Wednesday, March 28, 2007

John McCain, A Bad Liar or Simply Delusional?

On CNN, Sen. John McCain (R-Az) was busy singing the praises of the escalation of the war in Iraq, and claiming that we have made amazing progress. The trouble is, his claims were so absurd that you either have to admire his willingness to lie so boldly, or wonder how we could let someone so delusional roam the streets without adult supervision.

Remember - Wack A Mole

We have liberated and secured Tal Afaf 3 times now, and despite our efforts in the last couple of days we have seen, both bombings, followed by what appear to be reprisal killings where Shiia police members have executed Sunni civilians.

When you here politicians singing the praises of our escalation of combat in Baghdad, remember Tal Afar, and what Bush said a year ago after the 3rd 'freeing' of the city.

So today I'd like to share a concrete example of progress in Iraq that most Americans do not see every day in their newspapers and on their television screens. I'm going to tell you the story of a northern Iraqi city called Tal Afar, which was once a key base of operations for al Qaeda and is today a free city that gives reason for hope for a free Iraq.

Progress, as defined by the Republicans in DC, sure looks like failure to me.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Remember The Iraqi Death Survey

Published in the Lancet?

The Bush administration was quick to denounce it, but the higher-ups in the UK were clearly impressed by the work.

But a memo by the MoD's Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Roy Anderson, on 13 October, states: "The study design is robust and employs methods that are regarded as close to "best practice" in this area, given the difficulties of data collection and verification in the present circumstances in Iraq."


In the same e-mail the official later writes: "However, the survey methodology used here cannot be rubbished, it is a tried and tested way of measuring mortality in conflict zones."

When it comes to anything scientific, the Bush administration denounces anything they don't like, even when the science is valid.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Another Bushie Cops A Plea

This time it is a result of the Abramoff coruption investigations. He, like scooter, is taking the fall for obstruction of justice.

The former No. 2 official at the Interior Department has agreed to a felony plea admitting that he lied five times to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and its investigators about his relationship with Abramoff

The plea somehow seems appropiate for an administation who wants to be able to lie with impuniy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

But, If We Are Under Oath, Can We Lie?

With the Democratic party in charge, the US Senate has decided to get back into the over site business. In this effort they wish to chat with a few members of the Bush administration.

They have advised Bush that they would like them to come on over, get sworn in, and answer a few questions about the job they have been doing for the American public for the last 6+ years. George isn't happy with the request, and has offered to have the talk.... but only if they are not under oath.

It appears that after having one member of his administration found guilty of lying under oath, he now wants to make sure the rest of his people can lie to the American Public without being concern about facing a judge in a few months.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Well, I Am Shocked

It turns out that Karl Rove was involved the overtly political decision to fire various federal prosecutors, and replace them with political hacks that avoided Senate approval.

The whole process clearly displays how morally bankrupt most of the Bush administration is. Years ago they wanted the power to appoint federal prosecutors without Senate oversight. To get this power they used the confusion and rush surrounding the Patriot Act to have a provision added granting them this power. 2 years ago the administration starts talking about replacing all the federal prosecutors and using their new powers to get a new batch in place that the congress has no say over. Last year, while giving testimony when he was trying to gain his appointment as attorney general, Gondolas swore he has no intention of using the Patriot Act provision to replace any federal prosecutors, and now we see that all along this was being considered inside the Bush's White house.

As I follow this story the term perversion of the course of justice keeps popping into my head. Now with confirmation that Karl Rove was in the middle of the scheming to make this happen, I know why.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Intelectual Weakness of Peter Pace

As the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff you expect Gen. Pace to be a man of strong personal character with excellent leadership skills and a extremely sharp intellect. Unfortunately for Peter, his statements about the don't ask don't tell policy of the US Armed Forces has not displayed his intellectual prowess in the best of lights. It has put his deeply flawed logic and reasoning on display for all to see.

Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Monday that he supports the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays serving in the military because homosexual acts "are immoral," akin to a member of the armed forces conducting an adulterous affair with the spouse of another service member.

Wow, just how stupid to you have to be to express this line of flawed reasoning? I must admit I do share part of Gen. Pace's view. I also think that adultery is wrong. This is the about the only thing he has said that makes any sense.

First of all, Adultery is an act, Homosexuality is a state. As example, I am heterosexual. That says nothing about me other than my sexual orientation. I could be a celibate heterosexual, a monogamous heterosexual, a promiscuous heterosexual or, if married, an adulterous heterosexual. Under Gen. Pace's definition, as a heterosexual, I have to undertake a very specific act to be tossed out of the military.

Homosexuals however do not have to do anything, their very existence is, by Pace's definition, 'Immoral' and on par to wilful violation of the marriage bed.

Utterly absurd.

In addition to the deeply flawed logic at play here, there are also practical issues involved. The armed forces bring very few adultery cases forward for prosecution, far fewer than the total number of affairs that occur. If the armed forces were to police marital infidelity with the same passion they use when investigating sexual orientation, based on what I can see of the fidelity of the US troops I know, we would lose tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of troops a year, kicked out for fooling around.

I don't see Gen. Pace proposing that we do this.

Flawed logic, and embracing a double standard, clearly not traits that anyone would want to see in Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Notable Creationism Chatter

In the last few days there has been a notable uptick in chatter by and about creationist on some of my regular blog visits. First The Rev. Big Dumb Chimp noticed the work of one Nathan Bradford, and decided to try to educate the poor fellow, Nathan resisted this.

By chance Steve Reuland at Sunbeams From Cucumbers noticed another creationist, this one in the news with a bit of legal/ethical trouble.

One creationist who either is unable to understand scientific argument, or has made the choice to ignore it, and another who appears to be unable to live up to the standards he claims to hold.

Serendipitous, and unrealated, but it caught my notice anyway.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A New Series - Alarmingly Stupid Americans

The winner of our first prize is Alice Shannon of Soldonta Alaska.

It’s time to stomp out atheists in America. The majority of Americans would love to see atheists kicked out of America. If you don’t believe in God, then get out of this country.

The United States is based on having freedom of religion, speech, etc., which means you can believe in God any way you want (Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, etc.), but you must believe.

I don’t recall freedom of religion meaning no religion. Our currency even says, “In God We Trust.” So, to all the atheists in America: Get off of our country.

Atheists have caused the ruin of this great nation by taking prayer out of our schools and being able to practice what can only be called evil. I don’t care if they have never committed a crime, atheists are the reason crime is rampant.

How About A Nice Game Of Wack-A-Mole

Today Bush is claiming that the escalation is working, but consider this.

Violence has fallen in Baghdad, where a joint U.S.-Iraqi security crackdown was in its third week. But U.S. military officials say insurgents have fled the capital for outlying areas, where attacks are on the rise. Direct attacks on U.S. forces in Diyala are up 70 percent since last July, according to figures provided by the U.S. military.

This was completely predictable, to everyone expect the folks in the Bush Administration.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Interesting Headlines

In Afghanistan there was an incident. A bombing and firefight has left 16 dead.

Here is how MSNBC reports the story:

'Complex' ambush on convoy in Afghanistan kills 16

A “complex” ambush involving a suicide car bomb and militant gunfire killed 16 Afghan civilians and wounded 25 people during an attack on a coalition convoy in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, officials said.

Clearly giving the impression that the civilians were killed by the militants.

Now to the BBC and how the international press is treating the story.

US troops kill Afghan civilians

An incident described by US forces in Afghanistan as a "complex ambush" has left 16 civilians dead. The incident occurred on the road from the eastern city of Jalalabad to Pakistan when a suicide bomber targeted a convoy, sparking a fire fight.

Thousands of local people took to the streets, accusing the Americans of deliberately firing on the civilians.

What a HUGE difference in how the facts are presented.

Of course there is no reason to accept the BBC's reporting over NBC's, until you consider this tid bit from the AP: US soldier deletes AP photographer's photos, threatens violence.

Following a suicide bombing and ensuing gunfight between Afghan militants and American soldiers on Sunday, a US soldier demanded that an Associated Press photographer delete his photos.

Based on the past behavior of the US military, the neverending efforts trying to cover up their mistakes, and the reaction of the local forces, it is a safe bet that at least some the the civilians killed were killed by US forces.

More importantly, it is clear the local population blames the US, and this is the path that will lead to Afghanistan becoming another Iraq.

More excellent work by both the US media and the US armed forces.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Sadly Typical Of Our Current Military

Only after the Armed Forces failing efforts in vet care is exposed by hte press does the military leap to action. They suddenly get busy to correct the years old situation. Two major steps are taken to address this national shame.

1. The military tell the troops to not talk to the media. A traditional step in any cover-ups.

2. They then fire the General in charge of the base. The only trouble is, this man had been in charge for only six months, and the decay at Walter Reed is far older than six months. The person most responsible for the state of the base is the past commander, or commanders. And what punishment will the past commander of Walter Reed face for allowing the current situation of the base to develop?

It appears he will be appointed as the new head of the Walter Reed.

Only in a George 'W' Bush administration would this foolishness make any sense