Thursday, April 19, 2007

Must read IMHO

I have no idea if all this is true, but CE Petro is usually spot on.
She's abused, but they still focus on her abuser from a pastoral viewpoint. And guess what, when a beaten-down woman says that "her husband did "nothing" for which he deserved to die," after hearing of the physical, emotional and sexual abuses perpetrated by dear hubby, this is the classic sign of a battered woman.

(read more)

Must read IMHO

I am just so fucking lazy.

The VA killer. Please read.

We really need to help these kids.

Labels: ,

Must read IMHO

File under: More lazy ass blogging.

Headline: Spring Chickens and Roosting Time

Gonzales is another example of two trends: Bush’s obvious skill, no doubt something he’s honed over a lifetime, at diverting some of the responsibility for his own misdeeds; and his willingness to throw loyal supporters into the breach to buy Rove time to escape.

Bush, like his father, is willing to dump anyone he doesn’t depend on. It appears that list is limited to Cheney, Rove, and his Father, not the earthly sort. You know, the voice in his head or wherever.

(read more)

Labels: , ,

4 blasts in Baghdad kill at least 183

Trust me. I don't relish publishing such things. But a couple thoughts come to mind. Why does it seem the insurgents are becoming better at attacking? Why does it seem the allied forces are not as nimble?
Suspected Sunni insurgents penetrated the Baghdad security net Wednesday, hitting Shiite targets with four bomb attacks that killed 183 people — the bloodiest day since the U.S. troop increase began nine weeks ago.

The most devastating blast struck the Sadriyah market as workers were leaving for the day, charring a lineup of minibuses that came to pick them up. At least 127 people were killed and 148 wounded, including men who were rebuilding the market after a Feb. 3 bombing left 137 dead.

Wednesday's car bombing appeared meticulously planned. It took place at a pedestrian entrance where tall concrete barriers had been erected after the earlier attack. It was the only way out of the compound, and the construction workers were widely known to leave at about 4 p.m. — the time of the bombing.

Why do I believe this imbroglio can never be "won"?

(read more)

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Report challenges U.S. allegations against Macau bank

I, as did many other people, accepted the fact NKorea was producing millions in counterfeit US currency.

Well, It turns out it is probable they produced no more counterfeit money than did you or I.

Shocked? Astounded?

You are a fool. You took your information from the Bush administration. I personally feel like an ass.

Jesus H Christ on a sail boat, can anything the Bush administration says be believed?

Charges by the U.S. Treasury Department that a small bank in Macau knowingly laundered counterfeit U.S. currency on behalf of North Korea have no basis in fact, according to a confidential audit ordered by the government of the Chinese enclave.

The audit, obtained by McClatchy News Service, also suggests that the Treasury overstated claims that the bank laundered ''hundreds of millions'' in ill-gotten gains through Banco Delta Asia.

On the basis of the allegations, the Treasury Department on March 14 blacklisted the tiny, family-controlled bank, which now is on the verge of being driven out of business.

The Bush administration now says it approves the release of $25 million originally frozen in Macau at Washington's behest, but portions of this Banco Delta Asia money tied to North Korea apparently have not been received by the regime's leaders. Consequently, they missed Saturday's deadline to begin dismantling a nuclear reactor as agreed to on Feb. 13 as part of an agreement with the United States and four other nations.

''From our investigations it is apparent that . . . the Bank did not introduce counterfeit U.S. currency notes into circulation,'' the Ernst & Young audit said, noting that large cash deposits from North Korea were routinely screened for counterfeits by the Hong Kong branch of an unidentified bank with U.S. operations.


The audit's conclusions about the laundering of counterfeit currency are significant because they cast doubt on Bush administration claims that North Korea has engaged in state-sponsored counterfeiting and introducing these fake bills via Banco Delta.

Moreover, the audit confirmed that the only time Banco Delta knowingly handled counterfeit U.S. notes was in 1994 when its inspectors discovered 100 counterfeit $100 bills and turned over $10,000 to local authorities. That $10,000 is far from the $15 million in counterfeit U.S. currency the Bush administration in 2005 said North Korea was manufacturing annually.

Ernst & Young presented the audit to Macanese banking regulators in December 2005 in response to concerns raised in Treasury's Sept. 20, 2005, proposed action against Banco Delta. The bank's lawyers offered to present the report to Treasury officials in October 2006 but insisted that it be excluded from access under the Freedom of Information Act -- in other words kept secret from the media. Treasury refused the offer.

The copy of the audit obtained by McClatchy News Service excises the names of North Korean entities and officials to protect their identities. The names of some banks with U.S. ties are also redacted.

Until now, the story of Banco Delta's travails has played out behind a wall of secrecy imposed by U.S., Chinese and Macanese regulators. But the audit, aspects of which were reported earlier by McClatchy News Service, for the first time spells out exactly what Treasury's concerns were and what international auditors discovered.

So, based on cooked evidence, Bush pushes NKorea closer to becoming a nuclear power. So nice. Gawd I love my country!

(read more)

Labels: , ,

Must read IMHO

Its a lazy blogging day for me. Handle it

Go here. Trust me. I've never steered you wrong.


Must read IMHO

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

New math?

Does this make sense? How can I have two visitors today and three in the last hour?

Hey, I'm no dummy at maths, but this just doesn't calculate. Are you listening Sitemeter?

And while I have your attention, would you please tell all your friends to visit so I can hit 18,000 visitors in the next couple days?

Jesus H Christ on TV, but I'm a hit whore. Not to mention a low alphabet blogger.


Bush is heading to VA Tech today

Sometimes its a PITA (pain in the ass) to be a cynic, but this stinks to high heaven.
President Bush and first lady Laura Bush will attend Tuesday's convocation at Virginia Tech to remember those affected by the deadliest campus violence ever in this country.

This is a damn photo op for Bush. It isn't like he really cares about the 33 dead students any more than he cares about the 3200 dead troops in the Mid-East.

This is a tragedy, but so were the hurricanes in the southern US. So are the horrors in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush is as sympathetic as your average house cat.

(read more)

Labels: , , , , ,

Al-Qaida's next generation

Face it. What we're doing isn't going to stop terrorists. They're like the Hydra.
The news is alarming. U.S. and French intelligence agencies are convinced that terrorist network al-Qaida has reorganized and, what's more, developed new training camps in both Afghanistan and the remote tribal regions of northern Pakistan. They believe that a new generation of terrorists has come of age, and some are suspected of planning attacks in the West.

Five and a half years have passed since Sept. 11, 2001, and the beginning of the war against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. The physical presence of Osama bin Laden's network was largely destroyed at the time -- the terrorist camps, which had trained an estimated 20,000 men, quickly reduced to rubble. Two years ago, the White House crowed that two-thirds of al-Qaida's leadership had been eliminated. "We're winning," President Bush claimed recently. "Al-Qaida is on the run."

But are those terrorists really on the run? Of course, there can be no doubt that the network no longer has nearly the capacity it had when it organized the 9/11 attacks. But the attempts to reorganize are obvious, and the new camps are an indication that the efforts have been successful. According to Time magazine, each of the camps has the capacity to train between 10 and 300 jihadists. "We know they exist, but it's like finding a needle in a haystack," the magazine quotes a U.S. military official in Afghanistan as saying.

If you can't kill all terrorists in 5-6 years, the 9-11 year olds will have come of age and have been indoctrinated in that time. That means the only way to stop terrorists is to kill all of them within a year which is ludicrous. It will never happen.

The only sensible thing to do is win hearts and minds (gawd I hate that cliché, but it works) which is what the Taleban and al-Qaeda do as well as Hizballah.

(via Salon - sponsor click required)

Labels: , , , ,

I can't make this shit up

How can you skip this? Its a cheap shot and couldn't have been staged better. That Preston sure knows how to go for the boob gold? Silver? Bronze? I don't know what.

I love the look on his face. I'm so damn innocent. My hand is where?

(via Sadly, No!)


Quote of the day

Let's hair it for her

In my never ending quest to be eclectic I offer the following.

Xia Aifeng, 36, stands on a chair as her daughter checks her hair at their home in Shangrao, in east China’s Jiangxi province. Xia has not cut her hair for 16 years and it has grown to 2.42 metres long. She has to spend 90 minutes washing it once a week.

Sometimes I crack myself up with my headlines, but only myself I'm sure.

When this gal has a bad hair day it is really a big deal.

(via neatorama)

Labels: ,

Justice Department Fails to Comply with House Judiciary Subpoena

Surprise! Surprise! The Bush administration just doesn't give a damn about oversight and certainly won't have anything to do with it.
Today, U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) issued the following statement in response to the Justice Department’s failure to comply with the Committee’s subpoena response deadline of 2 p.m. today. The subpoena seeks information the Department has continued to refuse to provide or has provided only in redacted (read conspiratorial) form.

“We are disappointed that the Justice Department failed to produce the documents and other materials for which we issued a subpoena last week. While we understand that the Department considers this effort a priority and we plan to continue working with them, we will review all available legal options to secure compliance with the subpoena.” [emphasis mine or Eli's]

I guess they forget who's holding the reins now.

Each day it seems the Democrats are becoming more like stallions than geldings. They seem to be capable of growing balls.

(read more)

H/T Eli

Labels: , , ,

Statement from President George W. Bush regarding the shootings in VA

I'm sorry, but I can't resist sticking it to Bush.
THE PRESIDENT: Our nation is shocked and saddened by the news of the shootings at Virginia Tech today. The exact total has not yet been confirmed, but it appears that more than 30 people were killed and many more were wounded.

I've spoken with Governor Tim Kaine and Virginia Tech President Charles Steger. I told them that Laura and I and many across our nation are praying for the victims and their families and all the members of the university community who have been devastated by this terrible tragedy. I told them that my administration would do everything possible to assist with the investigation, and that I pledged that we would stand ready to help local
law enforcement and the local community in any way we can during this time of sorrow. [emphasis mine]

Hello? Katrina? Rita? Yeah, we know about your "help".

(read more)

Labels: , ,

Must read IMHO

Its been a while since I had a "Must read IMHO" entry, but this one qualifies for sure.
We don't get it. We ... just ... don't ... get it.

By "we," I mean the policy wonks in Washington, the entire administration, military leaders and the population of this country in general.

The gist of the piece is: Everyone doesn't want to be like US and hates being fucked by US just because they have OIL and we want it.

Admission: I'm chagrined I missed this in the original, but happy theBhc caught it.

(read more)

Labels: ,

Gunman kills 32, commits suicide in Va.

I wasn't gonna post about this, but I have several questions.
A gunman massacred 32 people at Virginia Tech in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history Monday, cutting down his victims in two attacks two hours apart before the university could grasp what was happening and warn students.

The bloodbath ended with the gunman committing suicide, bringing the death toll to 33 and stamping the campus in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains with unspeakable tragedy, perhaps forever.

Investigators gave no motive for the attack. The gunman's name was not immediately released, and it was not known if he was a student.

"Today the university was struck with a tragedy that we consider of monumental proportions," Virginia Tech President Charles Steger said. "The university is shocked and indeed horrified."

But he was also faced with difficult questions about the university's handling of the emergency and whether it did enough to warn students and protect them after the first burst of gunfire. Some students bitterly complained they got no warning from the university until an e-mail that arrived more than two hours after the first shots rang out.

They say it is the worst massacre in modern US history. There have been worse ones earlier?

What idiots are in charge who couldn't realize what was happening after the first attack which was followed by a second two hours later?

And how could anyone in their right mind decide email was the best way to warn students? They have no fucking campus wide public address system? If they don't, then someone did a piss poor job of setting up campus security.

This is a horrific tragedy made worse by the authorities in charge.

(read more)

Labels: ,

Cat blogging

Perhaps this one is relatively useless? Or its a great cat. It depends on your perspective.

(via Jonco)


Great idea

(via Jonco)


Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

No point to this post. I just love the name Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.

I'll post other kewl location names in the future. You'll have to wait.

Labels: ,

Pentagon Bomb Squad Under Fire

Does this not sound exactly like a Bush operation? Is anyone with competence in charge? Stoopid question I know.
After six billion dollars and over three years, the Pentagon is finally going to examine the office that is supposed to help solve the improvised bomb problem. More telling, one of the people tapped to head the review was a vocal war critic early on. Congress was already casting a suspicious eye towards the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). Now, it seems, some in the Defense Department have grown frustrated, too.

Uh, I think we got us a problem with those fucking IEDs. Duh! Maybe its time we look into that.

And is it just me who finds it interesting four soldiers would be so nonchalant about an IED explosion near them?

(read more)

H/T 76003.1414

Labels: , , ,

Monday, April 16, 2007

The nightmare Bush dreads most

ONE MILLION! Sure the estimate could be wrong, but by thousands? Many estimates go for 10's of thousands which is probably more accurate. Its still impressive and very, very anti-US. But the one million estimate came from Asia Times which tends toward the accurate side of reporting from my experience.
Public opinion polls are valuable chips to play for those engaged in a debate of national or international consequence. In the end, however, they are abstract numbers. It is popular demonstrations which give them substance, color, and - above all - wide media exposure, and make them truly meaningful. This is particularly true when such marches are peaceful and disciplined in a war-ravaged country like Iraq.

This indeed was the case with the demonstration on April 9 in Najaf. Over a million Iraqis, holding aloft thousands of national flags, marched, chanting, "Yes, yes, Iraq/No, no, America" and "No, no, American/Leave, leave occupier."

The demonstrators arrived from all over the country in response to a call by Muqtada al-Sadr, a radical Shi'ite cleric, to demand an end to foreign occupation on the fourth anniversary of the end of Ba'athist rule in Baghdad.

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

The presence of many senior Sunni clerics at the head of the march, which started from Muqtada's mosque in Kufa, a nearby town, and the absence of any sectarian flags or images in the parade, underlined the ecumenical nature of the protest.[emphasis mine]

I'm just gonna make a couple minor observations.

ONE MILLION! America can't get half that to end the war that has cost more US lives than 9/11.

Note the emphasized words. Muqtada al-Sadr is Shiite, not Sunni. Way to go, Bush. You have made the US universally hated in Iraq and not just the rest of the known world.

(read more)

Labels: , , , , ,

Oh, you have to try the Rice

It seemed its been a while since I'd read anything about Condoleezza Rice. Ya know, that Secretary of State person?

Well, I searched and found she is in the news, but not prominently.

Blog Critics magazine: "Hillary Clinton was outraged [over the Imus incident], so Condoleezza Rice had to be indignant also."

FMNN: "Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, fired another pointed letter off to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice on Monday, again demanding information regarding the fraudulent claim that Niger supplied uranium to Saddam Hussein."

Nieman Watchdog: "Her trip may have irked George W. Bush, but the overseas press, especially that of the Middle East, was overwhelmingly in favor of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the region. Her talks with Syrian president Bahshar Al-Asad in early April were widely considered more productive than the various tours that Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has made there."

The City Paper: "Author and journalist Leslie Montgomery has written extensively on issues of faith and women, and one of her subjects in was current Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Ph.D."

MWC News: "The World Bank's staff association said on Friday that Wolfowitz, the ex-US deputy defence secretary, had "destroyed" the trust of employees and should quit.

"He must act honourably and resign," the de facto union said in a letter to the World Bank's 10,000 staff.

The bank's 24 executive directors said the ethics committee had not been involved in the decision to award Shaha Riza rises that gave her a salary greater than that of Condoleeza Rice, the secretary of state."

Well, they go on like that, but I'm sure you get the picture. Not too much Secretary of State stuff going on there.


EPA will cut lead in kids' products

Sometimes its necessary to step back from politics and think what the fuck is going on over here. Ya know? Although technically its still politics.
Companies that make or distribute toys, zippers and other children's products will face tougher government scrutiny to keep out any lead that could poison and kill children or harm their brain development.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed, in response to legal pressure, to instruct importers and manufacturers to provide health and safety studies if any lead might be found in their products for children.

OK, they're talking imports as well as local manufacturers, but still...

1. Lead is harmful to children.
2. Toys are for children.
3. Don't put fucking lead in toys.

I don't care what country is making the toys. No executive or engineer should have allowed this once the dangers were known. Its criminal to use lead.

That said, this is exactly what the EPA should be doing. The EPA should be protecting US, especially the children. Good for them.

(read more)

Labels: ,

Al-Sadr orders Cabinet ministers to quit government

Muqtada al-Sadr's picture is on the left. The picture
on the right is his father, Mohammed Sadek al-Sadr.

I've said it many times (just search for Sadr on the right sidebar). This guy is powerful and he's been ignored as if a minor player in Iraq.
Radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has ordered his Cabinet ministers to withdraw from the Iraqi government immediately, the head of his parliamentary bloc said today.

Al-Sadr’s ministers will “withdraw immediately from the Iraqi government and give the six Cabinet seats to the government, with the hope that they will be given to independents who represent the will of the people,” said Nassar al-Rubaie, head of al-Sadr’s bloc, reading a statement from the cleric.

Al-Sadr’s followers hold six seats in the 37-member Cabinet.

Their withdrawal would deal a blow to the government of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, who relied on support from the Sadrists to gain office.

Oh yes, you will rarely see Muqtada al-Sadr's name in a story not preceded by "radical cleric", "radical Islamic cleric", "radical Shiite cleric" or some variation on those themes. Perhaps "political power broker" might be more appropriate.

Maybe that's why I think this picture speaks volumes in addition to the one above.

(read more)

Labels: , ,

US Marines killed Afghans after bombing-report

This should come as no surprise to anyone. Which is not to imply I think our troops are routinely or even often killing civilians in the Mid-East. It simply means it happens.
A preliminary investigation by the military says U.S. Marines killed or wounded more than 40 Afghan civilians after a suicide attack on a convoy last month, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.

The newspaper said work by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service [NCIS] would decide whether to call courts martial for the troops involved.

First off, this is what happens when you keep* sending troops into hostile, urban environments in temperatures they can barely tolerate with insurgents who are impossible to spot. Don't forget, the insurgents have no problem spotting allied forces. Not so vice versa.

As for whether to call courts martial. That's a no brainer when the investigation found the Afghans to be unarmed civilians as was the case here. Courts martial are supposed to decide the facts of the situation. They're not automatic punishment. They're there to meet out justice.

*And by "keep" I'm including multiple rotations. Many troops have been diagnosed as unfit to serve again and the doctors are ignored. I have no idea if that is the case with even one of these Marines, but it wouldn't surprise me.

(read more)

Labels: , , , , ,

Bones that prove T. rex was not so much a terrifying predator, more a big chicken

For years scientists have said they believe dinosaurs were related to current birds. Now they seem to have proof.
The Tyrannosaurus rex terrorised the ancient world for 85 million years but its closest living relative turns out to be the chicken, research suggests.

In related news. Two other creatures seem to have previously unknown relationships.

(read more)

Labels: , ,

Baghdad bridge attacks seen as plot

Some people should not be in charge of writing headlines. That one has to be one of the most stupid ones I've ever read.

Although, until I'd read it I was assuming the bridge[s] had self-destructed, but that's just me I think.

(read more)


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Records: U.S. agency did look at threats to polars bears

Liar, liar pants on fire. Do you believe anything the US government says? Fool!
Contrary to Interior Department claims, officials completed a review of studies examining how human activities were affecting Arctic warming and endangering polar bears' survival less than a week before proposing to list the bears as threatened with extinction, according to department documents.

The "Range-Wide Status Review of the Polar Bear," posted on a government Web site, was completed six days before Secretary Dirk Kempthorne proposed adding polar bears to the endangered-species list Dec. 27. It cites several studies on how greenhouse-gas emissions are affecting the Arctic and how cuts in carbon dioxide could slow the pace of warming there.

None of those citations made it into the final listing proposal, and the department for months has denied that such an analysis occurred.

They even lie about doing their jobs competently.

(read more)

Labels: , ,

Embryonic stem cell research

Sometimes I'm quite surprised by what is being said "out there".
Scientists have admitted that promises about embryonic research have been hyped and that patients are not likely to see benefits for decades – if ever.


So, the research is not only unethical and unnecessary (did you see the breaking news in JAMA this week of another success with adult stem cells, this time with diabetes?),but it turns out the real point of it is to provide scientists with human bodies – small though they may be – to experiment upon. [emphasis mine]

One by one. First "are not likely". Duh! That's why we research because we don't know.

Second, "another success with adult stem cells". Hmmm. Wouldn't success in one line of research suggest similar success with another line?

Third, "human bodies". Gimme a break.

(read more)