Saturday, December 31, 2005

Alito

     I'd been a little defensive for Alito before, mostly because I saw criticism of two of his dissents to be overblown.  In the case of Doe V Groody, the one where a 10 year old girl was strip searched (by a female cop, of course) was not about that, but about warrant requirements. Remember, the order that said "search everyone" was stapled to the warrant, and signed by the same Judge.  Try to put yourself in the boots of a cop.  What would you do?

     However, I definitely am against voting for Alito, and I think a very good summary of his religious loony position can be found here

     Remember, an Originalist would look to early America and notice that the mail was delivered on Sunday, no matter how many thousand times the Christians complained that it hampered their ability to be pious and postmasters.  Contrariwise, the article informs us

And writing that employees should not face the "cruel choice between religion and employment," Alito found in favor of an Orthodox Jewish professor who claimed discrimination because her superiors would not accommodate her Sabbath observance.

     Piss poor "originalist" that is.  Much more of a religious nutjob.

For Better or Worse

     Tim Saler at Victory06.org did an interview with me concerning my theory of terrorism and linguistics.  Check it out, leave a comment... Interview (Int’l): Josh Narins of "Remain Calm"

Two Things Re:Iraq

     The longer Iraqis have "democracy," it seems, the longer it takes them to count the votes [16 days from election and counting].

     Thanks to Cursor who links to Tom Tomorrow who links to these documents at Craig Murray's blog (former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan) concerning rendition.  If factual, proves Jack Straw lied a lot.  More importantly, and part of the day and age, the UK government is trying to suppress the documents, so he has published them all over the net.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Hrm

     What is most important to you?  If the answer is foreign policy, there is a chance you should vote Republican in the 2006 _House_ elections.

     Jim Leach of Iowa is a liberal Republican (well, even the most liberal Republicans are now centrists, and not really liberal) will take over the House International Relations Committee as Henry Hyde has announced his retirement

     The top three Democrats on the House Int'l Relations Cmte, Lantos and Berman of Califoria, and Ackerman of New York, all voted with the Republicans, and against the majority of House Democrats, for the war, back when invading Iraq was the most important decision most lawmakers in the modern Congress have ever made.

     Meanwhile, bucking his party, Jim Leach voted against the war, joining only five other Republicans in Congress.  Jim Leach voted against the rule which prevented amendment of the bogus Hunter amendment which made a mockery of Rep Murtha's remarks.

American Conservatives

     This event, aired on C-SPAN yesterday and titled "American Foreign Policy and the Modern Conservative Movement" seemed like a duel between intelligent traditional conservatives and one moron neo-con, Frank Gaffney, Jr..

     This quote was _not_ made by Iranian President Ahmadenijad.  Someone had asked (Mead? Kurth? Kersch?) about his peace plan for the Middle East, he replied (close paraphrase)"I'd build a time machine, go back to Bavaria in 1945, and declare it the Jewish national home."

     This aired November 3rd, and it was only one month later that the world got so pissed off about Ahmadinejad's similar comment (and also at the Holocaust=myth comments).

     Conservatives and Democrats (i.e. neither neo-cons nor Bush cheerleaders) would be well served to watch this program if it re-airs.  It's not filled with an excess of positive thinking, but it is useful to watch Gaffney get so thoroughly stomped.

Isreal's Buffer Zone Inside Gaza

     The logic of the act is that if there are no people in this border, or "buffer", zone, then there won't be anymore Qassem (homemade) rockets fired into Israel.  What's important here?  The entire buffer is on the Palestinian side.  Israel has declared that the Palestinians are 100% at fault.  Not one yard of Israel is suitable for protecting Israel, only Palestinian land.  One of the most densest populated and poorest places on Earth.

     Sorry for being myopic.  The real issue is Russia.  Americans dropped the ball after the fall of the wall.  Even Milton Friedman has admitted, in not these precise words, that building a Republic was our top priority, not selling off the Russian state for scrap.  In fact, the exact same argument can be used in Iraq.  JP Bremer expended effort in the first year not to educate Iraqis about elections and democracy, that rat bastard killer scumbag, but he spent a lot of effort setting up the wholesale selloff of all of Iraqi's assets.  There are decent Republicans, but none of them are in positions of power.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Warmonger Report

     Israeli peices of crap who pose as humans have been busy.  There are some fine Israelis.  I wish them luck.

     In an attempt to shred the road map, again the Israelis have begun the process of increasing the number of settler housing units in the West Bank, by over 220 this time.  The bullshit-propaganda-from-the-getgo "road map to hide the fact Bush has no sane policy in the Middle East" says no new housing in the settlements.  Ariel Sharon says "fuck that."  Bush is usually quiet about such things, and, in any event, the billions of dollars in US civilian and military aid continue unabated.  Meanwhile, Palestine has some of the poorest, most overcrowded people on Earth.  American self-respect demands we send more attack helicopters to Israel.

     The Israeli Air Force has been flying over and bombing "independent" Gaza since its inception.  Today they launched five raids, and hit no people and a few buildings.  This is in response to rocket attacks which hit no people and damaged nothing.  That's what we call a proportionate response, right?  In similarly insane news, the Israelis will flower Gaza with leaflets which will warn the Palestinian police about upcoming rocket attacks (how nice, but wouldn't installing phone lines and remembering the numbers be cheaper?) and putting full blame for any dead Palestinians on the police (for not evacuating everyone whenever Israel says so).

     In more deadly news, for the long term, the scum-Murdoch Jerusalem Post is leading with a story that the IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz says Iran may have a nuclear bomb by 2008, a far cry from the US estimate of 2015.  Halutz says it might be as long as 2015, but why take chances?  The Israeli security establishment wants to pre-emptively bomb Iran's nuclear bomb facilities (which worked perfectly at Iraq Osirik, don't you think?)  Honestly, when I think of Begin and Sadat I think of peace deals.  Here is a report from the Begin-Sadat center describing how Iran must be bombed right away.  It's filled with crap-headed analysis including this quote "the Chief of the IDF Intelligence Department, Maj. Gen. Aharon Zeevi (Farkash) warned that March 2006 constitutes the 'point of no return'; i.e., after that date, any diplomatic efforts to curtail the Iranian nuclear program will be pointless."

     Would anyone on Earth like to make a bet that, on its current course, Israel is going to come through this OK?  Anyone?

     Remember, the Christian Zionists aren't protecting Israel, they are using it.  And I told many Israelis about that when I was there.  Not enough, and no one important, I admit.  When the rapture comes the Jews will convert or die, right Bush?

Monday, December 26, 2005

Edward O. Wilson

     He wrote a book on Darwin's four books.  He made a point which struck me as terribly amusing, which I (perhaps entirely rewrite) as follows:

     Since no one has shown how God can wave his hand and create an eye or a rotary flagella, the theory of Intelligent Design has problems, and these problems can only be removed by removing God from the process of evolution.

The Age of Yellow Journalism

     Pulitzer had decent politics, Hearst did not, and they both excited the public into wanting the Spanish-American war (oddly, Hearst's papers were among the last to react to the Maine explosion, was he, in some way, responsible?).  So, the question is, when did this age of errors end?  What stopped it?  I've never been able to find out.  But it certainly was over after Hearst and Pulitzer were dead. 

     Kerry Packer, of Australia, is dead.

Jobs Quote from Cornford's Microcosmographica Academica
[Jobs] fall into two classes, My Jobs and Your Jobs.  My Jobs are public-spirited proposals, which happen (much to my regret) to involve the advancement of a personal friend, or (still more to my regret) of myself.  Your Jobs are insidious intrigues for the advancement of yourself and your friends, speciously disguised as public-spirited proposals.
Damn the Iraqis

     Peter Pace, not a General who has impressed me much before, admits the Iraqis want us out.    The GOP leadership wants us to stay.  Fucking Lieberman wants us to stay.  Who cares what those "people" in "Iraq" say, right?  They don't vote.

     I'm listening to Craig Crawford at Congressional Quarterly talk about his book, about politicians who attack the media.  It is kinda nice because one rarely hears a Southern accent on a leftist in the major media.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

How Odd

     Marine Captain and classics major Nathaniel Fick is on C-SPAN2's BookTV now.  He participated in both Afghanistan and Iraq.  It's so different.  He honestly talks about killing innocent Iraqis (and the way the command didn't want to lift a finger to help an injured Iraqi kid) and how the situation was _not_only_ starting to turn bad very quickly (by the time they got to Baghdad!) _but_also_ how the potential threats (the 20-40 year old men, as opposed to children and women) were _never_ particularly happy about the invasion, even in the South.  The book he wrote is called "One Bullet Away"

Friday, December 23, 2005

Sorries

     Been totally wrapped up in my map site.  I added a new winning margins (log scale) map to the election 2000 page over at Wikipedia.  Remember that stupid red/blue map county map?  Well, if I don't do an adjusted log scale of the data for the "winning margins" map, Los Angeles County (won by Gore by about 1,500,000 votes) fades out the rest of the country entirely. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Abramoff/Delay

     I've only made three posts which reference this issue, hopefully in part because other people have done a good job (including animated web pages explaining the messy business.

     Thanks to anyone who did make sense of this issue to internet audience.  It is snowballing well, and that is a good thing.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Your Job

     Should you choose to accept it, is to put every law-breaking government officer in jail.  Including the ones reading this (or their boss, or their boss's boss, or their boss's boss's boss, whoever would be appropriate).

Prolly, You've Heard

     the histrionic propagand of the mighty wurlitzer spew the hate-filled money-grubbing mantra of Morales and Chavez hating.  NarcoNews has a far more reasoned perspective on matters Latin American (that's a slogan the Economist use[sd])

  • Coca: Evo has not said his government will unilaterally decriminalize coca. On the contrary, they have agreed to respect all previous international accords on coca eradication, including those signed with the United States.
  • Economic Policy: A recent in-depth report published by the reputable Bolivian NGO Center for Labor and Agrarian Studies (CEDLA in its Spanish subtitles) on the three leading political parties’ governmental plans finds that “the electoral proposals of MAS, Podemos (Tuto’s party) and UN (National Unity Party) maintain a neoliberal economic political orientation that favors the accumulation of transnational capital and the growth of the primary-export sectors, with the state’s role being to guarantee the reproduction of private capital—fundamentally transnational—in Bolivia’s strategic economic sectors.”
  • Gas: MAS has stated that it will respect the Hydrocarbons Law signed on May 18, 2005—the controversial bill that sparked the May/June mobilizations of this year (the infamous Second Gas War). As for the MAS’s “nationalization” promises, CEDLA’s investigation finds that all three parties’ proposals "seek to veil their interest in maintaining, with certain differences, the monopoly control by the transnational corporations of the hydrocarbon resources of the country."

     I can't prove they will fulfill their election promises, but school these peices of shit the next time you hear their lies, OK?

Highly Reserved

     Feeling piqued?  Noticed well beyond the normal call?  You aren't the only one.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Blair or Special Branch renegades

     Three years ago the British gov't gave itself the authority to end the authority of the Northern Ireland Assmebly (sorta like the Scottish Parliament) in because three Irish Republican Army members were connected to a spying/leaking case. 

     The "case" was named Stormontgate, after the Irish Parliament building (the quite attractive Stormont).  The case was, in the last week, dropped and all the accused were acquitted.  Now a 20 year British Agent, who had infiltrated Sinn Fein (the political wing of IRA) says the whole Stormontgate affair was a scam.

     Either Prime Minister Tony Blair is using false charges to undermine democracy, or he can't control his own damn spies.

     However, it isn't too hard to imagine that an ex-infiltrator would have something the IRA leadership could pin on him, to force him to talk.  Who knows, either way?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

A Joke

     So, some scientists have developed a new test, hopefully more definitive, to determine whether or not a person is sane.  For part of it, the tested person watches film clips, and is asked to say what happens next.  For example, they can watch a man and a woman walk down the street together, and the woman is obviously either about to break up with the man, or is about to tell him she is pregnant, or whatever.  The film stops and the insane person is asked "What were those two people going to do next?"

     He answers "Break for lunch."

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Straighter Dope

     A host of news services, from Bloomberg to the CBC, the AP, to the Ireland and a Chinese news service are reporting that, basically, Bush has accepted responsibility for bringing the nation to war on faulty intelligence.

     Here is what the President also said that pathetic journalists like Nedra Pickler seem to have missed...

At any point along the way Saddam Hussein could have avoided war by complying with the just demands on the international community.  The United States did not choose war, the choice was Saddam Hussein's.

     In other words, he blamed the war on Saddam Hussein, which is the opposite of taking responsibility for bringing the nation to war.  Only one story is convenient. 

     As an aside, did "taking responsibility" strike anyone else as a completely meaningless gesture, like when he "took responsibility" for Katrina?  Does it mean he'll pay to fix things?  Does it mean he'll do time for tens of thousands of cases of negligent homicide?  What does it mean?  Bush is devaluing the very concept of responsibility.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Bradford Berenson

     Would someone please ask the White House if this ex-White House official speaks for them.

     He asserts that the current court martials, used at Guantanamo Bay, for instance, are the fairest and most generous to the defendant of any in the history of humankind.  He is so terrible. 

     What I need is much longer debates.  I imagine that stupid talking points (he called his 8 points "principles") whither under careful attack.  Berenson was so offensive.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Thousands of Rioters

     Christians of western European descent were on the rampage in and near the beaches of Sydney, New South Wales, in recent days.  For a sane Australian's perspective, try Disaster Plan.

     If instead you want to see the myopic worldview of the Muslim haters, try LittleGreenFucktards or Tim Blair.  Blair has a lot of links, but the scumbag actually suggests that there were equal numbers of bat-weilders.  Indeed (pun: Instaidiot says "indeed" a lot, and links to Tim Blair for this story).

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Microcosmographia Academica
A fine read.  Short, sweet, and to the point.  It says it is about academic politics (based on the author's long experience at Cambridge University) and was written in 1908.  It seems to be about any politics.  Since the first edition is all I see online, I will include the preface to the Second Edition here:
There was a time toward the end of 1914 when many people imagined that after the war human nature, in our part of the world, would be different. They even thought it would be better in some ways. I have an idea that I shared in this illusion. But my friends who are still active in this microcosm tell me that academic human nature, at any rate, remains true to the ancient type. Moreover, a short an inglorious career in the home forces and in a government department has convinced me that the academic species is only one member of a genus wider than I had supposed. Frequenters of the Church Congress, too, have admitted that they sometimes turn to the pages of this guide for help. Considering all this, I have persuaded the publishers to reprint it as it stands.
and the preface to first edition, also not at the website
I fancy (though I am not sure) that there is just one feature of academic life that has become a little more prominent since the war. If I could have recaptured the mood of the fortnight in which this book was written, I might have added a chapter on Propaganda, defined as that branch of the art of lying which consists in very nearly deceiving your friends without quite deceiving your enemies. But the subject is not yet ripe for treatment; the art is still imperfect. We must leave it to be worked out by the party whose mission it is to keep the university safe for aristo-democracy.
Lieberman and the Democrats

     I think it is fair to start by giving credit to Lieberman for doing a lot better in the 2004 Democrat primary than I remember him getting credit for.  He certainly did far better in the polls than Senator Edwards, for example, or even Senator Kerry.  His appeal, it should be noted, was limited to the Northeast, while only Dean and Clark won polls all around the country.

     And although Lieberman might be fairly be considered a centrist Democrat, Poole and Rosenthal have him just three spots to the right of "liberal" hero Barack Obama. 

     That said, Lieberman has recently been getting some press for his pro-war, pro-Bush comments concerning Iraq.  I listened to these comments.  He could not handle a debate on the subject.  His factual grasp of the situation, and/or historical parallels, seemed non-existent.  The press corps doesn't seem to be making an issue of the facts, not with Bush, with Lieberman, or with any of the war supporters.  The following image was what I saw when I followed a link to this story from the San Jose Mercury News.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Fixed

     My web site for maps had a bug, I fixed it.  Thanks for your patronage

Thursday, December 08, 2005

If Your Will Has Been Shaken, the Weather Will Win

     Reuters begins an article "Short-term targets and tight timetables are no solution to fighting climate change, Australia's environment minister said on Thursday" and did not follow it up by suggesting the climate would be encouraged by any effort to stop messing with it.

     What few Americans realize is that Australia is Fox News.  Rupert Murdoch is an Australian who exerts far more power there than he does in America (granting that America exerts more power, overall).  I believe that Bob "the Silver Bodgie" Hawke (as exquisitely (and painfully) described John Pilger in his book "A Secret Country") was actually the first example of "third way" politics practiced by Clinton and Blair (Murdoch runs "Sky News" in the UK).  Hawke had been the head of the Australian Trades Union Council and was later Prime Minister.  Murdoch was driven insane by Edward Gough Whitlam, a man who can easily be described as one who brought progress to the entire world; he was ahead of the curve of the world.  Whitlam was also the only Prime Minister sacked by the Monarch of England's representative (the Governor-General) in Australia.  Monarchy is so passé.

Kenya

     I am no expert on such matters.  What is a good blog on the current situation in Kenya?

Krepinevich, Again

     This guy has a PhD, but you can bet your bum it isn't in military history.  He taught at one of the "War Colleges" but you can bet your bum he wasn't popular.

     What does he say, in front of a bunch of people?  That the process of rotating Generals out of the field was bad policy.  He said FDR wouldn't have pulled Patton from Europe.  He said Lincoln wouldn't have pulled Grant from the field.  What this unobservant "nerd" neglects to note is that those generals were succesful at accomplishing war aims.  There is no monumental success in Iraq that would protect any General.

     In fact during WWI and WWII, during the Civil War and the War of American Independence, failing Generals were simply fired.

     Krepinevich doesn't even know what democracy is, and he appears with Senator Lieberman at this event, war-hawking.

Security Coversheets

     Tip to ArmsControlWonk.  Alternative coversheets for classified information (pdf), courtesy of the Federation of American Scientists.

My Map Site

     Please check it out.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Roberts Court

     For the second time (at least) the Roberts court has released its audio recordings of the courts proceedings the same day.

     This particular time the released recording included material that one doesn't normally hear in such tapes (admission of lawyers to the Supreme Court Bar).

     This is the C-SPAN Court. 

     Now we need to get some cabinet and NSC meetings released.  Until then, believe it or not, C-SPAN leads to tyranny.  If ONLY the President is free from public scrutiny and rampant criticism of his actual job performance, then the President will enjoy the greatest "maybe he's OK" margin.

Waron Jesus

     I already have this post which discusses how mail service occured on Sundays in early America.  This is from a thought provoking 1961(?) speech by Kurt Gödel, which will appeal to anyone who is interested in math and philosophy and reads my blog and who has spare time.  It does, however, have a great quote:

I believe that the most fruitful principle for gaining an overall view of the possible world-views will be to divide them up according to the degree and the manner of their affinity to or, respectively, turning away from metaphysics (or religion). In this way we immediately obtain a division into two groups: scepticism, materialism and positivism stand on one side, spiritualism, idealism and theology on the other.

     The war on Christmas meme is a tactic.  It is, luckily, an appeal to the base.  It will not move moderates, and _will_ alienate people.  I might be letting the cat out of the bag here.

Monday, December 05, 2005

An Iraq Deception

     How many times have you heard that "most" of the attacks are happening in "just four" provinces of Iraq.  When they say "most" they mean "some number slightly greater than 50%".  The deception comes when you realize that the populations of those four provinces is greater than 40% of the total. 

     From the census done recently by the Ministries of Trade and Planning.  Baghdad: 6.38M, alAnbar 1.28M, Salahaddin 1.08M, Ninawa 1.37M, total 27.474M.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

John Ralston Saul interview

     I've heard Milton Friedman say that _any_ spending by government is socialism (that would include, of course, the production of pyramids or golden thrones).  I've always thought that Thomas Friedman was a fricking joke, if not an outright racist peice of shit.  Here are a couple quotes from/on John Ralston Saul, the first from an interview done at Mother Jones magazine with its editor, Julian Brookes.

First of all, Friedman is barely worth considering. It's basically one of those 'How to succeed' books; it's very embarrassing, frankly.
and, from some random source, a snippet about his book The Collapse of Globalism
Saul also quotes the regret of Milton Friedman, who had advised emerging countries in Eastern Europe to "privatize, privatize, privatize," when he should have been telling them to start by building robust legal and political systems. Markets are, according to the mythology behind them, supposed to be self-regulating. They aren't.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Huh?

     I have a post to write, but check this quote out from today's Bush speech.

Freedom is the destiny of every man, woman and child on Earth.

     Is Bush planning to open the prisons?  Freedom must have some super-secret definition for people on death row, or for those numerous people who die in US custory at home or abroad.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Tidbits
MISSING from the internet
  • One of the best pre-2001 speeches on terrorism was by John P. O'Neill.  It used to be at this url 'http://www.NationalStrategy.com/speakers/oneill.html'.  It is nowhere anymore on the net, except in an abridged form which removes all mention to american christian terrorists.  Thanks to the Wayback Machine (which uses archive.org) I found the speech, and will keep it available here.  NOTE: This is not the douchebag who wrote the sleazy book, the guy who debated John Kerry in June, 1971, and simply repeated the government propaganda.  John P. O'Neill was probably the closest thing America had to James Bond.
Regular Stuff
  • America is Iran bashing again, and, again, there is no basis in fact.  You might have read a story, like this one from the UK's Telegraph or the NY Times about this "warhead" program.  Mr Jeffrey Lewis over at ArmsControlWonk helps shred the case in a thorough manner, here.  Long story short, there is a huge difference between a "re-entry vehicle" and a warhead.  In an e-mail discussion the author of the NY Times peice quotes the START treaty for his definition of "re-entry vehicle" and then ignores the fact that, under START rules, only warheads count for anything.  Only warheads count under START, the Iran laptop (which might even be fake) discusses no nuclear issues at all and is just about re-entry vehicles (according to all accounts), but the NY times and numerous other <expletive deleted> newspapers put the word "WARHEAD" in the headline. 
    I think they are a bunch of "war heads."
  • Did anyone realize that Pajama's Media, far from being innovative, appears to be a combinationg of Huffington Post and name your own right blog review here?  Anyone want to bet that some law Professor isn't the one _really_ reading all those blog entries?
  • Have any of you been to Dr Khadduri's blog?  The link has been in my blogroll for a while.  He is an Iraqi nuclear scientist who defected in 1998.  If you read the comments in this post you can see he has upgraded the template of his blog, following my directions. 
  • My mapping software has been reworked.  What it does is, very accurately, is depict poll numbers on a state by state basis, and can animate them for a time-lapse view.  It should not be too much trouble to expand it to a nationwide county map.  That's a "yay" for me, since the original script was a bit messy.  The technical term is refactoring and it means that it is now in a shape that makes it far easier to manage.  For instance, if someone wanted to describe a new input format, or output map, I should be able to oblige. 
And the News
  • Palestinians have the right to open the Gaza/Egypt border, and do so.  The Albany, NY Times-Union has a nice picture. 
  • Sidney Jones of the International Crisis Group (a sort of cabal, Wes Clark is part of it) was kicked out of Indonesia, according to the Guardian.  ICG is fairly OK, but they are not particularly forthright.  A tiny Swedish outfit names Transnational.org discusses this group at length.  The shorter version is that it is a bit of a conspiracy, and they especially liked US action in Kosovo.
  • According to the blog of recent commenter M., the Jazeera staff have a new blog called Don't Bomb Us.
  • I didn't quote the Washington Post ombudsman before, but she's got the best quote on Bob Woodward's version of ethics and attachment to truth, from the Boston Herald
    Howell wrote that Woodward had committed a "deeply serious sin ... the kind that can get even a very good reporter in the doghouse for a very long time."

    "He has to operate under the rules that govern the rest of the staff -- even if he's rich and famous," she wrote.

    I simply suspect that Woodward is making this story up now, so wasn't acting unethically before.  His book will look shoddier and crappier the more obvious it becomes he was just a war cheerleader.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Enemy, the Caliphate, The Lie

     Richard Perle, Frank Gaffney, and a host of less well known terror-war-pundits say that the enemy, the terrorists, the evil ones are trying to establish a Caliphate, a new Islamic Theocratic state across the Muslim world. 

     Now, it is a fact that some people want this.  Some people in the English speaking world want the same thing.  In America they call themselves Dominionists, and they want the Bible to be the ultimate law of the land, ahead of the Constitution.  Other people do not want that, but they do want the Bible to be used, wherever possible to influence the law and dictate social norms.  These theocratically minded Christians don't actually support Dominionists, but they are likely more sympathetic to them than to a vocal supporter of a strict separation of Church and State

     Conflating "the enemy" with the Caliphists, the Islamic Dominionists, is like confusing the political born-again christians in America, a numerous and powerful faction, with the Dominionists, a fringe group with no (?open?) federal officials elected.  It is fraud.  It is the new lynchpin of the argument of Richard Perle and Frank Gaffney and other so-called neo-conservatives.  It is fraud. 

     In fact, 100s of millions of Muslims and Arabs are angry at America in particular, and the West in general, for a variety of reasons.  100s of millions of muslims and arabs see a problem in Israel.  100s of millions of muslims and arabs see a problem in Iraq.  100s of millions of people see a problem with the way the powerful governments of the world deal with tyrants.  I suspect that a muslim or arab who sees these things as problems is going to be more sympathetic to those who do battle against the West, with words or worse, than those who would kiss and chat and do business. 

     Do Caliphists exist?  Certainly they do, as certainly as do Dominionists.  But are they the main problem?  They aren't a major or powerful or serious faction.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

No Discrepancies, Move Along, Nothing To See Here, Folks
  • Bush to bomb downtown Doha?
    • Unnamed White House official says "We are not going to dignify something so outlandish with a response" according to the BBC.
    • Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General of the United Kingdom, says "publication of a document that has been unlawfully disclosed by a Crown servant could be in breach of Section 5 of the Official Secrets Act" and the editor of the Daily Mirror says "We made No 10 fully aware of the intention to publish and were given 'no comment' officially or unofficially.  Suddenly 24 hours later we are threatened under Section 5" according to the Times of London.
Three Cheers for War Racketeers

     Gimme some power / to defeat / the en'mies I name

     Gimme some money / to enrich / the very same

     My name is Chee-knee / I'm the VP / I run the show

     I'm quite snarly / And I don't let / Dub-a-ya know

     I'm the war rackeeter / a war racketeer

     Gimme a Cheer

     Gimme a Cheer (chorus to fade)

  1. Cheney was a founding member of PNAC, which argued that Iraq could not be trusted because it was dead set on starting WMD (a total falsehood).
  2. Cheney was CEO of Halliburton, which owned 51% of Dresser-Rand, which did business with Iraq (49% of a second company that did the same)
  3. If anything, Saddam in Iraq was using oil revenue to develop his weapons programs
  4. Dresser Rand also happened to be accepting Oil for Food Kickbacks
A Couple Reasons

     There are a couple reasons to treat with circumspection the new Bill O'Reilly and Florida pushed legislation to increase penalties on sexual offenders against children.

     One, which I personally told my State Representative who serves on the relevant Committee, was told to me by a close friend.  If the penalty for 2nd degree murder is less than these new penalties (actually reduced in Florida, but don't let fuckwit O'Reilly get in the way of the facts) then the molester has every incentive to KILL THE CHILD after their criminal act.

     The second is based on the ideas presented here.  Read it and know that this was the longest, most expensive criminal trial in American history.

Beat the Last Throes Rush

     November 29th, 2005 will be the six month anniversary of Vice President's comments on Larry King Live that the insurgency is in its last throes (covered here by DailyKos).

     Let's be generous for a moment and suggest that he wasn't simply knowingly lying, and that he wasn't simply attempting to deceive us.  Surely even Stalwart Republicans can agree that either of those activities are wrong.  The only remaining conclusion is that he is, in fact, clueless about how things are going in Iraq.  A couple other facts, beyond the graph below.  The total number of insurgents killed or captured is now 53,000.  The Pentagon has usually said there were under 20,000 insurgents total.  I guess that means we've killed or captured them all two and a half times now.  These facts, and the below graph, comes from the Brookings Institute's Iraq Index, current as of today.

The Jazeera on the bombing of the Jazeera

     I don't know whether or not the leaked memo concerning Bush talking with Blair about bombing the Jazeera headquarters building in downtown Doha, Qatar(Ghutter) is real or not, but it looks likely.  Here is the Jazeera itself covering the story.

     Other bombings of buildings of the Jazeera include

  • 2001, Downtown Kabul, deaths result
  • 2002, Kabul offices totally destroyed
  • 2003, Downtown Baghdad offices bombed, deaths result
Sharon Attempts to Undermine Language

     By leaving Likud, Ariel Sharon has put in motion a sequence of events that can't help but eventually undermining the word "Likudnik".  Luckily, Benjamin Natanyahu is likely to take over, so the word will still fit. 

     By the way, as a result of reforms in the Israel "Constitution" in the early 1990s, the Prime Minister is directly elected.  Here is The Australian with the news about Sharon and 14 of 40 Likud MKs splitting.

     Bloody Judean People's Front.  Splitters!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Tip to James Bamford!

     I've asked several times, where does this al-Hadeiri come from?  Can we bring him up on charges of treason in America.  In Iraq?  This was a garbage human who lied and said he personally had worked on secret underground bio-chem labs inside Iraq.  He, like Chalabi and anyone else who knowingly lied or knowingly kept themselves ignorant, should be in jail.  They are traitors, along with the people who knowingly helped them along.  This was not, it should be clear, about oral sex.

     So, it looks like James Bamford, author of the relatively dry "The Puzzle Palace" and the great "Body of Secrets" (both about the NSA and spying) has information published in Rolling Stone about al-Hadeiri which brings a lot to light to the situation.

     Importantly, the CIA knew al-Hadeiri was lying from the start.  Not less importantly, the Executive branch paid someone to advertise his claims.  Treason, I'm afraid, is any number of things, including these acts.


     UPDATE: Also from ThinkProgress, this time from their comments sections, someone has posted a link to the Rendon Group's response.  I see quite clearly that it is carefully avoiding saying some things, and flat out denying things that it was never accused of, but for sake of completeness, here you go.

Cheney's Head So Full Of Shit It Explodes!

     Bush to pick new Vice President soon.  Large fight over who gets to be in charge of committee (wink wink) to pick the new Veep. 

     No, really, Cheney asks two questions of all people who might want a "sudden" withdrawal of troops. 
Question One:
Would you want al-Zawahiri, Abu Musab Zarqawi and Usama bin-Laden in charge of Iraq?
Answer One:
Is he for real?  There are many factions which might take over in Iraq if the US leaves.  Most likely, the Iranian-sympathetic factions in charge now would stay in charge.  If not, perhaps a Sunni dictator, or, just maybe, they would continue having elections and have the current style of government they do.  This was an easy question, since no one in Iraq is going to vote for Usama bin-Laden, and he wasn't even on the ballot, and he fucking doesn't have the wherewithal to take over.

Question Two:
Would you want Iraq ruled by men (yes, he says "men") intent on the destruction of America?
Answer Two:
I think the answer here is the same as above. 

     So, if that's Cheney's big problem is how to answer those questions, would anyone want to forward these answers to him?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

What Gives, People?

     If my logs are to be believed, 100s of people have been going to my "Solution to the Problem of International Terrorism" page in the last couple weeks alone, but I've gotten no comments and no e-mail.

     What am I to think?

Less Good News

     Did someone say we've won in Afghanistan?  Here are some (perhaps surprising) facts from Afghanistan as gleaned from the Brookings Institute's Afghanistan Index.  This document changes regularly, and I am relying the current version as of today.

  • Deaths from Militant Related Violence
    2004850
    20051200+
  • Non-Afghan Troops in Afghanistan
     TotalUS only
    Sept 200212,5007,800
    Sept 200314,8009,800
    Sept 200426,00018,000
    Sept 200532,40020,000
  • People in Need of Food Aid
    200320%
    200437%

     Their GDP is growing, but I bet the opium multiplier effect has a lot to do with it.  The government took their eyes off the ball. 

New Book Review

     "Five Days in Philadelphia: The Amazing 'We Want Willkie!' Convention of 1940 and How It Freed FDR to Save the Western World", Perseus Books, 2005.

     The finest thing that can be said about the book is that although I knew how both the republican convention and presidential elections of 1940 turned out, the convention (especially) made for compelling reading.  I say this especially since we no longer have conventions like that.

     I was forced to ask myself if this was a good thing or not.  I'd have to say that in the short term, the answer is no.  The freedom of the state delegates meant, at least in 1940, that there was no chance of a victor on the first ballot, and a wide number of candidates to consider.  It was the job of the delegates to consider, and the job of the voters to choose wise delegates.

     Another amazing thing, hard to remember, was that Hitler was simultaneously invading many countries _during_ the convention of 1940.  France signed its official surrender papers.  Many prominent republicans had no interest in the war, the standard excuse being the chronological proximity with the "War to End All Wars" (a chemical weapon war).  President Hoover, who seems to have been making a comeback, was saying that Hitler had basically won, and what America needed was a man who could do business with Hitler, and who hadn't alienated him.

     Another fine feature of the book is that the author, as a young teenager, was present in 1940. 

     I really have no knowledge of any other books about conventions, but you could do a lot worse than read this book to get the feel for them.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

You Weren't?

     I was watching the Miami Book Festival on C-SPAN 2 and John Ralston Saul talked about one of his books and then was interviewed.  Saul is the husband of the last Queen-appointed (can you believe Canada is so backwards?) Governor-General of Canada and has an Order of Canada.

     The finest anti-free trade speech I've ever seen.

     Amazing.

Story to Write

     There has finally, some years later, been some interest in the source of the forged Niger documents.  I really don't know anything special about it, but I do want to know where they came from.  If they were Americans, hopefully we can get treason charges levelled against them.

     This post is about other pre-war "intelligence."  When Colin Powell was at the United Nations he played recordings of senior Iraqi officers, two sets of recordings, which discussed hiding things.&nsbp; My suspicions or Ali Abuminah's suspicions are not important now.  Now we can find out the truth. 

     WHO WERE THESE MEN?

     WHAT DO THEY SAY ABOUT THESE TAPES?

The Republicans who missed the Rule vote were very right of center

     The real vote last night wasn't on the Hunter/Hastert propaganda peice, it was on the Rule to prevent amendment and set the limits of debate.

     In all, only six Republicans against the original war resolution, HJR 114

  • Duncan
  • Hostettler
  • Houghton
  • Leach
  • Morella
  • Paul

     and only three members missed the vote, Roukema (R-centrist conservative), Stump (R-very very conservative), and Ortiz (D-?).

     6 Republicans against last night's rule, too, HR 536.

  • Bartlett (MD)
  • Gilchrest
  • Hostettler
  • Jones (NC)
  • Leach
  • Simpson

     but 18 missed the vote, including Paul , Shadegg , and Flake of the far, far right camp; serious conservatives Gallegly, Beuaprez, Hall, Jindal, Miller of California, Moran of Kansas, Peterson of Pennsylvania; and moderate conservatives Cunningham, Fossella, LaHood.  No Centrist Republicans missed the vote.  Five Democrats also missed the vote.

     This vote was on under 24 hours notice, and I don't know which ones were out of town.  Might be amusing to find out...

I Got It!

     Here's the good plan!  We take Brave War-President and Commander-in-Chief George Walker "George Washington Freedom Loving" Bush and put him in a room with that cowardly murtha.  What kind of wishy-washy, yellow bellied, objectively-pro-terrorist and pro-communist name is "murtha" anyway?

     The cheerleader-in-chief will use his rah-rah technique and his propaganda catapultizing and totally put the firmness back in that Demoncrat baby-killer wimp's spine!  Go, America, Go!  Rah, Rah, Rah!

     Our Dear Leader is so amazing and so pro-war that it can't help but rub off, even on an old crusty-brains like "murtha" (whatever that name means!)

The vote last night

     Things to remember:

  • The motion was not what Representative Murtha said
  • The motion, by the rule, was not amendable
  • Although there was some time (3 hours, compared to much more for the recent 5 billion/year savings measure) for debate, it wasn't much

     It was amazing how many Republicans didn't cover for their own bosses (Hunter, Hastert and Gingrey) and said that the motion, despite the leaders protestations, had nothing to do with Representive Murtha's remarks.

     Perhaps the realest story was the vote on the rule.  That voted passed 211-204, a far cry from the original pro-war vote.  Most reporters couldn't get that through their thick skulls.

     Remain Calm Press Review:

Friday, November 18, 2005

State Politics Update

     I've connected with the local city Democrats, the regional Democrats, and the State Democrats.  I signed up for the State Republicans newsletter, too.  Eh.

     I met the four State Representatives for my city, and I was reasonably impressed with three of them.  2004 was the first time in New Hampshire history that this little city has sent all Democrats to the State House.  Our five term Representative was particularly good on the toughest issues, namely, the budget.  She had led the fight for a tax cut, too.  I'll hopefully be putting her excellent summary of the 2005 session of the New Hampshire State House, the third largest deliberative body in the English speaking world (400 members).

     I hope to be working with the Regional Democrat group putting up the House Session review as soon as everyone else gets around to letting me do it up right.

Debate Live Blog

     The trick is that this Hunter amendment is not what Murtha said.

     It is not traditional in the House for the majority to introduce fake resolutions interpreting the words of members of the opposite party.

  • Phil Gingrey, (R-Georgia)
    • reads the bill
    • No mention of Iraq, just of "amendment"
  • James McGovern (D-Massachusetts)
    • Asks about amendment, Gingrey is granted 10 second to explain it is about immediate withdrawal from Iraq
    • Explains it is an attack on Murtha
  • Phil Gingrey
    • Defends amendment
  • James McGovern
    • Anyone who believes this isn't about Murtha isn't living in reality.
  • David Obey (D-Wisconsin)
    • Three terms in Viet Nam
    • Says Murtha calls evokes Fulbright, to bring the best to debate Iraq.
    • Calls it an attack on Murtha, an attempt to stop the Murtha resolution, but no effort to get facts
    • Calls it despicable
  • Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida)
    • So much crap it is really hard for me to describe
    • Calls the war in Iraq "honorable and wise"
    • Says courage won (ed: i.e. not bombs)
    • For example, repeatedly connects Islamic terrorism and Saddam's regime
  • ? (D-Massachusetts)
    • Calls this debate a farce
  • ? (R-?)
    • Brings up Sea World
    • Proves Gingrey is lying by saying the debate is because of recent Democrat actions
    • Brings up likely fake al-Zawahiri/Zarqawi letter
    • The 2,000 lives would have been given in vain
  • ? (D-Massachusetts)
  • Charles Rangel (D-New York)
    • Notes that there is no one in Iraq to surrender
    • Calls it a sad day
  • Phil Gingrey
    • Says the debate will be at least three hours
    • Calls this "plenty of time."
  • ? (R-Georgia?)
    • Calls it a "war for the free world"
    • Says the enemy in Iraq is al-Qaeda (or at least implies it quite directly)
    • Brings up Caliphate canard, talks about al-Qaeda against many well-accepted rights
    • Brings al-Zawahiri (he can't pronounce it) to Zarqawi (messes this up, too) letter (second time in one debate)
    • Says that if America withdrew from Iraq every American on the globe would be at risk
  • Jane Harmon (D-California)
    • Brings up letter to Chairman of House Intel Cmte that expresses outrage over shutdown of investigation
    • Change of course is urgently needed.
    • Brings up attack by Cheney on Murtha, calls this rule a stunt
    • Iraq policy failing
    • Suggestions include power sharing and no designs on oil
  • ? (R-Georgia)
    • What a loser! Brings up Scoop Jackson and calls the Democrats Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan
    • Says Democrats are siding with the terrorists
    • Brings up that he "represents" the Third Division
    • Quotes the Division General (who can't legally criticize the troops)
    • Setting a date would mean that all the deaths would be in vain
    • Says the gangs of anti-Americans would wait until Americans left
    • Compares Democrats to French
    • Praises President
    • Says we have captured "116 al-Qaeda Presidents"
    • Lists schools and water and fire and police record
    • Proves Gingrey was lying by saying the resolution is there because of Murtha's comments yesterday
  • ? (D-California)
    • Praises Murtha, has served with him for 20 years on the Armed Service Cmte
    • Calls this move outrageous, and beneath contempt
    • Making politcs out of war
    • "Have you no shame?"
  • Davis (R-Virginia)
    • Says the words in the House hurt Iraq _and_ Afghanistan
    • Says foreigners don't understand free speech
    • Says Murtha's comments don't jibe with active duty military
    • Says Murtha was encouraging our enemies (puts it another's mouth once)
    • Again says debate will kill troops
  • S Reyes (D-Texas)
    • Calls it a strategy "This dog don't hunt"
    • Says General Kelly said we are a nation at war but where DC doesn't sacrifice
    • Quotes Sergeant brought up the Charge of the Light Brigade, says policy is flawed
    • Reads some of the Charge of the Light Brigade "Ours is not to reason why/Ours is but to do or die"
    • Says the bill is bad
  • ? (R-?)
    • Proves Gingrey died
    • Says "How dare you?"
    • How do you explain to a 19 year old?
    • Says the _Democrats_ don't want this debate (complete lie)
    • We are fighting because we don't want our kids living in a world dominated by terrorism
    • Asserts the terrorists think Iraq is part of the war on terrorism
    • Calls Iraq "The War for the Free World"
  • ? (D-California)
    • Praises Murtha for knowing a lot about defense
    • Calls this a stunt
    • Brings up flawed intelligence, nuclear intelligence
    • Brings up pre-war letter he wrote to President
    • Deception or Incompetence (Ed: That's what I say!)
  • Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
    • Says it is not a stunt or an attack
    • Says the media is saying that the Congress is going against the war (Ed: this motion will certainly come out less favorably than HJR 114)
    • The troops are the most important people here
    • Has held hearings
    • Has full hearings on some topics
    • Will vote against his own resolution
  • Tierney (D-Massachusetts)
    • Says the troops will be more surprised that the Republican leader on House Armed Services is calling for instant, unsafe withdrawal
    • The administration has no clue and no idea
    • Politicizing getting out as the administration politicized getting in
    • Distinguishing between Murtha's motion and Hunter's
  • Duncan Hunter
    • Defends wording of resolution
  • ? (D-?)
    • Calls this a counterfeit bill
  • ? (D-California)
    • Why did Hunter introduce the counterfeit motion?
  • Duncan Hunter
    • Reads letter from Captain in Iraq
  • ? (D-?)
    • Says Zarqawi will use this even more
  • ? (D-?)
    • Says only substantive act about Iraq since war started
    • Says should be ashamed
  • ? (R-?)
    • (ed: Calm speaker)
    • Wants bipartisanship after this motion fails to plan for victory plan
  • Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts)
    • Thought it was anti-Murtha motion, finds out it is anti-Dan Rather motion
  • ? (D-?)
    • "pathetic, partisan political ploy"
    • Says administration is mocking Murtha
  • Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio)
    • Brings up she was in Arlington yesterday
    • This (expletive deleted) calls Murtha a "Cut and Run Marine
  • ? (D-Arkansas)
    • Demands previous speaker's words be taken down

     At this point nearly 15 minutes pass in complete silence.

Debate Has Started

     This wasn't clear to me.  It looks like the Republicans are using their power to bring forward a rule on the calendar, and then they plan to amend the rule, after the current debate, to include their resolution about Iraq.  This motion is being brought up in response to Representative Murtha's previous comments.

     This is despite the fact that the underlying motion, HR 563, was only introduced today.  They are planning to have a debate on the rule, which they have already their intent to amend, which was introduced today.

     I wish the House Parliamentarian had a blog!  Why is it being attached as an amendment to a rules amendment that discusses flood relief, the war on terrorism, budget reconciliation, and one other matter.  Yes!  No less issues than those are being connected to this rules motion.

House Vote on Iraq Pullout Today

     Debate probably sometime after 5pm (maybe at 6pm) and the vote is expected an hour later.  Republicans are near unanimous in their support.  Six House Republicans (all far right) and 126+1 Democrats voted against the war in the first place.  It will be interesting to see how much the change there has been.

     That's right, 30 minutes per side on Iraq, but days and days for a spending bill that will save $50 billion over five years. 

     I am not a partisan Democrat.  I respect intelligent Republicans, independent Republicans, and reasonable ones.  Senator Specter is one of the most reasonable members of Congress, in my opinion.  Senators Grassley and Shelby, Hagel and Lugar all have issues which make them stand out as champions of America.  But on more important issues there are Democrats who speak the truth, and the truth is important. 

     I notice a much greater attachment to the truth from the Democrats.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

How did I miss this?

     Pentagon budget padding John Murtha, 37 year veteran of the United States Marine Corps, first Vietnam veteran in Congress, has called for a withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.  Video available here.  A fuller story available at Bloomberg.

Holy Nixon Hating!

     Don't like Richard Mellon Scaife?  Can't say I blame you.  Steve Kangas died in one of Scaife's buildings.  Kangas also wrote a really weird peice, called The Origins of the Overclass.  Starting in the paragraph with the word "oust", Kangas starts explaining a theory that the CIA, using Bob Woodward (just out of Naval Intelligence himself), ousted Nixon.  That the Washington Post was acting for the CIA.  I really don't know what to make of this theory.  It is told in a compelling way, and I don't know any factual errors in the paper.  I'd be interested to hear if anyone else noticed something obviously false about any of this.

     Since then, Bob Woodward has written some odd work, including Secret Wars of the CIA, mostly about CIA director Casey of Iran-Contra fame.  It includes the death bed confession, which Mrs. Casey says never could have happened.  Woodward also wrote something called "Plan of Attack" which generally depicted Bu$hCo's front man (Bushwah himself) in the warm glow of historic certainty.  I bet lots of liberals were wondering what that was all about.  How could anyone write a whole book kissing the dainty posterior of one George Walker Smurf?  Bob Woodward was the man. 

     Now, apparently, Bob Woodward's post-investigation confession clears Libby!  Talk about utter bullshit.  By the way, Carl Bernstein did not become a sell out anti-American retard like his Watergate co-star. 

     Was Woodward ever decent?  Kangas thinks not.

NH-02

     I made this page describing all the declared contestants for New Hampshire's House Seats.  Both current officeholders are centrist Republicans.

     We have Charlie Bass and Jeb Bradley.  Both are part of Christine Whitman's "It's My Party, Too" group.  Bass is calling for the GOP House leadership to be changed.

     I can't say I know any of the candidates against them very well.  But I know I like the colors, I might change the colors here to match.

     Links to stories from NH Insider.

Want to Waste an Hour or Two?

     FreeThoughtRadio.com (also available at Shoutcast.com) is modestly amusing.  There isn't much "news" in the world of atheism.  FLASH! Still no god.  Just heard a segment from Buzzflash.  If you haven't already, give it a listen.  It is volunteer, so, I wouldn't expect _too_ much.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Evil GOP Scum

     Trains are far more efficient in terms of oil usage.  Oil usage is a problem.  Here is a chart I made of oil usage.  Here is an article for the IHT

But a funny thing has happened. David Gunn, the president of Amtrak, was fired last week by a new Amtrak board of directors, all conservative Republican businessmen despite a requirement that there be a mix of Republicans and Democrats on the board. Not a single member of the board, recently appointed by President George W. Bush, had any railroad experience.

Oddly, Gunn was on his way to see the board chairman, David Laney, when he was fired. He came to see Laney with good news, but he never got to deliver it: Amtrak was doing better than ever; ridership was up, and the deficit was declining.

     It is the GOP agenda to smash Amtrak. 

Monday, November 14, 2005

For Iraq
  • Stop the aerial assaults.  I don't even think the Nazis used air power against the French insurgency.  In America the Mayor of Philadelphia used choppers against MOVE and 60 blocks of his city burned.  Air power should not be used against anything but air power, proper armies and navies.  I wouldn't even recommend vehicular weaponry, and mortars should only be used as driving fire.
  • No more post-training leave for Iraqi police/military.  During peacetime, I suppose, it makes some sense.  Not now.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Hadley, Neo-Con, Dissembler

     Stephen Hadley, and I can't imagine why this guy has enough credibility to appear in print, is all over the press with his propaganda efforts to save the Bush administration's reputation re:Iraq

     For instance, in today's Washington Post

While admitting "we were wrong" about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, President Bush's national security adviser on Sunday rejected assertions that the president manipulated intelligence and misled the American people.

     Gosh.  Did anyone actually think the _President_ had been behind the manipulation of intelligence?


UPDATE:

     Right Web's Profile of Hadley inclues the following material:

Hadley served as the fall guy when allegations arose regarding Rice’s alleged mishandling of information about Iraq’s purported effort to buy uranium from Niger. According to the Washington Post, Hadley was told by CIA Director George Tenet that the Niger allegations, which were used by Bush in various speeches (including the January 2003 State of the Union Address) and served as a key justification for invading Iraq, were probably bogus and should not be used by the president. Hadley, who claimed that Rice had been unaware of the controversy, told the newspaper, "I should have recalled ... that there was controversy associated with the uranium issue."

Saturday, November 12, 2005

From the Committee Report, 19 January, 1829

     This committee report, released by Senator Richard M Johnson of Kentucky, later Vice President during the Van Buren administration, re-affirmed the position taken by the Congress of the United States in 1810, 1815, and 1825, namely, the mail will be delivered on Sundays.  A brief quote from the report:
Let the national legislature once perform an act which involves the decision of a religious controversy, and it will have passed its legitimate bounds. The precedent will then be established, and the foundation for that usurpation of the Divine prerogative in this country, which has been the desolating scourge to the fairest portions of the old world. Our Constitution recognizes no other power than that of persuasion, for enforcing religous observances. Let the professors of Christianity recommend their religion by deeds of benevolence -- by Christian meekness -- by lives of temperance and holiness[.]

     Quoted in "Religion and Politics in the Early Republic: Jasper Adams and the Church-State Debate"  Some pages available at Print.Google.Com.  I suspect the book is more generally pro-religion.  But it does a fair-minded job of blowing many of the more inane "Early Americans Were Legally Christians" balderdash.

Cordesman Against the Senate

     I only caught Senators Specter, Schumer, Brownback, but the only decent voice was that of Anthony Cordesman.  Everyone else, from the Freedom House, profiled here by RightWeb, to the American Imam whose main goal seemed to separate himself from the remarks of the Freedom House person and Middle Eastern Muslims, were terrible in the extreme.

     All evil is Muslim.  No evil is Christian or Jewish.  That's a fair summary of what I heard.

American, Apologia

     Much of the time, throughout American history, Americans have been immune to high-falutin talk, and preferred to stick with the plain facts.

     Whether because one party did supply this in its candidates, or that no other candidate could be elected, is not as clear from this late date.

     The catapulted propaganda lays like egg on the faces of the American public.  There are still towels enough, fancier than before I admit, to wipe it off with.

Lack of Updates, Lately

     Well, luckily, there has not been much changing.  The death knell for rash and populist politics is the lack of news of momentous import. 

     However, I have three things on the burner currently, and when not working on those, I am reading out-of-copyright books and taking notes. 

     Copyright, for those who don't know, is "Mickey Mouse + 20 years" at all times, and the fact that Disney and ABC form one of the major media outlets in the country is entirely unrelated.


     In comic news, apparently the soccer star George Weah, the losing candidate in Liberia's most recent Presidential election, according to China's People's Daily, in response to a demonstration by his supporters alleging fraud...

"The party is not aware of the demonstration," Sam Quiah, spokesman for Weah told Xinhua. "Ambassador Weah has urged our supporters to Remain Calm."

     He failed, however, to provide the URL.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Three Cheers for Me?

     I am, to toot my own horn, a pretty darn good computer programmer.  And if you've read this blog over the last couple years, you may have gotten the idea that I know at least a tiny bit about politics. 

     One of five separate programs which I have designed to take advantage of my interest in politics and my skill at programming, is now presentable.

     Want me to come and present it to you?  Just get in touch.  I'm not made of money, and I really need funding or something.  Maybe all I need is a business manager.

     If anyone wants to make a suggestion "What to do with this fabulous peice of civil society software Josh just wrote" just drop me an e-mail or leave a comment.

     Thank you.

GOOD NEWS!

     No, not about Iraq.  No, not about taxes.  No, not about justice.  Gah! You folks are so picky!  This time it was about beating back the religious right.  Tip to Panda's Thumb.

     The Dover Area School Board, which was trying to inject Creationism Intelligent Design into the curriculum, and who went to court over it (Behe, one top ID'er, testififying), had a school board election...

     Dover School Board Now 100% Pro-Evolution.

     This is a victory for science and the principle of representative government, and should be a warning to all of you out there to pay attention to your local politics, too.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Nighttime Image Posting
WIIIAI Tidbits
  • Awful, illiberal, anti-Republican National Security Letters.
  •   If you have any doubt at all, any doubt in the slightest, it is ChoicePoint, heroes of the 2004 voter roll purge for the Racists in Florida, who are supplying a lot of the data.
  • If America picks a used car salesman to manage a BILLION dollars in Iraq military contracts, it is the US which is guilty of corruption, not the Iraqi.  Someone joked with me "Didn't he know Halliburton has the sole source contract for corruption in Iraq?"
  • Why not charge all protestors with being sex offenders?  Lifetime monitoring, mandatory registration, this is something that any adminstration, no matter what political creed, needs for its enemies. 

Sunday, November 06, 2005

OLD BOOK REVIEW

     Nullification, Secession, Webster's Argument, and the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions by Caleb William Loring, published by G. P. Putnam's sons in 1893.

     I read it this in the last few days.  A political work, designed to appeal to the political minded public of the day.  Written to both educate and help defeat the ideas, propagated by Southerners, concerning the legality of Southern actions of Nullification and Secession.

Grover Norquist's "Starve the Beast" idea foretold
Preparations for the Civil War Happened Earlier Than Most Realize, Including Preparing Forts for Seizure
Early Public Relations by Senator Calhoun
Southern General Lee on Secession

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Things Look Good From Here Because...
  • Upgraded _and_ moved server software without hitch
  • Upgraded server configuration (httpd.conf) to mostly dynamic without hitch
  • Don't know why the old server didn't seem to like secure (https) transactions, but it doesn't matter because the new version does
  • Have made initial contacts with three separate entities that might help fund software/buy software/fund me
  • Read a politics book in the last two days, took good notes.
  • I'm computing from the front porch, and it fairly peaceful outside.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Fake Madison Quote in Widespread Use
Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.

     This quote, attributed to the Father of the Constitution, James Madison, was not written by him.  One acquaintance wrote the Library of Congress, which confirmed it was not in his papers, although this same acquaintance says it is in her Government textbook.  I wrote Jack Rakove, a Pulitzer Prize winning, named Chair seated Professor of History and Political Science at Stanford University.  After saying the language sounds wrong, and doubting that it is real, he continues...

Is it close to anything Madison might have said? If you read some of his letters from his retirement period (1817-36), you'll find him not infrequently glossing particular clauses in terms of what was actually under discussion at Philadelphia. And as I argue in my book, JM was an originalist--if not in 1787-1788, then at least by 1796. So you could probably make a plausible case that the underlying sentiment has some consistency with his conception of interpretation, even if this formula does not sound like the way he would put it.

     He then asks me to write John DiIulio, a Democrat and the head of Bush's Office of Faith Based Initiatives, and the subject of the revealing interview by Ron Suskind which was based on this e-mail.

     Does anyone know DiIulio's e-mail address, to find out how he got this quote in his book on Government?  It is cited in many court cases, and all over the web, besides.

     Sounds to me like something an Antonin Scalia fan wrote.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Must... Read... Books...

     Dissapear into PRINT.google.com and come back with something good.

     This is your assignment, should you choose to accept it.  History, Politics something like that.  Dredge it up, prove those smarmy bible-thumpers and extreme right wingers are off their rockers.

Tidbits: Helpful Hints
  • Alito: Own a half million dollars of assets in a fund?  Recuse yourself.
  • Paying someone $870,000 to start a group to protect your gambling interest?  Call it grass roots.  See, some casino owners fund anti-casino groups to protect their own assets.
  • Bush: Facing charges of cronyism?  Appoint big contributors to the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
  • FEMA Brown (old news, with e-mail): Looking down the barrel of Cat 4 Hurricane?  Don't worry so much about your clothes.
  • "WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE HIM A BLOW JOB SO WE CAN HAVE HIM IMPEACHED."  Protest Sign

     100% of these links came from BuzzFlash

Memory In Washington

     Any reason I shouldn't use blogshares?

     NewsBlog5000 reports on the serious outbreak of memory failures has been found again in Washington, DC. 

     Remain Calm is wondering whether this might be a germ that had lain dormant under a rug that someone had swept there during the Reagan administration.

Attacks Per Day

     Well, November is upon us, so we have the average attacks/day numbers from The Iraq Index.  I'm sure that even though the majority of Iraqis want us out, and the levels of violence continue to increase... no, forget that.  Forget Hillary Clinton and any other Democrat that thinks (more troops = better Iraq).
Attacks per day reach all time high

Buy A Share of the Truth

     This blog, to the best recollection of our extra-legal staffers, has never made a stock endorsement before.

     Thanks to a blog post from De Magno Opere I learn about GOP plans to destroy Knight-Ridder.

     Knight-Ridder is not perfect, but they have been doing a lot of the best reporting on Iraq.  They are one of America's best friends.

     This graph shows they are below their five year high (i.e. you won't be buying at the top).

     The real question is timing.  10 minutes ago a second "major" shareholder announced that he is going to try to force Knight Ridder to sell itself.  Buy.  One share involves opening a brokerage account and buying one share.  Make sure to explain to your broker that the truth is worth investing in.  Sell all your other major media holdings except the Washington Post company. 

     Death By A Thousand Cuts

Out of Iraq Update

     Earlier today, aired on C-SPAN 3, Representatives Ron Paul (most conservative member of Congress in 75 years), Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), ?Representative Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), ?Representative Walter Jones (R-NC), and former Senator Max Cleland (D-GA), who presented a "union of far left and far right" proposal for getting out of Iraq.

     As of 2pm today, none of the websites of Kucinich, Paul, Abercrombie, or Jones.

     NOTE: I was listening to this presentation with the C-SPAN 3 audio stream.  I am not 100% confident that it was, in fact, Representatives Walter and Abercrombie.  I'm sure it was Reps Paul and Kucinich and Senator Cleland.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I am Dubious

     I am not pleased, yet, by this report, from a pro-UN group calling itself the "Human Security Group."  However, the numbers are interesting.  Charts include:

  • Figure 1.1 A less violent world: Numbers of conflicts, 1946–2003
  • Figure 4.1 Battle-deaths versus total war deaths in selected sub-Saharan African conflicts
  • Figure 5.1 Trends in international wars, 1816-2002
Pajama Party!

     AnCapistan at UnfairWitness has a hilarious rundown on the Pajama Blog Farce

     Seems that perennial James Wolcott foil Roger L Simon screwed over an ex-business partner, who is using the web to spill all the beans.  Make sure to check out the "that backstabbing" link.

Alito Support For Gay Rights?

     According to Dolphin's Dock blog, yes.  Against sodomy laws, against employment description, and pro-privacy.

War on America

     The Bush administration and the Pentagon's "War on America" continues unabated. 

     Here is al-Jazeera's take on the Washington Post's report confirming the long alluded-to (e.g. May 10, 2004, Dec 26, 2002) secret detention facilities.

     Donald Rumsfeld, asked if he had anything to do with the Wilson brush-up had this to say (transcript from WIIIAI)

I -- how would I know if I ever spoke about it with the vice president over five years? I don’t recall speaking it -- with him about it, and I don’t recall the department being involved. Is it possible? I mean, my goodness, that’s -- that question is such a -- it’s -- what is that game? Fish. Give me all your sevens or something. I mean, that’s not for me.

     In light of these statements, the Department of Defense is instituting a new policy:
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: The Secretary of Defense does not have time to take from his day for press conferences during which he will be asked questions which you, the reporter, don't already know the answers.

Farm Bill Amendement

     Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas), is a major supporter of super-agri-business.  Senator Chambliss (R-Georgia) joins her in opposing an amendment by Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senator Dorgan (D-North Dakota).  Senator Grassley points out that 75% of the farm subsidies go to 10% of the companies, the biggest.  I haven't read the text of the amendment.  Senator Conrad (D-ND) seems to support the Grassley amendment. 

     Still, it's nice to have a debate that totally ignores party, and instead depends on corporate interest. 

NH News: Free State Project Update

     Libertarians in the "Free State Project" sought to group together in an attempt to change the laws of one state by moving there, en masse.  Today, the AP Reports that they seem unlikely to achieve their goal of 20,000 Libbos in NH by 2006...

Only about 130 Free Staters have made the move to New Hampshire since signing up; another 250 already lived in New Hampshire when they joined.

     Link from NH Insider.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Alito and Casey

     Michael C Dorf, the Michael I. Sovern Professor of Law at Columbia University, writes about it at the American Prospect in an article entitled When Sammy Met Casey.

New Hampshire Politics

     My state, New Hampshire, has two of the most conservative Senators (after Mssrs Kyl and McCain of Arizona) even as it has two of the most liberal Republicans as Representatives (only Connecticutt and Delaware have more a more liberal Republican House roster).

     What kind of person might replace Charlie Bass and Jeb Bradley?  Here is the current list.

Frist on the Closed Session

     "I'm going to stay above it but this is deeply dissapointing."  He says it "affronting" and "wrong" and he repeated twice more that GOP was "above it."

     I guess some ticked off nitwits thing "above it" means something different than I do.

Non-Partisan Blog
Best Orators: Senators Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts. Most Pragmatic: Senator Arlen Spector of Pennsylvania.

     Sometimes I say Senator Warner of Virginia is also a good orator, but I'm just being nice.  He does seem to be the best Republican orator, but he's simply not in the same league.  Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey is as good, for instance.

     Bunning is still the most braindead, and there are a half-dozen other useless Republicans (especially Kay Bailey Hutchinson), but there are a couple Democrats who irk me as being not particularly useful.