Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Must Read IMHO

Check out AMERICAblog.

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The internet tubes are international

Ya doubt it? Take a look at the visitors to SPIIDERWEB™. I'm amazed. Even though some visit only once, many return and spend some time here.
Argentina
Aruba
Austria
Australia
Bangladesh
Bahamas
Bahrain
Belgium
Bhutan
Bosina Herzevogina
Botswana
Brazil
Brunei Darussalam
Bulgaria
Cayman Islands
Canada
Chile
China
Columbia
Costa Rica
Cote D'Ivoire
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Dominican Republic
Egypt
El Salvador
Estonia
Europe
Finland
France
Germany
Ghana
Greece
Grenada
Guam
Guyana
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Iran
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Kenya
Kuwait
Lithuania
Macedonia
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Mexico
Morocco
Netherlands
Netherlands Antilles
New Zealand
Nigeria
Northern Mariana Islands
Norway
Latvia
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Oman
Pakistan
Palestinian Territory, Occupied
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Republic of Korea
Romania
Russia
Russian Federation
Satellite provider
Saudi Arabia
Serbia and Montenegro
Singapore
Slovenia
South Africa
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Thailand
Togo
Tunisia
Turkey
UK
UAE
Ukraine
Unknown country
Uraguay
USA
Uzbekistan
Venezuela
Vietnam

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I don't "do" celebrities, but...



This I can't wait for.
The kung fu movie fan's ultimate fantasy is set to become reality.

Jackie Chan and Jet Li said in their blogs Wednesday that they're ready to team up in a Hollywood film for the first time, a move that would bring together two of the biggest names in action cinema.

Chan said on his Web site that his next movie will be "The J&J Project," as the planned film is currently known.

On his blog, Li confirmed the partnership.

Truth is, because of the enormous toll on his body and his age, I doubt Jackie Chan has many more years of action film-making. I'm a huge fan of his and of Jet Li. This ought to be good because neither has, in my opinion, chosen a stinker to date.

Oh yeah, it does my heart good to finally hear these guys described as "two of the biggest names in action cinema". They are, but were scorned by Hollywood for many years because they were "different". Van Damme, Banderas (which can be spelled Banderas or Bandaras) and Schwarzenegger? Oh yeah, they aren't Asian.

(read more)

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Who says men can't be honest?

This guy sure seems honest enough. Yes he's a pig, but an honest one.
Girl holding can of soup: Well, one can makes soup for more than one person.
Guy staring blankly: Uh-huh.
Girl: So, how many do you want to get?
Guy: I can totally see down your shirt, by the way. Now, what?
Girl: Were you listening to a word I was saying?!
Guy: No, I was staring at your breasts.

Red River H-E-B supermarket
Austin, Texas

Overheard by: Natalie

(via Overheard in the Office)

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Oh my how the world can change


Those pinko commies may be our salvation. Talk about your irony.
Russia will try to prevent the possible use of force by the United States against Iran in the dispute over its nuclear program, the foreign minister said on Tuesday.

"We cannot ignore statements made by high-ranking U.S. officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney," the minister, Sergei Lavrov, told a news conference.

Cheney, speaking on a trip to Australia last week, refused to rule out the possibility of taking military action against Iran, saying "all options are still on the table."

"We are convinced that this (use of force) has no prospects and we will do all we can to prevent this scenario," Lavrov said. He called on Iran to show flexibility.

And right now I trust Russia to do the right thing much more than I trust the US.

Was that a white rabbit I just saw run through here?

(read more)

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Gonna save many of you some money


Stop taking those vitamin supplements.
Vitamin pills commonly taken by millions of people are doing them more harm than good, an analysis of the evidence has concluded.

Three supplements — vitamins A and E and beta carotene — appear to increase the death rate of those taking them. Vitamin C and selenium have no effect.

The results, published in Journal of the American Medical Association, suggest that money spent on vitamin supplements is wasted. In response, the British Heart Foundation said people should not take supplements but should concentrate instead on eating a healthy diet.

You are welcome.

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Fidel Castro health watch


Latest news is he's OK and feeling well.

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March on the Pentagon March 17!

This appears to be shaping up into an impressive protest. Join in if you can.

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Is there no one outside the oil industry Bush won't screw?

I don't know about you, but I've always hated big pharmacies. The people are nice, but the rules, waits and such always left me cold. Enter the king.
Pharmacies neither set drug prices nor are responsible for their rising costs, yet the Bush Administration continues to saddle neighborhood pharmacies with the bulk of proposed Medicaid cost cutting measures. The Association of Community Pharmacists Congressional Network (ACP*CN) finds Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt's remark "we are overpaying for pharmacy" with respect to Medicaid generic drugs reckless when the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) report categorically refutes such an assertion.

In December 2006, a GAO study concluded the government's proposed rule change to reduce Medicaid reimbursement to retail pharmacies for generic drugs would on average reimburse pharmacies 36% lower than their acquisition costs for generic drugs. In effect, pharmacies would be filling generic prescriptions for Medicaid patients at a loss and may sink into debt to keep their doors open.

As I've said, ya gotta love the GAO. It seems the only part of government Bush hasn't fucked over. Oops. Probably shouldn't have reminded him.

Anyway, I'll watch. If Bush attacks the GAO in the next few weeks I'll know I'm being monitored more closely than I know already.

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Important news release from Pelosi

Link.

Is she crying "wolf"? Hardly. Check out this related story.

Bush has no sympathy, empathy nor concern about the troops. He's a small man who will sacrifice anyone to his hubris.

Jesus H Christ playing craps, but I hate that guy.

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They're everywhere


(via Jonco)

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A fact of life in Iraq and elswhere


(via Norman Roberts)

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Must Read IMHO

Digby has the story.

This story is about an incident in Texas, but Oregon, Idaho, Vermont, Georgia, New Mexico and most other states have similar problems. This one happened to make the news.

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Spread it

Very informative post...no, not this one

I can't link to Salon for some reason, but I did enjoy these quotes from the article.
“Leadership doesn’t care about us,” said one officer, who requested that his name be withheld to avoid punishment for his comments.

And.
(He also asked that his name be withheld for fear of retribution.)

Why did I enjoy those quotes? Because they are straight forward. None of that "because he isn't authorized to speak publicly." bullshit. They speak anonymously because they know they'll be punished/demoted/ostracized. Its self preservation pure and simple.

Salon has fine writers.

I encourage you to read the whole post.

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Must Read IMHO

Being lazy again. Perhaps I won't be later. For now, check out this post at Anything They Say.

We never learn. A little soapboxing here. If I with my puny brain can grasp this anyone should be able to.

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Bizarro world that is Iraq

File under: This is what the Iraqis have to put up with every damn day.
This is a weird story. Earlier today, a blast near a soccer field in Ramadi kills scores of children. Also today, apparently, the US military conducted an explosion near a soccer field in Ramadi that hurt a bunch of children. But the US military is saying the deadly attack couldn't have happened, because they'd have known about it. At the same time, both of these attacks sound awful similar - like they may be the same explosion, i.e., one we caused.

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Hillary Clinton trying to grab spotlight


(via Jonco)

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Say again.

Have I made it clear? I steal from any site.
I think gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.
-- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Please don't do any unnecessary driving unless it's absolutely necessary.
-- Local radio announcer commenting on hazardous driving conditions

I speak twelve languages. English is the bestest.
-- Stefan Bergman

I have a very high tolerance to alcohol. The problem is that I always get drunk long before I reach it.
-- Naomi Rose

If I could drop dead right now, I'd be the happiest man alive.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

There's a stalled car going west on Sunset Highway.
-- traffic broadcaster's warning

There's nothing wrong with pregnancy. Half the people wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for women being pregnant.
-- Sarah Kennedy

We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time.
- Vince Lombardi

I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father.
-- Greg Norman

The telephone company is urging people to please not use the telephone unless it is absolutely necessary in order to keep the lines open for emergency personnel. We'll be right back after this break to give away a pair of Phil Collins concert tickets to caller number 95.
-- a Los Angeles radio DJ shortly after the 1990 earthquake

But I do give credit. In this case to Jonco.

The guy (my assumtion) is great at finding stuff.

Must Read IMHO

Gore never had a chance with the right.
The right-wing noise machine really is a remarkable thing to behold. Al Gore wins an Oscar, gets some well-deserved recognition for his efforts, and within hours the Republican noise machine is already in full smear mode, trying to undercut Gore's message by attacking him personally.

And he ain't even running for office. Jesus, these people are hyenas.

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General Peter Pace says military can't respond to new threats

This is the "official" word. Why does Pace hate the US?
Strained by the demands of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a significant risk that the U.S. military won't be able to quickly and fully respond to yet another crisis, according to a new report to Congress.

The assessment, done by the nation's top military officer, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, represents a worsening from a year ago, when that risk was rated as moderate.

In SPIIDERWEB™ speak.

Bush has fucked the military and they have no chance to subdue anyone.

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Must Read IMHO

Very interesting.

Yeah, I'm being lazy, but I do watch your back.

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Hersh: Cheney Has Secret Plan to Start War with Iran

That's the headline of a post at Pensito Review.

I'm sorry, but there's nothing "secret" about it at all. Cheney wants to attack Iran and will. End of story.

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People you are sick

I'm still getting hits from Google™ searches for "video of hussein hanging". I've not shown such a video and my post said so, but peeps are still looking for it.

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Must Read IMHO

Just do it.

Am I being to dominant? Sorry.

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Be fun


This is it.

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Sorority Boots Overweight and “Non-Conventionally Pretty” Members.

Stolen in toto from Neatorama.

Fat and unattractive, … er "demonstrating lack of commitment to meet recruitment goals?" Delta Zeta sorority doesn’t want you around:

Worried that a negative stereotype of the sorority was contributing to a decline in membership that had left its Greek-columned house here half empty, Delta Zeta’s national officers interviewed 35 DePauw members in November, quizzing them about their dedication to recruitment. They judged 23 of the women insufficiently committed and later told them to vacate the sorority house.

The 23 members included every woman who was overweight. They also included the only black, Korean and Vietnamese members. The dozen students allowed to stay were slender and popular with fraternity men — conventionally pretty women the sorority hoped could attract new recruits. Six of the 12 were so infuriated they quit.

“Virtually everyone who didn’t fit a certain sorority member archetype was told to leave,” said Kate Holloway, a senior who withdrew from the chapter during its reorganization.

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Response to...

State of the day. They wouldn't allow so many links.

We're not dealing with a rocket scientist here. He's [Bush] an idiot.

Bush intends to attack Iran or authorize Israel to do it and Congress is sitting on their collective asses.

Check here, here , here and here.

Hey, it ain't paranoia when all indications say we're heading for a huge disaster.

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Women Leaders Are Target of Violent Attacks in Pakistan

Will this shit never end? OK, stupid question.
Women political opponents of ruling General Pervez Musharraf are increasingly targets of murderous government-directed "goons" in a wave of violence similar to that in Chile during the Pinochet regime, the Pakistan Peoples Party has
charged. The party's allegations came following a series of attacks against
women opposition members of the Pakistani Parliament and local councils.

Four attacks took place this past week against women leaders. The
Pakistan Peoples Party's charges against bodyguards of a provincial
minister accused them of attempting to assassinate Dr. Azra Fazal, who
escaped harm although her bullet-proof vehicle was damaged in the attack.
Dr. Azra Fazal is the sister-in-law of Benazir Bhutto, former Prime
Minister of Pakistan and chairwoman of the Pakistan Peoples Party.

In other incidents, Parliament member Naheed Khan was fired upon,
member Sherry Rahman was attacked with a blunt instrument, and councilor
Dr. Shahida Rahmani was hospitalized after being manhandled by supporters
of the Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM), coalition partner of the Pakistani
government.

Other Pakistan Peoples Party leaders were physically assaulted during
local elections when government supporters grabbed ballot boxes to stuff
them with votes.

I've posted before. I've worked with women who were more competent than the available male workers. I would link to the post, but found I've posted about women too many times to find the one item. I'm lazy, you might want to find it. Your choice.

Why do men fear these women?

(read more)

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US 'plans to bomb Iran', despite denials

If you think Iran isn't in Bush's and Cheney's sights you are too naïve.
A Pentagon unit is planning for a bombing attack on Iran which could be carried out "within 24 hours", according to a report in the United States, issued just as the Iranian President Mahmoud Amadinejad warned that Tehran's nuclear programme had "no reverse gear".

The generally authoritative New Yorker journalist, Seymour Hersh, reported in the latest edition of the weekly magazine that a "special planning group" had been set up in recent months under the joint chiefs of staff. Quoting a former intelligence official, Hersh said the unit was "charged with creating a contingency bombing plan for Iran that can be implemented, upon orders from the [US] President, within 24 hours".

The report appears to contradict the Bush administration's denials that it is planning for war on Iran, despite a US military build-up in the Gulf.

Bryan Whitman, the Pentagon's spokesman, said: "The US is not planning to go to war with Iran. To suggest anything to the contrary is simply wrong, misleading and mischievous."

But the American leader most identified with possible military action against Iran, Vice-President Dick Cheney, repeated in Australia last week that "all options" were on the table.

Just how many smoking guns do the American people need? Jesus H Christ on a broomstick, World War III or IV is about to happen and people are concerned with Deal or no Deal, Anna Nicloe and American Idol.
May I respond? FUCK.

Sorry for the profanity, but its part of my nature.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Argh!!!1!!

I had to reload my PC. In the next few days I'll discover what I lost.

The techs wiped out everything and loaded a new version of Windoz XP. I'm now adding Service Pack 2 and all my anti-virus stuff.

Luckily, all my correspondence (read email) is on the web so I lose none of it.

I, as do you, need to backup everything in a safe place. I have no DVD write drive and CDs can't hold enough. So I was very cavalier about backups and am suffering because of it.

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Top UN court rules Serbia did not commit genocide

This is really just an FYI. Although the decision wasn't unanimous, it was pretty lopsided.
The top U.N. court ruled on Monday that Serbia did not commit genocide through the killing that ravaged Bosnia during the 1992-95 war, but said Serbia had failed in its obligation to prevent and punish genocide.

The International Court of Justice President Judge Rosalyn Higgins said: "The court finds by 13 votes to 2 that Serbia has not committed genocide".

(read more)

A related item.

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US Iran intelligence 'is incorrect'

So they're cooking the intelligence again. Wow, talk about your déjà vu.

What baffles me is why all the smoke and mirrors? Bush will attack Iran if he wants to and really couldn't care less what America or the rest of the world thinks about it.
Much of the intelligence on Iran's nuclear facilities provided to UN inspectors by US spy agencies has turned out to be unfounded, diplomatic sources in Vienna said today.

The claims, reminiscent of the intelligence fiasco surrounding the Iraq war, coincided with a sharp increase in international tension as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iran was defying a UN security council ultimatum to freeze its nuclear programme.

That report, delivered to the security council by the IAEA director general, Mohammed ElBaradei, sets the stage for a fierce international debate on the imposition of stricter sanctions on Iran and raises the possibility that the US could resort to military action against Iranian nuclear sites.

At the heart of the debate are accusations - spearheaded by the US - that Iran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons.
However, most of the tip-offs about supposed secret weapons sites provided by the CIA and other US intelligence agencies have led to dead ends when investigated by IAEA inspectors, according to informed sources in Vienna.

"Most of it has turned out to be incorrect," a diplomat at the IAEA with detailed knowledge of the agency's investigations said.

"They gave us a paper with a list of sites. [The inspectors] did some follow-up, they went to some military sites, but there was no sign of [banned nuclear] activities.

"Now [the inspectors] don't go in blindly. Only if it passes a credibility test."

One particularly contentious issue was records of plans to build a nuclear warhead, which the CIA said it found on a stolen laptop computer supplied by an informant inside Iran.

In July 2005, US intelligence officials showed printed versions of the material to IAEA officials, who judged it to be sufficiently specific to confront Iran.

Tehran rejected the material as forged, and there are still reservations within the IAEA about its authenticity, according to officials with knowledge of the internal debate in the agency.

"First of all, if you have a clandestine programme, you don't put it on laptops which can walk away," one official said. "The data is all in English which may be reasonable for some of the technical matters, but at some point you'd have thought there would be at least some notes in Farsi. So there is some doubt over the provenance of the computer."

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Revealed: The true extent of Britain's failure in Basra


Things are often not what they seem. In the case of Iraq, things are almost never what you're told they are.
The partial British military withdrawal from southern Iraq announced by Tony Blair this week follows political and military failure, and is not because of any improvement in local security, say specialists on Iraq.

In a comment entitled "The British Defeat in Iraq" the pre-eminent American analyst on Iraq, Anthony Cordesman of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, in Washington, asserts that British forces lost control of the situation in and around Basra by the second half of 2005.

Mr Cordesman says that while the British won some tactical clashes in Basra and Maysan province in 2004, that "did not stop Islamists from taking more local political power and controlling security at the neighbourhood level when British troops were not present". As a result, southern Iraq has, in effect, long been under the control of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri) and the so-called "Sadrist" factions.

Mr Blair said for three years Britain had worked to create, train and equip Iraqi Security Forces capable of taking on the security of the country themselves. But Mr Cordesman concludes: "The Iraqi forces that Britain helped create in the area were little more than an extension of Shia Islamist control by other means."

(read more)

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"Theater Iran Near Term" (TIRANNT)


Another piece of the puzzle. And this piece goes back a long way.

And don't ya just love that acronym? BTW, who decided battle fields should be called "theaters". True there's violent drama involved, but its hardly make-believe.
Code named by US military planners as TIRANNT, "Theater Iran Near Term" has identified several thousand targets inside Iran as part of a "Shock and Awe" Blitzkrieg, which is now in its final planning stages.

According to the Kuwait-based Arab Times, an attack on Iran under TIRANNT could occur any time between late February and the end of April. This assessment, however, does not take into account the disarray of US ground forces in Iraq as well as the untimely withdrawal of several thousand British troops from the Iraq war theater, many of whom were stationed in Southern Iraq on the immediate border with Iran.

Revealed last April by William Arkin, a former US intelligence analyst, writing in the Washington Post, TIRANNT was first established in May 2003, following the invasion of Iraq.

"In early 2003, even as U.S. forces were on the brink of war with Iraq, the Army had already begun conducting an analysis for a full-scale war with Iran.

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Israel seeks all clear for Iran air strike

File under: This can't be good. Especially coupled with my last post. Its all coming together. Wake up Congress and stop this...NOW!
Israel is negotiating with the United States for permission to fly over Iraq as part of a plan to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.

To conduct surgical air strikes against Iran's nuclear programme, Israeli war planes would need to fly across Iraq. But to do so the Israeli military authorities in Tel Aviv need permission from the Pentagon.

Oh yeah, about Iraq's being a sovereign nation? Israel needs the Pentagon's permission? Why not the Iraqi government? Sure, it makes sense to warn the Pentagon before racing across Iraqi sky because you don't wanna get blown out of the air, but permission?

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UK doubles naval presence in Persian Gulf

Why isn't this getting more attention in the MSM?
Britain’s senior naval officer in the Persian Gulf has revealed that Royal Navy deployments in the region have doubled since October in a build-up that matches the rapid escalation of American maritime firepower.

Commodore Keith Winstanley, who serves as deputy commander of coalition maritime operations for US Central Command, has told The Daily Telegraph that British trade and strategic interests dictate the necessity of a high and sustained commitment to patrol the seas around the Middle East.

“If you look at the UK component we have almost doubled it,” he said in an interview aboard HMS Sutherland in Mina al-Salman port.

“Most of these ships are here on training missions but there is no doubt that we could use the warfighting capabilities they possess.”

And, is the poodle again doing Bush's bidding?

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Does Bush need Osama?


Does Bush need a bogieman like Osama?

Don't you ever wonder why the world's supreme super power after 5+ years can't find one man? Seems very curious to me.

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Again I steal. I have no shame

Found at Lawrence of Cyberia.
"Alive, We Are A Nuisance; Dead, We Are An Asset"


Annual expenditure by Israel on illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories?

- About $500,000,000.

Annual cost to Israel of keeping 10,000 soldiers in the West Bank to protect those illegal settlements?

- About $900,000,000.

Average compensation for each Israeli family repatriated from the illegal settlements in the Gaza Strip?

- $350,000 to $475,000.

One hundred thousand Holocaust survivors living in poverty in Israel; dumpster diving for food?

- Priceless...

(Survivor info via Jews san Frontieres).

Its so kewl when someone else does the research for me to steal. It is, although true, a joke, folks.

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Terrorist supporter = GOP supporter

Who in hell could have thought that?
A New York man accused of trying to help terrorists in Afghanistan has donated some $15,000 to the House Republicans' campaign committee over three years. Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari pleaded not guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to charges that include terrorism financing, material support of terrorism and money laundering. From April 2002 until August 2004, the man also known as "Michael Mixon" gave donations ranging from $500 to $5,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to Federal Election Commission reports and two campaign donor tracking Web sites, http://www.politicalmoneyline.com and http://www.opensecrets.org.

Thanx to Librocrats for reminding me to post about this. Go to his (I think 'his') site for more info.

Forgive me. My bad for ignoring this story.

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A very simple question

Why in fucking hell don't the Democrats initiate impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney? They're waiting for a stained blue dress?

Congress has the power and responsibility to protect the American people, if not the world, from a psychotic petulant child who could soon ensure millions of deaths.

Most Americans may be unaware of how close to disaster they are, but Congress critters should not be. They know what's happening and the ramifications.

So get off your asses and act!!!1!!

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Worst movie casting




Now I love Jared Leto's work. He's a fine actor and always delivers. But in the movie Lord of War, there is no way to accept him as Nicholas Cage's brother. They look familial as do a cow and a goose.

Feel free to add your examples of poor casting in the comments.

How in hell did I veer off on this tangent? Welcome to my strange world.

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A good interview of Jurassickpork

For the record, I'm not an A-list blogger nor B-list. Ya gotta go down the alphabet further to find my level.
Jurassicpork: I’m not sure I know what you mean by “obscure.” I generally tend to stay on top of the bigger issues and stories, such as the ones regarding Iraq and Iran, the Walter Reed scandal, etc. The devil’s in the details, as they say, which is where finding and expounding on smaller or less publicized issues comes in. But I wouldn’t be much of a political blogger if I studiously ignored the State of the Union Address or the elections for the sake of keeping my own scope unfettered.

Just because the likes of Aravosis, Amato, Eschaton, Kos and Hamsher offer excellent and astute political commentary on the hot button issues doesn’t mean that there aren’t, literally, tens of thousands of people out there who wouldn’t be interested in your take. I have readers who come in all the time and leave comments that they’re disenfranchised by the A-list blogs and their “comment management”, the cliquey-ness, the swarm factor, even the development of a culture and a secret nomenclature that surrounds the webmaster(s). There’s none of that at my place. Aside from that, I’ve already made my thoughts on A list hierarchies known and I don’t wish to pull off scabs by naming names.

However, I see what you mean about B list blogs finding new and less-traveled roads. I’m always up for finding the important but little publicized story, the odd, the arcane, the tragic and the simply ludicrous, like the Havidol hoax. That’s why I do a “Twenty Bucks, Same as in Town” weekly feature. I highlight some of the better and most unusual blog postings by
other, usually smaller bloggers, partly to get their names and URLs out there.

Do visit JP. Its a fine site even though it doesn't blogroll SPIIDERWEB™. Go figure.

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Never lie to your mother....

HAVING MOM OVER FOR DINNER.....
Brian invited his mother over for dinner. During the course of the meal, Brian's mother couldn't help but keep noticing how beautiful Brian's roommate, Stephanie, was. Brian's Mom had long been suspicious of a relationship between Brian and Stephanie, and this had only made her more curious.

Over the course of the evening, while watching the two react, she started to wonder if there was more between Brian and Stephanie than met the eye.

Reading his mom's thoughts, Brian volunteered, "I know what you must be thinking, but I assure you Stephanie and I are just roommates."

About a week later, Stephanie came to Brian saying, "Ever since your mother came to dinner, I've been unable to find the beautiful silver gravy ladle.

You don't suppose she took it, do you?" Brian said, "Well, I doubt it, but I'll send her an e-mail just to be sure. So he sat down and wrote:

Dear Mom:

I'm not saying that you "did" take the gravy ladle from the house, I'm not saying that you "did not" take the gravy ladle. But the fact remains that one has been missing ever since you were here for dinner.

Love, Brian


A few hours later, Brian received an email back from his mother that read:

Dear Son:

I'm not saying that you "do" sleep with Stephanie, I'm not saying that you "do not" sleep with Stephanie. But the fact remains that if Stephanie was (sic) sleeping in her own bed, she would have found the gravy ladle by now.

Love, Mom


LESSON OF THE DAY ... NEVER LIE TO YOUR MOTHER.

(via Jonco)

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This should cause you some concern


There was a meeting of the Council for National Policy, as dangerous a group as you could envision. Just look at a few of the organizers. If this doesn't give you chills, you aren't paying attention.
The event was a meeting of the Council for National Policy, a secretive club whose few hundred members include Dr. James C. Dobson of Focus on the Family, the Rev. Jerry Falwell of Liberty University and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Although little known outside the conservative movement, the council has become a pivotal stop for Republican presidential primary hopefuls, including George W. Bush on the eve of his 1999 primary campaign.

It seems this group is quite apathetic. They see no idiot available within the GOP to run for president. Perhaps they should endorse Carrot Top?

Hey, I'm lowbrow enough to enjoy Carrot Top. He's a genius. He's carved out a niche for himself and its worked quite well for him. And I'm certain he could lead the country as well as, if not better than, king George.

(read more)

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More good news

I'm sure this isn't the final word, but this is one intelligent judge.
A federal judge in Boston has dismissed a suit by two families who wanted to stop a Massachusetts town and its public school system from teaching their children about gay marriage, court documents show.

The families last year filed the suit asserting that the reading of a gay-themed book and handing out to elementary school students of other children's books that discussed homosexuality without first notifying parents was a violation of their religious rights.

Federal Judge Mark Wolf ruled on Friday that public schools are "entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy."

"Diversity is a hallmark of our nation. It is increasingly evident that our diversity includes differences in sexual orientation," he said.

IMHO this is how the courts should work. Courts should be impartial. They should judge each case on the evidence presented.

Hell, I'm sure some parents would object if their children were taught the "new math" without parental consent.

(read more)

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Some good news out of Iraq

Only 39± were killed. Its looking like "last throes" again.
A suicide truck bomber sent a deadly storm of metal, stone and jagged plaster through worshippers leaving a Sunni mosque Saturday, killing at least 39 in a possible sign of escalating internal Sunni battles between insurgents and those who oppose them.

(read more)

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I should have guessed



I was really hoping for Gandhi or Mother Teresa, but...

H/T kayinmaine.

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George W, CEO

Bush said he would run the government like a businessman. Well, it looks like he was telling the truth. Unfortunately, he's running it like he's run other businesses.
Fiscal Responsibility
George W. Bush took over as CEO of USA Inc. when the country was running substantial surpluses, rapidly paying off its debt, and moving toward a future with a balanced budget. Forecasts predicted the country would continue to grow and be debt free in the near future. Bush took charge, and the opposite occurred: the country is running record deficits; debt service is skyrocketing. Bush's most recent economic forecast (arguably optimistic) predicts a balanced budget by 2012 (contingent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan not costing the United States a dime after 2009), which is, ironically, when he will no longer be in office. The trade deficit with USA Inc.'s No. 1 competitor, China, is increasing. Interestingly, a characteristic of many failing CEOs when losses are mounting is to hide or obfuscate the real deficits. This president, in addition to incurring massive deficits, has managed to hide the magnitude of the losses by special (otherwise known as "off balance sheet") allocations of billions of dollars that do not appear in the annual budget.

Found at Brilliant at Breakfast.

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Why does SPIIDERWEB™ hate America?

Where we enter the world of reality. Go over to Once Upon a Time... Take a look at that site.

At university I roomed with a guy who majored in History. I avoided History as much as Chem, but learned much from him. He said most of the history I'd learned in school was wrong. Most of the "ugliness", especially concerning the US, had been expunged.

So I've never since viewed the US through rose colored glasses. I do, however, envision the US through rose colored glasses. I envision it as it should be. Unfortunately I'm too often disappointed. That's the main reason I hate Bush and his thugs. They've perverted US ideals more than I imagined possible.

The US is not god's gift to mankind. The US is god's promise to mankind. What you do with that promise is the ol' "free will" thingie.

To walk with dignity and confidence is fine. Brush aside the odd skeleton or two and the US and its people have much to be proud of. To walk with the arrogance that the US can do no wrong is ludicrous.

Ok, off my soap box now. I'll go quietly. No need for the straight jacket.

H/T A Tiny Revolution.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Really kewl world time site

Actually I use the world clock most of the time, but this site is very good too.

I guess it depends on whether you like bells and whistles or just data.

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This is so wrong


I found this picture over at Dependable Renegade (watertiger).

My reaction is this is a photo-op that should never have occurred. Pictures of Bush are always "saying" something and this one says, "Fuck the Muslim religion." And, though it could probably not be proved, I'd bet the farm Bush has uttered almost exactly those words.
And here is what the leader of the Western world, valiant warrior in the battle of cultures, promised to do to bin Laden if he caught him: "I will screw him in the ass!"

Yeah, he talks that way in private.

Hey Bush, send the Secret Service for take-out or tell the WH chef you want pork for dinner.

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Cat Blogging


Nope, I still have no cat.

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For your amusement


(via Indexed)

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For your consideration

Over at Damage Control, Philip Racuel takes a look at the big picture in Iraq.

And he goes "out there" a bit as you can see.
I truly believe, given all the evidence we have thus far, that the Bush Crime Family will stop at nothing to keep their "war" going. My gut is telling me that it is not "insurgents" targeting the helicopters- it is the private Blackwater mercenaries in our employ in concert with the CIA. Think back to the Noriega insanity and linking the CIA to things like this is not all that an outrageous claim.

Just wait- eventually these downed choppers will be linked to Iran or weapons that were allegedly provided by Iran.

The thing is, as you read this article, you keep thinking, "I don't want to believe this stuff." But then you realize who's calling the shots and how terribly easy it is for all this to be true.

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Parenting


First we have examples from Overheard at the Beach.
Woman to friend: Look at that woman. She so fat, we should call Greenpeace to roll her back in the ocean.
Little girl passing by fat woman: My mommy says Greenpeace should roll you back into the ocean!

--Zandvoort, Netherlands

Overheard by: Linda

**********

Little girl: I'm gonna... I'm gonna cut off your head with a knife!
Mother, shocked: Where did you hear that kind of language?!
Little girl: Ummm, I don't know...
Mother: You must have heard it somewhere!
Little girl: I made it up! ... Is pepperoni meat?
Mother: Yes.

--Oceanside, California

Overheard by: kafrin

Next are examples from Overheard in New York.
Little kid: No, you gotta do the secret handshake.
Friend: What?
Little kid: The secret handshake! [Stands behind friend and starts thrusting his hips against friend's rear.] Boom! Boom! Boom!
Little kid's mom: Josh, that's not nice!

**********

Father to 10-year-old son: She likes ziti, french fries, pizza, and cake? Do you know what she's going to be in high school? Fat. Never date a girl that likes to eat more than two things. First rule in life.

--Gennaro restaurant

Overheard by: Aislinn

**********

Son: ... But are they really bad guys, or just guys gone wrong?
Father: Some of these men have committed gruesome killings.
Son: Wow.
Father: It is why I can never be on one of those juries, since I was part of an attempted murder case. I was the killee, not the killer...

--78th & Madison

Overheard by: nyc8675309

**********

Mom: Don't lean over the tracks like that.
Five-year-old son: I'm just looking for the train.
Mom: It's dangerous, you could fall.
Five-year-old son: Daddy's doing it. You're not saying it to him.
Mom: I'm your mother, and I told you to stop. Daddy can do what he wants. [Boy sulks for a few minutes.] Okay, do you want to call Grandma when we get home so she can yell at Daddy for leaning over the tracks?
Five-year-old son: Yes.

--34th St subway platform

**********

Negligent mom: He's a little boy -- that's what he's supposed to do! They have penises so they can wave them around!

--Danice, 125th & 8th

Overheard by: Tammy Scumbag

And finally, 3 more from Overheard in the Office.
Receptionist: Can I help you this morning?
Mom: Yes. I need a shot to keep my daughter from being a complete bitch.
Teen girl: Like they've invented that, Mom.

Chestnut Ridge Pediatrics
Woodcliffe Lake, New Jersey

Overheard by: Mothers Anonymous

**********

Little girl holding Bad Santa: Nana, can I get this Santa movie?
Grandmother: No, you can't.
Little girl: But my mommy and daddy watched it.
Grandmother: That's because your parents are bad people.

Wal-Mart
Raynham, Massachusetts

**********

Little boy looking at stuffed animal: Look, Mommy, it's the monkey that comes out of your butt!
Mother: Yes, it's the monkey that flies out of your ass. That's why we're not going back to Chuck E. Cheese's.

Learning Express
Exton, Pennsylvania

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Coporate greed in a nutshell

Found at Left I on the News. This is the headline of a story at www.mercurynews.com.
Revenue, profit up; HP eyes more cuts

Obviously management has it right, but it doesn't make them right. Try a little compassion now, guys.

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Cojones of the large kind

Any regular reader here knows I'm for a troop withdraw, including the UK, but as long as there is fighting there...
Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, is getting his wish to serve in Iraq. The Ministry of Defense ended speculation that had been swirling for about a week by announcing Thursday the 22-year-old prince will be sent to Iraq with his Blues and Royals regiment in May or June. Harry, a second lieutenant, will assume a troop commander's role.

Obviously Prince Harry could have avoided being sent to Iraq. He would have taken a lot of flak from the press and the public, but he could have done it.

The difference between the prince and the king (Bush) is the prince has balls. Bush proved he has none.
Pointing to Kerry's war record by implication highlights the absence of his contemporary George W. Bush, who, on his own admission, had joined the Texas Air National Guard to avoid the war.

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Must Read IMHO

Its long, but well worth your time. Its over at Balloon Juice.
The Pentagon is planning to send more than 14,000 National Guard troops back to Iraq next year, shortening their time between deployments to meet the demands of President Bush’s buildup, Defense Department officials said Wednesday.

National Guard officials told state commanders in Arkansas, Indiana, Oklahoma and Ohio last month that while a final decision had not been made, units from their states that had done previous tours in Iraq and Afghanistan could be designated to return to Iraq next year between January and June, the officials said.


...


A lengthy call-up to a war in a foreign country would have destroyed my life. I would have lost my job (and spare me the nonsense about people keeping their jobs- I worked for a small company, they would have had to replace me). My academic career would have been put on hold, and I would probably have had to start over again. I also would have earned significantly while on active duty than I did while working my job, and incurred debts paying for rent in a place I was not living, paying insurance/monthly bills on a car I could not drive, etc.

An astute observer might, at this point, say two things. First, are there not programs in place to help with those burdens? The answer, of course, is, “yes.” There are programs to ease the financial burdens of call-ups, to suspend cc and home and car payments until a person returns from duty. But the bills still exist, and do not go away. You just pay them later, and with a significant loss in earning power for the duration of your activation.

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Science vs faith

Two more clever flow charts from Wellington Grey to explain scientific method vs faith.

(Go to charts)

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What would Bush do?

Very clever flow chart of Bush's brain.



(Large version of chart)

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I'm back…sort of


Still not feeling great, but then, I never do so I'm nearing normal.

I think the soup may have helped a lot.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Not feeling good right now


Will be back to blogging as soon as I can. Sorry.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Popcorn Chicken Recipe

With no hint of shame I stole this in its entirety from Jonco.
Here is a chicken recipe that also includes the use of popcorn as a stuffing - imagine that.

When I found this recipe, I thought it was perfect for people like me, who just are not sure how to tell when poultry is thoroughly cooked, but not dried out...give this a try.

BAKED STUFFED CHICKEN
6-7 lb. Chicken
1 cup melted butter
1 cup stuffing (Pepperidge Farm is good.)
1 cup uncooked popcorn (ORVILLE REDENBACHER'S LOW FAT)
Salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush chicken well with melted butter, salt, and pepper. Fill cavity with stuffing and popcorn.

Place in baking pan with the neck end toward the back of the oven.

Listen for the popping sounds.

When the chicken's ass blows the oven door open and the chicken flies across the room, it's done.

And you thought I couldn’t cook.

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I don't "do" '08, but this guy does

For some reason Barack Obama is all over the news. Fear of him? Admiration? Jealousy? I have no idea, but here's a good analysis of what he faces.

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For your amusement

I may do this sort of post now and again. That is until one of the corporations issues a cease and desist order. If you have any bastardized logos, please send me the info.

It started with the ol' Starbucks© logo.


And now on to McDonalds©.

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This is so wrong


This poor woman, assuming she hasn't had breast enlargement, should seriously consider breast reduction.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Got a twofer must read IMHO for ya

Must read number 1.

Must read number 2.

Don't say it. I know I'm lazy. But I do direct you to sites where non-lazy people post. Gimme a break.

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Fantastic site

For your amusement

This site has the 100 best vanity plates in the US.

I found it via neatorama.

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Stop nukular proliferation

This is a good post I would hope the US government critters read. And others.

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They all be changing logos

After the International Red Cross changed to the non-religious red crystal logo, we now have this.
The International Atomic Energy Agency released a new warning symbol to supplement the elegant and traditional but meaningless trefoil radiation warning symbol.

(via Boing Boing)

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Ridiculous

And tragic at the same time. Condi is saying the US is not trying to wipe out the Sunnis? She can be such a joker sometimes.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Iraqi leaders Saturday that the Baghdad security operation needs to "rise above sectarianism" and noted that no U.S. or Iraqi forces have yet moved into the capital's major Shiite militia stronghold, an Iraqi official said.

The official, who was familiar with the discussions, said Rice told Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that the initial stage of the crackdown, which began Wednesday, appeared to focus on Sunni areas and had left Sadr City, stronghold of the Mahdi Army militia, nearly untouched.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to release the information to the media.

He said Rice stopped short of accusing the Iraqis of displaying pro-Shiite bias in the operation and said it appeared that the security crackdown was going well.

Top Sunni politicians have also complained that Sunni neighborhoods have been targeted for raids and searches while Sadr City and other Shiite militia hideouts have been spared.

She told the Iraqis that the operation must "rise above sectarianism" and that this was the "last chance for success," he said without elaborating.

And as for "going well"? Hahaha. She's such a card.

(read more)

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Yeah, I'm lazy

Must Read IMHO

Oh hell, I'm not going to bother linking to a post. Just go read everything at Anything They Say. It all be good.

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Iraq blasts kill 63, send grim message

Ya get a sense the SURGE™ ain't working? Just asking.
Militants struck back Sunday in their first major blow against a U.S.-led security clampdown in Baghdad with car bombings that killed at least 63 people, left scores injured and sent a grim message to officials boasting that extremist factions were on the run.

So maybe the crackdown isn't quite the "brilliant success" al-Maliki claimed?

I've said before and will repeat here. The...US...will...not...win. The...US...can...not...win.

(read more)

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Planning seen in insurgents' attacks on U.S. helicopters

Duh! Why does everyone except hyper-cognitive progressive bloggers think the US is fighting complete idiots? Of course they plan and adjust to US tactics. As the saying goes, their mothers didn't raise no fools.
Documents captured from Iraqi insurgents indicate that some of the recent fatal attacks against U.S. helicopters are the result of a carefully planned strategy to focus on downing coalition aircraft, one that U.S. officials say has been carried out by mounting coordinated assaults with machine guns, rockets and surface-to- air missiles.

At this point I'm skeptical the US military is equally adept at adjusting.

(read more)

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Ya wanna steal my car? Go ahead and try


This is a pic of a car protected by a Tesla coil. Kewl pic.

(read more)

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A question for bloggers

If you check info on your visitors, have you noticed you get almost no info about Chinese visitors? The only thing I ever see is the city they are coming from.

Its no biggie, but interesting nonetheless.

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Bush looks to historic parallels for final legacy

IMHO, Bush can look under rocks, behind the bookcase and in his own shorts. His legacy is shit. He's the worst president I've been witness to and probably, according to many, the worst president ever.

Hey, the good news is he'll make the Guinness book of world records.
The president believes it will take some time to determine his place in the pantheon of presidents, despite the negative assessments some historians have already made.

"I don't think you'll really get the full history of the Bush administration until long after I'm gone. I tell people I'm reading books on George Washington and they're still analyzing his presidency," Bush told CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview last month.

Many in the current crop of historians are already prepared to declare Bush's presidency a failure.

(read more)

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Car bombs kill 55 in Baghdad, despite crackdown

I'm sure the residents are feeling all comfy knowing there's a crackdown underway.
Two car bombs tore through a busy shopping area of a mainly Shi'ite district of Baghdad on Sunday, killing 55 people and wounding scores as militants defied a military offensive by U.S. and Iraqi troops.

The blasts came just two days after Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki trumpeted what he called the "brilliant success" of Operation Imposing Law in quelling sectarian violence that has turned the capital's streets into killing fields.

But U.S. generals, mindful of a similar crackdown last summer that failed, have been more cautious and warned any downturn in violence might be temporary as militants adapt their tactics to meet the new strategy.

And duh, the militants aren't stupid and can adapt? Who the hell could have predicted that? Just asking.

A "brilliant success" my ass. Even though the militants* are laying low, they are still very lethal.

I always say I'm no military expert, but...

This is the militants/insurgents fight. They have the passion, equipment and tactics needed to engage in guerrilla warfare. They will never stop nor be defeated. This is their fight and the US has no right to be in it.

*I really don't know what term to use. Militants? Insurgents? anti-occupation fighters? Enemy? Terrorists?

Perhaps we need a new term such as defenders because they are fighting the soldiers of a foreign country which illegally invaded and occupied their country. They're defending themselves just as most Americans would do under similar circumstances.

(read more)

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Iran: US will lose in the Middle East

Duh! Its already happened. The Iraqi and Afghan insurgents can't be contained nor defeated and that makes them the winners by default. At this point, remaining in Iraq is futile and costing the unnecessary loss of life. Perhaps re-directing efforts on Afghanistan might be beneficial, but I have my doubts.
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Sunday the United States will not achieve its goals in the region, state television reported.

"Realities in the region show that the arrogant front, headed by US and its allies, will be the principal loser in the region," the broadcast quoted Khamenei as saying in meeting Syrian President Bashar Assad.

(read more)

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The Kabul helicopter crash


(Update below)

This is exactly why one must peruse many news sources and try one's best to sort out the truth.

From Reuters:
Eight U.S. military personnel were killed when their helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan after reporting engine failure on Sunday, the U.S.-led coalition said.

Another 14 were injured, a U.S. military spokesman said.

From L'Agence France Presse:
A coalition helicopter has crashed in southeastern Afghanistan after reporting engine failure, the US-led force said, refusing to confirm that all on board appeared to have survived.

The chopper came down before dawn in the southeastern province of Zabul, about 250 kilometres (155 miles) southwest of the capital Kabul.

It was a Chinook transport helicopter, a military official told AFP on Sunday. Chinooks can carry around 30 people but the coalition would not say how many people were on board or give details while rescue efforts were under way.

A US military official from the region said on condition of anonymity that there were injuries "but we expect everyone to survive." [emphasis mine]

So L'Agence France Presse, a usually reliable source, says it was a coalition helicopter whereas Reuters says a US helicopter.

L'Agence France Presse says there were injuries, but no fatalities. Reuters says 8 died and 14 were injured.

Folks, bloggers can be as accurate as "respected" news sources.

Here at SPIIDERWEB™ I would probably report 8 people died in a US helicopter crash in Kabul because Reuters is one of several news sources which have said the same thing. They probably got it right.

To be fair to the L'Agence France Presse reporter, if you don't know all the facts, "coalition" helicopter is a safe term and quoting a source who says they expect no casualties is also good reporting. Considering the mayhem in Iraq, I'm sure it ain't easy to glean the facts necessary to write precisely. However, I should point out the Reuter's reporter did find the facts as did several others.

Reporting is a race. Perhaps the L'Agence France Presse reporter merely went first with what s/he had. I've been burned this way before and came to the conclusion its better to be a little slow on the up-take if it means I can be more accurate. Its each person's call, of course.

UPDATE: L'Agence France Presse has caught up on the story. A good sign.

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Invaluable source of information on Iraq

Indian Gov't to Raise Unwanted Girls

There are alternatives. Ya just gotta get creative.

Its unfortunate women are having abortions just because they're pregnant with a girl. The paramount reason is because it means the women and/or their husbands deem males superior to females which is ludicrous.
The Indian government plans to set up a series of orphanages to raise unwanted baby girls in a bid to halt the widespread practice of aborting female fetuses, according to a senior government official.

Dubbed the "cradle scheme," the plan is an attempt to slow the practice that international groups say has killed more than 10 million female fetuses in the last two decades, leading to an alarming imbalance in the ratio between males and females in India, Renuka Chowdhury, the minister of state for women and child development, told the Press Trust of India news agency in an interview published Sunday.

"What we are saying to the people is have your children, don't kill them. And if you don't want a girl child, leave her to us," Chowdhury told the agency, adding that the government planned to set up a center in each regional district.

"We will bring up the children. But don't kill them because there really is a crisis situation," she said.

On Sunday, police arrested a gynecologist and janitor at a hospital near the central Indian city of Bhopal after the discovery of nearly 400 bones from fetuses and newborns in a pit behind the hospital. It is believed they are the remains of unwanted baby girls.

(read more)

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Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility


Dr Walter Reed

This is a story you need to disseminate. Maybe someone with influence can encourage the government to correct this situation.

These people are sent off to strange lands where they sustain often irreparable damage and then they're treated like shit by those who sent them to those strange lands in the first place.
By Dana Priest and Anne Hull
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, February 18, 2007; Page A01

Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan's room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.

This is the world of Building 18, not the kind of place where Duncan expected to recover when he was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center from Iraq last February with a broken neck and a shredded left ear, nearly dead from blood loss. But the old lodge, just outside the gates of the hospital and five miles up the road from the White House, has housed hundreds of maimed soldiers recuperating from injuries suffered in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Five and a half years of sustained combat have transformed the venerable 113-acre Walter Reed Army Medical Center into a holding ground for physically and psychologically damaged outpatients.

The common perception of Walter Reed is of a surgical hospital that shines as the crown jewel of military medicine. But 5 1/2 years of sustained combat have transformed the venerable 113-acre institution into something else entirely -- a holding ground for physically and psychologically damaged outpatients. Almost 700 of them -- the majority soldiers, with some Marines -- have been released from hospital beds but still need treatment or are awaiting bureaucratic decisions before being discharged or returned to active duty.

They suffer from brain injuries, severed arms and legs, organ and back damage, and various degrees of post-traumatic stress. Their legions have grown so exponentially -- they outnumber hospital patients at Walter Reed 17 to 1 -- that they take up every available bed on post and spill into dozens of nearby hotels and apartments leased by the Army. The average stay is 10 months, but some have been stuck there for as long as two years.

Not all of the quarters are as bleak as Duncan's, but the despair of Building 18 symbolizes a larger problem in Walter Reed's treatment of the wounded, according to dozens of soldiers, family members, veterans aid groups, and current and former Walter Reed staff members interviewed by two Washington Post reporters, who spent more than four months visiting the outpatient world without the knowledge or permission of Walter Reed officials. Many agreed to be quoted by name; others said they feared Army retribution if they complained publicly.

While the hospital is a place of scrubbed-down order and daily miracles, with medical advances saving more soldiers than ever, the outpatients in the Other Walter Reed encounter a messy bureaucratic battlefield nearly as chaotic as the real battlefields they faced overseas.

On the worst days, soldiers say they feel like they are living a chapter of "Catch-22." The wounded manage other wounded. Soldiers dealing with psychological disorders of their own have been put in charge of others at risk of suicide.

Disengaged clerks, unqualified platoon sergeants and overworked case managers fumble with simple needs: feeding soldiers' families who are close to poverty, replacing a uniform ripped off by medics in the desert sand or helping a brain-damaged soldier remember his next appointment.

(read more)

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Pakistan's 'Pir Double Shah' said to double money in 70 days


Perhaps money does grow on trees in Dubai.

I know I'd seek him out if I had any money I could spare. Hahaha. Oh, that hurt. Money to spare. Hahaha. Oh no, I typed it again. Spare. Yeah, sure.
Authorities in Pakistan's rural Punjab are wary and investors are getting worried about a man who doubles the money given to him within 70 days.

How Sibtul Hasan Shah, now popular as 'Pir Double Shah', can double whatever sum is invested with him within 70 days is not known. His brother and front-man Intezar Shah said the business was in collaboration with some Dubai-based partners involved in 'stocks' there.

The Daily Times reported Sunday that the suave and good-natured teacher-turned-businessman is himself becoming rich. He has opened branch offices and appointed agents to spread his business. Doubling of money through any banking system in South Asia generally takes anything between four to seven years, depending upon the prevailing interest rate that is stipulated by the government and monitored by the central bank.

(read more)

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Israel, U.S. May Shun Palestinian Gov't

I have a stupid question. I've seen this in "negotiations" with Iran, Iraq and NKorea, to name a few. Is it still considered diplomacy if you insist the other team play only by your rules? Just asking.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that the U.S. and Israel are in total accord on shunning any Palestinian government that doesn't meet international demands to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept existing peace accords.

And I won't even get started on how much influence the tiny nation of Israel has on US foreign policy in the Mid-East. Nope. Won't go there.

(read more)

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Lunar New Year's eve in Suzhou

Too kewl pix. I stole all of them from Xinhua.




Citizens appreciate a large water performance,
including music, fountains, lights and fireworks
displays - Lunar New Year's eve, Feb. 17, 2007,
in Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province.
(Xinhua /Wang Jiankang)

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Les Roberts: Iraq's death toll is far worse than our leaders admit

This is a very good analysis of deaths in the Iraq conflict. And it appears ya ain't being told the truth.
On both sides of the Atlantic, a process of spinning science is preventing a serious discussion about the state of affairs in Iraq.

The government in Iraq claimed last month that since the 2003 invasion between 40,000 and 50,000 violent deaths have occurred. Few have pointed out the absurdity of this statement.

There are three ways we know it is a gross underestimate. First, if it were true, including suicides, South Africa, Colombia, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia have experienced higher violent death rates than Iraq over the past four years. If true, many North and South American cities and Sub-Saharan Africa have had a similar murder rate to that claimed in Iraq. For those of us who have been in Iraq, the suggestion that New Orleans is more violent seems simply ridiculous.

Secondly, there have to be at least 120,000 and probably 140,000 deaths per year from natural causes in a country with the population of Iraq. The numerous stories we hear about overflowing morgues, the need for new cemeteries and new body collection brigades are not consistent with a 10 per cent rise in death rate above the baseline.

And finally, there was a study, peer-reviewed and published in The Lancet, Europe's most prestigious medical journal, which put the death toll at 650,000 as of last July. The study, which I co-authored, was done by the standard cluster approach used by the UN to estimate mortality in dozens of countries each year. While the findings are imprecise, the lower range of possibilities suggested that the Iraq government was at least downplaying the number of dead by a factor of 10.

Even if you ignore the last paragraph because of perceived bias, its clear the numbers you see and reality are pretty far apart.

(read more)

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We're talking scrota here.


This started as a comment over at Bitch PhD, but was getting too long.
I've never seen anything wrong with giving my children medical terminology about body parts.

As for the pig's corkscrew penis, research raccoons. They have a bone in their penis with a hook on the end so the female doesn't "get away". (snicker)

Not sure whether this post can stand on its own without reading Bitch.

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Must Read IMHO

Its over at Bad Attitudes. Its short. Go now.

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Test your vocabulary skills

OK, I've not doubted my vocabulary is pretty good even though I use little of it, but spelling the words ... pshaw.





Your Vocabulary Score: A



Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!

You must be quite an erudite person.

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As a service to my readers

Perhaps Couretney Cox is losing it

I try to avoid "celebrity" posts, but some are necessary. Why do agents and PR reps let these people talk?

1. Pull your pants up. You're not fifteen, you're not a rapper, and we need to see the shape of your ass.

2. Pull your pants down. You're not eighty-five, you're not an accountant, and we don't need to see the shape of your balls.

3. Breasts are not a speed bump to the promised land.

4. Yes, we want you to be more verbal. No, burping doesn't count.

5. Kissing is something that you need to stay engaged in, even if all the blood is rushing out of your head and into other parts of your body.

6. Speaking of which, though it might make for a cool carnival sideshow, our entire face will not fit inside your mouth, and thus this makes for lousy kissing.

7. If we're crying and you're holding us and get a hard-on, we automatically deduct points.

8. And getting a boner while we're sleeping next to you is not an excuse to wake us up. This is not what they mean by serendipity.

9. We pay closer attention to your hands than you think. It's bad enough if you don't have manly hands, but if your nails are longer than ours, forget it.

10. You don't get a vote in the preferred shape of our pubic hair. Until you've had hot wax poured all over your crotch, you're merely a passenger on that flight.

Number 2 confuses me.

(courtesy link)

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This guy needs help

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Experts: Iranian unit not arming Iraq militias

More evidence Bush is on shaky ground when he accuses Iran's secretive Quds Force of supplying arms to Shiite militias.
Iran's secretive Quds Force, accused by the United States of arming Iraqi militants with deadly bomb-making material, has built an extensive network in the war-torn country, recruiting Iraqis and supporting not only Shiite militias but also Shiites allied with Washington.

Still unclear, however, is how closely Iran's top leadership is directing the Quds Force's operations and whether Iran has intended for its help to Shiite militias to be turned against U.S. forces.

Iran likely does not want a direct confrontation with American troops in Iraq but is backing militiamen to ensure Shiites win any future civil war with Iraqi Sunnis after the Americans leave, several experts said Thursday.

The Quds Force's role underlines how deeply enmeshed Iran is in its neighbor and how the U.S. could face resistance even from its allies in Iraq if it tries to uproot Iran's influence in the country.

...

At most, Iran's entire Quds Force probably numbers only about 2,000, only about 800 of whom are core operatives, according to Abedin, the expert at the London-based [Center for the Study of Terrorism] think tank.

Abedin doubted the Quds Force was directly giving militias weapons, arguing that militias have their own domestic networks for building and obtaining weapons. But he said Quds undoubtedly was providing intelligence and other organizational help.

"It would be very incriminating and dangerous for Iran to directly supply weapons to the militias, and it's not a part of Iranian policy to directly confront the Americans," he said.

Instead, the goal is likely "to enable these armed formations ... to gain an advantage over their Sunni rivals" in the battle for power that Iran expects could erupt later.

"They are looking to beyond, when the Americans withdraw," he said. "They see the Shiite militias as natural allies."

This is considered thinking ahead or looking at the big picture, two things Bush finds impossible to do.

(read more)

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This is a problem US healthcare doesn't need


A potential pool of 17,000 nurses, sorely needed in the US is quarantined.
The Philippine government is to appeal a move by the US to ban some 17,000 nurses who passed the 2006 nursing examination amid allegations of mass cheating.

The United States Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) issued the temporary ban this week insisting that Filipino nurses retake sections of the 2006 examination where mass cheating took place.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday ordered Labor Secretary Arturo Brion to appeal the decision.

The order comes after a nursing review centre disclosed it had leaked answers to some students who took the examinations.

The scandal rocked the country's medical profession and cast a shadow over the quality of its nurses, who are in high demand overseas, especially in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.

The story goes on to say the students will be re-tested, so the ban may be short lived, but my guess is the nurses are now more likely to opt for the UK or other European countries since they'll consider this ban a slap in the face.

Its quite unfortunate, but demanding re-examination before authorizing these graduates to work in the US or anywhere else only makes sense.

Its quite unfortunate in another aspect. A couple years ago I was hospitalized for two weeks, twice, after major surgeries. One week I was in intensive care. During those hospital stays I had a large number of nurses attend me around the clock. They were all very good at their jobs. They were all, with the exception of one male nurse, Filipinas.

(read more)

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FDA warns about dangerous Internet drug mistake

A drug used to treat schizophrenia was mailed to some consumers who had ordered other medications via the Internet, and several users had to seek emergency treatment because they could not breathe, U.S. health officials said on Friday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said that instead of receiving the products they ordered, some consumers were sent the prescription drug haloperidol. Several patients had to seek emergency care after taking the pills, the agency said without citing a specific number.

Sold legally as Haldol by Johnson & Johnson and in other generic versions, the anti-psychotic drug is know (sic) to cause muscle spasms, muscle stiffness, agitation and sedation.

...

The agency said those who have received medications from an Internet seller should compare them to photos of the faulty orders, which can be seen on the FDA's Web site[.]

(read more)

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