Monthly Archives: April 2007

EZSmirkzz April 27-30, 2007

Monday, April 30, 2007

Abdul Hadi al-Iraqi, & those pesky Persians

via War and Piece,

Iranian tip-off on al Hadi? The Guardian: “British diplomats are checking secret reports that elements within Iran, normally hostile to the West, helped the American secret services to capture Abdul Hadi al-Iraqi, the Kurdish-born senior al-Qaeda militant who was revealed last week to have been arrested on the border between Iran and Iraq late last year. Abdul Hadi, 45, a former Iraqi army officer who speaks five languages and is a key link between the al-Qaeda leadership in western Pakistan and militants in Iraq, had ‘met with al-Qaeda leaders in Iran’ and had urged them to support efforts in Iraq and to cause ‘problems within Iran’, US military sources told The Observer.” That’s what I speculated too.

The White House responded, “DOH!”

Propagating the Sunlight

Or How the Sum of the Universe of Numbers Came to Equal Zero

I’ve been beaten to this already, but the fact cannot be overlooked using the definition of propaganda, that most of the political blogs, and online zines are just that.

2 : the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person
3 : ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect

There is, I know, nothing I’m going to do to change the common definition of the term, but for the sake of argument I’ll continue using the same term and definition so that the various roles of the MSM, intertubes, blogs, talk radio, and newspapers can be discussed where they converge, in the propagation of ideas.

Even at its’ best, the political world fits the third definition better than the second. The newspapers, when they distinguish between the editorials and the news probably tend to the second. The problem with the television news is it is presenting itself as one and doing the other at the same time, so that a viewer is always open to being manipulated. That may in fact be why the television is off right now, which is a step in the right direction at the moment, for those of us who relied to heavily on the medium in the first place.

On the other hand, to be fair, that doesn’t mean the other mediums don’t constantly cross the lines themselves. I just think the blogosphere has a tendency to self police itself better, for the moment. I’m quite sure however, that only us rhetorical bomb throwers really know how to be succinct, which causes many to wax on eloquent in the defense of verbosity. And you know me baby, I walk the line.

The Two Faces of the Propaganda Array

I think it is important for us to think about how television impacts our lives, since the television brings us both gratuitous sex and violence in its’ non news programming, and highlights it in its’ news programming, except on Sundays when the Church of the Nepotism decries it in our culture from the pulpit of fallen basketball courts, so that it becomes a closed loop of propaganda.

There is of course nothing wrong with Jr. wanting to follow in SRS. footsteps, unless of course one operates under the rubric of Christianity, which exposes both the faith and the faithful to the abuses of the non believers from without vocally, and from within, by amplifying the congregations participation in being a part of the world by political activity. One will hear very little about the Kingdom of God in churches, because that Kingdom will supplant the one that the flag on the left, looking towards the sanctuary or pulpit, represents. This cannot be condemned too harshly of some, because one cannot teach what one does not know. When it is preached strictly for the monetary returns then it is apt to remain an amplification of the secular worlds fears and concerns.

This is also, apparently, a problem with the politicians who advocate one thing for the citizens and behave in an entirely different fashion in their own personal lives, although that behavior is within the norms of the majority of the citizen’s behaviors. The problem is when the laws that are passed are not applicable to those who pass them, and so there becomes one standard for one group of people and another standard for another group of people. This may be OK in the context of dog eat dog capitalism, but is highly corrosive in and to the democratic process of a Republic.

The one thing missing always, when the news is reporting on all of the previous topics is their own participation in the these very behaviors, at best by omission from their reporting of these double standards. They may call it access, of course, but it is in truth being an accessory, which the law clearly states is almost the same as the deed itself.

Perhaps since we have laws that require citizens to report certain crimes against individuals, Congress will pass something similar for the press, to report on as well. Of course I’ll expect that someday after the cow jumps over the moon, or the grown ups point out that speaking Spanish in the workplace is protected by the first amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech.

And That’s The Way It Is

A Democratic Sellout on Bush’s Mercenaries

by Jeremy Scahill and Tom Engelhardt

Blueprint for Dictatorship

Recent legislation sets us up for tyranny

America is headed for a military dictatorship – and recent legislation makes this all but inevitable. Last September, Congress passed the Defense Authorization Act, which empowered the president to declare martial law with very little provocation, namely in the aftermath of a “terrorist attack or incident.” Having determined that “the execution of the laws” is hampered by the “incident,” the president can nilaterally impose martial law – without the consent of Congress, which need only be informed of the event “as soon as practicable.” The only condition attached instructs the president to report to Congress after 14 days, and every 14 days thereafter.

This use of the military to enforce domestic order is a new development in American history, one that augurs a turning point not only in terms of law, but also in our evolving political culture. Such a measure would once have provoked an outcry – on both sides of the aisle. When the measure passed, there was hardly a ripple of protest: the Senate approved it unanimously, and there were only thirty-something dissenting votes in the House. Added to the Military Commissions Act [.pdf], this new brick in the wall of domestic repression creates the structure of a new imperial system on the ruins of the old constitutional order. George W. Bush and his hard-core neoconservative henchmen may have lost the war in Iraq, but they have won a virtually uncontested victory at home: the conquest of the old republic by an emerging imperial order. This recalls the opening of Garet Garrett’s 1952 philippic, Rise of Empire, wherein he diagnosed the essential indeterminacy of the transition:

All of this duly reported in the MSM as you will recall, not.

Back at Ranchero de Arbusto

The Interior Ministry official said American soldiers and Mahdi militiamen exchanged heavy gunfire near a prominent Shiite shrine in the Shiite neighborhood of Kadhimiya, and that two American Humvees had burst into flames. The ministry official offered no explanation for the clashes.

Sheik Khalid al-Kadhumy, an official in Mr. Sadr’s organization, said that American forces surrounded the Sadr offices in the Kadhimiya neighborhood in the evening. Something prompted the Americans to open fire on the office and surrounding buildings, he said, resulting in casualties among local residents, though he did not know how many.

Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, an American military spokesman in Baghdad, said that he had no comment on reports of the fighting but that the military was working on a statement about the clashes.

Since when does a straight forward telling of events need a working on Colonel?

Catapulting the Propaganda

To further the idea of the propagandizing of the American people, it is important I think to understand that the word propaganda is neutral in its’ definition. It doesn’t denote truth or falsehood of any information, only the missionary zeal of its’ desimination, but we usually go with the negative connotation, so that propaganda is of and in itself untruthful information in our minds. I would think that we have underestimated our government and MSM’s ability to parse words, and so we underestimate their efforts at disinformation as the Pentagon terms the term they use for this form of propaganda.

Psyops are, I suppose, their way of of doing to themselves what they need to do the rest of us, and getting around laws that prohibit the US Government from using propaganda within the United States.

But call it what you will, when a sitting President goes on television and uses information they know to be false, disinformation, to advocate for an action such as the Iraqi war then he is engaging in a physops and desiminating propaganda within the United States by the use of disinformation. It goes down the hill from there.

This is where the MSM is supposed to be stepping in and doing their job, according to we consumers of their product. Unfortunately we are not their customers, their advertisers are, and we are just the audience, the number of numbers in the good madame’s’ books, so they dole our what ever the they perceive to be popular with their audience like a good madame does with her little book, and we the audience end up with the same experience as the madame’s customers.

When it comes to wars then, they are expensive whores, since we tend to pay with our blood, and treasure for years and years, while they profit off of the advertising revenue that violence sells on television. It is as staged as the reality show from their point of view, as all they provide is a camera and a couple of judges to rah rah whatever their masters wish them to rah rah, and what ever they perceive thier johns, (us,) as wanting.

Unfortunately in the mix are some good reporters, or journalist, who are also believers of the disinformation, which means they failed to ask the right questions earlier in the process, and so they go and report from the war zones whatever spin they are embedded to spin out of the war zones, and there is no metric available to the public to know what is propaganda and what isn’t, and in fact we can’t tell if Geraldo is being shot at because he is on a thrill seeking run or reporting a story.

There will be more after coffee.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Propaganda Arrays

The earlier post has almost everything to do with the lead up to the war, but there really isn’t much made of the lead up to 911 which was the catapult for the war, so it will be an interesting read just to see how it stacks up with Richard Clarke’s book, and his assessment of the administration’s handling of that event.

One of the things that I’ve become concerned about that last couple of months is the amount of blood in the water over the politics of the Iraqi war, the reporting of the Iraqi war, and the propaganda matrix that is the media. I expect propaganda in its’ denotation at the political blogs, because they make no bones about what they are doing and whose side of the aisle they are on.

Function: noun

Etymology: New Latin, from Congregatio de propaganda fide Congregation for propagating the faith, organization established by Pope Gregory XV died 1623

1 capitalized : a congregation of the Roman curia having jurisdiction over missionary territories and related institutions

2 : the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person

3 : ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect

It has occurred to me to title this blog the Propagation’s of the Catapults which would be a pretty nifty title since the term is defined as purposeful propagation of information. I’m not even sure where one would draw the line between our media and our government in either 2 or 3. In fact when I try to write a paragraph to distinguish between the players it winds up like the one below;

I think that that applies more to national news than local television news, which seems to still be into reporting local events that usually don’t have, or haven’t been politicized, but is still apparent when a large development is in the works, such as beltways and baseball stadiums, and eminent domain issues that local station owners may have a financial interest in, or be friends with those who do. Crime is always a bigger story than crime rate facts so …

It is propaganda, hardly distinguishable from what the grown up at CNN is doing with whatever issue he is busying his little mind with at any given moment, but somewhat less honest than the fellow with issues who is a conservative not a journalist. But it doesn’t require any veracity to meet the criteria of propaganda, so you know what your getting when you go to FOX, despite its’ marketing protestations to truth, honesty and the Merican way.

In fact it really doesn’t change anything if a network, or newspaper, or radio station chain, advocates for something decent and as wholesome better bouncing babies, the mere act of advocacy is propaganda.

When I listen to Rice or Cheney it doesn’t really matter to me which network is involved since they are propagandist and the medium is just involved in the propagation as the government officials, with the caveat of so and so said perhaps, but the networks are well aware of what their guests are going to say before they show up in the studios, so they aren’t absolved because they merely hand the guest the stiletto and wipe the blood off the blade after the deed is done.

In short the media has become an array of ear ticklers, and the one that spits out whatever you oppose for whatever reason people oppose politically connected ideas for, becomes the whipping boy for a large group of people. Basically we like to watch our guys win, so the people as whole like to be propagandized, and for the most part don’t really care for fair and balanced because they have never seen it.

No wonder we think of this as a Christian nation, wonderful counselor of democracy, and capitalism will save the world, because that is all we ever hear in America, whether it is the truth or not, it is the propaganda.

The High Spark of Boot Heeled Boys

Letter to George Tenet

We write to you on the occasion of the release of your book, At the Center of the Storm. You are on the record complaining about the “damage to your reputation”. In our view the damage to your reputation is inconsequential compared to the harm your actions have caused for the U.S. soldiers engaged in combat in Iraq and the national security of the United States. We believe you have a moral obligation to return the Medal of Freedom you received from President George Bush. We also call for you to dedicate a significant percentage of the royalties from your book to the U.S. soldiers and their families who have been killed and wounded in Iraq. …

Sincerely yours,

Phil Giraldi
Ray McGovern
Larry Johnson
Jim Marcinkowski
Vince Cannistraro
David MacMichael

Scheuer on Tenet (and Scheuer)

It was either pinch the whole post, or send you there, Pat Lang will just have to be read.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Loose Ends and a Note Needing Noted

Fungus fingered in US honeybee wipeout /. has the link to the La Times story. I’m glad the Independent and I were wrong about this issue, although the IHT story authors basically went to the researchers who stated that they had run their experiment with cordless phones, and so the emf was from handset to base, not cell phones as reported in the Independent.

Scientists may have fingered a possible major contributory cause to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) – the hitherto unexplained disappearance of millions of honeybees in Europe, the US and seemingly Taiwan.

According to the Los Angeles Times, researchers have identified the single-celled fungus Nosema ceranae in dead bees from hives in Merced County, California. Other teams have similarly spotted the fungus in affected hives across the US, as well as two further fungi and 12 viral infections.

Powdered dead bee samples from the California hives were analysed by Dr. Charles Wick of the US Army’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Maryland using a “new system of genetic analysis”. Wick pinned down several viruses, “including members of a recently identified genus called iflaviruses”. These RNA-containing viruses infect the Varroa mite, which in turn lives on honeybees, and scientists speculate they may be fatal to bees.

Glad there is cure for it, if it is in fact the cause.

Updated YA: 5-14-2007 Apparently this stuff is affecting mostly commercial crop bees and not natural hives and or organic crop bees. So there is something going on with the industrial bees, such as stress in moving, chemicals, the new mites, and of course gm crops, all of which may or may not be playing a significant role in the situation.

Rebuilt Iraq Projects Found Crumbling

Rebuilt Iraq Projects Found Crumbling I thought it was bore repeating. HT Balloon Juice.

The inspections ranged geographically from northern to southern Iraq and covered projects as varied as a maternity hospital, barracks for an Iraqi special forces unit and a power station for Baghdad International Airport.

At the airport, crucially important for the functioning of the country, inspectors found that while $11.8 million had been spent on new electrical generators, $8.6 million worth were no longer functioning.

The blockquotes are from the article, but the link is to the anonymous blogger Tim F, at the site.

I do this because I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and people just like me. (I want an earmark too,) so you’ll have to go there and find out which MSM is being pulled along into the unified blogospheory of everything.

I Love Journalists Too,

But some times their so hot I have to put them down for awhile. One of those, anything more than the truth would seem to weak, posts from Atrios.

Anonymous Liberal hands Monica Goodling Her Ass

Monica Goodling Instructs DOJ Officials to Delete Documents Just in case you missed it, or the ht to FDL.

Another Friday, another document dump from the DOJ. I haven’t had time to look through very many of the documents, but one of the first ones I came across was this one from Monica “I plead the Fifth” Goodling. Notice the instruction in boldface type (click on the image to zoom in):… Yes, that’s an instruction to delete documents. And notice the date: February 12, 2007. That’s well after Congress began investigating this matter. I don’t believe any subpoenas or document requests had yet been issued (someone please correct me if I’m wrong about that), but it was pretty clear by then that document requests were likely.

The Eleventh Dimension and Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi

How did Glenn Reynolds even get a law degree?

April 27, 2007

WELL, THIS IS NICE: “The al-Qaeda leader who is thought to have devised the plan for the July 7 suicide bombings in London and an array of terrorist plots against Britain has been captured by the Americans. Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, a former major in Saddam Hussein’s army, was apprehended as he tried to enter Iraq from Iran and was transferred this week to the ‘high-value detainee programme’ at Guantanamo Bay.”

Hey, wait — an “al-Qaeda leader” who’s also a “former major in Saddam Hussein’s army”? But I thought there was no connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda. Or between Al Qaeda and Iran . . . .

Good ol Instaredundit,(ED note yes I know redundant) a little research lad, would have lead you here;

Described as pre-Sept. 11 training camp commander. Reported captured in 2002 and sent to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; another man with the same name and similar background was reported captured in April 2007 and sent to Guantanamo Bay. Whether they are the same person remains unclear.

Which would have piqued my interest since there is more than one guy with the name Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi mentioned, and so it did;

Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi is one of Usama bin Laden’s top global deputies, personally chosen by bin Laden to monitor al Qaeda operations in Iraq. Al-Hadi was the former Internal Operations Chief for al Qaeda. He has been associated with numerous attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan and has been known to facilitate communication between al Qaeda in Iraq and al Qaeda. Al-Hadi rose to the rank of Major in Saddam Hussein’s army before moving to Afghanistan to fight against the Soviet Union. He has a reputation for being a skilled, intelligent, and experienced commander and is an extremely well-respected al Qaeda leader. He has commanded numerous terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. Al-Hadi is reportedly still in contact with Usama bin Laden.

So basically he was in Saddam’s Army before he went to fight the Soviets with a Congressman of the United States, Dana Rohrabacher, in the 20th century there councilor.

Instapundits Update of course;

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey comments:
“All of these papers had hours after the Times of London report to get the London bombings into the story. The Times goes to bed at 7 pm ET and hits the feeds and wire services. None of the American media bothered to check on Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi. Readers should ask themselves whether that comes from a lack of intellectual curiosity, or whether it comes from a bias that puts the circumstances of the detention of a terrorist at a higher priority than the terrorism itself.”

Yeah Ed, all those things, un huh, for sure dude. Try Google.

Your right wing blogospherics at werk.

via InstaPutz

Duly Noted

Officeholding Liars

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., recently misstated some information about Saddam Hussein in his attempt to defend the president’s position. He said, for example, that Saddam fired “at our planes every day in defiance of U.N. resolutions.” Not true. The no-fly zones were never authorized or approved by the Security Council. They were imposed by George H.W. Bush.

After the end of Gulf War I, the CIA grossly miscalculated the damage done to Saddam’s army. Consequently, the CIA urged the Shi’ites and the Kurds to rise up in rebellion and finish off Saddam’s government. When Saddam’s army began to slaughter both the Shi’ites and the Kurds, an embarrassed U.S. hurriedly imposed the no-fly zones.

Rolling on around a Riverbend

The Great Wall of Segregation…

I always hear the Iraqi pro-war crowd interviewed on television from foreign capitals (they can only appear on television from the safety of foreign capitals because I defy anyone to be publicly pro-war in Iraq). They refuse to believe that their religiously inclined, sectarian political parties fueled this whole Sunni/Shia conflict. They refuse to acknowledge that this situation is a direct result of the war and occupation. They go on and on about Iraq’s history and how Sunnis and Shia were always in conflict and I hate that. I hate that a handful of expats who haven’t been to the country in decades pretend to know more about it than people actually living there.

I remember Baghdad before the war- one could live anywhere. We didn’t know what our neighbors were- we didn’t care. No one asked about religion or sect. No one bothered with what was considered a trivial topic: are you Sunni or Shia? You only asked something like that if you were uncouth and backward. Our lives revolve around it now. Our existence depends on hiding it or highlighting it- depending on the group of masked men who stop you or raid your home in the middle of the night.

via AntiWar

War Profiteers and The Bushmen who Drink Blood

Versailles on the Potomac

As we revealed here in CounterPunch, the Taliban offered Osama Bin Laden, and his top associates, the Bush administration on several occasions after the attacks of 9/11. Bush refused. They wanted a prolonged and ever-escalating war, not a deftly executed police action and not justice for the families of those slain and maimed by Bin Laden’s kamikazes.

Oh yeah I wonder, I wonder what she’s doing tonight…

White House Catches a Clue

The White House Scales Back Talk of Iraq Progress

WASHINGTON, April 27 — The Bush administration will not try to assess whether the troop increase in Iraq is producing signs of political progress or greater security until September, and many of Mr. Bush’s top advisers now anticipate that any gains by then will be limited, according to senior administration officials.

Yeah, and the fact that every time one of them catapults the propaganda on a successful Merification of a city or Province, or someplace is becoming safe, the Iraqi go there and whack that.

In interviews over the past week, the officials made clear that the White House is gradually scaling back its expectations for the government of President Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. The timelines they are now discussing suggest that the White House may maintain the increased numbers of American troops in Iraq well into next year.

In short we lost again, but since General Patraeus only has half of his forces in country, we have to follow the losing strategy that we have been advocating as a surge instead of as an escalation, for a longer period, before we will debate whether we have lost. Since none of us have any children there, no problem.

But the new view of Mr. Maliki’s limitations was put bluntly by Gen. David H. Petraeus, the American commander in Iraq, who spent the week pressing Congress not to put limits on either the timing or conduct of his operations, as he described what he discovered upon returning to Iraq after a two-year hiatus.

Six months became a year, one year became two, two years became forever, and the neocons still had no children there, but they own the arms manufacturing businesses, so no problem.

Does anyone else see a FU pattern here?

The Shrinking Bush Dollar

‘Stagflation’ fear as dollar drops to record low against euro

The dollar fell to its lowest ever level against the European single currency last night after weak exports and the slump in America’s housing market dragged the US growth rate to its lowest in four years.

Analysts warned that the world’s biggest economy was on course for mild “stagflation” – slow growth coupled with upward pressures on prices – after Washington said gross domestic product rose just 1.3% at an annual rate in the first quarter of 2007. The pace of expansion was not only below the already modest 1.8% predicted by Wall Street but was accompanied by evidence that the Federal Reserve may be held back from cutting interest rates by inflation running at 4%.

So even if we just use the dollar and our inflation rate to acheive a DOW needing to reach 14096 just to be the same in real dollar value as it was at its’ peak in 2000, without considering the declining value of the dollar from 1:1 parity in 2000 to 1.37 euros to the dollar now, then in terms of real money the DOW could be rising and still be losing ground in real, spending cash, value. In short, stock prices are not rising as fast as the dollar is declining.

The US commerce department said the pace of growth in the first quarter of the year was only half that in the final three months of 2006.

I don’t think anyone is surprised here. This report seems to think we could possible end up with a negative GDP this year. Hmmmm.

No Vent, Just Fact

DC Pollster Culture

In honor of Ezra’s piece criticizing DC pollster-for-sale Doug Schoen, here’s a prediction made by Schoen prior to 2006.

The 2006 Congressional elections thus far are a missed opportunity for Democrats to lay out an agenda for change that both unifies the party and presents them to the electorate as the logical (and acceptable) alterative to what the Republicans are offering America today.

Unfortunately, the Democrats have simply not done a credible job defining who they are or what they stand for. Their rationale today is simply a litany of individual top scoring policy proposals, and not an agenda to move the country forward by addressing the common good

. I enjoyed this prediction.

In order for Democrats to fully benefit politically from Republican failures and begin to position themselves for success in 2008, their Common Good agenda must address these matters and move away from the pie-in-the-sky political rhetoric that promises healthcare and college for all. The consensus in the minds of the public is to move away from policies that seek to redistribute wealth and pursue market based solutions instead.

Schoen is a paid contributor to Fox News, and didn’t disclose it in his interview when he was on the radio bashing Moveon during the Fox News/Nevada Democratic Party scuffle.

This, is hilarious.

Please drop me a line if you are interested in having Doug Schoen as a guest on your blog.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Jeff Nordstedt
Blog-guests.com
http://www.blog-guests.com/…

Yeah we’ll do lunch, for sure.

Friday, April 27, 2007

What He Said

Why the Main Stream Media is Full of Shit Read the comments too.

Our Captive Media Well sourced from long ago.

Piling on Doug Schoen

It’s a huge distortion to say that this means the war was ‘lost’. It just means what the war supporters said would happen didn’t happen.

R-E-S-P-E-C-K

You just don’t have to dig that hard. All of this information could easily be dug out by a passerby of this here li’l ol’ blog, with a half hour on their hands. Look out! Another link in the blog roll!

What is Missing from Roger Simons Post

What was missing from Edwards’ prayer

Does John Edwards include Jews in his prayers? Or Muslims? Or Hindus? Or any other non-Christians?

He didn’t the other day. The other day, in order to commemorate those killed at Virginia Tech, Edwards led a prayer “in Christ’s name” at Ryman Auditorium, which bills itself as “Nashville’s Premier Performance Hall.”

Obviously not a student of the Bible, nor a reader of it either, Roger seems to think that somehow this phrase is exclusionary of all but Christians, which leads me to believe he isn’t too handy with English prose either. The statement in John 14:3

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

even out of it’s context has nothing to do with the red herring posted up by Roger the dodger. If Mr. Simon were a Jew I might understand the problem he has with the Scripture, not because of what is spoken, but by what is implied by the person of the Christ calling himself the Son of the Father, and so making himself equal to the Father, but that is apparently a little too deep of a theological point for political pontifications.

Suffice it to say, and I don’t know that John Edwards did, but any phrasing of a prayer that would be inclusive of “all those who lost their lives here today,” or “those who suffer here today,” would include all those who had lost their lives there that day, regardless of their beliefs, because Mr. Edwards is adressing God as a Christian for “all those…,” ones.

Edwards has a perfect right to pray publicly or privately any way he wants to. But people who are not Christians often feel left out of prayers like his.

Which people? From one snippet of the prayer, wrongly interpreted, we jump to the entirety of the prayer. Yawn.

And if prayers are supposed to comfort, I wonder how comforted the loved ones of Liviu Librescu felt.

Librescu, a professor at Virginia Tech, was gunned down after barricading the doorway of his classroom so his students could escape out the windows. Librescu was a Holocaust survivor, a Jew, and not addressed by Edwards’ prayer.

If they were any better aquanted with the Christian religion than you appear to be, then they were either just as comforted as any Christian survivors would have been by an appeal to the Living God, since to a Christian it is through Christ that God acts to do the comforting of the survivors, not because of the victims or the survivors religion, but because God wants to, and because God was asked to do so.

I went down the list of the other victims and I saw students whose hometowns were listed as being in Indonesia, India and Egypt. And it is quite possible they may have been Hindus or Muslims or a number of other non-Christian religions.

Edwards probably did not know the religions of those killed at Virginia Tech when he gave his prayer, but isn’t that the point? Why not include all religions in your prayers?

What a pant load.

My mother, who did pray, also used to tell me, “God helps those who helps themselves.”

Well, no offense to your mother, May Peace Be Upon Her, but that phrase is nowhere in the Christian, Jewish, or Islamic Scriptures.

So, along with his prayer, I wish Edwards had included something meaningful about gun control.

Yada Yada Yada

Pretty much a waste of Simon’s time writing this post and mine in reading it, unless I have enlightened someone, which his post seems calculated not to do. If you don’t understand the basics of someones religion sir, perhaps you should stick to that which you do, political slanders.

That the Christian Right, or Christian Conservatives didn’t write this post instead of myself ought to clue you to the value that they attach to their faith, as opposed to their politics. Of course that is an observation that would require a deeper understanding of Christianity than you or they have.

via Digby. Updated with spelling and clarity checks.

Breaking News

Police in Los Angeles have arrested an alledged felon, reportedly in a car.

Record High – by the MSM’s Standard Maybe

DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE NOT AT RECORD HIGH

On October 27, 2006, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 12,090. Adjusted for inflation, that is down 14 percent from its all-time high on January 14, 2000.[1] The Dow would need to rise another 1,946 points to set a new record, adjusted for inflation. It is only when no adjustment is made for inflation that the Dow can meaningfully be said to have closed at a record high.

UD: Who said Hubert Humphrey advocated the politics of happiness and joy.

12090+1946= 14036 which doesn’t include the inflation rate since October of 2006. I’m sure that is just a little frothing too. (All puns intended.)

Why the radio-silence on Romney?

Media, Right Wing Silent On Romney’s Osama Gaffe

Well I would say that it is a liberal media conspiracy, or somebody has their little feelings hurt about a reality check, or IOKIYAR.

UD: IOKIYAR applies to criticising the media too, doesn’t it? If you thank them for doing a good job, your condescending, if you challenge or critisize you have smoked marijuana from American National Forests and have brain damage, but if your a Republican then you have Presidents of the company on your side and it is either ignored or spun.

It really is as simple as this, they do not wish to govern, they wish to rule.

Bells in the Bat Free- News From Damp Cavid

Is the President aware of the fact that he and Dick Cheney are politicians in DC, and they are telling the Generals in Iraq how to do their job?

Can he distinquish the difference between the Congress limiting the Presidents options, ie, telling the President what to do, and telling the Generals in Iraq what to do?

Praise the Lord and Pass the Column

Shame it won’t be read at the WH, or in the bunker.

Maybe Josh and Luara are right. I have been wrong before or five.

Tweety and the Russert Man

Final rip for the etherage.

Tweety and the Russert Man hardup for eyeballs
Stayed up all night peeling stories off their walls
For an underdiscovered weapon program had to be a thriller
For reasons unexplained Russert relied on Judith Miller

Kristol was a boy scout who never went to Vietnam
And found out like the Friedman Unit nobody gives a damn
They all knew the best story was found sleeping in their bed
So they became crystal balls for what ever their heads said.

(Chorus)
And the walls came down all the way to hell
Never saw them when they’re standing
Never saw them when they fell

The investigative reporters never acted like the Russert Man
Even back in Whitewater they knew he was in the can
Judy got jail time not the rackateer Crystal Bill
Who’s secret calls to the Morning Man expounded on the Hill

It was out on Blunder road Michael Gordon at the wheel
crashing into paradise you can still hear Krauthammer squeal
The blogosphere pulled up and said “Everyone of you’s a liar
No one would surrender cause the story was on the wire

(Chorus)

Air Force One flew in with those deluded by their own minds
Britt took his microphone and padded Powell’s finds
Fred Hiatt spun an A bomb sitting on Dick Cheney’s knee
Woodword lived on laurels profiting from lies and misery

Next election the Russert Man was avoiding a hot pursuit
He was waiting for a phone call and spending some of his loot
Judy told him many times it was from you that I was taught
In DC anything’s legal just as long as you don’t get caught

(Chorus)

Someplace by Abu Graib prison they all ran out of gas
The pictures had them cornered war crimes ain’t such a blast
Judy jumped out of bed said that isn’t what I said
Everything I made up was made up in Chalabi’s head

An undercover CIA agent was found face down in a field
The administrations monkey man still using Beinert for a shield
Time was still on his side although his lip had begun to curl
He had known him a long time before he ever became a twirl.

(Chorus)

Now the city on the hill doesn’t shine nearly quite as bright
there’s no room for cleansing sunlight in the clubbyness of night
The TV sets been blown up, it was to small for all the surmise
Fauxy Pantload’s foxy news shows just another pack of lies

I guess I’ll to to Florida and get myself some sun
There ain’t no more opportunity here, everything’s been done
Sometime I think of Tweety, sometime I think of the grand plan
Sometime I don’t think about nothing just like the Russert Man

(Chorus)

EZSmirkzz April 18-26, 2007

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thank God and Greyhound

Bush Appointee “Led by Power”

Kengle, who joined the division in 1984, said that Schlozman would change performance evaluations for lawyers and analysts who disagreed with him. Two weeks ago, we reported on the experience of Toby Moore, a geographical analyst with the section who quit after invoking Schlozman’s ire. Moore’s sin, among others, was objecting to a Georgia voter I.D. law that would later be compared to a Jim Crow-era poll tax by a federal appeals judge.

At the Civil Rights Division, Schlozman, who oversaw the voting section, was responsible for pushing through two of the most controversial decisions: approving Tom DeLay’s 2003 Texas redistricting and the 2005 Georgia voter I.D. law. Schlozman was such an enthusiastic backer of the Georgia law that he published an op-ed in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in its support after the federal appeals court barred its implementation.

Federal meddler in State affairs, sounds so…so….Republican?

Would Dana Perino Say

That the President giving speeches in front of active duty military personnel is using the military for political purposes, or is that more along the lines of the free speech zones required by the White House when the President attempts to speak to the general public, and would it be correct to call the President’s speaking settings as rotten eggs and fruit free zones?

Does not getting in the middle of someone else’s investigations include WH Press briefings, when the press is investigating the activities of the US Government?

When she talks about airliners being blown up over oceans, does that include Posada and Colombian airliners?

Would she describe this as an improvement, a decline, or SNAFU situational report from Iraq?

Given the situation in Iraq, does this even show up on the radar at the White House, or is this all just another born again evangelical prophetic necessity?

A Hypothetical Question

If the United States was occupied by a foriegn power, do you think that we would concern ourselves with their date certain for withdrawal, or would we ineluctably kill them until they had either all left, or were all dead?

Apparently China Missed the Enlightenment Too

The theory, which is more than wishful thinking, is that capitalism ineluctably brings about an ever-broader dispersal of information and decision-making, and requires an ethic of trust and a legal regime of promise-keeping (contracts). Those who subscribe to this theory can take some comfort from China’s recent strengthening of protections of private property, which gives a sphere of sovereignty to individuals whose appetite for sovereignty, once whetted, might become a demand for a politics of popular sovereignty.

So what would you say happened to all of this in DC, sans private property from the public teat, in this regard, George?

Yes, It is Unfortunate

That the Speaker of the House talked to the General the day before and missed the Congressional briefing with McCain, all politics aside that is.

Is Your Pet Rock Psychic?

Is Harry Reid right? Is the Iraq War lost?

The Washington Post’s Outlook section wants to hear how people in the know would answer this ringing question.

You Decide, We Report

Oh yeah, you have to be in the know don’t you know. FMR

Patraeus: “War will get harder..”

..before we’ll refract. UPDATED: With bloggity goodness, a thing not understood by the talking heads, attribution , to Atrios.

Questions We Won’t Hear Asked

General Petraeus, would you say Iranian involvement in Iraq is greater , or less than American involvement in Afghanistan in the 1970’s. If less, would the Soviet Union been justified in attacking the United States?

Would you say that Soviet involvement was less or greater than American involvement in Viet Nam?

To what extent are American allies funding the Sunni insurgence and what are we doing to cover that up?

To what extent is Israel involved in Iraq, and are their weapons being imported into and used by one sectarian faction against other sectarian factions in Iraq? If yes, what percentage of those weapons are of American origin?

In weapons sweeps of Baghdad, how many Czech AK 47’s provided by the coalition to the Iraqi armed forces are being recovered in these caches? Are these armaments being destroyed or are they being reissued to Iraqi armed forces?

Would you say more, or less Iraqi civilian deaths are due to insurgent car bombing or US air strikes in densely populated urban centers?

That Vast Sucking Sound You Hear

Is DC sinking into a swamp. DC wasn’t built on a swamp, but its’ become one.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tubular Tales

Of course it’s always all been posted specifically for you,
I mean, why not? I love you so much, and so you do too,
but I can’t help you help me get over my disbelief
you can’t hide your eyes behind the hands of your teeth.

So station up your crosses, your stars and your moons
and fill up our heads with your colored ballons
because somebody’s been there, it just has to be true
like the car wreck in a city we’ve all seen it too.

And the blood in the gutter glitters in the flashing police lights
with snowflakes falling gently, scattering out into the night,
then the phone call comes ringing, there’s a girl at the door,
with a song in her head you’ve heard a thousand times before.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

How Many more deaths, Mr. Leiberman?

Liberalism at Work

Someone needs to call Newt and ask him how this works, since I don’t have the telephone number for the back sit, and apparently the privacy window is up. Thank you.

Representative Pete Sessions was very adamant about passing the bankruptcy reform bill and he told everyone in the house the reasons why:

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today that this House will have the opportunity to once again during the 108th Congress consider and send to the Senate much-needed bankruptcy reform legislation under this fair rule. I am proud of the tireless efforts on behalf of many Members and their staffs, who have put in countless hours towards the passage of this legislation over the last four Congresses.

Their efforts allow us today to again urge Senate action to ensure that our Nation’s bankruptcy laws operate fairly, efficiently, and free of abuse. Congress has the opportunity to once again end, once and for all, the loophole to debtors who are able to repay some portion of their debts to game the system and increase the cost of credit, goods and services for other law-abiding citizens. Between 2002 and 2003, the Federal court system reported that there was a 9.6 percent increase in bankruptcy filings to over 1.650 million filings, and these filings have a real cost not only to every consumer but also to simple, everyday Americans.

Thanks Pete, but;

When the marriage ended up in a Collin County divorce court, the congressman found himself in the odd position of providing testimony about his knowledge of the transferred assets. First, in a sworn affidavit, Sessions recounted a telephone conversation in which the Katzes described their scheme to him: “The intent expressed to me was that both understood that it was clearly never intended by Ahron to gift this property to Lucia and Lucia clearly understood this.”

Later, in the September deposition, Sessions reiterated that the whole arrangement had been a ploy to fend off the creditors: “I think they were trying to find a way to hide and move those assets,” the congressman said under oath.

ht “Mr. Popular.”

The Zimmers

My G g g generation has left the blog.

Lee Atwater to Karl Rove & Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment

The Dismantling of the Democratic Coalition in 20th Century America

Main Entry: ma·nip·u·late
Pronunciation: m&-‘ni-py&-“lAt
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): -lat·ed; -lat·ing
Etymology: back-formation from manipulation, from French, from manipuler to handle an apparatus in chemistry, ultimately from Latin manipulus
1 : to treat or operate with or as if with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skillful manner
2 a : to manage or utilize skillfully b : to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage
3 : to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one’s purpose :

Machiavellianism
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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This article is about the psychology term. For the political philosophy, see Niccolò Machiavelli.

Machiavellianism is primarily the term some social and personality psychologists use to describe a person’s tendency to deceive and manipulate others for personal gain. The concept is named after Renaissance diplomat and writer Niccolò Machiavelli, who wrote Il Principe (The Prince). (Machiavellianism can also refer to the doctrine Machiavelli established, although that is not the subject of this article.)

In the 1960s Richard Christie and Florence L. Geis developed a test for measuring a person’s level of Machiavellianism. This eventually became the MACH-IV test, a twenty-statement personality survey that is now the standard self-assessment tool of Machiavellianism. People scoring above 60 out of 100 on the MACH-IV are considered high Machs; that is, they endorsed statements such as, “Never tell anyone the real reason you did something unless it is useful to do so,” (No. 1) but not ones like, “Most people are basically good and kind” (No. 4). People scoring below 60 out of 100 on the MACH-IV are considered low Machs; they tend to believe, “There is no excuse for lying to someone else,” (No. 7) and, “Most people who get ahead in the world lead clean, moral lives” (No. 11).

High Machs tend to take a more detached, calculating approach in their interaction with other people. They tend to believe most people are concerned only with their own well-being and to depend too much on anyone else is foolish. They believe some of the most efficient ways to achieve a goal are to use deception, rewards, promises, flattery, and even punishments to manipulate others into doing their bidding. To them, power may be more important than love.

Think Helen Thomas where it is highlighted, or US Attorneys.

In terms of Big Five personality traits, Machiavellians tend to be low on agreeableness and conscientiousness.

Some scholars and researchers have attempted to find a correlation between Machiavellianism and narcissistic personality disorder and psychopathy. It could be understood that psychopaths and sociopaths have a similar disposition that could be identified with Machiavellianism, for sociopaths are known for manipulation and cunning.

Psychopaths, however, generally have difficulty realising or understanding the concepts of right and wrong, and tend not to have much regard for consequences. On the other hand, High Machs perhaps more or less view as Machiavelli did, and simply believe that while right and wrong have reality (at least to most people), that it is impractical to be ethical all the time, and that perhaps there is a difference between outright deception or exploitation, and subtle spins on the truth for the sake of what is seen (subjectively) as a more important cause that is not recognised by both parties.

However, it may be difficult to distinguish between the two, because both types exhibit similar tendencies, often while considering it important to mask or misrepresent their motives. Furthermore, true High Machs (as opposed to sociopaths) tend to take consequences very seriously, and when dedicated to a course of action which may backfire, it is usually because the potential consequences have been weighed quite carefully and the High Mach is prepared to be responsible if blame cannot be deflected sufficiently.

Robert Altemeyer found a correlation between Social dominance orientation and Machiavellianism.

Low Machs tend to take a more personal, empathic approach in their interaction with other people. They tend to be more trusting of others and more honest. They believe humans are essentially good natured. At the extreme, low Machs are passive, submissive, and highly agreeable. They also tend to believe that everyone has a good and bad side.

Wonder why the Reagan Democratic base consistently votes against its’ own interests anymore?

Filed Under: Why Oh Why Can’t We Have a Better Opposition Party?

Happy Arbor Day

Yeah, and Earth Day Too.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Cakes are square Π’s are round

Observations on the universal set of imaginary oddballs with an extra set of imaginary evenballs, to round out the universe of unimaginable quantities of positive and negative balls, both odd and even, which I have substituted for numbers so you might have a visual representation of the universe of numbers, and in the end still have a ball.

However, there’s also a point in every story, or theory, where those still standing in opposition are revealed as not dogged searchers for the truth, but (and there is no better term available) simply fools. You can devote all the time you want to building a perpetual motion machine, but don’t be surprised if you’ve got a wee bit of trouble leveraging that into even a part-time position at Podunk Community College. Your hand-illustrated theories for that stack of turtles holding up the world is unlikely to be published in a leading journal.

Who says science can’t be fun?

Anyway I think you’ll find the post a pretty good read all the way through.

One of the things that I noticed in my previous post on the Bottom Up Universe, was the motivational factor of the scientist behind the linked theory, a motivation does not of necessity have to be a strictly scientific motivation, but a is often a philosophical one, or for that matter the smell test, which is basically it doesn’t stack up in the scientists mind, as being valid for any number of reasons that are known, or not, only to themselves, none of which have a philosophical underpinning, nor does it impact the validity of their proposed theory. In that regard it doesn’t matter to me if it is a religious motivation of another individual, or if they just hate religion, so long as the science holds up.

In the end the development of any theory through its’ various stages of experimentation leads away from the original hypothesis, which is where the game is at, in my mind. The joy of science to me is not in finding the door, but going through it, and not standing around to look at the hinges on which the door is hung. That’s why God invented all you other people though, because He knew I wouldn’t be.

Nor does it matter that Newton’s laws of gravity are wrong if all your doing is launching a rocket to the moon to see what is there. But there’s no point in going to the moon if it isn’t going to be any fun anyway. I suppose I could find the time to ponder if E=MC^2 doesn’t make the universe a perpetual motion machine, the Pioneer anomalies which may make Einstein wrong, and if the theory of evolution doesn’t contradict the laws of thermal dynamics, all simply, to turn the questions inside out to look at the tags.

I do think however that it is important to point out to the non-scientific community that scientists aren’t so different than anyone else, and they have motivations that are not scientific in finding a conundrum that intrigues them.

Science is what scientists do, not who they are. You can’t learn that at any college, some things you just have to slow down and figure out for yourself.

Cigarette?

Silencing Dissent – The Seditionist at State

Iraqi doctor who disputes official death tolls is denied visa to visit UW

An Iraqi doctor who made international headlines after stating that civilian deaths in the Iraq war far exceeded officially reported numbers is not being allowed to travel to North America to meet other academics.

Riyadh Lafta and his colleagues have been trying for months to get a U.S. travel visa so the doctor could speak at a medical conference at the University of Washington today.

The State Department has cited miscommunication as the reason for the visa holdup.

As an alternative, Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C., invited Lafta to deliver his lecture today, which was to have been broadcast by video to the UW. But this week, the British government denied him a four-hour transit visa for a stopover between the Middle East and Canada.

Seems like the President of Iran had the same problem with the State Department, which under Rice is suppose to be headed by a realist.

Why do these people hate American’s freedoms?

This reminds me of the philosophical, “if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?,” which basically concludes that there is no “sound” if it can’t be “heard” by a “human,” and avoids the point that it still makes a hell of a noise when it falls. So if a dissenter cannot be heard does it make a noise to you, grasshopper? ht

While reading the rest of ht, think about slingshots and twelve foot tall walls and then think about this;

“Mahalle,” “Mukhtar,” “Muhtasib.” These are terms in Arabic that one should become familiar with:

“The Whole World Turned Upside Down,” except poor America, which is off its’ clock.

Iraqi WMDs Discovered in Bunker

A riff on; it has been learnt by a Brit, for people still wearing bow ties.

Uncontrollable resources have confirmed that massive amounts of Saddams WMDs were dug up by Syrian, Iraqian, Russianian and one strange looking guy in a hat, and removed to Syria from whence they were transported under diplomatic cover to Dick Cheney’s bunker, where other resources have conjectured Osama bin Laden is hiding, and plotting the next American withdrawal into Iran.

These reports will be confirmed by major media outlets, and the following at the drop of a hat;

Powerline’s Scott Johnson: Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds: Michelle Malkin’s Hot Air: Scores of other right-wing blogs — including right-wing “news site” Pajamas
Media
— .

David Horowitz’s Front Page Magazine, always slightingly considered the head of the neoconservative ship, has been promoting Gaubatz’s discovery for some time,

and all indications are that he will continue to do so, when he is not interrupting Ward Churchill and other left wing academics that refuse debate him with his own facts.

In other news, Gun Control Laws are out of Control, and rumored to be roaming the White House late at night talking to the portraits according to White House spooksperson Pana Derino.

Meanwhile, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino denied she was the source of any truthful statements being issued by the White House, and referred reporters to Charles Krauthammer for the Administrations rationalizations for the moment on Osama’s 60-90 day withdrawal plans for American forces to Iran, thus freeing up Iraqi forces to clean up the mess, at the conclusion of the War of Iraqi Terrorism Instigation, or WITI, as the Administration has copper cladded coined it.

BOEHNER: I think it will be rather clear in the next 60 to 90 days as to whether this plan is going to work. And, again, that’s why we need to have close oversight, so that we just don’t look up 60 or 90 days from now and realize that — that this plan is not working. We need to know, as we — as we’re — we move through these benchmarks, that the Iraqis are doing what they have to do.

KOPPEL: Now, an aide to Boehner told me that the leader’s remarks were simply a gut feeling that he had. They were personal feelings that he had.

But, Kyra, it gives you a window, when you consider the pressure that the Republican Party is under, especially Leader Boehner over here on the House side, when you consider that it comes just one day after he and some Republicans put the White House on notice that they wanted a report every 30 days on the status of what was happening in Iraq, on specific benchmarks, for the first time in writing, saying that they wanted this to come from the White House, from the Bush administration, and also one day, Kyra, after Leader Boehner said many in his party, including himself, are skeptical that this policy, that this surge is going to work — Kyra. .

The White House has denied that anyone is doing any writing there.

Diebolds Problem in Ohio

Ohio Audit Says Diebold Vote Database May Have Been Corrupted

Vote totals in two separate databases that should have been identical had different totals. Although Diebold explained that this was part of the system design for separate vote tables to get updated at different times during the tabulation process, the team questioned the wisdom of a design that creates non-identical vote totals.

Tables in the database contained elements that were missing date and time stamps that would indicate when information was entered.

Entries that did have date/time stamps showed a January 1, 1970 date.

The database is built from Microsoft’s Jet database engine. The engine, according to Microsoft, is vulnerable to corruption when a lot of concurrent activity is happening with the database, such as what occurs on an election night when results are uploaded and various servers are interacting with the database simultaneously. This is why Microsoft advises against using the Jet engine in a complex environment:

Out of kindness I suppose;

All of these issues led to the resignation of Election Director Michael Vu and the four members of Cuyahoga’s board of elections. Vu’s problems in Ohio haven’t affected his job prospects, however. He was recently hired as assistant registrar of voters in San Diego.

Little Things For Little Minds

Alec Baldwin makes a phone call.

Hanging Out In DC

Everything is PC
Wish we could find someone
who knew how to run one
email spilled out on the floor
everybody’s hired whores
silence sleeping next to truth
drinking in the bars with slueths
Daddy war bucks got a job
fiddling with the power knob.
There’s a fire in the hallway
gunshots serving foreplay
and nobody seems to mind
believing only makes you blind.
Plane loaded flying overhead
bring back someone else’s dead
silence is just another way
not to spoil our holiday.
A greeter in the church yard
preaches son don’t take it hard,
heaven’s only halfway to hell,
and around here who can tell?

Silence Is Not An Option

Who has plumbed the depths of Wisdom?
Let him speak, if he should know it.

Friday, April 20, 2007

More Tunes, Less Me

I’m going to mow the lawn, do some thinking, talk to the One who knows me best.

For the rest of ya, brb.

From Streams of Tears, Rivers of Blood

NEW YORK (Commentary) The most powerful indictment of the news media for falling down in its duties in the run-up to the war in Iraq will appear next Wednesday, a 90-minute PBS broadcast called “Buying the War,” which marks the return of “Bill Moyers Journal.” E&P was sent a preview DVD and a draft transcript for the program this week.

At the close, Moyers mentions some of the chief proponents of the war who refused to speak to him for this program, including Thomas Friedman, Bill Kristol, Roger Ailes, Charles Krauthammer, Judith Miller, and William Safire.

Moyers also throws some stats around: In the year before the invasion William Safire (who predicted a “quick war” with Iraqis cheering their liberators) wrote “a total of 27 opinion pieces fanning the sparks of war.” The Washington Post carried at least 140 front-page stories in that same period making the administration’s case for attack. In the six months leading to the invasion the Post would “editorialize in favor of the war at least 27 times.”

Of the 414 Iraq stories broadcast on NBC, ABC and CBS nightly news in the six months before the war, almost all could be traced back to sources solely in the White House, Pentagon or State Dept., Moyers tells Russert, who offers no coherent reply.

via Iraqislogger
As a, “You need to Know This”, the Roger Ailes referred to in the post is not the same Roger Ailes I link to in “Blogs Left,” on the sidebar.

In All Senses of The Term

The President of the United States is a war criminal.

All the would’ves, could’ves, and should’ves will not alter that fact, and we will be judged by God and men for our response to those crimes.

Joe Lieberman — The Democratic Right Crank

I usually don’t remark on Joe Lieberman, except on occasion I’ll stick up for him. But apparently he is forgetting how to speak English too.

I can understand, to some extent, his paranoia about Israel surviving, but I wish he wouldn’t think the rest of us are as damned ignorant as Bush’s supporters and parrot the pure BS.

WASHINGTON — Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) today made the following statement in response to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s comment that the Iraq War is “lost:”

“This week witnessed horrific terrorist attacks by Islamist extremists in Iraq, killing hundreds of innocent civilians and leading Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to declare that the war is ‘lost.’

With all due respect, I strongly disagree. Senator Reid’s statement is not based on military facts on the ground in Iraq and does not advance our cause there.

Uh, Joe, some of us have been hearing that for four years sir. I think I liked you better when you were more concerned about the slaughter of innocents than the abstract national security notions of Likud. Think Lebanon, sir, think Lebanon.

Let’s just say we accomplished our original goals and leave. The national security of the United States, or Israel, cannot be sustained when based on the foreign policy of propaganda from our adversaries or our nationalistic brethren.

You should give real thought to notion that you are sir, are still wrong about this issue, both in the intentions and capabilities of our adversaries, and those with whom you have aligned yourself with on this issue. I have, at this juncture, found our adversaries more forthright than your fellow travellers, and if we wish to obtain your long term objectives in the region, then you need you to rethink what you are doing. You may find that in doing so you save two nations at least, and perhaps three.

A just and lasting peace will, in my view be obtainable only if honest men discuss facts openly, and without the hyperbole.

The Semi Annual Migration of the Grandma

Well I took the better half to Houston Intercontinental for the semi annual weekly, and I am still amazed at the traffic in Houston. I imagine most people that live there think it really is terrible, but I want to give a shout out to ya’ll, because inspite of it all you are still some of the friendliest drivers I never did expect to meet in a city.

For those of you who are wondering, no, it doesn’t bother me to drive in big cities since I am usually just passing through. It may bother people in big cities that I am driving through more, since I tend to take 3-4 seconds to change lanes, instead of the normal milliseconds, and of course I am never really sure exactly which lane I need to be in all the time.

Anyway, I didn’t see anyone I knew.

It’s still pretty rough around Sugarland, but I attribute the five lanes and an HOV lane merging into four lanes, two lanes of which are exiting right, to Tom Delay. Fortunately, the parking is free.

The Power of Kos! Must Resist!

Must Resist!

Oh Well, “Estoy muy contento.” Me? Not so much.

You may never have heard of Luis Posada Carriles. His is not exactly a household name even though he’s a fugitive wanted in two countries for airline bombing and hotel bombing. Even though, before September 11, 2001, the downing of Flight 455 was the worst terrorist act in the Western Hemisphere. That’s not all he did. Posada got around. He worked for the CIA, he worked for the Venezuelan secret police, he had ties to the Chilean secret police, he was connected to Operation Condor, he helped Oliver North distribute weapons to the terrorist contras of Nicaragua, weapons paid for by illegal sales of other weapons to America’s very good friends, the Iranian ayatollahs. In the genocidal Guatemala of the 1980s, he worked as an “advisor” to counter-guerrilla operatives there.

Seems to me, you don’t want to talk about it.

Or so I think, EZSmirkzz at 1:41 PM

Hows Come

We can hear what Reid said, and hear what everyone else says Reid said, and what Reid said means if Reid means what Reid said, but we can’t hear from Reid?

Updated : Most excellent! (In movie tone.)

I suppose the Republican’ts speak English either, since “If we continue,” seems to me to modify the sentence’s, “the war is lost.” It really doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that General Petraeus is the right General in the right place, at the wrong time.

Everything we are seeing now was predicted by people without crystal balls, and every bit of military good sense was rejected by the politicians in the White House from the get go. It really is just that simple.

Updated : Most excellent! Yet Again!

We Still Have Exports

Gates says U.S. to sell smart bombs to Saudis

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said during his visit to Israel that Washington has decided to sell Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) bombs to Saudi Arabia, Haaretz has learned.

A recent discussion in Washington raised the possibility that Jerusalem would ask the U.S. not to sell the satellite-guided smart bombs to the Saudis, but it was decided to reject this request.

The Israel Air Force itself has purchased the high-accuracy JDAMs, and used them against Hezbollah targets during the Second Lebanon War.

Yeah, I can see why Americans decry all the violence at home and abroad. Just war theories and all.

Whirley Gigging on Iran

You still need to keep up, no matter how paranoid you are of Iranian nuclear capabilities.

The first post is probably the more important, since it alludes to the other nuclear powers in the region, which no one seems to want to talk about.

Why is that?

If Atrios Didn’t Exist

We’d have to invent him.
Ht D Cloyce Smith

So that’s how the blogosphere works. Grayedfully yours

Targeting visitors

Obfuscation is my middle name

“There is a lot of defensive JavaScript coming around,” Nazario told attendees. “Attackers now will kill alerts and kill all sorts of inspection routines. They also will frequently only let a single IP (Internet protocol) address download the JavaScript.”

Probably want you to press the space bar too. That’s the any key for those of you who are still looking for the any key.

Actually we were learned up to use the space bar instead of the enter key since the space bar rarely causes a response, and the enter key, of course, can start all sorts of processes in motion. Things change.

Link too.

Hmmm

Need enhanced data security?

UBL Hiding in Bunker With Cheney

Well that explains it all.

Rove also claimed yesterday that it was bin Laden, not President Bush, who decided to launch the Iraq war:

In a question-and-answer period after his speech, Rove was asked whose idea it was to start a pre-emptive war in Iraq.

“I think it was Osama bin Laden’s,” Rove replied.

So when did Osama bin Laden order US forces into Iraq, and when did he know it?

It’s A Tough Blog, But Somebody Has To Do It

I just thought that I should mention that the MSM really has been doing a pretty good job covering the Va Tech shootings, with the noted caveat, because the mix of emotions experienced by the public is experienced by the people in the media too. I really appreciate the TV and Radio talking heads who somehow or another have to mask their own feelings so that that doesn’t become part of the story. I also think that press ought to be praised when they do a good job too, although the good/bad thing is always subjective.

I really don’t have an opinion on what is too much coverage either, since I am pretty sure not everyone has the same tolerances for that stuff, so that I assume some people stayed glued to the tube and others will read the books when they come out, and so eventually we’ll all be misinformed to the same degree, given the fascist/Stalinist leanings of the authors, as perceived by the readers.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Boy….

I sure hope you college grads still have a sense of humor, especially you Ivy Leaguers and Oxford grads.

Presidents, not so much.

Careful With That Ax Ismael Email

Scumbag malware authors exploit Virginia Tech tragedy

Spam email messages carry a photograph of gunman Cho Seung-hui and claim to link to a Brazilian movie website carrying footage of the campus shootings.

You know this isn’t rocket science. If you didn’t ask for it you don’t need it. If you don’t need it, delete it.

That’s how this happened, and in fact how most of them do.

BTW FWIW Ismael roughly translated means, God hears.

We Have To Move These Microwave Ovens

Police ‘regret’ at killer’s video

Police probing the deadly shootings at Virginia Tech University have criticised the decision of US network NBC to show footage of the killer.

NBC broadcast new footage of 23-year-old killer gunman on Thursday and defended its decision to use Cho’s videos.

“I’m not sure we’ll ever fully understand why this happened, but I do think this is as close as we’ll come to having a glimpse inside the mind of a killer,” Steve Capus, head of NBC News, said on the network’s Today programme.

The fact of the matter is these videos are being run for the money they generate from the eyeballs that watch them. Mr. Capus, and the rest of us are no closer to understanding the “mind of a killer,” today than we were last week. Perhaps they should focus on one who can still respond to their inquiries, such as we have on death row, and the executive branch. In fact one may have societal cover and the other not, but if the results are any indication, then that is a moot point of the inquiry into the gist of the mental conditions of the subject.

In fact it may well do for Mr. Capus to look inside his own head, if he wishes to know the mind of such a one. Between the thought and the action the shadow lies I have heard.

As for the Christian nation, one would only remind them of the Biblical council not to look upon a man in the day of his disaster. In this regard the eyeballs are in bed with Mr. Capus.

We’ve got to move these color TVs.

For Sure

Down with the exam factories

VS Naipaul says Oxford taught him nothing. I’d go further still: universities are irrelevant and anti-educational.

A writer I was talking to yesterday, the Australian Richard Flanagan, a Rhodes scholar at Oxford in the 1980s, told me he thought Oxford had “made mediocrity a virtue and called it a tradition”. But it’s not just the fault of Oxford, with its lawns and complacency and ridiculous finals, and loud, Sloaney students who think they know everything but know nothing. It’s the way we have mechanised university life and created exam factories. Go for two or three years – actually for 72 weeks, the true length of the “course” – if you like and read some books or study some history, but don’t call it an education. It’s barely the beginning of an education. Only by 50 do you know that you know nothing, and that you have to start learning.

I suppose I should note that this probably why Kris became a success and Bill only became a President.

Unfortunately this pretty much what our entire secondary school system is producing at its’ own level of mediocrity, and the teachers aren’t the ones to blame either. I do know of an attorney and MBA that have encouraged this educational system as well, but they are Ivy Leaguers, and as such, I am unable to discern if ther mediocrity is educational or genetic.

Good Stuff

The devil’s dictionary of war in Iraq By Tom Engelhardt

The Silence of the Glams

The Countersurge’s Strategy Unfolding,

In what is clearly a coordinated demonstration of capability, suicide and other bombers struck all over Baghdad today to show the world and the Shia Arab population of Baghdad that the Petraeus/Kagan/Keene plan for the pacification of the city will not succeed without a tremendous fight in the course of which many Shia will suffer.

The bridge demolitions last week were undoubtedly part of the plan for this counter-offensive. As can be seen from the BBC chart below, there are many advantages to be derived by the insurgents from isolating East Baghdad from the increasingly Sunni Arab western side of the city.

Laura at War and Piece has also linked to some Al Whoda in Iraq information that is probably essential in understanding, or trying to understand, what is happening over there. Obviously we will not get this information from the government, which is involved to some extent in American strategy in Iraq, but is also busy looking for a Czar too.

On the other hand Admiral Fallon’s remarks indicate that CentCom is indeed very aware of the situation on the ground, and all of it’s implications for US forces and policy, so there is hardly any need to delve into the Kurdish “problem.” I’m sure the MSM will chirp up when you really need to know that stuff. Until then you’ll have to deal with the pundits and blogs keeping you informed.

Or so I think, EZSmirkzz at 10:52 AM

More Analysis, With the Photographs

Why Not the Truth Larry has the photos,

The span of the bridge dropped virtually intact. No sign of a crater on that span. If there was one you would expect the span to have collapsed around the crater or that the damage to the bridge would have been concentrated at that point. But the visual evidence does not support the claim that this was a suicide bomb. A blast at one end of the bridge might cause a collapse at that point but not at the opposite end. The picture does not support the story.

Nothing “News” there.

About Says it All

Of course, it’s more fun to bitch about foreigners or violence in the media than to rationally address the need for more and better mental health research and treatment. Or to wallow “inside the mind of a killer” for fun and profit (oh, if only there was a way to lure potential serial killers to the DatelineNBC house for some sexy talk with Chris Hansen!) But don’t imagine you’ll accomplish anything with such exercises, and don’t pretend you’re even trying.

Or so I think, EZSmirkzz at 10:28 AM

A Note to the Disaffected — Let it go

If you are one of the disaffected I can really only advise you to not let the world, or society define you, or who you are. The majority of people are herd animals in all senses of the word, and so they try to herd others in or out so that they are in their own views, better than some other group or herd. This is the first indication of their inability to understand themselves as human beings. They become identified with and by their groups or herds.

Human beings are essentially good, but they are existentially not. That is an important set of concepts to understand about yourselves and others. But we are not defined by what we do, we are defined by who we are. For those who wonder at the essential difference between the Christian faith and those of the Laws, then this is it. You do not have to necessarily be a Christian to let who you are define what you do. You can let the goodness of yourself out without any religious prompting, or from any of them, because they are only a framework for doing so, and as such religion cannot define you either.

In all of these things then, only you can define yourself, and not anyone else. It may take you decades to do so, and you may very well not ever get there, but it will never be to others to define who you are. That doesn’t mean they won’t try, anymore than it makes them right. In this have compassion for the weaker ones in the herds until time and circumstance perhaps allows you to become a teacher to them of what you have learned. Until then learn from them what not to become.

Or so I think, EZSmirkzz at 8:00 AM

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Partial Birth Legislation

There really isn’t any reason for the abortion issue not to be legislated like the rest of the civilized world does it.

The Court, it seems to me, is being asked in more than just this instance, to decide things based on what already exists in the Constitution and US law, and not on what could very easily be law if our elected representatives weren’t basically tree leaves blowing in a multitude of controversial issues wind.

I think they need to put the forks in the pork down long enough to deal with the meat of the issue.

Dubiously Noted April 24, 2007

April 24, 2007

In the end it’s not worth it,
though it’s nothing you don’t know,
already the leaves are budding out
and the spring’s melted the snow.

The long nights are growing shorter
and there’s a song in the breeze
calling me back to the ocean,
to the ships sailing the seas.

I will think of you often
as I travel my dreams
where the sweet smell of freedom
is all that it seems.

There’s a melody in my heart
so I must go find the tune,
I’ll sing the song of our passing
on the waves beneath the moon.

Let me be less blunt,

if the shoe were on the other foot, and the United States was being occupied by a foreign power, do you think I would give one wit about their time line for withdrawal, or, given my winning personality, do you think I would keep killing those poor boys until they were either all dead, or all gone?

Just wondering.

Far be it for me

to criticize the press, after all I only read the blogs about these things and such.

But I really don’t think the Tillman and Lynch families should have to keep pressing these difficult cases, that had any reporter actually been assigned to picked up on them, they would have been resolved years ago. They become festering wounds and actually grease the slope of government lying, and so the people come to be in an adversarial relationship with the press, which is perceived to be in bed with that government. Had the press maintained an adversarial posture towards the government a lot painful events could have been shortened or avoided all together.

I doubt that the media could have avoided all the accusations of bias, since it is a very Machiavellian thing to do for a party out of power, especially when the financial stakes are so high as we have with our government in DC. All the more reason I think for an adversarial press to any government. Regardless of what anyone may think about me and my writing, it is a no brainer for those in power to do so, unless reporters and the media as a whole just insist on being naive.

You know, I still think that most reporters are still doing a good job, and I can’t imagine how much of PITA it is to have do the leg work, some of which is also being very well done by the strictly Internet based sites, which basically don’t let their political views get in the way of the story they are working on. I think it is easier for conservatives to fall into the trap right now, not because they are mendacious, but because of the very essence of their character that makes them a conservative when the nation is not at war.

Given the toll of war in blood and treasure however, I have to wonder just how useful patriotism is if it can no longer discern the truth, either because it is not sought out, or it runs counter to what one wishes to believe, or has been told them by someone they call a friend. I don’t really have a solution for it either, for I have a long dull sword, and they have a long sharp knife. On the other hand I do not wish you to be my friend, nor expect you to be one either. I expect, or would hope, that you would be a proxy for me however cynical I may have come to appear. I would much prefer going back to being skeptical of the government, and wary of journalists.

Given its’ limitations, the visual media is wide open to criticisms based on what a viewer might actually see, since they become a witness to the same event as the presenter does. This is I suppose very much like the traffic accident that has three witnesses and when all is said and done there are six stories, all firm. Compound that with the problem of twenty four hour cable news with one hour of real news and it is easier to slide off into entertaining viewers which is a slippery slope of its’ own. Unfortunately some of us do not want to be entertained by the news, but prefer to be entertained by entertainers, who bomb all the time and are accustomed to some audience snark back. Ask Rich Little.

But just so there is no doubt about it, I am a political animal that was compelled, (at least I felt so,) to get back into the game that was going on in DC because I didn’t see anybody else on my side doing it, to be frank. I was only a bleeding knuckle liberal until I figured out where the guns were, and how they worked. I’ve learned a lot in the last six years, from political friends as well as foes, but in my mind mostly from foes. So although politics for me is the art of acquiring the half loaf now, ( I’ll go back for seconds,) it is also the art of knowing when to pull the trigger too. I’m not sure that that can be taught, and there will always be scars on my soul from when I missed and hit the wrong target too. Unlike my current adversaries, however, I actually care. I’m a lot of things, but uncaring is not one of them. In fact caring may be my only forte.

Wait There’s More

There are a lot of other people; blogs, MSM and ezines that really deserve a link, but given I’m a riffim on linking you’ll have to hold on until I read the manual.

I See The Rubicon A Crossin’

Working for the Clampdown

The Defense Authorization Act of 2006, passed on Sept. 30, empowers President George W. Bush to impose martial law in the event of a terrorist “incident,” if he or other federal officials perceive a shortfall of “public order,” or even in response to antiwar protests that get unruly as a result of government provocations.

The media and most of Capitol Hill ignored or cheered on this grant of nearly boundless power. But now that the president’s arsenal of authority is swollen and consecrated, a few voices of complaint are being heard. Even the New York Times recently condemned the new law for “making martial law easier.”


Easier? How about a foregone conclusion?

Section 1076 of the Defense Authorization Act of 2006 changed the name of the key provision in the statute book from “Insurrection Act” to “Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order Act.” The Insurrection Act of 1807 stated that the president could deploy troops within the United States only “to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy.” The new law expands the list to include “natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition”—and such “condition” is not defined or limited.

Of course if we had a functioning press, then we might know why Congress and the President hate our freedoms.

Tubular Tales

Of course it’s always all been posted specifically for you,
I mean, why not? I love you so much, and so you do too,
but I can’t help you help me get over my disbelief
you can’t hide your eyes behind the hands of your teeth.

So station up your crosses, your stars and your moons
and fill up our heads with your colored ballons
because somebody’s been there, it just has to be true
like the car wreck in a city we’ve all seen it too.

And the blood in the gutter glitters in the flashing police lights
with snowflakes falling gently, scattering out into the night,
then the phone call comes ringing, there’s a girl at the door,
with a song in her head you’ve heard a thousand times before.

You’ld Think April 24, 2007

April 24, 2007

Tubular Tales

Of course it’s always all been posted specifically for you,
I mean, why not? I love you so much, and so you do too,
but I can’t help you help me get over my disbelief
you can’t hide your eyes behind the hands of your teeth.

So station up your crosses, your stars and your moons
and fill up our heads with your colored ballons
because somebody’s been there, it just has to be true
like the car wreck in a city we’ve all seen it too.

And the blood in the gutter glitters in the flashing police lights
with snowflakes falling gently, scattering out into the night,
then the phone call comes ringing, there’s a girl at the door,
with a song in her head you’ve heard a thousand times before.

Thirty Thousand Nukes And A Wake Up

April 23, 2007

Well, It Really Had Become So…So Middle Class

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Oh Well

April 23, 2007

Oh Well

Standing on the roadside
poor boy with a road sign
looking for nowhere else to go,
Daddy’s cash hates that bash
baby he’s rock n roll.

Meet the man he got a plan
headed for another same show,
bright lights staged night
only glow he’ll ever know
that anyone was ever alive.

Fast cash last laughed
never had a thought of his own
selling stash will
have to pass
for going out and getting stoned.

Reeling off the white lines
passing into ditch time
felt the bite of end of the road
Ink blots marking the spot
of everything he’d ever been told.

Two Rivers and a Dog April 20-22, 2007

April 22, 2007

How Many more deaths, Mr. Leiberman?

Liberalism at Work

Someone needs to call Newt and ask him how this works, since I don’t have the telephone number for the back sit, and apparently the privacy window is up. Thank you.

Representative Pete Sessions was very adamant about passing the bankruptcy reform bill and he told everyone in the house the reasons why:

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today that this House will have the opportunity to once again during the 108th Congress consider and send to the Senate much-needed bankruptcy reform legislation under this fair rule. I am proud of the tireless efforts on behalf of many Members and their staffs, who have put in countless hours towards the passage of this legislation over the last four Congresses.

Their efforts allow us today to again urge Senate action to ensure that our Nation’s bankruptcy laws operate fairly, efficiently, and free of abuse. Congress has the opportunity to once again end, once and for all, the loophole to debtors who are able to repay some portion of their debts to game the system and increase the cost of credit, goods and services for other law-abiding citizens. Between 2002 and 2003, the Federal court system reported that there was a 9.6 percent increase in bankruptcy filings to over 1.650 million filings, and these filings have a real cost not only to every consumer but also to simple, everyday Americans.

Thanks Pete, but;

When the marriage ended up in a Collin County divorce court, the congressman found himself in the odd position of providing testimony about his knowledge of the transferred assets. First, in a sworn affidavit, Sessions recounted a telephone conversation in which the Katzes described their scheme to him: “The intent expressed to me was that both understood that it was clearly never intended by Ahron to gift this property to Lucia and Lucia clearly understood this.”

Later, in the September deposition, Sessions reiterated that the whole arrangement had been a ploy to fend off the creditors: “I think they were trying to find a way to hide and move those assets,” the congressman said under oath.

ht “Mr. Popular.”

The Zimmers

My G g g generation has left the blog.

Lee Atwater to Karl Rove & Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment

The Dismantling of the Democratic Coalition in 20th Century America

Main Entry: ma·nip·u·late
Pronunciation: m&-‘ni-py&-“lAt
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): -lat·ed; -lat·ing
Etymology: back-formation from manipulation, from French, from manipuler to handle an apparatus in chemistry, ultimately from Latin manipulus
1 : to treat or operate with or as if with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skillful manner
2 a : to manage or utilize skillfully b : to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage
3 : to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one’s purpose :

Machiavellianism
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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This article is about the psychology term. For the political philosophy, see Niccolò Machiavelli.

Machiavellianism is primarily the term some social and personality psychologists use to describe a person’s tendency to deceive and manipulate others for personal gain. The concept is named after Renaissance diplomat and writer Niccolò Machiavelli, who wrote Il Principe (The Prince). (Machiavellianism can also refer to the doctrine Machiavelli established, although that is not the subject of this article.)

In the 1960s Richard Christie and Florence L. Geis developed a test for measuring a person’s level of Machiavellianism. This eventually became the MACH-IV test, a twenty-statement personality survey that is now the standard self-assessment tool of Machiavellianism. People scoring above 60 out of 100 on the MACH-IV are considered high Machs; that is, they endorsed statements such as, “Never tell anyone the real reason you did something unless it is useful to do so,” (No. 1) but not ones like, “Most people are basically good and kind” (No. 4). People scoring below 60 out of 100 on the MACH-IV are considered low Machs; they tend to believe, “There is no excuse for lying to someone else,” (No. 7) and, “Most people who get ahead in the world lead clean, moral lives” (No. 11).

High Machs tend to take a more detached, calculating approach in their interaction with other people. They tend to believe most people are concerned only with their own well-being and to depend too much on anyone else is foolish. They believe some of the most efficient ways to achieve a goal are to use deception, rewards, promises, flattery, and even punishments to manipulate others into doing their bidding. To them, power may be more important than love.

Think Helen Thomas where it is highlighted, or US Attorneys.

In terms of Big Five personality traits, Machiavellians tend to be low on agreeableness and conscientiousness.

Some scholars and researchers have attempted to find a correlation between Machiavellianism and narcissistic personality disorder and psychopathy. It could be understood that psychopaths and sociopaths have a similar disposition that could be identified with Machiavellianism, for sociopaths are known for manipulation and cunning.

Psychopaths, however, generally have difficulty realising or understanding the concepts of right and wrong, and tend not to have much regard for consequences. On the other hand, High Machs perhaps more or less view as Machiavelli did, and simply believe that while right and wrong have reality (at least to most people), that it is impractical to be ethical all the time, and that perhaps there is a difference between outright deception or exploitation, and subtle spins on the truth for the sake of what is seen (subjectively) as a more important cause that is not recognised by both parties.

However, it may be difficult to distinguish between the two, because both types exhibit similar tendencies, often while considering it important to mask or misrepresent their motives. Furthermore, true High Machs (as opposed to sociopaths) tend to take consequences very seriously, and when dedicated to a course of action which may backfire, it is usually because the potential consequences have been weighed quite carefully and the High Mach is prepared to be responsible if blame cannot be deflected sufficiently.

Robert Altemeyer found a correlation between Social dominance orientation and Machiavellianism.

Low Machs tend to take a more personal, empathic approach in their interaction with other people. They tend to be more trusting of others and more honest. They believe humans are essentially good natured. At the extreme, low Machs are passive, submissive, and highly agreeable. They also tend to believe that everyone has a good and bad side.

Wonder why the Reagan Democratic base consistently votes against its’ own interests anymore?

Filed Under: Why Oh Why Can’t We Have a Better Opposition Party?

Happy Arbor Day

Yeah, and Earth Day Too.

April 21, 2007

Cakes are square Π’s are round

Observations on the universal set of imaginary oddballs with an extra set of imaginary evenballs, to round out the universe of unimaginable quantities of positive and negative balls, both odd and even, which I have substituted for numbers so you might have a visual representation of the universe of numbers, and in the end still have a ball.

However, there’s also a point in every story, or theory, where those still standing in opposition are revealed as not dogged searchers for the truth, but (and there is no better term available) simply fools. You can devote all the time you want to building a perpetual motion machine, but don’t be surprised if you’ve got a wee bit of trouble leveraging that into even a part-time position at Podunk Community College. Your hand-illustrated theories for that stack of turtles holding up the world is unlikely to be published in a leading journal.

Who says science can’t be fun?

Anyway I think you’ll find the post a pretty good read all the way through.

One of the things that I noticed in my previous post on the Bottom Up Universe, was the motivational factor of the scientist behind the linked theory, a motivation does not of necessity have to be a strictly scientific motivation, but a is often a philosophical one, or for that matter the smell test, which is basically it doesn’t stack up in the scientists mind, as being valid for any number of reasons that are known, or not, only to themselves, none of which have a philosophical underpinning, nor does it impact the validity of their proposed theory. In that regard it doesn’t matter to me if it is a religious motivation of another individual, or if they just hate religion, so long as the science holds up.

In the end the development of any theory through its’ various stages of experimentation leads away from the original hypothesis, which is where the game is at, in my mind. The joy of science to me is not in finding the door, but going through it, and not standing around to look at the hinges on which the door is hung. That’s why God invented all you other people though, because He knew I wouldn’t be.

Nor does it matter that Newton’s laws of gravity are wrong if all your doing is launching a rocket to the moon to see what is there. But there’s no point in going to the moon if it isn’t going to be any fun anyway. I suppose I could find the time to ponder if E=MC^2 doesn’t make the universe a perpetual motion machine, the Pioneer anomalies which may make Einstein wrong, and if the theory of evolution doesn’t contradict the laws of thermal dynamics, all simply, to turn the questions inside out to look at the tags.

I do think however that it is important to point out to the non-scientific community that scientists aren’t so different than anyone else, and they have motivations that are not scientific in finding a conundrum that intrigues them.

Science is what scientists do, not who they are. You can’t learn that at any college, some things you just have to slow down and figure out for yourself.

Cigarette?

Silencing Dissent – The Seditionist at State

Iraqi doctor who disputes official death tolls is denied visa to visit UW

An Iraqi doctor who made international headlines after stating that civilian deaths in the Iraq war far exceeded officially reported numbers is not being allowed to travel to North America to meet other academics.

Riyadh Lafta and his colleagues have been trying for months to get a U.S. travel visa so the doctor could speak at a medical conference at the University of Washington today.

The State Department has cited miscommunication as the reason for the visa holdup.

As an alternative, Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C., invited Lafta to deliver his lecture today, which was to have been broadcast by video to the UW. But this week, the British government denied him a four-hour transit visa for a stopover between the Middle East and Canada.

Seems like the President of Iran had the same problem with the State Department, which under Rice is suppose to be headed by a realist.

Why do these people hate American’s freedoms?

This reminds me of the philosophical, “if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?,” which basically concludes that there is no “sound” if it can’t be “heard” by a “human,” and avoids the point that it still makes a hell of a noise when it falls. So if a dissenter cannot be heard does it make a noise to you, grasshopper? ht

While reading the rest of ht, think about slingshots and twelve foot tall walls and then think about this;

“Mahalle,” “Mukhtar,” “Muhtasib.” These are terms in Arabic that one should become familiar with:

“The Whole World Turned Upside Down,” except poor America, which is off its’ clock.

Iraqi WMDs Discovered in Bunker

A riff on; it has been learnt by a Brit, for people still wearing bow ties.

Uncontrollable resources have confirmed that massive amounts of Saddams WMDs were dug up by Syrian, Iraqian, Russianian and one strange looking guy in a hat, and removed to Syria from whence they were transported under diplomatic cover to Dick Cheney’s bunker, where other resources have conjectured Osama bin Laden is hiding, and plotting the next American withdrawal into Iran.

These reports will be confirmed by major media outlets, and the following at the drop of a hat;

Powerline’s Scott Johnson: Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds: Michelle Malkin’s Hot Air: Scores of other right-wing blogs — including right-wing “news site” Pajamas
Media
— .

David Horowitz’s Front Page Magazine, always slightingly considered the head of the neoconservative ship, has been promoting Gaubatz’s discovery for some time,

and all indications are that he will continue to do so, when he is not interrupting Ward Churchill and other left wing academics that refuse debate him with his own facts.

In other news, Gun Control Laws are out of Control, and rumored to be roaming the White House late at night talking to the portraits according to White House spooksperson Pana Derino.

Meanwhile, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino denied she was the source of any truthful statements being issued by the White House, and referred reporters to Charles Krauthammer for the Administrations rationalizations for the moment on Osama’s 60-90 day withdrawal plans for American forces to Iran, thus freeing up Iraqi forces to clean up the mess, at the conclusion of the War of Iraqi Terrorism Instigation, or WITI, as the Administration has copper cladded coined it.

BOEHNER: I think it will be rather clear in the next 60 to 90 days as to whether this plan is going to work. And, again, that’s why we need to have close oversight, so that we just don’t look up 60 or 90 days from now and realize that — that this plan is not working. We need to know, as we — as we’re — we move through these benchmarks, that the Iraqis are doing what they have to do.

KOPPEL: Now, an aide to Boehner told me that the leader’s remarks were simply a gut feeling that he had. They were personal feelings that he had.

But, Kyra, it gives you a window, when you consider the pressure that the Republican Party is under, especially Leader Boehner over here on the House side, when you consider that it comes just one day after he and some Republicans put the White House on notice that they wanted a report every 30 days on the status of what was happening in Iraq, on specific benchmarks, for the first time in writing, saying that they wanted this to come from the White House, from the Bush administration, and also one day, Kyra, after Leader Boehner said many in his party, including himself, are skeptical that this policy, that this surge is going to work — Kyra. .

The White House has denied that anyone is doing any writing there.

Diebolds Problem in Ohio

Ohio Audit Says Diebold Vote Database May Have Been Corrupted

Vote totals in two separate databases that should have been identical had different totals. Although Diebold explained that this was part of the system design for separate vote tables to get updated at different times during the tabulation process, the team questioned the wisdom of a design that creates non-identical vote totals.

Tables in the database contained elements that were missing date and time stamps that would indicate when information was entered.

Entries that did have date/time stamps showed a January 1, 1970 date.

The database is built from Microsoft’s Jet database engine. The engine, according to Microsoft, is vulnerable to corruption when a lot of concurrent activity is happening with the database, such as what occurs on an election night when results are uploaded and various servers are interacting with the database simultaneously. This is why Microsoft advises against using the Jet engine in a complex environment:

Out of kindness I suppose;

All of these issues led to the resignation of Election Director Michael Vu and the four members of Cuyahoga’s board of elections. Vu’s problems in Ohio haven’t affected his job prospects, however. He was recently hired as assistant registrar of voters in San Diego.

Little Things For Little Minds

Alec Baldwin makes a phone call.

Hanging Out In DC

Everything is PC
Wish we could find someone
who knew how to run one
email spilled out on the floor
everybody’s hired whores
silence sleeping next to truth
drinking in the bars with slueths
Daddy war bucks got a job
fiddling with the power knob.
There’s a fire in the hallway
gunshots serving foreplay
and nobody seems to mind
believing only makes you blind.
Plane loaded flying overhead
bring back someone else’s dead
silence is just another way
not to spoil our holiday.
A greeter in the church yard
preaches son don’t take it hard,
heaven’s only halfway to hell,
and around here who can tell?

Silence Is Not An Option

Who has plumbed the depths of Wisdom?
Let him speak, if he should know it.

April 20, 2007

More Tunes, Less Me

I’m going to mow the lawn, do some thinking, talk to the One who knows me best.

For the rest of ya, brb.

From Streams of Tears, Rivers of Blood

NEW YORK (Commentary) The most powerful indictment of the news media for falling down in its duties in the run-up to the war in Iraq will appear next Wednesday, a 90-minute PBS broadcast called “Buying the War,” which marks the return of “Bill Moyers Journal.” E&P was sent a preview DVD and a draft transcript for the program this week.

At the close, Moyers mentions some of the chief proponents of the war who refused to speak to him for this program, including Thomas Friedman, Bill Kristol, Roger Ailes, Charles Krauthammer, Judith Miller, and William Safire.

Moyers also throws some stats around: In the year before the invasion William Safire (who predicted a “quick war” with Iraqis cheering their liberators) wrote “a total of 27 opinion pieces fanning the sparks of war.” The Washington Post carried at least 140 front-page stories in that same period making the administration’s case for attack. In the six months leading to the invasion the Post would “editorialize in favor of the war at least 27 times.”

Of the 414 Iraq stories broadcast on NBC, ABC and CBS nightly news in the six months before the war, almost all could be traced back to sources solely in the White House, Pentagon or State Dept., Moyers tells Russert, who offers no coherent reply.

via Iraqislogger

As a, “You need to Know This”, the Roger Ailes referred to in the post is not the same Roger Ailes I link to in “Blogs Left,” on the sidebar.

In All Senses of The Term

The President of the United States is a war criminal.

All the would’ves, could’ves, and should’ves will not alter that fact, and we will be judged by God and men for our response to those crimes.

Joe Lieberman — The Democratic Right Crank

I usually don’t remark on Joe Lieberman, except on occasion I’ll stick up for him. But apparently he is forgetting how to speak English too.

I can understand, to some extent, his paranoia about Israel surviving, but I wish he wouldn’t think the rest of us are as damned ignorant as Bush’s supporters and parrot the pure BS.

WASHINGTON — Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) today made the following statement in response to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s comment that the Iraq War is “lost:”

“This week witnessed horrific terrorist attacks by Islamist extremists in Iraq, killing hundreds of innocent civilians and leading Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to declare that the war is ‘lost.’

With all due respect, I strongly disagree. Senator Reid’s statement is not based on military facts on the ground in Iraq and does not advance our cause there.

Uh, Joe, some of us have been hearing that for four years sir. I think I liked you better when you were more concerned about the slaughter of innocents than the abstract national security notions of Likud. Think Lebanon, sir, think Lebanon.

Let’s just say we accomplished our original goals and leave. The national security of the United States, or Israel, cannot be sustained when based on the foreign policy of propaganda from our adversaries or our nationalistic brethren.

You should give real thought to notion that you are sir, are still wrong about this issue, both in the intentions and capabilities of our adversaries, and those with whom you have aligned yourself with on this issue. I have, at this juncture, found our adversaries more forthright than your fellow travellers, and if we wish to obtain your long term objectives in the region, then you need you to rethink what you are doing. You may find that in doing so you save two nations at least, and perhaps three.

A just and lasting peace will, in my view be obtainable only if honest men discuss facts openly, and without the hyperbole.

The Semi Annual Migration of the Grandma

Well I took the better half to Houston Intercontinental for the semi annual weekly, and I am still amazed at the traffic in Houston. I imagine most people that live there think it really is terrible, but I want to give a shout out to ya’ll, because inspite of it all you are still some of the friendliest drivers I never did expect to meet in a city.

For those of you who are wondering, no, it doesn’t bother me to drive in big cities since I am usually just passing through. It may bother people in big cities that I am driving through more, since I tend to take 3-4 seconds to change lanes, instead of the normal milliseconds, and of course I am never really sure exactly which lane I need to be in all the time.

Anyway, I didn’t see anyone I knew.

It’s still pretty rough around Sugarland, but I attribute the five lanes and an HOV lane merging into four lanes, two lanes of which are exiting right, to Tom Delay. Fortunately, the parking is free.

The Power of Kos! Must Resist!

Must Resist!

Oh Well, “Estoy muy contento.” Me? Not so much.

You may never have heard of Luis Posada Carriles. His is not exactly a household name even though he’s a fugitive wanted in two countries for airline bombing and hotel bombing. Even though, before September 11, 2001, the downing of Flight 455 was the worst terrorist act in the Western Hemisphere. That’s not all he did. Posada got around. He worked for the CIA, he worked for the Venezuelan secret police, he had ties to the Chilean secret police, he was connected to Operation Condor, he helped Oliver North distribute weapons to the terrorist contras of Nicaragua, weapons paid for by illegal sales of other weapons to America’s very good friends, the Iranian ayatollahs. In the genocidal Guatemala of the 1980s, he worked as an “advisor” to counter-guerrilla operatives there.

Seems to me, you don’t want to talk about it.

Hows Come

We can hear what Reid said, and hear what everyone else says Reid said, and what Reid said means if Reid means what Reid said, but we can’t hear from Reid?

Updated : Most excellent! (In movie tone.)

I suppose the Republican’ts speak English either, since “If we continue,” seems to me to modify the sentence’s, “the war is lost.” It really doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that General Petraeus is the right General in the right place, at the wrong time.

Everything we are seeing now was predicted by people without crystal balls, and every bit of military good sense was rejected by the politicians in the White House from the get go. It really is just that simple.

Updated : Most excellent! Yet Again!

We Still Have Exports

Gates says U.S. to sell smart bombs to Saudis

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said during his visit to Israel that Washington has decided to sell Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) bombs to Saudi Arabia, Haaretz has learned.

A recent discussion in Washington raised the possibility that Jerusalem would ask the U.S. not to sell the satellite-guided smart bombs to the Saudis, but it was decided to reject this request.

The Israel Air Force itself has purchased the high-accuracy JDAMs, and used them against Hezbollah targets during the Second Lebanon War.

Yeah, I can see why Americans decry all the violence at home and abroad. Just war theories and all.

Whirley Gigging on Iran

You still need to keep up, no matter how paranoid you are of Iranian nuclear capabilities.

The first post is probably the more important, since it alludes to the other nuclear powers in the region, which no one seems to want to talk about.

Why is that?

If Atrios Didn’t Exist

We’d have to invent him.

Ht D Cloyce Smith

So that’s how the blogosphere works. Grayedfully yours

Targeting visitors

Obfuscation is my middle name

“There is a lot of defensive JavaScript coming around,” Nazario told attendees. “Attackers now will kill alerts and kill all sorts of inspection routines. They also will frequently only let a single IP (Internet protocol) address download the JavaScript.”
Probably want you to press the space bar too. That’s the any key for those of you who are still looking for the any key.
Actually we were learned up to use the space bar instead of the enter key since the space bar rarely causes a response, and the enter key, of course, can start all sorts of processes in motion. Things change.

Link too.

Hmmm

UBL Hiding in Bunker With Cheney

Rove also claimed yesterday that it was bin Laden, not President Bush, who decided to launch the Iraq war:
In a question-and-answer period after his speech, Rove was asked whose idea it was to start a pre-emptive war in Iraq.
“I think it was Osama bin Laden’s,” Rove replied.
So when did Osama bin Laden order US forces into Iraq, and when did he know it?

It’s A Tough Blog, But Somebody Has To Do It

I just thought that I should mention that the MSM really has been doing a pretty good job covering the Va Tech shootings, with the noted caveat, because the mix of emotions experienced by the public is experienced by the people in the media too. I really appreciate the TV and Radio talking heads who somehow or another have to mask their own feelings so that that doesn’t become part of the story. I also think that press ought to be praised when they do a good job too, although the good/bad thing is always subjective.

I really don’t have an opinion on what is too much coverage either, since I am pretty sure not everyone has the same tolerances for that stuff, so that I assume some people stayed glued to the tube and others will read the books when they come out, and so eventually we’ll all be misinformed to the same degree, given the fascist/Stalinist leanings of the authors, as perceived by the readers.

Two Rivers and a Dog April 15-19, 2007

April 19, 2007

Boy….

I sure hope you college grads still have a sense of humor, especially you Ivy Leaguers and Oxford grads.

Presidents, not so much.

Careful With That Ax Ismael Email

Scumbag malware authors exploit Virginia Tech tragedy

Spam email messages carry a photograph of gunman Cho Seung-hui and claim to link to a Brazilian movie website carrying footage of the campus shootings.

You know this isn’t rocket science. If you didn’t ask for it you don’t need it. If you don’t need it, delete it.

That’s how this happened, and in fact how most of them do.

BTW FWIW Ismael roughly translated means, God hears.

We Have To Move These Microwave Ovens

Police ‘regret’ at killer’s video

Police probing the deadly shootings at Virginia Tech University have criticised the decision of US network NBC to show footage of the killer.

NBC broadcast new footage of 23-year-old killer gunman on Thursday and defended its decision to use Cho’s videos.

“I’m not sure we’ll ever fully understand why this happened, but I do think this is as close as we’ll come to having a glimpse inside the mind of a killer,” Steve Capus, head of NBC News, said on the network’s Today programme.

The fact of the matter is these videos are being run for the money they generate from the eyeballs that watch them. Mr. Capus, and the rest of us are no closer to understanding the “mind of a killer,” today than we were last week. Perhaps they should focus on one who can still respond to their inquiries, such as we have on death row, and the executive branch. In fact one may have societal cover and the other not, but if the results are any indication, then that is a moot point of the inquiry into the gist of the mental conditions of the subject.

In fact it may well do for Mr. Capus to look inside his own head, if he wishes to know the mind of such a one. Between the thought and the action the shadow lies I have heard.

As for the Christian nation, one would only remind them of the Biblical council not to look upon a man in the day of his disaster. In this regard the eyeballs are in bed with Mr. Capus.

We’ve got to move these color TVs.

For Sure

Down with the exam factories

VS Naipaul says Oxford taught him nothing. I’d go further still: universities are irrelevant and anti-educational.

A writer I was talking to yesterday, the Australian Richard Flanagan, a Rhodes scholar at Oxford in the 1980s, told me he thought Oxford had “made mediocrity a virtue and called it a tradition”. But it’s not just the fault of Oxford, with its lawns and complacency and ridiculous finals, and loud, Sloaney students who think they know everything but know nothing. It’s the way we have mechanised university life and created exam factories. Go for two or three years – actually for 72 weeks, the true length of the “course” – if you like and read some books or study some history, but don’t call it an education. It’s barely the beginning of an education. Only by 50 do you know that you know nothing, and that you have to start learning.

I suppose I should note that this probably why Kris became a success and Bill only became a President.

Unfortunately this pretty much what our entire secondary school system is producing at its’ own level of mediocrity, and the teachers aren’t the ones to blame either. I do know of an attorney and MBA that have encouraged this educational system as well, but they are Ivy Leaguers, and as such, I am unable to discern if ther mediocrity is educational or genetic.

Good Stuff

The devil’s dictionary of war in Iraq By Tom Engelhardt

The Silence of the Glams

The Countersurge’s Strategy Unfolding,

In what is clearly a coordinated demonstration of capability, suicide and other bombers struck all over Baghdad today to show the world and the Shia Arab population of Baghdad that the Petraeus/Kagan/Keene plan for the pacification of the city will not succeed without a tremendous fight in the course of which many Shia will suffer.

The bridge demolitions last week were undoubtedly part of the plan for this counter-offensive. As can be seen from the BBC chart below, there are many advantages to be derived by the insurgents from isolating East Baghdad from the increasingly Sunni Arab western side of the city.

Laura at War and Piece has also linked to some Al Whoda in Iraq information that is probably essential in understanding, or trying to understand, what is happening over there. Obviously we will not get this information from the government, which is involved to some extent in American strategy in Iraq, but is also busy looking for a Czar too.

On the other hand Admiral Fallon’s remarks indicate that CentCom is indeed very aware of the situation on the ground, and all of it’s implications for US forces and policy, so there is hardly any need to delve into the Kurdish “problem.” I’m sure the MSM will chirp up when you really need to know that stuff. Until then you’ll have to deal with the pundits and blogs keeping you informed.

More Analysis, With the Photographs

Why Not the Truth Larry has the photos,

The span of the bridge dropped virtually intact. No sign of a crater on that span. If there was one you would expect the span to have collapsed around the crater or that the damage to the bridge would have been concentrated at that point. But the visual evidence does not support the claim that this was a suicide bomb. A blast at one end of the bridge might cause a collapse at that point but not at the opposite end. The picture does not support the story.

Nothing “News” there.

About Says it All

Of course, it’s more fun to bitch about foreigners or violence in the media than to rationally address the need for more and better mental health research and treatment. Or to wallow “inside the mind of a killer” for fun and profit (oh, if only there was a way to lure potential serial killers to the DatelineNBC house for some sexy talk with Chris Hansen!) But don’t imagine you’ll accomplish anything with such exercises, and don’t pretend you’re even trying.

A Note to the Disaffected — Let it go

If you are one of the disaffected I can really only advise you to not let the world, or society define you, or who you are. The majority of people are herd animals in all senses of the word, and so they try to herd others in or out so that they are in their own views, better than some other group or herd. This is the first indication of their inability to understand themselves as human beings. They become identified with and by their groups or herds.

Human beings are essentially good, but they are existentially not. That is an important set of concepts to understand about yourselves and others. But we are not defined by what we do, we are defined by who we are. For those who wonder at the essential difference between the Christian faith and those of the Laws, then this is it. You do not have to necessarily be a Christian to let who you are define what you do. You can let the goodness of yourself out without any religious prompting, or from any of them, because they are only a framework for doing so, and as such religion cannot define you either.

In all of these things then, only you can define yourself, and not anyone else. It may take you decades to do so, and you may very well not ever get there, but it will never be to others to define who you are. That doesn’t mean they won’t try, anymore than it makes them right. In this have compassion for the weaker ones in the herds until time and circumstance perhaps allows you to become a teacher to them of what you have learned. Until then learn from them what not to become.

April 18, 2007

Partial Birth Legislation

There really isn’t any reason for the abortion issue not to be legislated like the rest of the civilized world does it.

The Court, it seems to me, is being asked in more than just this instance, to decide things based on what already exists in the Constitution and US law, and not on what could very easily be law if our elected representatives weren’t basically tree leaves blowing in a multitude of controversial issues wind.

I think they need to put the forks in the pork down long enough to deal with the meat of the issue.

Doolittle’s Done Too Much?

Breaking, from Roll Call:

The FBI has raided the Northern Virginia home of Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.), according to Congressional sources. No details are publicly available yet about the circumstances of the raid, but Doolittle and his wife, Julie, have been under federal investigation for their ties to the scandal surrounding imprisoned former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

via TPM

There’s more of course.

Almost Like Watching The Weather

Now you know why you don’t get to see it being done.

De Terrorification For Muricans

Just a review. Given all that’s going down.

Cornballs at The National PU Shucked

Scheuer Corrects National Review, Weekly Standard

You really need to follow the links at AW to get the gist of it all.

If the NRO will email me on the dollars for word they pay, I can really reel off some fiction for them. I just won’t tell the left side of my brain what the right side of my brain is doing.

Chimps More Evolved Than Mankind

Better genes, better monkeys.

You can probably learn more in fifteen minutes at slashdot then you learn all day on TV.

Bottom Up Six Dimensional Universe

via /.

Mathematician suggests extra dimensions are time-like

Basically the good doctor has a anthropic problem with the “top down” physics of string theory,

A very interesting aspect is that Newton fought strongly against the idea of the trinity (in a religious context),” Sparling noted. “It is ironic that I am invoking that very same idea in the context of gravity: perhaps Newton saw that the concept could be used in physics, but because he could not think of such a use he rebelled strongly against it (of course, I have no evidence for this!).”

Although the theory is not definitive, Sparling explains that several major ideas in current physics would likely play a role (such as condensed matter physics, category theory, non-commutative geometry, string theory, and the structure of superfluids). Such connections might also point the direction to a unified theory, though currently speculative.

“My work can be seen as a strong antidote to the present air of pessimism surrounding modern fundamental physics,” Sparling said. “As is well-known, string theory has been roundly criticized for its lack of predictive power. String theorists have been reduced to an absurd reliance on the anthropic principle, for example. Here I have a clear-cut prediction, which goes against the common wisdom, which gives experimenters a target to go for: first find the extra dimensions, then decide their signature (a very tough homework assignment!). Of course I could be proved wrong, but the effort to decide is surely worthwhile.

“Actually, in the area of philosophy, I am in opposition to string theory,” he said. “It is a top down theory: dream up something that works in some high dimension and then try to finagle some way of reducing to fit in with the lower-dimensional theory. My approach is bottom up: take the existing four-dimensional theory seriously and try to build up from it. This is very tough to do. Hopefully my ideas work. Note that my work only constitutes a possible beginning at a more inclusive theory.”

so I suppose the motivation to understanding the structure of the universe is really not tied to science so much as it is tied to the science of agreeing with a certain philosophic or religious predisposition. In short physicists live in the world too.

Anyway the whole thing is pretty difficult for us duffers to get a handle on, but the paper here does a good job, as noted at slashdot, of presenting the concepts of the new theory. Someday someone will be right, until someone else proves them wrong, in the futuure.

Sigh. Maybe the universe only exists because we have observed it. Kinda like a news story.

Rush to the Rubicon

OTTAWA, April 18 — An unidentified technical problem has left BlackBerry users without wireless e-mail since Tuesday evening.
Yeah right, another GOP related problem falls off the moon, under the “Law and Order Party”, party.
The American government is starting to show signs of collapse. If the press corp wants to cover desperate people they might ought to get back to DC where the coup is occurring.

Updated: The whole shebang is here, with the caveat that there may be more to the story than the whole shebang.

Jehovah is in His Holy Temple, Let the whole world stand silent before Him .

BAGHDAD (AP) — Three separate explosions rocked Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least 33 people and wounding dozens as violence climbed toward levels seen before a U.S.-led surge to pacify the capital.

Car bombs kill 170 in Baghdad after PM’s pledge

Final Note: Wednesday: 312 Iraqis, 1 GI Killed; 302 Iraqis Wounded
Updated at 11:29 p.m. EDT, April 18, 2007
Nearly ten times the number of the VT shootings. There were no videos of the deranged released to the media.

Notes On All Over

My two readers have probably noticed the new widget from Blogger that allows me to post up four tunes at a time, which I hope to someday figure out well enough to choose the four tunes that I want to hear while egocentrically reading, “my own blog!” Now I can use the CD tray for a coffee mug holder if I really want to, as another PC function moves to the, “Web 2.0!” Of course that would be a more accurate statement, there Alberto, if I would acknowledge that the CDs I play are in the player over there on the other wall, on the way to the coffee pot. Anyway, you two can enjoy (Blogger/Google/YouTube) all apostrophied s, version of Clear Channel Radio, he said in his most snarky tone of of tune word word play.

Of course you know, now I have to do serious stuff, so I’m off to the coffee pot and other blogs. I’ll be right back.

April 17, 2007

Money, Money, Money

This is just to get your attention, the goods are over here.

Cheney himself is also taking in war profits, contrary to what he told Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” in 2003, when he denied making any money off his former employer. “Since I left Halliburton to become George Bush’s vice president,” he said, “I’ve severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interest.”

“I have no financial interest in Halliburton,” Cheney told Tim, “of any kind and haven’t had, now, for over three years.”

Those statements were proven false when financial disclosure forms showed that Cheney had received a deferred salary from Halliburton of $205,298 in 2001, $262,392 in 2002, $278,437 in 2003, and $294,852 in 2004.

In 2005, an analysis released by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), reported that Cheney continued to hold over 300,000 Halliburton stock options and said their value had risen 3,281% over the previous year, from $241,498 to more than $8 million.

Don’t Take It Too Hard

Updated BelowThere are so many things going on in my mind about the Virginia Tech shootings that I haven’t really had time to sort them all out as to the specific issues that all converge together to make an event such as this occur. Hindsight has the wonderful ability to connect motivations that we will never really know, to events that we do control or finally come to any understanding of. We don’t really know them that well because even if we all share the same emotions we do not share them all to the same degree, and so I think we are emotionally, as individualistic as we are in logical and physical attributes.

The thing that makes our institutions so strong is also the weakness that is constantly exploited from within or without for good and bad purpose’s. Human beings are simply far more organized outside of their heads than they are within them. That doesn’t mean to say that people aren’t highly organized in exploiting one aspect or another of whatever system they are exploiting, but that they are organized along the lines of thinking within a preexisting organization. Revolutions carry the seeds of their own destruction because they are organized along the lines of previous revolutions.

The short answer is that we do not love one another enough, and yet my faith instructs me that only God knows love well enough to overcome our own shortcomings in it. Ultimately this shortcoming shows up in our institutions, both large and small, whether nation state or small groups of individuals that establish a hierarchy that elevates one person over another. There will always be a strongest and a weakest. We cannot guard ourselves against the chaos of the weakest because that is a self assigned perception and role of the particular individual, but we can and do exploit those perceptions and reinforce that role. Without love to overcome those self imposed perceptions of the weakest and the strongest, and our own desires not to be that individual who is weakest, we are as the Bible states, living an unreality. Events such as this merely focus our attention on that fact.

This doesn’t even have to be considered or understood along any one particular religious line, as religion is just another tool to use for coming to the understanding of how does mankind mean.

As Atrios has stated, the solution isn’t in more and better rules or laws that take hierarchy from nuisance to imposition, and in my thinking, reinforce and amplify the behavior that they are intended to modify or control. You simple cannot protect yourself from the chaos, because it is within one and all of us.

One thing I don’t have to do, is defend or accuse the University or police of a proper or improper response to something that may as well as not have been a meteorite hitting the buildings.

Let The Lessons Begin

Everybody But Bush

The nightmare Bush dreads most

Public opinion polls are valuable chips to play for those engaged in a debate of national or international consequence. In the end, however, they are abstract numbers. It is popular demonstrations which give them substance, color, and – above all – wide media exposure, and make them truly meaningful. This is particularly true when such marches are peaceful and disciplined in a war-ravaged country like Iraq.

This indeed was the case with the demonstration on April 9 in Najaf. Over a million Iraqis, holding aloft thousands of national flags, marched, chanting, “Yes, yes, Iraq/No, no, America” and “No, no, American/Leave, leave occupier.”
The demonstrators arrived from all over the country in response to a call by Muqtada al-Sadr, a radical Shi’ite cleric, to demand an end to foreign occupation on the fourth anniversary of the end of Ba’athist rule in Baghdad.

Both the size of the demonstration and its composition were unprecedented. “There are people here from all different parties and sects,” Hadhim al-Araji, Muqtada’s representative in Baghdad’s Kadhimiya district, told reporters. “We are all carrying the national flag, a symbol of unity. And we are all united in calling for the withdrawal of the Americans.”

I am sure that, like everything else political, ahem, there needs to be some filtering to get to the reality of what is going on, but that in and of itself doesn’t negate the activity either. Muqtada has been in the forefront of encouraging Sunni-Shiia cooperation, and was pretty active in the relief efforts of Fallujah, so one discounts or underplays this at peril to their understanding of what is really going on in Iraq.

In a lot of ways there has been so much disinformation put out by the US Government from the get go that anyone who isn’t sceptical of their honesty is a tool of the state, either by choice or inclination. That would leave about half of the support for President’s policies out, and so the remainder will probably need to be convinced from arguments of a purely national security point of view. I tend to think that many who still support the President do so because they are making large sums of money off of the war, or in short, Mr. Bushes base, of the Haves, and Have Mores, as the President stated in his one moment of eloquence.

Happy Blogiversary Atrios

It seems like only four. What he said.

Congratulations to Kris Kristopherson

If everything that was said about you last night ain’t true, it oughta be.

April 16, 2007

Loreena McKennitt – Caravanserai

Has left the Building for Here

Good Lord, Pray for Virginia Tech

UD: 12:47 P CDT I really don’t have much to add, at this point we don’t really know that much about why, so I don’t think any comparison to previous events whether Columbine, or the UT shootings or my first inclination, PTSD of a Malvo type thing, is all that helpful. All I know is I feel like I was kicked in the gut on hearing that it had gone from a single shooting when I turned off the television, to a mass murder, from when I posted this up originally, to turning the TV back on.

The only common thread that I can find is that innocent people have died for no reason. Were we to feel this way at the loss of innocent life on this scale everyday perhaps we would be less inclined to go to war, and that we don’t, is perhaps the greater tragedy.

That being said, there is nothing I can say that would ease the pain of the relatives and friends of those who were killed and wounded today, and that too, is a tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with you all, today, both at home and abroad.

The Left Wing- For McCainiacs, My Other Right Wing

Decoding the Democrats

George Bush is promising to veto any Iraq war spending bill that includes a timeline–any timeline at all–for troop withdrawals.

But the reality is that proposed legislation in the House would fund the occupation for virtually the remainder of Bush’s term. The Democrats’ plan for withdrawal also makes a very big exception: U.S. troops who would remain in Iraq with the mission of “fighting terrorists” and protecting U.S. installations.

Leaving aside numbers and timetables, the Democrats’ proposals reflect the Bush administration’s goal of creating a more stable Iraqi puppet state with its own armed forces, with the U.S. military taking a lower profile, but still a dominant role.

I would note that the Libertarian observations are nearly identical, Democratic Illusions, that is if you don’t call Instapundit a libertarian without laughing,

That is a delusion, of course, and a dangerous one, but there you have it: it’s the culture of the Washington policy wonks, who assume government action is the solution to each and every problem, both nationally and internationally. To these little lords of creation, there is no problem they can’t come up with a government-funded solution to. Skepticism about the limits (or morality) of American power abroad is limited to “far left” commentators such as Noam Chomsky and Alex Cockburn, or Republican “realists” such as John Mearsheimer and Andrew Bacevich. Self-proclaimed “centrists” of the Edwards-Chollet variety are always interventionists.

Obviously both of these people are more in tune with what the Democratic and Republican policies are targeted towards than most Democrats and Republican’ts because they really don’t have a dog in the hunt, and it would behove the rest of the body politic to pay attention to the points being made from the left and the right. The fact that the analysis by these individuals is so dead on, should at least cause each of us to understand why the “American” system goes so far out of its’ way to marginalize their veiws. The fact that they converge in this instance ought to make any open minded person think about why, and how, they do.

That doesn’t mean I agree with them, nor that I disagree, it merely means it is really is worth thinking about.

Well, That Thought Had Crossed My Mind,

“Well Senator — Tony Snow said today that you guys want the truth, and in this interview, you guys are going to get the truth from Karl Rove. What’s wrong with that?”

She then observes incredulously and angrily: “You don’t trust the White House. The bottom line is: you don’t trust the White House.”

Income Redistribution in Disguise

This cynical strategy of disguised redistribution of national resources from the bottom to the top is carried out by a combination of (a) drastic hikes in the Pentagon budget, and (b) equally drastic tax cuts for the wealthy. As this combination creates large budget deficits, it then forces cuts in non-military public spending as a way to fill the gaps that are thus created. As a result, the rich are growing considerably richer at the expense of middle­ and low­income classes.

Despite its critical importance, most opponents of war seem to have given short shrift to the crucial role of the Pentagon budget and its contractors as major sources of war and militarism-a phenomenon that the late President Eisenhower warned against nearly half a century ago. Perhaps a major reason for this oversight is that critics of war and militarism tend to view the U.S. military force as primarily a means for imperialist gains-oil or otherwise.

Yikes! Why Ike!

The President is Right

Congress needs to support the troops by appointing a War Czar to be Commander Sort of in Chief, and listen to Dick Cheney, and remember our troops have email and modern technology, and some day this administration will send the troops overseas with body armor, and such, because that’s what they’re supposed to do in Washinghands, you know talk things over.

Sheesh.

Updated Sheesh:

I’ve written this post several times already. But as long as the president keeps fibbing, I’ll keep writing it. The president says the Congress is substituting its judgment for that of the uniformed military. Not true. The uniformed military was against the surge. By most measures, it still is. The president disagreed so he fired the senior military leadership on the ground in Iraq and replaced them with people — and there aren’t that many of them — who agreed with him.

Machiavelli’s Poll Vault

Wait it’s from CBS.

Currently, President Bush and Congress disagree about what to do about U.S. troop levels in Iraq. Who do you think should have the final say about troop levels in Iraq, the President or Congress?

President: 44%
Congress: 49%

via TPM Cafe from Matt.

Of course given Admiral Admiration’s assertion, and the conservatively biased press corps willingness to catapult the propaganda, folks that only watch TV wouldn’t know this.

April 15, 2007

Equally Opportunistic Offenders

One of the things I’ve struggled with since the election is that my readership is usually better educated and eminently more qualified at doing their jobs than I would be. That doesn’t really bother me either, as I assume that almost anybody with a college degree is eminently more qualified to do their job than I would be, whether they are doctors, engineers, or reporters. Lawyers, not so much. Just kidding, councilor. In fact that is one my strengths, as well as a one of my weaknesses, because education is just another tool that mankind uses like any other tool.

Being a carpenter on an industrial job when the forms are about to blow you learn things, though, like how a hammer can drive a screw a lot faster than going to the tool room and brassing out a drill to drive a screw. Of course it helps to have only screws and not nails handy when necessity needs to become the mother of invention. On the other hand I have found that a hammer is rarely useful for pulling out a screw under any circumstance. The point is that not all tools need to be used exclusively for the job they were designed to be used for.

Now I suppose I could go on a riff about how educated people are as dumb as hammers, but since most of you have degrees that probably wouldn’t be a good idea, no matter how entertaining it might be for me and the rest of the HS and JuCo edumacated crowd, and for the most part it would be wrong in both thesis and particulars so I avoid the humor, for your sakes dear readers, and mine if I wish to continue to help thrash Bloggers servers with the ever burgeoning crowds of blog readers.

For I have found, that some of my better educated peers have not only managed to get degrees and pursue your professions to the pinnacle of success, that you also have taken yourselves more seriously than you or I ought to, and so it goes hand in glove that I ought to be discreet in criticizing my betters, even if I turn them on to facts and stories that they may have missed. If only I would remember that they were betters it would make life so much easier.

Unfortunately, (did you notice the, for unfor, play I just used between this and the last paragraph?,) I tend to see us as equals which makes it even more difficult to criticise my betters, (who may have noticed I just used both the English and American spelling of criticize,) because I have to assume that we share many of the same feelings, and we all have shortcomings in character and self esteem. That’s what makes us human.

I think that something that needs to be made clear as well, is that I genuinely don’t like to single individuals out as being a horses ass, since I assume that we all are on occasion, and so one event in a persons life, or one flaw in their character doesn’t necessarily mean they should be thrown away. So when I apologize to the MSM, or whomever, for a sweeping generalization, I really am sincere.

That may not hold for the Washington Post for the duration of the war since they were well aware of what I was saying before the war, and they continue to be wrong and stubborn jackasses like some other guy we all know so well, (and if you give him an inch he’ll take a mile, and if you cut him any slack he will take a mile, and if you show any sign of compromise will take a mile, and somebody find him a short pier, puhleeze,) even though they have some really good reporters, and some fans amongst people whom I admire, whom happen to have college degrees, and some I suppose who don’t. Fox New, not so much.

So I really do have a conflict about being too hard on the press, since it is made up of so many differing people of so many differing skill sets and talents. I really think some of you are in the wrong business, and that some of you ought to write more stuff in other venues to really flower out, like the Bad Astronomer is doing. Maybe some of you should move to Boulder too.

Ultimately though, you define the vicarious world to me, and I am not privy to all the reasons why it behooves you to paint the sky green and the grass red in Iraq, or why the marmalade skies of Iran should be excoriated for being of a Persian hue. Obviously you need to get out of the newsroom more, or hang out around the house more, but that’s your business.

But let’s not BS each other either shall we? I blog you because you are there, doing the job that projects an image of the world to Americans, and report on things like the war in Iraq, that projects an image of America to the world. I think I am well within my rights to point out to the world that you, or my government, are not projecting the image of America I can see every day when I go get the mail at the Post Office. In that I think we may be equals, if only because I am being generous about it, but my magnanimity can only go so far too. So don’t get your feelings hurt when you get hammered from the boondocks, it goes with the job of being a screw, and the forms are starting to look like they are going to blow out.

It’s Turtles All The Way Up Too

No one disputes that Domenici’s call to Iglesias was at best inappropriate. But there’s been a lack of direct evidence that Iglesias’s refusal to bow to political pressure led directly to his firing. Now we have have that evidence. And it’s not Kyle Sampson or even Alberto Gonzales who Domenici went to to get sign off for Iglesias’s ouster. It was right to the president. And the available evidence now points strongly the conclusion that the final decision to fire David Iglesias came from the President of the United States.

Putting Pictures With Analysis

Picture used from the BBC #5 of 6
Watch the Bridges via Pat Lang

So far this week there have been two attacks on bridges across the Tigris within the city. Such operations require a lot of planning and access to the bridge for an extended period of time. The story that a truck bomb knocked that great big bridge down lacks credibility for me. I know how to knock down bridges and an un-tamped surface blast is unlikely to do it on a bridge that size.

Obviously three sections are laying below where they were drawn in the “as built,” blueprints, and one should also conclude that one explosion put them in the water, or PL is more correct than the *MSM reporting on the incident.

UD: I don’t mean to construe this * as more than it is, or less. Obviously Baghdad isn’t a safe place to be. It also means you can’t believe everything CentCom says about things that go boom in the daylight over there either. That also means CentCom is playing a psyops game with the civilians back home and maybe the troops on the ground here and there, and not that they are necessarily tools of the Administration. It merely means that what you see ain’t what you hear.

On a side note, I’m going to try and lay off of the MSM, since I have already stated numerous times, I think 90 percent of them are doing, or trying to do a good job. I’m just not that comfortable calling the wankers wankers.

Dead Bees for You, and Dead Bees for Me

It should be a relatively simple task to survey bee keepers in and around wireless radiation zones, I would think. It might also be a good idea too, if Einstein is right that four years without bees leaves the Earth a dead planet. Of course that would help with global warming, as far as that being a problem and such.
Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?

The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees’ navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up.

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) occurs when a hive’s inhabitants suddenly disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature workers, like so many apian Mary Celestes. The vanished bees are never found, but thought to die singly far from home. The parasites, wildlife and other bees that normally raid the honey and pollen left behind when a colony dies, refuse to go anywhere near the abandoned hives.

The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all American states. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East Coast.

via /.

Update: Heh, Indeed they do, CDs, chocolate, and cigarettes dumped in favour of phones

The latest survey of how da youth uses mobile phones, due to be released soon, shows that European youngsters will get their first phone around the age of 8, and will sink $28,000 into the device during their lifetime.

Today’s young people are spending eight times more on telephony than music. Up to 20 per cent of their disposable income goes on communications and associated services, leading to a rapid decline in sales of CDs, chocolate, and cigarettes – for better or worse.

Hope the Brits are Wrong Dept

About 292 million mobile phones will have Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities by the year 2012, according to a new report from ABI Research. The research firm says that the number will make up just over 20 percent of the worldwide handset market at that time, but NFC’s future success will depend highly upon the moves made by carriers and service providers today.

Base stations bring 3G indoors

A recent report by research firm Analysys predicted that indoor base stations using, for example, 3G radios will be a key driver for fixed mobile substitution (FMS), which allows enterprises to replace fixed phones with mobile devices.

In Picocells and Femtocells: Will Indoor Base Stations Transform the Telecoms Industry?, co-author Mark Heath forecast that FMS services based on indoor base stations will be more popular than unlicensed mobile access (UMA ) or dual-mode cellular/wireless LAN services because mobile users will be able to use their existing mobile handsets rather than new dedicated ones.

Mobiles get down to business

Meanwhile, Symbian last month unveiled changes in its smartphone operating system that also make more efficient use of memory. Symbian OS 9.5 introduces Demand Paging, which loads into memory only those fragments of code that are required. It also features RAM defragmentation to optimise the way memory is used in real time.

Taken together, these developments mean that handsets should soon receive a performance kick and also become less costly to make. They will be able to accomplish the same tasks with less memory, or keep the same memory profile and fit in more applications and data.

Symbian OS 9.5 also introduces a SQL database and compliance with the widely used Posix programming interface, making it easier to build mobile applications. Microsoft’s new Windows Mobile 6 has similar capabilities, adding a mobile version of SQL Server and supporting its own .Net Compact Framework.

The Past is Prologue

Updated, Belatedly

In the UK, some schools are dropping teaching about the Holocaust, for fear that it might offend Muslim students.

Should have gone below I suppose, but I didn’t want it missed.

We Remember — David Harris, President AJC

In the Jewish tradition, we are commanded to remember (zachor) and not to forget (lo tishkach). On April 15, we commemorate Yom HaShoah, the Day of Holocaust Remembrance. On this solemn occasion, 62 years after the end of World War II, we remember.

We remember the six million Jewish martyrs, including 1.5 million children, who were exterminated in the Holocaust.

We remember the entirely new alphabet created by the Nazis for the Final Solution — from the letter “A” for Auschwitz to the letter “Z” for Zyklon-B.

We remember not only the tragic deaths of the six million Jews, but also their vibrant lives — as shopkeepers and craftsmen, scientists and authors, teachers and students, parents and children, husbands and wives.

We remember the richly hued and ancient Jewish civilizations that were destroyed — from Salonika, Greece to Vilna, Lithuania.

We remember the slippery slope that began with the rantings of an obscure Austrian-born anti-Semite named Adolf Hitler and led, in the course of less than 15 years, to his absolute control over Germany.

We remember the fertile soil of European anti-Semitism — cultivated over centuries by cultural, political, and religious voices — that created an all-too-receptive climate for the Nazi objective of eliminating the Jewish people.

We remember the courage of Denmark, as well as Albania, Bulgaria, and Finland, for their extraordinary efforts to protect their own Jewish communities.

We remember the courage of thousands of Righteous Persons — whom we call, in Hebrew, hasidei umot ha’olam — who risked their own lives that others might live.

We remember the millions of non-Jews — Poles and Russians, Roma and the disabled, political opponents and homosexuals — murdered under the relentless Nazi onslaught.

We remember the valiant soldiers of the Allied nations who, at such great human cost, vanquished the Third Reich.

We remember the survivors of the death camps, who endured such unimaginable suffering and who have inspired us all with their indomitable courage, spirit, and will to live.

We remember the absence of an Israel in those war-time years, an Israel which, had it existed, would have provided a haven when so shamefully few countries were willing to accept Jewish refugees.

We shall never forget those who perished.

We shall never forget those who saved even a single life. As it is written in the Talmud: “He who saves one life has saved the world.”

We shall never forget the importance of speaking out against intolerance, whenever and wherever it occurs.

We shall never forget the inextricable link among democracy, the rule of law, and protection of human rights.

We shall never forget the age-old prophetic vision of a world of justice, harmony, and peace.

And we shall never forget that each of us, in ways large and small, can help bring us closer to the realization of that prophetic vision.

Too Early For Outrage?

Heavy editing behind. I hate it when I do that.

White House, Senators to Confer on E-Mail Expert

White House officials said the improper use of the accounts and the loss of the e-mails appeared to be honest mistakes. They are trying to recover the missing e-mails and are clarifying policy on preserving records.

Separate accounts were created for about 50 White House aides in the Bush administration who get involved in party politics. The intent is to avoid violations of rules that bar federal employees from using government resources for political activities.

Now I can read minds too, so that is why I know the intentions of the Post is jump to conclusions about intent, since that is best how to mislead its’ readers. O also know Patterico and the Eleventh Dimension will be all over the AP for this one too.

Unfortunately the observation seems to be escaping the AP WaPo staffs,

But here’s the thing. The Presidential Records Act and the Hatch Act aren’t “competing” laws in any reasonable sense of the term. It’s remarkably easy to comply with both. All you have to do is save your official communications. The White House archiving system is set up to facilitate compliance with the Presidential Records Act, but it is not the exclusive means of doing so. The PRA simply provides that:

The deleted emails seem to bear an uncanny resemblence to this,

PRESIDENT (of the tribunal): Please describe the methods that were used.

DETAINEE: (CENSORED) What else do I want to say? (CENSORED) There were doing so many things. What else did they did? (CENSORED) After that another method of torture began. (CENSORED) They used to ask me questions and the investigator after that used to laugh. And, I used to answer the answer that I knew. And if I didn’t replay what I heard, he used to (CENSORED).

from the Gitmo trials, and another seemingly missing observation from journalists far and wide.

The only question from the boondocks I suppose, is does anyone in Washington even attempt to the job they were hired for? This Administration could not behave in this manner if the Capital had a functioning press corp. It is just that simple.

You and your ilk are selling the country down the river, and we are left, alas, to conjecture your intentions. I personally think it is stupidity, but I have read others who say it is for sex, or proximity, or even the benign, “little Johnny goes to school with little Suzy.” Thus endeth the editing.

It really is time for a break. One of the things I enjoy about blogging is writing about my observations in a humorous way, which is no longer possible since my observations are tending more toward current events, which are for one reason or another not being reported on. I tend to take a historical perspective on current events as well, and although I don’t think we are following the exact same path as our predecessors, we appear to be heading into the same canyon, the same dead end, that they went down and into. It doesn’t have to be this way, logically, but mankind is more than a illogical animal.

I have held for some time that I did not doubt mankind’s ability to think, but his capability to do so. Our education system I suppose has ingrained a certain methodology since the founding of the scholastic schools in the “dark ages,” which has created channels that are both a source of great strength, and one of great danger when the walls of those channels collapse upon us.

It really is time for us all rise to the occasion of our own times, which historically, mankind has rarely done. At this point I cannot do but to undermine the walls of those channels and ask myself to what point.

That John Harris in the next post should speak of our prophetic times is to me, to underestimate exponentially both God and our times.

Dead Bees For The Wildflowers April 14-18, 2007

April 18, 2007

De Terrorification For Muricans

Just a review. Given all that’s going down.

Cornballs at The National PU Shucked

Scheuer Corrects National Review, Weekly Standard

You really need to follow the links at AW to get the gist of it all.

If the NRO will email me on the dollars for word they pay, I can really reel off some fiction for them. I just won’t tell the left side of my brain what the right side of my brain is doing.

Chimps More Evolved Than Mankind

Better genes, better monkeys.

You can probably learn more in fifteen minutes at slashdot then you learn all day on TV.

Bottom Up Six Dimensional Universe

via /.

Mathematician suggests extra dimensions are time-like

Basically the good doctor has a anthropic problem with the “top down” physics of string theory,

A very interesting aspect is that Newton fought strongly against the idea of the trinity (in a religious context),” Sparling noted. “It is ironic that I am invoking that very same idea in the context of gravity: perhaps Newton saw that the concept could be used in physics, but because he could not think of such a use he rebelled strongly against it (of course, I have no evidence for this!).”

Although the theory is not definitive, Sparling explains that several major ideas in current physics would likely play a role (such as condensed matter physics, category theory, non-commutative geometry, string theory, and the structure of superfluids). Such connections might also point the direction to a unified theory, though currently speculative.

“My work can be seen as a strong antidote to the present air of pessimism surrounding modern fundamental physics,” Sparling said. “As is well-known, string theory has been roundly criticized for its lack of predictive power. String theorists have been reduced to an absurd reliance on the anthropic principle, for example. Here I have a clear-cut prediction, which goes against the common wisdom, which gives experimenters a target to go for: first find the extra dimensions, then decide their signature (a very tough homework assignment!). Of course I could be proved wrong, but the effort to decide is surely worthwhile.

“Actually, in the area of philosophy, I am in opposition to string theory,” he said. “It is a top down theory: dream up something that works in some high dimension and then try to finagle some way of reducing to fit in with the lower-dimensional theory. My approach is bottom up: take the existing four-dimensional theory seriously and try to build up from it. This is very tough to do. Hopefully my ideas work. Note that my work only constitutes a possible beginning at a more inclusive theory.”

so I suppose the motivation to understanding the structure of the universe is really not tied to science so much as it is tied to the science of agreeing with a certain philosophic or religious predisposition. In short physicists live in the world too.

Anyway the whole thing is pretty difficult for us duffers to get a handle on, but the paper here does a good job, as noted at slashdot, of presenting the concepts of the new theory. Someday someone will be right, until someone else proves them wrong, in the futuure.

Sigh. Maybe the universe only exists because we have observed it. Kinda like a news story.

Rush to the Rubicon

OTTAWA, April 18 — An unidentified technical problem has left BlackBerry users without wireless e-mail since Tuesday evening.
Yeah right, another GOP related problem falls off the moon, under the “Law and Order Party”, party.
The American government is starting to show signs of collapse. If the press corp wants to cover desperate people they might ought to get back to DC where the coup is occurring.

Updated: The whole shebang is here, with the caveat that there may be more to the story than the whole shebang.

Jehovah is in His Holy Temple, Let the whole world stand silent before Him .

BAGHDAD (AP) — Three separate explosions rocked Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least 33 people and wounding dozens as violence climbed toward levels seen before a U.S.-led surge to pacify the capital.

Car bombs kill 170 in Baghdad after PM’s pledge

Notes On All Over

My two readers have probably noticed the new widget from Blogger that allows me to post up four tunes at a time, which I hope to someday figure out well enough to choose the four tunes that I want to hear while egocentrically reading, “my own blog!” Now I can use the CD tray for a coffee mug holder if I really want to, as another PC function moves to the, “Web 2.0!” Of course that would be a more accurate statement, there Alberto, if I would acknowledge that the CDs I play are in the player over there on the other wall, on the way to the coffee pot. Anyway, you two can enjoy (Blogger/Google/YouTube) all apostrophied s, version of Clear Channel Radio, he said in his most snarky tone of of tune word word play.

Of course you know, now I have to do serious stuff, so I’m off to the coffee pot and other blogs. I’ll be right back.

April 17, 2007

Money, Money, Money

This is just to get your attention, the goods are over here.

Cheney himself is also taking in war profits, contrary to what he told Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” in 2003, when he denied making any money off his former employer. “Since I left Halliburton to become George Bush’s vice president,” he said, “I’ve severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interest.”

“I have no financial interest in Halliburton,” Cheney told Tim, “of any kind and haven’t had, now, for over three years.”

Those statements were proven false when financial disclosure forms showed that Cheney had received a deferred salary from Halliburton of $205,298 in 2001, $262,392 in 2002, $278,437 in 2003, and $294,852 in 2004.

In 2005, an analysis released by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), reported that Cheney continued to hold over 300,000 Halliburton stock options and said their value had risen 3,281% over the previous year, from $241,498 to more than $8 million.

Don’t Take It Too Hard

Updated BelowThere are so many things going on in my mind about the Virginia Tech shootings that I haven’t really had time to sort them all out as to the specific issues that all converge together to make an event such as this occur. Hindsight has the wonderful ability to connect motivations that we will never really know, to events that we do control or finally come to any understanding of. We don’t really know them that well because even if we all share the same emotions we do not share them all to the same degree, and so I think we are emotionally, as individualistic as we are in logical and physical attributes.

The thing that makes our institutions so strong is also the weakness that is constantly exploited from within or without for good and bad purpose’s. Human beings are simply far more organized outside of their heads than they are within them. That doesn’t mean to say that people aren’t highly organized in exploiting one aspect or another of whatever system they are exploiting, but that they are organized along the lines of thinking within a preexisting organization. Revolutions carry the seeds of their own destruction because they are organized along the lines of previous revolutions.

The short answer is that we do not love one another enough, and yet my faith instructs me that only God knows love well enough to overcome our own shortcomings in it. Ultimately this shortcoming shows up in our institutions, both large and small, whether nation state or small groups of individuals that establish a hierarchy that elevates one person over another. There will always be a strongest and a weakest. We cannot guard ourselves against the chaos of the weakest because that is a self assigned perception and role of the particular individual, but we can and do exploit those perceptions and reinforce that role. Without love to overcome those self imposed perceptions of the weakest and the strongest, and our own desires not to be that individual who is weakest, we are as the Bible states, living an unreality. Events such as this merely focus our attention on that fact.

This doesn’t even have to be considered or understood along any one particular religious line, as religion is just another tool to use for coming to the understanding of how does mankind mean.

As Atrios has stated, the solution isn’t in more and better rules or laws that take hierarchy from nuisance to imposition, and in my thinking, reinforce and amplify the behavior that they are intended to modify or control. You simple cannot protect yourself from the chaos, because it is within one and all of us.

One thing I don’t have to do, is defend or accuse the University or police of a proper or improper response to something that may as well as not have been a meteorite hitting the buildings.

Let The Lessons Begin

Everybody But Bush

The nightmare Bush dreads most

Public opinion polls are valuable chips to play for those engaged in a debate of national or international consequence. In the end, however, they are abstract numbers. It is popular demonstrations which give them substance, color, and – above all – wide media exposure, and make them truly meaningful. This is particularly true when such marches are peaceful and disciplined in a war-ravaged country like Iraq.

This indeed was the case with the demonstration on April 9 in Najaf. Over a million Iraqis, holding aloft thousands of national flags, marched, chanting, “Yes, yes, Iraq/No, no, America” and “No, no, American/Leave, leave occupier.”
The demonstrators arrived from all over the country in response to a call by Muqtada al-Sadr, a radical Shi’ite cleric, to demand an end to foreign occupation on the fourth anniversary of the end of Ba’athist rule in Baghdad.

Both the size of the demonstration and its composition were unprecedented. “There are people here from all different parties and sects,” Hadhim al-Araji, Muqtada’s representative in Baghdad’s Kadhimiya district, told reporters. “We are all carrying the national flag, a symbol of unity. And we are all united in calling for the withdrawal of the Americans.”

I am sure that, like everything else political, ahem, there needs to be some filtering to get to the reality of what is going on, but that in and of itself doesn’t negate the activity either. Muqtada has been in the forefront of encouraging Sunni-Shiia cooperation, and was pretty active in the relief efforts of Fallujah, so one discounts or underplays this at peril to their understanding of what is really going on in Iraq.

In a lot of ways there has been so much disinformation put out by the US Government from the get go that anyone who isn’t sceptical of their honesty is a tool of the state, either by choice or inclination. That would leave about half of the support for President’s policies out, and so the remainder will probably need to be convinced from arguments of a purely national security point of view. I tend to think that many who still support the President do so because they are making large sums of money off of the war, or in short, Mr. Bushes base, of the Haves, and Have Mores, as the President stated in his one moment of eloquence.

Happy Blogiversary Atrios

It seems like only four. What he said.

Congratulations to Kris Kristopherson

If everything that was said about you last night ain’t true, it oughta be.

April 16, 2007

Loreena McKennitt – Caravanserai

Has left the Building for Here

Good Lord, Pray for Virginia Tech

UD: 12:47 P CDT I really don’t have much to add, at this point we don’t really know that much about why, so I don’t think any comparison to previous events whether Columbine, or the UT shootings or my first inclination, PTSD of a Malvo type thing, is all that helpful. All I know is I feel like I was kicked in the gut on hearing that it had gone from a single shooting when I turned off the television, to a mass murder, from when I posted this up originally, to turning the TV back on.

The only common thread that I can find is that innocent people have died for no reason. Were we to feel this way at the loss of innocent life on this scale everyday perhaps we would be less inclined to go to war, and that we don’t, is perhaps the greater tragedy.

That being said, there is nothing I can say that would ease the pain of the relatives and friends of those who were killed and wounded today, and that too, is a tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with you all, today, both at home and abroad.

The Left Wing- For McCainiacs, My Other Right Wing

Decoding the Democrats

George Bush is promising to veto any Iraq war spending bill that includes a timeline–any timeline at all–for troop withdrawals.

But the reality is that proposed legislation in the House would fund the occupation for virtually the remainder of Bush’s term. The Democrats’ plan for withdrawal also makes a very big exception: U.S. troops who would remain in Iraq with the mission of “fighting terrorists” and protecting U.S. installations.

Leaving aside numbers and timetables, the Democrats’ proposals reflect the Bush administration’s goal of creating a more stable Iraqi puppet state with its own armed forces, with the U.S. military taking a lower profile, but still a dominant role.

I would note that the Libertarian observations are nearly identical, Democratic Illusions, that is if you don’t call Instapundit a libertarian without laughing,

That is a delusion, of course, and a dangerous one, but there you have it: it’s the culture of the Washington policy wonks, who assume government action is the solution to each and every problem, both nationally and internationally. To these little lords of creation, there is no problem they can’t come up with a government-funded solution to. Skepticism about the limits (or morality) of American power abroad is limited to “far left” commentators such as Noam Chomsky and Alex Cockburn, or Republican “realists” such as John Mearsheimer and Andrew Bacevich. Self-proclaimed “centrists” of the Edwards-Chollet variety are always interventionists.

Obviously both of these people are more in tune with what the Democratic and Republican policies are targeted towards than most Democrats and Republican’ts because they really don’t have a dog in the hunt, and it would behove the rest of the body politic to pay attention to the points being made from the left and the right. The fact that the analysis by these individuals is so dead on, should at least cause each of us to understand why the “American” system goes so far out of its’ way to marginalize their veiws. The fact that they converge in this instance ought to make any open minded person think about why, and how, they do.

That doesn’t mean I agree with them, nor that I disagree, it merely means it is really is worth thinking about.

Well, That Thought Had Crossed My Mind,

“Well Senator — Tony Snow said today that you guys want the truth, and in this interview, you guys are going to get the truth from Karl Rove. What’s wrong with that?”

She then observes incredulously and angrily: “You don’t trust the White House. The bottom line is: you don’t trust the White House.”

Income Redistribution in Disguise

This cynical strategy of disguised redistribution of national resources from the bottom to the top is carried out by a combination of (a) drastic hikes in the Pentagon budget, and (b) equally drastic tax cuts for the wealthy. As this combination creates large budget deficits, it then forces cuts in non-military public spending as a way to fill the gaps that are thus created. As a result, the rich are growing considerably richer at the expense of middle­ and low­income classes.

Despite its critical importance, most opponents of war seem to have given short shrift to the crucial role of the Pentagon budget and its contractors as major sources of war and militarism-a phenomenon that the late President Eisenhower warned against nearly half a century ago. Perhaps a major reason for this oversight is that critics of war and militarism tend to view the U.S. military force as primarily a means for imperialist gains-oil or otherwise.

Yikes! Why Ike!

The President is Right

Congress needs to support the troops by appointing a War Czar to be Commander Sort of in Chief, and listen to Dick Cheney, and remember our troops have email and modern technology, and some day this administration will send the troops overseas with body armor, and such, because that’s what they’re supposed to do in Washinghands, you know talk things over.

Sheesh.

Updated Sheesh:

I’ve written this post several times already. But as long as the president keeps fibbing, I’ll keep writing it. The president says the Congress is substituting its judgment for that of the uniformed military. Not true. The uniformed military was against the surge. By most measures, it still is. The president disagreed so he fired the senior military leadership on the ground in Iraq and replaced them with people — and there aren’t that many of them — who agreed with him.

Machiavelli’s Poll Vault

Wait it’s from CBS.

Currently, President Bush and Congress disagree about what to do about U.S. troop levels in Iraq. Who do you think should have the final say about troop levels in Iraq, the President or Congress?

President: 44%
Congress: 49%

via TPM Cafe from Matt.

Of course given Admiral Admiration’s assertion, and the conservatively biased press corps willingness to catapult the propaganda, folks that only watch TV wouldn’t know this.

April 15, 2007

Equally Opportunistic Offenders

One of the things I’ve struggled with since the election is that my readership is usually better educated and eminently more qualified at doing their jobs than I would be. That doesn’t really bother me either, as I assume that almost anybody with a college degree is eminently more qualified to do their job than I would be, whether they are doctors, engineers, or reporters. Lawyers, not so much. Just kidding, councilor. In fact that is one my strengths, as well as a one of my weaknesses, because education is just another tool that mankind uses like any other tool.

Being a carpenter on an industrial job when the forms are about to blow you learn things, though, like how a hammer can drive a screw a lot faster than going to the tool room and brassing out a drill to drive a screw. Of course it helps to have only screws and not nails handy when necessity needs to become the mother of invention. On the other hand I have found that a hammer is rarely useful for pulling out a screw under any circumstance. The point is that not all tools need to be used exclusively for the job they were designed to be used for.

Now I suppose I could go on a riff about how educated people are as dumb as hammers, but since most of you have degrees that probably wouldn’t be a good idea, no matter how entertaining it might be for me and the rest of the HS and JuCo edumacated crowd, and for the most part it would be wrong in both thesis and particulars so I avoid the humor, for your sakes dear readers, and mine if I wish to continue to help thrash Bloggers servers with the ever burgeoning crowds of blog readers.

For I have found, that some of my better educated peers have not only managed to get degrees and pursue your professions to the pinnacle of success, that you also have taken yourselves more seriously than you or I ought to, and so it goes hand in glove that I ought to be discreet in criticizing my betters, even if I turn them on to facts and stories that they may have missed. If only I would remember that they were betters it would make life so much easier.

Unfortunately, (did you notice the, for unfor, play I just used between this and the last paragraph?,) I tend to see us as equals which makes it even more difficult to criticise my betters, (who may have noticed I just used both the English and American spelling of criticize,) because I have to assume that we share many of the same feelings, and we all have shortcomings in character and self esteem. That’s what makes us human.

I think that something that needs to be made clear as well, is that I genuinely don’t like to single individuals out as being a horses ass, since I assume that we all are on occasion, and so one event in a persons life, or one flaw in their character doesn’t necessarily mean they should be thrown away. So when I apologize to the MSM, or whomever, for a sweeping generalization, I really am sincere.

That may not hold for the Washington Post for the duration of the war since they were well aware of what I was saying before the war, and they continue to be wrong and stubborn jackasses like some other guy we all know so well, (and if you give him an inch he’ll take a mile, and if you cut him any slack he will take a mile, and if you show any sign of compromise will take a mile, and somebody find him a short pier, puhleeze,) even though they have some really good reporters, and some fans amongst people whom I admire, whom happen to have college degrees, and some I suppose who don’t. Fox New, not so much.

So I really do have a conflict about being too hard on the press, since it is made up of so many differing people of so many differing skill sets and talents. I really think some of you are in the wrong business, and that some of you ought to write more stuff in other venues to really flower out, like the Bad Astronomer is doing. Maybe some of you should move to Boulder too.

Ultimately though, you define the vicarious world to me, and I am not privy to all the reasons why it behooves you to paint the sky green and the grass red in Iraq, or why the marmalade skies of Iran should be excoriated for being of a Persian hue. Obviously you need to get out of the newsroom more, or hang out around the house more, but that’s your business.

But let’s not BS each other either shall we? I blog you because you are there, doing the job that projects an image of the world to Americans, and report on things like the war in Iraq, that projects an image of America to the world. I think I am well within my rights to point out to the world that you, or my government, are not projecting the image of America I can see every day when I go get the mail at the Post Office. In that I think we may be equals, if only because I am being generous about it, but my magnanimity can only go so far too. So don’t get your feelings hurt when you get hammered from the boondocks, it goes with the job of being a screw, and the forms are starting to look like they are going to blow out.

It’s Turtles All The Way Up Too

No one disputes that Domenici’s call to Iglesias was at best inappropriate. But there’s been a lack of direct evidence that Iglesias’s refusal to bow to political pressure led directly to his firing. Now we have have that evidence. And it’s not Kyle Sampson or even Alberto Gonzales who Domenici went to to get sign off for Iglesias’s ouster. It was right to the president. And the available evidence now points strongly the conclusion that the final decision to fire David Iglesias came from the President of the United States.

Putting Pictures With Analysis

Picture used from the BBC #5 of 6
Watch the Bridges via Pat Lang

So far this week there have been two attacks on bridges across the Tigris within the city. Such operations require a lot of planning and access to the bridge for an extended period of time. The story that a truck bomb knocked that great big bridge down lacks credibility for me. I know how to knock down bridges and an un-tamped surface blast is unlikely to do it on a bridge that size.

Obviously three sections are laying below where they were drawn in the “as built,” blueprints, and one should also conclude that one explosion put them in the water, or PL is more correct than the *MSM reporting on the incident.

UD: I don’t mean to construe this * as more than it is, or less. Obviously Baghdad isn’t a safe place to be. It also means you can’t believe everything CentCom says about things that go boom in the daylight over there either. That also means CentCom is playing a psyops game with the civilians back home and maybe the troops on the ground here and there, and not that they are necessarily tools of the Administration. It merely means that what you see ain’t what you hear.

On a side note, I’m going to try and lay off of the MSM, since I have already stated numerous times, I think 90 percent of them are doing, or trying to do a good job. I’m just not that comfortable calling the wankers wankers.

Dead Bees for You, and Dead Bees for Me

It should be a relatively simple task to survey bee keepers in and around wireless radiation zones, I would think. It might also be a good idea too, if Einstein is right that four years without bees leaves the Earth a dead planet. Of course that would help with global warming, as far as that being a problem and such.
Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?

The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees’ navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up.

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) occurs when a hive’s inhabitants suddenly disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature workers, like so many apian Mary Celestes. The vanished bees are never found, but thought to die singly far from home. The parasites, wildlife and other bees that normally raid the honey and pollen left behind when a colony dies, refuse to go anywhere near the abandoned hives.

The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all American states. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East Coast.

via /.

Update: Heh, Indeed they do, CDs, chocolate, and cigarettes dumped in favour of phones

The latest survey of how da youth uses mobile phones, due to be released soon, shows that European youngsters will get their first phone around the age of 8, and will sink $28,000 into the device during their lifetime.

Today’s young people are spending eight times more on telephony than music. Up to 20 per cent of their disposable income goes on communications and associated services, leading to a rapid decline in sales of CDs, chocolate, and cigarettes – for better or worse.

Hope the Brits are Wrong Dept

About 292 million mobile phones will have Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities by the year 2012, according to a new report from ABI Research. The research firm says that the number will make up just over 20 percent of the worldwide handset market at that time, but NFC’s future success will depend highly upon the moves made by carriers and service providers today.

Base stations bring 3G indoors

A recent report by research firm Analysys predicted that indoor base stations using, for example, 3G radios will be a key driver for fixed mobile substitution (FMS), which allows enterprises to replace fixed phones with mobile devices.

In Picocells and Femtocells: Will Indoor Base Stations Transform the Telecoms Industry?, co-author Mark Heath forecast that FMS services based on indoor base stations will be more popular than unlicensed mobile access (UMA ) or dual-mode cellular/wireless LAN services because mobile users will be able to use their existing mobile handsets rather than new dedicated ones.

Mobiles get down to business

Meanwhile, Symbian last month unveiled changes in its smartphone operating system that also make more efficient use of memory. Symbian OS 9.5 introduces Demand Paging, which loads into memory only those fragments of code that are required. It also features RAM defragmentation to optimise the way memory is used in real time.

Taken together, these developments mean that handsets should soon receive a performance kick and also become less costly to make. They will be able to accomplish the same tasks with less memory, or keep the same memory profile and fit in more applications and data.

Symbian OS 9.5 also introduces a SQL database and compliance with the widely used Posix programming interface, making it easier to build mobile applications. Microsoft’s new Windows Mobile 6 has similar capabilities, adding a mobile version of SQL Server and supporting its own .Net Compact Framework.

The Past is Prologue

Updated, Belatedly

In the UK, some schools are dropping teaching about the Holocaust, for fear that it might offend Muslim students.

Should have gone below I suppose, but I didn’t want it missed.

We Remember — David Harris, President AJC

In the Jewish tradition, we are commanded to remember (zachor) and not to forget (lo tishkach). On April 15, we commemorate Yom HaShoah, the Day of Holocaust Remembrance. On this solemn occasion, 62 years after the end of World War II, we remember.

We remember the six million Jewish martyrs, including 1.5 million children, who were exterminated in the Holocaust.

We remember the entirely new alphabet created by the Nazis for the Final Solution — from the letter “A” for Auschwitz to the letter “Z” for Zyklon-B.

We remember not only the tragic deaths of the six million Jews, but also their vibrant lives — as shopkeepers and craftsmen, scientists and authors, teachers and students, parents and children, husbands and wives.

We remember the richly hued and ancient Jewish civilizations that were destroyed — from Salonika, Greece to Vilna, Lithuania.

We remember the slippery slope that began with the rantings of an obscure Austrian-born anti-Semite named Adolf Hitler and led, in the course of less than 15 years, to his absolute control over Germany.

We remember the fertile soil of European anti-Semitism — cultivated over centuries by cultural, political, and religious voices — that created an all-too-receptive climate for the Nazi objective of eliminating the Jewish people.

We remember the courage of Denmark, as well as Albania, Bulgaria, and Finland, for their extraordinary efforts to protect their own Jewish communities.

We remember the courage of thousands of Righteous Persons — whom we call, in Hebrew, hasidei umot ha’olam — who risked their own lives that others might live.

We remember the millions of non-Jews — Poles and Russians, Roma and the disabled, political opponents and homosexuals — murdered under the relentless Nazi onslaught.

We remember the valiant soldiers of the Allied nations who, at such great human cost, vanquished the Third Reich.

We remember the survivors of the death camps, who endured such unimaginable suffering and who have inspired us all with their indomitable courage, spirit, and will to live.

We remember the absence of an Israel in those war-time years, an Israel which, had it existed, would have provided a haven when so shamefully few countries were willing to accept Jewish refugees.

We shall never forget those who perished.

We shall never forget those who saved even a single life. As it is written in the Talmud: “He who saves one life has saved the world.”

We shall never forget the importance of speaking out against intolerance, whenever and wherever it occurs.

We shall never forget the inextricable link among democracy, the rule of law, and protection of human rights.

We shall never forget the age-old prophetic vision of a world of justice, harmony, and peace.

And we shall never forget that each of us, in ways large and small, can help bring us closer to the realization of that prophetic vision.

Too Early For Outrage?

Heavy editing behind. I hate it when I do that.

White House, Senators to Confer on E-Mail Expert

White House officials said the improper use of the accounts and the loss of the e-mails appeared to be honest mistakes. They are trying to recover the missing e-mails and are clarifying policy on preserving records.

Separate accounts were created for about 50 White House aides in the Bush administration who get involved in party politics. The intent is to avoid violations of rules that bar federal employees from using government resources for political activities.

Now I can read minds too, so that is why I know the intentions of the Post is jump to conclusions about intent, since that is best how to mislead its’ readers. O also know Patterico and the Eleventh Dimension will be all over the AP for this one too.

Unfortunately the observation seems to be escaping the AP WaPo staffs,

But here’s the thing. The Presidential Records Act and the Hatch Act aren’t “competing” laws in any reasonable sense of the term. It’s remarkably easy to comply with both. All you have to do is save your official communications. The White House archiving system is set up to facilitate compliance with the Presidential Records Act, but it is not the exclusive means of doing so. The PRA simply provides that:

The deleted emails seem to bear an uncanny resemblence to this,

PRESIDENT (of the tribunal): Please describe the methods that were used.

DETAINEE: (CENSORED) What else do I want to say? (CENSORED) There were doing so many things. What else did they did? (CENSORED) After that another method of torture began. (CENSORED) They used to ask me questions and the investigator after that used to laugh. And, I used to answer the answer that I knew. And if I didn’t replay what I heard, he used to (CENSORED).

from the Gitmo trials, and another seemingly missing observation from journalists far and wide.

The only question from the boondocks I suppose, is does anyone in Washington even attempt to the job they were hired for? This Administration could not behave in this manner if the Capital had a functioning press corp. It is just that simple.

You and your ilk are selling the country down the river, and we are left, alas, to conjecture your intentions. I personally think it is stupidity, but I have read others who say it is for sex, or proximity, or even the benign, “little Johnny goes to school with little Suzy.” Thus endeth the editing.

It really is time for a break. One of the things I enjoy about blogging is writing about my observations in a humorous way, which is no longer possible since my observations are tending more toward current events, which are for one reason or another not being reported on. I tend to take a historical perspective on current events as well, and although I don’t think we are following the exact same path as our predecessors, we appear to be heading into the same canyon, the same dead end, that they went down and into. It doesn’t have to be this way, logically, but mankind is more than a illogical animal.

I have held for some time that I did not doubt mankind’s ability to think, but his capability to do so. Our education system I suppose has ingrained a certain methodology since the founding of the scholastic schools in the “dark ages,” which has created channels that are both a source of great strength, and one of great danger when the walls of those channels collapse upon us.

It really is time for us all rise to the occasion of our own times, which historically, mankind has rarely done. At this point I cannot do but to undermine the walls of those channels and ask myself to what point.

That John Harris in the next post should speak of our prophetic times is to me, to underestimate exponentially both God and our times.

April 14, 2007

Joe Leiberman and the Eleventh Dimension’s Cosmic Convergence

via Digby

I can hardly believe it. McJoan catches Joe Lieberman’s advisor, the civility commissar Dan Gerstein, defending Imus out of a grave concern for the ramifications to the Democratic party.

“This is a real bind for Democrats,” said Dan Gerstein, an advisor to one of Imus’ favorite regulars, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). “Talk radio has become primarily the province of the right, and the blogosphere is largely the province of the left. If Imus loses his microphone, there aren’t many other venues like it around.”

via Instaputz

Equally important, Imus gave Democrats a pipeline to a crucial voting bloc that was perennially hard for them to reach: politically independent white men.

With Imus’ show canceled indefinitely because of his remarks about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team, some Democratic strategists are worried about how to fill the void. For a national radio audience of white men, Democrats see few if any alternatives.

On the upside Dick Miniter reportedly took a bath.

When Did the Washington Post Become a Newspaper Again?

Administration Seeks to Expand Surveillance Law

The White House draft offered the first specifics of the proposal, which Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said Tuesday is needed to respond to “dramatic” changes in communications technology used by intelligence targets in this country.

Stuff like PGP and Diskwipe, and you know the stuff that Karl and the lads haven’t figured out yet. Or have they?

Walter Pincus reports on the Administration’s proposed revisions to FISA, which include immunizing telecommunications companies who cooperate in the Administration’s surveillance programs from lawsuits by their customers. That provision would be retroactive to Sept 11, 2001 (via War and Piece).

— David Kurtz

There she goes again. Thanks Laura.

The Washington Post Needs to Do Better

If this scandal isn’t to become a mystery

But it’s not particularly helpful, as Mr. Leahy did in a speech on the Senate floor, to invoke “the infamous 18-minute gap in the Nixon White House tapes” or to accuse the administration of deliberately causing the e-mails to disappear. If White House aides were trying to conduct government business off the official record, why would they have sent e-mails from their gwb43.com accounts to Justice Department officials at the Justice officials’ government addresses?

Err, maybe that’s where they have their email accounts set up on their blackberries?

Err, maybe because that is their default mail account, and so they think that partisan politics is their default function?

UD:Err maybe H/T to Attaturk

http://ezsmirkzz.blogspot.com/2007/04/double-standard-headlinenews.html

Update: I don’t really think this is a HeadlineNews exclusive either, do you? (Oh yeah, we have two cars for two people. Both run.)

Takin’ my time
Choosin’ my lines
Try’n’ to decide what to do
Looks like my stop
Don’t wanna get off
Got myself hung up on you

Seems to me
You don’t wanna talk about it
Seems to me
You just turn your pretty head and walk away

So does RAP music deserve to be categorized with Don Imus? I think that has some legitimacy, provided the question is answered at the same time as, Does Glenn Beck deserve to be categorized with Don Imus?

“I find this guy [Michael Berg, father of slain journalist Nick Berg] despicable. Everything in me says that. The want to be a better person today than I was yesterday says he’s a dad, he’s grieving, but I don’t buy that. I’m sorry, I don’t buy it. I think he is grieving, but I think he’s a scumbag as well. I don’t like this guy at all.” [5/14/04]

“But the second thought I had when I saw these people [Hurricane Katrina survivors], and they had to shut down the Astrodome and lock it down, I thought: I didn’t think I could hate victims faster than the 9-11 victims.” [9/9/05]

On killing filmmaker Michael Moore

“I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out — is this wrong?” [5/17/05]

On anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan as a prostitute

“Who’s a bigger prostitute? [Hollywood madam] Heidi Fleiss or [Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver] Terrell Owens? Who’s the person out there — who’s the bigger prostitute: Heidi Fleiss or [Democratic National Committee chairman] Howard Dean? No, not even Howard Dean. [Sen.] John Kerry [D-MA]. Who’s the bigger prostitute? Who’ll do anything for power or money? I mean, at least Heidi Fleiss — this is saying something — at least Heidi Fleiss will admit to being a prostitute. You know what I mean? At least she’ll say, ‘Hey, I’m doing it for cash.’ … Cindy Sheehan. That’s a pretty big prostitute there, you know what I mean?” [1/10/06]

On supporting torture

“[I]f I’m an interrogator, and they say, [imitates Arabic accent] ‘I read in your papers that you cannot torture me,’ I’ll say, ‘Yeah, you know, you saw another thing in the papers, you saw pictures of people being tortured. And I just want you to look around, little, uh, Habib, here, I want you to look around the room. Notice one thing is missing, and that’s called a camera.’ ” [6/23/04]

So let’s see if my buds can rise above the hype, shall we?

The Times article quoted CNN executive Kenneth Jautz as saying that the network did not take Beck’s politics into account when it hired him. “We did not set out to have anyone from any particular view fronting these shows,” he said. In fact, CNN hired Beck knowing that the host’s repertoire included hateful attacks–the Hurricane Katrina refugees seen on TV and the father of a terrorism victim were both “scumbags” (Mediamatters.org, 5/17/04, 9/9/05)–as well as a disturbing preoccupation with violence: Beck has told his listeners that he was praying for a gruesome death for Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (3/16/03), and that he was fantasizing about strangling filmmaker Michael Moore to death (5/17/05). As FAIR predicted (FAIR Action Alert, 1/18/06), Beck has not changed his repellent tune simply because he’s been hired by a major media outlet.

Maybe then we can get into a real conversation about the root of this problem, which is some people make fantastic amounts of money off of this stuff, which is good for them in two ways. First they get to buy another ranch with three cars per person, and it induces horizontal violence amongst those who never owned a car, and at current projections of the economy, never will.

Places I’ve known
Things that I’m growin’
Don’t taste the same without you
I got my self in
The worst mess I’ve been
And I find myself starvin’ without you

Seems to me
Talk all night here comes the mornin’
Seems to me
You just forget what we said and greet the day

I’ve got to cool myself down
Stompin’ around
Thinkin’ some words I can’t name ya
Meet you half way
Got nothing to say
Still I don’t s’ppose I can blame ya

Seems to me
You don’t wanna talk about it
Seems to me
You just turn your pretty head and walk away

Joe Walsh wrote the tune, doncha know.

Supplemental Funding Clues

Gates: Use Navy, Air Force money to fund war

With a showdown coming between the White House and Congress over funding for the war in Iraq, the Pentagon has tried to raise the ante by threatening to raid the Air Force and Navy personnel budgets to help cover Army operating costs.

The transfer of $800 million from each the Air Force and Navy into the Army operating budget is aimed at giving the Bush administration and congressional leaders more time to work out a compromise over $105 billion in emergency funding to cover war-related expenses for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

snip snip, almost cut my hair- hey that hasn’t a thing to do with it…

The $1.6 billion transfer, combined with other cost-cutting moves, would buy the military another two months for an agreement to be worked out on the supplemental funding bill.

A Navy spokesman, Lt. Bashon Mann, said Gates’ proposal would take money that the Navy would have spent in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year, which begins in July. The Navy would get the money back once a supplemental is approved, he said, noting the same process was used last year to pay for tsunami relief operations in Asia.

Whoops there goes another rationale,
Whoops there goes another rationale,
Whoops there goes another rationale now,

via Antiwar

Back at Ranchero Arbusto de los Iraquero

Second Baghdad Bridge Bombed, Eight Killed

Baghdad, Apr 14, (VOI) – Eight civilians were killed and 13 others wounded when a vehicle rigged with explosives blew up on a bridge in central Baghdad, an Iraqi police source said on Saturday. “A suicide bomber detonated his vehicle on the al-Jadiriya bridge on Saturday morning, killing eight people, wounding 13 others and damaging several nearby civilian vehicles,” the source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI)

Most of the bridge is still standing, for those of you who are looking for the good news out of Iraq.

Two Rivers and a Dog April 6-14, 2007

April 14, 2007

Republican Law and Disorder for MBA Wannabees

The Email Is In The Mail (And Other Classic Lies)
I have come to the end of the road – I can not begin to grasp the extent of this White House email debacle. Well, it was fun when Al Gore had his problems with email, so now we can watch the other side enjoy themselves.

The commenters explain the title, so even that is a digression, which is something only bloggers can pull off, so neener neener journalists.

Anyway this follows on this from Anonymous Liberal who has noted, here,

But here’s the thing. The Presidential Records Act and the Hatch Act aren’t “competing” laws in any reasonable sense of the term. It’s remarkably easy to comply with both. All you have to do is save your official communications. The White House archiving system is set up to facilitate compliance with the Presidential Records Act, but it is not the exclusive means of doing so.

and that was all linked from this post,

One of the admirable things about Red Blogistan is its message discipline. In particular, while Blue bloggers tend to worry the latest Democratic error or fissure or misdeed to death, Red bloggers are capable of blithely ignoring facts that don’t fit their preconceptions, instead simply riding their usual hobbyhorses. They’ve had a lot of practice at that lately. (Of course, I’m describing tendencies, not a black-and-white difference.) Glenn Reynolds, for example, tried a couple of lame RNC talking points early in the history of the Overblown Personnel Matter, but has maintained tight radio silence since.

which I derived from over here, Best Description of Tom Maguire. Ever. by PGL at Angry Bear.

The whole exercise was following up on this post MBS for UberNerds I: GSE Pass-Throughs, which

We’ve had some fascinating and fun conversations lately about bonds and bondholders and stuff, and I first want to thank everyone who has contributed so much. I also observe that we do occasionally seem to be talking over or under or around each other, at times, about what mortgage-backed bonds are and how they work. There are places on the net you can get lots of technical information on this subject, but I’m not sure they are all pitched high enough to satisfy UberNerds or low enough to work for beginners, and in any case they lack periodic outbursts of editorializing, which is just boring.

I wanted to post up for the younger or older set that wanted to start understanding the whole Housing Bubble metrics. So anyway, Tanta is going to run through it all in way that even I can understand, so I thought that you might pass it along as well.

The road of good intentions is paved with hell, too, I suppose. (For those of you who don’t know the road to hell is paved with good intentions.)

If you read all of the links then you’ll have an inkling what a blogger goes through just for a minor post like this one, and why it is so much easier to just write an original one without any links at all. But if I wanted easy I would do your job too. (That is a corollary of the law that everyone else’s job is easy, most especially professionals, but mine.)

Joe Leiberman and the Eleventh Dimension’s Cosmic Convergence

via Digby

I can hardly believe it. McJoan catches Joe Lieberman’s advisor, the civility commissar Dan Gerstein, defending Imus out of a grave concern for the ramifications to the Democratic party.

“This is a real bind for Democrats,” said Dan Gerstein, an advisor to one of Imus’ favorite regulars, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). “Talk radio has become primarily the province of the right, and the blogosphere is largely the province of the left. If Imus loses his microphone, there aren’t many other venues like it around.”

via Instaputz

Equally important, Imus gave Democrats a pipeline to a crucial voting bloc that was perennially hard for them to reach: politically independent white men.

With Imus’ show canceled indefinitely because of his remarks about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team, some Democratic strategists are worried about how to fill the void. For a national radio audience of white men, Democrats see few if any alternatives.

On the upside Dick Miniter reportedly took a bath.

When Did the Washington Post Become a Newspaper Again?

Administration Seeks to Expand Surveillance Law

The White House draft offered the first specifics of the proposal, which Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said Tuesday is needed to respond to “dramatic” changes in communications technology used by intelligence targets in this country.

Stuff like PGP and Diskwipe, and you know the stuff that Karl and the lads haven’t figured out yet. Or have they?

Walter Pincus reports on the Administration’s proposed revisions to FISA, which include immunizing telecommunications companies who cooperate in the Administration’s surveillance programs from lawsuits by their customers. That provision would be retroactive to Sept 11, 2001 (via War and Piece).

— David Kurtz

There she goes again. Thanks Laura.

The Washington Post Needs to Do Better

If this scandal isn’t to become a mystery

But it’s not particularly helpful, as Mr. Leahy did in a speech on the Senate floor, to invoke “the infamous 18-minute gap in the Nixon White House tapes” or to accuse the administration of deliberately causing the e-mails to disappear. If White House aides were trying to conduct government business off the official record, why would they have sent e-mails from their gwb43.com accounts to Justice Department officials at the Justice officials’ government addresses?

Err, maybe that’s where they have their email accounts set up on their blackberries?

Err, maybe because that is their default mail account, and so they think that partisan politics is their default function?

UD:Err maybe H/T to Attaturk

Colateral Language

I thought I should oughta clarify my thinking on the Imus’ thing, because I like to open myself up to attack as well as anybody. The choice of words the guy used are beyond debate offensive, although I am pretty convinced that they are offensive to different people for different reasons, which brings us into the field of human nature.

When it comes to making money off of that sort of garbage, I am of the mind that some of problem is pushed off on the people by the marketing peeps, but I don’t doubt that they haven’t done some research and discovered that there is a market for it amongst we the wee people too. Some use sex, and some use politics, and gasp some use religion. Whatever they’re selling they are using the same tools to sell to different audiences, which puts Imus in the same boat as Falwell, Jackson and Rove.

Obviously when we look at the popular culture of America it is hard to figure how it is also the most religious of countries at the same time.

http://ezsmirkzz.blogspot.com/2007/04/double-standard-headlinenews.html

Update: I don’t really think this is a HeadlineNews exclusive either, do you? (Oh yeah, we have two cars for two people. Both run.)

Takin’ my time
Choosin’ my lines
Try’n’ to decide what to do
Looks like my stop
Don’t wanna get off
Got myself hung up on you

Seems to me
You don’t wanna talk about it
Seems to me
You just turn your pretty head and walk away

So does RAP music deserve to be categorized with Don Imus? I think that has some legitimacy, provided the question is answered at the same time as, Does Glenn Beck deserve to be categorized with Don Imus?

“I find this guy [Michael Berg, father of slain journalist Nick Berg] despicable. Everything in me says that. The want to be a better person today than I was yesterday says he’s a dad, he’s grieving, but I don’t buy that. I’m sorry, I don’t buy it. I think he is grieving, but I think he’s a scumbag as well. I don’t like this guy at all.” [5/14/04]

“But the second thought I had when I saw these people [Hurricane Katrina survivors], and they had to shut down the Astrodome and lock it down, I thought: I didn’t think I could hate victims faster than the 9-11 victims.” [9/9/05]

On killing filmmaker Michael Moore

“I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out — is this wrong?” [5/17/05]

On anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan as a prostitute

“Who’s a bigger prostitute? [Hollywood madam] Heidi Fleiss or [Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver] Terrell Owens? Who’s the person out there — who’s the bigger prostitute: Heidi Fleiss or [Democratic National Committee chairman] Howard Dean? No, not even Howard Dean. [Sen.] John Kerry [D-MA]. Who’s the bigger prostitute? Who’ll do anything for power or money? I mean, at least Heidi Fleiss — this is saying something — at least Heidi Fleiss will admit to being a prostitute. You know what I mean? At least she’ll say, ‘Hey, I’m doing it for cash.’ … Cindy Sheehan. That’s a pretty big prostitute there, you know what I mean?” [1/10/06]

On supporting torture

“[I]f I’m an interrogator, and they say, [imitates Arabic accent] ‘I read in your papers that you cannot torture me,’ I’ll say, ‘Yeah, you know, you saw another thing in the papers, you saw pictures of people being tortured. And I just want you to look around, little, uh, Habib, here, I want you to look around the room. Notice one thing is missing, and that’s called a camera.’ ” [6/23/04]

So let’s see if my buds can rise above the hype, shall we?

The Times article quoted CNN executive Kenneth Jautz as saying that the network did not take Beck’s politics into account when it hired him. “We did not set out to have anyone from any particular view fronting these shows,” he said. In fact, CNN hired Beck knowing that the host’s repertoire included hateful attacks–the Hurricane Katrina refugees seen on TV and the father of a terrorism victim were both “scumbags” (Mediamatters.org, 5/17/04, 9/9/05)–as well as a disturbing preoccupation with violence: Beck has told his listeners that he was praying for a gruesome death for Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (3/16/03), and that he was fantasizing about strangling filmmaker Michael Moore to death (5/17/05). As FAIR predicted (FAIR Action Alert, 1/18/06), Beck has not changed his repellent tune simply because he’s been hired by a major media outlet.

Maybe then we can get into a real conversation about the root of this problem, which is some people make fantastic amounts of money off of this stuff, which is good for them in two ways. First they get to buy another ranch with three cars per person, and it induces horizontal violence amongst those who never owned a car, and at current projections of the economy, never will.

Places I’ve known
Things that I’m growin’
Don’t taste the same without you
I got my self in
The worst mess I’ve been
And I find myself starvin’ without you

Seems to me
Talk all night here comes the mornin’
Seems to me
You just forget what we said and greet the day

I’ve got to cool myself down
Stompin’ around
Thinkin’ some words I can’t name ya
Meet you half way
Got nothing to say
Still I don’t s’ppose I can blame ya

Seems to me
You don’t wanna talk about it
Seems to me
You just turn your pretty head and walk away

Joe Walsh wrote the tune, doncha know.

Supplemental Funding Clues

Gates: Use Navy, Air Force money to fund war

With a showdown coming between the White House and Congress over funding for the war in Iraq, the Pentagon has tried to raise the ante by threatening to raid the Air Force and Navy personnel budgets to help cover Army operating costs.

The transfer of $800 million from each the Air Force and Navy into the Army operating budget is aimed at giving the Bush administration and congressional leaders more time to work out a compromise over $105 billion in emergency funding to cover war-related expenses for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

snip snip, almost cut my hair- hey that hasn’t a thing to do with it…

The $1.6 billion transfer, combined with other cost-cutting moves, would buy the military another two months for an agreement to be worked out on the supplemental funding bill.

A Navy spokesman, Lt. Bashon Mann, said Gates’ proposal would take money that the Navy would have spent in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year, which begins in July. The Navy would get the money back once a supplemental is approved, he said, noting the same process was used last year to pay for tsunami relief operations in Asia.

Whoops there goes another rationale,
Whoops there goes another rationale,
Whoops there goes another rationale now,

via Antiwar

Back at Ranchero Arbusto de los Iraquero

Second Baghdad Bridge Bombed, Eight Killed

Baghdad, Apr 14, (VOI) – Eight civilians were killed and 13 others wounded when a vehicle rigged with explosives blew up on a bridge in central Baghdad, an Iraqi police source said on Saturday. “A suicide bomber detonated his vehicle on the al-Jadiriya bridge on Saturday morning, killing eight people, wounding 13 others and damaging several nearby civilian vehicles,” the source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI)

Most of the bridge is still standing, for those of you who are looking for the good news out of Iraq.

April 13, 2007

Yeah, That Was Really Me

Evervescent phosphorus
bombs exploded Nights
owl whooed day

Why the Republicans Cannot Win in Iraq- No Plan

It would be simple to say because they don’t have a plan to do so, and from all indications they don’t. The whole thing has always been send in the military, support the military, fight them over there not over here, yada yada yada.

From the beginning, the current crew has left the State Department out of the equation. They refuse to use diplomacy in almost every instance. They refuse to tallk to Iran and Syria about Iraq. They refuse to talk to Iran and Syria about Israel. They refused to talk to North Korea. They refuse to talk to Chavez. They have only one foreign policy tool besides economics, and that is the military.

At every turn the political class in Washington has relied on the military option. They can’t even get a State Department employee to brief the press, it is always this General or that one. In short they put the entire onus on the military.

The Republicans can’t win the war in Iraq because they don’t have a plan to win the war in Iraq. They can’t win in Iraq because they think that the military option is the only option.

Given a clear policy there is no doubt in my mind that the US military can acheive the military objectives. But after that point, were it to be defined and acheived, there is no plan in place for the political solution. After the bullets, they haven’t got a thing in the bag.

This has been the policy for four years. It hasn’t worked yet, but given one more push, one more chance…

Even if General Patraeus’ strategy works, say next week, the military is in a holding pattern what then? What is the plan?

Computer Operations 101

Just to be real clear, and put things into perspective.

From small shops to large, everyday, the system will go down if there is not enough RAM to do an incremental backup of the days transactions,If there is enough RAM then it will proceed without the end user being aware of it. Every weekend there is a system backup.

The purpose of this procedure is simple. If you lose one days transactions then you have to rekey, rescan, re-enter all that days transactions. If you lose two days then you have to re-enter two days worth of transactions.

If you are switching from one application provider to another then you will back up continuously until the new application is indeeed performing as advertised, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll finally take the old system off line.

In short, this is not like trading in a car for a new model.

If this wasn’t done then the IT staffs at the RNC and WH were too incompetent to be hired and so they didn’t exist in that capacity.

At anyrate, on one of the daily incrementals there is a copy of the emails, at the White House. There is no other way.

Notes to Exchange — The WH Must Have Missed This Part

Case Study: Moving from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange

Hyperion Solutions Corp. began as a Lotus Notes shop, but acquired companies that used Microsoft Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000. Initially, the Santa Clara, CA–based business intelligence software company–with major offices in North America, Europe and Asia–pursued a coexistence strategy that allowed the various units to use their preferred e-mail platform while working behind the scenes to deliver what usually appeared to be seamless communications.

But by the fall of 2003, coexistence had grown to be more trouble than it was worth. “The coexistence approach was costly in terms of operational expenses and was subject to frequent failures,” says Lou Tiseo, Hyperion’s director of network architecture and engineering. Hyperion had to dedicate one full-time person to monitoring the e-mail environment to keep it running smoothly. Although it appeared to be a convenient way to absorb acquisitions without the pain of disrupting users and processes, in practice the strategy was proving to be increasingly untenable, especially as the company continued to grow.

snip

Storage and backup
“Exchange works best with storage consolidated at regional data centers. There you also can have your high-availability clustered servers,” says Rodgers. He usually recommends iSCSI with NAS arrays, such as those from Network Appliance Inc., which will do the job at a lower cost than a Fibre Channel (FC) SAN.

Hyperion, however, took the FC SAN route. “We used two EMC [Corp.] Clariion storage arrays with FC drives. It was redundant storage. We’ve never had a Clariion go down,” says Tiseo. He realizes it’s a more costly configuration than necessary, but the company likes the scalability of the Clariion and its reliability. In the future, Tiseo expects to add lower cost, second-tier storage.

Although Exchange doesn’t require more storage, Hyperion’s growth has driven an increase in Exchange storage. The company initially set up 3TB of mirrored storage on the two EMC Clariion CX700 arrays (1.5TB per array). It then uses Exchange’s policy management to enforce retention policies. “We can set different retention policies for different groups. For instance, we can retain e-mail for VIPs for longer,” says Tiseo. The current general retention policy is 180 days, after which e-mail is deleted.

Now I would imagine that somewhere, even in the RNC, even if they took a different route, that someone somewhere backed up the servers. That the WH didn’t is not even in the equations. There is no way they lost the emails. Period.

Rutgers and the Amish

So far America has two organizations that actually show any signs of having collective sense.

I think that the praise is too little for the Womens NCAA Basketball Champions, not for their basketbal teamwork, but for their ability to turn a negative into a positive, and to actually show the rest of us how it is done. They have indeed proved the value of college education, to themselves at least, in that they have made a positive impact on the world that they live in, and in the process improved their own personal lives. Thank You Ladies.

The Bridge, and Other Confoundings

This article brings to mind something I’ve been noticing over the last couple of weeks, such as the Admiral going to Northern Iraq and then it being reported on TV what a wonderfully safe place that is compared to the rest of Iraq, just before the bombings killed hundreds of people.

Speaker of Parliament Mahmoud Al-Mashhadani disputed the official account of the truck bombing which collapsed the Sarafiya bridge in Baghdad yesterday and demanded an explanation from security forces. Al-Mashhadani said that he had information from eyewitnesses that Iraqi security forces had closed the bridge an hour before the explosion, adding that the explosion was part of a “terrorist conspiracy” to isolate the Rusafa and Karkh sides of Baghdad and divide them into sectarian areas that are easier to control. There were rumors over the last few months that Sunni insurgents were planning to blow up the city’s bridges.

The Sarafiya bridge, built by the British in the forties of the last century and later bombed by Americans in 1991 and rebuilt by Saddam’s regime, is one of only two open bridges that connect Shi’ite enclaves in the Sunni-majority Karkh sector west of Baghdad with the Shi’ite-majority Rusafa sector in the east. The other two, one of which is closed to traffic, connect the Shi’ite district of Kadhimiya with the Sunni district of Adhamiya. Shi’ite commuters who want to travel to eastern Baghdad now have to either cross the river and pass through Adhamiya or travel south to the Sunni controlled Haifa Street and cross into central Baghdad.

This bridge was just highlighted on television too, by someone I would imagine had heard the rumors, but then who knows, and so was the Greener zones relative security too.

You know, it may behoove the press and our government leaders to quit trying to bamboozle the American people about the situation in Iraq. It’s turtles all the way down. Even the Iraqis can put more antiwar demonstrators on the streets than the Americans, so maybe we ought to catch a clue, shut up and leave.

Iranian Soft Shoe Shuffle

MoveOn Whitewashes Hillary’s Iran Belligerence

A year ago, writing in the New Yorker, journalist Seymour Hersh reported: “One of the military’s initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites.”

For a presidential candidate to proclaim that all “options” should be on the table while dealing with Iran is a horrific statement. It signals willingness to threaten – and possibly follow through with – first use of nuclear weapons. This raises no eyebrows among Washington’s policymakers and media elites because it is in keeping with longstanding U.S. foreign-policy doctrine.

This year, with their virtually identical statements about “options” and “the table,” the leading Democratic presidential candidates – Clinton, Obama and Edwards – have refused to rule out any kind of attack on Iran.

If you’re not shocked or outraged yet, consider this:

This is the policy of “We can read minds and hearts of other people,” pre-emptive war thinking. Just like Mr. Bush can look into Putin’s eyes, we can be sure that Iran is going to put ten pounds of uranium on a scud with guidance systems and launch it at Israel, a nation with 200-600 multi-megaton nuclear warheads.

This isn’t to say that a nuclear Iran is a good thing, or a benign thing, but it does say something about perspective. Our leaders are nearly deranged.

Is it sanity to threaten a nuclear exchange over what you think might happen, as opposed to what could happen, if you even had the intelligence data to state that it is valid position to hold?

The fact of the matter is that we don’t even know what the Iranian capabilities are in regard to aquiring a Hiroshima sized atomic bomb, because we can’t even verify that they can produce fuel for a nuclear reactor such as we routinely send into interstellar orbits around the other planets.

I’m not even going into what a quagmire an Iranian war would, or could be here either. I’m merely refering to the idea that I know what you’re thinking even as you read this post. The stakes are higher, but the principle is the same. Obviously you want to send me last months paycheck to support this site, but I don’t have a paypal account for reasons known only to you, and we aren’t talking.

Sec of Defense Gates Goes to Tel Aviv

I don’t suppose cluster bombs will be discussed though.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates will visit Israel next week for a series of meetings with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz on the strategic situation in the Middle East.

The visit, scheduled for April 17, is the first time a U.S. Defense Secretary will be visiting Israel in eight years.

My Turn Now

Amy Goodman points out that while the broadcast media reports on the huge amount of money raised by the candidates for the 2008 Presidential election, what they forget to report on is how profitable the fundraising will be for those very same broadcasters. Those broadcasters have been known to charge ultra-premimum prices for candidate ads even while they get to use our public airwaves for free. No wonder the news media refuses to report anything substantive about the campaigns because they know that educating might screw up their funding source.

Your turn now.

It’s your turn now.

A Note to Brian Williams

I am not totally unsympathetic to the plight of guys like you, who have worked their whole lives to establish themselves atop the TV News bidness, and find yourselves under the bloggers guns. Unfortunately the metric of success is no longer the Neilsen ratings, and so things have changed.

I can only somewhat imagine what it must be like to have a guy like Vinny, or shudder the thought EZ, taking potshots at your work, sort of like having a million bosses who can’t fire you, but can fire a million missives into the green room zones of comfort. But try and remember Vinny and I are just learning our new crafts and we’ll become more polite as things change.

I hope you’ll try to understand that I have had my go arounds with Lou Dobbs, and it finally reached a point that I thought I would have to just give up watching him altogether, but Mr. Dobbs took whatever criticism was valid and worked from there, sticking to his guns when he thought he was right, and in that way was able to modify my views somewhat as well.

I just want you and your colleagues to try and understand that it is a two way street, with a lot of traffic. If making you a better reporter is the price I have to pay to become a better blogger, then so be it.

I also think you should understand that Vinny didn’t turn your world upside down, he just continued to live in a changing world, and as it changed him, he changed it, and you will have to roll with the changes too.

There is no animosity to the change, it just is.

Federal Government Computer Security

Federal Government Sees Modest Computer Security Gains

via slashdot

“Twenty-four federal departments and agencies earned a collective grade of C-minus last year for their performance in meeting computer and network security requirements, according to marks handed out by a key congressional oversight committee today. The government-wide grade is up slightly from the 2005, when it earned an overall grade of D+. Eight agencies earned A grades, while as many warranted failing marks. ‘..the Department of Defense led a group of eight agencies that received failing marks for computer security. Also receiving that dubious distinction were the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Interior, State and Treasury, as well as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Department of Homeland Security earned a D, although its overall performance improved since 2005. The Department of Veterans Affairs did not provide enough data to earn a grade. In 2005, it received an F.'”

Although this paragraph caught my eye,

Eight agencies earned grades ranging from A-minus to A-plus, with some showing strong improvement. The groups leading this year’s report card were the Agency for International Development, Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, the departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Social Security Administration.

You don’t suppose deleting the data is a security measure do you? Anyway this from el Reg

He says the military systems McKinnon is accused of hacking remain vulnerable to attack. “I’m sure there are a lot of people on these machines, some of who the US authorities allow to get in.

“The prosecution against Gary is about saving face for security lapses by the US military that remain as bad as they were 10 years ago,” Bevan said. “If this had happened with a corporation someone would have been sacked.”

He added that US authorities are keen to talk up the cyberterrorism threat in order to protect information security budgets.

Its the world I know.

April 12, 2007

22 or 50 or so

Dana Perino has very large hands;

When reporters asked White House spokeswoman Dana Perino on March 27 about White House officials’ use of private, Republican National Committee e-mail accounts, she tried to downplay the situation by claiming that only a “handful” of employees had used such accounts. “I don’t think it’s a lot,” she said then.

As we noted earlier today, the Los Angeles Times is now reporting that Karl Rove and at least 50 other White House officials have used such accounts. What does Perino have to say for herself now? “Well,” she said when asked today, “I didn’t know how many there were.”

Well that might fly with Brian Williams, Mz Perino, but Vinny and I are watching you, and we can count. YO! VINNY!

Questions, I’ve Got Questions

How secure, in a national security context sort of way, are the RNC Servers?

How secure are the PCs, Blackberries etc, as far as being compromised by keyloggers and other malware, since they by passed the WH servers, which are probably a high priority on other national security agencies, read foreign, and so one would assume to be locked down pretty good.

How long has it been known that top administration officials were communicating outside of secured US servers, by other national security agencies, such as China, Russia, and France?

How many other agency personnel are using non governmentally secured servers and email accounts to conduct official and non official business, and to what extent have other national security agencies penetrated these other services and accounts.

If email is sent from the WH or governmentally secured servers using private accounts are these messages still retained on the servers anyway?

If these emails and text messages are sent to the RNC from other personal accounts, which services are providing these transactions and have they preserved these messages?

To what extent has this information been compromised by phishers and crackers with sniffers and other tools, and to what extent are we “owned” as a collectively constructed we?

Why oh Why Can’t We Have a Better Government?

Update: Instant Messaging (IM) Security Center

RNC- Blackberry FAQs

The simple FAQs and why the deleted emails were not.

BIS / BWC email address. (See Glossary) This is the free push email address included with all BlackBerry plans. Most common method for consumers/prosumers. Send the email to the free YOURNAME@carrier.blackberry.net email address. This is true push email, as email will show up instantly on the BlackBerry (in just 5 seconds in many cases) the moment someone sends it from a desktop computer. No need to check email, it shows up immediately on your BlackBerry screen, SMS-style or pager-style! To access to your @blackberry.net email account, See BWC/BIS Login Instructions.
Tip For Advanced Users: When adding new POP/IMAP accounts to your BWC/BIS account, try entering dummy information for username/password. This will get you straight to the Advanced Server Page, which allows more configuration such as for Secure Password Authentication, etc.

As you will see, all of this stuff passes to and through a server, and if you read the link you will see that it can be configured to use AOL and Googles Gmail, which as you may know never looses anything.

Worst Government EVAH!

Via Larry Johnson

News that White House staffers, which includes Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, used RNC email accounts in order to avoid the scrutiny that normally comes with the White House email account raises an interesting question–Did Patrick Fitzgerald know this? It appears the answer is no.

This may be an indication of the Bushconites problems in Iraq, which is a basic inability to understand the differences between a democratic government and democratic society, and the necessity of the one for the other.

Agreed

Imus is a symptom, the disease goes merely along. H/T DB

I suppose I’m lucky enough of to be a TV news junkie, and so I don’t listen to the radio much anymore. I suppose if there were more rock and less talk in the AM I might, but such is life.

The thing that really troubles me, is in my heart of hearts I’m not sure that I am without the disease myself, in that I intuitively put women and men into certain roles, or assume that the emotional make up of the sexes is so distinct that sweeping generalizations of either sex is somehow more logical than other sweeping generalizations on other topics, which is basically missing the trees for the forest.

In the end Imus is being scapegoated, but the purpose of all scapegoats is that the community would repent and turn around from doing the bad thing. The term is itself a Biblical one, and I wouldn’t want to miss pointing it out, that a scapegoat carries implications for those sending the scapegoat into the wilderness, as well as for the goat.

If Imus is the only one who learns anything from this, then the whole thing is just an exercise in unrighteous indignation. I would think that this is the way it will go as well, because we do the same thing with big issues like Iraq. It’s as if it is only that one monkey with its’ hand fisted around the fruit that is stuck with its’ hand inside the jar that has a problem, and not the rest of the monkeys that have yet to find their own jar with the fruit in it.

Only if American society learns the lesson that Imus’ is teaching us at the moment will he have earned all the money he made while being mostly ignored by the majority of the people. If Imus was working in a corner it is because too many of us walled him off, and allowed the nonsense to continue for as long as it did.

EZier 2 reed

Hopefully the blog is a little easier to read now, and I can’t think of anyone I might have offended by increasing the white space, although I’m sure in the vast vastness of America somebody is.

The last couple of days I’ve been a little unrestrained in my word choice, and I would normally just delete them as I went through the usual cycle of deletions, but since I’m the decider in chief here, I’ve decided for the time being to keep the blog more in line with the common understandings of blogs, so you’ll have to get over it with me. In the meantime I will try to chill. Of course you could always just leave, but since I don’t keep up with that, I wouldn’t know about that either.

One of the drawbacks of my faith is I’m not allowed by myself to run unfettered through the language in my writtings, but there is no such constraints on my thinking, and in a way I think I resent that. On the other hand my grandson is starting to learn to read and I wouldn’t want him to read it here first either. So anyway, apologies to all the pee wees out there, whoever’s pee wee you may be.

UPDATE: Just another FWIW, I would just love to see journalists and presenters of the MSM go to blogger and get a blog, if it could be done without getting into trouble at work, and start telling the world what they think about what they know. I am not talking about the gossipy stuff either, but their own individual thinking on the issues of the day. I say blogger because I would tend to think that you’ld hold back if it were on a corporate server, and you already make those people enough bucks. I know it won’t happen, but I think it would be a positive thing if ya’ll did it.

What’s Best for America?

Admittedly this thought was inspired by a caller to CSPAN who had all the facts wrong about Iraq and 911, and John McCain’s speech at VMI, inwhich he made the same point about what’s best for America, before launching off into political rhetoric about surrendering and losing the war in Iraq. So while the question is in my humble opinion a valid one, it is hard to discuss the issue with the two mindsets previously mentioned. If Mr. McCain really cared about what was best for America then he might quit framing his words into sound bites that are intended to inspire a portion of the elctorate and instead use plain talk so that the caller to CSPAN had the facts and not the political opinions and spin of the advocate.

I am not so sure that what Mr. McCain is doing, and he is not alone in this either, is that far removed from anything anyone else in his position has been doing since the founding of the Republic. I am concerned however that that sort of politicking has reached the end of its’ road, not because it isn’t effective in energizing a base of voters, but because that is all that it does do. In short, America is not a third or second rate player on the world stage, but our political rhetoric and machinizations are still locked into the mindset that seeks the good of a party in America, and not what is good for America.

I Should’ve Stood in Bed

One of the things I’ve always heard from the blogosphere is never post anything written in anger, which is pretty hard to do, you know, hear things from the blogosphere, which is basically a written medium, but that’s what I hear. I bet it’s the same way in the vlogosphere too, although I may be reading more into the vlogosphere than there is. If you hear different let me know, and I’ll look into it, and blog it up.

Anyway, Good Morning America, how are you today?

April 11, 2007

Twirl This

Iran Enriching “On Industrial Scale

So, in case you missed it … some members of the news media are freaking out reporting Ahmadinejad’s claim that Iran is enriching uranium “on an industrial scale,” Larijani’s claim that Iran is running UF6 though 3,000 centrifuges,” and the usual pundits warnings that the end of the world is just around the corner … Repent!

Seriously people, you should just write it on a placard and wander the streets ringing a bell.

Read the whole thing, and do a little math arithmetic.

And as a side note, what is the point of you in MSM and white bread media pinching all the links from the blogosphere in one month if you can’t remember to book mark them and use them again later when some dumb ass Bushkinite starts running around screaming, “the pie is falling, the pie is falling?”

*Seriously edited upon receiveing the good advice of my better half that that would be a good thing to do. She’s usually right.

Have You Ever Had to Make Up Your Mind?

Say yes to one and leave the other behind,
It ain’t always easy, it ain’t always kind.
Have you ever had to make up your mind?

The system has been used – and has spectacularly failed – in the past, and its inauguration in Iraq is as much a sign of American desperation at the country’s continued descent into civil conflict as it is of US determination to “win” the war against an Iraqi insurgency that has cost the lives of more than 3,200 American troops. The system of “gating” areas under foreign occupation failed during the French war against FLN insurgents in Algeria and again during the American war in Vietnam. Israel has employed similar practices during its occupation of Palestinian territory – again, with little success.

But the campaign has far wider military ambitions than the pacification of Baghdad. It now appears that the US military intends to place as many as five mechanised brigades – comprising about 40,000 men – south and east of Baghdad, at least three of them positioned between the capital and the Iranian border. This would present Iran with a powerful – and potentially aggressive – American military force close to its border in the event of a US or Israeli military strike against its nuclear facilities later this year.

The latest “security” plan, of which The Independent has learnt the details, was concocted by General David Petraeus, the current US commander in Baghdad, during a six-month command and staff course at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Those attending the course – American army generals serving in Iraq and top officers from the US Marine Corps, along with, according to some reports, at least four senior Israeli officers – participated in a series of debates to determine how best to “turn round” the disastrous war in Iraq.

via the Leftcoaster

So it all starts to add up, the surge that was for a short time period, with a limited number of troops, the emacualte concessions to North Korea, the extended deployment of Army regulars, the call up of the NG which should also put the rest of the NG on notice, and talk of a draft. Oh, yeah, the little king is looking for a Czar, because a Commander in Chief is to busy to run the wars.

It isn’t known what these mechanized brigades will be doing sitting there near Iran, but why would 40,000 troops in five mechanized brigades sit outside of Baghdad for the surge in Baghdad? However, if you were planning to attack Iran with those forces and were worried about the reaction from Iraq’s Shiite population after such an attack, you would need to first 1) seal off the Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, and 2) detain as many young Iraqi men as possible.

To gain the time, you would need the president to run interference for you with Congress for the remainder of 2007, falsely portraying the surge as all about giving the Iraqi security forces the time to take over and its government a chance to implement reconciliation. Since you don’t have the 40,000 troops, you would need to extend deployments beyond recommended time limits, send over National Guard units from here at home, and to assume that the al-Maliki government won’t be toppled by its key supporters for allowing the Americans a more permanent presence in the country.

We have all been here before. Slock and Jaw, second verse same as the first.

No wonder it’s called Military intelligence, even the PFC’s can see it.

Backup Early Backup Often–Unless You’re the RNC

via the AP via JMM

You gotta love it, the email just fell off the face of the earth, because no one knows how to back up the system at the RNC.

Before 2004, for instance, e-mails to and from the accounts were typically automatically deleted every 30 days along with all other RNC e-mails. Even though that was changed in 2004, so that the White House staffers with those accounts were excluded from the RNC’s automatic deletion policy, some of their e-mails were lost anyway when individual aides deleted their own files, Stanzel said.

Pelosi Headed for San Francisco -NQN Exclusive

Not Quite News
!! Breaking the News!!

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is going to San Francisco.

I haven’t called to confirm the date, or if Mr. Lantos will accompany her to California, but then if it’s good enough for Drudge and Hannity, it is good enough for me.us. er, me.

Patronage R US

Were so sorry, Uncle Alberto Emptywheel flattens some more roadkill.

At around 9:30 in the morning on December 7, AGAG’s Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson and Bill Kelley (in the White House) started calling Republican Senators to inform them the USAs for their states would be approved. Somone in the White House (Karl Rove?) was also calling the “political lead” for the states with no Republican Senators: CA, MI, and WA. Sampson called Senator Kyl, and Kelley called Senators Ensign (who seems to have been pissed) and Domenici (whose Chief of Staff was “happy as a clam”).

But then, at 11:19, Kelley emailed Sampson in a panic.

Our leg folks are all up in arms that we are doing this on the last day when things can be gummed up by unhappy Senators. There’s no way to pull back til tomorrow, is there? I should have flagged the timing for them earlier — but they never raised the issue of timing until things were underway.

To which Sampson replied:

Too late, right? Calls to USAs are happening as we speak. And Sens. Kyl and Domenici already have been notified (and are ok). Do they think Sen. Ensign will be concerned (I don’t)? And none of these USAs has been promoted by a House member.

To which Kelley responded:

I told them it is too late, but I said I would confirm with you. I think it is clear that they are overreacting, and I’ve told them that. I don’t know if Ensign is close to the Nevada guy, but I would think he’d welcome a new patronage opportunity.

Emphasis mine.

Sain’t McCain’s Imus,

John McCain and the Jew-Counter

Malek’s political career spans over three decades. In 1972, after Watergate, he served as the deputy chairman of President Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign. Malek was director of the 1988 Republican National Convention and campaign manager for President George H.W. Bush in 1992.

The McCain press shop left out an interesting piece of Malek’s history: when he counted Jews for President Richard Nixon. Two years ago–when Malek was leading an investment group seeking to buy the new Washington Nationals baseball team, my friend Tim Noah at Slate reviewed Malek’s dark past. Here’s what he wrote:

I really am surprised that this guy 1) is still running, 2) he isn’t the darling of the old Nixon/Cheney wing of the wingding wing of the Republican Party. No wonder Iraq is a success to John, I mean, why not?

President Sybil and Their Project for a New American Century

About five years ago I had a visit with Syrian President Bashar Al Asad, a visit when he told me that his intelligence services had uncovered a plot by Al Qaeda that would have killed American servicemen in the Middle East. He turned over the information to the U.S., which was then able to stop the operation, saving the lives of the Americans who were being targeted.
When I asked him what operation that was, he replied that, “The Americans asked me not to talk about it, but if they keep calling us a terrorist state, I will talk about it.”
After I left his office, I asked the U.S. Ambassador to Syria if what he had said was true. His reply was that not only was it true, but that President Asad had been able to stop more than one Al Qaeda attack on American interests.
Of course I would be remiss not to mention a certain Canadian who was sent to Syria by the US for a structured debriefing by Syria’s security services.
This stuff just goes on and on. Hard core conservatives like Chuck Hagel get excoriated by the right wing noyse machine, the Pope, the bastion of liberalism at the Vatican lambasts the American mess in the world, especially in Iraq, and Halliburton has finished up its’ work in Iran, finally, in 2007.
And if you’ve read the Guardian, then you are probably aware of Mr. Putin’s eyes getting that steely cold war look again. Meanwhile back at the ranch…
I still think that the affair Imus will be a turning point in the US in regard to race and gender relations, but I can’t help but wonder if it will be before or after Mr. Bush turns the northern hemisphere to ashes.

April 10, 2007

Will the Real Mother

of Anna Nichole Smiths baby, please stand up?

There are Reporters, Presenters, and the Wise Knobs of DC

(Updated below yet again)

(Updated below)

Obstructed View via Antiwar, gives an insight into why the American people are really so clueless about Iraq, arguably the biggest story of the century so far.

“Few journalists have penetrated the clandestine network of resistance fighters and jihadists. CNN’s Michael Ware is one of the only correspondents to sit face-to-face with al-Qaeda operatives on their own turf and survive to tell about it. The New York Times’ Dexter Filkins used an inside source to set up meetings with local insurgents caught in a power struggle with al-Qaeda outsiders. But such breakthroughs have been rare. When it comes to factions in the fighting, there are more questions than answers.

This is part and parcel of what was going on with Sain’t McCain in the Baghdad market place too. I don’t think anyone wants to instinctively go off on the MSM for its’ coverage in Iraq, and this ought to help those who do to figure out just how tough it is to get out and about in Iraq.

But it also ought to serve notice to the presenters that they and we don’t have the full story, much less a good part of the story, and that presenting the story in rose colored terms opens them up for fair criticism. Obviously the facts are almost impossible to discern, so any conclusions made or inferred from those facts are guesses at best.

As I recall the surge was to be a temporary infusion of troops, five brigades, for the purpose of stabilizing Baghdad. Unfortunately there is no way to quantify that stabilization without looking at US and Iraqi armed forces casualty rates, and other easily observed facts, such as the market McCain and company being in getting hammered shortly after they left. The fact that it was after the trip, and non TV sourcing that brought out the fact the group was covered by a company of Marines with five helicopters overhead, and not much reported on the security sweep that occurred prior to their arrival, which also put US Forces at risk for the photo op, and you don’t have to be much of a reporter to discern the problem that some of us are having with the MSM. It is nearly impossible for the ones on the ground to get the story, and it would seem nearly as impossible for the home front reporters to convey that fact. So we get the rah rah of the public relations people that have more likely as not left journalism for PR.

On top of that we get people like Broder who thinks that somehow or another the American people ought to exercise their patriotic duty and kiss the Presidents ass in a misguided and ultimately mislead war, since he is a stubborn jack ass. It is the compromising thing to do. One must imagine that this is the only issue that can penetrate the conscientiousness of Mr. Broder, as he seems to be ignoring all the other misguided and mislead policies of this administration which do not directly impact the political balance and military outcome of the lost war in Iraq. Apparently Mr. Broder knows neither when to start or when to quit, and so he is qualified to tell the rest of the DC establishment when that timing is correct. This is supposed to be the wisdom of Washington DC, I suppose, and so it becomes the prevailing logic of the news media that dutifully relay these messages to the people outside the beltway who are providing the fodder for Mr. Bushes War, and Mr. Broders sensible sensibilities.

Given all of that, it is little wonder that so many of the wise men of the political and media elite are coming to Mr. Imus’ aid, and by the way, ignoring the idiot with whom Mr. Imus was conversing at the time of knuckle headed remarks, because in general the wise men of Washington DC are neither wise, nor men, but perhaps knobs would be more apropos, with all of that terms connotations.

Update: The Politics of Pundit Prestige…

Similarly, Tom Friedman’s pleasant, well-remunerated life as America’s mostimportant foreign affairs columnist since Walter Lippmann would presumably be even pleasanter were he not consistently reminded of his proclivity to pronounce “the next six months in Iraq” to be the do-or-die period for the Bush Administration. (He did so four times during a single twelve-month period, as many in the blogosphere frequently note.) You can find the term “Friedman Unit”–also known as “one Friedman” or “one F.U.”–in Wikipedia, credited to Atrios, as referring to “six months in the future.”

via the coiner of F.U. If only they would put Judy Miller behind the wall too.

Updated Yet again: Clueless

Richard Cohen, however, has developed a unique brand of pedestrian, uninspired witlessness that doesn’t seem to have any consciousness of what he says from one day to the next. Facts seem to annoy him and he doesn’t feel any particular need to brush up on whatever subject he is writing about. Witness today’s column on Monica Goodling:

… or if you prefer (snip)

Nowhere in the article does Cohen mention that Paul McNulty has testified that Goodling misinformed him when prepping him for his appearance before Congress. Does he even read his own paper? Nor does he mention that there is suspicion that Goodling, brought over to the Justice Department by Barbara Comstock, may have been extracting loyalty oaths from applicants for career positions — a big legal no-no, and clearly not outside the bounds of what was considered “acceptable” by this administration.

I can’t top this post, because I’d either have to think of something nice to say about Mr. Cohen, or something mean. Jane just smacks him around with the facts, and who can top that?

Somewhat of a List

It really isn’t that comprehensive of a link list, and not everyone I read made it on to the lists, but I am a little listless about lists, although alliteratively accurate in them. In order to fair and balanced I alphabetized them, or alphabetised them for you Brits, Canadians, Aussies, and Zealanders who can’t really spell that well, and that ought to be enough of that.

For the most part everyone worth reading is linked from those links I’ve posted, or the links from their links, etc, etc. As for newspapers, I figure if you can’t figure out those things then I shouldn’t either.

Change and Face the Turns

One of the things that I’ve been wrestling with, among the many, is how to make a generic observation without it being assumed to be specific, such as saying anything about women and their asses, which whether I like it or not, some knuckle heads will always assume I am referring to a former morning host, or that I am referring to a current morning host, or that I am in fact referring to a TV host of any time frame, and so I have concluded to use the lessons of high school and not refer to any women’s asses, anatomically speaking.

Another one is the idea that I am alluding to a a specific blogger when I get snarky with the genre in general. It should suffice to say that my favorite bloggers write and say stuff that pisses me off, for a plethera of reasons, but that doesn’t form a basis for my perception of them, unless one just happens to figure out that I don’t care what other people say, if I don’t care what they think and I don’t respect or like them anyway. There really are people on the left that I don’t like, and so I don’t read their blogs. That has almost become a general rule for the right, but it isn’t a universal with them either.

As far as the MSM goes, I may have had an overly high expectation of them, both in the printed and visual media, since I grew up getting most of my information from them, and in fact I still do. There is, in my humble opinion a big distinction between fact and opinion, and facts and propaganda. I really don’t think I should be forced to sort it all out, if you want to express an opinion get a friggin blog like the rest of us. I don’t think or see how in these times with so many critical issues facing the nation and the world that being cool is what we need from the MSM. I fully expect each and everyone of you to have opinions and political views, but I don’t think that being a star of TV news necessarily makes you an entertainer. If want to advocate, get a friggin blog, and drop the pretense that an email exchange is some sort of “debate.” Smarm is not a substitute for snark.

Ultimately, IMHO, 90 percent of bloggers and MSMers are doing a decent job at doing what they do, but the mediums can’t really compete head to head since thety are so disparate in functions. Who’s a better craftsman, the plumber or the mechanic? It depends on what they’re working on I would suppose. That doesn’t mean either one of them is good surgeon.

Anyway I am going to rebuild the blog somewhat along the classical blog lines, with links to people I actually read, not because they are the only voices worth hearing, but because they are the ones that I have time for. Being a retired dirty fucking hippy doesn’t mean I have more than 24 hours in the day either. (retired hippy, heh)

As for the foul language impugning my Christianity, I would suggest you “preachers” look at yourselves first. Any Christian not doing what Jesus told them to do is not going to overly impress me with the words and wisdom of Paul. I can look at the state of your world and see your works, which speak loader than any of your words, so blow it out your righteous overmuch asses.

April 6, 2007

In the Beginning

there was a blog, and the blog was without form, and the blog was a blog without title. And the title became the blog, and the blogger saw that the title was good blogging and the blogging became a blogger’s title.

And the blogger was a entitled without formula to enumerate in missives to the masses the ways of the blogosphere which the blogger was creating as he blogged. And the masses read them and saw that it was pretty good, but thought that they good do better.

And the first blog begat another blog and the law of associations was established that one blog should not blog another blog and the blogs saw this and thought that that was pretty good and blogged the MSM.

And the MSM ignored the blog until the blog started advertising, and the MSM said that’s no good, and so the MSM started blogging and saw that blogging was pretty good with advertising, so the MSM became the psuedo blog.

And the blogs revolted against the psuedo blogs and there was a blog war in the blogosphere, and the blog rings became circles of blogs, duh, and the bloggers saw that this was pretty good too.

And so the blogs started to blog the circles of blogs and the MSM, and the MSM said that was not good that the blogs should blog the psuedo MSM and the circles of blogs with advertising.

And so the MSM declared the blogs “the blogs,” and denounced them to the FCC and FEC and anyone else who listen as anarchist antithisandthats, and the MSM saw that this was pretty good, and the blogs were defined as such by the MSM, in the MSM and for the MSM, and in the psuedo blogs of the MSM.

And knowledge of the blogs came to be in all of the land and the blogger saw that that was pretty good, although the MSM still sucked from its’ own gravity, it had a psuedo blog to blog against the blog, and the MSM saw this and said that that was pretty good.

And the blog continued to persevere until the MSM noticed that it itself was becoming the psuedo blog. And the MSM was greatly ashamed that its’ skirt had been lifted by the blogs revealing its’ private workings to the passerbys of the missives to the masses, as partially made of sudo hacks and partially made of psuedo hacks.

And the MSM became enraged at the loss of revenue and veiwers to the blog, and waged war with the blog, and the blog saw this and said, eh.

And it came to pass that the blog became the blog yet again, and the MSM remained exposed as the blue psuedo shoes of its’ time that would not report on its’ owners.

And the MSM became a many headed beast of four owners, with radio and tv and printed outlets in the same city, sometimes competing with itself, and the FCC saw this and said it was good.

And the four heads of the many beast devoured all of the communications bandwith with bribes and smooth words, and the FCC and FEC saw this and said that’s probably alright, as we are protecting the masses from missives.

And the blogs continued to be defined by talent, luck and happenstance, and the blog remained the blogs.

And the MSM saw the blogs and wept, and the blogs found YouTube and the MSM became quaint, like the conventions of political parties and Geneva. And the blogs saw this and became vlogs and the MSM was sore afraid it reverted to King James Bible english, and topics.

And the masses rose up with many voices and said one!, and it was so, one! One blog to rule them all, one more blog for the road, one blog at a time, one blog is like any other blog, and one odd blog that didn’t hunt.

And the MSM and the psuedo blog was forgotten, until it was remembered as the forgotten media and blogged about yet again.

(Reposted rewritten post, just because it was fun to write. )

Dead Bees For The Wildflowers April 6-13, 2007

April 13, 2007

Yeah, That Was Really Me

Evervescent phosphorus
bombs exploded Nights
owl whooed day

Why the Republicans Cannot Win in Iraq- No Plan

It would be simple to say because they don’t have a plan to do so, and from all indications they don’t. The whole thing has always been send in the military, support the military, fight them over there not over here, yada yada yada.

From the beginning, the current crew has left the State Department out of the equation. They refuse to use diplomacy in almost every instance. They refuse to tallk to Iran and Syria about Iraq. They refuse to talk to Iran and Syria about Israel. They refused to talk to North Korea. They refuse to talk to Chavez. They have only one foreign policy tool besides economics, and that is the military.

At every turn the political class in Washington has relied on the military option. They can’t even get a State Department employee to brief the press, it is always this General or that one. In short they put the entire onus on the military.

The Republicans can’t win the war in Iraq because they don’t have a plan to win the war in Iraq. They can’t win in Iraq because they think that the military option is the only option.

Given a clear policy there is no doubt in my mind that the US military can acheive the military objectives. But after that point, were it to be defined and acheived, there is no plan in place for the political solution. After the bullets, they haven’t got a thing in the bag.

This has been the policy for four years. It hasn’t worked yet, but given one more push, one more chance…

Even if General Patraeus’ strategy works, say next week, the military is in a holding pattern what then? What is the plan?

Computer Operations 101

Just to be real clear, and put things into perspective.

From small shops to large, everyday, the system will go down if there is not enough RAM to do an incremental backup of the days transactions,If there is enough RAM then it will proceed without the end user being aware of it. Every weekend there is a system backup.

The purpose of this procedure is simple. If you lose one days transactions then you have to rekey, rescan, re-enter all that days transactions. If you lose two days then you have to re-enter two days worth of transactions.

If you are switching from one application provider to another then you will back up continuously until the new application is indeeed performing as advertised, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll finally take the old system off line.

In short, this is not like trading in a car for a new model.

If this wasn’t done then the IT staffs at the RNC and WH were too incompetent to be hired and so they didn’t exist in that capacity.

At anyrate, on one of the daily incrementals there is a copy of the emails, at the White House. There is no other way.

Notes to Exchange — The WH Must Have Missed This Part

Case Study: Moving from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange

Hyperion Solutions Corp. began as a Lotus Notes shop, but acquired companies that used Microsoft Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000. Initially, the Santa Clara, CA–based business intelligence software company–with major offices in North America, Europe and Asia–pursued a coexistence strategy that allowed the various units to use their preferred e-mail platform while working behind the scenes to deliver what usually appeared to be seamless communications.

But by the fall of 2003, coexistence had grown to be more trouble than it was worth. “The coexistence approach was costly in terms of operational expenses and was subject to frequent failures,” says Lou Tiseo, Hyperion’s director of network architecture and engineering. Hyperion had to dedicate one full-time person to monitoring the e-mail environment to keep it running smoothly. Although it appeared to be a convenient way to absorb acquisitions without the pain of disrupting users and processes, in practice the strategy was proving to be increasingly untenable, especially as the company continued to grow.

snip

Storage and backup
“Exchange works best with storage consolidated at regional data centers. There you also can have your high-availability clustered servers,” says Rodgers. He usually recommends iSCSI with NAS arrays, such as those from Network Appliance Inc., which will do the job at a lower cost than a Fibre Channel (FC) SAN.

Hyperion, however, took the FC SAN route. “We used two EMC [Corp.] Clariion storage arrays with FC drives. It was redundant storage. We’ve never had a Clariion go down,” says Tiseo. He realizes it’s a more costly configuration than necessary, but the company likes the scalability of the Clariion and its reliability. In the future, Tiseo expects to add lower cost, second-tier storage.

Although Exchange doesn’t require more storage, Hyperion’s growth has driven an increase in Exchange storage. The company initially set up 3TB of mirrored storage on the two EMC Clariion CX700 arrays (1.5TB per array). It then uses Exchange’s policy management to enforce retention policies. “We can set different retention policies for different groups. For instance, we can retain e-mail for VIPs for longer,” says Tiseo. The current general retention policy is 180 days, after which e-mail is deleted.

Now I would imagine that somewhere, even in the RNC, even if they took a different route, that someone somewhere backed up the servers. That the WH didn’t is not even in the equations. There is no way they lost the emails. Period.

Rutgers and the Amish

So far America has two organizations that actually show any signs of having collective sense.

I think that the praise is too little for the Womens NCAA Basketball Champions, not for their basketbal teamwork, but for their ability to turn a negative into a positive, and to actually show the rest of us how it is done. They have indeed proved the value of college education, to themselves at least, in that they have made a positive impact on the world that they live in, and in the process improved their own personal lives. Thank You Ladies.

The Bridge, and Other Confoundings

This article brings to mind something I’ve been noticing over the last couple of weeks, such as the Admiral going to Northern Iraq and then it being reported on TV what a wonderfully safe place that is compared to the rest of Iraq, just before the bombings killed hundreds of people.

Speaker of Parliament Mahmoud Al-Mashhadani disputed the official account of the truck bombing which collapsed the Sarafiya bridge in Baghdad yesterday and demanded an explanation from security forces. Al-Mashhadani said that he had information from eyewitnesses that Iraqi security forces had closed the bridge an hour before the explosion, adding that the explosion was part of a “terrorist conspiracy” to isolate the Rusafa and Karkh sides of Baghdad and divide them into sectarian areas that are easier to control. There were rumors over the last few months that Sunni insurgents were planning to blow up the city’s bridges.

The Sarafiya bridge, built by the British in the forties of the last century and later bombed by Americans in 1991 and rebuilt by Saddam’s regime, is one of only two open bridges that connect Shi’ite enclaves in the Sunni-majority Karkh sector west of Baghdad with the Shi’ite-majority Rusafa sector in the east. The other two, one of which is closed to traffic, connect the Shi’ite district of Kadhimiya with the Sunni district of Adhamiya. Shi’ite commuters who want to travel to eastern Baghdad now have to either cross the river and pass through Adhamiya or travel south to the Sunni controlled Haifa Street and cross into central Baghdad.

This bridge was just highlighted on television too, by someone I would imagine had heard the rumors, but then who knows, and so was the Greener zones relative security too.

You know, it may behoove the press and our government leaders to quit trying to bamboozle the American people about the situation in Iraq. It’s turtles all the way down. Even the Iraqis can put more antiwar demonstrators on the streets than the Americans, so maybe we ought to catch a clue, shut up and leave.

Iranian Soft Shoe Shuffle

MoveOn Whitewashes Hillary’s Iran Belligerence

A year ago, writing in the New Yorker, journalist Seymour Hersh reported: “One of the military’s initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites.”

For a presidential candidate to proclaim that all “options” should be on the table while dealing with Iran is a horrific statement. It signals willingness to threaten – and possibly follow through with – first use of nuclear weapons. This raises no eyebrows among Washington’s policymakers and media elites because it is in keeping with longstanding U.S. foreign-policy doctrine.

This year, with their virtually identical statements about “options” and “the table,” the leading Democratic presidential candidates – Clinton, Obama and Edwards – have refused to rule out any kind of attack on Iran.

If you’re not shocked or outraged yet, consider this:

This is the policy of “We can read minds and hearts of other people,” pre-emptive war thinking. Just like Mr. Bush can look into Putin’s eyes, we can be sure that Iran is going to put ten pounds of uranium on a scud with guidance systems and launch it at Israel, a nation with 200-600 multi-megaton nuclear warheads.

This isn’t to say that a nuclear Iran is a good thing, or a benign thing, but it does say something about perspective. Our leaders are nearly deranged.

Is it sanity to threaten a nuclear exchange over what you think might happen, as opposed to what could happen, if you even had the intelligence data to state that it is valid position to hold?

The fact of the matter is that we don’t even know what the Iranian capabilities are in regard to aquiring a Hiroshima sized atomic bomb, because we can’t even verify that they can produce fuel for a nuclear reactor such as we routinely send into interstellar orbits around the other planets.

I’m not even going into what a quagmire an Iranian war would, or could be here either. I’m merely refering to the idea that I know what you’re thinking even as you read this post. The stakes are higher, but the principle is the same. Obviously you want to send me last months paycheck to support this site, but I don’t have a paypal account for reasons known only to you, and we aren’t talking.

Sec of Defense Gates Goes to Tel Aviv

I don’t suppose cluster bombs will be discussed though.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates will visit Israel next week for a series of meetings with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz on the strategic situation in the Middle East.

The visit, scheduled for April 17, is the first time a U.S. Defense Secretary will be visiting Israel in eight years.

My Turn Now

Amy Goodman points out that while the broadcast media reports on the huge amount of money raised by the candidates for the 2008 Presidential election, what they forget to report on is how profitable the fundraising will be for those very same broadcasters. Those broadcasters have been known to charge ultra-premimum prices for candidate ads even while they get to use our public airwaves for free. No wonder the news media refuses to report anything substantive about the campaigns because they know that educating might screw up their funding source.

Your turn now.

It’s your turn now.

A Note to Brian Williams

I am not totally unsympathetic to the plight of guys like you, who have worked their whole lives to establish themselves atop the TV News bidness, and find yourselves under the bloggers guns. Unfortunately the metric of success is no longer the Neilsen ratings, and so things have changed.

I can only somewhat imagine what it must be like to have a guy like Vinny, or shudder the thought EZ, taking potshots at your work, sort of like having a million bosses who can’t fire you, but can fire a million missives into the green room zones of comfort. But try and remember Vinny and I are just learning our new crafts and we’ll become more polite as things change.

I hope you’ll try to understand that I have had my go arounds with Lou Dobbs, and it finally reached a point that I thought I would have to just give up watching him altogether, but Mr. Dobbs took whatever criticism was valid and worked from there, sticking to his guns when he thought he was right, and in that way was able to modify my views somewhat as well.

I just want you and your colleagues to try and understand that it is a two way street, with a lot of traffic. If making you a better reporter is the price I have to pay to become a better blogger, then so be it.

I also think you should understand that Vinny didn’t turn your world upside down, he just continued to live in a changing world, and as it changed him, he changed it, and you will have to roll with the changes too.

There is no animosity to the change, it just is.

Federal Government Computer Security

Federal Government Sees Modest Computer Security Gains

via slashdot

“Twenty-four federal departments and agencies earned a collective grade of C-minus last year for their performance in meeting computer and network security requirements, according to marks handed out by a key congressional oversight committee today. The government-wide grade is up slightly from the 2005, when it earned an overall grade of D+. Eight agencies earned A grades, while as many warranted failing marks. ‘..the Department of Defense led a group of eight agencies that received failing marks for computer security. Also receiving that dubious distinction were the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Interior, State and Treasury, as well as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Department of Homeland Security earned a D, although its overall performance improved since 2005. The Department of Veterans Affairs did not provide enough data to earn a grade. In 2005, it received an F.'”

Although this paragraph caught my eye,

Eight agencies earned grades ranging from A-minus to A-plus, with some showing strong improvement. The groups leading this year’s report card were the Agency for International Development, Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, the departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Social Security Administration.

You don’t suppose deleting the data is a security measure do you? Anyway this from el Reg

He says the military systems McKinnon is accused of hacking remain vulnerable to attack. “I’m sure there are a lot of people on these machines, some of who the US authorities allow to get in.

“The prosecution against Gary is about saving face for security lapses by the US military that remain as bad as they were 10 years ago,” Bevan said. “If this had happened with a corporation someone would have been sacked.”

He added that US authorities are keen to talk up the cyberterrorism threat in order to protect information security budgets.

Its the world I know.

April 12, 2007

22 or 50 or so

Dana Perino has very large hands;

When reporters asked White House spokeswoman Dana Perino on March 27 about White House officials’ use of private, Republican National Committee e-mail accounts, she tried to downplay the situation by claiming that only a “handful” of employees had used such accounts. “I don’t think it’s a lot,” she said then.

As we noted earlier today, the Los Angeles Times is now reporting that Karl Rove and at least 50 other White House officials have used such accounts. What does Perino have to say for herself now? “Well,” she said when asked today, “I didn’t know how many there were.”

Well that might fly with Brian Williams, Mz Perino, but Vinny and I are watching you, and we can count. YO! VINNY!

Questions, I’ve Got Questions

How secure, in a national security context sort of way, are the RNC Servers?

How secure are the PCs, Blackberries etc, as far as being compromised by keyloggers and other malware, since they by passed the WH servers, which are probably a high priority on other national security agencies, read foreign, and so one would assume to be locked down pretty good.

How long has it been known that top administration officials were communicating outside of secured US servers, by other national security agencies, such as China, Russia, and France?

How many other agency personnel are using non governmentally secured servers and email accounts to conduct official and non official business, and to what extent have other national security agencies penetrated these other services and accounts.

If email is sent from the WH or governmentally secured servers using private accounts are these messages still retained on the servers anyway?

If these emails and text messages are sent to the RNC from other personal accounts, which services are providing these transactions and have they preserved these messages?

To what extent has this information been compromised by phishers and crackers with sniffers and other tools, and to what extent are we “owned” as a collectively constructed we?

Why oh Why Can’t We Have a Better Government?

Update: Instant Messaging (IM) Security Center

RNC- Blackberry FAQs

The simple FAQs and why the deleted emails were not.

BIS / BWC email address. (See Glossary) This is the free push email address included with all BlackBerry plans. Most common method for consumers/prosumers. Send the email to the free YOURNAME@carrier.blackberry.net email address. This is true push email, as email will show up instantly on the BlackBerry (in just 5 seconds in many cases) the moment someone sends it from a desktop computer. No need to check email, it shows up immediately on your BlackBerry screen, SMS-style or pager-style! To access to your @blackberry.net email account, See BWC/BIS Login Instructions.
Tip For Advanced Users: When adding new POP/IMAP accounts to your BWC/BIS account, try entering dummy information for username/password. This will get you straight to the Advanced Server Page, which allows more configuration such as for Secure Password Authentication, etc.

As you will see, all of this stuff passes to and through a server, and if you read the link you will see that it can be configured to use AOL and Googles Gmail, which as you may know never looses anything.

Worst Government EVAH!

Via Larry Johnson

News that White House staffers, which includes Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, used RNC email accounts in order to avoid the scrutiny that normally comes with the White House email account raises an interesting question–Did Patrick Fitzgerald know this? It appears the answer is no.

This may be an indication of the Bushconites problems in Iraq, which is a basic inability to understand the differences between a democratic government and democratic society, and the necessity of the one for the other.

Agreed

Imus is a symptom, the disease goes merely along. H/T DB

I suppose I’m lucky enough of to be a TV news junkie, and so I don’t listen to the radio much anymore. I suppose if there were more rock and less talk in the AM I might, but such is life.

The thing that really troubles me, is in my heart of hearts I’m not sure that I am without the disease myself, in that I intuitively put women and men into certain roles, or assume that the emotional make up of the sexes is so distinct that sweeping generalizations of either sex is somehow more logical than other sweeping generalizations on other topics, which is basically missing the trees for the forest.

In the end Imus is being scapegoated, but the purpose of all scapegoats is that the community would repent and turn around from doing the bad thing. The term is itself a Biblical one, and I wouldn’t want to miss pointing it out, that a scapegoat carries implications for those sending the scapegoat into the wilderness, as well as for the goat.

If Imus is the only one who learns anything from this, then the whole thing is just an exercise in unrighteous indignation. I would think that this is the way it will go as well, because we do the same thing with big issues like Iraq. It’s as if it is only that one monkey with its’ hand fisted around the fruit that is stuck with its’ hand inside the jar that has a problem, and not the rest of the monkeys that have yet to find their own jar with the fruit in it.

Only if American society learns the lesson that Imus’ is teaching us at the moment will he have earned all the money he made while being mostly ignored by the majority of the people. If Imus was working in a corner it is because too many of us walled him off, and allowed the nonsense to continue for as long as it did.

EZier 2 reed

Hopefully the blog is a little easier to read now, and I can’t think of anyone I might have offended by increasing the white space, although I’m sure in the vast vastness of America somebody is.

The last couple of days I’ve been a little unrestrained in my word choice, and I would normally just delete them as I went through the usual cycle of deletions, but since I’m the decider in chief here, I’ve decided for the time being to keep the blog more in line with the common understandings of blogs, so you’ll have to get over it with me. In the meantime I will try to chill. Of course you could always just leave, but since I don’t keep up with that, I wouldn’t know about that either.

One of the drawbacks of my faith is I’m not allowed by myself to run unfettered through the language in my writtings, but there is no such constraints on my thinking, and in a way I think I resent that. On the other hand my grandson is starting to learn to read and I wouldn’t want him to read it here first either. So anyway, apologies to all the pee wees out there, whoever’s pee wee you may be.

UPDATE: Just another FWIW, I would just love to see journalists and presenters of the MSM go to blogger and get a blog, if it could be done without getting into trouble at work, and start telling the world what they think about what they know. I am not talking about the gossipy stuff either, but their own individual thinking on the issues of the day. I say blogger because I would tend to think that you’ld hold back if it were on a corporate server, and you already make those people enough bucks. I know it won’t happen, but I think it would be a positive thing if ya’ll did it.

I Should’ve Stood in Bed

One of the things I’ve always heard from the blogosphere is never post anything written in anger, which is pretty hard to do, you know, hear things from the blogosphere, which is basically a written medium, but that’s what I hear. I bet it’s the same way in the vlogosphere too, although I may be reading more into the vlogosphere than there is. If you hear different let me know, and I’ll look into it, and blog it up.

Anyway, Good Morning America, how are you today?

April 11, 2007

Twirl This

Iran Enriching “On Industrial Scale

So, in case you missed it … some members of the news media are freaking out reporting Ahmadinejad’s claim that Iran is enriching uranium “on an industrial scale,” Larijani’s claim that Iran is running UF6 though 3,000 centrifuges,” and the usual pundits warnings that the end of the world is just around the corner … Repent!

Seriously people, you should just write it on a placard and wander the streets ringing a bell.

Read the whole thing, and do a little math arithmetic.

And as a side note, what is the point of you in MSM and white bread media pinching all the links from the blogosphere in one month if you can’t remember to book mark them and use them again later when some dumb ass Bushkinite starts running around screaming, “the pie is falling, the pie is falling?”

*Seriously edited upon receiveing the good advice of my better half that that would be a good thing to do. She’s usually right.

Have You Ever Had to Make Up Your Mind?

Say yes to one and leave the other behind,
It ain’t always easy, it ain’t always kind.
Have you ever had to make up your mind?

The system has been used – and has spectacularly failed – in the past, and its inauguration in Iraq is as much a sign of American desperation at the country’s continued descent into civil conflict as it is of US determination to “win” the war against an Iraqi insurgency that has cost the lives of more than 3,200 American troops. The system of “gating” areas under foreign occupation failed during the French war against FLN insurgents in Algeria and again during the American war in Vietnam. Israel has employed similar practices during its occupation of Palestinian territory – again, with little success.

But the campaign has far wider military ambitions than the pacification of Baghdad. It now appears that the US military intends to place as many as five mechanised brigades – comprising about 40,000 men – south and east of Baghdad, at least three of them positioned between the capital and the Iranian border. This would present Iran with a powerful – and potentially aggressive – American military force close to its border in the event of a US or Israeli military strike against its nuclear facilities later this year.

The latest “security” plan, of which The Independent has learnt the details, was concocted by General David Petraeus, the current US commander in Baghdad, during a six-month command and staff course at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Those attending the course – American army generals serving in Iraq and top officers from the US Marine Corps, along with, according to some reports, at least four senior Israeli officers – participated in a series of debates to determine how best to “turn round” the disastrous war in Iraq.

via the Leftcoaster

So it all starts to add up, the surge that was for a short time period, with a limited number of troops, the emacualte concessions to North Korea, the extended deployment of Army regulars, the call up of the NG which should also put the rest of the NG on notice, and talk of a draft. Oh, yeah, the little king is looking for a Czar, because a Commander in Chief is to busy to run the wars.

It isn’t known what these mechanized brigades will be doing sitting there near Iran, but why would 40,000 troops in five mechanized brigades sit outside of Baghdad for the surge in Baghdad? However, if you were planning to attack Iran with those forces and were worried about the reaction from Iraq’s Shiite population after such an attack, you would need to first 1) seal off the Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, and 2) detain as many young Iraqi men as possible.

To gain the time, you would need the president to run interference for you with Congress for the remainder of 2007, falsely portraying the surge as all about giving the Iraqi security forces the time to take over and its government a chance to implement reconciliation. Since you don’t have the 40,000 troops, you would need to extend deployments beyond recommended time limits, send over National Guard units from here at home, and to assume that the al-Maliki government won’t be toppled by its key supporters for allowing the Americans a more permanent presence in the country.

We have all been here before. Slock and Jaw, second verse same as the first.

No wonder it’s called Military intelligence, even the PFC’s can see it.

Backup Early Backup Often–Unless You’re the RNC

via the AP via JMM

You gotta love it, the email just fell off the face of the earth, because no one knows how to back up the system at the RNC.

Before 2004, for instance, e-mails to and from the accounts were typically automatically deleted every 30 days along with all other RNC e-mails. Even though that was changed in 2004, so that the White House staffers with those accounts were excluded from the RNC’s automatic deletion policy, some of their e-mails were lost anyway when individual aides deleted their own files, Stanzel said.

Pelosi Headed for San Francisco -NQN Exclusive

Not Quite News
!! Breaking the News!!

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is going to San Francisco.

I haven’t called to confirm the date, or if Mr. Lantos will accompany her to California, but then if it’s good enough for Drudge and Hannity, it is good enough for me.us. er, me.

Patronage R US

Were so sorry, Uncle Alberto Emptywheel flattens some more roadkill.

At around 9:30 in the morning on December 7, AGAG’s Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson and Bill Kelley (in the White House) started calling Republican Senators to inform them the USAs for their states would be approved. Somone in the White House (Karl Rove?) was also calling the “political lead” for the states with no Republican Senators: CA, MI, and WA. Sampson called Senator Kyl, and Kelley called Senators Ensign (who seems to have been pissed) and Domenici (whose Chief of Staff was “happy as a clam”).

But then, at 11:19, Kelley emailed Sampson in a panic.

Our leg folks are all up in arms that we are doing this on the last day when things can be gummed up by unhappy Senators. There’s no way to pull back til tomorrow, is there? I should have flagged the timing for them earlier — but they never raised the issue of timing until things were underway.

To which Sampson replied:

Too late, right? Calls to USAs are happening as we speak. And Sens. Kyl and Domenici already have been notified (and are ok). Do they think Sen. Ensign will be concerned (I don’t)? And none of these USAs has been promoted by a House member.

To which Kelley responded:

I told them it is too late, but I said I would confirm with you. I think it is clear that they are overreacting, and I’ve told them that. I don’t know if Ensign is close to the Nevada guy, but I would think he’d welcome a new patronage opportunity.

Emphasis mine.

Sain’t McCain’s Imus,

John McCain and the Jew-Counter

Malek’s political career spans over three decades. In 1972, after Watergate, he served as the deputy chairman of President Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign. Malek was director of the 1988 Republican National Convention and campaign manager for President George H.W. Bush in 1992.

The McCain press shop left out an interesting piece of Malek’s history: when he counted Jews for President Richard Nixon. Two years ago–when Malek was leading an investment group seeking to buy the new Washington Nationals baseball team, my friend Tim Noah at Slate reviewed Malek’s dark past. Here’s what he wrote:

I really am surprised that this guy 1) is still running, 2) he isn’t the darling of the old Nixon/Cheney wing of the wingding wing of the Republican Party. No wonder Iraq is a success to John, I mean, why not?

President Sybil and Their Project for a New American Century

About five years ago I had a visit with Syrian President Bashar Al Asad, a visit when he told me that his intelligence services had uncovered a plot by Al Qaeda that would have killed American servicemen in the Middle East. He turned over the information to the U.S., which was then able to stop the operation, saving the lives of the Americans who were being targeted.
When I asked him what operation that was, he replied that, “The Americans asked me not to talk about it, but if they keep calling us a terrorist state, I will talk about it.”
After I left his office, I asked the U.S. Ambassador to Syria if what he had said was true. His reply was that not only was it true, but that President Asad had been able to stop more than one Al Qaeda attack on American interests.
Of course I would be remiss not to mention a certain Canadian who was sent to Syria by the US for a structured debriefing by Syria’s security services.
This stuff just goes on and on. Hard core conservatives like Chuck Hagel get excoriated by the right wing noyse machine, the Pope, the bastion of liberalism at the Vatican lambasts the American mess in the world, especially in Iraq, and Halliburton has finished up its’ work in Iran, finally, in 2007.
And if you’ve read the Guardian, then you are probably aware of Mr. Putin’s eyes getting that steely cold war look again. Meanwhile back at the ranch…
I still think that the affair Imus will be a turning point in the US in regard to race and gender relations, but I can’t help but wonder if it will be before or after Mr. Bush turns the northern hemisphere to ashes.

April 10, 2007

Will the Real Mother

of Anna Nichole Smiths baby, please stand up?

There are Reporters, Presenters, and the Wise Knobs of DC

(Updated below yet again)

(Updated below)

Obstructed View via Antiwar, gives an insight into why the American people are really so clueless about Iraq, arguably the biggest story of the century so far.

“Few journalists have penetrated the clandestine network of resistance fighters and jihadists. CNN’s Michael Ware is one of the only correspondents to sit face-to-face with al-Qaeda operatives on their own turf and survive to tell about it. The New York Times’ Dexter Filkins used an inside source to set up meetings with local insurgents caught in a power struggle with al-Qaeda outsiders. But such breakthroughs have been rare. When it comes to factions in the fighting, there are more questions than answers.

This is part and parcel of what was going on with Sain’t McCain in the Baghdad market place too. I don’t think anyone wants to instinctively go off on the MSM for its’ coverage in Iraq, and this ought to help those who do to figure out just how tough it is to get out and about in Iraq.

But it also ought to serve notice to the presenters that they and we don’t have the full story, much less a good part of the story, and that presenting the story in rose colored terms opens them up for fair criticism. Obviously the facts are almost impossible to discern, so any conclusions made or inferred from those facts are guesses at best.

As I recall the surge was to be a temporary infusion of troops, five brigades, for the purpose of stabilizing Baghdad. Unfortunately there is no way to quantify that stabilization without looking at US and Iraqi armed forces casualty rates, and other easily observed facts, such as the market McCain and company being in getting hammered shortly after they left. The fact that it was after the trip, and non TV sourcing that brought out the fact the group was covered by a company of Marines with five helicopters overhead, and not much reported on the security sweep that occurred prior to their arrival, which also put US Forces at risk for the photo op, and you don’t have to be much of a reporter to discern the problem that some of us are having with the MSM. It is nearly impossible for the ones on the ground to get the story, and it would seem nearly as impossible for the home front reporters to convey that fact. So we get the rah rah of the public relations people that have more likely as not left journalism for PR.

On top of that we get people like Broder who thinks that somehow or another the American people ought to exercise their patriotic duty and kiss the Presidents ass in a misguided and ultimately mislead war, since he is a stubborn jack ass. It is the compromising thing to do. One must imagine that this is the only issue that can penetrate the conscientiousness of Mr. Broder, as he seems to be ignoring all the other misguided and mislead policies of this administration which do not directly impact the political balance and military outcome of the lost war in Iraq. Apparently Mr. Broder knows neither when to start or when to quit, and so he is qualified to tell the rest of the DC establishment when that timing is correct. This is supposed to be the wisdom of Washington DC, I suppose, and so it becomes the prevailing logic of the news media that dutifully relay these messages to the people outside the beltway who are providing the fodder for Mr. Bushes War, and Mr. Broders sensible sensibilities.

Given all of that, it is little wonder that so many of the wise men of the political and media elite are coming to Mr. Imus’ aid, and by the way, ignoring the idiot with whom Mr. Imus was conversing at the time of knuckle headed remarks, because in general the wise men of Washington DC are neither wise, nor men, but perhaps knobs would be more apropos, with all of that terms connotations.

Update: The Politics of Pundit Prestige…

Similarly, Tom Friedman’s pleasant, well-remunerated life as America’s mostimportant foreign affairs columnist since Walter Lippmann would presumably be even pleasanter were he not consistently reminded of his proclivity to pronounce “the next six months in Iraq” to be the do-or-die period for the Bush Administration. (He did so four times during a single twelve-month period, as many in the blogosphere frequently note.) You can find the term “Friedman Unit”–also known as “one Friedman” or “one F.U.”–in Wikipedia, credited to Atrios, as referring to “six months in the future.”

via the coiner of F.U. If only they would put Judy Miller behind the wall too.

Updated Yet again: Clueless

Richard Cohen, however, has developed a unique brand of pedestrian, uninspired witlessness that doesn’t seem to have any consciousness of what he says from one day to the next. Facts seem to annoy him and he doesn’t feel any particular need to brush up on whatever subject he is writing about. Witness today’s column on Monica Goodling:

… or if you prefer (snip)

Nowhere in the article does Cohen mention that Paul McNulty has testified that Goodling misinformed him when prepping him for his appearance before Congress. Does he even read his own paper? Nor does he mention that there is suspicion that Goodling, brought over to the Justice Department by Barbara Comstock, may have been extracting loyalty oaths from applicants for career positions — a big legal no-no, and clearly not outside the bounds of what was considered “acceptable” by this administration.

I can’t top this post, because I’d either have to think of something nice to say about Mr. Cohen, or something mean. Jane just smacks him around with the facts, and who can top that?

Somewhat of a List

It really isn’t that comprehensive of a link list, and not everyone I read made it on to the lists, but I am a little listless about lists, although alliteratively accurate in them. In order to fair and balanced I alphabetized them, or alphabetised them for you Brits, Canadians, Aussies, and Zealanders who can’t really spell that well, and that ought to be enough of that.

For the most part everyone worth reading is linked from those links I’ve posted, or the links from their links, etc, etc. As for newspapers, I figure if you can’t figure out those things then I shouldn’t either.

Change and Face the Turns

One of the things that I’ve been wrestling with, among the many, is how to make a generic observation without it being assumed to be specific, such as saying anything about women and their asses, which whether I like it or not, some knuckle heads will always assume I am referring to a former morning host, or that I am referring to a current morning host, or that I am in fact referring to a TV host of any time frame, and so I have concluded to use the lessons of high school and not refer to any women’s asses, anatomically speaking.

Another one is the idea that I am alluding to a a specific blogger when I get snarky with the genre in general. It should suffice to say that my favorite bloggers write and say stuff that pisses me off, for a plethera of reasons, but that doesn’t form a basis for my perception of them, unless one just happens to figure out that I don’t care what other people say, if I don’t care what they think and I don’t respect or like them anyway. There really are people on the left that I don’t like, and so I don’t read their blogs. That has almost become a general rule for the right, but it isn’t a universal with them either.

As far as the MSM goes, I may have had an overly high expectation of them, both in the printed and visual media, since I grew up getting most of my information from them, and in fact I still do. There is, in my humble opinion a big distinction between fact and opinion, and facts and propaganda. I really don’t think I should be forced to sort it all out, if you want to express an opinion get a friggin blog like the rest of us. I don’t think or see how in these times with so many critical issues facing the nation and the world that being cool is what we need from the MSM. I fully expect each and everyone of you to have opinions and political views, but I don’t think that being a star of TV news necessarily makes you an entertainer. If want to advocate, get a friggin blog, and drop the pretense that an email exchange is some sort of “debate.” Smarm is not a substitute for snark.

Ultimately, IMHO, 90 percent of bloggers and MSMers are doing a decent job at doing what they do, but the mediums can’t really compete head to head since thety are so disparate in functions. Who’s a better craftsman, the plumber or the mechanic? It depends on what they’re working on I would suppose. That doesn’t mean either one of them is good surgeon.

Anyway I am going to rebuild the blog somewhat along the classical blog lines, with links to people I actually read, not because they are the only voices worth hearing, but because they are the ones that I have time for. Being a retired dirty fucking hippy doesn’t mean I have more than 24 hours in the day either. (retired hippy, heh)

As for the foul language impugning my Christianity, I would suggest you “preachers” look at yourselves first. Any Christian not doing what Jesus told them to do is not going to overly impress me with the words and wisdom of Paul. I can look at the state of your world and see your works, which speak loader than any of your words, so blow it out your righteous overmuch asses.

April 6, 2007

In the Beginning

there was a blog, and the blog was without form, and the blog was a blog without title. And the title became the blog, and the blogger saw that the title was good blogging and the blogging became a blogger’s title.

And the blogger was a entitled without formula to enumerate in missives to the masses the ways of the blogosphere which the blogger was creating as he blogged. And the masses read them and saw that it was pretty good, but thought that they good do better.

And the first blog begat another blog and the law of associations was established that one blog should not blog another blog and the blogs saw this and thought that that was pretty good and blogged the MSM.

And the MSM ignored the blog until the blog started advertising, and the MSM said that’s no good, and so the MSM started blogging and saw that blogging was pretty good with advertising, so the MSM became the psuedo blog.

And the blogs revolted against the psuedo blogs and there was a blog war in the blogosphere, and the blog rings became circles of blogs, duh, and the bloggers saw that this was pretty good too.

And so the blogs started to blog the circles of blogs and the MSM, and the MSM said that was not good that the blogs should blog the psuedo MSM and the circles of blogs with advertising.

And so the MSM declared the blogs “the blogs,” and denounced them to the FCC and FEC and anyone else who listen as anarchist antithisandthats, and the MSM saw that this was pretty good, and the blogs were defined as such by the MSM, in the MSM and for the MSM, and in the psuedo blogs of the MSM.

And knowledge of the blogs came to be in all of the land and the blogger saw that that was pretty good, although the MSM still sucked from its’ own gravity, it had a psuedo blog to blog against the blog, and the MSM saw this and said that that was pretty good.

And the blog continued to persevere until the MSM noticed that it itself was becoming the psuedo blog. And the MSM was greatly ashamed that its’ skirt had been lifted by the blogs revealing its’ private workings to the passerbys of the missives to the masses, as partially made of sudo hacks and partially made of psuedo hacks.

And the MSM became enraged at the loss of revenue and veiwers to the blog, and waged war with the blog, and the blog saw this and said, eh.

And it came to pass that the blog became the blog yet again, and the MSM remained exposed as the blue psuedo shoes of its’ time that would not report on its’ owners.

And the MSM became a many headed beast of four owners, with radio and tv and printed outlets in the same city, sometimes competing with itself, and the FCC saw this and said it was good.

And the four heads of the many beast devoured all of the communications bandwith with bribes and smooth words, and the FCC and FEC saw this and said that’s probably alright, as we are protecting the masses from missives.

And the blogs continued to be defined by talent, luck and happenstance, and the blog remained the blogs.

And the MSM saw the blogs and wept, and the blogs found YouTube and the MSM became quaint, like the conventions of political parties and Geneva. And the blogs saw this and became vlogs and the MSM was sore afraid it reverted to King James Bible english, and topics.

And the masses rose up with many voices and said one!, and it was so, one! One blog to rule them all, one more blog for the road, one blog at a time, one blog is like any other blog, and one odd blog that didn’t hunt.

And the MSM and the psuedo blog was forgotten, until it was remembered as the forgotten media and blogged about yet again.

(Reposted rewritten post, just because it was fun to write. )