Saturday, March 03, 2007

Kuwaiti Court Acquits 2 Ex-Gitmo Inmates

Here's hoping the long ordeal of these two men is finally over.
A criminal court on Saturday acquitted two former Guantanamo Bay prisoners of joining al-Qaida or the Taliban.

Omar Rajab Amin and Abdullah Kamel al-Kundari denied any terror connections at the start of their trial. Their lawyers argued there was no evidence against them and the case was "political." Defense attorneys said the accused were in Afghanistan for charity work - not to fight.

Details of the ruling, which was announced by a court clerk, were not immediately available. The two men were not in court Saturday, but one of their lawyers, Thikra al-Majdali, said she expected them to be released from custody by tomorrow.

The prosecution can appeal the ruling, but it was not clear Saturday if it would do so.

Amin, 41, and al-Kundari, 32, were released from the U.S. detention camp in September after spending nearly five years there. They were detained by authorities for questioning upon their return to Kuwait.

I'm assuming here justice has been done and the men are indeed innocent. But they still lost nearly five years of their lives for nothing. Then faced political persecution for 5 months in Kuwait.

There'll probably be more stories like this to come.

(read more)

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So about all those U.S. Attorneys who were fired

Ya just know this is gonna get worse, much worse. Read what Kevin Drum has to say.
The list of prosecutors was assembled last fall, based largely on complaints from members of Congress, law enforcement officials and career Justice Department lawyers, administration officials said.

My guess is that they've decided this is their only remaining chance of escaping from this scandal with their hides intact. After all, the evidence suggests that the U.S. Attorneys in question were actually fired for partisan reasons: either being too tough on corrupt Republicans or not tough enough on corrupt Democrats. With the vultures circling and stonewalling no longer a viable strategy, the only option left was to confess to some lesser misdemeanor and hope that the press would buy it.

They're following the same pattern they always follow. Denial if possible. Lie about why they did something. That would be blaming others in this case. Admit a little bit more about what they did. And eventually they're completely exposed. They never learn.

Of course, why should they learn? There are never any real consequences. And they never get at all embarrassed about being caught.

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US, Pakistani agents interrogate Taliban leader

I'm sure "interrogate" is the correct word as opposed to, oh I don't know, "torture"?

(read more)

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Hundreds Bid Farewell to 1st Wendy's

Above is an AP photo of the first Wendy's restaurant in Columbus OH.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- They came in droves, regulars and first-timers, children, parents and grandparents, to order burgers, fries and milkshakes at the first Wendy's restaurant, closing Friday after 37 years downtown because of persistent lagging sales.

Some called the decision corporate greed. Others shrugged, saying they could understand a business decision.

"If Dave Thomas knew he would roll over in his grave," said Drenna Burke, a broker's assistant who works around the corner. She ate often at the dark brick restaurant with a distinctive blue-and-white aluminum trim and on Thursday was snapping pictures of Wendy's paraphernalia, including toys, utensils and photos of Thomas from over the years.

"You can't tell me that Wendy's doesn't make enough profit that they can continue to keep this open," Burke said. "It's all about greed and it's all about money."

Now that's all interesting enough, but it gets more interesting IMHO.

I find it more interesting because the second photo is from Wendy's homepage and distinctly identifies the "first store" as being in Zanesville OH.

Now I don't know if Zanesville OH is a suburb, but the AP story makes it pretty clear the first store is in downtown Columbus. Perhaps the AP story is just a little sloppy or perhaps Wendy's can't remember the location of their first store.

I always find it interesting when easily determined "facts" can differ. It also appears the AP photo is a picture of an all-glass storefront as opposed to dark brick.

(Wendy's link)

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Cat Blogging

Still no cat and I don't count the leopard. Of course you can count the leopard and then its a twofer.

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Us will, will not, will, might talk with Syria and Iran

In reference to the article in my last post, there is this little gem.
At the end of last year, the Baker-Hamilton report, written by a bipartisan commission of Republicans and Democrats, suggested opening talks with Iran and Syria to resolve the Iraqi crisis. However, President Bush has taken a total opposite direction and blames Iran and Syria for the US military losses in Iraq!

No new news there. Bush has always said he won't talk to Iran and Syria.

But then this came out.
After years of refusing to talk directly to Iran and Syria, the White House has done an abrupt about face and is beginning to engage in talks. Within the past two weeks, the administration officials have agreed to high-level talks with Iran and Syria and will begin the process of granting diplomatic recognition to North Korea.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said that although some people are calling U.S. participating in a regional meeting as a policy change that "it is nothing of the sort."

Three things come to mind.

1. I'm thinking of a leopard's ability to change his spots here.

2. Tony Snow is a lying son of a bitch bastard if not just a fool.

3. Don't the eyes look like Bush and Cheney's?

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Iran under the threat of war?

Is the US going to attack Iran? Regular readers know my answer is yes with one caveat. It might be Israel which actually begins the bombing and the US then joins the party.

The whole article is a must read IMHO because it pulls together many of the points I've made in past posts into one concise article.
Is the United States going to attack Iran? This question is being asked around the world. The big American military build-up in the Persian Gulf has gone on for some time, and there is every reason to believe that Washington is setting stage for a major offensive against Iran. In fact, the Bush administration has followed a carefully orchestrated strategy with a view to pave the way for a major conflict with Iran. The clearest signal comes from US Vice President Dick Cheney’s latest comments on February 23. At a joint news conference with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, Cheney said that ‘all options’ are on the table if Iran continues to defy UN- led efforts to get Tehran to abandon its nuclear programmes. The news conference was held amidst tight security because thousands of protesters were voicing their anger at his visit. They called the main architect of invasion and occupation of Iraq a ‘war criminal’ and they called for the withdrawal of Australian soldiers from Iraq.

Cheney said that the United States remained ‘deeply concerned’ about Iran’s activities, including the ‘aggressive’ sponsoring of terrorist group of Hezbollah and ‘inflammatory statements’ by the by President Ahmadinejad: ‘We worked with European community and the United Nations to put together a set of policies to persuade the Iranians to give up their aspirations and to resolve the matter peacefully, and that is still our preference.’ ‘But I have also made the point, and the president has also made the point, that all options are on the table,’ said Cheney.

(read more)

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U.S. to develop new hydrogen bomb

This is exactly what you need to do if you're trying to convince other countries they don't need nukes. Right?
The Energy Department will announce today a contract to develop the nation's first new hydrogen bomb in two decades, involving a collaboration between three national weapons laboratories, The Times has learned.

The new bomb will include design features from all three labs, though Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the Bay Area appears to have taken the lead position in the project. The Los Alamos and Sandia labs in New Mexico will also be part of the project.


Proponents of the effort say that the nation's existing nuclear stockpile is getting old and that doubts will eventually grow about weapons reliability. They say the new bomb will not have a greater nuclear yield and could not perform any new military missions beyond those of existing weapons.

So far, those arguments have attracted bipartisan support, including from Democrats who have long played a leading role in nuclear arms issues.

Critics say the existing stockpile is perfectly reliable and can be maintained for decades. The new bomb will undermine U.S. efforts to stop nuclear proliferation, they say. In addition, a recent study showed that plutonium components in existing weapons were aging much more slowly than expected.

Why does the US have to upgrade? Aren't they intended as deterrents against others' aging stockpiles?

As for reliability, if we send 6-10 nukes at another country, just how many do we need to actually detonate? Isn't one or two enough? If more are needed, send more. It isn't like we don't have hundreds.

(read more)

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Afghan Taliban says sending fighters to Iraq: TV

Well lucky for you General. You now have a second chance to "defeat the Taleban".
The United Sates took over the rotating command of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan Sunday amid growing concern over a surge in violence by insurgents during the coming spring.

General Dan McNeill assumed the rotating command of ISAF forces from British General David Richard in a Kabul ceremony attended by high officials including President Hamid Karzai.

The outgoing British General led the alliance forces for the past nine moths, during which Afghanistan experienced the worst year in 2006 since the fall of the Taleban in late 2001. Over 4,000 people, mostly insurgents, were killed last year.

Richards said that they had defeated the Taleban during his command and called the 2006 a success year for the allied forces. [emphasis mine]

Notice the juxtaposition of the two commanders' remarks. One says 2006 worst year and one says 2006 a success year? Are these clowns even in the same country? Which one do you think reports to Bush?
A senior Taliban commander said in remarks broadcast on Friday that the Afghan Islamist group was sending fighters to Iraq to support anti-U.S. insurgents.

"Whenever there is a chance the (Afghanistan-based holy fighters) mujahideen travel to Iraq and the opposite is also true," Mullah Dadullah told Al Jazeera television in an interview.

"We have very strong relations with the mujahideen in Iraq. The mujahideen stay in Iraq for a month for example then they come here," he added in remarks dubbed in Arabic. "We also share intelligence."

"Travel from and to Iraq is at a peak currently ... if any mujahid wants to carry out an operation in Iraq he can travel."

(read more)

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Army secretary resigns in scandal's wake

Is anyone capable of chronicling all the failures of the Bush administration? Most of us would probably be allowed a couple serious failures in performance before being kicked out the door, but Bush makes a career out of failure.
Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey abruptly stepped down Friday as the Bush administration struggled to cope with the fallout from a scandal over substandard conditions for wounded Iraq soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Harvey's sudden departure was the most dramatic move yet in an escalating removal of commanders with responsibilities over one of the military's highest-profile and busiest medical facilities.

Hours earlier, President Bush ordered a comprehensive review of conditions at the nation's network of military and veteran hospitals in the wake of the Walter Reed disclosures.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Harvey had resigned, but senior defense officials speaking on condition of anonymity said Gates had asked Harvey to leave. Gates was displeased that the officer Harvey had chosen as interim commander of Walter Reed — Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, a former commander of Walter Reed — has been accused by critics of long knowing about the problems there and not improving outpatient care.

"I am disappointed that some in the Army have not adequately appreciated the seriousness of the situation pertaining to outpatient care at Walter Reed," Gates said in the Pentagon briefing room. He took no questions from reporters.

On Thursday, Harvey fired the medical center's previous commander, Maj. Gen. George Weightman, for failures linked to the outpatient treatment controversy. Many had speculated that Weightman would be relieved of command, but Harvey's departure was a major surprise.

The Army announced Friday that Maj. Gen. Eric R. Schoomaker will be the new commander of Walter Reed.

"From what I have learned, the problems at Walter Reed appear to be problems of leadership," Gates said. "The Walter Reed doctors, nurses and other staff are among the best and most caring in the world. They deserve our continued deepest thanks and strongest support."

And does it bother you and hearten you to know the press is uncovering these failures instead of those in charge who should be preventing them? Just asking.

I won't honor Harvey with a photo. He doesn't deserve it in spite of any former brilliance, courage and performance in his earlier military career.

(read more)

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

I'm sorry, but I'm losing it

Jose Padilla is a vegetable at best and this fucking idiot judge says he's competent?
A federal judge ruled Wednesday that suspected al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla is competent to stand trial on terrorism support charges, rejecting arguments that he was severely damaged by 3 1/2 years of interrogation and isolation in a military brig. Padilla was in court when U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke announced her decision, but he showed no reaction.

Thank you once again George W Bush you fucking asshole.

Its OK. I'm calmer now. No need for the restraints.

(read more)

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Must Read IMHO

Why does the claim of opposition to terrorism trump the reality of what a country and its leaders are? Just asking.

Related link from a past post of mine.


Dead dog

I even stole the headline.

(via Jonco)


Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Must Read IMHO

Check out AMERICAblog.


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.
Bosina Herzevogina
Brunei Darussalam
Cayman Islands
Costa Rica
Cote D'Ivoire
Czech Republic
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
Hong Kong
Netherlands Antilles
New Zealand
Northern Mariana Islands
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Palestinian Territory, Occupied
Papua New Guinea
Puerto Rico
Republic of Korea
Russian Federation
Satellite provider
Saudi Arabia
Serbia and Montenegro
South Africa
Sri Lanka
Unknown country

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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.

(read more)


Fidel Castro health watch

Latest news is he's OK and feeling well.

(read more)


March on the Pentagon March 17!

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

(read more)


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.

(read more)

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Important news release from Pelosi


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)


A fact of life in Iraq and elswhere

(via Norman Roberts)


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, 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.

(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.


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.


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.

(read more)

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Hillary Clinton trying to grab spotlight

(via Jonco)


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.

(read more)


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.


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

(read more)

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Must Read IMHO

Very interesting.

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


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.


Must Read IMHO

Just do it.

Am I being to dominant? Sorry.


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

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.

(read more)

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Monday, February 26, 2007


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.


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."

(read more)

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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.

(read more)

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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?

(read more)

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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?

(read more)

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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, and

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.

(read more)

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Never lie to your mother....

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


(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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