Saturday, November 10, 2007

Quote of the day

"A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand."

-- Bertrand Russell
Philosopher and genius

Yeah, like, duh? So you talking 'bought me?

Via: Quotes of the day


No comment

I really mean it this time.

Nobody's Hero

I knew he was different in his sexuality
I went to his parties as a straight minority
It never seemed a threat to my masculinity
He only introduced me to a wider reality
As the years went by, we drifted apart
When I heard that he was gone
I felt a shadow cross my heart

But he's nobody's hero
Saves a drowning child
Cures a wasting disease
Hero -- lands the crippled airplane
Solves great mysteries
Hero -- not the handsome actor
Who plays a hero's role
Hero -- not the glamour girl
Who'd love to sell her soul
If anybody's buying,
Nobody's hero

I didn't know the girl, but I knew her family
All their lives were shattered in a nightmare of brutality
They try to carry on, try to bear the agony
Try to hold some faith in the goodness of humanity
As the years went by, we drifted apart
When I heard that she was gone
I felt a shadow cross my heart

But she's nobody's hero
Is the voice of reason against the howling mob
Hero -- is the pride of purpose
In the unrewarding job
Hero -- not the champion player
Who plays the perfect game
Hero -- not the glamour boy
Who loves to sell his name
Everybody's buying
Nobody's hero

As the years went by, we drifted apart
When I heard that you were gone
I felt a shadow cross my heart

But he's nobody's hero
Saves a drowning child
Cures a wasting disease
Hero -- lands the crippled airplane
Solves great mysteries
Hero -- not the handsome actor
Who plays a hero's role
Hero -- not the glamour girl
Who'd love to sell her soul
If anybody's buying,
Nobody's hero



Will Democrats Restore Our Liberties Stolen in the Bush Era?

Some posts are so easy when you start from a headline. Just watch.

Jesus H Christ in Doc Martens, my side is hurting so badly from laughing.

Via Reuters.


Biofuels Could Kill More People Than the Iraq War

Folks, I'm not just standing here hollering into the wilderness. This fucking shit is for real.
It doesn't get madder than this. Swaziland is in the grip of a famine and receiving emergency food aid. Forty per cent of its people are facing acute food shortages. So what has the government decided to export? Biofuel made from one of its staple crops, cassava. The government has allocated several thousand hectares of farmland to ethanol production in the county of Lavumisa, which happens to be the place worst hit by drought. It would surely be quicker and more humane to refine the Swazi people and put them in our tanks. Doubtless a team of development consultants is already doing the sums.

This is one of many examples of a trade described last month by Jean Ziegler, the UN's special rapporteur, as "a crime against humanity." Ziegler took up the call first made by this column for a five-year moratorium on all government targets and incentives for biofuel: the trade should be frozen until second-generation fuels -- made from wood or straw or waste -- become commercially available. Otherwise the superior purchasing power of drivers in the rich world means that they will snatch food from people's mouths. Run your car on virgin biofuel and other people will starve.

Do you want people to starve so you can drive your fucking SUV? If so, please don't come near me because I don't like to be vicious and destructive. K?

Via Reuters.


Soda-maker: Ham flavor will be kosher (AP)

WAKE UP! It must be time to start the annual war on Christmas.

And what the fuck is this kosher soda? We can't allow this.
It's rare to find kosher ham. Rarer still to find it carbonated and bottled. Jones Soda Co., the Seattle-based purveyor of offbeat fizzy water, said Friday that it was shelving its traditional seasonal flavors of turkey and gravy this year to produce limited-edition theme packs for Christmas and Hanukkah.

The Christmas pack will feature such flavors as Sugar Plum, Christmas Tree, Egg Nog and Christmas Ham. The Hanukkah pack will have Jelly Doughnut, Apple Sauce, Chocolate Coins and Latkes sodas.

"As always, both packs are kosher and contain zero caffeine," a Jones news release noted.

And even worse is NO CAFFEINE!!!1!! That's a fucking abomination.

Via NewsTin.


Review: New Army helicopter has flaws

This really is a big deal, but compounded by the story below.
The Army is spending $2.6 billion on hundreds of European-designed helicopters for homeland security and disaster relief that turn out to have a crucial flaw: They aren’t safe to fly on hot days, according to an internal report obtained by The Associated Press.

While the Army scrambles to fix the problem — potentially adding millions to the taxpayer cost — at least one high-ranking lawmaker is calling for the whole deal to be scrapped.

The story below which involves the V-22 Osprey. Hmmm.
The military is investigating an engine fire aboard a MV-22 tilt-rotor Osprey this week, but said on Friday it was too soon to discuss any possible impact on V-22s deployed in Iraq.

"We're not at this point drawing any conclusions one way or another. It hasn't therefore led to any fleetwide action," said U.S. Navy spokesman James Darcy.

The V-22 takes off and lands like a helicopter, but flies like an airplane. It is built by Boeing Co and Bell Helicopter, a unit of Textron Inc.

That fire occurred on 11/09/07. Lately?
Design flaws still make tilt-rotor aircraft unacceptable for imminent Iraq deployment. There's so much to admire about the Marine Corps. The fighting quality and spirit of the combat Marines who go into harm's way are second to none. For more than two centuries Marines have fought hard for this country, often with horrific death tolls, such as during the bloody Pacific Islands campaign during World War II.

I agree about the author's assessment of the marines. They are tough, courageous and patriotic, but giving them inferior equipment is a fucking joke. And it ain't a funny joke.

Via NewsTin.


And now for something completely different

Unless you have the genius of this person, ya ain't gonna believe this.



Irish Build 200 Homes for S. Africa Poor

Sometimes I just have to post something positive to avoid shooting myself in the head. After reading all about the foul, vile, greedy, cruel things Bush and company do, its great to read about people who are sweet, kind and generous.

This made me cry.

Possibly it'll have the same affect on you.
For the first time, Mona Miller has a real roof, solid walls and glass windows. Lights come on at the flick of a switch, water flows from the tap and she has the dignity of a toilet.

Miller will move into her first proper home this weekend thanks to a building blitz by nearly 1,400 Irish volunteers, who completed a mission Friday to construct 200 houses in a week in the depressing, dusty - and hopelessly misnamed - Freedom Park slum.

"It's a solid home, not something that people can drive though [through -ed]," said Miller, shuddering at the memory of the drunk driver who rammed into her shack four years ago, injuring her two young children in this sprawling Cape Town slum.

"I look forward to hearing the rain on the roof because I will no longer have to get up and put buckets underneath the holes. I'm going to close my doors and sleep for a week," she said with a grin, gazing proudly as builders put finishing touches on the mustard-colored house.

In a fucking non-football sense...GO IRISH!

Ha! You thought I couldn't work a variation on the word fuck into this post? Ye of little faith. I'm the master.

Via Japan Herald.


HR 1585 Authorizes Plans For Martial Law

So ya thought ya live in a nice safe and secure democracy? Pull your head out of your ass.
HR 1585 which is the 2008 Defense Authorization Bill is an evil piece of legislation that actually gives authorization to the U.S. military to plan a future merger with the police that will be used during a catastrophic emergency. This bill authorizes the Department of Defense to design a plan for a martial law apparatus. There is no question that the U.S. government is seeking to ratchet up the militarized police state as they anticipate massive resistance to the coming collapse of our economy and war with Iran. This bill is yet another step in the direction for the implementation of a militarized police state in this country.

Section 1615 of the bill describes the determination of department of defense civil support requirements. Subsection (a) states the following regarding the determination of requirements.


(a) Determination of Requirements - The Secretary of Defense shall determine the military-unique capabilities needed to be provided by the Department of Defense to support civil authorities in an incident of national significance or a catastrophic incident.

So another words, the Secretary of Defense is going to determine what military capabilities will be provided to support civil authorities during a catastrophic emergency. If the military is providing support to civil authorities, that is essentially describing an unholy marriage of police and the military. In no uncertain terms, this bill authorizes the Department of Defense to draw up plans for martial law which will be enforced through a combination of the military and the police.


The bottom line is that this bill authorizes the U.S. military to plan the integration of the military with civil authorities so they have a full fledged martial law apparatus to use in the event of any sort of catastrophic national emergency. The information in this bill lines up with what was described in the Vision 2020 document which is a document released by USNORTHCOM which describes the goal of a future North American martial law apparatus. It also lines up with NSPD-51/HSPD-20 which gives the President authoritarian powers during a catastrophic emergency. One thing is for sure, these people would not be wasting their time putting this stuff down on paper unless they have plans to use it.

Via BlackListedNews.


Court-martial of Watada might not come

I've been on this story a loooooong time. Watada pisses off the military. They don't want theirs to "think", have compassion, refuse to kill.

Watada is about as brave as anyone I've ever known. He should be celebrated.

Best of luck Ehren.
1st Lt. Ehren Watada, the Fort Lewis officer who refused to deploy to Iraq last year, might never see another courtroom.

U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle on Thursday imposed a preliminary injunction to temporarily bar the Army from trying Watada a second time while saying the officer likely will prevail on the merits of his pending case.

Since his first court-martial ended in mistrial in February, Watada's lawyers have argued that trying him a second time would violate his Fifth Amendment protection from being tried for the same offense twice. On Oct. 3, as Watada's appeals in the military court system were being exhausted, his attorneys took the rare step of asking a federal civilian court to step in.

Settle granted Watada's request for an emergency stay of the second court-martial, scheduled to begin Oct. 9, to allow him time to review the extensive legal arguments presented lawyers representing Watada and the Army. The injunction would be enforced pending the court's decision on Watada's claim.

Based on his 33-page court ruling, a second court-martial might not proceed.

Via Olympian.

H/T Mathaba.


Iraqi Government to UN: 'Don't Extend Mandate for Bush's Occupation'

Hmmm. We seem to have teh problem here. Bush and his cohorts intend to occupy Iraq indefinitely and they aren't buying it.

Well, great decider, decide. Leave or fuck Iraq?
Bush needs the UN's cover to justify the occupation, but the only way he can renew the expiring UN mandate is to cut Iraq's frail democracy out of the process.

The United Nations Security Council, with support from the British and American delegations, is poised to cut the Iraqi parliament out of one of the most significant decisions the young government will make: when foreign troops will depart. It's an ugly and unconstitutional move, designed solely to avoid asking an Iraqi legislature for a blank check for an endless military occupation that it's in no mood to give, and it will make a mockery of Iraq's nascent democracy (which needs all the legitimacy it can get).

While the Bush administration frequently invokes sunny visions of spreading democracy and "freedom" around the world, the fact remains that democracy is incompatible with its goals in Iraq. The fact remains that the biggest headache supporters of the occupation of Iraq have to deal with is the fact of the occupation itself. As far back as the middle of 2004, more than nine out of 10 Iraqis said the U.S.-led forces were "occupiers," and only 2 percent called them "liberators." Things have only gone downhill since then, and any government that represents the will of the Iraqi people would have no choice but to demand a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops. This fact poses an enormous problem, as the great triumph of the Bush administration and its supporters has been in their ability to convince a much of the Americans population that Iraqi interests and Washington's interests are in harmony, even when they're diametrically opposed.

Via Mathaba.

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Ed Henry: Bush 41 feels his son's pain

Easy post. Who gives a shit?

Via CNN.


Israel waiting for the Annapolis meeting to pass before wreaking destruction on Gaza

Just please tell me when the world is gonna wake up to the brutal and ruthless attacks Israel launches against their enemies? Lebanon? Totally unjustified. Gaza?

Jesus H Christ in Doc Martens. They're behaving like barbarians.

Israel is a country with a disproportionate level of military strength beating the shit out of the people of Gaza.
Last Sunday Zaher Al-Orr had a surprise for his son Ashraf and his friend Mohamed Abu Herbid. He prepared breakfast for them before going home, after their night shift. The three worked as guards in a bathroom fittings factory near Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza. Normally they would have breakfast after returning from work. But this was going to be a special morning. Another worker who clocked in early joined them in the meal. Things didn't go exactly as Al-Orr planned. Minutes after the men sat down to eat an Israeli artillery shell exploded on their dining table. All four men died.

Not only has Israel's shelling of Gaza grown more brutal, the targets have also changed. Now the Israeli air force is shelling the offices, positions, and patrols of the Palestinian police. Five policemen were killed at two different police stations. Dozens others were wounded. Citing sources at the Israeli staff command, Israeli radio said that the intensification of military operations in the Gaza Strip aims at "punishing" Palestinians for the shelling of nearby Jewish settlements.

OK, take your best shots. I'm an anti-Semite. Jesus, gimme a break.

As I've stated before, I have absolutely nothing against the Israeli people, but their government sucks the big one.

Via The Sign.

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Faux News is just strange

Jesus H Christ with a cold sore, but this is weird.

Via Jonco.



Apologies to my readers, but this fucker finds the best shit on the internets tubes.
This morning on the Interstate, I looked over to my left and there was a woman in a brand new Cadillac doing 65 mph with her face up next to her rear view mirror putting on her eyeliner.

I looked away for a couple seconds and when I looked back she was halfway over in my lane, still working on that makeup.

As a man, I don't scare easily.

But she scared me so much; I dropped my electric shaver, which knocked the donut out of my other hand.

In all the confusion of trying to straighten out the car using my knees against the steering wheel, it knocked my cell phone away from my ear which fell into the coffee between my legs, splashed, and burned Big Jim and the Twins, ruined the damn phone, soaked my trousers, and disconnected an important call.

Courtesy link to Jonoco because I stole the whole fucking post.


Must read IMHO

Its I Cringely who is always a must read.
While politicians and the U.S. Census Bureau may disagree on how many illegal aliens are living in the United States, the big credit reporting agencies have a pretty solid handle on the number and it is 17 million. That's 17 million adults of unproved nationality who have ongoing financial relationships with businesses or — believe it or not — governments. It's likely that there is some duplication in this total number, that is an illegal alien who is counted twice because he has, for example, a different relationship with his electric utility than he does with his phone company. But since the 17 million figure doesn't include children, the two are likely to wash out and 17 million is probably pretty darned close to the real number. But it isn't in any way close to the total number of U.S residents who have financial identities not tied to a Social Security number. That would be 37 million, meaning there are 20 million participants in the U.S. gray economy who aren't illegal, who are legitimate citizens. This means about 10 percent of U.S. residents are financially invisible, or think they are.

Hey, I didn't say or promise his posts are tiny. K?


The year's best headlines

Goddamn son of a bitch! I notice such headlines all the time, but never thought to gather them together for a post. What a fucking loser be I.
These were supposedly actually printed in 2007. I can believe it.

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
No, really?

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
Now that's taking things a bit far!

Fortunately Jonco has gathered a few and they are funny.

Via Jonco.


NSPD-51 and the Potential for a [US] Coup d'Etat by National Emergency

The source was The Daily Scare, but this site has the meat.
Can you think of anyone better than George W. Bush with whom to entrust the dictatorial powers hinted at in NSPD-51? Or perhaps you are unwilling to trust anyone with such powers, even Bush. That is not a option in NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE 51 (NSPD-51), signed by Bush and released without comment by the White House on May 9, 2007. To quote from NSPD-51: “This policy establishes ‘National Essential Functions,’ prescribes continuity requirements for all executive departments and agencies, and provides guidance for State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector organizations in order to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency.” What one would expect, but for some of its few details. [link and formatting in the original]

How secure are you feeling? Ya think your vote next November will have any affect? Wait and see.

Via The Daily Scare.


SPIIDERWEB™ made it into the top five on news tin

I just wish to fucking hell it wasn't because of this sad story. Can't really understand her pain. It hurts so much.

Goddammit! A dead baby because she lived in perpetual poverty.

Via news tin.

Mukasey Vows to Be Independent Advocate

Michael Mukasey the new US attorney general

Repost with changes.

Yeah, he vows to be independent and the idiot-in-chief swore to uphold the US Constitution.

Why am I not comforted? Just asking
Neither of Washington nor President Bush's Texas power circle, Michael Mukasey won his new job as attorney general in large part by promising to be an advocate of law enforcement independent of White House and any other politics.

But Bush, his Capitol Hill allies and congressional Democrats have plenty of expectations.

The president wants him to carry out the administration's terrorism-fighting agenda.

"Judge Mukasey will lead the Justice Department as it works to protect the American people whether from drug traffickers and other criminals on our streets or from terrorists who seek to attack our homeland," the president said late Thursday, after the Senate confirmed Mukasey 53-40.

Obviously Bush has given Mukasey his mandate: Do what I want or your ass is grass and I'm the lawnmower.

Via AP.

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Syria will allow US to screen Iraqi refugees

OK, I'm confused. Just where the hell in the rabbit hole am I? I see light, but don't know the source.

Syria is cooperating with the US? Jesus H Christ in Doc Martens, what is happening here? The next thing you know the fucking Syrians will be visiting the White House.

We must keep reminding ourselves who our enemies are. Syrians? Check. Iranians? Check. Lebanese? Check. Israelis? Hahaha. Ya gotta be kidding.

I'll stop here. I'm getting tired.
Syria has agreed to allow US interviewers into the country to screen Iraqi refugees for admission to the United States, clearing a major obstacle to the Bush administration's resettlement program, the State Department said yesterday.

Seriously, this is great news. The US has an obligation to bring in as many Iraqi refugees as is possible and screening is necessary. Here's hoping they all pass mustard.*

* Pass mustard is US term for accepted or qualify.

Via Boston Globe.


US releases 500 Iraqi prisoners from overcrowded jails

This is mind boggling. The US military is holding 25,800 Iraqis in jail? What the hell is that? They can't determine whether they should be held or not in a matter of weeks? Doesn't water boarding work anymore? Have they abandoned the needles under the finger nails?

Just what kind of wimps do we have in charge of questioning these people.

More Bush incompetence seems most likely.
US authorities freed 500 Iraqi prisoners yesterday in an ongoing push to empty American jails of detainees no longer deemed a threat. But the military says it's still holding 25,800 Iraqis waiting to face charges or be given freedom.

Via Boston Globe.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Too funny


Questions and answers on terrorist list

Sometimes ya just stumble upon information when looking for something else. This is one of those times.

We're talking here about the terrorist "watch" list. Please note my emphasis below.
Q: How does someone get on the list?

A: Any agency can nominate a person to the list, but the FBI and CIA screen all nominations and make the final decisions. The FBI has said if there is enough evidence against a person to open a preliminary FBI investigation because of suspected terrorist links, that name will be placed on the list. An anonymous phone call about someone isn't enough by itself. The CIA has said its standards are somewhat subjective.

Q: How does someone get off the list?

A: If an FBI investigation determines a person has no link to terrorism, that name will be removed from the list. The CIA has refused to tell congressional investigators its standards for removal.

Oh just fucking peachy keen. The CIA makes subjective decisions on who is included and refuses to tell Congress by what criteria they will remove someone.

Are you feeling like you're living in the former Soviet Union? You are, you know.

Via Boston Globe.


Failing to Serve America's Heroes on the Home Front

May we suggest you investigate a charity claiming to help veterans before you donate.

Or just burn your donation money. Your choice.
In the last two years, generous Americans answering appeals to help wounded and paralyzed veterans have given more than $464 million to charities that have been given an F in a new report card from a leading charity watchdog group.

Those failing charities include the National Veterans Services Fund, of Darien, Conn., which took in more than $6 million in contributions last year supposedly to help veterans' families.

It got a report grade of F from the American Institute of Philanthropy, which says the charity gave out only two percent of its money for charity.

In case you're more lazy ass than I am, I'll do the math for you. If you donate $20 to the National Veterans Services Fund, 40¢ goes to help the vets. Gives you the warm fuzzies doesn't it?

There's much more ugly information at the link.

Via The Blotter.

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Spooks refuse to toe Cheney's line on Iran

Anyone who has ever worked in a corporation or just a large business knows this is how it works. Several people are assigned to assess "something". A few wear knee pads.* Others make objective analysis as they were hired to do which doesn't conform to what the boss wants to hear and are asked ordered to revise their conclusions.

Its bullshit of course, but its business. It may affect production, profits or the bottom line, but it doesn't involve bombs and dead people.

Please ask your Congress critter to get behind the Cheney impeachment. That asshole has to be removed from office asap.
The US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran has been held up for more than a year in an effort to force the intelligence community to remove dissenting judgments on the Iranian nuclear program. The aim is to make the document more supportive of Vice President Dick Cheney's militarily aggressive policy toward Iran, according to accounts provided by participants in the NIE process to two former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers.

But this pressure on intelligence analysts, obviously instigated by Cheney himself, has not produced a draft estimate without those dissenting views, these sources say. The White House has now apparently decided to release the "unsatisfactory" draft NIE, but without making its key findings public.

A NIE coordinates the judgments of the US's 16 intelligence agencies on a specific country or issue.

A former CIA intelligence officer who has asked not to be identified told Inter Press Service (IPS) that an official involved in the NIE process says the Iran estimate was ready to be published a year ago but has been delayed because the director of national intelligence wanted a draft reflecting a consensus on key conclusions - particularly on Iran's nuclear program.

There is a split in the intelligence community on how much of a threat the Iranian nuclear program poses, according to the intelligence official's account. Some analysts who are less independent [read Cheney's poodles] are willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the alarmist view coming from Cheney's office, but others have rejected that view. [emphasis mine]

* So they're more comfortable when kissing the boss's ass.

Via Asia Times.

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Six arrested in Congo radioactive dumping scandal

This is a follow-up to my earlier post. The authorities have found the alleged dumpers of tons of radioactive material into a Congo river.

Perhaps it isn't clear, but dangerous things I can't see scare the shit out of me. That's why I post about E coli, radiation, formaldehyde and such.
Congolese authorities arrested six people in connection with the dumping of tonnes of highly radioactive minerals into a river near the southeastern town of Likasi, the environment minister said on Friday.

A quarantine zone was also set up around the site, just 10 km (6 miles) from the mining town of 300,000 people, where tests on Thursday revealed radiation levels nearly 50 times the limit for mineral exports from Democratic Republic of Congo.

Congo launched an inquiry on Wednesday after officials in the southeastern province of Katanga said radioactive copper and cobalt ore appeared to have been dumped into the Mura river, a source of drinking water for Likasi.

Via Reuters.


Lawmakers Criticize FEMA's Handling of Hazards Posed by Trailers

Three things come immediately to mind:

1. Its always a good idea to let people die to avoid liability.

2. Will the offensive treatment of Katrina victims ever end?

3. I'm really becoming quite the fan of Henry Waxman. Why are there so few like him?
Nearly four months after the Federal Emergency Management Agency promised to study the risk of formaldehyde in trailers provided to Hurricane Katrina survivors, none of 52,000 occupied units have been tested, and FEMA has warned its employees for their own safety to stay out of 70,000 similar trailers in storage.

"This double-standard is wholly unacceptable," Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said in a written statement, accusing FEMA of hiding the extent of trailer contamination and leaving "American disaster victims exposed to a whole new nightmare."

"The foot-dragging continues," said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), whose House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in July disclosed documents indicating that FEMA had suppressed warnings about the health problems and had resisted testing since March 2006, in part because of fears over legal liability.

Via WaPo.

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Pakistan places Bhutto under house arrest

Update below.

Two things:

1. I expected at least this much would happen if not worse.

2. CNN is reporting Bhutto's supporters say it isn't true.

AFP is usually a pretty reliable source, but so is CNN. We'll just have to wait on this one.
Pakistan placed former premier Benazir Bhutto under house arrest on Friday, blocking her from a planned rally to protest President Pervez Musharraf's imposition of a state of emergency.

UPDATE: Well we didn't have to wait long.

Headline: Pakistan police surround Bhutto's home
Dozens of security forces surrounded opposition leader and former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's house Friday and cordoned off nearby streets, hours before a massive rally organized by her Pakistan People's Party (PPP) against the state of emergency was due to start, sources close to Bhutto told CNN.

Via AFP.

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Father defends George W. Bush

This should be so hilarious, where daddy has to come to the defense of the president of the US. How lame. My father quit defending me in high school.

Only it isn't funny at all. Dim Son is so fucking stupid, incompetent, vile he does need daddy to come to his rescue. This is about the most pathetic family in politics.
Former US president George H.W. Bush hit out against his son's detractors and said most of the criticism of the current American leader is "grossly unfair".

Via Telegraph.


The Neoconservative Agenda to Sacrifice the Fifth Fleet - The New Pearl Harbor

US Fifth Fleet carrier group

This is something one hopes isn't true or at least one doesn't want to think about.

And in this case Dim Son and company are the ones who don't want to think about it.
The Bush administration has covered up and ignored dissenting Pentagon war games analysis that suggests an attack on Iran's nuclear or military facilities will lead directly to the annihilation of the Navy's Fifth Fleet now stationed in the Persian Gulf. Lt. General Paul Van Riper led a hypothetical Persian Gulf state in the 2002 Millennium Challenge wargames that resulted in the destruction of the Fifth Fleet. His experience and conclusions regarding the vulnerability of the Fifth Fleet to an asymmetrical military conflict with Iran have been ignored. Neoconservatives within the Bush administration are currently aggressively promoting a range of military actions against Iran that will culminate in it attacking the US Navy's Fifth Fleet with sophisticated cruise anti-ship missiles. They are ignoring Van Riper's experiences in the Millennium Challenge and how it applies to the current nuclear conflict with Iran.

Iran has sufficient quantities of cruise missiles to destroy much or all of the Fifth Fleet which is within range of Iran's mobile missile launchers strategically located along its mountainous terrain overlooking the Persian Gulf. The Bush administration is deliberately downplaying the vulnerability of the Fifth Fleet to Iran's advanced missile technology which has been purchased from Russia and China since the late 1990's. The most sophisticated of Iran's cruise missiles are the 'Sunburn' and 'Yakhonts'. These are missiles against which U.S. military experts conclude modern warships have no effective defense. By deliberately provoking an Iranian retaliation to U.S. military actions, the neoconservatives will knowingly sacrifice much or all of the Fifth Fleet. This will culminate in a new Pearl Harbor that will create the right political environment for total war against Iran, and expanded military actions in the Persian Gulf region.

Via The Signs.

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Great non sequitur

Crusty old man: You aren't wearing makeup, but you don't need it. I know, I'm a photographer.
Young woman holding flowers: Thanks.
Crusty old man: I take a long walk once a week to stay in shape. What are the flowers for?
Young woman: My roommate's birthday.
Crusty old man: My brother's a pediatrician. His birthday is July fourteenth.


Via Overheard in New York.


Waterboarding: We Won’t Let This One Go

A great post. Please follow the link to SusanUnPC.

This is an issue we can't walk away from. Its too important.

Keep pounding away at the torture condoning assholes until they feel tortured.

Via No Quarter.


Brazil discovers huge new oil reserves

SHIT! Now Bush is gonna want to invade Brazil. I'll bet the plans are being drawn up as I type.

Is there no end to this?
Brazil has discovered huge new petroleum reserves in its south that could turn the country into one of the biggest oil producers in the world, the government and its state-controlled oil company announced Thursday.

I used the picture from Sports Illustrated (obviously swimsuit edition). It's a perfect fit for the story. The models are using suntan oil.

Via AFP.

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Boxing clever in Germany

Uh, I have no idea how to excerpt this so you have to just follow the link. OK, I think I can handle this.
The rules are simple. There is one round of chess - and then one round of boxing. Punching power alternating with brainpower.

Hey, I'd pay to see that.

Via BBC News.


Don't like mimes? What about ventriloquists?

Frank "The Riddler" Gorshin

I don't usually watch video on this computer. Its just way too slow and I can't afford an upgrade to a faster one.

Perhaps you've seen these, but if not, you're in for a treat.

Based on a friend's enthusiastic recommendation I did watch these.

Not only is Terry the best ventriloquist I've ever seen, he's an astonishing impressionist. Undoubtedly the best I've seen since Frank Gorshin.

Yes, The Riddler is a great impressionist.


The making of a new river

I'll just re-direct you to Jonco. Trust me. Its quick, painless and extremely interesting.

Truth is, you can't stop Mother Nature.


My new job

Hey, I could get up for that. Yes, pun intended.

Via Jonco.


Israel: Bedouin widow and 5 children remain homeless after bulldozers demolish illegally constructed home

Sometimes its necessary to say right is right and wrong is wrong. This is not right and is wrong.

Where's the empathy and compassion?
The Negev's Local Council of Unrecognized Bedouin Villages is planning to rebuild the home of a widow, mother of five children, which was destroyed on Wednesday by the Israel Lands Authority. Three illegally constructed homes were destroyed yesterday in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Bir al-Hamam, near Tel Sheva and Nebatim. Demolition crews were accompanied by large police forces, and destroyed, among others, the home of a widow, a mother of five children aged 8 - 14. During the destruction of the house the mother fainted a number of times, and her eight-year daughter lay on the ground crying, and asked: "Mom, why are they destroying the house?"

Via The Signs.

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First it was the seagull stealing bags of chips from a store.

Now this.

Well, at least this bird appears to intend to pay for his food.

Via Jonco.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Specter Floats Compromise on Telecom Immunity

Not sure about you, but I have a warm fuzzy feeling about this compromise considering who is drafting it.
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is drafting a compromise to resolve the issue of whether to provide immunity for phone companies that participated in the warrantless wiretapping program.

My guess is he couldn't draw up decent legislation for licensing pets.

Via Free Press.


Congo experts hurry to test river for radiation

I'm against capital punishment. Its barbaric and inhumane, but if authorities can discover the people responsible for this...
Environmental experts hurried to southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday to test water from a river where authorities suspect 18 tonnes of radioactive minerals were dumped last week.

Officials feared contamination of the river, an important source of drinking water for thousands of people in Katanga province, the vast central African nation's mining heartland.

The team, including Congo's environment minister and experts from the country's atomic energy agency and environment ministry, was due in the city of Likasi later on Thursday.

Congolese authorities opened an inquiry on Wednesday after it was found that radioactive copper and cobalt ore might have been offloaded into the Mura river, 10 km (6 miles) from Likasi, a city with a population of 300,000.

Testing at the suspected dumping site on Thursday showed levels of radioactivity nearly 50 times the limit set for mineral exports from Congo, which is barred from exporting uranium, provincial Environment Minister Therese Lukenge said.

"Unfortunately, this is the same source that leads to a pumping station that distributes water to the population. This is the water that is delivered to the whole city," Lukenge told Reuters by telephone from the banks of the Mura river.

Its unclear why so few have seemed to pick up this disgusting story.

Via Reuters.

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'US afraid of an Israeli strike in Iran'

There are many stories out there like this: US afraid Israel will strike Iran.

With all due respect may I call bullshit? This is a fucking "cover your ass" position by the Bush administration. The Pentagon had already set up this position before Ahmadinejad's statement. If you think this isn't being coordinated, I have a nice rusty bridge I'd love to sell you.

Hey, we were willing to be patient, but we couldn't stop the Israelis from attacking. Don't look at us.

Nos es tersus. I love the internets tubes. That's Latin for "We are clean".
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's announcement Wednesday that Iran had 3,000 working centrifuges raised fears in Washington that Israel would respond to the statement with a preemptive military strike, the Times reported Thursday.

A centrifuge. According to nuclear experts, 3,000 working centrifuges are enough to successfully enrich uranium.

The British paper quoted military sources in the US capital as saying that the figure presented by Ahmadinejad could be the "tipping point" that touches off an IAF strike. Washington was reluctant to go forward with a strike against Iran, but Israel was a "different matter," the officials said.

Even before the Iranian president's announcement US defense officials told the Times that "Israel could do something when they get to around 3,000 working centrifuges. The Pentagon is minded to wait a little longer."

Concern over an Israeli strike has been "heightened" following the September 6 strike on a target suspected to belong to a Syrian nuclear program, the paper said.

Via JPost.

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Booming palm oil demand fuelling climate crisis

I'm not gonna link. Search for biofuels or bio-fuels (I'm not consistent) on the sidebar. I've many posts on this topic.

I know I'm beating this sucker to death, but when will the world wake up and realize the dangers of biofuels? They're dirty, steal food from people and hurt the climate.

Biofuels are about the nastiest things around and are embraced by most countries. They make people think they've found the magic bullet for petroleum dependency.
Booming world demand for palm oil from Indonesia for food and biofuels is posing multiple threats to the environment as forests are being cleared, peat wetlands exposed and carbon released, a report said on Thursday.

The massive forest clearance for palm plantations underway in Indonesia removes trees that capture carbon dioxide, and the draining and burning of the peat wetlands leads to massive release of the gas, said environment group Greenpeace in its report "Cooking the Climate".

On top of that, the booming demand for biofuels that include vegetable oils to replace mineral oil is in many cases actually generating more climate warming gases, the report said.

"Tropical deforestation accounts for about a fifth of all global emissions," said the report. "Indonesia now has the fastest deforestation rate of any major forested country, losing two percent of its remaining forest every year."

I hope it doesn't come to this, but when the world wakes up I'm gonna SCREAM I told you so!

Via Reuters.

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Sloppy writing

Maybe Alzheimer's isn't contagious, but it appears sloppy writing is.

The headline: County Hunter Apologizes for Using Slur
Bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman says he can be taught new tricks - and one of them is never to use the "N-word" again.

I'm sorry if you don't know what the "N-word" is, but I won't tell you.

Via Japan Herald.


Reagan Library Can't Locate Artifacts

But, but, I thought Alzheimer's wasn't contagious.
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum can't seem to locate tens of thousands of valuable mementos of Reagan's White House years.

Now where did I put those damn car keys?

Via Japan Herald.


Sloppy writing

The headline: US drug czar claims cocaine prices fall (AP)
American-backed counter-narcotic programs in Colombia and Mexico are disrupting the flow of cocaine into the United States, driving up prices 44 percent on U.S. streets this year, the White House drug czar said Thursday."

I've made it easy for ya. Ya see any discrepancy between the headline and the first paragraph of the story? Just asking.

UPDATE: Corrected my sloppy writing where I left the "R" out of the headline. Duh! (blush)

UPDATE: AP corrected their headline which now says "rise" instead of "fall" at the link below.

Via Yahoo! News.


Girl's suicide linked to Philippines poverty

This is a hideous addendum to this earlier post on malnutrition.
A girl aged 11 hanged herself in a Philippines shanty after leaving a letter and diary depicting a life in rampant poverty, newspapers here reported Thursday.

The case put a human face to poverty blighting the nation, where nearly 14 percent of the 87 million population live on less than a dollar a day even as the government says the economy is on a roll.

"I suspect she did it because of our situation," the girl's father, Isabelo Amper, was quoted in the Philippine Daily Inquirer as saying.

Via AFP.


Sloppy writing

When I scan the news, I do it quickly and can misread what's actually there or misinterpret. Once I've made my mistake, I'll consistently state that mistake throughout my writing. So a few times in the past (not many) I've had to re-write or pull a post because I discovered I'd not gotten the story right.

Hey, I'm a one man operation here.

But this is some writing I wouldn't expect from the International Herald Tribune.

Compare the emphasized words in the first paragraph with those in the second.
American forces have routed Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia from every neighborhood of Baghdad, a top American general said Wednesday, allowing for a reduction of U.S. troops to pre-surge levels and an increased focus on Shiite militias.

Major-General Joseph Fil, commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, said that American troops have yet to clear 13 percent of the city, including Sadr City and several other neighborhoods controlled by Shiite militias. But, he said, "there's just no question" that violence has been reduced since a spike in June.

There are no direct quotes from the general about specific neighborhoods. The reporter may have them in his notes, but didn't present direct quotes. So its impossible to tell which statement above is correct.

See what I mean? Which is it: 100% or 87%? Just asking.*

*If either one is true, its still a big deal. Please don't get me wrong.

Via IHT.

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Study: 1 Out of 4 Homeless Are Veterans

Please explain again just what "supporting the troops" really means.

Something is terribly fucked up when so many veterans end up on the streets. And, according to the story, its happening quicker with returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan than it did with Vietnam veterans.

Experts are very concerned about the future of returning veterans.
Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11 percent of the general adult population, according to a report to be released Thursday.

And homelessness is not just a problem among middle-age and elderly veterans. Younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are trickling into shelters and soup kitchens seeking services, treatment or help with finding a job.

The Veterans Affairs Department has identified 1,500 homeless veterans from the current wars and says 400 of them have participated in its programs specifically targeting homelessness.


The Iraq vets seeking help with homelessness are more likely to be women, less likely to have substance abuse problems, but more likely to have mental illness - mostly related to post-traumatic stress, said Pete Dougherty, director of homeless veterans programs at the VA.

Overall, 45 percent of participants in the VA's homeless programs have a diagnosable mental illness and more than three out of four have a substance abuse problem, while 35 percent have both, Dougherty said.

Via AP.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

We are buying children

In researching information for the last post I ran into this site. I have no idea if its real, but sure looks authentic.

If authentic, its fucking disgusting on several levels.
This is a tough economy. We understand that people are suffering because of what Bill Clinton did, and sadly, American families will continue to suffer for many years until President Bush can fix the mess Clinton made of the country. In any case, hard times call for extreme measures and Landover Baptist Church (being the largest and most powerful body of worthwhile Christians to ever exist) is offering a lending hand to families in need. We understand from what we've seen on TV and heard from Christian radio talk shows that millions of families in America have difficulty supporting their children. This might come as a surprise to you, but we'd like to take one or two of them off of your hands, and we'll pay you for it! Our church has been doing this locally and statewide for over two years now, and we want to offer this wonderful opportunity to the rest of America.

And don't ya just love the fact they consider themselves "worthwhile Christians" as opposed to all them worthless Christians? Talk about a bunch of pious assholes.

Via Landover Baptist Church.


Dearer food to hit consumption

Starving children searching for insects to eat in Sudan
From 'Take it Personally' Anita Roddick.

As if there aren't enough people with little food to eat. But, of course, feeding people isn't a global priority.
Poor countries are likely to have to cut food consumption after an “alarming” increase in their agricultural commodities bill, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation warned on Wednesday.

The FAO said its biannual Food Outlook report that high and volatile prices of grains, such as wheat and maize, could curtail procurement in many countries.

“Given the firmness of food prices in the international markets, the situation could deteriorate further in the coming months leading to reduction in imports and consumption in many low-income food-deficit countries,” it said.

The world’s food import bill will rise in 2007 to $745bn, up 21 per cent from last year. Developing countries’ food bill will increase 25.5 per cent, to almost $233bn, acording to FAO estimates. The annual food expenditures for the most vulnerable countries have more than double since 2000.

Folks, people will do anything to eat. Crime will go up. Better build more prisons fast.

Another side affect is people will sell their children because they need food and can't afford to feed them. This is already a problem in many poorer countries.

Via Financial Times.


Judge: contractor can face Iraqi torture suit

As pointed out over at the link, the judge implied if the interrogators had not had civilian management, but only US military management, the suit would have been invalid. Now that's a pretty strange ruling.

At any rate, at last at least one defense contractor is going to have to defend itself.
Iraqi torture victims and their relatives can proceed with a lawsuit against a defense contractor that provided interrogators to the U.S. military in Iraq, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

The lawsuit was filed in 2004 on behalf of Iraqi nationals who say they or their relatives had been tortured or mistreated while detained by the U.S. military at Abu Ghraib and other prisons in Iraq.

The plaintiffs sued CACI International Inc, which provided interrogators at Abu Ghraib, and L-3 Communications Holdings Inc.'s Titan unit, which provided interpreters to the U.S. military in Iraq.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson dismissed the claims against Titan because the translators performed their duties under the direct command and under the exclusive operational control of military personnel.

But he ruled the lawsuit against CACI can go forward. He said CACI interrogators were subject to a dual chain of command involving company and military officials, with significant independent authority retained by CACI supervisors in Iraq.

Via The Sign.

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Iran: 3,000 centrifuges fully working

That idiot Ahmadinejad just doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut.

He might as well just ask Bush or Israel to attack.
Iran has achieved a landmark with 3,000 centrifuges fully working in its controversial uranium enrichment program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday.

Ahmadinejad has in the past claimed Iran succeeded in installing the 3,000 centrifuges at its uranium enrichment facility at Natanz. Wednesday's claim was his first official statement that the plant is now fully operating the 3,000 centrifuges.

Via Yahoo! News.


Bhutto Raises Heat on Musharraf

Sorta on a "balls" tangent right now.

Ms Bhutto, who lives in Pakistan where the president jails the opposition and critics has bigger balls than the US Congress which operates under a president who hasn't, as yet, jailed opponents and critics.
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto plans to meet with opposition parties today to initiate nationwide protests against the state of emergency declared Saturday by President Pervez Musharraf, according to her spokesman. The plan is the latest indication that Ms. Bhutto, who heads Pakistan's largest political party and last month signed a preliminary power-sharing agreement with Gen. Musharraf, will play an important role in shaping the nation's response to emergency rule.

Via The Signs.


Democrats Hand Over Own Balls To President At White House Ceremony

A very clever article about the lack of courage in the Democratic Party.
In a Rose Garden ceremony this morning, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) formally handed over their balls to President George W. Bush.

"Recent actions make clear that we don't need these anymore," said Schumer as he handed over a small plastic bag containing his genitalia.

Link takes you to the whole article.

Via Opinions You Should Have.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Waterboarding is inhumane, it is torture, and it is illegal

This from No Quarter.

Its former US intelligence officers with grave concerns about Michael Mukasey. These aren't pundits, but the real deal.

MEMORANDUM FOR: Chairman and Ranking Member Senate Committee on the Judiciary

FROM: Former U.S. Intelligence Officers

SUBJECT: Nomination of Michael Mukasey for Attorney General

Dear Senators Leahy and Specter,

Values that are extremely important to us as former intelligence officers are at stake in your committee’s confirmation deliberations on Judge Michael Mukasey. With hundreds of years of service in sensitive national security activities behind us, we are deeply concerned that your committee may move his nomination to the full Senate without insisting that Mukasey declare himself on whether he believes the practice of waterboarding is legal.

We feel this more acutely than most others, for in our careers we have frequently had to navigate the delicate balance between morality and expediency, all the while doing our best to abide by the values the vast majority of Americans hold in common. We therefore believe we have a particular moral obligation to speak out. We can say it no better than four retired judge advocates general (two admirals and two generals) who wrote you over the weekend, saying: “Waterboarding is inhumane, it is torture, and it is illegal.”

Judge Mukasey’s refusal to comment on waterboarding, on grounds that it
would be “irresponsible” to provide “an uninformed legal opinion based on
hypothetical facts and circumstances,” raises serious questions. There is
nothing hypothetical or secret about the fact that waterboarding was used by U.S. intelligence officers as an interrogation technique before the Justice Department publicly declared torture “abhorrent” in a legal opinion in December 2004. But after Alberto Gonzales became attorney general in
February 2005, Justice reportedly issued a secret memo authorizing harsh
physical and psychological tactics, including waterboarding, which were
approved for use in combination. A presidential executive order of July 20,
2007 authorized “enhanced interrogation techniques” that had been banned for use by the U.S. Army. Although the White House announced that the order provides “clear rules” to govern treatment of detainees, the rules are classified, so defense attorneys, judges, juries — and even nominee Mukasey — can be prevented from viewing them.

Those are some of the “facts and circumstances.” They are not hypothetical; and there are simple ways for Judge Mukasey to become informed, which we propose below.

Last Thursday, President George W. Bush told reporters it was unfair to ask Mukasey about interrogation techniques about which he had not been briefed.

“He doesn’t know whether we use that technique [waterboarding] or not,” the president said. Judge Mukasey wrote much the same in his October 30 letter, explaining that he was unable to give an opinion on the legality of
waterboarding because he doesn’t know whether it is being used: “I have not been made aware of the details of any interrogation program to the extent that any such program may be classified and thus do not know what techniques may be involved in any such program.” Whether or not the practice is currently in use by U.S. intelligence, it should in fact be easy for him to respond. All he need do is find out what waterboarding is and then decide whether he considers it legal.

The conundrum created to justify the nominee’s silence on this key issue is a synthetic one. It is within your power to resolve it readily. If Mukasey
continues to drag his feet, you need only to facilitate a classified briefing for him on waterboarding and the C.I.A. interrogation program. He will then be able to render an informed legal opinion. We strongly suggest that you sit in on any such briefing and that you invite the chairman and the ranking member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to take part as well. Receiving the same briefing at the same time (and, ideally, having it taped) should enhance the likelihood of candor and make it possible for all to be—and to stay—on the same page on this delicate issue.

If the White House refuses to allow such a briefing, your committee must, in our opinion, put a hold on Mukasey’s nomination. We are aware that the
president warned last week that it will be either Mukasey as our attorney
general or no one. So be it. It is time to stand up for what is right and require from the Executive the information necessary for the Senate to function responsibly and effectively. It would seem essential not to approve a nominee who has already made clear he is reluctant to ask questions of the White House. How can a person with that attitude even be proposed to be our chief law enforcement officer?

We strongly urge that you not send Mukasey’s nomination to the full Senate before he makes clear his view on waterboarding. Otherwise, there is considerable risk of continued use of the officially sanctioned torture techniques that have corrupted our intelligence services, knocked our military off the high moral ground, severely damaged our country’s standing in the world, and exposed U.S. military and intelligence people to similar treatment when captured or kidnapped. One would think that Judge Mukasey would want to be briefed on these secret interrogation techniques and to clarify where he stands.

The most likely explanation for Mukasey’s reticence is his concern that, should his conscience require him to condemn waterboarding, this could cause extreme embarrassment and even legal jeopardy for senior officials this time not just for the so-called “bad apples” at the bottom of the barrel. We believe it very important that the Senate not acquiesce in his silence—and certainly not if, as seems the case, he is more concerned about protecting senior officials than he is in enforcing the law and the Constitution.

It is important to get beyond shadowboxing on this key issue. In our view,
condoning Mukasey’s evasiveness would mean ignoring fundamental American values and the Senate’s constitutional prerogative of advice and consent.

At stake in your committee and this nomination are questions of legality,
morality, and our country’s values. And these are our primary concerns as well. As professional intelligence officers, however, we must point to a supreme irony—namely, that waterboarding and other harsh interrogation practices are ineffective tools for eliciting reliable information. Our own experience dovetails well with that of U.S. Army intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. John Kimmons, who told a Pentagon press conference on September 6, 2006: “No good intelligence is going to come from abusive practices. I think history tells us that. I think the empirical evidence of the last five years, hard years, tells us that.”

Speaking out so precisely and unequivocally took uncommon courage, because Kimmons knew that just across the Potomac President Bush would be taking quite a different line at a press conference scheduled to begin as soon as Kimmons finished his. At the White House press conference focusing on interrogation techniques, the president touted the success that the C.I.A. was having in extracting information from detainees by using an “alternative set of procedures.” He said these procedures had to be “tough,” in order to deal with particularly recalcitrant detainees who “had received training on how to resist interrogation” and had “stopped talking.”

The Undersigned
(Official duties refer to former government work.)

Brent Cavan
Intelligence Analyst, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA

Ray Close
Directorate of Operations, CIA for 26 years—22 of them overseas; former Chief of Station, Saudi Arabia

Ed Costello
Counter-espionage, FBI

Michael Dennehy
Supervisory Special Agent for 32 years, FBI; U.S. Marine Corps for three years

Rosemary Dew
Supervisory Special Agent, Counterterrorism, FBI

Philip Giraldi
Operations officer and counter-terrorist specialist, Directorate of Operations, CIA

Michael Grimaldi
Intelligence Analyst, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA; Federal law enforcement officer

Mel Goodman
Division Chief, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA; Professor, National Defense University; Senior Fellow, Center for International Policy

Larry Johnson
Intelligence analysis and operations officer, CIA; Deputy Director, Office of Counter Terrorism, Department of State

Richard Kovar
Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director for Intelligence, CIA: Editor, Studies In Intelligence

Charlotte Lang
Supervisory Special Agent, FBI

W. Patrick Lang
U.S. Army Colonel, Special Forces, Vietnam; Professor, U.S. Military Academy, West Point; Defense Intelligence Officer for Middle East, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA); founding director, Defense HUMINT Service

Lynne Larkin
Operations Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA; counterintelligence; coordination among intelligence and crime prevention agencies; CIA policy coordination staff ensuring adherence to law in operations

Steve Lee
Intelligence Analyst for terrorism, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA

Jon S. Lipsky
Supervisory Special Agent, FBI

David MacMichael
Senior Estimates Officer, National Intelligence Council, CIA; History professor; Veteran, U.S. Marines (Korea)

Tom Maertens
Foreign Service Officer and Intelligence Analyst, Department of State; Deputy Coordinator for Counter-terrorism, Department of State; National Security Council (NSC) Director for Non-Proliferation

James Marcinkowski
Operations Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA by way of U.S. Navy

Mary McCarthy
National Intelligence Officer for Warning; Senior Director for Intelligence Programs, National Security Council

Ray McGovern
Intelligence Analyst, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA; morning briefer, The President’s Daily Brief; chair of National Intelligence Estimates; Co-founder, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

Sam Provance
U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst, Germany and Iraq (Abu Ghraib); Whistleblower

Coleen Rowley
Special Agent and attorney, FBI; Whistleblower on the negligence that facilitated the attacks of 9/11.

Joseph Wilson
Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Ambassador and Director of Africa, National Security Council.

Valerie Plame Wilson
Operations Officer, Directorate of Operations


How it works

Voting isn't difficult.

Compare campaign speeches with past reality. If someone is "pro choice" or "anti globalization". Have they shown such positions in their history. With Google™ and other search engines (may I suggest Dogpile?) this isn't really difficult.

Its all about talking the talk and walking the walk. It matters not what politicians say if their past positions or actions tell you if they're being honest with you.

Do a little homework and vote.

This is a public service announcement (PSA) or scold from SPIIDERWEB™.


The 2007 Weblog Awards

First of all, congratulations to Echidne of the Snakes for her making the Best of the Top 1001-1750 Blogs. She certainly deserves to be in the finals.

Going from her site to the Weblog Awards I did a search on "spiiderweb" just for the hell of it.

Jesus H Christ with bad nails, nominated SPIIDERWEB™ in the Weblog Awards category: Best of the Rest of the Blogs (8751+).

As the people in Hollywood say, its an honor to be nominated. In my case its absolutely true. Out of the millions of blogs out there, its great to think SPIIDERWEB™ can resonate with some.

Thank you, Jon. You're too kind.

Congratulations also, Jon, for making the cut as Funniest Blog. I read every post you do and love 'em all. Here's hoping you win.

It's nice to see some of my favorite bloggers up for an award. Obviously the Weblog Awards participants have excellent taste.

I expect about as many votes as Barney would get, but its fun anyway.


Monday, November 05, 2007

PetroChina becomes world's top-valued company

I figure you might as well learn the PetroChina logo.

Wow! They seem to be good at this game. This capitalism shit ain't so hard.
PetroChina became the world's largest company by market value Monday, worth about one trillion dollars -- double the value of ExxonMobil -- as its shares surged in their debut on the Chinese mainland.

Via AFP.

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Quote of the day

Spain's blogging gran a hit with surfers

"Today it's my birthday and my grandson, who is very stingy, gave me a blog."

-- Maria Amelia Lopez
Blogging celebrity

He probably got himself cut out of grandma's will. And he deserves it. Cheap fucking bastard!

Via Boston Globe.


World's coal dependency hits environment

Chinese coal workers load coal unto trucks in Baotou, nestled
in the sand-sculpted ravines of Inner Mongolia, China,
Tuesday, May 8, 2007. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel)

Some people fear China. They fear its growing economic power and military strength. Perhaps its use of coal coupled with its manufacturing growth should generate more fear and anxiety.
It takes five to 10 days for the pollution from China's coal-fired plants to make its way to the United States, like a slow-moving storm.

It shows up as mercury in the bass and trout caught in Oregon's Willamette River. It increases cloud cover and raises ozone levels. And along the way, it contributes to acid rain in Japan and South Korea and health problems everywhere from Taiyuan to the United States.

This is the dark side of the world's growing use of coal.

Cheap and abundant, coal has become the fuel of choice in much of the world, powering economic booms in China and India that have lifted millions of people out of poverty. Worldwide demand is projected to rise by about 60 percent through 2030 to 6.9 billion tons a year, most of it going to electrical power plants.

But the growth of coal-burning is also contributing to global warming, and is linked to environmental and health issues including acid rain and asthma. Air pollution kills more than 2 million people prematurely, according to the World Health Organization.

"Hands down, coal is by far the dirtiest pollutant," said Dan Jaffe, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington who has detected pollutants from Asia at monitoring sites on Mount Bachelor in Oregon and Cheeka Peak in Washington state. "It is a pretty bad fuel on all scores."

May I suggest you go back and read those first two paragraphs of the report?

Via Yahoo! News.


Quote of the day

"As a nation, we should be embarrassed how we’ve treated prisoners in Abu Graib and in GITMO. “We are Americans….not barbarians” is what I always say and this should be our mantra for crying out loud!"

-- George H W Bush
Forty first US President

Dear George,

"We" didn't do this. Your fucking idiot son did!

Best Regards,


Via White Noise Insanity.


You may not need it now, but you might later

Must read.

Far too much to excerpt, but its all about surviving when driving in snow.

Those in tropical climates may forgo the post.

Via Making Light.


We start with humor

As a skydiver...well technically former...MAN this looks like fun.

Via Jonco.

My new cellular phone

Well, not exactly "new". Its an early model with no cam, but seems to work just fine. Except sending SMS/text messages is a fucking bitch.

Via Jonco.

However, I still prefer my other phone.

Jesus H Christ with his horse
which he couldn't make drink*

Via Jonco.

* Not sure this is an internationally known quote or just American: You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

What does it mean? Not quite sure how to explain. What do you think I am, a goddamn information booth?


People collect things, right?

I can buy something or be given it. It doesn't really matter which. Let's say one of my sons gave me a beautiful small blue crystal ball. Which is true. Ah, a crystal ball.

Then my ball mouse died, but I kept the ball and threw out the rest.

Now I have two orbs. Not a problem. Ah, but I bought a large clear crystal ball. Oh shit!!!1!!

My obsessive compulsive disorder kicks in to determine three orbs constitute a collection.

Now I have to extract the balls in depleted roll-on deodorant packages, buy super balls, soccer balls, basketballs, scratch my balls.

The last one was a fucking joke. I don't have three balls.

Once I have three of anything, its a collection and I'm obsessed with adding to the collection.

Which brings me back to eggs.

I have no idea how many egg-shaped items I have. They're all over the house.

They're marble, wooden, obsidian (actually crystal), stone (granite), plastic, alabaster, fluorite, girasol, jade, glass, onyx, ostrich (emptied), eudialyte, crystal, rose quartz, chaorite, jasper, aventurine, petrified wood, aragonite, fossil wood, several materials which I don't even recognize, and my favorite, a gold-plated egg I found in Malaysia.

Its impossible for me to spot an egg-shaped item in a shop without buying it.

I'm quite prone to "shapes". Visual I guess. If its a pleasing shape, I have to have it.

And then there are computer mouses (mice?). I have about 10 only. So I may be getting better.

We all have our demons. Mine just manifest themselves on a regular basis. Damn.

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Too much heat?

This is a bit disturbing considering children are involved.

I've tried several searches for Zoé's Ark and can find no website. They had one. Many news stories say so, but I can't find it.

Running from the fire?

Oh yeah, that's an African fire opal. Kinda looks like an egg, huh?


Sunday, November 04, 2007

In Europe, blind officers aid fight against terrorism

Too kewl, but I sorta know what they're reporting here. There are several (many) motorcycles around here and I can hear one, guess whose it is, then look out the window to verify I'm right.

It gets a little difficult sometimes because most are Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and the owners replace stock mufflers with ones which have a sound they prefer.
Sacha van Loo, 36, is not your typical police officer. He wields a white cane instead of a gun. And from the purr of an engine on a wiretap, he can discern whether a suspect is driving a Peugeot , a Honda, or a Mercedes.

Via Boston Globe.


'Aviation Week': Syrian politics helped IAF raid

Jesus H Christ in Doc Martens, you really can't make this shit up.

Is Bush idiot-in-chief for the Syrian military too?
Report alleges that Syrian military didn't know about site, and didn't set up defenses.

That's a definite oopsie!

Although no one seems to know exactly whether or not the strikes did occur, this would be a huge blunder if they did.

Via Seattle Times.

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War on poppy succeeds, but cannabis thrives, in one Afghan province

Ya can't make up this shit. Hahaha
As the Afghan and Western governments focused on the soaring Afghan opium production, cannabis cultivation increased 40 percent.

Its the Afghan version of crop rotation.

Via Seattle Times.

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Germany's Merkel resists calls to deploy troops to south Afghanistan

Now this is a classic politician.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday Germany would continue to focus its military efforts on northern Afghanistan, despite calls for its forces to move into the insurgency-hit south. Germany is, however, ready to help out in the south if necessary, where other countries are under pressure, Merkel said during a surprise one-day visit [emphasis mine].

Please either define the meaning of "help out" or explain why you didn't contradict yourself in two sentence. Thank you.

Via The Signs.