Saturday, April 29, 2006

It's All About How It Is Spun

Rush Limbaugh has reached an agreement with the florida authroities about his Doctor Shoping to get an illegal supply of drugs. He has agreed to reimburse the state for the cost of the investigation, and continue with his counseling.

In other words.

Rush is pleading guilty, will pay a fine, be on probation and has to go to drug re-hab.

Of course, damage control is everyting. So the news breaks on Friday night, and he soft sells the truth.


Friday, April 28, 2006

Friday's Collection Of Post

That should be visited.

The Green Knight notes the constructive and polite manner of debate favored by some of the right when chatting with a 15 year old girl. (Warning, incredibly foul and vulgar).

More Expensive than Vietnam, GreyHair at Bending the Third Rail considers this tragedy of inept leadership.

Badtux the Snarky Penguin says, Happy Mission Accomplished Day.

Oil companies are not the only ones reporting huge profits, No More Mister Nice Blog looks at how one insurance company is doing it.


Over At Think Progress

An interesting juxtaposition of two stories.

The first is a bit about 5 Democratic members of congress who got arrested in a civil disobedience protest at the embassy of Sudan.

The story below was about how as many as half a dozen (republican?) congressmen may be involved in a bribery with hookers scandal.

Democrats, trying to save lives; Republicans, trading votes for sex.


Another Disingenuous Republican Stunt

House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and a bunch of his Republican buddies did a photo op with a GM Hydro car. They expressed their concern about the high cost of gas, and the impact that it was having on the American family. They wanted us to know that they understand our pain, and will work hard to find a solution.

How does he leave this event.

He rides off in the Hydro car (for the press), and after about a block, hops out and into his Tank sized SUV.



From The Files Of The Absurd

Some people are actually upset that a Spanish language version of the National Anthem is be released.

It is amazing the things that some people think are important.


Bush is having his say, he thinks we should have to sing it in English.

I guess that means we now have to track down and destroy all the various foreign language versions now.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Lunch Break Post

Exxon has reported their profit for the 1st quarter.

4 Million Dollars an Hour

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's biggest oil company, said profit climbed 6.9 percent to a first- quarter record of $8.4 billion as output rose for the first time in a year and a half and increasing energy demand lifted prices.

Maybe they can find enough spare change to start to pay off their still unpaid debt outstanding from the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989.

But, that would mean doing the right thing, and that runs counter to the American business model.


Today Will Be A Working Day

I doubt I will have time to post much more than this.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Why Would Turd-Blossom Volunteer

for a 5th trip before the grand jury?

Karl Rove, President Bush's top political adviser, testified Wednesday for a fifth time before a grand jury in the CIA leak investigation, according to sources familiar with the probe.

Could it be because he has gotten his target letter?


If Things Are Going So Well,

If we are seeing so much progress,

Why do we have to keep sneaking in unannounced?


Tony Snow Accepts The Transfer

He will be leaving his post as unofficial administration apologist, to become the official head public liar.

President Bush announced his new White House press secretary on Wednesday: former Fox News host Tony Snow.

"As a professional journalist, Tony Snow understands the importance of the relationship between government and those whose job it is to cover the government," Bush said during a White House appearance.

It might be very entertaining to see how well he does at his new post. This can be a very difficult position, lying and obstructing day in and day out eats away the soul. As we saw with Scott, on some days it takes an amazing degree of determination to stand up and keep telling the lies.

This may be difficult for Tony. He has already started to whine and is getting very defensive about what people are saying about him. He considers it improper, and an indication of the decline in the level of politics, of course, he has yet to apologize about what he has said about others.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Bad Man Shows Himself

Our nations favorite evil genius has shown himself.

He must think it is either time to rally the forces, or scare some Americans.

I suspect he is concerned that some may not consider him as relevant (and frightening) as they once did, and he wanted to get a little notice from the media.


33 At Fox, 32 At CNN

The President's approval numbers are delightfully low. It looks like every day more people are jumping off the sinking ship that the Bush administration has become.

What is depressing is what many think is leading to this new dip in his approval.

Is it his domestic spying, his lies that led us to attack Iraq, his leaking of cherry picked data to defend his lies that led to the Iraq war, his use of torture and secret prisons, his failed handling of domestic disasters?

No, it appears to be the climbing gas prices that are the new driving force in the decline.

Of all the reasons to disapprove of this administration, this may be one of the least justified.

Yes, his administration, and his party, have been bought and paid for by big energy companies, yes he did turn over the development of our national energy policy to the very businesses that this policy was to address, yes he has approved billions in aid and tax breaks to these same big companies, who in 2005 earned over 100 billion in profits, and yes he these all do have some impact on the cost of gas.


the cost of our gas is something that the President has little short term control of.

A more effective policy, put in place 5 or 15 or 25 years ago would have made a difference. Promoting mass transit, hybrid cars, alternative fuels and a host of other programs could make a difference, if it had been in place for a decade or two. There is little he can do at this point that will make much difference.

The President made the decision to start to spy in the US without warrants, The President made the decision to hide prisoners in black holes around the would away from any legal protections, The President made the decision to invade Iraq, and leak to the media.

Yet, for some it is not the policies that led to the cost of gas, nor any of the other questionable actions he has taken, the cost of gas is the last straw.

At times I think there is very little hope for this nation.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Just Another Day In Iraq

In what has to be a message to the new government, seven car bombs have exploded across Baghdad.

Seven car bombs exploded across the capital Monday, killing at least six people and wounding dozens, as politicians met to try to finalize a new Cabinet.

And tortured and executed bodies are still being found every day.

Police discovered the bodies of 20 Iraqis apparent victims of sectarian killings the United States hopes the new government can end.

But, since it also appears that the Iraqi government may be directly involved in some of the killing, I would not expect much to improve in this area.

Last Nov. 13, U.S. soldiers found 173 incarcerated men, some of them emaciated and showing signs of torture, in a secret bunker in an Interior Ministry compound in central Baghdad. The soldiers immediately transferred the men to a separate detention facility to protect them from further abuse, the U.S. military reported.

Since then, there have been at least six joint U.S.-Iraqi inspections of detention centers, most of them run by Iraq's Shiite Muslim-dominated Interior Ministry. Two sources involved with the inspections, one Iraqi official and one U.S. official, said abuse of prisoners was found at all the sites visited through February. U.S. military authorities confirmed that signs of severe abuse were observed at two of the detention centers.

Let's call it what it is. Cigarette burns and missing toe nails are signs on torture. Abuse is to polite of a word for this activity.

As long as the governmnet, or persons or groups viewed as being supportive of the government continue to use death squads and torture centers, most insurgent groups will not be rushing to disarm and cease fire.


Terror, Terror, Everywhere

It appears a major incident has occured at Dahab Egypt.

Three explosions shook the Egyptian Sinai resort of Dahab on Monday and smoke could be seen rising from the town's tourist bazaar, witnesses said.

Residents said they saw body parts and debris on the street after an explosion at a restaurant.

As long as terrorism is percievied as being effective, we will continue to see it increese.


Now, This Is A Storm

Tropical Cyclone Monica is heading into Darwin.

With winds in its core of up to 360kmh, category five Monica's intensity has alarmed weather forecasters who have tracked it since it formed in the Coral Sea weeks ago.

"It's quite compact," said Gordon Jackson, a senior forecaster with the bureau. "It has gale force winds 200 kilometres across with its eye 40 kilometres across." He added: "It looks like Darwin will definitely get destructive winds."

200MPH winds, and coming ashore, a good place to not be for the next few days.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Iraq Has A Government

Or at least the start of one.

With a hint of hope and more than a bit of relief, Iraq's parliament finally met Saturday to endorse a deal among rival factions to name a prime minister and get the first permanent government of the post-Saddam Hussein era off the ground.

The 266 legislators who met in a sweltering Baghdad convention center ended a four-month wait that followed national elections in December. They distributed top political jobs, including the presidency and the speaker of parliament, among Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish parties.

This is a very positive step. There are still a number of huge political hurdles that have to be cleared, but it is a positive step.

But, whenever there is a bit of positive news, there always seem to be something that reminds of the current reality.

Three U.S. soldiers were killed Sunday when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb northwest of Baghdad, the U.S. command said. That brought the number of American troops killed in the Iraqi capital area over the weekend to eight.

The truth is, while Ibrahim al-Jafari has been replaced, Jawad al-Maliki comes from the same faction as Jafari, and his views are seen by some are being even more pro Shiite than Jafari's.

To expect this to make a huge difference in Iraq may be overly hopeful.


Another Reason Why

I have grown to loath the GOP.

Aside from their pervasive corruption, their 'leave no millionaire behind' attitude on domestic tax policy and their chicken-hawk war efforts, their obsession with what people do in their bedroom is both un-American and unhealthy.

The South Carolina bill, proposed by Republican Rep. Ralph Davenport, would make it a felony to sell devices used primarily for sexual stimulation and allow law enforcement to seize sex toys from raided businesses.

"That would be the most terrible thing in the world," said Ms. Gillespie, an employee the Anderson shop. "That is just flabbergasting to me. We are supposed to be in a free country, and we're supposed to be adults who can decide what want to do and don't want to do in the privacy of our own homes."

There seems to be a segment of the Republican party who is obsessed with the thought that someone, somewhere, is having sex for reasons other that procreation, and must be stopped.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Busy Day

But very little time for news.

Tonight is the prom, so the oldest has play practice, then a hair appointment, and make-up and all the various steps that are now part of going to the Prom. This will take up most of the day.

What time is left will be spent setting up an older computer for the little guy to use. He is only 4, but already wants to spend time with the keyboard.

Enjoy your Saturday.


Friday, April 21, 2006

Friday's Collection

Of blog post of special worth.

Are Christians facing apartheid like treatment in the US? Donohue claims this is so, The Green Knight thinks he is mistaken.

GreyHair at Bending the Third Rail looks at the economy, and it ain't real pretty.

What a Tangled Web We Weave when first we practice to deceive!, Josh Marshall points out the latest difficulity of the Harris (R-Fl) Senate run.


Thank God Walking Is Good For You

With oil at $75.00 a barrel, it is something we may have to start to do, a lot.

LONDON - Crude-oil prices spiked more than $1.50 and closed at a record high above $75 a barrel Friday amid concern about Iran's nuclear ambitions and declining U.S. gasoline stocks.


Some Not So Stunning News

Distractions cause most car accidents.

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Those sleep-deprived, multitasking drivers - clutching cell phones, fiddling with their radios or applying lipstick - apparently are involved in an awful lot of crashes.

Distracted drivers were involved in nearly eight out of 10 collisions or near-crashes, says a study released Thursday by the government.

It make the obvious a now documented fact, but I doubt it will actually change personal behavior.

Accidents only happen to other people.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

What May Be Some Good News From Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari has made it clear that he is willing to step aside to help get some form of new government in place.

asking the alliance of Shiite parties to decide whether to keep him as their candidate for prime minister or choose a new face who might win the wider backing needed to form a national unity government.

Iraqi politicians have been split on sectarian lines over Jafari's bid for re-election, paralyzing politics and allowing an explosion of bloody sectarian and ethnic street fighting across Iraq, mostly between Sunnis and Shiites.

Of course a new person has to be found who is both willing to accept the position, and acceptable to at least one of the minority factions. And then there is no guarantee that he will not be an even less effective leader than Jafari is seen to have been.

But, at this point, any movement has to be greeted by at least a little hope.

We may have a new name to consider.

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Shiite politicians agreed Friday to nominate Jawad al-Maliki as prime minister, replacing the incumbent in a bid to clear the way for a long-delayed new government, two Shiite officials said.

Al-Maliki is a top ally of outgoing Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, whose nomination had sparked sharp opposition from Sunni Arab and Kurdish leaders and caused a monthslong deadlock.


Watching The Mumps, Pondering The Bird Flu

Since the first case in December, over 1,000 cases of the Mumps have appeared in the Midwest. The CDC is ramping up, and sending in new vaccine, and aiding in the local response.

Federal health authorities said Wednesday they were sending 50,000 doses of mumps vaccine to Iowa and other affected areas in an effort to control the largest outbreak in 20 years.

A virus that we vaccinate about everyone against is steadily spreading across the Midwest, and may spread nation wide. It makes me wonder, Just how quickly could a virus we don't have a vaccine against spread?

In any case, this does make for a good learning opportunity for the CDC to study many aspects of the spread and response to a dangerous viral outbreak.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Scottie Is Moving On

The daily grind of lying, obscuring, and obstruction has worn him out.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday he is resigning, continuing a shakeup in President Bush's administration that has already yielded a new chief of staff and could lead to a change in the Cabinet.


Rove will also have a diminished roll in the new Bush White House.


Who Is Fighting Who In Iraq

At times, even those in the battle are not sure who they are shooting at.

Over the last couple of days there have been gun battles in the Adhamiyah district of Baghdad. The Iraqi Army, and US forces have been involved in the combat, and it has taken almost two days to restore relative calm.

So, what was going on there?

Although the clashes ended Monday afternoon, they broke out again before dawn yesterday when rumors swept Azamiyah that paramilitary commandos from the Shi'ite-led Interior Ministry had entered the area.

Many Sunnis consider Interior Ministry commandos, many of them veterans of the Shi'ite Badr Brigade militia, as little more than sectarian death squads responsible for kidnapping and killing hundreds, possibly thousands, of Sunni civilians during the past year.


''They came in wearing police clothes, but they weren't police," a watch group member said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. ''We defended our neighborhood, our mosques, and our honor."

Rumors spread that some of the outsiders included armed men ''who did not speak Arabic well -- meaning they were Iranians or Iranian-Iraqis," Zoheir said, referring to young Shi'ites who grew up in Iran and returned after Saddam Hussein's fall.

It sounds like an Iraqi version of a neighborhood watch saw an armed band entering their area, and deciding that they might be a death squad in operation, tried to fight them off. This triggered a response from the US armed forces, and more Iraqi forces, and 48 hours later, a few dead, and lots of confusion.

Just another day in Baghdad.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Republican Culture Of Corruption - IL

The one time Republican Governor of Illinois is guilty.

He was convicted of steering state contracts and leases, including a $25 million IBM computer deal, to political insiders while he was Illinois secretary of state in the 1990s and then governor for one term. In return, he got vacations in Jamaica, Cancun and Palm Springs, and gifts ranging from a golf bag to $145,000 in loans to his brother's floundering business.

"I believe this decision today is not in accordance with the kind of public service that I provided to the people of Illinois over 40 years, and needless to say I am disappointed in the outcome," he said.

but not remorseful.


The Duke Rape Case Advances

with the arrest of two players.

Two Duke University lacrosse players were arrested Tuesday morning in connection with rape allegations by a Durham woman.

Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were arrested and charged with first- degree forceable rape, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree sexual offense. An officer at the Durham County jail said the players were to be released Tuesday on $400,000 bond.

The defense attorneys seem eager to present their case to the media, and the prosecutor is up for reelection, a mix guaranteed to keep this in the public eye for months.

And when are done, no matter the evidence or result, a notable percentage of people from the 'losing side' will refuse to accept the final ruling. A fact the is both depressing and telling about the current state of affairs in this land.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Hey Hey Hey

Our war has a new name, the global war against radical Islam.

Well, at least they included 'radical' in the name.

I does clearly indicate the mindset of the 4 officers who are defending Rumsfeld in the WSJ.


Monday Iraq Update

The violence goes on, and nothing else is working.

A session of Iraq's parliament planned for Monday has been postponed amid continuing deadlock over the PM. MPs were to meet for only the second time since December's election but the acting speaker said leaders needed more time to resolve their differences.

4 months, and the nation is still gridlocked.

The sad part is even if the minority parties get a new person to serve as PM, it will have little effect on the operation of the government. He will be working from the same perspective as Ibrahim al-Jafari and will be answering to the same people as al-Jafari.

So, even when a PM is announced, don't expect much to work, except for the violence.


Desperation Can Lead To Desperate Acts

Often that is the driving force of the individual who is involved in terror. Desperation, a total loss of hope, seeing no other workable option makes the unimaginable appear logical.

Today another soul saw no other option.

A Palestinian suicide bombing has left at least six people dead and around 30 injured in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, Israeli media report. The bomb went off at a falafel restaurant on a busy street near a bus station in the Neve Shaanan area.

While the leadership of these groups talk of mission, and nationhood, and even revenge, most of those who carry out these attacks appear more lost than driven, more hopeless than anything.

An effective way of reducing the number of suicide bombings would appear to be reducing the number of people who would consider becoming suicide bombers. You have to wonder why that is never mentioned when planning a defense against them.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Another Day, Another Car Bomb

The Shiites are again the target.

A car bomb exploded Thursday in a Shiite area of Baghdad, killing at least 13 people and wounding eight, police said. The car was parked near a vegetable market in the Shula neighborhood when it exploded, police Capt. Qassim Hussein said.

Does this sound like it was not a suicide bomb, but an old fashioned car bomb?

In other news from Iraq:

A roadside bomb had killed a US soldier south-west of Baghdad on Thursday.

A health ministry employee was injured and her driver killed in an ambush

A foreign ministry worker was kidnapped

A housing ministry worker was also wounded in a shooting


You Have To Ask

Why did these brave men not have the courage to stand up till now.

A fourth senior US General is calling for Rumsfeld's head.

A fourth former US army general in less than a month today called on the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, to resign over his handling of the war in Iraq. Retired Major General John Batiste - who commanded the US 1st Infantry Division in Iraq from 2004 until last year - criticised Mr Rumsfeld's authoritarian style and called for a "fresh start" at the top of the Pentagon.

"We need leadership up there that respects the military as they expect the military to respect them. And that leadership needs to understand teamwork," Maj Gen Batiste said. He told CNN he believed the Bush administration's handling of the war had violated fundamental military principles such as unity of command and unity of effort.

How different would the world be if these four men (and the others who agree with them) had stood their ground in 2002 and 2003. This abusrd attack may not have ever taken place, and if it had, there is a chance that if would not be the abject failure that it is right now.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

It Sure Feels Like It This Week

I'm a Lifer!

To you, a job is what pays the bills. You put in your hours, follow the rules, and then go home. Occasionally, you consider quitting, but then you think of how bad the job market is and you reconsider. Whatever happiness you get, you get from your life outside the workplace. Relationships, family, hobbies, and outside creative pursuits are what really matter to you. You're probably taking this test at work because you don't have anything better to do.

Talent: 33%
Lifer: 56%
Mandarin: 54%

Take the Talent, Lifer, or Mandarin quiz.


A Real Credibility Problem

We should all remember the Niger documents, and Bush's administration's constant insistence that the reports were valid. We all know about Bush's lies about how leakers would be fired or prosecuted, only to discover that he approved at least some of the leaks.

Now, more of Bush's lies have been exposed.

When the two small trailers were seized in late May 2003, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq. The administration said they were mobile "biological laboratories," and Bush declared, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction."

The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months afterward, was cited at the time as supporting evidence for the decision to go to war.

But a secret mission to Iraq had already concluded the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission sent their findings to Washington in a report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president's statement, the Post reported on its Web site Tuesday night.

{Bold added by me}

This administration appears to be totally incapable of telling the truth.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It Is Not Getting Much Notice In The News Anymore

But American troops are still dying in Iraq.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Bitter rivalry between two powerful clans for leadership of Iraq's Shiite Muslims snarled efforts Tuesday to agree on the next prime minister, the key issue that is blocking a national unity government. Meanwhile, the U.S. military reported the deaths of five more soldiers, including three killed Tuesday in a roadside bombing north of the capital.



To watch gas go up 0.19 cents in 3 hours.

You have to wonder what summer prices will look like


Iraq's Government Still Gridlocked

The religious shia want Ibrahim al-Jaafari's and everyone else doesn't.

Shiite politicians failed Tuesday to resolve the deadlock over the formation of the new Iraqi government after meeting to discuss the opposition of Sunni and Kurdish parties to the Shiite nominee for prime minister.

and it looks like thinks might have to get even more nonfunctional before they will get any better

Some Shiite officials even suggested the alliance block Sunni and Kurdish candidates for key posts if they do not accept al-Jaafari.

What an amazing democracy we have build in Iraq, a light of hope for all in the Middle East.


Monday, April 10, 2006

A New Government In Italy

It may be, according to exit polls.

Italian center-left candidate Romano Prodi is slightly ahead of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in parliamentary elections, according to preliminary exit poll results.

Prodi's coalition took between 50 and 54 percent of the vote in both the upper and lower chambers of parliament, the exit polls showed Monday.

If this holds it could be very fun to watch the various investigations that should follow. Berlusconi has been the target of a number of investigations, and now will not be in a position to block them.


BBC now reporting that Berlusconi may hold on.

I wonder, do they use Diebold machines.


WOW, what a close election. Prodi may have won the lower house, Berlusconi the upper.


Republican Culture Of Corruption - Ohio

A bad day in Ohio for Gov. Taft (R-Oh), it appears his willingness to accept goodies may cost him.

A complaint that could cost Gov. Bob Taft his license to practice law in Ohio was filed today by the Supreme Court's disciplinary counsel.


Last August, Taft became the first Ohio governor convicted of a crime when he pleaded no contest to four misdemeanor charges for not disclosing 52 gifts, mostly golf outings, on his annual financial-disclosure statements from 2001 through 2004.

The most amazing fact about this whole case, is Taft is still in office, proving that Republican oversight is not only missing from DC, but also in Ohio.


How Well Are Things Going In Southern Iraq?

Consider this.

“the Iranians could take Basra with ten mullahs and one sound truck.”

A retired four-star general told me [Sy Hersh] that, despite the eight thousand British troops in the region....

This, along with some consideration of what a US attack on Iran might mean can be found at Bending the Thrid Rail.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

They Are Either Clueless or Corrupt


Whoever it was at the Washington Post that wrote this editorial.

Firedoglake takes it apart, line by line.


Did You Miss This Story?

AT&T provided National Security Agency eavesdroppers with full access to its customers' phone calls, and shunted its customers' internet traffic to data-mining equipment installed in a secret room in its San Francisco switching center, according to a former AT&T worker cooperating in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuit against the company.

Mark Klein, a retired AT&T communications technician, submitted an affidavit in support of the EFF's lawsuit this week. That class action lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco last January, alleges that AT&T violated federal and state laws by surreptitiously allowing the government to monitor phone and internet communications of AT&T customers without warrants.

Charming, isn't it.

I wonder if the idiot who approved this has ever read this little phrase;

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause

Of course, there is a chance Bush has never actually bothered to read it.


The Report On London Bombing Leaked

It was not Al Qeada, Just locals enraged by the war.

Far from being the work of an international terror network, as originally suspected, the attack was carried out by four men who had scoured terror sites on the internet. Their knapsack bombs cost only a few hundred pounds, according to the first completed draft of the government's definitive report into the blasts.


According to the report, the attacks were largely motivated by concerns over foreign policy and the perception that it was deliberately anti-Muslim, although the four men were also driven by the promise of immortality.

It was predictable that this war to end terror,would only create more.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Another Attack On A Shiite Target

3 days, 3 bombings:

A car bomb has killed at least six people, most of them pilgrims, in a mainly Shia town south of Baghdad, Iraqi police say. The blast in Musayyib came as funerals were held in Baghdad for the 90 people killed when suicide bombers attacked an important Shia mosque in the city.

What does this mean?

A senior government official has, for the first time, said Iraq is in a state of undeclared civil war.

Only, I would argue that is very much declared, except by the Iraqi or US Government, who seem to feel that if you pretend it doesn't exist, it will go away.


Death By Volcano

A danger you might not expect a ski patrol to face.

Two of the ski patrollers dropped into a 21-foot maw filled with deadly carbon dioxide fumes and landed on the ground, trapped in a deep hollow.

Their cries rose to the top for a few minutes, then stopped.

In a risky job, another risk to keep in mind.


Friday, April 07, 2006

It's Friday,

Here are some post of interest for you to enjoy.

Over at the Big Brass Blog, the Dark Wraith considers War against Iran and International currency exchange.

The President's approval of leaks, and some of the questions it raises are discussed at Cannon Fire.

At Dispatches From The Culture Wars, a look at the logic of the religious right.



The White House all but admits, Bush approved the leaking of classified information.

The White House on Friday declined to challenge assertions that President Bush authorized the leaks of intelligence information to counter administration critics on Iraq.

So, they admit Bush did it, and have already started to try to spin the arguments. The are now claiming these leaks would not compromise our nation's security, that the president had the authority to do this, (they claim the president has the authority to do anything, spy on the US public, ignore bills he sighs, override the bill of right), and that only information that was going to be released to the public was leaked.

It isn't relevant, the key points are, just like the domestic spying program, Bush approved the action, then lied to the American public about doing it.

Georgia10 at Daily Kos, notes that Bush had a meeting with Plame prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. It would be very enlightening to see the notes from the meeting and see how Bush answered the prosecutor's questions about these leaks.


Shiite Mosque Attacked


Another 40 people have been killed.

A suicide bomber inside a Shiite mosque and another outside blew themselves up Friday, killing at least 40 people in northern Baghdad, police said.

Another 45 people were wounded in the blast, Reuters reported. The mosque belonged to SCIRI, the most powerful party inside Iraq's ruling Shiite Alliance.

And now the reprisals against the Sunni's can start, and we get the morgue body count of the executed.

Depressingly predictable, I am so glad we have brought democracy to Iraq.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Just What They Expected To Find

At one point in the past, long long ago, animals had to have moved from the water to the land. Those who study this knew what they were looking for, and knew what they should find, they just needed to find it.

Well, They did.

The new species, Tiktaalik roseae, has features found in fish, such as fins and gills, and also features that are only found in land-living animals, such as a wrist, elbow and neck.

'It is a stepping-stone in the water-land transition showing us a permutation of features not seen before, notably the combination of lobe-fins with the beginnings of a neck.'

Kinda interesting, how scientist used evolution to predict so much about this animal. They knew where in time it should be, what features to expect and now we have real fossils proving their existence.

And proving that science was right.


Another Bombing At An Iraqi Holy Site

This time it was Najaf.

A car bomb detonated Thursday near the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf, killing 10 people and wounding 39 others, police said.

The blast took place in Tawdei Square on a road leading to a cemetery in the south-central Iraqi city -- a bastion of Shiite Islam.

But, there was also some good news from Iraq today, one of the top men, in one of the insurgent groups has been captured.

Mohammed Hila Hammad Obeidi, also known as Abu Ayman, was arrested in southern Baghdad on March 7 but the announcement was delayed pending DNA tests to verify his identity, the U.S. command said in a statement.

An unfortunate reality about this is another person will step up and take his place.


Bird Flu Confirmed In The UK

In a wild Swan in Scotland.

The swan which died of bird flu in Scotland has tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus, it was announced today. The official results are expected later today, but the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds confirmed that the bird had tested positive for the H5N1 strain, which can infect humans.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Just Kill Him Already

Surprise, Surprise, Saddam has been charged with genocide.

Saddam Hussein will face charges of genocide over the gassing of thousands of civilians in the village of Halabja almost 20 years ago, a judge said today.

Investigative judge Raid Juhi said the charges against the deposed Iraqi president and six others had been filed with another judge, who will review the evidence and order a trial date.

I think is action in Halabja was much closer to a simple mass murder than genocide, but if using a fancy name make the prosecutor happy, why not use it.


DeLay Is Done

The straw that broke his back appears to be either his crashing poll numbers, the guilty plea of top aid Tony C. Rudy or his own ongoing corruption investigation. In the end it doesn't matter, he is done.

DeLay, who will turn 59 on Saturday, did not say precisely when he would step down, but under Texas law he must either die, be convicted of a felony, or move out of his district to be removed from the November ballot.

The saddest part of this story is, the departure of DeLay will do little to clean the house. There are so many more who are as willing to bend and pervert the laws for their own gains.

A wholesale cleaning is still needed.


If Iran Is Being Truthful

They are making real leaps in weapons development, conventional weapons that is. Last week they announced a low radar profile MIRV missile, today it is a new torpedo (or underwater missile) that they claim travels over 200MPH.

Instability leads to fear, this leads to arms races, and we have a real one going on in the middle east.


They are now claiming a third type of missile.

A top Iranian military official said Tuesday the country can now defend itself against any invasion originating from outside the region _ a clear reference to the United States _ as it tested a second new radar-avoiding missile.

The new surface-to-sea missile is equipped with remote-control and searching systems, state-run television reported. It said the new missile, called Kowsar after the name of a river in paradise, was a medium-range weapon that Iran had the capability to mass-produce.

Well, at least this one is more defensive that offensive.


Monday, April 03, 2006

Moussaoui Verdict Is In

It's BBQ tonight, the jury has decided that martyrdom is acceptable for the idiot.


I Remember A Poster

When I was a teen, our church's youth group class room had a bunch of posters. I remember one that carried a great message. It was a picture of a 3 or 4 year old little girl, giving a bowl of milk to a neglected looking kitten. The message of the poster was, the grandest good intention was worthless when compared to the smallest of good deeds.

The Neo-cons led us into Iraq with lies and promises. The lied about the threat that Saddam presented to us, and promised us a new peaceful democratic Iraq. While selling the idea of a new better Iraq, the Bush administration presented us with a series of grand plans, and good intentions to make the brutality worthwhile.

An example of a grand intention being worth less than a smallest of good deeds can be seen in one of our Iraq rebuilding projects.

A reconstruction contract for the building of 142 primary health centers across Iraq is running out of money, after two years and roughly $200 million, with no more than 20 clinics now expected to be completed, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says.

The initial plan was grand, 200 clinics, to be the backbone of the medical delivery system for the nation. This was to be a training ground for the doctors of the nations, a means of assuring health for the people of a nation, and a sign of the tangible benefits of the US attack on Iraq.

Now, if everything goes right, they have twenty, one million dollar clinics, that cost ten million dollars a piece to build. There are a number of understandable reasons for the failure to finish the project, security, insurgency, weather, contractor issues, but these don't matter. A failed grand good intention is still a failure.

The end result, another series of unfinished projects that fall well short of meeting the needs of the nation, and another mess that has to be fixed somehow.


C5 Crashes Near Dover AFB

17 persons aboard, details are still very limited.


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Speaking Of Republican Women

Jean Schmidt (R-Oh), a congressperson from Ohio, appears to have a little resume issue.

Schmidt claimed on candidate surveys, previous campaign Web sites and in official Ohio House literature that she earned two bachelor's degrees from the University of Cincinnati, one in political science in 1974 and one in "social studies-secondary education" in 1986.

But UC Registrar Douglas Burgess said the only degree on file for Schmidt is a bachelor of arts in political science.

This type of creative writing will normally cost a person their job, but with members of congress, it means nothing.


How Not To Run For The US Senate

If you want a good example of what not to do, just go look at the Harris (R-Fl) effort this year.

The last of U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris' key staffers appear ready to abandon her campaign for the U.S. Senate in a wave of resignations expected to start this weekend.

Sources close to the campaign said Friday that the defections would touch virtually every level of her operation.


During the past several months, Harris has lost at least seven key staffers, including a campaign manager, pollster, fundraiser and media consultant.

This weekend, Harris is expected to lose chief political strategist Ed Rollins, campaign manager Jamie Miller, campaign spokeswoman Morgan Dobbs and director of field operations Megan Ortagus.


Harris' campaign has been in disarray for months. She has struggled to raise money, has little support from top Florida Republicans and has been unable to retain staffers.

She also has been besieged by questions about $32,000 in illegal campaign contributions from Mitchell Wade, a disgraced defense contractor who pleaded guilty to bribing a California congressman.


But she has said little else about her relationship with Wade despite repeated questions from Florida media.

This week, Harris e-mailed supporters saying that the media have "relentlessly and personally attacked" her for months.

All I can say is it could not have happened to a more deserving person.


Saturday, April 01, 2006

US Helicopter Down In Iraq

Details are still being withheld.

A U.S. military helicopter crashed Saturday southwest of Baghdad, the military said in a statement.

"The status of the crew is unknown," the brief statement said.

Officials said the helicopter was on a "combat air patrol" and came down at about 5:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. ET).

The statement added: "All additional information is being withheld pending investigation and notification of next of kin," the statement said.


Rice''s England Trip, More Eventful Than Expected

Condi visit to England has looked like a rolling protest. Anti war, and anti Bush protesters are to be found where ever she goes, but she puts a nice spin on it.

"I find them an exercise in democracy, I find them not in any way off-putting or disconcerting," she said

An amazing display of tolerance, since some of the various protesters have gone as far as to call here a war criminal.

That is a crime that still carries the death penalty in some place.


Just Another Sign Of Civil War

The various Iraqi groups have backed away from trying to kill US troops, and are killing each other.

U.S. military deaths in Iraq hit a two-year low in March, even as religious and ethnic violence between Iraqi factions skyrocketed.


“What you have is the insurgents are trying to block the formation of a coalition government and trying to cause a civil war,” said Anthony Cordesman, a former Pentagon official who is now an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “That means that a lot of these attacks now focus on Iraqi civilians.”

U.S. fatalities in Iraq reached a 12-month high last October, when 96 service members died.

Statistics released by the American-led coalition show that the number of Iraqis killed in violence has risen sharply since the Feb. 22 insurgent bombing of the Askariya mosque, an important Shiite shrine in Samarra.

More than 1,300 Iraqis have died in retaliatory killings between Sunni and Shiite groups since the mosque bombing. Nearly 1,000 were in Baghdad.

But, I quess this is good news from Iraq.