Saturday, October 06, 2007

Cat blogging


'World's biggest diamond' revealed as fake

I'm at a loss here. Has Abraham Lincoln emerged from the grave?*
The discovery of the "world's biggest diamond" last August sent ripples of excitement around the world. It was said to be twice the size of the Cullinan, or Great Star of Africa, discovered near Pretoria in 1905.

Neither the South Africa Diamond Board, nor the Diamond and Jewellery Federation, the trade body, confirmed its authenticity. But the warnings were drowned out by the breathless claims of one Brett Jolly, a spokesman for the mining firm Two Point Five Construction, who had announced the stone was being transported to a bank vault in Johannesburg "until we calm down and decide what we are going to do".

Now however, the "diamond" has been revealed as a fake. Yesterday, the president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, Ernest Blom, announced he was withdrawing from the verification process to test the stone, saying: "I suspect something is afoot.

*For those who don't know his famous quote: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

I apologize, but no one took a decent picture of that diamond. They're all fuzzy. Shit! I won't even accept such shots of my cat. That is if I had one. I kept hunting. You should be so grateful. I found a pic that ain't great, but its much better than before.

Via The Independent.

Musharraf set for five more years despite questions over election

Dog flea

Lie down with dogs...
Eight years after he seized power in a military coup and six years after making a deal with the US that enabled him to hold on to that power, General Pervez Musharraf is today poised to secure another five years as Pakistan's leader.

Via The Independent.

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Great name

Get this one:

Tally Ho, Victoria, Australia


Why I use the "F" word so often

First off its easy, flexible, malleable. OK, I'm stretching the word malleable, but its my site and I can do such things. Muahahaha.

The main reason I use "fuck" and its variants is because "god damn fucking son of a bitch" is just too many letters to type and lead to typos. I'm lazy ass remember?

Any of you who've surfed the internets tubes for a while will know about the following. The N00bs won't.
Why Fuck is the Best Word in the English Language...
by Who the Fuck Knows

Perhaps one of the most interesting and colorful words in the English language today is the word "fuck".

It is a magical word which, just by its sound can describe pain, pleasure, love, and hate. In language, "fuck" falls into many grammatical categories.

It can be used as a verb both transitive (John fucked Mary) and intransitive (Mary was fucked by John).

It can be an action verb (John really gives a fuck),

a passive verb (Mary really doesn't give a fuck),

and adverb (Mary is fucking interested in John),

or as a noun (Mary is a terrific fuck).

It can also be used as an interjection (Fuck! I'm late for my date with Mary).

It can even be used as a conjunction (Mary is easy, fuck she's also stupid).

As you can see there are very few words with the overall versatility of the word fuck.

Aside from its sexual connotations, this word can be used to describe many situations:

1. Greetings........."How the fuck are ya?"

2. Fraud..............."I got fucked by the car dealer."

3. Resignation......."Oh, fuck it!"

4. Trouble............."I guess I'm fucked now."

5. Aggression........."Fuck you!"

6. Disgust................"Fuck me."

7. Confusion............." What the fuck....?"

8. Displeasure............"Fucking shit man..."

9. Lost........................"Where the fuck are we?"


11.Retaliation............."Up your fucking ass!"

12. Apathy................."Who really gives a fuck?"

13. Suspicion............."Who the fuck are you?"

14. Directions.............."Fuck off."

It can be maternal........"Motherfucker!"

It can be used to tell time......."It's four fucking twenty!"

It can be used as an anatomical description............."He's a fucking asshole."

Lastly, it has been used by many notable people throughout history:

"What the fuck was that?" -Mayor of Hiroshima

"That's not a real fucking gun." -John Lennon

"Where the fuck is all this water coming from?" -Captain of the Titanic

"Who the fuck is gonna find out?" -Richard Nixon

"Heads are gonna fucking roll." -Anne Boleyn

"Any fucking idiot could answer that." -Albert Einstein

"It does so fucking look like her!" -Picasso

"You want what on the fucking ceiling?" -Michaelangelo

"Fuck a duck." -Walt Disney

"Houston, we have a big fucking problem." - The crew of Apollo 13

- written by McCutcheon

Via Pax Acidus.


Why? Six years on from the invasion of Afghanistan

Sometimes it takes the stupids many years to wise up. Fortunately it does happen, usually.
Six years after a war was launched to overthrow the Taliban, British solders are still being killed in bloody skirmishing in a conflict in which no final victory is possible. Tomorrow is the sixth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan by the US, Britain and allies, an operation codenamed Enduring Freedom. But six years on, Britain is once again, as in Iraq, the most junior of partners, spending the lives of its soldiers with little real influence over the war.

How many dead does it take? How many fucking dead?

I'm so sorry. I've been remiss in not acknowledging the sacrifices the "coalition of the willing" has made and that's not acceptable. American lives are valuable as are Iraqi lives, but so too are the British lives and all the other lives lost in a hopeless morass of bloodshed which will never solve anything.

Grow some balls, Democrats, and get us the fuck out of the Mid-East.

Via The Independent.

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World moves into the ecological red

No, the world hasn't gone mad, but some of its inhabitants have. I know. I'm one of them.

Note the emphasized parts.
The world moved into 'ecological overdraft' on Saturday, the point at which human consumption exceeds the ability of the earth to sustain it in any year and goes into the red, the New Economics Foundation think-tank said.

Ecological Debt Day this year is three days earlier than in 2006 which itself was three days earlier than in 2005. NEF said the date had moved steadily backwards every year since humanity began living beyond its environmental means in the 1980s.

"As the world creeps closer to irreversible global warming and goes deeper into ecological debt, why on earth, say, would the UK export 20 tonnes of mineral water to Australia and then re-import 21 tonnes," said NEF director Andrew Simms. [emphasis mine]

Help, please.

Too late. My head has exploded.

Via Boston Globe.


Hypocrisy! "Judas Goat" Obama Stops Wearing Flag Pin

He's right, of course.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says he doesn't wear an American flag lapel pin because it has become a substitute for "true patriotism" since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Asked about it Wednesday in an interview with KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Illinois senator said he stopped wearing the pin shortly after the attacks and instead hoped to show his patriotism by explaining his ideas to citizens.

"The truth is that right after 9/11 I had a pin," Obama said. "Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security.

"I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest," he said in the interview. "Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testament to my patriotism."

A fucking yellow ribbon magnet on your car is not patriotism nor supporting the troops. It's posing.

NOTE: This is not an endorsement of Obama. Right now I lean toward Grover from Sesame Street. Truth be told, I always vote for Grover. And you may note Grover has no American flag lapel pin. Grover has principles.

Via The Signs.



This guy's been appearing on the internets tubes for some time. Now I have to remark.

What in hell does someone think about themselves to do this?

I have tattoos. Nothing fancy, just a small black widow spider and a scorpion, but this?

Perhaps there's a story behind this. I have a couple tats because of my paternal grandfather. He was in the US Navy and got his tats all over the world. They went from each wrist to his neck and down to his waist. I would spend a lot of time looking at them and asking questions. Where did that one come from? What does that one mean? Who the hell is Mabel?

Because he was often drunk at the time, when he got them and when telling me about them, facts were pretty fucking hazy, but they fascinated me.

Someone remind me to tell you about grandpa some day. Just the eulogies at his funeral were touching and hilarious.

Via Jonco.


Quote of the day

"I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps."

-- George Bush Mahatma Gandhi
You know who he is

Via Big Shot Bob in Texas.


Déja vu all over again

Been there, done that, worn out the T-shirt and nearly forgotten the whole thing.

Through the years I've known and even admired many Republicans. Its absolutely impossible to work for most American corporations without rubbing elbows with Republicans. Hell,everyone hasn't been Democratic so I was bound to run into a few Rs. Anyway, although we would often disagree on policy or whatever, they made decent, cogent arguments for their positions. They were totally wrong, but they were earnest, honest, reasonable.

But those people have been marginalized at best. I'm hard pressed to accept a Republican as anyone who isn't completely bat shit crazy until they prove to me they aren't. A good place to start is for them to denounce Bush. Anyone who thinks Bush has been good for America should be placed in a straight jacket and lobotomized.

Hello, hyperbole?

I miss the Republican party as a source of opposition and for discussion.

Please read Anonymous Liberal.

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The Pledge of Allegiance

The birth of the Pledge of Allegiance, via Ted Compton.

I have NEVER said those words when making the Pledge of Allegiance. It was an affront to Americans and a slap in the face to the founding fathers.

Were I ever elected to Congress or the Presidency (capitalized because I respect the office if not the current holder of same).

Sorry, just went on a laughing jag I thought I might not recover from.

To pick up the Congress or the Presidency... I would immediately begin a campaign to eliminate "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance and remove any mention of any deity from US currency.

BTW: There are many examples of "In God We Trust" on US currency.

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This site can be scary

The Daily Scare sometimes is full of conspiracy theories. Some may be right, but my thinking is most aren't.

But their last few entries are thought provoking and not at all weird.

Hey, just for the record, I love weird.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Who feels remorse about Iraq?

I did a search on "Blackwater remorse" "Blackwater regret" and a few others. I found no incident where any Blackwater mercenary has been remorseful nor regretful.

I'll not bother to link. You can find many instances of US soldiers' showing remorse for what's happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. Courts martial have resulted. Desertions have happened. Its something Americans should be proud of, knowing some troops can't take the horror and carnage.

This via Booman Tribune.
The Blackwater story keeps growing in both the outrage it is causing and in the political importance of that outrage. It's also increasing in the amount of trouble it's causing for the State Department and the US.

We're starting to see reaction now from both sides of the argument. You'd think when an entire country was accusing your company of killing its citizens, that you'd try to show some humility or even remorse. But not our Blackwater, nope. [emphasis mine]

These are people who've seen war. Apparently they liked war and decided to engage in it again. For some reason, I can't understand this. To fight to protect home, family, country out of patriotism is one thing, but to fight just for a paycheck is sick. Killing people for a living just doesn't fit into my lifestyle.

When you hire pit bulls to work for you, you have to expect some vicious attacks.

Admittedly, I've already judged Blackwater and could never serve as a juror for any one of them.

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Bush says US 'does not torture'

Just in case you need a good laugh or cry, check out the emphasized text below.
President Bush defended his administration's detention and interrogation policies for terrorism suspects on Friday, saying they are both successful and lawful.

"When we find somebody who may have information regarding a potential attack on America, you bet we're going to detain them, and you bet we're going to question them," he said during a hastily called appearance in the Oval Office. "The American people expect us to find out information, actionable intelligence so we can help protect them. That's our job."

Bush was referring to a report on two secret memos in 2005 that authorized extreme interrogation tactics against terror suspects. "This government does not torture people," the president said.

Jesus H Christ in shorts, how much fucking proof is required? Not sure about you, but this posturing by Bush is really getting old. He has to trot out his codpiece on a regular basis now. He's become such a clown I'm amazed even the hard line wingers don't see right through him.

Via Yahoo! mail.

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House Acts in Wake of Blackwater Incident

Why did take the unprovoked killing of unarmed Iraqis to get this done? Why weren't Blackwater* and the other mercenaries already under the jurisdiction of U.S. courts?

I already knew they weren't, but it never made sense to me.
Prompted by last month's deadly shootings in Baghdad by armed guards working for Blackwater USA, the House voted overwhelmingly yesterday to place all private contractors working in Iraq and other combat zones under the jurisdiction of U.S. courts.

Via WaPo.

*To be fair, the mercenaries are only accused at this point.


Blackwater Faulted In Military Reports From Shooting Scene

Who ya gonna believe? American mercenaries or the Iraqis? How about the US military.

This concerns the apparent massacre at Nisoor Square in Baghdad.

Via WaPo.

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Must read IMHO

Catch the atrocities foisted on returning troops as reported in Rolling stone.

Talk about taking care of the troops. Its never been about taking care of any of them.

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Da Google

It seems they're celebrating Sputnik right now.


Stuffed Potato

Do you know what your kid is hiding?

Its a joke, folks.
In what Australian customs officials called a "novel attempt" to import Ecstasy, an unknown drug trafficker hid a stash of the party drug inside Mr. Potato Head. The pills were intercepted at the Sydney International Mail Centre when agents selected a parcel from Ireland for examination. According to a press release, "upon opening the parcel, Customs officers were greeted with the smiling face of Mr Potato Head."

I would have chosen a Barney doll because no one wants anything to do with him. Or is that just me.

Via Smoking Gun.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Israeli communications said to prove IAF knew Liberty was U.S. ship

Revisited below.

I really can't wait for the spin on this. With friends like this you don't need enemies comes to mind.
The Israel Air Force warplanes and Israel Navy warships that attacked the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967, at the height of the Six-Day War, were aware that the vessel was an American spy ship, according to new testimony published Thursday in the Chicago Tribune.

The report stated that the U.S. National Security Agency - to which the intelligence gathering ship belonged - was able to intercept IAF communications according to which, at some stage, the pilots identified the ship as American but were nonetheless instructed to push ahead with the attack.

Revisit: What the fuck? This makes no sense to me on the surface. An ally knew they were attacking a US ship and did it anyway? Why? To what purpose? Were they trying to draw the US into a war with a perceived enemy? They thought the US wouldn't know Israel was responsible for the attack?

There are a fucking lot more questions here than I can answer.

BTW: The report is from Haaretz. Not exactly an outlet critical of Israel.

Via Harretz.

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'The Kite Runner' is delayed to protect child stars

OK, this is the lede on the internet.
'The Kite Runner' is delayed to protect child stars Paramount Vantage is delaying the movie's release to get its three schoolboy stars out of Kabul, Afghanistan.

Obviously laudatory. Ah, but there's more.
The studio distributing "The Kite Runner," a tale of childhood betrayal, sexual predation and ethnic tension in Afghanistan, is delaying the film's release to get its three schoolboy stars out of Kabul — perhaps permanently — in response to fears that they could be attacked for their enactment of a culturally inflammatory rape scene.

Executives at the distributor, Paramount Vantage, are contending with issues stemming from the rising lawlessness in Kabul in the year since the boys were cast.

The boys and their relatives are now accusing the filmmakers of mistreatment, and warnings have been relayed to the studio from Afghan and American officials and aid workers that the movie could aggravate simmering enmities between the politically dominant Pashtun and the long-oppressed Hazara.

In an effort to prevent not only a public-relations disaster but also possible violence, studio lawyers and marketing bosses have employed a stranger-than-fiction team of consultants. In August they sent a retired Central Intelligence Agency counterterrorism operative in the region to Kabul to assess the dangers facing the child actors. And on Sunday a Washington-based political adviser flew to the United Arab Emirates to arrange a safe haven for the boys and their relatives.

"If we're being overly cautious, that's O.K.," Karen Magid, a lawyer for Paramount, said. "We're in uncharted territory."

In interviews, more than a dozen people involved in the studio's response described grappling with vexing questions: testing the limits of corporate responsibility, wondering who was exploiting whom and pondering the price of on-screen authenticity.

Why can't the fucking world be black and white? I'm tired of these shades of gray. Who did what to whom? Is the government pressuring the boys and their families? Were the filmmakers baddies? Was I involved? Scratch that last question. I wasn't even there.

Via IHT.


£8m fake documents seized in Nigerian fraud crackdown

Oops. Someone wasn't paying attention here. Of course I would never make such an error. Hahaha. Like hell I wouldn't
Rescue teams working to save 3,200 miners trapped deep underground in a South African gold mine have managed to bring 1,350 to the surface.

Follow the link and you'll find the story and headline do sync.

Via Telegraph News.


Blog reading

Some days are for blogging and some are for reading blogs and news feeds.

Blogging to follow later.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Must read IMHO

Welcome to the world of total hypocrisy.
Yesterday, French oil giant Total insisted that their presence in Myanmar is crucial and that they would not pull out of the country, despite international uproar over the incidents there.

Hey, Bush doesn't have leverage here. What a major mistake. Among many of his other mistakes.

Via Anything They Say.

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Très embarras

This is referred to in the newspaper game as burying the lede.

My PC is dying. At first I though infection, but none of my virus scans found anything. And I have several.

Then I thought memory. Possible. Its a very old machine, like older than the internets tubes.

Next was bandwidth. Not great, but not bad so that probably isn't the problem.

Which brings me back to my decrepit old PC.

Does anyone out there have an old laptop they aren't using? Not using being the functional words here. I'm not picky, Apple, IBM, Acer, Neo, Gateway? I can probably afford to upgrade it, but can't afford a new one.

I had a Gateway GX 6000 (I think because it was stolen three years ago), but I loved it. Nice screen, good keyboard, and a very strong battery.

I can also pay for the shipping costs if not too horrendous. Have I mentioned I'm on a shoestring budget here? Just asking.

Jesus H Christ with a cup in his hands I really hate to post this.

End of my NYC subway begging.


Who Runs The World, and Why You Need to Know

“No man is happy without a delusion of some kind. Delusions are as necessary to our happiness as realities.”

-- Christian Nevell Bovee
Author and lawyer

Do you believe in conspiracy theory? Well Dailyscare is the site for you.

I make no attempt to confirm nor deny the following. I'm just throwing it out there for you to consider, reject, accept, laugh at or whatever.
Daniel Estulin is a Madrid-based journalist and an investigative reporter who took on the daunting and dangerous task of researching the Bildeberg Group, and who offers his findings in The True Story Of The Bilderberg Group, recently published by Trine Day. Equally intriguing as his harrowing tales of being followed and nearly killed on a couple of occasions while working on the book, is the manner in which Estulin connects the dots between the Bilderberg Group, world events, notable politicians and corporate tycoons and the two other secretive monsters of the ruling elite, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Trilateral Commission (TC). The project lasted fifteen years and was motivated by Estulin's curiosity about how it is that the mainstream media has never covered in depth the meetings of the Bilderberg Group whose combined wealth exceeds the combined wealth of all U.S. citizens.

What Estulin's book makes clear is that the group, along with the CFR and TC, has become a shadow government whose top priority is to erase the sovereignty of all nation-states and supplant them with global corporate control of their economies under the surveillance of "an electronic global police state."

What's that phrase? Oh yeah, all sides considered.

Via Dailyscare.


Whoda thunk it?

I have to get back to "serious" posting, but for now I'm posting light.

I had a referral from Librocrat. In reading the post over there I ran across this:
So I did some snooping of my own and found more names, with their affiliation listed in parenthesis as (L) for liberal/Democrat and (C) for conservative/Republican - based solely on their donations


Traci Lords (C)

At that point I lost it. Tracy Lords conservative?*

*For those unaware, Tracy Lords began her career as a porn star.

Via Librocrat.


Jonco has sources...

Here's how it works. Jonco scours the internets tubes so you and I don't have to. I scour Jonco so you don't have to.

Yes, its a diversion, but we all need them.

Please visit Jonco's site. Perhaps I've overlooked something you find amusing or thought provoking. Hell, "perhaps"? I think its a given I have.

Wrong on so many levels

This one amuses me no end. What's with her attire?

And I leave you with this Jonco gem. Its an ingenious entrepreneurial idea.

Gotcha! Suckered you into visiting Jonco. Muahahaha.

Via Jonco?


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

'You can't armor your way out of this problem'

A U.S. Marine inspects the remains of a vehicle
destroyed in a roadside bombing that killed 14
Marines and a civilian interpreter near Haditha,
Iraq. (Antonio Castaneda / Associated Press)

This story is nothing without the photo. Thank you AP.

On with the post. Let's return to the MRAPs the government is spending billions on. Will they work? Are they just more money down the drain? Its always important to look like the troops are being helped, but is it possible?
On Aug. 3, 2005, the deadliest roadside bomb ever encountered by U.S. troops in Iraq detonated beneath a 26-ton armored personnel carrier, killing 14 Marines and revealing yet another American vulnerability in the struggle against improvised explosive devices.

"Huge fire and dust rose from the place of the explosion," an Iraqi witness reported from the blast site in Haditha, in Anbar province. In Baghdad and in Washington, the bleak recognition that a new species of bomb -- the underbelly, or "deep buried," IED -- could demolish any combat vehicle in the U.S. arsenal "was a light-bulb moment for sure," as a Pentagon analyst later put it.

Of the 81,000 IED attacks in Iraq over the past 4 1/2 years, few proved more devastating to morale than that "huge fire" in Haditha. At a time when coalition casualties per IED steadily declined, even as the number of bombs steadily increased, the abrupt obliteration of an entire squad -- made up mostly of reservists from Ohio -- revealed that the billions of dollars being spent on heavier armor and other "defeat the device" initiatives had clear limits.

Haditha provided a light-bulb moment for insurgents as well. During the next year, underbelly attacks just in the Marine sector of western Iraq would increase from a few each month to an average of four per day. By early summer of this year, the underbelly IED -- considered a specialty of Sunni bombers -- was killing more American troops in Iraq than all other variants of roadside bombs combined.

A bomb with 100 pounds of explosives detonating beneath an armored vehicle was equivalent to a direct hit from a six-gun artillery battery, but with an accuracy no gunner could hope to achieve. A single 155mm artillery round, which by itself can destroy a tank, typically contained 18 pounds of explosives. "That's just a damned difficult thing to defeat," said Brig. Gen. Joseph Anderson, the current chief of staff for the Multinational Corps in Baghdad.

Via WaPo.

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Why China has it wrong on Myanmar

This is a good point. China is missing a golden opportunity and it doesn't make any sense on the surface.

This could be the best international PR coup for China in years and they're letting it slip through their fingers.
China, in the face of the latest unrest in Myanmar, has reverted to its traditional stance of non-interference in another country's internal affairs, despite its extensive clout and commercial interests there. The opportunity exists, though, for Beijing to enhance its image considerably by putting pressure on the generals, and in the process distinguish itself from regional rival India, which prefers to look the other way.

Via Asia Times.

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Hill: Thomas Harassment Charge True

If you're interested in my opinion, Hill is and was telling the truth. Thomas should have been thrown down a mine shaft instead of being confirmed a Supreme Court Judge.

That's hyperbole, folks. Unlike the wingers who really would suggest throwing someone down a fucking mine shaft.

Whew! That was close. I nearly posted this without the profanity.

Via AP.

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Bomb video spurs scrutiny for YouTube

File under: You just knew this was coming sooner or later.
On a video posted to this summer, a man speaking Egyptian-accented Arabic instructed viewers on how to convert a remote-controlled toy car into a bomb detonator.

Don't look at me. I have no answers. Block videos that mention "bomb"? That last is not my suggestion, hence the "?". Duh!

This is an unfortunate incident, but its part of the openness of the internets tubes.

The truth is, there isn't much one can't research in you're run of the mill library. If someone wants to make a bomb or a detonator using a TV remote, its probably easy to find instructions. I can't say for sure because I've no desire to find instructions for either.

Via Boston Globe.


An Iranian University Invites Bush to Speak

Uh, I don't think I'd waste ink printing up the fliers just yet. Bush won't face Americans under those conditions.
After the controversial appearance of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University last week, an Iranian university yesterday invited President Bush to travel to Iran and speak on campus about a range of issues, including the Holocaust, terrorism, human rights and U.S. foreign policy, the Fars News Agency reported yesterday.

The invitation from Ferdowsi University in the northeastern city of Mashhad asked Bush to answer questions from students and professors "just the same way" that Ahmadinejad took questions "despite all the insults directed at him."

If he were to go, I would suffer the bandwidth and snail paced PC I have to see the video.

Via WaPo.

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'Thousands of monks seized' by Burma junta

Stories are starting to come out and, unfortunately, my earlier post and this one seem to be accurate.
Thousands of monks, who played a leading role in pro-democracy demonstrations last week, have been disrobed and shackled by Burma's military junta and will be moved to prisons hundreds of miles from Rangoon, it was reported last night.

Via Telegraph News.

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You can't have it both ways.

Update below.
Headline at IHT: Envoy meets Myanmar junta leader
A United Nations envoy met with the leader of Myanmar's junta, according to a diplomat in Yangon, as authorities continued a crackdown.

Headline at Seattle Times: U.N. envoy waiting to meet junta leaders
As the military tightened its grip on Myanmar, the United Nations said its envoy hopes to meet today with the junta's top generals to repeat international calls for restraint.

UPDATE: Headline at AlertNet: UN envoy leaves Myanmar capital, no word on meeting
United Nations envoy Ibrahim Gambari left Myanmar's new jungle capital on Tuesday, where he was to have met military junta chief Than Shwe, a Yangon-based diplomat said.

However, there was no word on whether Gambari's scheduled audience with the bespectacled 74-year-old Senior General had actually taken place.

Hell, I'm not even there and can be this accurate.


Must read IMHO

Very good article about the four myths of dictators and how the Bush administration and the media are perpetuating them.
Now we are creating a new fog of mythologies -- about a "dictator" [in Iran] who isn't one, about "appeasement" that is completely inapplicable, about nuclear weapons that don't exist, about a country that is "evil" -- that make it seem like we must do something.

But what will the consequences of military action be? If we've learned but one single thing from the current war in Iraq it's that after we panic ourselves with descriptions of the worst that will happen if we don't act, we had better consider the worst that will happen if we do. And be ready for it.

That's a fact.

Via AlterNet.

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China rejects U.S.-made bacteria-infected sardines

So the question is just who's poisoning who here?
A Chinese coastal city has rejected 47 tons of frozen sardines infected with disease-inducing bacteria which were originally manufactured in the United States.

The batch of sardines, imported from a Japanese trading company, was stopped on Saturday by the Entry-exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau of Rongcheng City, Shandong Province, according to the bureau.

Sample detection shows that the sardines were infected with "listeria monocytogens," or a bacteria that can lead to various diseases, such as breath difficulty, vomiting, rash, meningitis, fever, coma and blood poisoning, or even death for human beings and animals, the bureau said.

The sardines, valued at about 40,000 U.S. dollars, were found to be originally manufactured in the United States, it said.

Don't expect to see a story about US manufactured bacteria laden sardines in your local US newspaper. Nope. They're only concerned about products coming into the US.

BTW, are the words "made" and "manufactured" appropriate here? It seems "processed" would be more correct. Personally, I have no idea where to start making or manufacturing a sardine, or any other fish for that matter.

Via Xinhua.

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Feeling secure? Well don't #20


What you can't see can kill you.
American laboratories handling the world's deadliest germs and toxins have experienced more than 100 accidents and missing shipments since 2003, and the number is increasing steadily as more labs across the country are approved to do the work.

No one died, and regulators said the public was never at risk during these incidents. But the documented cases reflect poorly on procedures and oversight at high-security labs, some of which work with organisms and poisons so dangerous that illnesses they cause have no cure. In some cases, labs have failed to report accidents as required by law.

I showed you a microscopic picture of anthrax. I couldn't bring myself to show you pictures of those infected. It ain't a pretty sight.

Via USNews.

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Court reverses Bush on archive secrecy

I had no idea this was even before the courts, but thankfully a judge realized what was going on.

If you're not familiar with Bush's order, it was retroactive so his father could keep people from seeing his presidential papers too. Clinton's were an unintended consequence.
A federal judge on Monday tossed out part of a 2001 order by President George W. Bush that lets former presidents keep some of their presidential papers secret indefinitely. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the U.S. Archivist's reliance on the executive order to delay release of the papers of former presidents is "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with law." [emphasis mine]

I particularly like the emphasized part. Is that not Bush to a "T"?

Perhaps there's hope for the republic yet.

Via The Signs.

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Blackwater involved in 195 Iraq shootings

I'm not one to defend Blackwater and there well may be huge problems, but with 180,000 mercenaries there, 195 incidents doesn't sound like very many.

That is, it doesn't sound like they're running around Iraq shooting at anything that moves.
U.S. security contractor Blackwater was involved in at least 195 shooting incidents in Iraq since 2005, said a congressional report on Monday that also panned the State Department's oversight of the company.

State Department contractor Blackwater, under investigation for the shooting deaths of 11 Iraqis on September 16, will answer questions about that incident and others at what is expected to be a testy congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Senior State Department officials will also be grilled by the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform examining whether the growing use of military contractors undermines U.S. efforts in Iraq.

The report does go on to say:
A report prepared by the staff of committee chair Rep. Henry Waxman, released details from Blackwater's own reports of multiple incidents involving Iraqi casualties and said in most instances Blackwater fired first.

The memorandum also slammed the State Department's oversight of Blackwater and said it was often more interested in getting the company to pay off victims' families and "put the matter behind us" than in investigating what happened.

It listed 195 shooting incidents from the start of 2005 until September 12 of this year, an average of 1.4 per week. Of those, there were 16 Iraqi casualties and 162 cases with property damage, the California Democrat said. He did not specify if there were fatalities.

"In 32 of those incidents, Blackwater were returning fire after an attack while on 163 occasions (84 percent of the shooting incidents), Blackwater personnel were the first to fire," Waxman, a vocal critic of the Iraq war, said.

I say the jury's out on this one and we bloggers are a little too quick to condemn. I'd also like to see a similar report about the coalition forces.

Via The Signs.


What the Modern Conservative Movement Has Become

Right Wing News conducts a yearly survey of right-leaning blogs and asks them to rank their "Favorite People on the Right." Today the site announced the winner of this year's survey; by an overwhelming margin, right-wing bloggers chose Rush Limbaugh. Second place went to Ann Coulter. That says just about everything you need to know about the state of modern conservatism.

Have to disagree. That says ALL you need to know.

Via Anonymous Liberal.

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Senate approves $150B in war funding

I'm gonna jump to what is probably a logical conclusion that the MRAPs in my last post were not included.

Again, do they realize this is "real" money?
Thwarted in efforts to bring troops home from Iraq, Senate Democrats on Monday helped pass a defense policy bill authorizing another $150 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 92-3 vote comes as the House planned to approve separate legislation Tuesday that requires President Bush to give Congress a plan for eventual troop withdrawals.

The developments underscored the difficulty facing Democrats in the Iraq debate: They lack the votes to pass legislation ordering troops home and are divided on whether to cut money for combat, despite a mandate by supporters to end the war.

First off it wasn't a "mandate by supporters to end the war" it was the American voters telling them to get the hell out.

Second off (is that right?), why the fuck are they divided? The damn voters spoke. It wasn't a USA Today poll, it was the voting booths. Do your jobs or go home.

OK, less coffee and more medication. Got it. So get off my case!

Via Yahoo! News.

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Senate approves $23.6 bln for MRAPS for Iraq

Has anyone told these people this isn't Monopoly money?
The U.S. Senate on Monday approved $23.6 billion in additional funding for mine-resistant armored vehicles as part of a mammoth defense spending bill for the 2008 fiscal year that began Monday.

BTW, I'm completely losing count of how many variations there are on these vehicles. I've posted pix of several and all are different.

Do you want more fucking information than you need on these? I mean beside the fact HMMWVs were used before this.
This plans [sic] will virtually phase out the HMMWV from use in combat patrols and high risk missions. Responding to the urgent requirement, the Army plans to have all 17,700 MRAPs in theater by April 2009. [emphasis mine]

Isn't it funny how some details just seem to trickle out? Whoda guessed 2009?
The total procurement of MRAPs for all services could surpass 20,000 units, with an estimated procurement cost above $10 billion. However, the MRAP life cycle cost is expected to rise significantly above that level, due to the need for frequent damage repair resulting from high operational tempo and frequent battle damage. Some estimates value the program's life cycle cost at about $20 billion.

OK, got it. $10+ billion to procure them and $20 billion [at least?] to keep them operational? Is this any way to run a railroad?

Oh yeah, I'm so remiss. The story says $10+ billion to procure the vehicles and the headline says the Senate approves $23.6 billion. I guess I've forgotten all the maths I ever knew. I need 10+ and you approve 23+. K! I can live with that.

I'm thinking these vehicles can't live up to the fucking hype. They are immune to IED attacks except not most of the time.

Via Boston Globe.


OK, I know I'm sadistic...but

This is just flat out funny and a great photo.

Via Bits and Pieces.


Sen. Clinton Co-Sponsors Webb Legislation Prohibiting Use of Funds for Military Operations In Iran

For those who still need hope, we have it for ya, kinda, sorta.

I personally hold out little hope such a bill will pass based on past history.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today announced that she is co-sponsoring legislation introduced by Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) that prohibits the use of funds for military operations against Iran without explicit Congressional authorization (S. 759).

Via No Quarter.


I just like this

For some reason it calms me and makes me smile. The smile part I understand.

Via Jonco.


Is it just me? Oh yeah, it probably is

Am I the only one getting spam from:




Theater of the absurd with dangerous consequences

First we have Bad Attitudes which points to a couple bills in Congress to ratchet up the justification for an Iran attack, at them not from them.

Then we have the fundies whining about no viable Republican candidates because they aren't in favor of forced abortions (oops!) child births and want to allow same sex (shudder!) marriages or civil unions or whatever.

On to Multi Medium where we learn green backs are teh devil's money.

Damn it. Slacktivist just tricked me into having a cigarette. Thinking about having one is more than half the battle. A battle lost.

Yes, I really did go for a cigarette, but only 1/2. I am health conscious. Well, except for the salt thing I mentioned earlier and Taco Bell's chicken burritos and corn chips and beef jerky and Wendy's quarter pounders and fried foods. Oh fuck, never mind.

And OneAndOneIs2 says it so well.

Good news from California. The attempt to hijack the electoral votes has failed.

The petulant four year old known as the idiot in chief is throwing a temper tantrum over...Are you ready? One percent of the federal budget.

Should have mentioned before, but these Saudi women are extremely brave.

Dennis Perrin is on the edge or over it. Not sure.

Balloon Juice has a post on why we have to kill Iranians there so they can't kill Americans here in Iraq.

The only difference between here and now and a circus is a lack of elephants. Oh, never doubt it. We have more than enough clowns.


Do you read labels?

I thought not.

I didn't until the doc told me to cut back on salt, which I haven't done, and I found almost nothing on the supermarket shelf did not contain salt. Even canned tuna has mucho salt. I thought, oh, a simple tuna sandwich would be good, but the salt's already fucking in it.

So I quit worrying about salt. The meds do wonders.

Back to the topic.

Do you know of TSP?
Trisodium phosphate has been used by painters for years and years as a heavy duty degreaser and all purpose cleaner. TSP is formulated for removing Grease, soot,and lead paint dust cleanup. A washing of surfaces prior to painting helps insure a good clean "bite" for the finish coats of paint.

1/2 cup per gallon of hot water makes short work of removing grease from driveways and garage floors.

Paint Remover: Most latex paints including milk paint, on furniture can be removed by scrubbing with a strong solution of TSP. After stripping any piece of wood its always a good idea to wash well with TSP to remove the wax that is in most paint removers.

How about Cheerios™?
Made from 100% whole grain oats, Cheerios cereal has no artificial colours or flavours. Those wholesome little Os are low in fat and saturated fat, and have no cholesterol. Cheerios is also an excellent source of iron, and a source of fibre and folic acid. On top of all that, Cheerios has only one gram of sugar.

Ingredients: Whole Grain Oats, Modified Corn Starch, Corn Starch, Sugar, Salt, Tocopherols, Trisodium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Colour. Contains Wheat Ingredients. [emphasis mine]

So stop ragging on China, capiche? General Mills©, Inc. is out to get you. Muahahaha.

Jesus H Christ with a suntan, but we do our best to inform y'all.

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I find this amusing

SPIIDERWEB™ is the third item listed for a Google™ search on "not safe for work".

We do what we can for ya.

Truth is, in going back over some posts, I particularly didn't like that one.

Via Google™ search.


Monday, October 01, 2007

Burma: Thousands dead in massacre of the monks dumped in the jungle

I certainly hope this report is untrue, but it probably isn't.
Thousands of protesters are dead and the bodies of hundreds of executed monks have been dumped in the jungle, a former intelligence officer for Burma's ruling junta has revealed.

The most senior official to defect so far, Hla Win, said: "Many more people have been killed in recent days than you've heard about. The bodies can be counted in several thousand."

Mr Win, who spoke out as a Swedish diplomat predicted that the revolt has failed, said he fled when he was ordered to take part in a massacre of holy men. He has now reached the border with Thailand.

Via Daily Mail.

H/T The Crone.


US reaffirms leadership in world arms trade

Now isn't this something to be proud of. And even with 42% of the worlds weapons trade the US economy is tanking.
The United States reaffirmed last year its leadership in world arms trade, cornering nearly 42 percent of the market as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan prompted a weapons shopping spree among neighboring nations, according to a congressional report set to be released Monday.

Via Agence France-Presse.


Pentagon Gives Blackwater New Contract


Just what's wrong with US military planes? I'm otherwise speechless.
A U.S.-based private security firm received a contract worth up to 92 million dollars from the Department of Defence amid hard questions about its involvement in two separate violent incidents in Iraq. “Blackwater has been a contractor in the past with the department and could certainly be in the future,” said the U.S.’s top-ranking military officer, General Peter Pace, at an afternoon press conference here.

The future arrived just two hours later when the Pentagon released a new list of contracts — Presidential Airways, the aviation unit of parent company Blackwater, was awarded the contract to fly Department of Defence passengers and cargo between locations around central Asia.

The announcement comes as a cloud of suspicion is gathering around the “professional military” firm for its actions as a State Department security contractor in Iraq in which at least eight Iraqis and possibly as many as 28 were killed, including a woman and child.

Via Mathaba.


Television is a necessity of life

Something interesting is where the dish is pointing. It appears pointed at the horizon and not at the sky where a satellite would be.

Via Jonco.


Taiwanese Party Asserts Island’s Independence

I'm waiting for more information before getting into this too deeply...and it is gonna get deep. The initial response from China has been particularly mild, but I doubt that will continue.
Taiwan's ruling party passed a resolution Sunday asserting the island's separate identity and calling for a referendum on its sovereignty, but failed to put any real force behind it, apparently out of fear of provoking rival China.

The resolution -- passed after a heated debate at a boisterous party congress -- was the latest in a series of steps taken in the waning months of President Chen Shui-bian's final term aimed at strengthening Taiwan's de facto independence, without pushing Beijing so far that it could respond militarily.

Nearly 60 years after splitting amid civil war, China still considers the democratic island part of its territory, and has threatened to attack if it moves toward formal independence.

The United States does not recognize Taiwan as a country, but Washington is obligated by law to supply it with defensive weapons. Fearful of being drawn into a war with China, it has consistently chastised Chen's independence-leaning moves, including his current effort to win Taiwan a long coveted seat at the United Nations.

In an annual National Day speech Sunday in Beijing, China's Premier Wen Jiabao urged Taiwan to resist moving toward formal independence.

''We will continue to work with all the Taiwan compatriots to oppose and repulse separatist activities for 'Taiwan independence' and advance the great cause of China's peaceful reunification,'' Wen said.

Via NYT.

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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Help this lady

She's evil. She wants freedom and democracy for her people. Such a vile woman. But she deserves your help.
Right now, Suu Kyi is in Insein Prison, notorious for its harsh conditions, after she "met" with 1000 monks who had marched to the gate of her house as part of a series of peaceful demonstrations by Buddhist monks against the government, now beginning to be called the "Saffron Revolution." This is the second major set of protests this year--there was another in April--and the first time that the country's monks have led the dissent.


Come the fuck on

Josh Marshal?

Kevin Drum?


Is everyone else chopped liver?

Why you link to only the alpha dogs?


Must read IMHO

It ain't all roses, folks.