Sunday, December 25, 2005

Powell: Nothing Wrong With Eavesdropping


Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Sunday supported government eavesdropping to prevent terrorism but said a major controversy over presidential powers could have been avoided by obtaining court warrants.
Powell said that when he was in the Cabinet, he was not told that President Bush authorized a warrantless National Security Agency surveillance operation after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Appearing on ABC's "This Week" Powell said he sees "absolutely nothing wrong with the president authorizing these kinds of actions" to protect the nation.
But he added, "My own judgment is that it didn't seem to me, anyway, that it would have been that hard to go get the warrants. And even in the case of an emergency, you go and do it."
The New York Times reported on its Internet site Friday that the NSA has traced and analyzed large volumes of telephone and Internet communications flowing into and out of the United States. The program bypassed the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Powell said Congress will need to judge whether Bush is correct in his assertion that he could approve eavesdropping without first obtaining court orders.
"And that's going to be a great debate," Powell said.
Powell, who also is a former chairman of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff, had no reservations when asked whether eavesdropping should continue.
"Of course it should continue," he said. "And nobody is suggesting that the president shouldn't do this."

TWU to fine non-strikers

this has to be illegal...

TWU Mulls Fining Members Who Crossed Picket Line During Strike

The Transport Workers Union is reportedly considering fining those members who crossed the picket line during the transit strike this week. According to the Daily News, union officials are trying to determine who continued to work during the three-day strike. Members who crossed the picket line could be fined the amount of money they made during those three days. They could also be stripped of their union representation. According to labor lawyer Brian O'Dwyer, it's not uncommon for the union to fine those members who opted to continue working through the strike, even though the work stoppage was illegal under the state's Taylor Law.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

it was a Hoax!

of course it was...but, let's see how long until the MSM admits it. The Kos has posted the correction...

NEW BEDFORD -- The UMass Dartmouth student who claimed to have been visited by Homeland Security agents over his request for "The Little Red Book" by Mao Zedong has admitted to making up the entire story. The 22-year-old student tearfully admitted he made the story up to his history professor, Dr. Brian Glyn Williams, and his parents, after being confronted with the inconsistencies in his account. Had the student stuck to his original story, it might never have been proved false. But on Thursday, when the student told his tale in the office of UMass Dartmouth professor Dr. Robert Pontbriand to Dr. Williams, Dr. Pontbriand, university spokesman John Hoey and The Standard-Times, the student added new details. The agents had returned, the student said, just last night. The two agents, the student, his parents and the student's uncle all signed confidentiality agreements, he claimed, to put an end to the matter. But when Dr. Williams went to the student's home yesterday and relayed that part of the story to his parents, it was the first time they had heard it. The story began to unravel, and the student, faced with the truth, broke down and cried.

Spitzer gets tough...

...on the TWU! Oops...I mean on the music industry...

According to industry sources, who declined to be identified because the probe was continuing, Spitzer is reviewing whether the companies conspired to set wholesale prices.Wholesale digital music prices can range from 60 cents to nearly 90 cents a song, according to industry executives. Operations such as Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes, the most popular digital music source, then sell songs to users for 99 cents per download.

let's take a look at Spitzer's last settlement with the music industry...basically the same amount of monetary damage as a day's transit strike in NYC.

The companies paid $67.4 million in cash to consumers and donated $75.7 million worth of CDs to libraries and schools. Critics said the settlement allowed companies to dump CDs they couldn't sell anyway, rather than donate quality music.

If the TWU were Enron, Spitzer would have subpoenaed every email, every file, every phone record by now.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Wahabi Girls Gone Wild!

This is Wafah Dufour, Osama Bin Laden's niece...

The Fines must be paid

Governor Pataki last night, "The penalties and fines cannot be waived and they will not be waived."

Mayor Bloomberg last night, "I don't know how you'd explain to your kids that if you break the law, you get a better deal than if you're honest."

The TWU was out for 3 days. That means 6 days of lost wages as a penalty for a total of 9 days out. This stunt of Toussant's cost his union members roughly $60 Million. And for what?

Somehow, and If you had told me this 4 days ago I would never have believed it, but somehow, Roger Toussant made the MTA out to be the good guys. That is impossible, but he pulled it off. Well played sir, well played!

A pro union spokesman made one point that I do agree with...he said, to paraphrase, "how come it's ok for Governor Pataki to give a huge pension give-away to the unions when he's running for office and now the state is balking at what the TWU wants?"

The answer is, it's not ok. And that's why Governor Pataki's career in politics is over.

Neither the politicians or the unions can be trusted here. The only answer is mandatory third party arbitration for ALL municipal unions.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Eliot Spitzer, you're up

If a public company had done something that cost the city of New York $1 Billion, don't you think Mr. Spitzer would be kinda all over it?

Let's see what happens with the TWU...

Hwang suck part II

What a fraud...

SEOUL (Reuters) - The results of a landmark 2005 paper on producing tailored embryonic stem cells were intentionally fabricated, a South Korean investigation panel said on Friday.
The nine-member panel from Seoul National University has been examining the work of stem-cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk, who faces charges from collaborators that key findings in their paper on producing tailored embryonic stem cells were fabricated.

Here's the real funny part...the idiots in California voted for $3B in tax increases to fund similar research in an effort to catch up to South Korea.

More on Iran and Lebanon...

Visiting Iranian Vice-President and head of the Islamic Revolution's Martyrs' Foundation Mohammad Hossein Dehqan met with a number of fathers of Lebanese martyrs here on Wednesday.
During the meeting, Dehqan praised Lebanon as an icon of `people power' and said that its freedom and independence was the fruit of its brave resistence.
He moreover stated his concern that world powers, particularly the US and Israel, were trying to saw discord in Lebanon and polarize the nation.
However, he said he was confident conspirators and enemies of Lebanese independence would be disappointed, "thanks to the vigilance of the Lebanese nation in the country's political and social arenas." Dehqan further pointed to the growing Hezbollah resistence that today "can no longer be ignored in any Israeli plan to cause damage to the country." Dehghan arrived here Wednesday from Syria for a three-day visit.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Kofi, unplugged

wow...cheeky is a real word. I thought it was always some American joke...

Annan outlines global conflicts; angered at media

He scolded James Bone of the Times of London for saying, "Your own version of events don't really make sense."

Annan responded: "I think you're being very cheeky. Listen James Bone, you've been behaving like an overgrown schoolboy in this room for many, many months and years. You are an embarrassment to your colleagues and to your profession. Please stop misbehaving and please let's move on to a serious subject."

More on Hamadi

the good news...
Hamadi is in "custody" in Lebanon...

The Lebanese killer of a U.S. Navy diver was in custody in Beirut yesterday, according to U.S. officials who decried his release from a German prison last week and pledged to bring him to the United States for trial.

the bad news...
coincidentally, Iranian VP Hossein Dehqan is in Lebanon today...

Iranian Vice-President Hossein Dehqan arrived here Wednesday for an official three-day visit after concluding a visit to Syria.
Dehqan is to hold separate meetings with Lebanese President Emil Lahoud, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.
The two sides are to exchange views on political developments in Lebanon and the Middle East region, Tehran-Beirut ties and issues of mutual interest.

48,000 disciplinary actions...

Here's why many New Yorkers don't give a crap about the TWU...

The union is seeking...changes to an overly harsh disciplinary system. The union says that in the last three years, there have been 48,000 disciplinary actions against a workforce of 34,000.

New York vs New Orleans

NYPD officers had to endure the same commuting restrictions as the rest of us. Funny...not a single incident of a NYPD officer not on the job. Lots of reports of stores that couldn't open becasue the workers couldn't get in from the outer bouroughs. Funny...none of those stores were looted. New Yorkers were stuck in hours of traffic jams yesterday. Funny...nobody ran out of gas on their way to work or home. 50,000 people were trapped at Penn Station last night. Funny...there were crowds and lines, but everyone got on a train that wanted to.

And just think...Mayor Bloomberg was able to do this without a single appearance on Oprah...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Munich Part II

One reason why the Israelis had to gun down the Palestinian terrorists who murdered the Olympic athletes is because the freaking Germans let them go.

Just like they announced today.

There's growing speculation that the fix was in...

Ernst Uhrlau, Angela Merkel’s new head of the BND, Germany’s foreign intelligence service, is revealed by DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources as the man behind Berlin’s secret decision to trade German archeologist Susanne Osthoff kidnapped in Iraq on Nov. 25 for the jailed Hizballah terrorist wanted in America, Mohammad Ali Hammadi.
Uhrlau attained international prominence as broker in the Hizballah-Israel prisoner swap and the failed effort to track down the missing Israeli navigator Ron Arad.
Hammadi was serving a life sentence without parole for hijacking a TWA airliner to Beirut in 1985 and throwing a Navy SEAL diver, Robert Dean Stethem, out of the window to his death. A US extradition warrant was on file in Berlin with a promise it would take effect if the hijacker were ever released. A few days after the terrorist was flown to Beirut, Osthoff was freed by her Iraqi insurgent captors.

Eliot Spitzer for Governor?

Where is Eliot Spitzer on the NYC transit strike?

He's involved with the lawsuit, but nothing really public on the whole matter. Should he even be involved? Will a cupcake prosecution help him with union voters?

There's this good article on the teethless Taylor law...

Twenty-five years later, the Taylor Law faces another test. Seeking to reinforce the law—no doubt aware of its past ineffectiveness—State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has won a judge’s injunction that explicitly bans a strike. And Mayor Michael Bloomberg has asked the judge to impose extra penalties that would start at $25,000 per worker and at $1 million for the union itself. Six years ago at contract deadline, a different judge approved similar requests.

If this is costing the city $200MM a day, why isn't he going after the TWU with the same intensity that he's going after Dick Grasso at the NYSE?

Senator Rockefeller and his letter

much is being said about Senator Rockefeller's secret letter to Dick Cheney, dated July 17, 2003...

Without more information and the ability to draw on any independent legal or techical expertise, I simply cannot satisfy lingering concerns raised by the briefing we received.

Too bad Senator Rockefeller didn't have a mechansim to force the administration to address his "lingering concerns". You know, something like holding up the appropriations bill to fund the NSA for the next year...

“Mr. President, I am pleased to join the distinguished Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence in presenting S. 1025, the proposed Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004, which will begin on October 1, 2003. I would like to join the Chairman in noting the bipartisan manner in which the Committee approaches its legislative work, and congratulate him for his leadership in maintaining that tradition.
“The bill has two main functions.
“First, the bill authorizes the appropriation of funds for the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the F.B.I., and other intelligence elements of the U.S. Government. For the first time, the intelligence component of the Department of Homeland Security is included in the annual intelligence authorization. The actual appropriation of funds, of course, must be made in separate appropriation legislation that will follow, within the parameters set by this authorization legislation.
“Second, the bill establishes or amends legal authority for the Intelligence Community or directs the preparation of reports by the Director of Central Intelligence or heads of components of the Intelligence Community.
“The classified nature of United States intelligence activities prevents us from disclosing publicly the details of our budgetary recommendations. Accordingly, nearly all our budgetary recommendations are in a classified annex. The annex is available to all Members of the Senate, either at the Intelligence Committee or S-407 in the Capitol.

So, roughly two weeks after he writes is "cover my ass" letter to the VP, he has a perfect opportunity to one, hold up funding for what is now called by the left an impeachable offense and two, at the very least, use his soap-box to talk about civil liberties. He does neither.

Germany, cont.

A day after the German hostage is released in Iraq, this guy goes free?

Maybe just a coincidence, but, then again...

F%*& You Germany!

TWA Hijacker Released From German Prison

A Lebanese man serving a life sentence for the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jetliner and killing of a U.S. Navy diver has been paroled after 19 years, a law enforcement official said Tuesday.
Mohammed Ali Hamadi was released from prison and has left Germany, said Doris Moeller-Scheu, spokeswoman for the Frankfurt prosecutor's office. She said she did not know his destination.
Hamadi's case came up for a court-mandated review, and he was released after an expert assessment and a hearing, she said.
TWA flight 847 from Athens, Greece, to Rome was hijacked to Beirut, Lebanon, where the hijackers shot U.S. Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem, 23, of Waldorf, Md., and dumped his body on the tarmac.
German federal officials declined to comment extensively and said the case was a matter for state authorities. Justice Ministry spokeswoman Eva Schmierer said Germany did not have any request from the United States for Hamadi's extradition.
A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Martin Jaeger, said there was no connection between Hamadi's release and the recent freeing of former hostage Susanne Osthoff, a German woman released over the weekend after spending more than three weeks as a captive in Iraq.
Stethem, 23, was beaten and shot on June 15, 1985, while the plane was in Beirut. He was the only casualty during the hijacking ordeal, in which 39 Americans were held hostage for 17 days. He received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart decorations, and a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer is named in his honor.
Hamadi was arrested at the Frankfurt airport on Jan. 13, 1987, when customs officials discovered liquid explosives in his luggage.
U.S. authorities had requested his extradition so he could stand trial in the United States, but the Germans, who have no death penalty, insisted on prosecuting Hamadi.

NYC Trasit Strike

I think the union is in for it...big time.

I had no problem getting to work this morning. My son's daycare was closed, so we arranged for a sitter. I left my apartment (way uptown...let's just say I'm the only subscriber to National Review and the Weekly Standard in my zipcode) at 7AM. My wife and I picked up a couple other people from my building going to midtown because you need 4 people in a car to go south of 96th street. We dropped the kid off at the sitter and then headed for the road through Central Park. It was empty.

I was in my office faster today than any other time I've taken the subway.

TWU...who needs you...TWU...who needs you!!!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Daschle is full of it

Daschle's latest comment on the NSA rings hollow:

Between 2002 and 2004, the White House notified me in classified briefings about NSA programs related to the war on terrorism. The briefers made clear they were not seeking my advice or consent, but were simply informing me about new actions. If subsequent public accounts are accurate, it now also appears the briefers omitted key details, including important information about the scope of the program.
Even with some of the more troublesome - and potentially illegal - details omitted, I still raised significant concern about these actions. As such, I am surprised and disappointed that the White House would now suggest that none of us informed of the program objected.
As a result of the significant legal and security concerns raised by the President's actions, I believe it is incumbent on the President to explain the specific legal justification for his actions, for the Congress to fully investigate these actions, and for the Administration to fully cooperate with that investigation.

Remember, Tom Daschle was MAJORITY leader at the time. He controlled Senate business. If he was as opposed to the new NSA rules, he could have used a thousand different procedural moves to express his displeasure and force Bush to act differently.

This is a big fat case of revisionist history. But why? Oh yeah...Daschle's running for President in 2008.

Former Sen. Tom Daschle set off speculation Tuesday that he might be interested in running for president in 2008.Talk immediately began after his office released a statement saying he will keynote the Nov. 5 Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner in Des Moines."Many will speculate that this signifies that Tom is thinking about running for president, when in fact, that is not what this invitation is all about," said Steve Hildebrand, Daschle's spokesman.

Pollution causes girl babies?

It turns out the conventional wisdom that girls are made of "sugar and spice and everything nice" is totally wrong!

Finally, scientific evidence to once and for all settle the debate and prove that girls are made from a toxic brew of industrial waste!!! Well, at least Canadian girls...I assume US girls are still made of "sugar and spice and everything nice", with just a pinch of industrial waste for flavor...

Polluted Town Alarmed by Shortage of Sons

AAMJIWNAANG FIRST NATION, Canada (Dec. 18) - Growing up with smokestacks on the horizon, Ada Lockridge never thought much about the pollution that came out of them.
She never worried about the oil slicks in Talfourd Creek, the acrid odors that wafted in on the shifting winds or even the air-raid siren behind her house whose shrill wail meant "go inside and shut the windows."
Now Lockridge worries all the time.
A budding environmental activist, she recently made a simple but shocking discovery: There are two girls born in her small community for every boy. A sex ratio so out of whack, say scientific experts who helped her reveal the imbalance, almost certainly indicates serious environmental contamination by one or more harmful chemicals.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

30 dumbest people in America...

NIH Uses Live Viruses for Bird Flu Vaccine

In an isolation ward of a Baltimore hospital, up to 30 volunteers will participate in a bold experiment: A vaccine made with a live version of the most notorious bird flu will be sprayed into their noses.
First, scientists are dripping that vaccine into the tiny nostrils of mice. It doesn't appear harmful — researchers have weakened and genetically altered the virus so that no one should get sick or spread germs — and it protects the animals enough to try in people.
This is essentially FluMist for bird flu, and the hope is that, in the event of a flu pandemic, immunizing people through their noses could provide faster, more effective protection than the troublesome shots — made with a killed virus — the nation now is struggling to produce

AIDS kills

AP: Frist AIDS Charity Paid Consultants

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's AIDS charity paid nearly a half-million dollars in consulting fees to members of his political inner circle, according to tax returns providing the first financial accounting of the presidential hopeful's nonprofit.
The returns for World of Hope Inc., obtained by The Associated Press, also show the charity raised the lion's share of its $4.4 million from just 18 sources. They gave between $97,950 and $267,735 each to help fund Frist's efforts to fight AIDS.
The tax forms, filed nine months after they were first due, do not identify the 18 major donors by name.
Frist's lawyer, Alex Vogel, said Friday that he would not give their names because tax law does not require their public disclosure. Frist's office provided a list of 96 donors who were supportive of the charity, but did not say how much each contributed.

King Kong, contained...

Bush and the NSA intercepts

Prediction: This story will doom the Democrats in the 2006 elections. Elections in this country are still about security. If you listen to Bush's tone in today's radio address, you hear something that we haven't heard in quite a long time...the man's mad. Pissed. It's the tone in his voice that you heard right after 9/11. Bush knows he's right on this NSA business. More so, he's probably furious that the leadership in Congress, that was briefed, isn't doing more to quiet this down.

McCain watch 2008

Much has been made of the McCain bill and its ban on torture. But there's this in today's NY Times...

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 - House and Senate negotiators agreed Friday to a measure that would enable the government to keep prisoners at Guantánamo Bay indefinitely on the basis of evidence obtained by coercive interrogations.
The provision, which has been a subject of extensive bargaining with the Bush administration, could allow evidence that would not be permitted in civilian courts to be admissable in deciding whether to hold detainees at the American military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

So, coercive interrogation is OK? That, of course, is GREAT news.

PS: It seems the word "admissable" is admissible to the NY Times...

Criminal probe of Orleans Levee board...


The embattled Orleans Levee Board has received from U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office two subpoenas for a wide range of documents, a signal that the federal criminal inquiry into the board is proceeding.
One subpoena is so broad that it offers few clues to what direction the probe is taking. It requests virtually every shred of paper the agency has in its possession. The other is narrower in scope, asking for a lease agreement and a personnel file.
Officials from the Levee Board were required to turn the documents over to the grand jury Friday. They provided, upon request, copies of the subpoenas to The Times-Picayune. The still-developing inquiry is among several ongoing probes into the board's performance and practices.

Friday, December 16, 2005

NYC Transit update

the reason for the partial strike is that the private bus companies, while part of the union, are not part of the MTA. If they were part of the MTA, they'd fall under the Taylor Law. So, so far, the TWU hasn't broken any laws and they aren't liable for any fines.

TWU - you guys suck!

first, the TWU here in NYC won't tell us there plans until, supposedly, 6AM this morning...which put every commuter in NYC in limbo. Then, they delay the press conference so that everyone has to go to work. Then, these butt-heads call a partial strike, focusing on New Yorkers with the longest commutes, stranding them in NYC or, at the very least, adding hours on their commutes.

they should arrest every single head of the TWU right now.


Bush Secretly Lifted Some Limits on Spying in U.S. After 9/11, Officials Say

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 ­- Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.
Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.

but, here's the even better part...

The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting. Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted.

This does explain the NY Times' anti Bush stance on a whole host of other issues. The editors knew about this...HATED it...but couldn't say anything. But, they could blast Bush on a whole host of other issues.

No bail for Brancato

NEW YORK (AP) -- A former "Sopranos" actor and another man were ordered held without bail Thursday at a hearing in the hospital where both men are being treated for gunshot wounds inflicted by the police officer they are charged with killing.
Lillo Brancato Jr., who appeared on several episodes of the HBO series and also appeared in 1995's "A Bronx Tale" with Robert De Niro, was arraigned on a second-degree murder charge by Bronx Criminal Court Judge Michael Sonberg.
Brancato's attorney, Mel Sachs, argued that his client was entitled to bail since it was the other man who fired the fatal shot.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

South Korean cloning work...

...totally fake.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- A doctor who provided human eggs for research by cloning pioneer Hwang Woo-suk said in a broadcast Thursday that the South Korean scientist agreed to withdraw a key research paper because most of the stem cells produced for the article were faked.

McCain 2008

it's official...John McCain just received the endorsement of George W. for the 2008 race.

After months of resistance, the White House has agreed to accept Sen. John McCain's call for a law specifically banning cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of foreign suspects in the war on terror, several congressional officials said Thursday.

Time Magazine Person of the Year

Before Time magazine does something stupid like putting Hurricane Katrina on their cover as the 2005 "Person of the Year", let me get my vote in...


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

New York City transit strike

it's really too bad that Mayor Bloomberg can't send the head of the transit union to a secret CIA prison to get water boarded.

Black vs. White

maybe we can finally put this issue to bed. The one media myth that won't die is that the response of the nation was as "slow" as it was because the people hurt by Katrina were black. Well...this says it all...

The Times Picayune is reporting that donations to Katrina victims have topped donations to 9/11 victims.

The outpouring of private charity to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina and two sister storms now ranks as the most generous in American history, surpassing Americans' donations after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to researchers who track philanthropy.
Americans have donated about $2.97 billion dollars to families affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, said Patrick Rooney, director of research with the University of Indiana's Center on Philanthropy.

Additionally, this $3 Billion in donations is only one percent of the total in charity contributions made by Americans last year. That's right...$300 Billion.

or, to put it in perspective...the US gave to charity an amount roughly 17% of France's total GDP.

Surprisingly, it's also the same as the total GDP of Saudi Arabia...why do we let Saudi Arabia control our economy again???

New Orleans, shrinking

Ok...this makes sense...

Key members of Mayor Ray Nagin's rebuilding commission have endorsed a controversial proposal to shrink the city's footprint, but they want to modify the idea in ways they said would make it more palatable to homeowners who want to rebuild in the lowest-lying parts of New Orleans.
Local developer Joe Canizaro on Tuesday said he and other appointees to the Bring New Orleans Back commission agree that some floodprone parts of the city should be returned to wetland, a key recommendation from the Urban Land Institute that has drawn protests from many residents and the politicians who represent them.

But, then, we're dealing with New Orleans, so this proposal was added...

Canizaro is advocating a less drastic plan: for the next three years, residents would be allowed to rebuild in any section of the city, even if it was inundated with as much as 10 feet of water.
"At the end of three years, we'll see who is there," Canizaro said. "And if a neighborhood is not developing adequately to support the services it needs to support it, we'll try to shrink it then." three years, we'll just uproot these people and tell them to leave.

McCain, Torture and the Army Field Manual

one argument against McCain's proposal is that the Army Field Manual doesn't get specific enough. More black and white is needed.

For what it's worth, the Army seems to understand this and has been coming up with ways to update the Army Field Manual.

The techniques are included in a 10-page classified addendum to a new Army field manual that was forwarded this week to Stephen A. Cambone, the under secretary of defense for intelligence policy, for final approval, they said.
The addendum provides dozens of examples and goes into exacting detail on what procedures may or may not be used, and in what circumstances. Army interrogators have never had a set of such specific guidelines that would help teach them how to walk right up to the line between legal and illegal interrogations.
Some military officials said the new guidelines could give the impression that the Army was pushing the limits on legal interrogation at the very moment when Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, is involved in intense three-way negotiations with the House and the Bush administration to prohibit the cruel treatment of prisoners.
In a high-level meeting at the Pentagon on Tuesday, some Army and other Pentagon officials raised concerns that Mr. McCain would be furious at what could appear to be a back-door effort to circumvent his intentions.
"This is a stick in McCain's eye," one official said. "It goes right up to the edge. He's not going to be comfortable with this."
Army officials said the manual required interrogators to comply with the Geneva Conventions, which give broad protections to prisoners of war against coercion, threats or harsh treatment of any kind.
But they declined to give examples of specific interrogation techniques that the addendum authorizes, or the conditions for their use, saying they wanted to prevent captives from learning how to thwart them.

I'm not too sure how the Army Field Manual gets updated and who has authority over the process, but I think McCain getting pissed is a little overblown.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

bitter custody battle...

Kim Basinger was back in court, quibbling over custody matters in her ongoing battle with ex-husband Alec Baldwin.
The couple share joint custody of their 10-year-old daughter, Ireland.
Moments after Basinger entered the courtroom Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Maren Nelson barred the press and public. Baldwin, who lives in New York, didn't attend the hearing.
The 52-year-old actress emerged nearly two hours later, wearing the same dark glasses and emotionless expression she had on the way in.
Her lawyer, Neal Hersh, refused to discuss the particulars of the case.

Maybe 10 year old Ireland will get lucky and Angelina Jolie will adopt her...

more on the China murders...

according to China, the murders by the police of the eminent domain protesters didn't happen.

SHANGHAI, Dec. 13 - One week after the police violently suppressed a demonstration against the construction of a power plant in China, leaving as many as 20 people dead, an overwhelming majority of the Chinese public still knows nothing of the event.
In the wake of the biggest use of armed force against civilians since the Tiananmen massacre in 1989, Chinese officials have used a variety of techniques to prevent news of the deaths from spreading - like barring reports in most newspapers outside the immediate region and banning place names and other keywords associated with the event from major Internet search engines, like Google.

Ouch! Shot in the penis...

The entire story of the Bronx Tale/Soprano kid's role in murdering a NYC cop is clearing up...

The cop, Daniel Enchautegui, although shot himself twice, was able to shoot both of his attackers.

And if you can't kill your attacker, this has to be the next best thing...

Enchautegui fired back and hit Armento several times, including once in the penis. Brancato was hit twice in the chest. Both were in stable condition yesterday.

Well...where Armento is going, he won't be needing it anyway...

Monday, December 12, 2005

NY Times vs. the Times Picayune

Battle of the Sunday editorials...

The NY Times blames Bush and mentions local politicians second...

"We'll not just rebuild, we'll build higher and better," President Bush said that night in September. Our feeling, strongly, is that he was right and should keep to his word. We in New York remember well what it was like for the country to rally around our city in a desperate hour. New York survived and has flourished. New Orleans can too.
Of course, New Orleans's local and state officials must do their part as well, and demonstrate the political and practical will to rebuild the city efficiently and responsibly. They must, as quickly as possible, produce a comprehensive plan for putting New Orleans back together. Which schools will be rebuilt and which will be absorbed? Which neighborhoods will be shored up? Where will the roads go? What about electricity and water lines? So far, local and state officials have been derelict at producing anything that comes close to a coherent plan. That is unacceptable.

The Times Picayune blames Blanco and mentions the Feds second...

Weeks after hurricanes Katrina and Rita tore up vast swaths of South Louisiana, a State Bond Commission dominated by Blanco appointees eliminated $45 million in state financing for construction projects in the hurricane zone. The money went instead to projects elsewhere in the state, including an equine center in Morehouse Parish and a picnic spot in Simmesport.
During the recent special legislative session, there was a workable proposal to consolidate most of greater New Orleans' levee boards into a single, professional-minded authority, but the governor failed to support it, and her political allies worked against it. The Blanco administration's own plan puts existing levee boards under the supervision of an unwieldy 22-member panel.

More on this...

Tim Tagaris of the DNC blames Bush...

All the grand promises made under the temporary lights at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans appear to have truly fallen "so far off the radar screen, you can't find it."

Yes, the radar screen...

And when you check Senator Landriue's website for an update, you see a huge banner proclaiming "TODAY'S TOP STORY"...and when you click on it, you get this...from November 18th...4 weeks ago. the radar screen...but not because of Republicans.

Blanco cancels elections

Mayor Nagin, Mayor for life?

Blanco signs order postponing New Orleans elections

Gov. Kathleen Blanco has made it official, postponing indefinitely the scheduled Feb. 4 primary election for New Orleans mayor, City Council members and other offices
In an executive order signed Friday and released Monday, Blanco cited the recommendation of Secretary of State Al Ater, who said earlier this month that the city is incapable of holding elections in February because Hurricane Katrina caused so much damage to polling sites and voting machines. In addition, most of the city's voters are scattered in other cities and states.
Blanco's action sets up a legal battle with a group of eight voters who on Friday filed a lawsuit against Blanco and Ater, the state's top election official, seeking to ensure the election is held as scheduled on Feb. 4, or by April 29 at the latest. Rob Couhig, the New Orleans lawyer who filed the suit, said Blanco cannot postpone elections indefinitely because the City Charter requires that newly elected officials must take office May 1.

A more interesting question is what is she going to do about November 2006?

Hackett in trouble in Ohio...

Kos has the latest...

Feldman Group (D) for Sherrod Brown. 12/6-7. MoE 4% (No trend lines)
Ohio Democratic primary matchup
With leaners
Brown (D) 51Hackett (D) 22Undecided 26

Without leaners
Brown (D) 47Hackett (D) 20Undecided 33

Name ID -- Favorable/Unfavorable/Recognize but no opinion/Never heard of him
Brown 38/9/33/20Hackett 13/6/33/48

Among voters who are familiar with both candidates
Brown 52Hackett 30

The road to the GOP nomination...

runs through the US/Mexican border...

Immigration Issue Growing as Political Factor

The partisan dynamic is also very significant. Democrats overwhelmingly say Iraq is the most important issue. Seventy-one percent (71%) of Howard Dean's party hold that view while only 15% name immigration as more important.
However, Republicans are evenly divided--42% say immigration is a more important issue while 41% name Iraq.
Among those not affiliated with either major party, 47% say Iraq is a more important issue while 30% name immigration.

The Pope wears Prada

Fashion: The Pope Wears Prada

He may never make the best-dressed lists, but Pope Benedict XVI is nothing short of a religious-fashion icon, riding in the Popemobile with red Prada loafers under his cassock and Gucci shades. But his penchant for designer wear and a move to ditch the papal tailors who have dressed popes for more than 200 years are causing new wrinkles in the Vatican.

New Orleans, back to normal...

Gunshot kills man at Bourbon Street club

As patrons in a Bourbon Street nightclub danced and enjoyed themselves Sunday night, a shot rang out, leaving a man dead. Police said the death at the Chris Owens club, at the corner of St. Louis Street, was unclassified. It could be a suicide or a murder, but investigators were leaning toward suicide, police spokeswoman Jonette Williams said. Williams said the man, who was not identified, had a gunshot wound to the temple. A handgun was found at the scene. One customer, Mike Sneed of New Orleans, said he heard a “loud pop,” then saw a man seated on a couch outside the bathroom sag to the side and fall to the floor.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Random irony of the day...'s stopped raining in the rain forest.

MANAQUIRI, Brazil - The Amazon River basin, the world's largest rain forest, is grappling with a devastating drought that in some areas is the worst since record keeping began a century ago. It has evaporated whole lagoons and kindled forest fires, killed off fish and crops, stranded boats and the villagers who travel by them, brought disease and wreaked economic havoc.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

ElBaradei Calls for Nuclear Arms Cuts

OSLO, Dec. 10 - The world should stop treating the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea as isolated cases and instead deal with them in a common effort to eliminate poverty, organized crime and armed conflict, the director general of the United Nations' nuclear monitoring agency said Saturday in accepting the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.

The director general, Mohamed ElBaradei, said a "good start" would be for the United States and other nuclear powers to cut nuclear weapon stockpiles sharply and redirect spending toward international development.

so...we should send international development money to Iran and North Korea instead? Or, I have another idea...we let North Korea starve itself to death and we embargo every single drop of oil out of Iran. But that's just my crazy idea of how to deal with, you know, tryants.

Why isn't Jesus considered a zombie?

Richard Pryor, dead at 65

And I didn't even know he was sick. If he can die before his time, am I next? Who would have thought that setting one's self on fire might alter life expectancy? Richard Pryor...hopefully you're in a better, less flammable, place.

I hate Kos...

what a freaking ass. Iraqis are risking death to vote. This will be what, the 3rd vote under fire in an effort to earn their freedom? And what is the reaction from KOSovo?

the entire Purple Finger is a myth.

New Orleans vs Terri Schiavo

Everything dies. That was partly the argument of the NY Times when they advocated letting Terri Schiavo starve to death. Yes, there were arguments on both sides...but in the end of the day, Terri was matter what anyone did. Just when she died was at issue.

New Orelans is dead. It was a city of 500,000 before Katrian. If press reports are accurate, roughly 80% of that number isn't coming back. No amount of money can change the fact that New Orleans was built in a swamp that will be reclaimed by the Altantic Ocean one day.

The NY Times on Sunday is not happy with the pace of reconstruction. Well, the answer is, New Orleans isn't coming back. Yes, the President said it would...but, it's not. The circumstances won't allow it. And right now, the local politicians don't deserve it.

We can't even get the levee boards to come under one single control. Local politicians don't realize...yet...that their corrupt game is over. No more money will be spent on a single levee until it is certain that the money won't be lost in a maze of corruption.

Let New Orleans die. She's led a good life. We'll speak well of her for years to come. But, like the ancient city of Troy, we should move on. The war is over...New Orleans has lost.

Arianna Huffington and sex

Arianna Huffington read an article while waiting for a plane and found out that 15 year old girls have sex now-a-days. As they mother of two teenage girls, this was shocking to her. In this post, she's decided her 16 year old daughter will now only be allowed to date impotent cyclists.

So...let's get this straight...a 16 year old girl is old enough to have an abortion without her mom's consent, but Arianna's daughter is not allowed to date men with a functioning anatomy.

So much for pro choice in the Huffington house...

They Think You're Stupid!

Tim Tagaris is the new web genius over at the DNC...

His 4:09 post, titled: They Think You're Stupid

His 3:46 post, titled: AR-Gov: Changing of the Guard

Tim is very excited. Hutchinson is down big in this poll...except..."We're not stupid" Tim has switched Halter's and Hutchinson's numbers in his post and in his analysis. Hutchinson really is at 56%.

here's the post...

KTHV TV. 684 Registered Voters. MoE +/- 3.8%Halter (D): 56%Hutchinson (R): 34%Other: 5%Undecided: 4%These numbers struck me initially because current, term-limited, Governor Mike Huckabee (R) has an approval rating of 59% in a recent Survey USA poll. Mike Beebe is currently Attorney General and Bill Halter is an ex-Social Security Administration Commissioner. Homeland Security has become a major issue in this race during the past week, given the report released by members of the 9/11 Commission that gave a "failing" grade to the government in taking steps to fix the type of problems that led to September 11, 2001. Republican candidate Asa Hutchinson served as the Undersecretary of Homeland Security and it appears he will be held to account in his current run for governor of Arkansas.

Hollywood news of the day...

The kid from "A Bronx Tale" shot a NYC Cop yesterday.

One of the suspects was identified by police as Lillo Brancato Jr., an actor who also appeared in several episodes of "The Sopranos" as Matt Bevilacqua, a mob wannabe who eventually was murdered. He made his debut in the Robert De Niro-directed film "A Bronx Tale" back in 1993.

Friday, December 09, 2005


There's no way I'm going to see this movie. No way. And here why...

I have no idea if it's true or not. I'm kicking myself on this. Here I am, a Jew, and of all the reviews I've read of this movie, I don't have any real sense if Spielberg has or has not been true to the story.

I might see it one day...but, in the meantime...I'm going back to school.

Starting with this book.

About the Author
Aaron J. Klein is Time magazine’s Military and Intelligence Affairs correspondent in the Jerusalem Bureau. He was the recipient of 2002 Henry Luce Award and has been a consultant for CNN. Klein was the military/security correspondent and analyst for Hadashot and Al-Hamishmar, two of Israel’s leading national newspapers. He is a contributor to Malam, the journal for former IDF Intelligence, Mossad and Inernal Security Agency officers. He teaches at Hebrew University and is a Captain in the IDF’s Intelligence.

do they really believe what they say?

Can Lawrence O'Donnell be serious? I think he is. He really really thinks his TV show is real. If only Karl Rove were to act like Toby Ziegler, America would be saved!

'West Wing' Lessons for Bush

According to a recent Cindy Adams column, President Bush has been watching re-runs of "The West Wing" on Bravo. I wish he was watching this season's episodes on NBC (Sundays at 8:00 P.M.). If he was watching this season, he would have learned what West Wing staffers should do when they leak classified information to reporters.

In episode four this season, Toby confessed to the chief of staff that he did it. In episode five, Toby offered his letter of resignation to the president, who refused to accept it and fired Toby on the spot. Toby marched out of the White House on his way to being indicted. By flipping over to "The West Wing" after "60 Minutes," Bush could have learned that the right thing for West Wing staffers to do is quit/get fired before getting indicted -- that the violation of the president's trust and the public trust is more than enough reason to leave the White House. That is something Karl Rove is never going to tell him.

"West Wing" DVD sets are always a good Christmas present (which is why we release the new sets in December), and they seem particularly welcome in the real White House this year, so if you're wondering what to get the man who has everything, get him a fresh set of season five for Air Force One.

(Full disclosure: I am embarrassed to have to admit that I don't make a dime from "West Wing" DVD sales. No, not even a penny.)

Joe Lieberman, Republican?

Being in the Senate is about power. Joe Lieberman wants it. His party won't give it to him. What will Joe do next? His decision might already be made...This was from KOSovo earlier today...

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), yesterday on the Bill Press Show: "I've spoken to Joe Lieberman and he knows he's out there alone. I mean, literally alone. Joe is a fine man, he has strong feelings, but he's just alone. Even Republicans don't agree with Joe."

The problem with this argument is, for one, Republicans do agree with Joe. From the war in Iraq to school vouchers, the Republicans have a lot in common with the conscience of the Senate.

And then there's this tease from Drudge...


I don't think he'll switch parties...but I think a position in the cabinent is not out of the question...

ps. Dean's not making him feel too welcome either...

April 2003. Senator Joe Lieberman declared that the capture of Baghdad and the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime vindicated his support for the invasion. "The vindication that I feel is the confidence that with Saddam gone, America's going to be a lot safer than it otherwise would have been," Lieberman said. House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt said that "it's a continuation of a historic, long-term trend that we stand on the right side."

Once again the dissenter, Dean said, "All these folks who are crowing about their vote and the outcome are going to learn that the occupation will be very difficult." He added, "I'm not a pacifist. We've removed a horrible dictator, but the price we're going to pay is down the road."

China KILLS 10 demonstrators

oh those crazy Chinese...why would Taiwan be afraid of being absorbed by the mainland?

BEIJING, China (AP) -- Hundreds of riot police have sealed off a southern Chinese village after fatally shooting as many as 10 demonstrators, villagers said Friday.
It was the deadliest known use of force by security forces against Chinese civilians since the killings around Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989 and marked an escalation in the social protests that have convulsed the Chinese countryside.
Police were searching for the protest organizers, villagers said.

and what were these enemies of the state mad at...

Thousands of people gathered Tuesday in Dongzhou, in southern Guangdong province, to protest the amount of money offered by the government as compensation for land taken to construct a wind power plant.

Eminent domain and clean of like what the left wants to do in the United States.

US vs EU terror cells...

both stories on Yahoo's top news page today...

SEATTLE - Six people have been arrested in connection with ecoterrorism attacks dating to 1998, including a fire at an Oregon poplar farm set at the same time as a devastating blaze at the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture.

MADRID, Spain - Police have arrested at least seven people suspected of financing and giving logistical support to an Islamic extremist group with links to al-Qaida, officials said Friday.
Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso said police who made the arrests late Thursday and early Friday in the Costa del Sol region had turned up no evidence that the detainees were planning an imminent attack in Spain.

Why are terrorists still attacking Spain? Oh yeah...because they're terrorists and they lie and they really don't give a crap that Spain pulled its support of Iraq.

Tough talk from the UN...

the Mullahs, today, are scared...really scared.

ElBaradei: World Losing Patience With Iran

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei said Friday the international community is losing patience with Iran over its nuclear program. ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said he hopes the outstanding nuclear issues with Iran will be clarified next year.
"They are inching forward and I'm asking them to leap forward," said ElBaradei, who shares the award with the IAEA.
He said he hopes outstanding nuclear issues with Tehran will be clarified by the time he presents his next report on Iran in March, because "the international community is losing patience with the nature of that program."

What a joke. You lose patience with a 3 year old. You lose patience when your kid begs "just one more minute of TV, Daddy?". You lose patience when the lady at Dunkin Donuts takes 5 minutes to get your coffee.

NY Times no likey...

Jon Corzine's pick for the Senate...

But since entering politics as a corruption-fighting mayor of Union City, N.J., Mr. Menendez has become a proponent of business as usual. He has long been an entrenched de facto leader of the Hudson County Democratic machine.

Most recently, Mr. Menendez has failed to answer questions about his relationship with Kay LiCausi, a young former aide of his. He has helped her get hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying contracts and political consulting work. Mr. Menendez says there is a line between his personal and public lives. But New Jersey voters have a right to wonder why that line seems to exist only to protect politicians from questioning, and never deters them from mixing their private relationships with their official duties.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Howard Dean, "Soothsayer"

Howard Dean should be fired over this. He's overstepped his authourity at the DNC big time. Here he is promoting himself as some sort of soothsayer, at the expense of Joe Biden, Joe Lieberman, Dick Gephardt, Tom Delay and John Kerry. Way to build the party.

Here's the link to the main DNC blog page. I'm posting it rather than the permalink so there's no confusion that this post was done by a DNC employee rather than a wing nut. Scroll down to "Soothsayer"

Here's the text in case the DNC deletes it...


From The New Republic:

February 2003. After Secretary of State Colin Powell made his case for war at the United Nations, most other leading Democrats applauded. Senator Joe Biden called Powell's case "very powerful and, I think, irrefutable." Senator John Kerry called it "compelling." Only Dean dissented. "I heard little today that leads me to believe that there is an imminent threat warranting unilateral military action by the United States against Iraq," he said.

Later that month, Dean warned that the Bush administration was preparing to invade Iraq unilaterally. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay charged that Dean "either doesn't know what he's talking about ... or he's seriously uninformed, or he's just misleading the American people and his party."


June 2003. As reports began to surface that the Bush administration might have misled the country about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, many leading Democrats were hesitant to question the administration's probity. Republicans dismissed any doubts. Senator George Allen asserted, "It's not a question." But Dean said, "We need a thorough look at what really happened going into Iraq. It appears to me that what the president did was make a decision to go into Iraq sometime in early 2002, or maybe even late 2001, and then try to get the justification afterward."


April 2003. Senator Joe Lieberman declared that the capture of Baghdad and the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime vindicated his support for the invasion. "The vindication that I feel is the confidence that with Saddam gone, America's going to be a lot safer than it otherwise would have been," Lieberman said. House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt said that "it's a continuation of a historic, long-term trend that we stand on the right side."

Once again the dissenter, Dean said, "All these folks who are crowing about their vote and the outcome are going to learn that the occupation will be very difficult." He added, "I'm not a pacifist. We've removed a horrible dictator, but the price we're going to pay is down the road."

"The D.C. definition of a gaffe is when you tell the truth and they think you shouldn't have." Read it--all if it--the whole piece is terrific.
Posted by Tim Tagaris at
04:30 PM Comments (3) TrackBacks (0)

Air Marshal shooting...

what a tragedy this is for everyone...

At least one passenger aboard American Airlines Flight 924 maintains the federal air marshals were a little too quick on the draw when they shot and killed Rigoberto Alpizar as he frantically attempted to run off the airplane shortly before take-off.
"I don't think they needed to use deadly force with the guy," says John McAlhany, a 44-year-old construction worker from Sebastian, Fla. "He was getting off the plane." McAlhany also maintains that Alpizar never mentioned having a bomb.

Here's the problem...and it's a big one...with the job that air marshals are tasked to do, mistakes like this will happen.

Dean is an idiot, part II

Dean is such an idiot...he can't even come up with his own plan. The Dean plan is actually the plan of the Center of American Progress. Here it is:{E9245FE4-9A2B-43C7-A521-5D6FF2E06E03}/redeployment.pdf

Here's the funny part...Dean can't even quote his/their plan correctly. In the radio interview, he calls for all 80,000 Guard and Reserve troops to be sent home immediately...except, if you read his plan rather than listen to Dean talk about his plan, you find there are only about 46,000 guard and reserve troops in Iraq (Dean's number). The written Dean plan only calls for these 46,000 guard and reserve troops to come home in 2006, not the full 80,000. The written plan has 14,000 of the 80,000 going to Kuwait, 18,000 to Afghanistan, 1000 to SE Asia and 1000 to Africa. You see, the spoken Dean plan has soldiers coming home that the written Dean plan has already committed to Kuwait, Afghanistan, SE Asia and Africa.

The written plan faults Bush for not clearly stating that the US has no intention of putting permanent military bases in Iraq. The written plan is silent on Kuwait's reaction to the permanent military base being proposed in Kuwait.

Other Highlights: the US should create a peace dividend for the Iraqi people, organize a donor conference, and we should work with Iran and Syria because it's in those countries interest to have a stable Iraq.

The plan is 11 pages long...why Dean can't quote correctly from an 11 page document speak volumes.

is CNN questioning the Holocaust?

is it just me, or is there something wrong with the way CNN writes this sentence in response to Ahmadinejad...

"If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe -- like in Germany, Austria or other countries -- to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe. You offer part of Europe and we will support it."
Historians say six million Jews were killed in the Nazi Holocaust. Ahmadinejad's remarks drew swift rebukes from Israel and Washington.

By using "historians", CNN is almost leaving the Holocaust up for debate. Things historians say are questioned all the time. Why not write the sentence as, "6 million Jews were killed in the Nazi Holocaust"?

Historians say Ted Turner founded CNN. Historians say the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th. Historians say the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.

Why is the Holocaust no more a fact than everything I wrote above?

UPDATE: CNN has changed their wording. See here:

Six million Jews were killed in the Nazi Holocaust. Ahmadinejad's remarks drew swift rebukes from Israel and Washington.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

December 7, 1941

Here's the speech that rallied the nation...notice how FDR is never remembered for his faith, but the tone of the speech would have had FDR labeled a "Jesus nut" in today's media age.

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.
It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.
Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. This morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.
Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.
As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.
Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.
I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.
Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.
With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounded determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.
I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire."

Woo-suk you SUCK!

funny how when this fraud out of South Korea came out with his news of some sort of cloning breakthrough, the cry from the MSM was how the US was losing it technological edge. Well, to update those who haven't been following, first Dr. Woo-suk had to resign because he possibly forced women at the research center to donate eggs or lose their jobs. Then yesterday, certain irregularities in his work have been uncovered. When Woo-suk published his findings last year, the MSM ignored the many scientists who questioned him at the time.

And today...

SEOUL, South Korea - Prominent South Korean stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk, recently embroiled in a scandal over ethics lapses in his research, was hospitalized for extreme stress and fatigue Wednesday, a hospital spokesman said. Hwang was admitted to Seoul National University Hospital, spokesman Pi Ji-young said. Hwang's doctor said Tuesday that poor health would prevent him from working anytime soon.

Republican's win big in the CA - 48

A Republican state senator sailed to victory Tuesday in a special congressional election in coastal Orange County featuring a maverick, third-party candidate who sought to capitalize on growing fears of illegal immigration.In a race that drew national attention, Sen. John Campbell (R-Irvine) held a wide lead throughout the evening, ending the night with nearly 45% of the vote. But it was Minuteman Project co-founder and first-time candidate Jim Gilchrist of the American Independent Party who drew the spotlight with his one-issue campaign.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

NY Times and Female suicide bombers

Why doesn't the NY Times refer to the latest bombers in Iraq as female?

There's this passage...

The bombers, each wearing explosive vests, made their way into the academy despite what some police officials described as meticulous searches at the entrances.

The logical conclusion is that the guards at the door didn't search these women as well as they should becasue they were WOMEN. This seems like a change in tactics on the part of the bombers that deserves, at least, a mention.

John Kerry on US troops

This is John Kerry on Sunday's Face the Nation...

But I think what we need to do is recognize what we all agree on, which is, you've got to begin to set benchmarks for accomplishment; you've got to begin to transfer authority to the Iraqis, and there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the -- of -- of -- of -- historical customs, religious customs, whether you like it or not. Iraqis should be doing that.

As Rush points out, John Kerry doesn't think US soldiers should be terrorizing Iraqi civilians...that's a job for the Iraqis themselves! John Kerry...still against outsourcing.

I'm glad John Kerry is worried about the historical customs of Iraqi know, customs like thou shall not blow up Iraqi Police stations...

Two Female Suicide Bombers Kill 27 in Iraq

Two women strapped with explosives blew themselves up at Baghdad's police academy on Tuesday, killing 27 people and wounding 32, the U.S. military said. The women blew themselves up in a classroom filled with students, the statement from Task Force Baghdad said. No U.S. forces were killed or wounded in the attack, it added.

trade your Bible for porn

A group of atheists at the University of Texas in San Antonio is trying to tempt college kids into trading their Bibles for pornography.
It's part of a program called Smut for Smut sponsored by the student organization called Atheist Agenda.

In other news, local churches are reporting an increase in the number of Bibles stolen during Sunday services...

Howard Dean is an idiot

he really is. Let's take a look at what we will call the Dean Strategy for Iraq.

1. 80,000 Guard and Reserve troops home in 6 months.
2. send 20,000 more troops to Afghanistan
3. set up a permanent base in the Middle East to fight al Queda, but this base should not be in Iraq.

Let's analyze this...

1. It's not so simple to just send the Guard and Reserve home. They're integrated into the armed forces as a whole. Guard and Reserve units have specialties that you can't simply remove. When troops do start coming home, don't expect the Guard and Reserves to be first.
2. The problem with sending more troops to Afghanistan is that we're not welcome there. Aside from being welcome, the question is are they even needed? Dean is quick to point to America's failing role in Vietnam. Well, one thing about Vietnam was that the political leaders were running the war vs. the Generals and Admirals calling the shots. Has a single authority figure in the Army called for more troops in Afghanistan?
3. Here's Howard Dean at his most idiotic. Please, Governor, tell me where these troops should be stationed? Does Dean realize he is asking for a permanent base of operations in the Middle East? The only viable countries are Kuwait and Jordan and I highly doubt either of those two countries want thousands of American soldiers setting up shop in their country.

My question is why is Dean taking a position at all? It's not the role of the head of the DNC to make these types of proposals. My guess is that Dean's putting himself on record so that he can win the far left/anti war crowd come 2008. No matter what Dean says, he's running for President. No matter how Iraq turns out, Dean will say it was a disaster. And with the Daily Kos crowd's increasing anxiety toward Hawks like Hillary and Wes Clark, there is a need for an anti-war hero.

Dean 2008 has begun...

more secret CIA

thanks to Human Rights watch, the secret prisons in Eastern Europe have been shut down. Of course, the good thing about the CIA is that they ususally have a second option. In this case, the "North African" desert.

Dec. 5, 2005 — Two CIA secret prisons were operating in Eastern Europe until last month when they were shut down following Human Rights Watch reports of their existence in Poland and Romania.
Current and former CIA officers speaking to ABC News on the condition of confidentiality say the United States scrambled to get all the suspects off European soil before Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived there today. The officers say 11 top al Qaeda suspects have now been moved to a new CIA facility in the North African desert.

Monday, December 05, 2005

9/11 Commission and failing grades...

The 9/11 commission released a report card of how the US Govt. is doing in the war on Terror. Below are the links to the relevant stories and their headlinesare... Panel Slams U.S. Security Progress More F's than A's US gets 'F' on Terror Panel rips US on security U.S. gets many Fs in terror preparation

CNN, although I doubt they'll admit it, actually had for most of the day "US gets mostly Fs" as the story, which, when you look on the report card, you find is absolute bunk.

And actually, when you do a GPA on the report card, the US ends up with a 1.79, which is a strong C-. Not great, but, slightly less than average.

The Bush Bounce

Rassmussen has the Bush approval rating at 48%.

Support for the war on terror is up 9% in a month.

Dewine about even in Ohio.

Lionel Tate, "I hear voices"

Lionel Tate is back in the news. For those who don't remember Lionel was the 12 year old sentenced to life in prison for killing a little girl. His defence then was that he was practicing a wrestling move he saw on tv and that the death was accidental. The left was up in arms that such young boy could be sentenced to life, and through a variety of legal moves, he ended up having the sentence reduced...but with conditions. He was due in court to answer charges that he broke his parole when he held up a pizza delivery boy. I posted about it here when it happened in May. To avoid the hearing, Lionel sent a note to the judge that he was hearing voices and that he wanted to kill himself. The judge, by Florida law, has to have Lionel evaluated to make sure he is competent to stand trial.

Lionel, the voice you hear is the ghost of the little girl you killed. It's called GUILT. And, it doesn't mean you're means you're an animal and incredibly stupid for wasting your second (actually third) chance on life.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that little Lionel gets the fate he in prison.

CA - 48

guess what...there's an election tomorrow...a special election to fill Chris Cox's vacant seat.

The DNC sees hope!

The district is reliably Republican-leaning and includes Orange County, California. However, with Gilchrist and the Republican nominee Campbell splitting the traditional GOP vote, Young has a great opportunity to sneak up the middle and steal a victory. Further, we all learned while wathcing the special election in OH-2 earlier this year that Democrats who present a powerful vision for the future and message of progress can compete anywhere in the country, regardless of past electoral outcomes in those districts.

My prediction, Republican by a landslide. Keep trying Howard, keep trying...

Sec. Def. Joe Lieberman

that's the latest rumor...this, of course, would put someone like Chris Shays in line for the temporary seat and make him the front runner going into 2006.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Put Oprah on Hold, Hugo line 1...

A peek in Gov. Blanco's post Katrina inbox...

Other e-mails reflect the need to dampen rumors that swirled about violence and deaths. On Sept. 3, Blanco chief of staff Andy Kopplin reminded staffers not to pass on unfounded information, after he heard that evacuees had been quoted on the radio saying eight people per hour were dying inside the Louisiana Superdome. The report was false.
"Ok, please don't spread info like this even if conveyed by media as it is unconfirmed," Kopplin wrote.
Larry King, Dr. Phil, Oprah Winfrey and other television stars wanted Blanco on their TV shows; reporters from around the world wanted to interview her.
Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, contacted the governor's office on Aug. 30. He wanted Blanco to call him back to discuss Katrina.
"This might be one we should return as soon as possible," Paine Gowen, an executive assistant to Blanco, wrote in an e-mail.
Cuban leader Fidel offered to send medical help. Louisiana economic development chief Mike Olivier wrote in an e-mail he had spoken with the Cuban ambassador. He suggested some sort of response to the dictator's offer: "Even a written email from the Governor would be good."

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Wasps as explosives detectors

It seems that you can train a certain type of wasp to find explosives, drugs, chemicals, etc. It takes about 5 minutes for the wasp to acquire this skill.

Here's how they do it...

Rains said the wasps can be trained to detect a specific odor very quickly. The researchers expose hungry wasps to the target odor, then let them feed on sugar water for 10 seconds and then give them a one-minute break. After three repetitions of sniffing and feeding, the wasps associate the odor with feeding.

and this is pretty cool...

"What we have ... is a technology-free organism that you can quickly program and use in a highly mobile way," said Lewis, who believes the Wasp Hound could be used to search for explosives at airports, locate bodies, monitor crops for toxins and detect diseases such as cancer from the odors in a person's breath.

and this...

Jerry Bromenshenk, a research professor at Montana State University, is using bees for mine detection. The bees congregate over mines or other explosives and their locations are mapped using laser-sensing technology.

Friday, December 02, 2005

John Bolton threw a stapler at me!

Random thought of the day...after all we heard about John Bolton, wouldn't you have thought there would have been at least one case of him yelling at someone at the UN by now? I kind of hoped he would be throwing staplers at some of the clowns over on the East River, but no such luck.

Here's the NY Times on Bolton today...

Muscular diplomacy is one thing. But John Bolton has been all muscle and no diplomacy as the United States ambassador to the United Nations. Now he's threatening to hold up its entire two-year operating budget unless his demands for major reforms are met almost immediately.
As it happens, the American reform agenda contains many good elements. No one can seriously argue that the U.N. is a rationally structured, efficiently managed body. And letting countries like Cuba, Libya and Sudan sit on a human rights commission that judges the records of other countries diminishes the U.N.'s most important authority, its moral authority. But just as the Senate feared when it declined to confirm Mr. Bolton in the job, his blustering unilateral style is turning him into one of the biggest obstacles to achieving changes that had been within reach before he appeared on the scene.

So, the NY Times editorial board thinks the UN needs to be reformed, just not all at once. I guess the Times has found such great success in its go slow reform approach with its newsroom that it thinks this method should be applied to other institutions...

But...think about this...the NY Times doesn't seem to have a problem with quick reforms with things like recommendations by the 9/11 commission...or the establishment of the Dept. of Homeland Security...or with anything Eliot Spitzer wants to change...but, John Bolton needs to take his time.

Of course, later on in the editorial, the NY Times points out why Bolton needs to move fast, but doesn't alert its readers why this is an issue...

First, significant authority over appointments and management needs to be shifted from the General Assembly, which has 191 members, to the secretary general's office. Just as important, the secretary general (a new one will be chosen next year) must exercise this new authority wisely, boldly and effectively.

The reason Bolton needs to move now is that it shouldn't surprise anyone that most of the UN members aren't eager to give up their power to one guy.

And then there is this from the editorial...

Hard as it is for Americans to believe, much of the world now suspects Secretary General Kofi Annan of being Washington's lackey.

This is the key...Annan is done. The 191 members, most of whom should probably have their leaders shot in the public square, are going to choose someone who isn't America's lackey. If we want reform, it has to be done now.

So, Mr. Bolton, start throwing staplers...

Daily Kos and its advertisers

The Daily Kos, on its home page, has an ad for the new Showtime drama, "Sleeper Cell". Here's the summary of episode 1 titled, Al-Faitha:

Darwyn Al-Sayeed is a Muslim ex-con who has just been released from prison and finds his way to an Islamic extremist named Farik, who recruits him to join a terrorist sleeper cell planning an attack in Los Angeles.

What's Kos trying to tell us? There actually is a danger from terrorists inside the US? So, the threat isn't hyped?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

great levee story out of New Orleans...

If I lived, you know, below the ocean and the only thing between me and the Gulf of Mexico was a little concrete wall, I might...just might...check on those walls...

From the Times Pic:

When engineers and Orleans Levee Board officials gather twice a year to tour the city's floodwalls, records show that the inspection requires less planning than the day's final event: lunch.
Participants acknowledge that the five-hour survey of the 125-mile levee system amounts to little more than a drive-by. Not so for the post-inspection lunches of crab cake with champagne dill sauce topped off by a dessert of white chocolate mousse with a raspberry coulis.
In advance of the meals, Chief Engineer Stevan Spencer, the board's top flood protection administrator, has personally tended to menu selection and travel arrangements for Levee Board commissioners and other guests, records from 2003 and 2004 show. And when it comes time to settling the check, Spencer has made it his job to seek reimbursement from the Levee Board and hand-deliver payments to restaurants.
Agency records show that attendance during the past two years has ranged as high as 56 people with lunch bills ranging from $682 to $973. At the October 2003 luncheon, 32 of the 39 guests chose the prime rib, at $18.50 a pop.
The guest list for the event, held annually in late spring and early fall, typically includes representatives of the Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Transportation and Development as well as Levee Board staff members.

greetings from KOSovo...

...uh oh...the Daily Kos has called the Derb a Perv...

Open thread

by kos

Thu Dec 01, 2005 at 11:49:10 AM PDT
Dear god -- The National
Review's John Derbyshire is into
15-year-old Lolitas
. I hope he's not acting on those desires.

Never send a woman to do a man's job...

yet another instance where a woman fails to compete in what has always been a male dominated industry...

(AP) Authorities have identified a woman who carried out a suicide attack against a U.S. patrol in Iraq as a 38-year-old Belgian who had two marriages to radical Muslim men.Muriel Degauque, who grew up near the industrial city of Charleroi, entered Iraq from Syria last month and detonated explosives strapped to her body in a failed attack against U.S. troops.Her mother, Liliane Degauque, told Belgian TV networks that her daughter was "so nice" but began to change when she married an Algerian man and turned to Islamic fundamentalism. The case underscored the growing reach of international terrorism. "It is the first time that we see that a Western woman, a Belgian, marrying a radical Muslim, and is converted up to the point of becoming a jihad fighter," federal police director Glenn Audenaert said.

Thanks Belgium! And, W.T.F. is a Jihad Fighter? Note to Belgium, they're called TERRORISTS.

UPDATE: The only Belgian I know just informed me this woman is a Walloon and I shouldn't hold Belgium proper responsible.

UPDATE 2: I thought my friend was joking, but get this...there really is such a thing as a Walloon!

PETA will love this...

...grinding up chickens might stop global warming...

Fuel is the thing with feathers. Hoping to find an efficient way to help power automobiles and trucks, researchers at the University of Arkansas say they have developed a way to convert chicken fat to a biodiesel fuel.
"We're trying to expand the petroleum base," said Brian Mattingly, a graduate student in chemical engineering. "Five to 20 percent blending of biodiesel into petroleum-based diesel significantly reduces our dependence on foreign oil."
Mattingly's research allows biodiesel producers to assess different materials to see what works best. Producers will be able to choose the best way to convert different grades of chicken fat into fuels.
R.E. Babcock, a professor of chemical engineering, said chicken-fat fuels are better for the environment and the machines.
"They burn better, create less particulate matter and actually lubricate and clean things like cylinders, pistons and fuel lines," Babcock said.

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