Saturday, September 22, 2007

Feds Target Blackwater in Weapons Probe

Does anyone really doubt what will come of this investigation? I'm sure everyone capable of smuggling weapons into Iraq who has few scruples or high ideals is doing so.

And that's not even mentioning the money that can be made which is probably considerable.

This is all speculation. I have no links or evidence of any of this, but it jibes with what I've read about the levels of corruption in Iraq. It sounds more like the wild west in America during the 1800s than a 21st century country.
Federal prosecutors are investigating whether employees of the private security firm Blackwater USA illegally smuggled into Iraq weapons that may have been sold on the black market and ended up in the hands of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, officials said Friday.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Raleigh, N.C., is handling the investigation with help from Pentagon and State Department auditors, who have concluded there is enough evidence to file charges, the officials told The Associated Press. Blackwater is based in Moyock, N.C.

A spokeswoman for Blackwater did not return calls seeking comment Friday. The U.S. attorney for the eastern district of North Carolina, George Holding, declined to comment, as did Pentagon and State Department spokesmen.

Officials with knowledge of the case said it is active, although at an early stage. They spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, which has heightened since 11 Iraqis were killed Sunday in a shooting involving Blackwater contractors protecting a U.S. diplomatic convoy in Baghdad.

The officials could not say whether the investigation would result in indictments, how many Blackwater employees are involved or if the company itself, which has won hundreds of millions of dollars in government security contracts since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, is under scrutiny.

Via AP.

Labels: , ,

Yahoo! mail mistake

I'm pretty sure that first message was supposed to go to OJ Simpson, but I believe the two nights part is a little short. Perhaps 200 or more free nights is more like it.

Yes I realize he's only accused at this point. This is cheap humor, folks, and not too funny at that. Frankly it was hardly worth the effort.

Labels: , ,

Cat blogging

Well, it sort of is because its a "tiger" butterfly. Hehehe.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Iraq aims to end immunity of security firms

This mess is getting uglier and uglier by the day.

BTW, did you realize there are more mercenaries in Iraq (180,000) than uniformed soldiers?

Iraq wants to tighten control over security contractors after a deadly shooting incident involving the U.S. firm Blackwater, ending their long immunity from Iraqi prosecution, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

Spokesman Major-General Abdul-Kareem Khalaf said the ministry had drafted legislation giving it wider powers over the contractors and calling for "severe punishment for those who fail to adhere to the ... guidelines on how they should operate".

Iraq has said it would review the status of all security firms after what it called a flagrant assault by Blackwater contractors in which 11 people were killed while the firm was escorting a U.S. embassy convoy through Baghdad on Sunday.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki suggested the U.S. embassy should stop using Blackwater and said he would not allow Iraqis to be killed "in cold blood".

The shooting has incensed Iraqis who regard the tens of thousands of security contractors working in the country as private armies that act with impunity.

Khalaf said the new draft law, which he expected parliament to pass soon, gives the ministry powers to prosecute the companies and to refuse or revoke contracts.

Via Reuters.

Labels: ,

Do Not Call Listings to Expire in 2008

The good news is the story gives information on how to simply re-list your home and cell phone numbers.

The cherished dinner hour void of telemarketers could vanish next year for millions of people when phone numbers begin dropping off the national Do Not Call list.

The Federal Trade Commission, which oversees the list, says there is a simple fix. But some lawmakers think it is a hassle to expect people to re-register their phone numbers every five years.

Via USNews.


Damn winger bloggers

Via Jonco.

Labels: ,

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bill...Oh really?

I just stumbled upon Bill O'Reilly. Trust me because I would never intentionally watch him.

Does this asshole ever shut up? He's worse than Soledad O’Brien about interrupting his interviewees. What's the point of an interview if you won't let the person talk? Just asking.


Ground 0

Equal time

And I hate it when I do this. My X also hated how I could see both sides of things. I'm a rabid lefty who wants to paint all others as warmongering psychopaths, but I'm also a realist.
Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner strongly defended his sharp stance on Iran on Wednesday, saying that his remarks that the world had to prepare for a possible war against Iran had been misinterpreted and that he was a man of peace.

As criticism of France for its war rhetoric increased, Kouchner set out in a lengthy morning interview with France Inter radio both to explain and to defend, but not to retract, his words.

"I said, 'The worst, it is war,' " Kouchner explained, "'The worst,' this is not what I want. I did not say, 'The best, it's war.' I did not say, 'My choice, it's war.' I said, 'The worst.' "

Via International Herald Tribune.


I rest my fucking case

Do you see any fucking similarity in these news stories? Unless you're brain dead you have to.
Jesse Jackson was quoted as saying Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was "acting like he's white" for not speaking out more forcefully about a racially charged schoolyard beating in Louisiana.

Wednesday's (Columbia) State newspaper said Jackson made the comment about Obama after speaking Tuesday at Benedict College, a historically black school. "If I were a candidate, I'd be all over Jena," Jackson said in his remarks after the speech, according to the published account.

"Jena is a defining moment, just like Selma was a defining moment," Jackson said. In 1965, demonstrators were attacked by police with billy clubs during a peaceful voting rights march in Selma, Ala. "Bloody Sunday" shocked the nation and helped bring attention to the voting barriers that kept blacks from the polls.

Jackson later told the newspaper he did not remember making the "acting like he's white" comment about Obama.

Via Yahoo! News.
Jesse Jackson was quoted as saying Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was "acting like he's white" for not speaking out more forcefully about a racially charged schoolyard beating in Louisiana.

Wednesday's (Columbia) State newspaper said Jackson made the comment about Obama after speaking Tuesday at Benedict College, a historically black school. "If I were a candidate, I'd be all over Jena," Jackson said in his remarks after the speech, according to the published account.

"Jena is a defining moment, just like Selma was a defining moment," Jackson said. In 1965, demonstrators were attacked by police with billy clubs during a peaceful voting rights march in Selma, Ala. "Bloody Sunday" shocked the nation and helped bring attention to the voting barriers that kept blacks from the polls.

Jackson later told the newspaper he did not remember making the "acting like he's white" comment about Obama.

Via eWoss News.

Civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson was quoted as saying Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was "acting like he's white" for not speaking out more forcefully about a racially charged schoolyard beating in Louisiana.

Wednesday's (Columbia) State newspaper said Jackson made the comment about Obama after speaking Tuesday at Benedict College, a historically black school. "If I were a candidate, I'd be all over Jena," Jackson said in his remarks after the speech, according to the published account.

"Jena is a defining moment, just like Selma was a defining moment," Jackson said. In 1965, demonstrators were attacked by police with billy clubs during a peaceful voting rights march in Selma, Alabama. "Bloody Sunday" shocked the nation and helped bring attention to the voting barriers that kept blacks from the polls.

Jackson later told the newspaper he did not remember making the "acting like he's white" comment about Obama. Obama's mother was white and his father, who was from Kenya, was black.

OK, granted the IHT added some bits, but...

Via International Herald Tribune.


Definitey not safe for work (NSFW)

Does this offend you?

OK, to be fair, I admit I find nothing like this offensive nor males. The human body is wonderful and not "dirty". But I may just be positing my own beliefs.

OK, to be completely fair, my body is offensive. Its as ugly as homemade sin and truly disgusting. K?

Here's something for those of another persuasian.

I have to admit I find this very wrong.


Slow news day?

Beirut car bomb kills anti-Syrian MP, 7 others

Bush Calls Lebanon Killing 'Horrific'

Bush calls Lebanon killing 'horrific'

Small HUGE injection of reality.
U.S. military deaths in Iraq at 3,790


Do you have a clue where your info comes from?

Granted, most news sources give attribution, but Yahoo! News, Google News, USA Today, the Times (all of them), etc often pull from the same source...AP or Reuters.

That's why my last post had so many exactly the same headlines.

This is why I search other sources of news. Sources which may have a different angle or slant and, I assume, a modicum of research to verify accuracy.

Not to degrade AP or Reuters. I also assume they do their homework.

Just be aware of your sources. They may not be plural.


Slow news day?

News headlines:
Anti-Syrian MP killed in Lebanon car bombing

Anti-Syrian MP killed in Lebanon car bombing

Anti-Syrian MP killed in Lebanon car bombing

Anti-Syrian MP killed in Lebanon car bombing

Anti-Syrian MP killed in Lebanon car bombing

And a change.

Bush condemns assassination of anti-Syrian lawmaker

Lebanon leader asks UN to help investigate blast

U.S. condemns killing of anti-Syrian lawmaker

Bush condemns Beirut bombing

Beirut blast kills anti-Syrian lawmaker

Mare extends losing streak to 125 races

Oops. That last headline was a mistaken entry, forgive.

Nothing new here.

Bush calls for expansion of spy law


Jesse Jackson: Obama's 'acting like he's white'

I'm getting bored.

Feel free to search any of the above headlines.

Via my news sources.


Talk about bait and switch...

Alicia Silverstone to be naked in ad

A pic? Not hardly.

I love the smell of napalm in the morning and I fucking love being manipulated by the assholes who run the media.

I think I need to explain something here. Many media stories mention this or that and a photo is needed, but none supplied. It pisses me off each time.

Story is "horrible flooding in Burma". K? Where's the fucking picture? Yes, I'm not so mentally deficient I can't picture flooding, but you're a news provider. Provide already.

Via CNN.


Iran's nose strikes Israel's fist

Must read, fur shure.

Via Left I on the News.

Labels: ,

I can't believe I'm doing this

I'm not one to quote Chris Matthews, but...

Sometimes even fools make sense.

"Tasering people because they're obnoxious is a hell of a standard."

-- Chris Matthews
"Hardball," MSNBC, 9/18


This should repulse you

Even if you're a Christian and would like all others to embrace your faith, this is abhorrent. Think Jehovah's Witnesses on steroids (yeah, a cliché). At least that's my take on it.

The serious shit.


Patience little grasshopper

I'm having too much fun with this site.


The serious stuff is patient

Trust me on this. Have I ever lied to you?

Well, I have several times, but you didn't know it. Muahahaha.


Open note to Congress

Via Wilson©.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Great name

Kusowo, Bydgoszcz, Poland.

At least I think its a great name if I could pronounce it. My bad.


Compare and contrast

1. Faces: I wish that I knew what I know now When I was younger[.]

2. Bob Seger: Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then[.]

Personally I lean toward Bob. Although both are true.

Nina Simone: Yeah, regrets, I've had a few[.] But then again, who feel to me uncertain. I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption[.]

Watch the movie and you'll understand the poster.

An aside, but Nina's lyrics don't jibe with my recollection. And many lyrics also don't seem to be what I remember.

Oh well, I sing what I know.


Stanford Faculty Protest Rumsfeld Selection to Think Tank

Its about time.

We've not heard the last from Rumsfeld, he's still an admired neocon (in some circles), but still...
Stanford University faculty members are protesting former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s appointment as a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Renowned professor emeritus of psychology Philip Zimbardo, who has publicly blamed Rumsfeld and other Bush Administration officials for the notorious abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, is among a protest petition’s “instigators,” as he put it.

“We think he has distinguished himself for all the wrong things than what the university should stand for and what America should stand for,” Zimbardo said Monday, adding that about 118 people had signed the petition by Sunday, but the number should increase rapidly when the academic quarter begins next week.

The Hoover Institution announced Sept. 7 that Rumsfeld will be a visiting fellow serving on a task force of scholars and experts focused upon issues pertaining to “ideology and terror.”

“Hoover is in a sense independent of Stanford but it’s always linked to Stanford,” Zimbardo said - the conservative public-policy think tank is located on the university’s campus, but the faculty senate has no input on its appointments. “They can have any fascist they want there, and they do… We’ve never protested before but this seems to be egregious.”

Via Mathaba.

Labels: ,

US halts diplomatic convoys from Iraq's Green Zone

Because its just getting too damn safe out there.
The United States has barred diplomats and civilians from leaving Baghdad's heavily fortified "Green Zone" after a shooting involving the Blackwater security firm that drew protests from Iraq and prompted investigations, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

Separately, the United States and Iraq plan to conduct a joint investigation of Sunday's incident involving Blackwater guards in which 11 people were shot dead, American officials said.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad said the Blackwater guards were reacting to a car bomb that went off near an official convoy. According to other accounts, however, the Blackwater guards fired randomly after mortar rounds landed near their motorcade.

The truth is, we don't need Blackwater to help us make enemies. We do a fine job of that on our own.

Via Reuters.

Labels: ,

You Don't Know Jack

I implore you to stop reading at any point and not follow the link. What I'm showing here is much more benign than the rest of the story.

There but for the grace...
The things that have been done to Colleen Kelley's brain sound like scenes out of a retro psych ward where ice-pick lobotomies are still the norm and Nurse Ratched doles out electroshock. Her brain has been scanned, doused in experimental drugs, magnetized, and electrified. She has been cut open, prodded, and implanted with foreign objects. Her memory has been erased.

But Kelley isn't a "psychiatric survivor" fighting to ban electroshock, or a memoirist detailing her horror stories of a time long ago. She is an educated woman, never hospitalized or locked in a mental ward, who has spent the last decade volunteering for treatments that her doctor calls the "experimental edge of psychiatry." Kelley has submitted willingly and continues to offer her brain up for experimentation. "I want my brain drained," she wrote to the Voice during a series of e-mail and phone interviews detailing her years as a guinea pig for psychiatric experiments in Maryland and New York. She suffers from a severe, stubborn depression that doesn't respond to medication. Her doctor of 15 years describes her as chronically suicidal, and Kelley talks about offing herself as easily as others might speak about trouble with their in-laws.

Sometimes I think eclectic is not so good.

Via Village Voice.


Iraq to review security contracts

It appears Maliki blinked.
The Iraqi Cabinet decided Tuesday to review the status of all foreign security companies amid mounting public outrage over the alleged killing of civilians by the U.S. Embassy's security provider Blackwater USA.

Exploiting that anger, anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demanded the government ban all 48,000 foreign security contractors, whom Iraqis have long viewed as mercenaries.

The Iraqi government appeared to back down from statements Monday that it had revoked Blackwater's license and would order its 1,000 personnel to leave the country — depriving American diplomats of security protection essential to operating in Baghdad.

"We are not intending to stop them and revoke their license indefinitely but we do need them to respect the law and the regulation here in Iraq," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told CNN.

Via Yahoo! News.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lazy-ass blogging

Quote of the day

"The cockiest guy I have ever met in my life."

-- Former Mexican President Vicente Fox
on President Bush

Folks, that isn't a fucking compliment.


Great name

I just love the sound.

San Angelo, Texas.


Must read IMHO


Just fucking shoot 'em all.

Its a joke, folks. I don't advocate killing anyone. K?


Must read IMHO

OK. Flog me or whatever. I'm being lazy ass here.

No, I mean it. Flog me. I love it.


Must read IMHO

Population explosian

"What the world needs is fewer people making more people."

-- George Burns
(1896 - 1996)

In all honesty here, I'm a fucking hypocrite.

I'm responsible for bring forth three boys who've had four children. That isn't even close to "replacing" myself.

Sometimes ideas don't mesh with reality.


Bush America

No comment required.

Labels: ,

Feeling inadequate?

What I found particularly funny is the title of the graphic: "bmw-small".

Via Jonco.


Still a small tiny infinitesimal fish, but growing

Thank you to all.


Quote of the day

"According to a new AP poll, the most popular presidential candidate among registered Republicans is 'none of the above.' At the moment, Rudy Giuliani is running third, just behind 'Good Lord, not him."

-- Bob

Via Big Shot Bob in Texas.


Iraq expels American security firm

This may be filed in one of two ways:

1. Its about fucking time.

2. This is gonna get very ugly.

Bush and his minions have relied on these mercenaries. Without them, more and more US people would have had to be sent to Iraq.
The Iraqi government announced Monday it was ordering Blackwater USA, the security firm that protects U.S. diplomats, to leave the country after what it said was the fatal shooting of eight Iraqi civilians following a car bomb attack against a State Department convoy.

The order by the Interior Ministry, if carried out, would deal a severe blow to U.S. government operations in Iraq by stripping diplomats, engineers, reconstruction officials and others of their security protection.

The presence of so many visible, aggressive Western security contractors has angered many Iraqis, who consider them a mercenary force that runs roughshod over people in their own country.

Sunday's shooting was the latest in a series of incidents in which Blackwater and other foreign contractors have been accused of shooting to death Iraqi citizens. None has faced charges or prosecution.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki late Monday and the two agreed to conduct a "fair and transparent investigation" and hold any wrongdoers accountable, said Yassin Majid, an adviser to the prime minister. Rice was expected to visit the Mideast on Tuesday.

Majid made no mention of the order to expel Blackwater, and it was unlikely the United States would agree to abandon a security company that plays such a critical role in American operations in Iraq.

Stay tuned...

Via Yahoo! News.

Labels: , ,

Democrats to delay funding for Iraq war

File under: About fucking time. I was beginning to think it would take sledge hammers to get through to them.
Democrats are poised to delay money for the Iraq war by several weeks, giving them time to calculate their next move and see if Republican support for President Bush's policies deteriorate.

The funding delay would likely cause only a minor disruption for the Defense Department. But it will escalate an already heated standoff between the Democratic-controlled Congress and Bush, who says at least 130,000 troops are needed in Iraq through next summer.

"Just because this administration wears blinders, we cannot afford the limitations of their shortsighted world view," said Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., a Vietnam veteran and prominent war critic.

Democrats are in a tough spot. Still lacking enough votes in the Senate to pass legislation ordering troops home by spring, they would have to soften their approach if they want to attract more Republicans. But doing so would rile much of the party's rank-and-file, elected on anti-war platforms and eager to cut off money for combat.

"There's a lot of anger out there," Murtha told reporters Monday at the National Press Club. "A lot of people are very unhappy with the Democrats because we haven't been able to get anything done." [emphasis mine]

No shit, Murtha. There's more anger out here than you could carry in a wheelbarrow.

Via Yahoo! News. Or, for the geeks out there, via


Note: Geek link will not often be repeated. Its a PITA* and I'm lazy.

*PITA for the last time = Pain In The Ass.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Out of energy

I've posted too many things this session.

Take care. I'll be back in a few hours.


Must read IMHO

Must read IMHO

I really hate to post this, but you need to see it.
Apart From the Noose, This is an Everyday Story of Modern America


Small-Town Pharmacists Closing Doors

Huge addendum below.

Another victim of the Bush administration.

Jesus H Christ with a skin disease, but Bush is destroying so many lives....

I really can't say what I think about all this.
After nearly 25 years as the proud owner of Home Town Drugs and Gifts in Sweet Home, Ore., Dave Redding closed down this summer, joining a growing trend among small-town pharmacists.

Competition from mail-order pharmacies and larger retailers played a role in his decision. So did the long hours that came from running a business.

But Redden, 62, said one factor, the Medicare drug benefit, outweighed them all.

Before the benefit started on Jan. 1, 2006, many of his customers paid cash. Under the new system, private insurance plans pick up much of the tab. That was good news for the customers; not so for Redden.

The insurers used their considerable clout to demand bigger discounts. Plus, they did not have to pay Redden right away. The pharmacist said he often waited months for insurance plans to reimburse him.

Huge addendum: I worked for one of the best insurance companies in the US. It was an exceptional company to work for. They provided excellent customer service and advice until one filed a claim. Note that I said claim and not a couple claims.

Once one filed a claim they were canceled. The claim was paid without any hassle, but the next day their policy was canceled.

I have no sympathy for insurance providers.

Via USNews.


France slammed by Iran after minister warns of war

I now can officially take off my tinfoil hat. The world is starting to rally around the idiot leader of the free world. God save us all.
A warning from French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner that the world has to prepare for a possible war with Iran over its nuclear programme triggered alarm in the Middle East and elsewhere Monday.

Iran's official media launched a scathing response to the remarks, made in a broadcast interview Sunday evening, and accused Paris of pandering to the United States.

"The new occupants of the Elysee (presidential palace) want to copy the White House," the state-owned IRNA news agency said in an editorial.

Accusing French President Nicolas Sarkozy of taking on "an American skin", it said that "the French people will never forget the era when a non-European moved into the Elysee."

Kouchner, a former international charity chief and Socialist health minister, said that the world should negotiate with Iran "right to the end" over its nuclear programme.

But, Kouchner warned, "We have to prepare for the worst, and the worst is war."

Via Agence France-Presse.

Labels: ,

More good news

Some talk the talk and some walk the walk and George Martin is definitely one of the walkers.
Saying he knows what real heroism is, former New York Giants star George Martin began a cross-country walk to raise money for ailing ground zero workers.

A captain of the 1987 Super Bowl champions, Martin was cheered on by a few dozen volunteers Sunday as he stepped onto the pedestrian walkway of the George Washington Bridge, which connects Manhattan and New Jersey.

"I've been termed a hero for playing a kids' game at a pro level, and that does not rise to the level of heroic," Martin said Saturday as he got ready for his journey. "I think of 9/11, when I saw people respond and put their health, their careers, their lives in jeopardy."

Via Associated Press.


How Canada Went from 21st to 2nd in World's Oil Reserves

The United States has its hopes pinned on Canada's "tar sands" for North American security in the oil market. But their "black gold" is an environmental nightmare.

I've already predicted Bush would attack Canada. And I really hope I'm just joking, but...

Via Reuters.

Labels: , ,

Iraq Death Toll Rivals Rwanda Genocide, Cambodian Killing Fields

Don't ya love that headline or are you liberal/Democratic?

How many are enough? Give us a number so we know when we've "won".
According to a new study, 1.2 million Iraqis have met violent deaths since the 2003 invasion, the highest estimate of war-related fatalities yet. The study was done by the British polling firm ORB, which conducted face-to-face interviews with a sample of over 1,700 Iraqi adults in 15 of Iraq's 18 provinces. Two provinces -- al-Anbar and Karbala -- were too dangerous to canvas, and officials in a third, Irbil, didn't give the researchers a permit to do their work. The study's margin of error was plus-minus 2.4 percent.

Field workers asked residents how many members of their own household had been killed since the invasion. More than one in five respondents said that at least one person in their home had been murdered since March of 2003. One in three Iraqis also said that at least some neighbors "actually living on [their] street" had fled the carnage, with around half of those having left the country.

In Baghdad, almost half of those interviewed reported at least one violent death in their household.

Oh yeah, Anbar is so fucking safe. Hahaha.

Via AlterNet.


Good news for a change

The question is whether this is typical around Iraq or only specific to Baghdad. My guess is Baghdad specific.
A row of beds lies empty in the emergency ward of Baghdad's Yarmouk Hospital. The morgue, which once overflowed with corpses, is barely a quarter full.

Doctors at the hospital, a barometer of bloodshed in the Iraqi capital, say there has been a sharp fall in victims of violence admitted during a seven-month security campaign.

Last month the fall was particularly dramatic, with 70 percent fewer bodies and half the number of wounded brought in compared to July, hospital director Haqi Ismail said.

"The major incidents, like explosions and car bombs, sometimes reached six or seven a day. Now it's more like one or two a week," he told Reuters.

The relative calm at the Yarmouk hospital lends weight to U.S. and Iraqi government assertions that a security campaign launched around Baghdad in February has achieved results.

Still, fewer deaths anywhere is always good.

Via Reuters.


Monkey business at Indian airport

Wildlife officials were struggling to catch a monkey which sneaked inside the security area of New Delhi's international airport and forced the brief closure of the VIP lounge, a security official said on Monday.

The lounge at the airport was partially closed for more than an hour on Sunday after the monkey scampered through the international departures terminal.

Wildlife officials have been trying to capture him.

Of course the Bush administration identified said monkey as a member of al-Qaeda and immediately sent several hundred troops in to help with the capture. In spite of recent changes to interrogation rules, it will be water-boarded and forced to eat red meat.

Via Reuters.

Labels: , ,

US Iraq envoy blasts pace of refugee process-paper

Well, he may not be a total sock puppet...
The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, warns that nearly 10,000 Iraqi refugees seeking to enter the United States may have to wait as long as two years because of bureaucratic bottlenecks, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

In a bluntly worded State Department cable titled "Iraqi Refugee Processing: Can We Speed It Up?" Crocker said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security had only a handful of officers in Jordan to vet the refugees, the Post reported.

Crocker wrote the admission of Iraqi refugees to the United States remained bogged down by "major bottlenecks" resulting from security reviews conducted by the departments of State and Homeland Security, the newspaper said.

Applicants must wait eight to 10 months from the time they are referred to U.S. authorities by the U.N. refugee agency before they set foot in the United States, he said.

"Resettlement takes too long," Crocker wrote.

Via Reuters.

Labels: ,

The media vs. the antiwar movement

Its the fucking liberal media again. Damn them.

This protest was HUGE and technically ignored.

Think about that when you read your newspaper tomorrow.

Via Left I on the News.


Oldies,but goodies

Warning: Regular readers will see nothing new.

Experts: Iranian unit not arming Iraq militias

Fortune: Year of Pig Will Bring Disaster

US to take in more Iraqi refugees

We're here to help you. We meaning li'l ol' me

If you read none of the afore listed links. Do read this one. Hell, even if you read the others, read this one. It'll wash that ugly taste from your mouth.
Too Funny

To set the record straight

When my 12 year old sister had meningitis and looked like a corpse, I was sure she would be fine. And she was.

When I hear someone has had an accident, I assume they were not hurt.

When people scream about climate change, I believe the world will wake up and technology will save us.

I am not a negative person. Much of what I post (all?) is negative, but it isn't my nature.


Syria warns of US 'lies' over Israel air violation

File under: No shit!
An official Syrian daily warned on Sunday that US "lies" over nuclear cooperation with North Korea could serve as a pretext for an attack on Syria following an Israeli violation of its airspace.

"Members of the choir have started up a new song that is full of hostility, this time about Syrian-Korean nuclear cooperation," Ath-Thawra said. "This is a big lie... Syria is used to having to put up with such lies."

The Washington Post reported last Thursday that North Korea may be helping Syria build some kind of nuclear facility, citing unnamed intelligence sources.

Israel's secret service had relayed the information to the US government, which the Post described as "dramatic."

Via Black Listed News.

Bush is certain the end times are nigh. And he intends to rush them along.
Bush's Rush to Armageddon

By Robert Parry
January 8, 2007

George W. Bush has purged senior military and intelligence officials who were obstacles to a wider war in the Middle East, broadening his options for both escalating the conflict inside Iraq and expanding the fighting to Iran and Syria with Israel’s help.

Via Consortium News.

Can you say conflagration? Yeah, I thought you could.

Labels: , ,

McCain: I'm a Baptist

I'm gonna do something quite rare for me. I'm gonna be impartial and fair.


Are all politicians lairs, panderers, assholes?

In this age of internets tubes, YouTubes, and such, do they really think we don't know what they have said in the past?

Jesus H Christ with chickenpox, you're history here. We can dredge up your words you stupid twit.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who has long identified himself as an Episcopalian, said this weekend that he is a Baptist and has been for years.

Campaigning in this conservative, predominantly Baptist state, McCain called himself a Baptist when speaking to reporters Sunday and noted that he and his family have been members of the North Phoenix Baptist Church in his home state of Arizona for more than 15 years.

"It's well known because I'm an active member of the church," the Arizona senator said.

While McCain has long talked about his family's and his own attendance at the Arizona church, he appears to have consistently referred to himself as Episcopalian in media reports.

In a June interview with McClatchy Newspapers, the senator said his wife and two of their children have been baptized in the Arizona Baptist church, but he had not. "I didn't find it necessary to do so for my spiritual needs," he said.

He told McClatchy he found the Baptist church more fulfilling than the Episcopalian church, but still referred to himself as an Episcopalian.

Its McCain now, but the fucking Democrats are no better.

See? Impartial.

Via Yahoo! News.


China angry at Taiwan's move to join UN

File under: No shit!

And Republicans hate HRC. Shocker.

Via Financial Times.

Labels: , ,

Thai investigators sift through Phuket plane wreck

I love Thailand and Phuket. Some reports say perhaps 90% of the passengers (100) died. This is a blow to Thai tourism and a ghastly blow to the friends and families of the dead and injured.
Thai air investigators sifted though the wreckage on Monday of a budget airliner that crashed on the resort isle of Phuket, killing 88 people as it broke up while trying to land in driving rain.

As well as looking for clues as to why the McDonnell Douglas MD-82 veered off the runway and smashed into a densely wooded embankment, rescue workers still have to recover five bodies from the wreckage.

Both pilots were killed, deputy transport minister Sansern Wong-Chaum said, but 42 people survived a crash that is likely to raise more safety questions for the dozens of budget carriers that have sprung up across Asia in the last decade.

Five survivors were in critical condition, with burns to 60 percent of their bodies, hospital officials said.

The "black box" flight data recorder has been recovered and much of the investigation is likely to focus on the weather conditions as the plane, flown by Bangkok-based low-cost operator One-Two-Go, was coming in to land.

"We will have to wait for the actual cause of the accident. We will send the black box to the United States. It will take one week to analyse," Sansern told Thailand's Channel 7 television.

Survivors spoke of torrential rain and trees bent over in the wind, and several accounts suggested the pilot attempted to land, but then aborted.

"The pilot tried to bring the plane back up. He started to turn right and made a sharp turn right and then the plane went into the embankment," Millie Furlong, a 23-year-old waitress from Canada, told Reuters in hospital.

"I saw the grass and knew we were going to crash. It was very quick."

Via Reuters.

Labels: ,

Gates rejects Greenspan claim war is about oil

When sock puppets speak...

Come on now. Aside from Bush's ass lickers doesn't anyone realize it was always about the oil? WMD? Dictatorship? Democracy? Stabilizing the region? Freeing the people, many of whom we've killed?

Don't make me laugh. OK, I can't laugh about that last one.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates rejected on Sunday former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's statement that the Iraq war "is largely about oil," saying the conflict is driven by the need to stabilize the Gulf and put down hostile forces.

Gates' defense of the conflict, now in its fifth year, came a day after thousands of anti-war protesters marched in Washington. Police arrested 192 for crossing a barrier, a spokeswoman for the Capitol Police said.

Most were released by Sunday afternoon, but one who was also charged with carrying an incendiary device, and some others with outstanding warrants, were still in custody, Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said.

In his new book, "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World," Greenspan echoed the long-held complaints of many critics that Iraq's rich oil supplies are a major motivating force behind the war.

"Whatever their publicized angst over Saddam Hussein's 'weapons of mass destruction,' American and British authorities were also concerned about violence in an area that harbors a resource indispensable for the functioning of the world economy," Greenspan wrote.

"I'm saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: The Iraq war is largely about oil," added Greenspan, for decades one of the most respected U.S. voices on fiscal policy.

Via Reuters.

Labels: , , ,

Too kewl

This fantastic photo of the Moon, the stars,
and Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) over
Earth was taken by the International
Space Station (Expedition 13) in 2006.

All together now: U r, like, so eclectic, dude.

Via Neatorama.


Quote of the day

Some days these things just write themselves. Which is great for a lazy ass blogger such as I am.

The subject here is Cuban cigars which are illegal contraband in the US.
"You know, if it’s good, I smoke it."

-- Fred Thompson
'08 presidential hopeful

Do as I say, not as I do. A favorite admonition of my late father.

Via Pensito Review.


Chafee quietly quits the GOP

Or quote of the day. In time they wake up and smell the stench.

"It’s not my party any more[.]"

-- Lincoln Chafee

Via Providence Journal.

H/T Taegan Goddard.

Labels: ,

China urges U.S. to cancel arms sales to Taiwan

China on Sunday voiced its strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to the U.S. tentative plans of arms sales to Taiwan and urges the United States to immediately cancel the plans.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said China firmly opposes the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. "Our position is consistent and clear," she said.

She said the United States would seriously violate its commitments to China made in the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques, in particular the joint communique signed between the two countries on Aug. 17, 1982, if it sells P-3C antisubmarine aircraft and other advanced weapons to Taiwan.

She said the arms sales to Taiwan also constitutes wanton interference in China's internal affairs, noting the Chinese side has expressed strong objection and lodged a solemn protest with the U.S..

The U.S. Department of Defense on Wednesday announced tentative plans to sell 12 P-3C antisubmarine aircraft and 144 cruise missiles to Taiwan.

Let me be clear here. I would like to see Taiwan recognized as a country separate from China. Will tht happen? Doubtful.

Via Xinhua.

Labels: ,

The attack of Iran

Feel content you live thousands of miles away. Sorry about all you other counties nearby or affiliated with Iran. Shit happens. K?

Bush doesn't care about any of you. He is an imperialist warmonger who is out for supreme power. Other people come to mind who may be his idols.

If fucking up the Mid-East brings world peace, I'm all for it, but I think world destruction is much more likely.

Have a nice day! (picture smiley face here or just scroll up).

Labels: , ,

Bloomberg: Philanthropy is his next job

Were I so able to contribute. Sigh!

Give a few kudos to the wealthy who aren't total blood suckers.
Whether Michael Bloomberg decides to run for president in 2008, it is clear he is serious about building up his philanthropic giving.

The billionaire mayor is expected to disclose shortly that he gave $165 million to more than 1,000 charities in 2006, and is forming an organization called Bloomberg Philanthropies that will organize all of his giving: his personal one-time contributions, his company's donations and the projects undertaken by the new foundation.

He recently purchased two buildings near his home on Manhattan's Upper East Side to use as the headquarters and has begun to assemble a staff that is sketching out some of the foundation's first projects. He is even recreating another Bloomberg bullpen there — his trademark office arrangement that has everyone sitting together with no walls.

Despite the speculation that Bloomberg will dip into his fortune to bankroll a presidential run, the billionaire insists that when he leaves City Hall at the end of 2009, he will take a vacation and then focus on giving his money away.

Via Yahoo! News.


Gotta do this

No links. Its everywhere.

Who would have thought the endorsement of one fucking General (Wesley Clark) would be the endorsement to make a presidential candidate?

I had no idea, but the MSM and most bloggers seem to think "this is it!!!"

Fuck. No endorsement here, but HRC has the endorsement of Bill.

Slam dunk!

Labels: ,

Too bizarre

I'm finding more and more referrals from Google™ which show SPIIDERWEB™ as one of the first three returns, usually first.

Latest example.

Two things come to mind immediately. First, Why? Second, why doesn't such result in increased hits.

The world always remains a mystery even to those on it.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Elderly Nuns Evicted As Church Raises $660 Mil Fine against Predator Priests

One of many examples of why I HATE organized religion.
The Catholic Church in Southern California must pay $660 million to victims of pedophile priests, so, naturally, one of the first things to go on the chopping block is a nuns’ home in Santa Barbara.
“We all have to pay the price for the sins of the few … I didn’t get a raise this year.”
- Spokesman for the Los Angeles Archdiocese, reacting to nuns’ loss of their home and jobs.

Hahaha. They're evicting the wives of Jesus? This is beyond bizarre.

Yes, I'm a heretic and should be pummeled by several priests. May I choose the time and place?

Via Pensito Review.

Labels: ,

Must read IMHO

P M Carpenter.

Its a goodie, folks.


State-secret overreach

Actually, that headline requires a question mark. Sloppy.

The thing is, the Bush administration seems to claim everything is secret and beyond scrutiny. Is is? Highly unlikely. The word we need here is transparency. Tell the people what the fuck is going on. We're a democracy after all. Uninformed voters have no idea how to vote.

On Aug. 15, before an overflow crowd at the federal courthouse at 7th and Mission in San Francisco, three judges from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals listened to lawyers argue whether the once-obscure "state secrets privilege" gives the government an absolute right to withhold documents, bury evidence and block lawsuits.

The government claimed the privilege in connection with two cases challenging the Bush administration's domestic surveillance programs, including its controversial warrantless wiretapping operation. Deputy Solicitor General Gregory Garre, arguing for the government, maintained that the cases should be dismissed instantly, no questions asked, because a trial would endanger national security. Presenting any evidence in a courtroom, he said, would put the country at "exceptionally grave harm."

When it comes to national security, Garre said, judges must give the executive branch the "utmost deference."

After listening to such claims for a while, the senior judge on the appellate panel, Harry Pregerson, asked Garre whether the state secrets privilege meant that the courts must simply "rubber stamp" the decisions of the executive. "The bottom line here is the government declares something is a state secret, that's the end of it," Pregerson said. "The king can do no wrong."

"This seems to put us in the 'trust us' category," said Judge M. Margaret McKeown, referring to government assurances that the surveillance program didn't violate the law. "We don't do it. Trust us. And don't ask us about it."

This apparent skepticism on the part of Pregerson and his fellow judges was highly unusual and may signal a new willingness to question government assertions about national security. In recent years, as the Bush administration has relied more heavily on the state secrets privilege to have cases thrown out of court, judges have generally been willing to concede meekly to the government's argument. Could it be that the government has finally overplayed its hand?

Have to editorialize about this. Overplayed its hand? Doubtful. The sheeple will buy it all. This ruling is only a minor speed bump.

Via LA Times.

Labels: ,

Thousands of Iraq war protesters march in Washington

The headline says it all. Google™ search it and see many stories and photos.

That's Thousands with six zeros.

Sorry, but I can't refrain from posting this picture.

I realize the police must be prepared, but when they come in looking like some antagonist in Robocop, they quickly incite protectionist replies.


Iraqi Shi'ite bloc cutting ties with majority alliance

A very unfortunate event. This will weaken the Iraq government and now puts al-Sadr out there to do whatever he wants (as if he hadn't already). I won't link, but I've mentioned often al-Sadr has to be dealt with. Maliki is a puppet compared to al-Sadr.
The Iraqi government's Parliament base fragmented yesterday with the defection of a hard-line Shi'ite bloc.

The followers of radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr announced that they were withdrawing from the Shi'ite alliance in Parliament, where they hold 30 of the 275 seats.

Separately yesterday, an Al Qaeda front group threatened to assassinate Sunni leaders who "stained the reputations" of their people by supporting Americans.

The two developments cast doubt over prospects for political and military progress in Iraq as the US Senate gears up for a debate this week on Democratic demands for deeper and faster troop cuts than President Bush plans.

The threat against Sunni leaders came from the Islamic State of Iraq, which claimed responsibility for the assassination Thursday of Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, the organizer of the Sunni Arab revolt against Al Qaeda in Anbar Province. Bush met Abu Risha at a US base in Anbar this month and praised his courage.

In an Internet posting, the Islamic State said it had formed "special security committees" to track down and "assassinate the tribal figures, the traitors, who stained the reputations of the real tribes by submitting to the soldiers of the Crusade" and the Shi'ite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

BTW, where was I? When did Islamic State of Iraq become an operative term? I was just getting used to al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Via Boston Globe.

Labels: , ,


I'm being slightly facetious here, but I had a referral from a Google™ search and there is only one result. Got that? Only one and its SPIIDERWEB™. Woot!!!1!

The search?

Check it out.

The internets tubes are so fun sometimes for us geeks.

Labels: , ,

Great name

Wack Wack, Rizal, Philippines.

Wouldn't ya love to give Wack Wack as your address?


'Pentagon listed 2,000 Iranian targets'

Not exactly breaking news, but I've been on this whole story far to long to skip anything now.
US President George W. Bush and his associates are seriously considering declaring war on Iran and have listed specific facilities that would be targeted in such an event, while Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has slowly given up the idea of finding a diplomatic solution to the country's persistence in enriching uranium, a British report said on Sunday morning.

According to senior US defense and intelligence officials that spoke with the Daily Telegraph, the Pentagon has gathered a list of up to 2,000 targets including a major base run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds Force in the south.

Pentagon and CIA officers said that such a war would come to pass as result of a "carefully calibrated program of escalation" that would lead to a "military showdown with Iran," the officials told the newspaper.

This scenario could arise once it was apparent that diplomatic efforts with the country were hopeless. When Iran would be internationally denounced for its interference in Iraq, the US could conduct cross border raids on Iranian training camps and bomb factories.

The report said that the raids would provoke a "major Iranian response" that could result in a halt to Gulf oil supplies; this in turn, said experts, would provide legitimacy to strike Iran's nuclear facilities and armed forces.

Via Jerusalem Post

Labels: , ,

More power woes

We had a very prolonged power outage and, by the time I could fire this old PC up, all the interesting stuff out there had been flogged to death by many other bloggers.

I'll keep an eye peeled for any breaking stories so I can jump in.

"Reality is the leading cause of stress for those in touch with it."

-- Jane Wagner