but not insolvable problems. The American people can show the world how to live with each other because we are them. We have free will, we can chose to accept and act on the best of our inheritance, or the worst. I have confidence that the American people will chose the former. The darkness of the witches will pass this time too.

At Kandahar and Jalabad…when the walls fell

Eyes wide open; Bush keeps revising war justification

HT Antiwar

Mehlman, the gateway dope

Because it’s not enough to ban cigarettes as the gateway to marijuana, or ban marijuana as the gateway to harder drugs, which makes us 0 for 164 in the war on drugs, now there’s another gateway for sex drugs and plugs of skoal??

The modern world shocks and scares me.

Tracking the Mastadons

The Courant reports that Lieberman responded: “Uh, I haven’t thought about that enough to give an answer.”

No news there.

Well, in the words of that famous American, Bugs Bunny

“…of course you know, this means war.”

Democrats Have Intensity, but G.O.P. Has Its Machine

Having a picture of just one backyarder of the insurgent Democrats GOTV, doesn’t mean that the United States has become the central point of the “War on Democracy,” (WoD), as this article seems to be implying in subliminal code to the PNAC.

Democrats have noted that PNAC has gone beyond the sublime…

Republican strategists counter that they can compensate for any gap in enthusiasm with their legendary get-out-the-vote operation. The party has built its electoral success in the last two elections on identifying and producing nearly every obtainable Republican vote at the polls; this time may be more challenging, they say, but no different.

(snippity snarky)

“I do think our base is coming together and will be coming together later, but four weeks is an eternity in this business,” said Representative Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican and longtime party strategist. Republicans will ultimately be motivated to vote, Mr. Cole said, and they will turn out on Election Day even if “this is a race where professionalism has to make up for enthusiasm.”

Is it just me, or does anyone else see Snoopy from Peanuts dancing across the screen, here?

(snippity day)
>

Democratic strategists consider this new intensity a critical advantage throughout the ups and downs of a campaign narrative driven at various times by war, national security scares, gas prices and, most recently, the scandal surrounding former Representative Mark Foley, Republican of Florida.

Which ought to prove that the Foley cover up is bi-partisan since it covers the ass of the majority of Democratic strategyists the last two to forty years.

(my oh my what a snippity day)
>
You don’t think we can raise them ten phone calls from everyone in the blogoshere, perhaps with the benevolence of Howard Dean?

EZSmirkzz 3.4.Z 10/8/06 – 10/15/06 archive

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Ain’t that America, Something to see?

Just to be clear, I don’t mind spending the tax money for programs like education, that enhances the value of the individual to themselves, their community and ultimately the interests of the state. I don’t mind spending money on housing if it can be modeled on a successful venture like Habitat for Humanity. I don’t see any reason why the United States couldn’t feed the hungry of the world in it’s own friggin national security, which almost always reminds me of the sheer waste of Mr. Bush’s War which compels me to speak out against the sheer…

I don’t hang out with the rich, but the few I’ve met are gracious, and that is all I expect. Most of the people I work for either have more money than I and pay, or are on fixed income and I compromise to their advantage. We get by OK, because like most Americans I presume we think that those with much shouldn’t have too much, and those with little shouldn’t have too little, but that’s because it comes from the Bible and whether anyone believes, the Bible has left an indelible imprint in our laws and culture. We’re cool.

Now I pay next to nothing in taxes compared to all these rich people, but I like most of them, and I have no interests in wasting their money like the Federicos. Not being an economist didn’t keep me from learning from them that any expenditure by the state is a tax. I don’t know any individual that has paid for a shuttle flight, or day in Iraq either and so it must be the Inc., in USInc that pays itself to spend their money by laundering it through the US government, with the deficit, minus blue smoke and mirrors, what the American people promise to pay holders of US Treasure bonds when the Ponzi scheme collapses. Privatisation of Social Security? ROTFLMAO That must be why the Markets are so weird too, I mean when did you ever think the DOW would hit a new nominal high on the Air America news, which is about as close as Zic Zack got in explaining levitation to the masses.

The only cause for optimism sometimes is the American people, when they can no longer be fooled all of the time. Then I am no longer a lonely note in the Anonysphere, then We are the vibration of Liberty.

update:just a comma

Don’t bring no guitars Peggy, We didn’t come to play

Another mastadon with vapors.

If you follow the links you’ll know the score. If you’re reading this you have the time.

The 101st Keyboarders in post coital Iraq

Being progressive means looking ahead, and I thought the left ought to find a suitable Federal program for the former veterans of the US Air Horns, Basement Bombardiers, and other highly desiccated frogs, but it almost seems overwhelming, I say! I mean it would have to appear as monumental an undertaking as one hand clapping or Sponge Bob Square Pants crying underwater like a little girlie sponge.

So I decided on helping out the keyboarders, since we have some simpatico, after all, with me living living down here near all these miles, and miles and miles of Mexican border to defend from farm labour and building crafts. Plus they don’t like to waste money on social programs so;

Proposals for Democratic Legislation at the National level for “Moving America Forward”:

1.Establish funding within DHS to buy and install all necessary computers and equipment for high tech Netware 3.2 network. Win 3.11 oughta do.

2. Within known and enumerated limitations of network establish folding chairs and tables, small fridges and portapotties, (withing walking distance of most distant chair).

3.Establish such network along US-Mexico border, and OK Canada too.

4. Hire and employ former bombardiers to watch for nefarious Mexican IsloFarmers, Cuban cigar smugglers, etc., at minimum wage to message each other until the troops come home.

All things ballistic

Rush for deal as tests point to genuine nuclear test

The US last night refused to confirm that North Korea had joined the nuclear club, despite the discovery of a gas consistent with a nuclear blast in the atmosphere close to where Pyongyang claimed it had detonated a device on Monday.

“The betting is that this was an attempt at a nuclear test that failed,” a Pentagon official said last night. “We don’t think they were trying to fake a nuclear test, but it may have been a nuclear fizzle.”

While ACW reports;

Japan’s 47 prefectures say no radioactive substances have been detected at any measuring points in a survey conducted one day after North Korea’s claimed nuclear test.

and;

No signs of unusual radiation levels have been detected in South Korea after North Korea said it successfully detonated a nuclear device, the government said Thursday.

I think that Arms Control Wonk needs a link for the foreseeable future.

Mr. Bush’s War

Coroner seeks trial for US troops who killed TV man

The American soldiers who shot dead the ITN journalist Terry Lloyd could face trial in a British court for murder after a coroner ruled that they had unlawfully killed an innocent civilian.

Andrew Walker, the assistant deputy coroner for Oxfordshire, said yesterday he would be writing to the attorney general and the director of public prosecutions “to see whether any steps can be taken to bring the perpetrators responsible for this to justice”.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Joy of Science

When BA is nearly speechless then it’s time to take a look;

Sometimes, though, I don’t worry too much about the science. It’s also important to see that the images we get are simply stunning, gorgeous almost beyond comprehension. There is such beauty in nature! And for thousands of years of history, we had no idea what was out there, waiting for us to find it and drink it in.

While Seniors Slept

Who says you can’t judge a crook by its’ cover?

So many lies – so little time. President Reagan in 1983 made a promise to workers my age that if we paid more in payroll contributions, the Social Security Trust Fund will accumulate reserves to pre-fund our benefits. The real reason these benefits might be in jeopardy is the push by this dishonest President to increase the General Fund deficit so he can get his fat cat contributors both pork barrel spending benefits and tax cuts as well. Slowing the rate at which benefits grow is just a euphemism for insuring the inflation-adjusted value of our Social Security benefits ARE cut. Yes – there is an unfunded liability from that expensive Prescription Drug benefit (largely for Big Pharma) that this dishonest President brags about. When George W. Bush says he’s not cutting your retirement benefits – watch your back because that’s exactly his intention.

The difference between PGL’s and my writing style I think is he uses more hyperbole.

Tiny fossils reveal inner secrets

They’re gay.

Shays responds to Darksyde in super double secret teleportation experiment

You just can’t get ahead of these guys.

Do you suppose it’s all a VRWC to get all the MSM and leftwing blogs to link their proclivities so as to filter their views and opinions out of the libraries and public schools?

Rumours of New Fox Cultural Affairs Correspondent looking brighter

Ratfink Redux

Like I was saying.

No fecaled phallus to see here folks, move along

Dumb and Dumber

Now this is a pretty ironic complaint considering that Wonkette isn’t exactly the Foreign Affairs of the blogosphere — that is, not unless the Council on Foreign Relations suddenly develops an obsessive interest in talking about anal sex.

“You found the paper clip where on the corpse, Mr. Phelps?”

Update: Read more get more.

The only thing funny about the wars

Antiwar Cartoonists at DC Area Fest this Weekend

For those who can imagine a Libertarian with a sense of humor.

Bob Ney and the Lucy effect

fdisking the hard drive? What’s next, “Signature’s Star of Hope” home for the houseless, with “Gravy in the front, rehab in the rear”, t-shirts and caps for the pioneers?

May you live in interesting times,

now the pet rock of ancient Chinese curses is often applied to our own times, but I’m a Christian and don’t believe that stuff.

In other news, every revolution carries the seeds of its’ own destruction, guaranteeing each generation endures the aforementioned curse. I suppose I’ll leave off the “literary world awaits the book based on such a premise” snark, for the logical thinkers, and mossey over yonder where the deluded ran into a reality based fist. Oh my, first thing in the morning too.

FWIW dept: The left did not frame the debate, The left did not set the tone, The left did not misrepresent the facts. The neocons did.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

and we are not alone

THE FORCE THAT THROUGH THE GREEN FUSE DRIVES THE FLOWER
by Dylan Thomas

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman’s lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather’s wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover’s tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

Setting Reid’s Record Straight, (The Yet again edition)

I think TimF covers it as well as anyone.

JC asks below what exactly there is to this Harry Reid land deal story. Subcommandante Markos puts it best – absolutely nada. Actually that is not completely true. The story here is the amazing toolishness of the AP’s John Solomon when it comes to Harry Reid. Let’s recap:

* First Solomon got the simple facts wrong on Harry Reid’s involvement with Jack Abramoff and the Marianas Islands. The correct answer: there was none.
* Then Solomon breathlessly reported a gift that broke no ethics rules. There the idea was to present a story whose tone suggested a career-ending scandal but whose substance contained not a single incriminating fact. Remember that because it comes up often in Solomon’s reporting.
* Next Solomon confused tickets with credentials, again tinting a non-story in the most nefarious possible terms.
* This time Solomon cannot seem to understand the basic principles of a limited liabiilty corporation (LLC), which in Reid’s case is treated by the IRS as identical to simple ownership. As far as the relevant authorities are concerned it doesn’t exist.

He has links in all the bullets.

Just a Suggestion

Political `Tracker’ Is Looking for Err Time

You know if the candidates might take some time to write their own messages, and then get the marketing boys to jazz it up, they could actually change emphasis on thier own thinking in different markets where issues have different weight. But more importantly they wouldn’t be flubbing their lines and or go wandering extemporaneously into political minefields. It would probably hone their delivery too.

If they had a blog, in the time it takes for 1 click of the mouse they could derail a career.

via The Huffington Post

Hoisted on my own petard!

THE DEATH OF CURSIVE:

When handwritten essays were introduced on the SAT exams for the class of 2006, just 15 percent of the almost 1.5 million students wrote their answers in cursive. The rest? They printed. Block letters.

I’ll take neat printing over sloppy cursive any day, and — take it from a guy who’s graded a lot of bluebooks — nearly all the cursive you see is sloppy. It’s hard to find someone under 70 with nice, traditional penmanship.

Is it a loss that people don’t have beautiful cursive? In the abstract, maybe, but kids have lots of more important stuff to learn.
posted at 07:03 AM by Glenn Reynolds

Man I hate that when it happens.heh, smart ass.

Mastadon Werks

It now seems that Karl Rove also got into the act and threatened Foley’s future lobbying career if he didn’t stick it out in Congress for two more years.

and from the comment section at The New Republic

Among those who received information about the story but declined to pursue it were liberal outlets such as Talkingpointsmemo.com, Americablog.com, and The New Republic (The Hill[1], Roll Call, and Time magazine also had the Foley story, though I’m not certain when it came to their attention.)[Update, October 10, 2006 2:00PM: Talking Points Memo did not have access to the emails—and it’s possible that other publications named here did not either—but all, at minimum, were aware of the salient facts of the case.] Ironically, it was ABC—which just weeks ago was being defended by Republicans and attacked by Democrats for airing The Path to 9/11—that finally ran the story. The network obtained the emails from a person who is scrupulously non-partisan.

That was my experience of the Foley affair.

Curse of the cursive Right

I had to think awhile about Josh’s post on handwriting since, like Thomas I wonder if anything good can come out of Galilee, which translated out of code means, beware of Washington Post articles bearing marks in the upper corners where the paper clip attached it to the file folder. On the other hand I’m fifty two, and my third of the baby boom never gave a rat’s ass what the older and younger boomers thought or did. I think one of us stashed the car keys though.

For the ahistorical there is Google and “Operation Paperclip,” but I digress. I thought that if I just left my response to the topic like the first paragraph has it stated, that it might at least reach the nineth dimension of the Cosmological string theory’s ten, where Instapundit went with his response. So for the cause of social engineering everywhere:

It depends on the situation really, whether I use cursive or block print, and in fact depends on the color of the pen because I tend to almost always use print with red pens, which may have something to do with American educations grading. With blue or black pens I move between cursive and print and a lot of shorthand when the paper is small like the little flip top note pads. There are caveats and exceptions that I hadn’t notice until now however.

If I place a red pen in my right hand and a blue one in the left hand then I can only write with block print from the inside edge of the paper towards the outside edge of the paper on both sheets, so that one is standard English but the other is written like Hebrew. When I place the blue one in my right hand and the red one in my left then I write with cursive top left to right on both sheets, same if I use black instead of blue.

This is what I think will interest the three letter boys at the Post, I am not ambidextious. However I do think that my response has at least made it past the tenth dimension, and maybe half way to the Membrane theory of instant punditry. Here, where quarks flip from matter to anti-matter the quick sighted see the transition from matter to doesn’t matter to anti-matter, as presumably, keeping within known physics, ever smaller sub atomic particles fall as relentlessly as the theories general and specific”s big bang’s mass, off of the moon.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What’s up $

A Large Revision to Payroll Employment shows who moved the cheese and where; in the other flaming issue, as in out, the jobs report,

Which hopefully, depending on status as buyer/seller, doesn’t send this economic sparks into the real estate forest,

(which after several years of irrigation and above average rainfall has a experienced a severious drought, with no rain speculated. The government will eventually have to pay contractual obligations to various feedlot entremanuers for fertilizer deliveries through 2008, payments which become due shortly.)

Imperialism ‘s Tarpit

Good post here at Sic Semper Tyrannis 2006, so don’t let the Imperialism thing spook you off. For those of you who don’t know him, the proprietor is a conservative former intellegence officer who really delivers the beans, in level headed discourses.

The US is thus now not only relatively diplomatically isolated in the Middle East, but it is now perhaps momentarily in policy terms immobilized between the inability to exercise an overstretched military power that is strained to its outmost limits and the Bush administration’s functional incapacity for diplomacy. America can neither fight nor does it have the predisposition to negotiate.

Immoblilzed.

Edit: I don’t want to leave the impression that the proprietor wrote this linked post, but to attest to his judgement on what gets on his site.

Heh heh

I’m Mike DeWine and I Approve This Mess

These days, DeWine doesn’t like to talk much about his authorization of the war. Neither his campaign nor official Senate websites list Iraq as an important issue. On NBC’s Meet the Press, DeWine told Tim Russert that he did not regret his vote for the war “based on what we knew then.” However, on September 8, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, of which DeWine is a member, released a report entitled Post War Findings on Pre-War Intelligence. This report found that nearly all of the pre-war assertions regarding Iraq’s Weapon of Mass Destruction and Iraq’s connections to organized terrorism were unfounded based on the intelligence available at the time.

Yeah but, we’re not there now, see, we’er over here now, see,… and tommorrow we’ll be Over there! Over there!

Anyway the title of Mr. Anderson’s post is worth it.

OMG

I think Josh has it about right, the engine is all smashed up and fuel and cars are spilled all over the tracks, but I think the spin will be the champaign didn’t spill in the caboose.

The President calmed down somewhat along the way, but after his opening speech he seemed to be acting like the princess and the pea when questioned about the warts on his arse. I was glad to hear Jim Axlerod’s 74 mph hanging curveball question if not for the interlude than for the dignity of the situation, which was heading south three ways to Sunday, so the President could gather his thoughts.

All in all, I am almost thinking that Democrats ought to adopt Reagan’s eleventh commandment, after all, “anything more than the truth would seem too weak.”

Bah:Edited for spelling clarityetc

Two out of three is a start

Ezra Klien weighs in on Kos’s Democratic-Libertarian convergences with a link to;

Without sucking up to the new boss too much, let me highly recommend this Harold Meyerson piece responding to Kos’s Libertarian Democrats manifesto. I recommend it despite finding it an enormously frustrating piece of work — I have, after all, spent the last few months of blogging and my September feature story trying to say what Harold does in these three paragraphs:

It is a somewhat interesting topic, since the political coalitions of thirty years ago are vastly different than those of today.

Looking through the windows

peeking through the locks

or Hackers find use for Google Code Search

which ought to get your attention unless you work for US intelliegence.

Google’s Code Search Feature brought to me by Schneier;

you can use it to find usernames and passwords, confidential code, buffer overflows, and all sorts of other things. (Another news story here.)

EDITED TO ADD (10/10): More info.

In the other pit

via Juan Cole

But the big news is a big new Johns Hopkins study published in The Lancet that suggests that the US misadventure in Iraq is responsible for setting off the killing of twice as many civilians as Saddam managed to polish off in 25 years.

A careful Johns Hopkins study has estimated that between 420,000 and 790,000 Iraqis have died as a result of war and political violence since the beginning of the US invasion in March, 2003.

Better than Sex

North Korea: US pressure would mean war

North Korea will view US pressure to rein in its nuclear programme as “a declaration of war”, the isolated communist regime said today in its first official statement since announcing it had carried out a nuclear test.

Separately, the country’s number two leader also warned that it would conduct a second test unless Washington softened its stance.

“If the US keeps pestering us and increases pressure, we will regard it as a declaration of war and will take a series of physical corresponding measures,” Pyongyang’s foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

The Mastadons of the GOP

North Korean test ‘went wrong,’ U.S. official says

The United States cannot say for sure the underground detonation was a nuclear blast; the working assumption is that it was, but not very successful, said the official who spoke to CNN. (Dud or deception? Read the full story)

Which is a pretty good idea for a nation that has now managed to get another army tangled up in another potential hostage situation,

Do we really want some 30,000 U.S. troops held hostage by the mercurial moods of Kim Jong-Il, who might decide, at any moment, to go out in a blaze of glory?

As far as figuring out what went wrong,

Will someone come out and say what a monumental twit Condi Rice is as Secretary of State

The more they spin it the worse they make it.

But let’s not kid ourselves either, Bush has zero options. He’s “divided and conquered” himself into it, and taken us all along for the ride into the tarpit of Gog.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Axe and you shall receive

One of my primary intentions when I finally decided to start writing a public journal, or blog, was to see if I could raise the level of signal to noise from previous political observations that I had done in other iterations of this blog and the Delphi forums. Today’s post sunk to that level of high snark which I really wish to avoid, especially with the election so close. Nor do I wish to rein in other people’s opinions, so without ridicule all that really is left is persuasion of the disappointed or disillusioned to the idealism and hope that used to infuse the Democratic Party.

I think Atrios is right that those who wish to send in the bucks to the candidates of your political poison ought to be getting it done now. I figure that by next week local precincts that haven’t organized GOTV efforts had better be lining up war dialers and ferry services for the old and infirm who still seriously wish to participate in the election process which is easily identified by those with registration cards already, hint, hint. Gas, phones, people, maybe even some touch screen voter tutorials. If Democrats should have learned anything in the last four years, it’s that wars and elections can’t be won with just an air war, and if they really want to achieve they’re policy goals then, this is the beginning of their long march.

My hope is that no one shoots anyone in the face on the march to D sea.

Rewind

I deleted the next to the last post, which I thought was out of bounds. I think I’ll leave it at that for awhile. If anyone really wants to see the post email me.

My deepest apologies to those who were intentionally or inadvertently offended by the post.

About as Plain as it Gets

The Israelis lost in Lebanon

Apologists for Israel’s failure in this campaign will try to spin the surprise suffered by Hizbullah to mean defeat.

It is nothing like that. In fact, the surprise of the ferocity and persistence of the Israeli riposte makes even more significant the Hizbullah recovery under extreme pressure and the quality of the defense they mounted.

Israel is one of those special special places in my memory, because when I was a wee lad of ten in 1964 I used to read all sorts of WW2 books, and the Holocaust made an impression on me, which to be honest gave no thought to Arabs, so that an Israel in the Middle East seemed a perfectly honorable solution, although I didn’t really think about it more than that. I took vicarious pleasure in 1967 when it seems that she became a moral ally in my 12 year old eyes, overcoming a superior force like Americans would. Even when RFK passed away, ostensibly for supporting Israel, the Palestinians never clicked in my head as anything more than peripheral actors. In 1973 I was in the Navy and it never occurred to me that the United States wouldn’t stand up with it’s ally, nor did I have the same level of antiwar feelings as I did for Viet Nam.

The problem with feelings is that emotions are fine for acting on reasoned policy, which seems to have eluded the post colonial world, and so today we live with that mistake. It is the warp and woof of half the world, and three quarters of our fore fathers mistake of not knowing just how small the world would become, and just how powerful and plentiful the weapons would become.

I don’t have a solution either. I think it is in the hearts and minds of the Palestinian and Israeli people, a place I cannot tread. I do know that the realist will have to spring up from their own peoples. I am detached from the day to day violence of the region by television, yet I am also aware that your future of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is inextricably wound up into that of the worlds.

Steve Bell

Warning :contains accurate depictions.

Another Sour Note from Washinghands Deceit

Did Secret Wolfowitz Meeting Violate Federal Advisory Committee Act?

The Federal Advisory Committee Act was enacted to formalize disclosure requirements and make transparent those who advise on federal government policy.

Vice President Cheney was in a substantial tug-of-war with the Legislative Branch and the Supreme Court for a while about not submitting to FACA and disclosing participants in an important advisory session he convened on national energy policy. But his refusal to submit did not make FACA disappear.

It seems to me that the secret advisory meeting called by Paul Wolfowitz on November 29, 2001 that brought various public intellectuals together to help marshall the best arguments for an Iraq invasion was possibly a violation of FACA.

This secret meeting was disclosed in Bob Woodward’s new book State of Denial. No one has yet raised the question of whether this meeting was a violation of FACA rules.

At the current level of business as usual, or corruption, in DC this won’t go to court until after DC is under water from global warming, but then again one must hope.

Anna Politkovskaya

Another Russian journalist is assassinated, which made it to CNN Headline News this morning. Apparently being a journalist is slightly safer in Iraq where one is aware of living in an lawless nation and so aquires head gear and body armour.

NY Times Reporting May Be Only a Partial Failure, Bloggers Say

Blast May Be Only a Partial Success, Experts Say

The North Korean test appears to have been a nuclear detonation but was fairly small by traditional standards, and possibly a failure or a partial success, federal and private analysts said yesterday

Appears to be a success or failure and my be nuclear, but it wasn’t a chemical ruse. Sigh.

Apparently, Of course, we can trust Vladimar’s estimation, too, another primo source for this stuff.

Morning Laugh

Fire That Headline Writer

Not since “Dewey Defeats Truman” adorned the front page of the Chicago Tribune has a headline-writer gotten it more wrong:

“N. Korea appears to back down on threat“

That Associated Press story, posted hours before the North Koreans announced a successful nuclear test, detailed newly-elevated Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s trip to China, and noted his success in getting Beijing to issue a strong joint statement condemning North Korea’s stated intention of testing a nuke.

“Oh, You got sand Kim Jong Il, but you can’t lie worth a damn.”

Monday, October 09, 2006

Good News, Good Night, and God Bless

SA Navy gets helping hand

The Royal Navy have been training South African Navy officers for the past 18 months on what Band described as ways to bring together man and ship.

“It basically … makes a crew that can steam the ship properly, look after it, fight fires, deal with natural disasters [and] start to build on integration of weapons system and sensors,” Band said.

The training is part of efforts to keep the South African Navy on par with the rest of the world, Mudimu said.

“So we are very proud of the quality of training and support and financial support that the Royal Navy is providing the South African Navy,” Mudimu said.

One of the officers trained in Britain is Captain Bravo Mhlana, who is due to take over command of the corvette the SAS Isandlwana. He will be the first black African to command a warship in the South African Navy. (emphasis mine)

If having another warship can be construed as good news.

That is I think I disagree,

Faithful Republicans

digby rocks the Evangelicals, (having pointed out Dobson’s Pop Christianity) on Saturday;

We can hope that the Christian Right finds this state of affairs just uncomfortable enough that they will be too busy to volunteer and forget to vote on election day. Those voices don’t give me a lot of hope that they will. Evangelicals are just as full of shit and able to rationalize the failure of their party as other Republicans are. They’ll do as they’re told.

I only have two observations, I guess it depends on religious inclination whether one can express an opinion on religion, without fuffling reathers, and I really don’t think that all Evangelicals are as obtuse as the NYTimes tries to make them out to be. Sure Foley’s individual behavior is the front and center example, but it’s not as if election day repentance of the entire GOP House leadership, as individuals, for failing to stop the abuse of power and then the deliberate cover up of Foley’s predations is fooling anybody when presented with the facts. Each individual involved in the scandal will have to take responsibility for their sins.

Like Bad Tux said,

Christianity: the religion of hate. read the whole thing.

But like digby said,

I see no evidence that the leaders of the Religious Right are ready to withdraw from worldly concerns.

Neither do I. I do think however that they should be subpoenaed to find out what they knew and when too. If Ralph and Pat are the standard, the House Chaplain may have some splainin’ to do too, the way this thing’s unfolding.

And finally, whistling past the grave yard,

Top 10 Web 2.0 Attack Vectors

Web 2.0 security concerns – reshaping the industry

This technological transformation is bringing in new security concerns and attack vectors into existence. Yamanner, Samy and Spaceflash type worms are exploiting “client-side” AJAX frameworks, providing new avenues of attack and compromising some of the confidential information.

On the “server-side”, XML based Web services are replacing some of the key functionalities and providing distributed application access through Web services interfaces. These remote capabilities to invoke methods over GET, POST or SOAP from the Web browser itself provide new openings to applications. On other side, RIA frameworks running on XML, XUL, Flash, Applets and JavaScripts are adding new possible sets of vectors. RIA, AJAX and Web services are adding new dimensions to Web application security.

Here is the list of 10 attack vectors along with a brief overview of each:

More Cloaks and Daggers

Chinese crackers attack US.gov

Chinese hackers have launched a sustained attack against the web systems of the US Department of Commerce.

Security experts reckon attacks originating from computer crackers largely located in China’s Guangdong province are aimed at extracting sensitive information from targets such as the Commerce Department’s technology export office.

Security consultants and US government officials reckon the assaults have at least the tacit support of the Chinese government, AFP reports.

Net to be Nuetered by FCC

via FAIR The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is planning in the next couple of weeks to begin an inquiry into Net Neutrality.

The Net Neutrality debate has proven so potent that the proponents in Washington and around the country have been able to bring Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens’ massive telecom bill to a standstill. There’s a lot in the bill not to like, but Net Neutrality is the defining issue.

So here’s the setup. The FCC is currently considering AT&T’s $67 billion purchase of BellSouth, the largest merger in history. In similar past mergers, such as SBC’s purchase of AT&T, or Verizon’s purchase of MCI, the Commission has imposed some relatively neutered Net Neutrality conditions for a limited period of time. Martin would like to approve the current deal without any conditions.

Martin’s gambit to make the merger as painless as possible for the companies is to try to take the Net Neutrality issue off the table. The way he will try to do that is with a Notice of Inquiry.

Here we go again.

Lone Ranger Pulls the Trigger, Jumps the Gun, and any other western metaphore you can come up with.

South Korean’s Rise to U.N. Chief Is Overshadowed

Oct. 9 — The Security Council today officially nominated Ban Ki-moon, the foreign minister of South Korea, to become secretary general of the United Nations on Jan. 1.

In a news conference in Seoul, Mr. Ban said the decision was an honor for him and his country. But he added, “This should be a moment of joy, but instead I stand here with a very heavy heart. Despite the concerted warning from the international community, North Korea has gone ahead with a nuclear test.”

Meanwhile back at the ranch,

“We have assessed that the explosion in North Korea was a sub-kiloton explosion,” said the intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. He added, “We don’t know, in fact, whether it was a nuclear explosion.”

No, but it was a hell of a diversion. I think one of two things happened. Kim il Ranger filled a big hole with HE and lit it off to spoil Ban’s grand acsencion, or Kim actually detonated a nuclear trigger. The compresion of a lead placebo could probably tell them all they needed to know about it.

Update: Heh heh,

(T)he abbreviation for North Korea used by American military officers says it all: KFR, the Kim Family Regime. It is a regime whose demonization by the American media and policy makers has obscured some vital facts. North Korea’s founder, Kim Il Sung, was not merely a dreary Stalinist tyrant. As defectors from his country will tell you, he was also a popular anti-Japanese guerrilla leader in the mold of Enver Hoxha, the Stalinist tyrant of Albania who led his countrymen in a successful insurgency against the Nazis. Nor is his son Kim Jong Il anything like the childish psychopath parodied in the film Team America: World Police. It’s true that Kim Jong Il was once a playboy. But he has evolved into a canny operator. Andrei Lankov, a professor of history at South Korea’s Kookmin University, in Seoul, says that under different circumstances Kim might have actually become the successful Hollywood film producer that regime propaganda claims he already is.

HT RCP

UPDate dos: CNN is at least being cautious both in print and on Headline News.

The apparent nuclear test was conducted at 10:36 a.m. (1:36 a.m. GMT) in Hwaderi near Kilju city, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing defense officials. (Map)

Update dos point one

Fox News Disembles into advertizing next great buzz,

while, Arms Control Wonk pretty much nails the story with this link to the French Intelligence Report.

HT to Josh

Other than waiting for the controversy over the intentions of Kemosabe, I think this myth’s busted.

North Korea Nuke a Dude?

Nothing like a little dissent,

HA HA HA HA.

I love the US Geological Survey.

They’ve published lat/long (41.294°N, 129.134°E) and Mb estimates (4.2) for the North Korean test.

There is lots of data floating around: The CTBTO called it 4.0; The South Koreans report 3.58-3.7.

You’re thinking, 3.6, 4.2, in that neighborhood. Seismic scales, like the Richter, are logarithmic, so that neighborhood can be pretty big.

But even at 4.2, the test was probablya dud.

Estimating the yield is tricky business, because it depends on the geology of the test site. The South Koreans called the yield half a kiloton (550 tons), which is more or less—a factor of two—consistent with the relationship for tests in that yield range at the Soviet Shagan test site:

Mb = 4.262 + .973LogW

Where Mb is the magnitude of the body wave, and W is the yield.

3.58-3.7 gives you a couple hundred tons (not kilotons), which is pretty close in this business unless you’re really math positive. The same equation, given the US estimate of 4.2, yields (pun intended) around a kiloton.

A plutonium device should produce a yield in the range of the 20 kilotons, like the one we dropped on Nagasaki. No one has ever dudded their first test of a simple fission device. North Korean nuclear scientists are now officially the worst ever.

Of course, I want to see what the US IC says. If/when the test vents, we could have some radionuclide data—maybe in the next 72 hours or so.

But, from the initial data, I’d say someone with no workable nuclear weapons (Kim Jong Il, I am looking at you) should be crapping his pants right now.

First the missile, then the bomb. Got anything else you wanna try out there, chief?

No call to China’s Leaders from Bush

North Korean nukes have their uses for China

BEIJING – While it reproved North Korea’s readiness to conduct nuclear tests, China has been laying the ground for what it considered unavoidable.

The emergence of North Korea as a nuclear power – the only other in East Asia apart from China itself – is perceived in Beijing as an evil that can be contained and even rendered useful as a counterweight to the United States military presence in the region.

Republican’t Governmen

Josh Marshall has the most comprehensive statement so far on the North Korean Nuke.

Labor’s love lost on Venezuela

The US AFL-CIO Foreign Policy Program and the 2002 Coup in Venezuela…

CONCLUSION

In this paper, this author has taken a comprehensive look at the possibility of AFL-CIO involvement in the April 2002 coup against Venezuela’s democratically-elected president, Hugo Chavez Frias. He noted that the AFL-CIO had a long-time foreign policy, that was involved previously in Latin American in general, and specifically in Venezuela.

This author previously expressed concerns around the strikingly similar situation to that of Chile before the September 11, 1973 coup, that he also suggested that possibility for Venezuela, although he published the AFL-CIO’s denial out of the possibility that its’ statement might be correct.

However, through discovering a number of independently-produced accounts and analyses — and after seriously considering the AFL-CIO’s version of what happened, conveyed through the writings of Stanley Gacek — he came to the conclusion that the AFL-CIO, and specifically its Solidarity Center — played an active and conscious role in helping to create the conditions that led to the April 2002 coup attempt, and also played a similar role in trying to deny the now-established involvement of the CTV leadership in the planning and participating in at least the initial efforts that led to the coup.

Thus, any understanding of the AFL-CIO foreign policy program in the post-1995 years must specifically include its activities in Venezuela, and their similarities to previous pre-1995 operations, most importantly in Chile.

Kim Scipes, Ph.D.

You know this really is a problem of huge dimensions when considering all of the actors involved in the 2002 coup.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Living on *Borrowed Time

Earth’s ecological debt crisis: mankind’s ‘borrowing’ from nature hits new record

By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent
Published: 09 October 2006

Today is a bleak day for the environment, the day of the year when mankind over-exploits the world’s resources – the day when we start living beyond our ecological means.

Evidence is mounting that rapid population growth and rising living standards among the Earth’s six billion inhabitants are putting an intolerable strain on nature. For the first time an organisation ­ a British think-tank ­ has sought to pinpoint how quickly man is using the global resources of farming land, forests, fish, air and energy.

The new economics foundation has calculated from research by a US academic group, Global Footprint Network, that the day when we use more than our fair share of the Earth ­ when “humanity starts eating the planet” ­ is October 9.

*Origin: The time is ‘borrowed’ from Death. Thought it was this didn’t you?

Libertarian Democrats

The Volokh Conspiracy takes a look at the issue that Kos raised in, according to Kos, an offhanded way. I think it rather odd that Justin Raimondo has been saying this for years, and I know someone at Antiwar keeps track of Kos’s site, through references or surf, and I would presume the same thing over at dKos too if there is any seriousness to the efforts.

Any way Ilya Somin has three points that might make some sort of convergence possible;

I. Oppose Government Subsidies for Rich People.
II. Reconsider Federalism.
III. Restrain the War on Drugs.

I would add
IV. Dismantle the industrial Military complex,

which would probably split the Democratic Party, and so is not conducive to Libertarian policy goals at the moment, of restraining the Republican’t Governmen.

On the Manipulation of the Markets

I had thought to point out Brad Delong’s and PGL’s taking the WaPo to task, but this is very interesting if you wonder why the stock market is acting like it’s on drugs.

Strange World

John Succo, one of my favorite Minyanville professors wrote an interesting article on October 4th entitled Strange World. This is what Professor Succo has to say:

In 25 years of trading I haven’t seen stock prices act this way. On any disappointing number (ISM for example this morning) stocks react vehemently positively.

And it’s not stock by stock, brick by brick, which is how a stable bull market is built. It is all index led. TICK data today is just another example. They hit +1000 probably 20 times today and +1500 twice. Surreal.

I trade stocks and watch them heavy only to be ripped up as futures are relentlessly bought.

I have my own theories. In a world where geo-political events are broiling, we have political structures desperate to remain in power. It is possible to believe that in such a world desperate measures like buying stocks by governments (we know Japan did this for quite a while) is certainly plausible. Given the action, I say it is probable.

I would caution that not all economists are of the same mind on things, but this article looks at three different veiws of the questions, which is educational in and of itself.

Spiritual Starvation – A Meditation

Thanks to SusanG at DKos for rescuing this diary entry from Nightprowlkitty.

Several years ago I recall watching a documentary on Mother Theresa. I was struck by something she said and have never forgotten it, though I can’t say I remember her exact words. She was speaking of poverty and of course her interviewer asked about poverty in Calcutta.

Mother Theresa spoke a bit about the material poverty that she worked with as her mission but then she spoke of America. She pointed out that she saw many people who were well fed, had much material bounty, and yet were stricken with a vast spiritual poverty, a poverty she could feel when she encountered them.

I think that under the culture of those in power today that spiritual poverty has reached a terrible pinnacle here in America.

I don’t think most Americans know just how much the worlds other Christians pray for those of us in America, nor would they understand it anymore than the recent events in PA.

A Sack of Wisdom from Jehovah …

Amish mourn man who killed five of their own

GEORGETOWN, PA. — Dozens of Amish neighbors came out Saturday to mourn the quiet milkman who killed five of their young girls and wounded five more in a brief, unfathomable rampage.

About half of perhaps 75 mourners on hand were Amish.

“It’s the love, the forgiveness, the heartfelt forgiveness they have toward the family. I broke down and cried seeing it displayed,” said Bruce Porter, a fire department chaplain from Morrison, Colo., who had come to Pennsylvania to offer what help he could and attended the burial. He said Marie Roberts also was touched.

… is more valuable than all the precious metals and stones of the earth.

The title and the above line, are one of my favorite Bible passages. I find it odd that so many Americans in a ersatz Christian nation are amazed by the Amish response to the tragedy, which behavior has eluded them.

I think God has allowed this to occur, along the order of Job’s ordeal, so that the world might see the difference between those who serve God, and those who do not.

One can only “Imagine” a world of people such as these. The rest of Christianity should be ashamed of themselves for their responses to violence, which I do not think their pride and arrogance will allow them to do.

NY Times Catches up to Narco News Bulletin

Castro Foe With C.I.A. Ties Puts U.S. in an Awkward Spot

Will wonders never cease? Narco has been all over this for years, including the corruption aspect of the US DA office in San Antonio.

Is the String theory strung out?

String theory: Is it science’s ultimate dead end?

The most ambitious idea ever outlined by scientists has suffered a remarkable setback. It has been dismissed as a theoretical cul-de-sac that has wasted the academic lives of hundreds of the world’s cleverest men and women.

This startling accusation has been made by frustrated physicists, including several Nobel prize winners, who say that string theory – which seeks to outline the entire structure of the universe in a few brief equations – is an intellectual dead end.

Two new books published in America question its very basis. Far from providing mankind with the answers to the mystery of the cosmos, the theory is bogus, they claim.

As one scientist put it: ‘The uncritical promotion of string theory is now damaging science.’

However, string theory proponents – who also include several Nobel prize winners – have denounced the criticisms and robustly defended their field. It has already led to many major breakthroughs in mathematics and physics, they say.

String theory really is hard to get your head around, but so are the Pioneer anomalies too, which doesn’t really mean much in a scientific sense, other than we have to keep looking at the physics.

Perhaps some of the problem may be that it can and has been used in theological discourses, which seems to be a sharp edge to the skeptical of all things not science.

EZSmirkzz 3.4.Z 10/1/06 – 10/8/06 archive

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Look under the hood American Protestant Christianity

An interesting read for those who actually want to try to understand the subtlties of American Protestantism, Mainline, Evangelical, and Fundamentalist and their impact on American foreign policy at Foreign Affairs.

THE NEW GREAT AWAKENING

The current evangelical moment in the United States has not yet run its course. For secularists and liberals in the United States and abroad, this is a disquieting prospect. Measured optimism, however, would be a better response than horror and panic. Religion in the United States is too pluralistic for any single current to dominate. The growing presence and influence of non-Christian communities in the country — of Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and, above all, secularists — will continue to limit the ability of any religious group to impose its values across the board.

Liberals, whether religious or not, may want to oppose the evangelical agenda in domestic politics. For the most part, however, these quarrels can cease at the water’s edge. As the rising evangelical establishment gains experience in foreign policy, it is likely to prove a valuable — if not always easy — partner for the mostly secular or liberal Christian establishment. Some fears about the evangelical influence in foreign policy are simply overblown. After the attacks of September 11, for example, fears that evangelical Christians would demand a holy war against Islam were widespread. A few prominent religious leaders (generally fundamentalists, not evangelicals) made intemperate remarks; Jerry Falwell, for one, referred to the Prophet Muhammad as “a terrorist.” But he was widely rebuked by his colleagues.

A good read for those without any background in these things, such as sectarians and most American Christians.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Victory RSN, or Spanish Pipedream?

War may turn on battle for Baghdad, which is exactly what one would expect at this point in the “Mother of all Cakewalks”.

BAGHDAD, Iraq — The Iraq war could be heading to its decisive moment: a battle for the capital of Baghdad that already has turned dramatically bloodier for American soldiers and carries enormous stakes for the country’s future.

Which I think makes it even more imperative that those who supported the war, help bring this fiction to an end. After three years of war we have capture Bagdad. and it isn’t the keyboard commando’s shedding their blood, or the journalist and pundits that parroted the rot of the reichwing of the Republican’t Party. Maybe the GOP ought to get a new symbol, you know, like a flying pig, or a cow jumping over the moonies.

No longer a limited security problem while the main war was being fought out west in Anbar province, the battle of Baghdad is turning out to be ”a critical point in the Iraq war,” says former Pentagon analyst Anthony Cordesman.

”Securing Baghdad … won’t win. But losing Baghdad will lose,” Cordesman says. ”If they lose, Iraq is likely to slip into a major civil war.”

Yeah, like what happened to America when the North lost the Battle of Manassas and we almost slipped into a major Civil War. I wish government officials, ex or lax, would realize that telling a pimpled faced journalist is one thing, but then expecting the rest of us to not read and interpret your remarks as remarkably stupid, niave, or deceptive , is incredibly elitist, even to someone as obtuse as yourself.

The battle started relatively easily: U.S. soldiers encountered little resistance when the new offensive began Aug. 7 in the mostly Sunni Muslim areas of western Baghdad.

ROTFLMAO, that was probably written, or spoken by every riechstud in America in 2003.

But that changed as operations shifted into Shiite strongholds near the Sadr City neighborhood — stronghold of the Mahdi Army of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

AP

which was probably snarfed off Juan Cole from his link toal-Sharq al-Awsat/ AFP [Ar.]. I had thought that Muqtada had ordered his men to cool their jets, in another link pinched from Juan.

I suppose that’s the price you pay for living the vida bizarro loco Americanos.

Then again;

Spanish Pipedream

She was a level-headed dancer on the road to alcohol
And I was just a soldier on my way to Montreal
Well she pressed her chest against me
About the time the juke box broke
Yeah, she gave me a peck on the back of the neck
And these are the words she spoke

Chorus:
Blow up your T.V. throw away your paper
Go to the country, build you a home
Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches
Try an find Jesus on your own

Well, I sat there at the table and I acted real naive
For I knew that topless lady had something up her sleeve
Well, she danced around the bar room and she did the hoochy-coo
Yeah she sang her song all night long, tellin’ me what to do

Repeat chorus:

Well, I was young and hungry and about to leave that place
When just as I was leavin’, well she looked me in the face
I said “You must know the answer.”
“She said, “No but I’ll give it a try.”
And to this very day we’ve been livin’ our way
And here is the reason why

We blew up our T.V. threw away our paper
Went to the country, built us a home
Had a lot of children, fed ’em on peaches
They all found Jesus on their own

John Prine

Katie Couric has the NO Fly List

via Schneier on Security; No-Fly List

60 Minutes has a copy:

60 Minutes, in collaboration with the National Security News Service, has obtained the secret list used to screen airline passengers for terrorists and discovered it includes names of people not likely to cause terror, including the president of Bolivia, people who are dead and names so common, they are shared by thousands of innocent fliers.

Real Space and the Big Dumb Rocket Controversy Reignites

Just for a change of pace around here, The Planetary Society Blog has guest posting while the blog master takes maternity leave, and this week Doug Ellison os doing it, and this link takes you to his post on the new rocket for the coming Ares 1 program, which is pretty interesting if you like rockets, but this looks familiar;

Now time for Doug’s final thoughts: NASA did something good by funding SpaceX and Rocketplane Kistler for development of launch vehicles and cargo/crew carriers to the ISS in the COTS program (and I’m not saying that just because I bumped into someone from RPK at a Tapas bar last night). I look at this great big launch vehicle, the huge amount of work going into clinging with a white-knuckle grip on to Shuttle heritage hardware — hardware which will be more than 30 years old come the first launch of Ares 1, I see all this work going into a new upper stage being developed, lengthy and expensive development processes, a very expensive series of flight tests, and I can’t help thinking…wouldn’t it just be easier to use a human rated heavy variant Atlas V or Delta IV? Is NASA going about the VSE in the best possible way or in the way that pleases the most politicians?

Emphasis mine.

Anyway it helps to read the article all the way through to really understand the hardware being discussed, and a memory of the Big Dumb Rocket vs the Shuttle returnable bootle ideas before the non starship Enterprise first took off.

The other thing that is really cool is at Bad Astronomy, (yeah the PS has the pics too,) whence BA has some high-resolution HiRISE picture from the Mars orbiter of the rover Opportunity on the surface of the planet.

These photos are awesome, so follow the links from the BA.

Atrios tells it like it is

I think Josh mentioned the FU in a post and DB was swarmed.

F.U.

I know regulars understand this, but for those coming in late and wondering what all the discussion of Friedman Units of time is about, it began with FAIR pointing out that Friedman was forever labeling the next six months in Iraq as a critical, decisive time. But the real issue isn’t about prognostication, but about the perpetual punting of The Iraq Question to a future date. It allows the pundit, or politician, to seem Real Concerned About The War without actually bothering to take it seriously.

Read the post.

World Wide Wanker

Ned And Ted Counter Joe

“I know some people are calling for [House Speaker Dennis] Hastert to resign, but the truth is that unless he knows what he saw and he saw something he should have acted on, he deserves to have essentially a fact-finder to come in,” Lieberman said.

“The Foley case bothers people,” he added. “If anyone thinks they can make this into another partisan flap, it’s not. It’s very real and human. The House Republican leaders and, frankly, the Democratic leadership, should not make it partisan.”

Wanker is a good word for Joe. BRB gotta go shake mine.

HT to TPM.

Drudge Fudges IM Sludge

via TPMmuckraker

Earlier today, the Drudge Report published a story claiming that one batch of lewd IM transcripts published by ABC News were the result of a “prank” by a former House page. The former page, Drudge said, “goaded Foley to type embarrassing comments,” which he shared with friends.

Of course, like Josh, shock abounds.

The Frogs of War

Justin’s article, States of Denial
Bob Woodward’s best-selling State of Denial, dooms the official 9/11 narrative
is good today.

Bob Woodward’s revelation that Condoleezza Rice was warned by George Tenet and two other top CIA officials, on July 10, 2001, that a terrorist attack on the U.S. was imminent continues to reverberate – auguring potentially devastating consequences for the Bush White House. While Rice initially denied it, her spokesman confirmed that a meeting took place on that date, although Rice continues to plead a memory lapse. And as the news that Rice wasn’t the only one privy to this briefing leaks out, a veritable epidemic of amnesia seems to be breaking out in Washington.

Although Ashcroft is telling the media “that it was ‘disappointing’ that he never received the briefing, either,” Rice’s office, besides confirming she’d been briefed “on or around July 10,” also confirmed passing it on to Ashcroft and Rumsfeld. Both were presented with an explicit warning – described by one CIA officer present as “a 10 on a scale of 1-to-10” – “by July 17.” A week or so later, as CBS reported at the time, Ashcroft’s office announced that he would henceforth abjure traveling on commercial airlines. A week earlier his office had leased a jet, and the authorities were explaining his decision in terms of a “threat” that went unspecified:

So whose mortar rounds were really hitting Bagdad’s airport?

Attacks Against Iraq’s Christian Increasing

via Juan Cole

LONDON – Open Doors, an international charity serving persecuted Christians in 60 countries, has warned of a sharp upturn in violence against Christians in Iraq.

The surge in attacks has coincided with the Muslim observance of Ramadan, with many saying that Pope Benedict XVI’s controversial remarks on Islam have ignited an explosive atmosphere.

Given the bombast of the US right wing and the invasion by W who really is surprised by this. Iraqi Christians are the remnant of Peter’s churches, from whence his two epistles were written in Babylon.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Dutch Electronic Voting Scam

via Slashdot

An anonymous reader writes, “In a just-published report (PDF, in English, cached here), the Dutch we-don’t-trust-voting-computers foundation (Dutch and English) details how it converted a Nedap voting machine, of a type used in Holland and France, to steal a pre-determined percentage of votes and reassign them to another party. The paper describes in great detail how ‘anyone, when given brief access to the devices at any time before the election, can gain complete and virtually undetectable control over the election results.’ As a funny bonus, responding to an earlier challenge by the manufacturer, the researchers reflashed a voting machine to play chess. The news was on national television (Dutch) last night and is growing into a major scandal. 90% of the votes in the Netherlands are cast on these machines and national elections will be held in a month.” Please create mirrors for the 8.1-MB PDF and post their URLs.

You might also try John Graham-Cumming’s l8r.org service to tell you when the slashdot effect subsides from any of the mirrors.

Like in Manipulation?

via The Big Picture comes this little diddy;

Friends in High Places?

Life is always much more fun when there’s a good conspiracy theory to kick around. When the New York Times starts kicking it around too, then it can really be enjoyable.

Such is the case with the recent plunge in the price paid for gasoline by formerly dour consumers leading up to an election where the party in power is clearly having difficulty wooing the electorate. It just so happens that the newly appointed Treasury Secretary used to run the investment bank that controls the world’s most important commodity index, which seven weeks ago cut the weighting of unleaded gasoline by nearly 75 percent, causing all commodity investments based on this index to sell their unleaded gasoline futures.

For the same number of buyers, a glut of sellers means lower prices, and voila! Prices at the pump drop precipitously, consumer confidence rebounds, and the electorate develops a new spring in their step.

I should have snarfed more, but Tim might take a pot shot. Anyway, for the non economist, another look at how things work.

Why don’t we do it in the road

Why don’t we do it in the road?
No one will be watching us.
Why don’t we do it in the road?

‘Insane’ picketers cancel Amish funeral protest

via the The Age

A Kansas church group that planned to demonstrate at the funerals of five Amish girls killed in an attack on their one-room schoolhouse has dropped the picket plans, a reversal that came hours after Pennsylvania’s governor offered the Amish police protection.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church issued a statement today saying a representative will appear on a nationally syndicated radio talk show hosted by Mike Gallagher instead of picketing the funerals.

This is really a sad developement since the Amish have shown the true spirit of Christianity in the ordeal, which is extremely rare in the modern world. The Westboro Baptist Church on the other hand seems to be more interested in pummelling the world with their theatrics, which drive people away from Christ.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Amish families and the gunman’s family today. God has allowed them to be tested, and in truth they have made a lie of the world. We could all learn something from them, in forgiveness is obvious, but also in humility.

I would remark that non believers would not be able to get a handle on the Amish position, if the Westboro Baptists had not already made that obvious with their own inability to do so, and so the difference between those who serve God, and those who do not has come into clear veiw. Even the non believers are more righteous than many who claim the Christ, and most Christian’s whose response to violence against themselves is more violence.

ED note:I clarified myself with italicized insert.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Let the game begin

I have to use Netscape to grab my mail so I have to post this from NS, then I’ll edit it from betablogger. Who knows…

It likes me! It rally likes me!!

It really is nice to have functionality back since switching to Firefox. So far for a beta, this is pretty easy. I may even keep it blue.

Shoot ing like hell and hollering

This blog is going beta, so if it blows up, cool.

What John Cole says;

I have been reading “Ballon Juice” for a couple of years now, and I think that John is true blue conservative Republican, and in fact if he rooted for Texas or Texas A&M he would fit in with a lot of my normal neighbors.

What is Next from the Bullshit Brigade
By: John Cole

guess they are finally starting to realize how damaging this Foley scandal is, because my former allies in the right wing are penning numerous pieces ‘warning’ the Democrats not to use the Foley scandal thiselection cycle because it will hurt… the Democrats.

Seriously. Check out Dean Barnett’s ‘advice’ to Democrats:

My snip here

o over the next few weeks we will have to hear all sorts of advice over the next few weeks from sites like Hugh Hewitt’s in which they will be offering helpful tidbits (because they care). What you should understand is that they are scared- the more they squeal, the harder you hit. Dean Barnett may not have figured it out, but teh GOP sure has- this issue is explosive.

Why else would the GOP be trying to tie this to Democrats? Think Katherine Harris’s “What did the Democrats know” was just her thinking on her feet? Think it was a mistake that Mark Foley was labeled a Democrat several times on Fox? There is a reason Fordham, Reynolds, Shimkus, and the rest of them can’t even get their stories straight. Think it is a coincidence that despite resigning today, Fordham still dumped this on Hastert and leadership? Republcians and their spinmeisters know how bad this is- it is why they can’t get a sentence out on the topic without mentioning Barney Frank and Gerry Studds (Red State and Barnett both manage to work Ted kennedy into the equation- BOO! Scary Democrats! Kennedy! Booo!). It is why Reynolds, yesterday, in one of the most pathetic displays ever, wrapped himself in children at a day care center to have a press conference.

The Republicans are scared- and they should be. Think of every bullshit law that has been passed in the past ten years by the ‘values’ party- drug laws, terrorism bills, video game labeling, internet monitoring, porn crackdowns- virtually every right wing nutjob wishlist bill has been passed based on support from the public because it was ‘for the children.’ And with Foley, you have the Republican party, when it matters the most- protecting kids in the most basic sense, deciding to look the other way because it might get in the way of their never-ending pursuit of more and more political power. Or they were just too busy to do anything. You choose.

So yeah. They are scared. They should be. And Dean Barnett’s ‘advice’ should be read for what it is- a plea that you stop hitting Republicans over the head with the issue. Right now, only a fool would stop swinging.

Emphasis mine

I am of mixed emotions on all of this, because the other shoe to drop may have a real D behind the name, and not the AP, FOX D of the American propaganda matrix. It still wouldn’t change any of the basic facts of the incident so far as the Foley/Hastert/GOPmisleadership equation goes, but given the performance of the national media the last five years I wouldn’t be surprised to see it spun into a, “Democrats are the “real” predators because they…(add your value issue here), so they encouraged Foley et al.

Democrats hit Trifecta

over at Josh’s

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Spengler Gets Real Close

If you never read another Spengler article, this one is probably as good as it will get.

Oddly, the US left and the neo-conservative right agree on method as well as outcome, and produce quite similar drivel. Professor Martha Nussbaum, a classicist, has written a new book on Hindu religious violence, as she wrote, “not only to present a case study in the threat to democracy from religious tension, not only to engage Americans in an informed dialogue about India, but also to defuse the inaccurate and unhelpful assumption that Islam is a global monolith bent on violence”. That is a silly premise, for violence by other religious groups does not bear upon the accusation that Islam is inherently violent.

The neo-conservative Max Boot, an enthusiast of imperial small wars, wrote last week, “Religions are not monolithic. They have no fixed, eternal identity. Until the 18th century, Christianity was a militant faith whose adherents did not hesitate to kill ‘heathens’. Throughout the Middle Ages, Islamic states usually offered greater tolerance to religious minorities and were more open to secular learning than their Christian neighbors.” [3] Really? Is Boot talking about the Almohad Dynasty that conquered Spain in 1148 and offered the Jews conversion or death? Were the Almohads “more open to secular learning” than the contemporary Holy Roman emperor, Frederick II? The fellow deserves a D-minus in a freshman history course.

Theological illiteracy is epidemic in the neo-conservative camp. The American Enterprise Institute’s Iran expert, former US Central Intelligence Agency officer Reuel Marc Gerecht, thinks that “Islam is akin to biblical Judaism in accentuating the unnuanced, transcendent awe of God”. Gerecht is ge-wrong. Worst of all is Norman Podhoretz of Commentary magazine, who insists that Islam takes even a stricter approach to idolatry than Judaism. [4] These are the blunders of secular intellectuals who approach religion from the outside. Because the neo-conservatives propose to democratize the Middle East, they also must insist that Islam can be twisted into the pretzel that they prefer.

From the left, Professor Juan Cole, a prominent Muslim apologist, summarized the problem as follows: “The problem with the pope’s Regensburg lecture is that it laid out three intellectual traditions as unchanging, undifferentiated essences and then contrasted them with one another, to the edification of his own position. There aren’t any essences.” [5]

Islam, in Cole’s post-modern view of things, has no “essence”, and therefore means whatever anyone wants it to mean. He is quite right to object to the undergraduate exercise of cataloguing objectionable aspects of Islam and presenting them as an “essence”, but to say that there “are no essences” is the same as saying that “there is no Professor Juan Cole”. Such are the absurdities of the post-modern left.

So apparently Walcott and I are off the hook this time…

Pope Benedict XVI is a man of vast erudition and insight, but his September 12 speech fell far short of its purpose. Since then the pope has offered so many qualifications that it is difficult to know quite what he intended. It was an act of great personal and intellectual courage on the pope’s part to state that Islam violates reason. “In the beginning was the Logos,” the pope cited John 1:1, translating logos as “reason”. But why was there a beginning at all? That is, why did God bother to create the world? The mainstream Islamic answer, going back to the 11th-century sage Muhammed al-Ghazali, is that Allah bloody well felt like it. He did not have to, and might as well not have. As Benedict observed, Allah is “absolutely transcendent”, that is, absolutely capricious. It is this arbitrary and capricious God, the pope implied, who demands conversion by threat of violence.

At Regensburg Benedict sought to identify reason in Greek philosophy with the god of the Old Testament: “The mysterious name of God, revealed from the burning bush, a name which separates this God from all other divinities with their many names and simply declares ‘I am,’ already presents a challenge to the notion of myth, to which Socrates’ attempt to vanquish and transcend myth stands in close analogy.”

The problem between faiths, and faithful and non believers, is the lack of understanding of one another’s “spiritual” experiences, which among Christians is quite different from individual to individual, and so in a leap I would presume somewhat as unique for the individual’s of other faiths, and perhaps those of none at all. I don’t think it really is that much more unusual than the other dynamics of an individuals make up, considering our nearly unique genetics, and familial surroundings with other equally dynamic individuals. In the end the why of our existence is only slightly more complex than the how of it all, and unfortunately much more opaque. I think that those who should presume to learn the things of Heaven ought to have at least learned the things of the Earth.

I suppose it goes without saying, “Isn’t it enough that you should wear out the ears of men with your words, that you should also wear out God’s as well?!”, is a universal aspect of man that should also be asked why about.

Why John Ashcroft Wouldn’t fly Commercial in 2001

via Antiwar;

Rumsfeld, Ashcroft received warning of al Qaida attack before 9/11
By JONATHAN S. LANDAY, WARREN P. STROBEL and JOHN WALCOTT
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and former Attorney General John Ashcroft received the same CIA briefing about an imminent al-Qaida strike on an American target that was given to the White House two months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Apparently highly placed government and military officials paid attention to the reports as far as their own personal safety was concerned, if my memeory serves me right, and it does. Meanwhile NORAD was sitting on its’ hands, and cows really, really do jump over the moon.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Britain refuses Brits in Gitmo

Apparently the US wants the Brits to shove rfid chips in the arses of the lads so as to keep them under constant surveil.

Britain to US: we don’t want Guantánamo nine back

The United States has offered to return nearly all British residents held at Guantánamo Bay after months of secret talks in Washington, the Guardian has learned.

The British government has refused to accept the men, however, with senior officials saying they have no legal right to return. Documents obtained by the Guardian show US authorities are demanding that the detainees be kept under 24-hour surveillance if set free – restrictions that are dismissed by the British as unnecessary and unworkable.

The possible security arrangements appear to have caused months of wrangling, but senior UK sources have told the Guardian the government is interested in accepting only one man – Bisher al-Rawi – who is now known to have helped MI5 keep watch on Abu Qatada, the London-based Muslim cleric and al-Qaida suspect who was subsequently arrested.

So they’ve got a double super secret agent man in Gitmo, who ratted out Al Whoda(?)and is a security threat, as one might assume after five years of living in the American gulag.

Mom momma we’re all unlawful combatants now

via AntiwarJustin notes

Another “Republican maverick,” Arlen Specter, zeroed in on the real issue, however, when he said the bill would set us back 800 years by repealing the habeas corpus protections against arbitrary arrest and jailings – and then went ahead and voted for it, anyway.

What a nation of maroons.

Paging all Sex Scandles, Paging all Sex Scandals

From the BBC “It has emerged that Mr Foley’s behaviour had been known about for some time by senior colleagues, including the party’s leader in the House.”

Bwahahahahahahahaha

After sixteen years of hearing the good creople of Flushington DC talk about “their” town, and having lived through the worst era of journalism in America, to conclude that only a few people knew of Foley’s behavior would render ones intellectual astuteness to that of a crack head in throes of addiction.

The whole town either knew outright or had heard the rumors.

If America is going to fund levees for New Orleans then we ought to fund them for DC as well, so as to fill that toilet with water and flush it into the Chesapeak.

The English Version of John McCain

Interesting what the Senator McCain says to conservatives in Britain;

“Conservatives came to office to reduce the size of government and enlarge the sphere of free and private initiative. But lately we have increased government in order to stay in office.

“And, soon, if we don’t remember why we were elected we will have lost our office along with our principles, and leave a mountain of debt that our children’s grandchildren will suffer from long after we have departed this earth. Because, my friends, hypocrisy is the most obvious of sins, and the people will punish it.”

Sen McCain then moved on to criticising the Bush administration’s presentation of the conflict in Iraq. In his low rumble, he warned not to “attempt to placate public apprehension with false promises of swift victory and passing dangers”.

“They have seen enough of this war, in Iraq, Afghanistan and on our own streets to know better. We have an advantage over some countries. We serve a practical and stouthearted people. They can stand the truth better than they can stand deceit and hypocrisy.”

The articles also refers to a lame critisism of Democrats for voting against Bush’s Social Security deform, that McKeating left out.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The not so Record DOW

via Angry Bear

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Record Dow?

Alexandra Twin of CNN/Money writes:

The 30-share Dow (up 19.85 to 11,689.24, Charts) added 0.2 percent, closing roughly 34 points short of its record closing high of 11,722.98, hit on Jan. 14, 2000. The record trading high is 11,750.28.

The general price-level today is about 16.7% higher than its was in early 2000. That circa 11,723 close back on 1/14/2000 would translate into an inflation-adjusted Dow of 13,681 in today’s dollars.

posted by PGL at 7:29 PM | |

I had to snarf the whole post since PGL (progrowthliberal) does not inflate this post with fluff, so I guess that makes it “fair use”.

EZSmirkzz 3.4.Z 9/24/06 – 10/1/06 archive

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Bizarro Liberals

Billmon, having turned his interests to the more mundane demands of life still sparkles aqui, in his post Land of Opportunity pointing out that;

(I’d throw Clinton and Monica into the mix, for a little partisan balance, but in Wild Bill’s case the reality always was the appearance, and those who didn’t see it from the start were doing a better job of fooling themselves than Clinton ever could.)

while gutting the dead fish that has become former Congresscreep Foley of Florida’s career.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bizarro Conservatism

When Justin fires on all cylinders one winds up with some good insights,observations, and analysis. Like this.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Iraq war was terrorism ‘recruiting sergeant’

The Guardian reports,

The Iraq war has acted as a “recruiting sergeant” for extremists in the Muslim world, according to a paper prepared for a Ministry of Defence thinktank, which also said the British government sent troops into Afghanistan “with its eyes closed”.

The paper, which describes the west as being “in a fix” and includes a savage attack on Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI, was written by an officer attached to the Defence Academy, according to BBC2’s Newsnight programme. Its release provoked a furious response from the Pakistani president, Pervez Musharraf, who has been touring the US.

The MoD was quick to play down the significance of the report. However, the study reflects what the MoD, military commanders, and the Foreign Office, have been saying in private. What is embarrassing is the timing of the leak, a day after Tony Blair’s defence of Britain’s military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Heard it on the BBC too.

Iraq war was terrorism ‘recruiting sergeant’

The Guardian reports,

The Iraq war has acted as a “recruiting sergeant” for extremists in the Muslim world, according to a paper prepared for a Ministry of Defence thinktank, which also said the British government sent troops into Afghanistan “with its eyes closed”.

The paper, which describes the west as being “in a fix” and includes a savage attack on Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI, was written by an officer attached to the Defence Academy, according to BBC2’s Newsnight programme. Its release provoked a furious response from the Pakistani president, Pervez Musharraf, who has been touring the US.

The MoD was quick to play down the significance of the report. However, the study reflects what the MoD, military commanders, and the Foreign Office, have been saying in private. What is embarrassing is the timing of the leak, a day after Tony Blair’s defence of Britain’s military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Heard it on the BBC too.

The Generalizations of Digby and Atrios on Torture R US

On of the biggest problems when considering the activities of any large group of individuals, say, Americans, and hence pronouncing all American values, concerns and spiritual beliefs and activities as bogus is usually frowned upon by enlightened individuals, which is why I read the people I link to first due to my own time constraints, and a convergence of views. Obviously not all American’s hold to the same ethical values, which is unusual for a nation that knows the value of everything and the worth of nothing. The last statement pretty much sums up Digsby’s view linked at Atrios’s place;

I’m with Atrios. If these religion scolds vote for this bill I will never stand for being lectured by them again about how liberals need to be more respectful of the faith and values crowd. The time is now for them show what they are made of. Let’s see it.

Since, obviously, the Pope listens to me. So does the Senator from Texas, either one. If these esteemed Gentlemen and Gentlewomen of the United States in Congress Assembled have come to the point of having no inkling of what Christ said in say, Matthew chapters five through seven- “The Sermon on the Mount”, or whichever Gospel, or worse, let’s be generous and allow that most of them do, and claim to be Christians and vote for Torture R US anyway, then why would anyone presume that people who do not listen to the Christ, the Son of God, would listen to us.

Like Digby said,

With the nation at war with itself, President Lincoln warned, and I quote, “If there ever could be a time for mere catch arguments, that time is surely not now. In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and eternity.”

I believe that we are at such a time again today.

There’s so much at stake, we, too, must resist the impulse toward catch arguments and reflex reactions. Let us proceed in accordance with our nation’s traditional moral compass — yes — but in a manner that is fair and at a pace that is deliberate and responsible.

Like they said in the South early in the war, when the Stars and Bars were easily confused with Old Glory, “dont get your flags crossed up.” We’re all doing what we can.

Like Juan says

Partially Declassified NIE

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Republicans Torturing Conservatives

Republican Spending: Another Reason to Vote for Democrats

I suppose this is bi-partisanship at its’ best. Screw ’em all.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Christians do not Deceive

via the Carpetbagger Report;

The Family Research Council’s “Values Voters Summit” in DC over the weekend produced a treasure trove of bizarre and frightening anecdotes, but this one, at least so far, has to be my favorite.

Even in this crowd of nearly 2,000 Christian conservative activists, some balked at one tactic recommended to turn out church voters. In a workshop, Connie Marshner, a veteran organizer, distributed a step-by-step guide that recommended obtaining church directories and posing as a nonpartisan pollster to ask people how they planned to vote.

“Hello, I am with ABC polls,” a suggested script began.

It’d be hilarious if it weren’t so sad. A Christian organizer, hosting a workshop for Christian activists at a Christian conference, has devised a plan on how best to deceive Christian churches and people in their community — just to help Republicans.

Marshner defended her plan to the NYT, explaining that disguised calls were a common campaign tactic. It’s quite a compelling defense, isn’t it?

Remember, these are the people who claim to be morally superior to everyone else, and who believe emulating Jesus should be a key personal goal.

If I didn’t know better, I might think that some of these religious right organizers are more concerned about partisan political tactics than their faith. Nah, that couldn’t be, could it?

Because as noted, the obligation of the Christian community is to bring the unbelieving to the Christ, not to run them of with lies and half truths. Obviously the orthodox Christian community has the same problem as the Pope be they Protestant or otherwise.

In Somalia Conservatives wanted to cut and run, Falujah they destroyed

via Atrios Who wanted to “cut and run” from Somalia? at Unclaimed Territory;

GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, speech on the Senate floor October 6, 1993

I supported our original mission, which was humanitarian in nature and limited in scope. I can no longer support a continued United States presence in Somalia because the nature of the mission is now unrealistic and because the scope of our mission is now limitless. . . . Mr. President, it is no small feat for a superpower to accept setback on the world stage, but a step backward is sometimes the wisest course. I believe that withdrawal is now the more prudent option.

United We Stand

Together we stand, divided we fall
Come on now people, let’s get on the ball and work together
Come on, come on, let’s work together
Now now people
‘Cause together we will stand ev’ry, ev’ry girl and a man

Before when things go wrong, as they sometimes will
And the road that you travel, it stays all up hill
Let’s work together
Come on, come on, let’s work together
Now now people
You know together we will stand, ev’ry boy, girl, woman and a man

Oh well now, two or three minutes, two or three hours
What does it matter now, if this time go round
Let’s work together
Come on, come on
Let’s work together, now people
‘Cause together we will stand, ev’ry boy, every woman and a man

Oh well, make someone happy, make someone smile
Let’s all work together and make life worth while
Let’s work together
Come on, come on
Let’s work together, now now people
‘Cause together we will we stand, ev’ry boy, girl, woman and a man

Because together we will stand, ev’ry boy, girl, woman and a man
Well together we will stand, ev’ry boy, girl, woman and a man
Yeah…

Let’s work together
Come on, come on
Let’s work together
Come on, come on

LET’S WORK TOGETHER
(Wilbert Harrison)

Go Read Josh

NIE Coverup

For the last six weeks and, in fact, the last six months, the White House and the president have been engaged in a coordinated campaign to convince the public that despite the setbacks and mistakes, the war in Iraq is a critical component of fighting the War on Terror. Making that argument is their plan for the next six weeks until the election. All the while, they’ve been sitting on a report that says that’s flat wrong, a lie and that precisely the opposite is the case.

That’s a cover-up in every meaningful sense of the word, a calculated effort to hide information from and deceive the public. And it’s actually a replay of what happened in late 2002, when the White House kept the Iraq WMD NIE’s doubts about Iraqi weapons programs away from the public.

Apparently this coverup extends for years, Retired military officers criticize Rumsfeld at Democratic hearing

WASHINGTON — Retired military officers today bluntly accused Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld of bungling the war in Iraq, saying U.S. troops were sent to fight without the best equipment and that critical facts were hidden from the public.

“I believe that Secretary Rumsfeld and others in the administration did not tell the American people the truth for fear of losing support for the war in Iraq,” retired Maj. Gen. John R. S. Batiste said in remarks prepared for a hearing by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

Same as it’s ever been

from the BBC

The report by security firm Symantec found that cyber criminals are targeting home PC owners because they are the easiest to catch out.

It saw an 81% rise in phishing messages which attempt to trick people into handing over personal details.

Another study by a banking industry body shows many home users do not take basic steps to stay safe online.

Criminals typically use bogus or booby-trapped e-mail messages to lure people into handing over banking details.

This isn’t really news, just a reminder that gramps is online now.Help them out here, huh? Thanks.

Courts of Abuses of Law and Power

The NYTimes article will be a three parter, and will probably be applicable in most states. In Texas this scenario is repeated daily in JP courts.

Nearly three-quarters of the judges are not lawyers, and many — truck drivers, sewer workers or laborers — have scant grasp of the most basic legal principles. Some never got through high school, and at least one went no further than grade school.

But serious things happen in these little rooms all over New York State. People have been sent to jail without a guilty plea or a trial, or tossed from their homes without a proper proceeding. In violation of the law, defendants have been refused lawyers, or sentenced to weeks in jail because they cannot pay a fine. Frightened women have been denied protection from abuse.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Site things

I have added BadTux to the links, and put Balloon Juice back from whence it fell in other iterations.

With any luck next week, and for sure by the end of the month I’ll be back on schedule to do some blogging or visiting at forums with my particular views and insights, on such issues as Torture R US, or the Popes remarks, which if anyone cares to read is at CWN, (no link) inwhich he remarked about Protestantisms desire for a primordial church slipped under the radar of most people, but which I would have noted, and pointed out to the Pope that had the Church remained in it’s primordial state without the pagan Greek influence of Alexandria, there would be no Islam to contend with.

Peace

Looking at MEW and the GDP

Calculated Risk is writing a series on the GDP for those of us non economists. Interesting tidbit on MEW-Mortgage Equity Withdrawal on the GDP. A cool fact;

Using this method, the surge in MEW in the mid to late ’80s boosted GDP by an average of about 0.5% per year. Over the last five years, MEW has boosted GDP by an average of 2.2% per year!

Wowser.

Carlyle poised to bid for Libyan oil giant

via The Independent

US private equity giant Carlyle is in talks to acquire Libya’s state-controlled oil refining and marketing operation, Tamoil.

Al-Saadi Gaddafi, the son of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the country’s long-time leader, said Carlyle was one of four or five groups involved in an international tender to buy 100 per cent of Tamoil. It is thought the business will fetch close to €3bn (£2bn).

Big surprise ain’t it George, Tony?

Venezuela rejects US apologies

From the BBC

The US state department has apologised to Nicolas Maduro who was detained for 90 minutes at New York’s JFK airport as he travelled home.

He had been attending this week’s UN General Assembly meeting.

He said he was verbally abused and strip-searched in what he said was a “flagrant breach of international law”.

Torture R US

David Neiwert has a probably, pretty well read piece up Friday on the spectacle of the “Christian Nation’s” torture policies, international law, and our favorite tool failure, the MSM.

Much is being said about Democrats’ abysmal failure in stopping the White House’s plans to proceed with torturing people suspected of being terrorists, and for good reason. As Digby (in a typically definitive take) points out, the supposed forces of liberalism have simply been rolled by the machinations of the Bush administration.

But equally abysmal has been the performance of the press in making clear to the American public just what is going on here — from the get-go. Indeed, for the most part, the press has looked the other way, burying stories that should have been atop their front pages, and treating what should have been monstrous scandals as simply politics-as-usual.

It began, in reality, back in 2002, with the abuse of prisoners in Afghanistan. Eric Umansky in Columbia Journalism Review has an in-depth look at how the story was handled by the press, particularly the New York Times, which broke the story — and then buried it:

Gall filed a story, on February 5, 2003, about the deaths of Dilawar and another detainee. It sat for a month, finally appearing two weeks before the U.S. invasion of Iraq. “I very rarely have to wait long for a story to run,” says Gall. “If it’s an investigation, occasionally as long as a week.”

What TBogg Says

Tora Who-a?

Hinderaker:

I’d go farther in defense of President Bush, too. The record is clear that he believed more effective, definitive action needed to be taken against al Qaeda and ordered a plan for such action to be prepared early in his Presidency. As I recall, such a plan was either just complete or almost so, when the terrorists struck first. Also, while one can argue that Bush didn’t act aggressively enough soon enough, he didn’t pass on an opportunity to collar bin Laden, as Clinton did.

Reality:

On the videotape obtained by the CIA, bin Laden is seen confidently instructing his party how to dig holes in the ground to lie in undetected at night. A bomb dropped by a U.S. aircraft can be seen exploding in the distance. “We were there last night,” bin Laden says without much concern in his voice. He was in or headed toward Pakistan, counterterrorism officials think.

That was December 2001. Only two months later, Bush decided to pull out most of the special operations troops and their CIA counterparts in the paramilitary division that were leading the hunt for bin Laden in Afghanistan to prepare for war in Iraq, said Flynt L. Leverett, then an expert on the Middle East at the National Security Council.

“I was appalled when I learned about it,” said Leverett, who has become an outspoken critic of the administration’s counterterrorism policy. “I don’t know of anyone who thought it was a good idea. It’s very likely that bin Laden would be dead or in American custody if we hadn’t done that.”

Several officers confirmed that the number of special operations troops was reduced in March 2002.

I’ll let you read the whole post, which elaborates a little on the Zarqawi situation in Afghanistan before he went too Iraq, to blow up Shite Mosques. Really, read it.