Saturday, January 12, 2008

With nuke rebirth come new worries

File under: No shit!

I will give George Jahn credit. He mentioned storage of nuclear waste which most authors seem to ignore. Storage could be far more important than security.
Global warming and rocketing oil prices are making nuclear power fashionable, drawing a once demonized industry out of the shadows of the Chernobyl disaster as a potential shining knight of clean energy.

Britain is the latest to recommit itself to the energy source, with its government announcing support Thursday for the construction of new nuclear power plants. Nuclear power plants produce around 20 percent of Britain's electricity, but all but one are due to close by 2023.

However, some countries hopping on the nuclear bandwagon have abysmal industrial safety records and corrupt ways that give many pause for thought.

China has 11 nuclear plants and plans to bring more than 30 others online by 2020. And a Massachusetts Institute of Technology report projects that it may need to add as many as 200 reactors by 2050.

Of the more than 100 nuclear reactors now being built, planned or on order, about half are in China, India and other developing nations. Argentina, Brazil and South Africa plan to expand existing programs; and Vietnam, Thailand, Egypt and Turkey are among the countries considering building their first reactors.

The concerns are hardly limited to developing countries. Japan's nuclear power industry has yet to recover from revelations five years ago of dozens of cases of false reporting on the inspections of nuclear reactor cracks.

The Swedish operators of a German reactor came under fire last summer for delays in informing the public about a fire at the plant. And a potentially disastrous partial breakdown of a Bulgarian nuclear plant's emergency shutdown mechanism in 2006 went unreported for two months until whistle-blowers made it public.

Nuclear transparency will be an even greater problem for countries such as China that have tight government controls on information. Those who mistrust the current nuclear revival are still haunted by the 1986 meltdown of the Chernobyl reactor and the Soviet Union's attempts to hide the full extent of the catastrophe. Further back in the collective memory is the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979.

Via Yahoo News.


Friday, January 11, 2008

A followup to my last post

Oops, I fucked up and forgot to include Ted's link.

Ted Compton (a bunch of numbers) is no spring chicken. Is he addled? Is he delirious? Does he wear diapers? Not sure about the last one, but I guess not.

Not on your fucking life is Ted ready for the scrap heap.

People, you have no idea who is posting on the internets tubes. If they make you think or have good ideas they are as viable as anyone else.


Some of these older people have thoughts you have never had. They take positions you never considered. They have experience you may never have.

Anyone over 40 is not dead. And they have something to contribute.


U.S. warplanes pound southern Baghdad outskirts

Spreading democracy a few thousand pounds at a time.

Shit! H/T to Kayeinmaine (sp? my link is broken) who uses the word spit.
U.S. warplanes launched their biggest air strike in Iraq since at least 2006 on Thursday, bombarding date palm groves on Baghdad's southern outskirts with more than 40,000 pounds of bombs in a matter of minutes.

Via ReutersIraq.


Fire leaves hundreds homeless in Manila

In case you're uninformed as many are, that fucking electric fan may be the most expensive item this guy owns.

And, happy note. Within two to three weeks these houses will be rebuilt. Filipinos are survivors.

Several more pix at the link.

Via Xinhua.


Malaysia's state assemblyman shot dead

Jesus H Christ with a rifle, has violence and assassinations replaced political discourse?
An assemblyman of Malaysia's southern state of Johor was shot dead near his office on Friday, local media reported.

Via Xinhua.


How China Loses the Coming Space War


I don't usually poke fun at other blogsites. Hell, if I did I'd get assailed constantly. I fuck up on a regular basis.

But this was just too good to pass up.
A year ago, China blasted a weather satellite out of orbit, and threw the international community into panic. But despite fears of a "space Pearl Habor," MIT's Geoffrey Forden finds, the United States could withstand China's worst assault above the skies. [emphasis moi]

Is there really an "above the skies"? Is he talking about China launching assaults from heaven? The 21st century equivalent of Zeus? Just asking.

Man, did you see the pecs on that dude? Wow!

Via Wired.


AT&T and Other I.S.P.'s Gearing Up for Friendly Censorship

Gawd, I love this meter.
Fortunately its calibrated so
it doesn't detect my bullshit.

So much for online research for term papers and such. Fuck. This really blows.

Jesus H Christ late to class, but one of the beautiful things about the internets tubes was the access to information you would have to obtain, at a much slower rate, at the local public library...if there is one.

Just what is the difference between going to the library, writing down information, with prober attribution, and cutting and pasting the same information off the internets tubes, again with proper attribution?

Answer: No fucking difference.

If you deal with any of these companies, contact them and tell them this is unacceptable.
For the last 15 years, Internet service providers have acted - to use an old cliche - as wide-open information super-highways, letting data flow uninterrupted and unimpeded between users and the Internet.

But I.S.P.'s may be about to embrace a new metaphor: traffic cop.

At a small panel discussion about digital piracy at NBC's booth on the Consumer Electronics Show floor, representatives from NBC, Microsoft, several digital filtering companies and the telecom giant AT&T said the time was right to start filtering for copyrighted content at the network level.

Via The Signs.


Smart ass kid!

Mom: Oooh, guess what I got while I was in Atlanta yesterday?
Daughter, faking excitement: Herpes?!
Mom: No, I got-- Wait, what?!

Just couldn't/shouldn't/wouldn't post a first.

The picture? Well, of course, its harpies.

Via Overheard in the Office.


FBI late on phone bills; wiretaps disconnected

This is the sort of shit we just can't make up.

Telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time.

A Justice Department audit released Thursday blamed the lost connections on the FBI's lax oversight of money used in undercover investigations. In one office alone, unpaid costs for wiretaps from one phone company totaled $66,000.

In at least one case, a wiretap used in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act investigation "was halted due to untimely payment," the audit found. FISA wiretaps are used in the government's most sensitive and secretive criminal and intelligence investigations, and allow eavesdropping on suspected terrorists or spies.

"We also found that late payments have resulted in telecommunications carriers actually disconnecting phone lines established to deliver surveillance results to the FBI, resulting in lost evidence," according to the audit by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine.

More than half of 990 bills to pay for telecommunication surveillance in five unidentified FBI field offices were not paid on time, the report shows.

The picture? Its Oakey Wiretap Sunglasses.

H/T Librocrat.

Via Seattle Times.


Fair and balanced news

And I can't tell you why the Times hired him, except that their stated reason - to give right-left balance to the editorial page... (via Bad Attitudes)

Ya want fair and balanced news? Don't hire right leaning and left leaning journalists to write disparate stories. Assign both to write about the same story or incident. That's how you get a fair treatment of an issue.

Ya fucking wankers.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pentagon Won't Probe KBR Rape Charges

It must be great to have total immunity.
The Defense Department's top watchdog has declined to investigate allegations that an American woman working under an Army contract in Iraq was raped by her co-workers.

Via The Blotter.


Bush sees signed Mideast treaty before leaving office

I'm really stupid at times, but bear with me.

Both Israel and Palestine are not sure a peace treaty is possible, but fucking Dim Son is? What am I missing here? X and Y don't see peace, but W does? I've been out of school a while now, but the math doesn't calculate.

What in the hell is Bush drinking?
US President George W. Bush said on Thursday he believed a Middle East peace treaty would be signed by the time he leaves office in a year, despite scepticism [sic] among Israelis and Palestinians.

Peace between whom? Just asking.

Via AFP.

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Tata does it again

First it was the air car and here.
India's Tata Group has unveiled what has been called "the world's cheapest car" - a compact family vehicle set to revolutionise a market of 1.1 billion people.

The Tata 'Nano' is a four-door five-seater car, due to hit the market later in 2008, and is priced at just 100,000 rupees ($2,500).

The Nano has a small 33bhp, 624cc engine and is targeted at Indians hoping to trade up to four wheels from a motorcycle.

However, the car has no air conditioning, no electric windows, one windscreen wiper and no power steering for the basic model, although two deluxe models will be on offer.

ZMOG!!!1!! No electric windows? How the hell do they expect people to drive such a piece of shit?

So you buy into the effluent Detroit has been feeding you? Well, don't.

Cheap cars are possible. Air cars are possible. Fucking gas hogs aren't the only option and the costs of producing cars are containable. Manage your goddamn companies.

Via Al Jazeera.



OK, I'm gonna expose my naiveté here.

Do you have to be corrupt to be in politics? Do politics make you corrupt? Are all these people guilty or is it just politics?

I could have gone on, but I got too fucking tired. I also didn't search for graft and excluded corporate corruption which is rampant.
S.Africa's Zuma vows to fight graft charges - report

SKorea court rules for probe into president-elect

Thaksin's wife arrested on graft charges

Thai prosecutors vow to arrest former PM Thaksin

Corruption investigator, Gerrie Nel, is charged with fraud and ...

Arroyo dared to prosecute TESDA chief for corruption

Botswana: The Cancerous Corruption

38 corruption tip-offs received through new government internet portal

Another ex-Nigerian state governor to be tried for corruption

Newark’s Ex-Mayor to Face 2 Trials on Corruption Charges

Nigeria: Corruption - 29 Ex-Govs Must Face Trial - Isekhure

Senator Faces Allegations of Corruption

Zambian president sacks minister over corruption

City subpoenaed in corruption probe

Corruption’s "perversity" must be confronted, Justice minister ...

Nigerian Corruption Official Faces Removal

Medan mayor detained for alleged corruption

Nigeria: Klieg Light On Corruption

I think I've made my point.


Pentagon weighs sending 3,000 more troops to Afghanistan

Hey, ya doing anything for the next year or so? Wanna fight in Afghanistan? Pay's piss poor and ya could get your ass shot off, sand storms are a bitch, the heat can kill you, but you do get free clothing and food.

Just where the hell is Gates gonna find 3,000 additional troops. At least ones without PTSD.

Oh yeah, I forgot about the Marine band and there must be thousands of paper pushers. I guess he does have options.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates is considering sending some 3,000 additional marines to Afghanistan to boost forces ahead of a Taliban spring offensive, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday.

Via AFP.


A Jonco trifecta

These are priceless. A bit old, but still funny.

I'll get more serious later.
These are entries in a Washington Post competition asking for a two line rhyme with the most romantic first line and the least romantic second line.

My darling, my lover, my beautiful wife:
Marrying you screwed up my life.

I see your face when I am dreaming.
That's why I always wake up screaming.

Kind, intelligent, loving and hot;
This describes everything you are not.

Love may be beautiful, love may be bliss,
But I only slept with you 'cause I was pissed.

I thought that I could love no other --
that is until I met your brother.

Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so Are you.
But the roses are wilting, the violets are dead,the sugar bowl's empty and so is your head.

I want to feel your sweet embrace;
But don't take that paper bag off your face.

I love your smile, your face, and your eyes -
Damn, I'm good at telling lies!

My love, you take my breath away.
What have you stepped in to smell this way?

My feelings for you no words can tell,
Except for maybe "Go to hell."

What inspired this amorous rhyme?
Two parts vodka, one part lime.

Doesn't SPIIDERWEB™ cover yur back on this stuff?

Via Jonco.



I have no idea how this picture was made, but it rocks.

Via Jonco.



Click on image.

I sure hope this works because its kewl.

Via Jonco.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

"Grass Gas" Shows Promise as Superefficient, Clean Fuel

Sometimes I wish I'd never taken up this biofuel topic. Once you start, it seems you can't stop.

Anyway, this sounds like a much better idea than making biofuel out of edible crops which is already adding to food costs and shortages.

You don't eat grass do you? Just asking.
Ethanol made from a prairie grass shows promise as a viable fuel that could be much more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient than corn ethanol, a new study says. Ethanol is often touted as a cleaner-burning gasoline alternative that lessens dependence on oil.

Via The Signs.


Bush to Gul: No military fix for PKK war

Jesus H Christ with firearms. Sometimes Bush can display an astonishing level of irony. I'm sure he wasn't joking.
President Bush has told Turkish President Abdullah Gul that Kurdish terrorism in southeastern Turkey and Iraq cannot be defeated by purely military means.

Via UPI.


Clinton makes comeback in New Hampshire

New Hampshire voters defied expectations and handed Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain upset victories in the primary elections on Tuesday night, setting the stage for bruising battles for the nominations of the two major parties.

This story came from The Financial Times, but is essentially being repeated ad nauseam throughout the media. Did all these people attend the same journalism school and were taught by the same professor? Such damn sheep.


She didn't win a fucking caucus (read non-primary) in Iowa for Christ sake. Its no goddamn "comeback".

BTW, the pollsters in New Hampshire need to rethink their methodologies. They blew it big time.

As for the pundits, well, they blow on a regular basis so they don't count.

This is still not an endorsement. Fact is, I probably won't endorse anyone. No one gives a shit about my opinion. Including me.

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More Americans Suffer Heart Problems Because of Terror Stress

Do you suppose Dim Son will claim this little tidbit as part of his fucking legacy? Just asking.
More Americans suffer heart problems because of stress and fear about terrorism after 9/11, according to a new study.

One isolated incident wouldn't stress people out so much if it weren't for Bush's incessant fear mongering.

Oh, the photo? Hahaha. Its a 2007 Porsche 911 turbo. Gotcha!



HRC's KO in NH

Actually I'm not that interested in the story. Voters are gonna do whatever, but I felt an uncontrollable urge to write that title.
Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton -- written off for dead by pundits, pollsters and even some in her own campaign -- pulled off the upset of the young campaign season in the New Hampshire Tuesday night..

With 65 percent of the vote counted, Clinton led Barack Obama 39 to 36 percent, giving her troubled candidacy a boost and confounding the experts who predicted a double-digit win by Obama. NBC news called Clinton the winner at 10:33 p.m.

Apparently Hillary's demise was predicted a little early.

Via Capital Hill Blue.


Pair Wheel Corpse to Store to Cash Check

Now that's a good headline.

Via AP.


The "Elections" Distraction

I'm stealing a lot here, because its that good and, besides, there's much more I didn't steal.
Focus, America! Do not lose track of the goal. The goal is to expose the elite traitors in our “elected” government for the terrorists that they are and to drag the bums out of office, not to dive headfirst into an elections game that only serves to keep we the people distracted while the thugs in office use our Constitution for toilet paper.

We debate endlessly over contrived speeches made by professional liars that rely on opinion polls to determine just what the public wants to hear, then draft lies as truth and spew the vomit out like it is gold. They lie like crazy to appease voters and ride the crest of public opinion to accomplish what? To successfully manipulate the public one more time to advance a preset hidden agenda that no one will challenge. Why? Because the same power-base of elitists have all the money, and have been getting their way for hundreds of years. The candidates are puppets. They do what they are allowed to do. They are actors playing a part. Even if one or two of them appears to be honest and truthful, just how long will that honesty and truthfulness last in the face of the corporatist structure?

Would I like to see someone get elected that represents the people, makes good on his/her promises, and tells the corporatist leaches that are sucking the world dry to take a hike? Sure, I would. Do I think that a person like that has a rat’s hind end chance of succeeding in our present system? No. Maybe if we the people start ignoring this charade of elitist-controlled elections and come together as a shadow government comprised of Americans who give a rat’s hind end about Americans, we might make a dent in the elite corporate structure. I don’t know. Is it possible? Maybe.

read the rest of the article »

Via The Daily Scare.


Thomas Accuses Bloggers of 'Deterioration' of Journalism in Iraq War

I'll give Helen credit. She never pulls her punches. Liberal bloggers almost always elevate her to a level she may not even deserve. They sing her praises.

But stroking her has no affect on her analysis, opinions. Good for her.
Not everyone is thrilled about how new technology has changed the way news is reported. Long-time White House Press Corp member and columnist for Hearst newspapers Helen Thomas is one of those unhappy. She blames bloggers for contributing to the “deterioration” of journalism that led to the Iraq war.

“What I really worry about is that I think the bloggers and everyone, everyone with a laptop thinks they’re journalists,” Thomas said. “And, they certainly don’t have our standards. They don’t have our ethics, and so forth. There’s a deterioration,” she continued. “Reporters laid down on the job in the run up to this [the Iraq] war.”

She's right of course. Except for the laptop part. No one gave me one so I'm stuck in molasses, deteriorating, about to crash fur sure, desktop hell.

But, yes we are journalists (sort of), don't have standards (not acceptable ones), don't have ethics (killing puppies is unethical?) and we don't have her sense of style.

But we're here, damn it!

Seriously, this is pure shit. If you're a journalist you do your job despite what other journalists or even bloggers are doing. That's no excuse for fucking poor performance. Journalists should never be as lazy ass as I am. They're getting paid. Most of us bloggers aren't.

Via Business and Media Institute.

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Sometimes its hard to say what you want to

Ties in neatly with my last post.

Gawd I'm so good. Lol.


Change fur real

You all have probably seen such a sign. I love it when some peon does this. Makes my heart feel good.

Via Jonco.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008


"I think it is good that books still exist, but they do make me sleepy."

-- Frank Zappa
(1940 - 1993)

Via Neatorama.


2008 elections (NSFW)*

Goddamn it, I've tried to avoid posting about the election, but this is bullshit.

This is who will cost HRC the nomination... the media.

I'm not saying I back her, but I'm not afraid of her either.
Hillary Clinton chokes up at campaign stop

Clinton gets misty day before the primary

Emotional Clinton clings to hope

Hillary Tries Temper, Tears to Stop Obama: Margaret Carlson

Hillary Clinton close to tears as cracks

Clinton shows the strain

Is this misogyny? Not really. women are put off by HRC too. If she shows the strength expected from a male candidate she's a ball busting bitch. If she shows any emotion, she's a fragile emotional woman with no qualifications to lead a country. She'll cry if the Russians insult her.

* I'm gonna try to establish another warning internets tubes wide. CAW which means caution at work. The above picture is an example. It isn't really "dirty", but could upset some...

The finger would fall into that category.

This Starbucks® image is another.

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A rare treat for SPIIDERWEB™ readers, I'm going to give you the advantage of my business acumen.

The board of directors at Starbucks© may not be weasels (my last post?).

Any CEO who didn't go to the board and suggest closing U.S. stores that weren't performing well, introducing new products and store designs, and improving training for baristas as well as taking some of the capital originally intended for U.S. store growth and use it to accelerate international expansion where profits are better deserves to get sacked.

At the very least it would be the board's decision to forgo such plans and he'd have covered his ass. So that speaks to his intelligence and corporate sense.

As for saturating certain markets, as some analysts suspect, I believe McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts, not to mention 7-11, have pretty much proved that's fairly hard to do. Some of their stores are no more than a five minutes walk apart. And lopping off the poorest performing stores would definitely correct that problem.

The legal department, comptroller, those are difficult areas. Day to day planning, strategy, tactics isn't that difficult with a decent staff. They do the analysis, crunch the numbers and most decisions are common sense.

Any comments to expand on this or critique it are very welcome. Hey, I didn't get straight A's in Business Administration, but I did in Psychology. Ya need help?


Starbucks dumps CEO, shares blast off

Original Starbucks© logo.
Considered too sexy.

This is the most complete story I ran into.

There always has to be a scapegoat doesn't there?

Why can't Jim Donald make these changes. They're so simple a ten year old could pull it off. He was only in office a couple years just as the current economic downturn hit and he's taking the fall?

The fucking weasels.

No specific reason was given in the story as to why he needs replacing.
Starbucks Corp. said Monday it is returning its chairman, Howard Schultz, to the chief executive's job to lead a major restructuring initiative, replacing CEO Jim Donald.

The move, coupled with plans to open new U.S. stores at a slower pace, comes as the world's largest chain of coffee houses has seen its stock plummet 50 percent over the last year amid declining traffic in its domestic stores.

Starbucks' announcement after regular markets closed sent the company's shares up $1.67, or 9 percent, in after-hours trading. The shares had gained 27 cents to $18.38 in the regular session.

Starbucks (SBUX, Fortune 500) said the leadership shuffle is part of a series of other initiatives include closing U.S. stores that aren't performing well, introducing new products and store designs, and improving training for baristas.

The company said it plans to take some of the capital originally intended for U.S. store growth and use it to accelerate its international expansion.

Schultz said he is returning to the CEO role "for the long term" and that his agenda will also include streamlining the company's management.

Schultz previously served as CEO from 1987 to 2000.

Donald had been CEO since March 2005, when he was promoted from president of the company's North American division to replace Orin Smith, who retired.

The world's largest chain of coffee houses has struggled in recent months as consumers have cut back on spending amid declining home values and higher fuel prices. Meanwhile, competitors like Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's Corp (MCD, Fortune 500). have cut into Starbucks' customer base by launching their own lines of gourmet coffee.

Jim Donald could always put "Mc" in front of his name and go to the competition.

And as for McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts, its gonna be difficult for anyone to compete if their gourmet coffees are just as good as Starbucks©, considering the volume of customers those two get. And they gots fries and donuts! Mmmm.

Personally, I like coffee black and strong enough to melt a spoon. And definitely without cinimmon, foam, whip cream and whatever fucking else Starbucks©, puts into it.

Via CNN Money.


Severed finger mailed to French minister (caution at work)

France’s justice minister has received a severed finger in the post.

A package, containing the finger and a letter addressed to Rachida Dati, was opened by the ministry’s post workers after it was received on Friday, spokesman Guillaume Didier said.

He gave no information about what the letter said.

Might I also point out he gave no information about which finger it was. I'm guessing middle.

Via Breaking News.



Click for larger


Monday, January 07, 2008

The Machine-Animals of Nantes

Nantes, France is hosting an exhibition of mechanical sculptures by François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice (official site en français). Each sculpture is also a moving vehicle! Besides this 11-meter tall elephant, see the giant squid, deep-sea fish, and more. Link

Although the animals are fascinating, that isn't the purpose of this post. Note the emphasized name. wouldn't you legally change your surname?

Courtesy link: Neatorama.



If the picture looks familiar its because it is a better version of the one I posted here.

Via Jonco.


Disney World bans kids from pricey spa eatery

Welcome to the wonderful world of Disney.

No, no, no. Not there!
The home of Mickey Mouse, Tigger and Tinkerbell has banned kids from its fanciest restaurant.

Beginning this week, children younger than 10 are no longer welcome at Victoria & Albert's in the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Victoria & Albert's is Walt Disney World's only restaurant with an AAA five-diamond rating.

"We want to be the restaurant that's available for that adult experience," general manager Israel Perez said.

Only about three families a month brought young children to Victoria & Albert's, said Rosemary Rose, Disney's vice president for food, beverage and merchandise operations.

Men are required to wear jackets, and women must wear dresses or pantsuits. The hushed atmosphere features live harp music, and the menu, which changes daily, offers seven-course dinners that can last up to three hours. Prices start at $125 a person.

Now this really is Mickey Mouse. If you don't want to be around kids, don't vacation in a place that is "supposedly" built for kids. Duh!

And I'll concede I see nothing wrong with the manager's asking a family to leave if the kids can't be quiet and behave themselves. Just post a notice at the door stating this will be the restaurant's policy concerning unruly children.

Via Seattle Times.


Rule would target foreign cruise ships

Now this is a novel approach at restricting competition. Of course, the rule does have its supporters.
Foreign cruise ships sailing from California to Hawaii would have to spend at least two days in Mexico under a proposed federal rule meant to help U.S.-flagged ships better compete with them.

Cruises departing from Los Angeles and San Diego typically include a short, token stop in Ensenada, Mexico, to meet federal laws that require ships flying under foreign flags to dock in another country before going to other U.S. ports.

The rule change proposed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection would force those ships to stay in a foreign port for at least 48 hours and allow passengers to go ashore.

Supporters say the change would make Hawaii cruises more costly for foreign-based cruise lines, bolstering U.S.-flagged ships' presence in the island tourism market.

And Ensenada, Mexico should love it. They'd better stock up on them fancy velvet sombreros.

Via Boston Globe.


Pakistan says won't let foreign troops on its soil

This should prove interesting theater considering Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is saying Pakistan isn't really looking for bin Laden (via AFP).

As we used to say, that ought to go over as well as a pregnant pole vaulter.
Pakistan will not allow any country to conduct military operations on its territory, officials said on Monday, rejecting a report that said the United States was considering authorising its forces to act in Pakistan.

The New York Times said on Sunday the U.S. government was considering expanding the authority of the CIA and the military to conduct far more aggressive covert operations in Pakistan.

The U.S. officials considering the move were concerned over intelligence reports that al Qaeda and the Taliban were more intent on destabilising Pakistan, the newspaper said.

Pakistani government and military officials dismissed the report and said Pakistan would not permit any such action.

"Pakistan's position in the war on terror has been very clear -- that any action on Pakistani soil will be taken only by Pakistani forces and Pakistani security agencies," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq.

"No other country will be allowed to carry out operations in Pakistan. This has been conveyed at the highest level," he said.

Which I posted about here and link to the whole story.

Via Reuters.


Musharraf adds to murder confusion

This whole thing just gets stranger by the day.

Of course, we'll never know what really killed Bhutto because no autopsy was performed.
Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president, has admitted that a bullet could have been the cause of Benazir Bhutto's death.
Pakistan's interior ministry has said that Bhutto, a two-time former prime minister, died from a head injury sustained when a suicide bomber blew himself up near her car.

When asked in an interview on the CBS programme "60 minutes" whether Bhutto might have been shot, Musharraf answered: "Yes, absolutely, yes. Possibility."
Officials from Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) were furious about the turnaround and said it showed the need for a UN investigation.



Bush may claim privilege in CIA torture tapes case

Click for larger image.

This old checks and balances thingie doesn't seem to be working out too fucking well, now does it? Just asking.
President orders White House lawyers to draw up documents

President George W. Bush Thursday ordered White House lawyers to use claims of executive privilege to prevent senior White House aides from cooperating with the Justice Department's criminal investigation into destruction of videotapes that showed CIA interrogators torturing terrorism suspects.

White House sources tell Capitol Hill Blue that the claims of executive privilege are just "the first step" in a coordinated campaign to stonewall the investigation and prevent administration aides from giving depositions or submitting to interviews with Justice Department investigators.

Attorney General Michael Mukasey announced the investigation this week, appointing veteran prosecutor John Durham of Connecticut to handle the probe. Democratic leaders and Constitutional law experts, however, say the Justice Department, which ultimately answers to the White House, cannot be expected to fully investigate Bush's involvement and say the probe needs a special prosecutor.

Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University professor, says Bush can block any effective legislation [emphasis in original].

Via The Signs.

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Quote of the Day

"We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it."

-- Roald Dahl
British juvenile author
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
(1916 - 1990)

Via Quotes of the Day.



There are several ways to look at this:
1. Some can resist temptation.
2. Some just aren't curious.
3. Some are oblivious.
4. Some are afraid to push the button.

Via Jonco.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

U.S. weighs new covert push in Pakistan - NY Times

It seems slightly preposterous this wasn't already happening.

Just how many other tools in the toolbox are not being used against al Qaeda and the Taleban?

Sort of makes me curious just how serious Dim Son is taking all this.
Senior U.S. officials, concerned over intelligence reports that al Qaeda and the Taliban are more intent on destabilizing Pakistan, are considering expanding the authority of the CIA and the military to conduct far more aggressive covert operations there, the New York Times said on Sunday.

Citing senior Bush administration officials who spoke off the record, the Times said that while no decisions had been made, the options under discussion included the CIA working with the military's Special Operations forces.

Several participants in a meeting on Friday argued that the threat to President Pervez Musharraf's government was now so acute that Musharraf and the country's military leadership were likely to grant Washington more latitude, the Times said.

Among those reported at the meeting were Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and top national security advisers to President George W. Bush.

Via Reuters.

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Report Reveals Rampant Smuggling of Radioactive Materials

You almost never hear about something like this in the US. Does that mean its not happening or just not detected?

Also, I was under the impression our greatest concern was that radio active materials might be coming out of Russia, but it sounds like that's less of a problem than coming from other countries (which?) where its easier to smuggle the materials out.
In a troubling disclosure, the Russian Federal Customs Service has revealed that authorities thwarted more than 850 attempts to smuggle highly radioactive materials in and out of Russia in 2007. Eighty-five percent of these smuggling attempts were going into the country, and 15 percent were going out.

The figures are likely to fuel fears about how many illegal exports were not detected, and what the potential dangers of such radioactive materials can be. In December last year, police in Slovakia arrested three people, who were attempting to sell 2.2 pounds of uranium for $1 million. Meanwhile, Britain continues to demand the extradition of Russian MP, Andrei Lugovoi, the prime suspect in the poisoning of former KGB officer, Alexander Litvinenko, who was killed with radioactive polonium-210 in London in November 2006.

Via The Blotter.


Revolutionary new pollution-free car able to run on air

Tata Motors Mini-CAT or City Cat

Wow! That's about all I can say about this story. Except, I always have an except, talk about taking a huge bite out of oil dependency.
BBC News is reporting that a French company has developed a pollution-free car which runs on compressed air. India's Tata Motors has the car under production and it may be on sale in Europe and India by the end of the year.

The air car, also known as the Mini-CAT or City Cat, can be refueled in minutes from an air compressor at specially equipped gas stations and can go 200 km on a 1.5 euro fill-up -- roughly 125 miles for $3. The top speed will be almost 70 mph and the cost of the vehicle as low as $7000.

If you really look close, or click for larger image, it appears they get around the left-hand-drive/right-hand-drive problem by placing the driver in the middle.

Via BlackListedNews.


Iraqi soldier shot dead US troops, both armies say

Why in the world has this story slipped past or been ignored by all the bloggers I read?

How can an Iraqi soldier, supposedly your ally, be trusted to watch your back after such an incident?
Two American soldiers killed during a joint US-Iraq patrol in the northern city of Mosul last week were deliberately shot by an Iraqi soldier, the US and Iraqi militaries said on Saturday.

An Iraqi army officer said the attacker was "working for the terrorists" while the US military said the shooting was "for reasons that are as yet unknown".

It was the first time such an incident, believed to be rare, has been made public since the US-led invasion in 2003.

My guess is this might happen much more often than detected. Under the right conditions, its probably not that difficult for an Iraqi soldier to get away with this sort of thing without getting caught.

Kalashnikov (AK-47)

And in the picture above of the Iraqi soldier, to my untrained eye, that sure looks like he's using an AK-47 which is the weapon used by insurgents. So even if the weapon used to kill a US soldier is identified, its impossible to tell whether or not it was fired by an insurgent.

Via AFP.


Processed Meats Declared Too Dangerous for Human Consumption

Well, this should pretty much ruin your day.

Most of my favorite foods are on this fucking list.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has just completed a detailed review of more than 7,000 clinical studies covering links between diet and cancer. Its conclusion is rocking the health world with startling bluntness: Processed meats are too dangerous for human consumption. Consumers should stop buying and eating all processed meat products for the rest of their lives.

Processed meats include bacon, sausage, hot dogs, sandwich meat, packaged ham, pepperoni, salami and virtually all red meat used in frozen prepared meals. They are usually manufactured with a carcinogenic ingredient known as sodium nitrite. This is used as a color fixer by meat companies to turn packaged meats a bright red color so they look fresh. Unfortunately, sodium nitrite also results in the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines in the human body. And this leads to a sharp increase in cancer risk for those who eat them.

A 2005 University of Hawaii study found that processed meats increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67 percent. Another study revealed that every 50 grams of processed meat consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 50 percent. These are alarming numbers. Note that these cancer risks do not come from eating fresh, non-processed meats. They only appear in people who regularly consume processed meat products containing sodium nitrite.

Sodium nitrite appears predominantly in red meat products (you won't find it in chicken or fish products). Here's a short list of food items to check carefully for sodium nitrite and monosodium glutamate (MSG), another dangerous additive:

* Beef jerky
* Bacon
* Sausage
* Hot dogs
* Sandwich meat
* Frozen pizza with meat
* Canned soups with meat
* Frozen meals with meat
* Ravioli and meat pasta foods
* Kid's meals containing red meat
* Sandwich meat used at popular restaurants
* Nearly all red meats sold at public schools, restaurants, hospitals, hotels and theme parks

Sorry. Couldn't pass up the graphic of an old Dick's hot dogs sign.

But I did include a 1997 photo of the Oscar Mayer hot dog mobile.

Via The Signs.