Thursday, September 28, 2006

Won't somebody think of the prochlorococci?

APOD: 2006 September 27- Earth from Saturn
"Explanation: What's that pale blue dot in this image taken from Saturn? Earth. The robotic Cassini spacecraft looked back toward its old home world earlier this month as it orbited Saturn. Using Saturn itself to block the bright Sun, Cassini imaged a faint dot on the right of the above photograph. That dot is expanded on the image inset, where a slight elongation in the direction of Earth's Moon is visible. Vast water oceans make Earth's reflection of sunlight somewhat blue. Earth is home to over six billion humans and over one octillion Prochlorococcus. "
Won't somebody think of the prochlorococci?

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Creeping Corporate Control of Culture

Microsoft Media Player shreds your rights
"THINK DRM WAS bad already? Think I was joking when I said the plan was to start with barely tolerable incursions on your rights, then turn the thumbscrews? Welcome to Windows Media Player 11, and the rights get chipped away a lot more. Get used to the feeling, if you buy DRM infected media, you will only have this happen with increasing rapidity.

One of the problems with WiMP11 is licensing and backing it up. If you buy media with DRM infections, you can't move the files from PC to PC, or at least you can't and have them play on the new box. If you want the grand privilege of moving that content, you need to get the approval of the content mafia, sign your life away, and use the tools they give you. If you want to do it in other ways, you are either a lawbreaker or following the
advice of J Allard. Wait, same thing.

So, in WiMP10, you just backed up your licenses, and stored them in a safe place. Buying DRM infections gets you a bunch of bits and a promise not to sue, but really nothing more. The content mafia will do anything in its power, from buying government to rootkitting you in order to protect those bits, and backing them up leaves a minor loophole while affording the user a whole lot of protection.

Guess which one wins, minor loophole or major consumer rights? Yes, WiMP11 will no longer allow you the privilege of backing up your licenses,"

Clinton V. Wallace, A bit of History and some Updates

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: Who wanted to "cut and run" from Somalia?

The facts, as they were.
"President Clinton's response was refreshingly aggressive because the premise of the question is so patently and outrageously false. Clinton responded: 'They were all trying to get me to withdraw from Somalia in 1993 the next day after we were involved in 'Black Hawk down,' and I refused to do it and stayed six months and had an orderly transfer to the United Nations.'President Clinton's response was refreshingly aggressive because the premise of the question is so patently and outrageously false. Clinton responded: 'They were all trying to get me to withdraw from Somalia in 1993 the next day after we were involved in 'Black Hawk down,' and I refused to do it and stayed six months and had an orderly transfer to the United Nations.'"
The rest of the post is quotes from Senate Republicans, and others, indicating that pundit Chris Wallace's questions during the Bill Clinton invterview (watch it here), were false and misleading.

The funny part about this story is how quickly it is spreading. On the one hand (the right one) we see an attempt to portray Chris Wallace as even-handed. This fails utterly when you look at a question Wallace asked Rumsfeld.
MR. WALLACE: I think a lot of people in Washington are trying to figure out, to understand, Richard Clarke; to make sense of what he has said and of apparent contradictions in his story. Is he telling the truth or is he pushing an agenda? What do you make of his basic charge that pre-9/11 that this government, the Bush administration largely ignored the threat from al Qaeda?
That, boys and girls, is what is called a "softball". There are any number of ways Rumsfeld could have spun it...and he did.

Now let's look at Wallace's history. Here's a "tough question" he asked Condi Rice a while back.
MR. WALLACE: The Democrats' number two man in the Senate, Dick Durbin, created quite a stir this week when he compared U.S. treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo to Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and the killing fields of Cambodia. Does it make it harder for you to do your job as you travel through the Mideast and push U.S. policy on human rights and democracy when a top American official says we are part of the problem?
Now, one might think that Abu Grahib, Guantanamo, and the massacre at Haditha would have made her job more difficult...but's not our actions, it's Democrat reactions to those actions that are the real problem.

Next, on Iran.
TEHRAN - In a sign of both historical de ja vu and Chomskyian "manufacturing consensus", the US media is nowadays filled with news on Iran's nuclear threat, thus preparing the American public for yet another Middle East conflict without, however, maintaining a modicum of balance by reflecting the Iranian point of view.

This much is clear in a Fox News special, titled "Iran: The Nuclear Threat", that aired on Sunday, May 8. Hosted by Chris Wallace (with whom this author worked as an Iran expert at Wallace's previous home, ABC News), this program lacked the minutest evidence of objectivity, displaying instead piles of prejudice on top of prejudice reminding one of the Iraq weapons of mass destruction threat played up by the right-wing, sensationalist, network during 2002 and early 2003, duping millions of American viewers about the authenticity of the Bush administration's allegations against the regime of Saddam Hussain.

The Fox program on Iran is simply the latest example of how the US media has traded political favoritism to the White House, and its fierce demonization of Iran, for objective news.
[full story]

More from Greenwald

Chris Wallace has forgotten the face of his father. [breaking a commandment, that's a paddling]

Chris Wallace lied during the interview.

UPDATE: The White House per...with obfuscations and outright falsehood.
"That's the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now," Mr Clinton said.

"They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try, they did not try."

'Battle plans'

Ms Rice responded: "What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years.

"The notion somehow for eight months the Bush administration sat there and didn't do that is just flatly false - and I think the 9/11 commission understood that."
[full story] Umm...Ms. Rice? Clinton shot cruise missiles at those folks. If what you did was "at least as aggressive"...why the massive cover-up? I mean, you would have told us if you fired cruise missiles at someone, right? I really don't recall the pre-9/11 invasion of Afghanistan...WTF, eh?

Then it gets worse.
She also disputed Mr Clinton's statement that he "left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy" for incoming officials when he left office, including "battle plans" to go into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taleban regime and launch a full-scale search for Bin Laden.

"We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al-Qaeda," she said.

"For instance, big pieces were missing, like an approach to Pakistan that might work, because without Pakistan you weren't going to get Afghanistan."
You know...I have to think it's pretty funny that they didn't give a plan for Pakistan (sorry, a "comprehensive", Ms. Rice, told the 9/11 commision they gave you ideas and "action items", i.e. the definition of "plan")...sorry, err, it's funny you blame Clinton for not having a Pakistan plan, only days after it has surfaced that the plan ya'll came up with for Pakistan was "do what we say or we bomb you back to the stone age".

You know, maybe it all was Clinton's fault. And I mean the whole debacle that has been the Bush Years. If only he'd left a comprehensive plan on how to be President, maybe we could have avoided all this crap, and Bush could have gotten busted for blowing a reporter, rather than blowing up Iraq.

UPDATE: Rice bust lying about her statement.
JIDDA, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 2 — A review of White House records has determined that George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, did brief Condoleezza Rice and other top officials on July 10, 2001, about the looming threat from Al Qaeda, a State Department spokesman said Monday.
The account by Sean McCormack came hours after Ms. Rice, the secretary of state, told reporters aboard her airplane that she did not recall the specific meeting on July 10, 2001, noting that she had met repeatedly with Mr. Tenet that summer about terrorist threats. Ms. Rice, the national security adviser at the time, said it was “incomprehensible” she ignored dire terrorist threats two months before the Sept. 11 attacks.
Officials now agree that on July 10, 2001, Mr. Tenet and his counterterrorism deputy, J. Cofer Black, were so alarmed about an impending Al Qaeda attack that they demanded an emergency meeting at the White House with Ms. Rice and her National Security Council staff.

According to two former intelligence officials, Mr. Tenet told those assembled at the White House about the growing body of intelligence the Central Intelligence Agency had collected pointing to an impending Al Qaeda attack.
[full story]

The Capital Times :: God the Killer

The Capital Times

There is a quote that always jumps to my mind* when Western culture accuses Islmamic culture of being too violent.
"Dear Editor: Bishop Robert Morlino's defense of the pope's recent comments on the Muslim religion (Sept. 16) insisted: 'Killing the innocent and violence are contrary to reason, and God, who never acts contrary to reason, would never authorize that.'

Has Bishop Morlino read the Bible? There is no other book in which life is so cheap! Killing in the 'Good Book' is of biblical proportions.

It takes eight pages in Ruth Hurmence Green's book, 'The Born Again Skeptic's Guide to the Bible,' just to list the mass killings ordered, committed or approved by the biblical deity. These range from drowning all but eight of the world's human inhabitants to merciless scorched-earth commandments to 'utterly destroy' other nations (Deut. 7:1-2). There are countless biblical edicts to kill the innocent."
The quote is as follows.
Matthew 7:3-- Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but don't consider the beam that is in your own eye?

4-- Or how will you tell your brother,'Let me remove the speck from your eye;' and behold, the beam is in your own eye?

5-- You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye.

U.S. to relax air travel restrictions - Yahoo! News

U.S. to relax air travel restrictions - Yahoo! News

I think somebody left out the "stupid" in front of "air travel restrictions" in that title.
"WASHINGTON - The government is partially lifting its ban against carrying liquids and gels onto airliners, instituted after a plot to bomb jets flying into the United States was foiled, an administration official said Monday.

A Homeland Security Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made, said that most liquids and gels that air travelers purchase in secure areas of airports will now be allowed on planes."
The funny part? We're still going to be wasting time and money on non-existent threats.
New procedures also were being announced for products like lip gloss and hand lotion that passengers bring to the airport. Previously, those liquids have been confiscated at security checkpoints. Now, the official said, those products will be put in clear plastic bags at the checkpoint, screened and returned to the passenger if they pass screening.
See? Twice the time wasted, and no real change in anything. Frickin' retarded.

Middle East Times:: Summary of Middle East Reaction to U.N. Speeches

Middle East Times

This is what it looks like when the people one is purporting to help believe one is lacking in credibility.
"The state-run paper said the US president portrayed the region as enjoying stability due to the help of his administration, but mentioned Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinian territories, and Sudan as points of concern. The newspaper insisted that Bush failed to see that these countries he mentioned 'constitute the majority of the Middle East.'

It said Bush's 'ignorant' statements failed to mention that Israel was among the 'extremist forces and does not consider that his own administration includes extremists who are pushing the region and the world towards more conflicts.' "

Friday, September 22, 2006

Dennis Miller’s H&C lame “Real Free Speech”

Crooks and Liars » Dennis Miller’s H&C lame “Real Free Speech”

This has to be the worst comedic performance I've seen since Strom Sturmond did his take on Dave Chappelle's "Nigga Family" sketch.

Dave's original is below...

Iran's proud but discreet Jews

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iran's proud but discreet JewsThe more you know...
"Although Iran and Israel are bitter enemies, few know that Iran is home to the largest number of Jews anywhere in the Middle East outside Israel.

About 25,000 Jews live in Iran and most are determined to remain no matter what the pressures - as proud of their Iranian culture as of their Jewish roots.

It is dawn in the Yusufabad synagogue in Tehran and Iranian Jews bring out the Torah and read the ancient text before making their way to work.

It is not a sight you would expect in a revolutionary Islamic state, but there are synagogues dotted all over Iran where Jews discreetly practise their religion. "
...the less you want to kill.

Caerphilly Castle - HDR

Caerphilly Castle - HDR, originally uploaded by MerthyrGuy.

Nice HDR (high dynamic range) castle photo.

My personal introduction to HDR came through Half-Life 2, but I have to looks pretty cool IRL as well.

U.S. Army defends Raytheon contract amid storm

U.S. Army defends Raytheon contract amid storm - Yahoo! News
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Raytheon Co. mini-missile defense system at the heart of a U.S. Army weapons-buying storm was clearly the best choice under the circumstances, a top general told Congress Thursday.

Army officials opted in April to forego a rival Israeli system to boost combat vehicle protection from rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles, even though it is closer to being ready for use.

A September 6 NBC News report on the issue was 'biased, unfair and truly disheartening,' Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Sorenson, deputy assistant army secretary for acquisition, told a House of Representatives' Armed Services subcommittee."
Standard arms-buying rip-offs. The MIC wins again, and we buy more useless, expensive, kill-toys.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Why the U.S. is Losing/Lost Iraq

Informed Comment

On the current "mission" in Iraq. BTW, have many people realized that the Generals are already assuming that beating the insurgency is impossible for U.S. forces? And that our "mission" now is to train Iraqis to fight...Iraqis.
"The US Department of Defense has done some opinion polling that indicates that 3/4s of Iraqi Sunnis now support what the Pentagon calls the 'insurgency'. When the DoD started doing polling on the subject in 2003, they found that 14 percent of Sunni Arabs supported the insurgency. If there are 5 million Sunni Arabs, let us say that 1.5 million are less than 15 years of age. Of the 3.5 million left, half are women and less likely to actually engage in violence, though they might offer support for it. So that is 1.75 million men. At 75%, that is 1.3 million male supporters of the guerrilla movement.

Of the 147,000 US troops in Iraq, a very large number of which now seem to be in and around Baghdad itself, I don't know exactly how many are fighters. The traditional rule of thumb is 10%, but I read somewhere that the percentage is much higher in this war. A reader who served over there challenged the latter assertion and said that no, it is just 10%.

If we really just have 14,700 fighters facing 1.3 million Sunni guerrilla supporters, it isn't any mystery why things in Iraq are as they are and why Gen. Casey openly admits that we are not there to win, just to keep a lid on. I can't imagine how they could hope even to keep a lid on. Given the figures released today, I'd say it isn't much of a lid (though remember that the death figures could easily be twice or ten times as bad.)

The other thing to remember is that the Sunni Arab areas have been under US military occupation for the past over 3 years, and that this vast increase in support for the guerrilla movement is therefore in some large part the fault of bad counter-insurgency tactics by the US military. They were all reading that stupid, racist tract, Raphael Patai's The Arab Mind, which says you can control Arabs by humiliating them. What Patai didn't tell them is that yes, you can for a short while, but then in order to recover his self-respect, the humiliated Arab has to spend the rest of his life trying to kill you, and so do his 5 brothers and 25 cousins. "
UPDATE: What it's like in the losing/lost Iraq.
BAGHDAD — On a recent Sunday, I was buying groceries in my beloved Amariya neighborhood in western Baghdad when I heard the sound of an AK-47 for about three seconds. It was close but not very close, so I continued shopping.

As I took a right turn on Munadhama Street, I saw a man lying on the ground in a small pool of blood. He wasn't dead.

The idea of stopping to help or to take him to a hospital crossed my mind, but I didn't dare. Cars passed without stopping. Pedestrians and shop owners kept doing what they were doing, pretending nothing had happened.

I was still looking at the wounded man and blaming myself for not stopping to help. Other shoppers peered at him from a distance, sorrowful and compassionate, but did nothing.
It used to be a nice upper-middle-class neighborhood, bustling with commerce and traffic. On the main street, ice cream parlors, hamburger stands and take-away restaurants competed for space. We would rent videos and buy household appliances.

Until 2005, we were mostly unaffected by violence. We would hear shootings and explosions now and again, but compared with other places in Baghdad, it was relatively peaceful.

Then, late in 2005, someone blew up three supermarkets in the area. Shops started closing. Most of the small number of Shiite Muslim families moved out. The commercial street became a ghost road.

On Christmas Day last year, we visited — as always — our local church, St. Thomas, in Mansour. It was half-empty. Some members of the congregation had left the country; others feared coming to church after a series of attacks against Christians.

American troops, who patrol the neighborhood in Humvees, have also become edgy. Get too close, and they'll shoot. A colleague — an interpreter and physician — was shot and killed by soldiers last year on his way home from a shopping trip. He hadn't noticed the Humvees parked on the street.
Read the whole thing.

Finally, what we've "accomplished" in Iraq.
ARBIL, 20 September (IRIN) - Humanitarian organisations and local authorities in Iraq's northern Kurdistan region have expressed concerns over the living conditions of more than 900 families who have been displaced from their villages on the border strip between Iran and Iraq as a result of heavy artillery shelling by Iranian forces.

"The situation has not yet reached the level of disaster," said Jalal Mahmoud Saeed, the head of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society's office in the northeastern province of Sulaimaniya. "But if the bombardments continue in future, it may reach disaster level."

Since last May, parts of Kurdish-dominated northern Iraq have been the targets of sporadic bombardments by Iranian and Turkish armies, for the alleged presence of Kurdish rebels there.
We have, in the Kurdish north, created a safe haven for terrorists (they've been blowing up people in Turkey rather regularly) that attack both Turkey and Iran.

Given the "Bush Doctrine", both Iran and Turkey are now completely justified in invading Iraqi Kurdistan and establishing a new government therein.

Yes, the "Bush Doctrine" is retarded.

UDPATE: Here we get to see how frickin' retarded the namesake for the "Bush Doctrine" actually is.

I love how he says the U.S. ambassador and top general are "on the ground". But really, I like how the reporter uses the phrase "divorced from reality". That was one of Gannon's catch phrases.[1]

[1] Jeff Gannon was an ultra-conservative plant in the White House (and gay call guy on the side) that was used by Bush to avoid real questions during a press conference.

The Devil and Hugo Chavez The Devil and Hugo Chavez -- Page 1
"When a Mexican reporter asked Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez a question during a press conference at the United Nations this afternoon, Chavez beamed and told the room that he was a great fan of the Mexican Revolution hero Pancho Villa. 'Especially the part,' Chavez said, 'when Villa invaded the United States.' True to his boisterous style, Chavez was in the midst of his own invasion of New York City, where he brought his unabashedly radical, left-wing and anti-U.S. politics to the U.N.'s annual General Assembly. In a speech Wednesday morning to the Assembly, Chavez, as he has done several times before, called President Bush 'the devil.' Referring to Bush's own U.N. speech yesterday, Chavez said, 'The devil came right here... And it still smells of sulfur today.' "
Cheers to Time for recalling that Chavez has used this rhetoric repeatedly. It's sad that U.S. actions under the Neocons make Iran and Venezuela's Presidents look sane by comparison.

U.S. official questions regulatory scrutiny of Apple

U.S. official questions regulatory scrutiny of Apple -

Welcome to Bizarro Washington.
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A top U.S. antitrust official on Wednesday urged foreign governments to think twice before interfering with popular new technologies, singling out overseas scrutiny of Apple Computer Inc.'s (AAPL.O) iTunes online music service as an example of misguided enforcement.

Justice Department antitrust chief Thomas Barnett cited proposals by some officials overseas to impose restrictions on iTunes as an example of overzealous regulation that he said could discourage innovation and hurt consumers.

Barnett warned about a rise in 'regulatory second-guessing' that 'threatens to harm the very consumers it claims to help.'"
For those who missed it, a top U.S. antitrust official is defending Apple's anti-competitive behaviour.

The back story...all music bought on iTunes is LOCKED into Apple's players (iPods). Now, some countries think that's a bit of illegal product tie-in (kinda like selling coffee that only works on a particular companies coffee-makers). The U.S. government on the other hand, in it's strive for fascist integration between business and government, thinks all consumers should be hog-tied, have no choice in the marketplace, and pay out the ass for everything.

Defensive barrier planned for Baghdad | Chicago Tribune

Defensive barrier planned for Baghdad | Chicago Tribune

Riiight...a wall/moat around the city. That'll work.
"BAGHDAD -- In the latest proposal to curb the seemingly unstoppable violence in Baghdad, the Iraqi government is planning to build a defensive barrier around the city to keep out terrorists and militants who might be planning attacks.

Iraq's Interior Ministry said Friday that the government wants to dig a trench encircling the capital. At a news conference in Washington, President Bush said at least part of the barrier would be a berm."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Thai army declares nationwide martial law

Thai army declares nationwide martial law | Top News |
"BANGKOK (Reuters) - The Thai army declared martial law nationwide in the early hours of Wednesday after a coup to dismiss Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a coup spokesman said in a televised address.

He also ordered all soldiers to report to their barracks and banned troop movements unauthorized by the coup leaders.

The army took control of Bangkok and announced it would set up a commission to reform the constitution despite Thaksin declaring a state of emergency from New York.

After tanks surrounded Government House in the country's first coup in 15 years, all television channels relayed a written statement saying the armed forces and police were in control of Bangkok and surrounding provinces, and appealed for calm."
Jeez, it's already been 15 years since a coup? My, how the time flies.

Good To Know

Gmail - Re: [#74636997] Non-spam review and verification request:

Your blog has been reviewed, verified, and cleared for regular use so that
it will no longer appear as potential spam. If you sign out of Blogger and
sign back in again, you should be able to post as normal. Thanks for your
patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

The Blogger Team
That's nice... :-)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Diminished Public Appetite for Military Force and Mideast Oil

Pew Research Center: A Diminished Public Appetite for Military Force and Mideast Oil

Good to see America slowly returning to rational mode.
"Five years later, Americans' views of the impact of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have changed little, but opinions about how best to protect against future attacks have shifted substantially. In particular, far more Americans say reducing America's overseas military presence, rather than expanding it, will have a greater effect in reducing the threat of terrorism.

By a 45% to 32% margin, more Americans believe that the best way to reduce the threat of terrorist attacks on the U.S. is to decrease, not increase, America's military presence overseas. This is a stark reversal from the public's position on the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. In the summer of 2002, before serious public discussion of removing Saddam Hussein from power had begun, nearly half (48%) said that the best way to reduce terrorism was to increase our military involvement overseas, while just 29% said less involvement would make us safer.

Similarly, in 2002 a 58% majority felt that military strikes against nations developing nuclear weapons were a very important way to reduce future terrorism. Today, just 43% express the same level of support for such action."
We need a new Manhattan Project. Except this time it needs to be for the power directly, not the weapons to secure the power.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Pope remarks reveal harder stance

BBC NEWS | Europe | Pope remarks reveal harder stance
"The furore over the Pope's remarks about Islam has left many Catholics inside and outside the Vatican shaking their heads in disbelief.

Aides of Benedict XVI are dismayed that a quotation used to illustrate a philosophical argument should have provoked such anger from Muslims.

But for others, the row has highlighted their concerns about the Pope's attitude towards the Church's relations with the Islamic world. "
Realize folks, talking about Muhammed, or making fun of him, is very much liking making fun of the 2nd Coming of Christ after it has happened to American Fundies.

Saying that such a figure (Messenger/Messiah) offered only evil things to the world is pretty much fightin' words.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Nancy Grace, Vampire

Missing Fla. Boy's Mom Commits Suicide -

What a horrid story.
"LEESBURG, Fla. - Two weeks after telling police that her son had been snatched from his crib, Melinda Duckett found herself reeling in an interview with TV's famously prosecutorial Nancy Grace. Before it was over, Grace was pounding her desk and loudly demanding to know: 'Where were you? Why aren't you telling us where you were that day?'

A day after the taping, Duckett, 21, shot herself to death, deepening the mystery of what happened to the boy."
I had the misfortune of catching Nancy Grace's opening two minutes last night, and I must say, she is an evil vampire, sucking the blood out of our system of justice.

This is a woman who prosecutes people on the public television. No standards for evidence, no disallowing of hearsay, no appeals, no justice. All vampire.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Partition Debate Splits Iraq

Partition Debate Splits Iraq - World Opinion Roundup

The White House is wrong...again...
"Last month, the White House dismissed the idea that Iraq should be divided into three countries as an impractical scenario that most Iraqis don't want.

But the biggest Shiite party of the Iraqi parliament is calling for the creation of autonomous regions in Iraq, sparking a debate in the war-torn country's coalition government. Opponents -- namely Sunni Arab leaders and Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr -- say the plan amounts to the de facto partitioning of Iraq.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Abdulaziz Al-Hakim lobbied for the establishment of a federal Shiite region consisting of eight districts. 'Al-Hakim, who is the chairman of the Iranian-backed Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), said the Shiite south should become one of several regions which would comprise an Iraqi federation.' "
It's funny hearing how much Tony Snow knows about what Iraq wants. What isn't particularly funny is realizing the strongest parties in Iraq are allied with Iran.


Banker's Killing A Blow For Russia

Banker's Killing A Blow For Russia -
"The assassination of Andrei Kozlov, Russia's second-ranking central banker, provides a political test for President Vladimir Putin and a test of nerves for foreign bankers and investors who have started to put more faith in a successful outcome to the country's transition from financial lawlessness to a modern economy."

An Apology Regarding Karl Rove

STLtoday - News - Columnists

Very nicely put "apology".
"After reviewing all this material, I feel obliged to say: I'm sorry Karl Rove . . . still has a job.

With respect to the specifics, Armitage or no Armitage:"
Read the linked article for the facts behind the b.s.

Whistle-Blower Trying to Stop Kiler Drug From Making a Killing - FDA whistle-blower Graham blasts new Merck arthritis drug
The arthritis drug that Merck has developed to compete with Celebrex may be as risky for the heart as Vioxx, writes Food and Drug Administration whistle-blower David Graham in an editorial posted online Tuesday by a medical journal.

In considering whether Arcoxia should be approved, 'the FDA, academia, and the medical research enterprise are once again faced with the opportunity to forsake common sense by willfully accepting misdirection and disinformation presented in the guise of science,' Graham writes on the Journal of the American Medical Association's website.

An editor's note says the FDA allowed Graham to write the editorial as a private citizen, not as an agency employee. The editorial and the two studies it accompanies will run in the Oct. 4 JAMA, but they were posted online early 'because of the public health implications,' a JAMA press release says."
Bah, what's the public health worth anyway. No, seriously, how much is it worth, because Big Pharmy is leveraging it to good effect.

Apple Commercials

Apple Commercials

A bounce through computer memory lane.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The sad state of American broadband

The sad state of American broadband

I can't imagine why we'd be flagging in this regard...
"Three groups, the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union (responsible for Consumer Reports magazine), and media policy group Free Press, have released a joint report (PDF) called 'Broadband Reality Check II.' A follow up to a similar report issued last, the year, the picture it paints of the broadband landscape in the United States is not a flattering one.

Divided into sections covering broadband penetration, speed and price, market structure, new technologies, the digital divide, FCC metrics, and policy recommendations, the report touches on just about every aspect of the US broadband market, mostly in a very critical fashion."
Oh wait, I know exactly why....this is the guy in charge of national policy.

The First Hard Disk Drive

BBC News | Enlarged Image

Nice to see where from we have come.
"In September 1956 IBM launched the 305 RAMAC, the first computer with a hard disk drive (HDD). The HDD weighed over a ton and stored 5MB of data."

Holding Pundits Accountable

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: Rich Lowry, Serious Foreign Policy Expert, announces his serious plan for victory in Iraq

Good work here by Greenwald is utterly destroying Rich Lowry of the National Review. The vast majority of pundits, particularly on the right, have been so...insanely wrong, so many times, it is just a wonder they still get any air or print time at all. I don't understand it, to be honest. If they were ditch diggers, they would have been fired for building embankments. Instead, as pundits, they get even more airtime.
"Virtually every one of his Iraq columns are filled with bitter mockery of those who were right, along with pompous predictions about what would happen which were plainly grounded in a world composed in equal parts of adolescent fantasy and rank ignorance.

But as always with Iraq and terrorism debates, being endlessly wrong is a sign of profound seriousness, and cheering on wars -- no matter how misguided and misinformed the cheering is -- renders one a serious foreign policy expert who recognizes the serious threats we face in these very serious times. That's why, when The Washington Post wants to find someone to counsel us on its Op-Ed page as to what to do in Iraq, it turns to two of the Wrongest People in America.

If we had determined our Iraq policy over the last three years by picking proposals out of a hat, we would have been way more right than we were by listening to Bill Kristol and Rich Lowry. "

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Whiskey Bar: The Sixteen Acre Ditch

Whiskey Bar: The Sixteen Acre Ditch

billmon goes off, again. What have we learned, indeed.
"You can learn a lot about a country in five years.

What I've learned (from 9/11, the corporate scandals, the fiasco in Iraq, Katrina, the Cheney Administration's insane economic and environmental policies and the relentless dumbing down of the corporate media -- plus the repeated electoral triumphs of the Rovian brand of 'reality management') is that the United States is moving down the curve of imperial decay at an amazingly rapid clip. If anything, the speed of our descent appears to be accelerating. "
Quite the rant there, from a rather well read lad.

Obama Gets HIV Test, Fights Kenya Stigma

Obama Gets HIV Test, Fights Kenya Stigma

Obama rocks.
"Sen. Barack Obama and his wife took HIV tests before a crowd of thousands Saturday at a clinic in Kenya in an effort to battle the fear and social stigmas that have slowed progress in fighting the spread of AIDS.

Thousands of people gathered around the tiny mobile clinic in Kisumu, western Kenya, to see Barack and Michelle Obama tested for the virus that causes AIDS.
''If you know your status, you can prevent illness,'' Obama, the only African-American in the Senate, told the crowd. ''You can avoid passing it to your children and your wives.''

Some 1.2 million of Kenya's 32 million people were infected with HIV in 2004. Obama and his wife did not make public the results of their instant tests, but the senator said ''we probably wouldn't be smiling'' if the results were positive. "
HIV is killing people orders of magnitude faster than terrorism could ever hope to. Good to see some U.S. leadership on the issue.