Friday, April 28, 2006
Republican Non-Brainiac David Dreier of CaliforniaThanks to USA Today for putting together these two quotes in one article about Lobbying bill quite different from first draft.
To get it done, [Speaker JD Hastert] appointed his Rules Committee chairman, Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif. The House of Representatives, Dreier said, needed to be bold and avoid "the tranquilizing drug of gradualism."and, later,
Dreier said no one is happy about the bill, but he defends it as a step forward: "It makes it harder to abuse the rules, and easier to enforce them."Three Cheers for "Step-Forward Non-Gradualism!"
Silvio "Mussolini was Benevolent" Berlusconi's Choice for Senate Leader!
Andreotti was appointed senator-for-life in 1991, even with the demise of his party after the so-called Clean Hands campaign- financing scandal and accusations of links to the Sicilian Mafia. He was convicted of having ties to the mob and enlisting the Mafia to kill a journalist. He was subsequently acquitted in 2004 by the country's highest appeals court.Berlusconi, who said once that Mussolini didn't kill any Jews during the Holocaust (undoubtedly a form of Holocaust Denial), obviously has deep feelings about the sanctity of the press. Quote from the story on the Bloomberg newswire titled "Prodi Faces First Hurdle to Form Government as Parliament Meets"
Thursday, April 27, 2006
El-Baradei Statement to the Board of Governors, March 6, 2006Available here.
Implementation of Safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran The report on the implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran is before you. As you are aware, the Agency over the last three years has been conducting intensive investigations of Iran´s nuclear programme with a view to providing assurances about the peaceful nature of that programme.
During these investigations, the Agency has not seen indications of diversion of nuclear material to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. Regrettably, however, after three years of intensive verification, there remain uncertainties with regard to both the scope and the nature of Iran´s nuclear programme. As I mentioned in my report, this is a matter of concern that continues to give rise to questions about the past and current direction of Iran´s nuclear programme.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
What Iran Warmongers Don't Want You To KnowThe inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Administration (IAEA) know more about what is happening in Iran than anyone except the Iranian government itself. They certainly can't report everything they know, for space considerations. The IAEA has a web page especially for Iran. The real way to get the news isn't to read the newspapers, but to actually witness the events reported. Often that is possible, even for American Citizens of limited resources, if they happen to have Cable Television and watch C-SPAN (also available on the web). When it comes to the subject of Iran the "source" material basically comes from the right hand side bar of the IAEA web page, the "Documents and Reports." Ideally, a reporter who specialized on the subject of Iran and nuclear development would read all of the reports, and only then ask for comment from individuals. I will do that. The most recent report, Feb 15th IAEA Board Report (pdf) is 11 pages long. There are lots of good quotes from it, that you won't read in the papers. I am open to suggestions, but am planning on the following course of action.
- Read the Reports, and highlight key findings
- Read a wide variety of News Stories on the Reports, and point out factual flaws
Monday, April 24, 2006
Neo-Conservatism, Past and FutureThe piece linked below ends with the statement
[The Author] wants to maintain that neoconservatism is still thriving, only with the names and publications changed. That is not an absurd proposition, but it sacrifices what was unique about neoconservatism in order to preserve a sense of historical continuity between the Cold War and its aftermath. He would have done better to frame his book not as a study of the rise of neoconservatism, but of its rise and inevitable fall.The article? "Trotskyism to Anachronism: The Neoconservative Revolution" by John B. Judis, from Foreign Affairs, July/August 1995. Actually, the article seems quite informative, taking the author's then-current understanding of the neo-cons with a grain of salt.
Bin-Laden Tape, Another Fraud?I'm skeptical, am I missing something here? UBL talks about oil in Sudan, but there is no oil in the Darfur region, or at least no oil concessions. UBL and the Sudanese government are on the outs, so, why defend them? They are not Sharia. Nope, this looks like a Christian Zealot (inside NSA?) who is trying to start a US war in Sudan (in part, to attack Muslim oppressors of Christians) by making Americans believe UBL is part and parcel of the problems there.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Friday, April 21, 2006
Fantastic News for Neo-Cons and War-Lovers Everywhere!Israel is planning to retake the Gaza strip. Why are they planning to retake Gaza? Palestinians have fired hundreds of homemade missiles into southern Israel. This was happening when they pulled out of Gaza so how can it be an excuse to reverse course? This is very bad for America in the Middle East, because America is Israel's lone defender in the United Nations, and is intimately linked to Israel in the minds of most people. Democratic elections, you see, don't help if people elect the wrong candidates! Like the Shia in Iraq, or Hamas in Israel, or Ahmadinejad (freer election than most in the Middle East, where there are none) in Iran, or Chavez in Venezuela. This is not about the Qassem Rockets, it is about Hamas.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
- Great quote from "eh" article: "My whole adult life was lived with 30,000 Soviet nuclear weapons aimed at me. I can certainly live with the six or seven Iran might be able to scrape together in the next five to 10 years." from Antiwar.com's Israel: The Dead Roach in America's Salad
- Apparently, Rumsfeld is saying that retired Generals who critique the Iraq War are really just sore over Rumsfeld's brilliant transformation of the military. Cause we all know how Generals like to beat around the bush...
- Part 2 of the interview with Chalmers Johnson is a lot. He wrote Blowback, and is writing Nemesis.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
E-mail Exchange with GreenPeace co-founder, Patrick MooreRemain Calm>> Today you say the death toll is 50
Remain Calm>> The UN says it is closer to 4,000
Remain Calm>> And Greenpeace says it is closer to 90,000
Remain Calm>> http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-04-18-voa26.cfm
Moore> The UN says there may be as many as 4,000 premature deaths in the future,
Moore> based on the most liberal extrapolation.
RC> A bald-faced lie. The UN report actually estimated between 4,000 and 9,000.
RC> Therefore, it could not have been the most "liberal" extrapolation which
RC> yielded the 4,000 number.
Moore> Greenpeace has no evidence for their claim.
RC> It does not look like they have "no evidence" to me.
RC> In other words, you have lied in my face. Either that, or spoken from a
RC> deep and unquestioned ignorance.
RC> Handbook of International Economic Statistics 1996
RC> And the sad part is, I believe in the future of nuclear power.
Moore> The World Health Organization and the UN Environment Program were among the
Moore> eight UN agencies involved in the 20 year study of Chernobyl.
Moore> Cheers, Patrick Moore
Moore> Greenspirit Strategies Ltd.
Moore> 778-xxx-4122 cell
Moore> 604-xxx-4122 work
Monday, April 17, 2006
Six Generals Remain CalmReported widely, six Generals have asked Rumsfeld to get out of the way.
It's nice to see the top brass get behind Remain Calm blog, which has been calling for Rumsfeld's ouster for a half year or more now. The top of my blog currently says "Remain Calm Politics is for Adults, expect Strong Language. Impeach the Secretary of Defense." Apparently, centrist Iraq-(and-Iran?)-war-enthusiast and House Democrat Harold Ford, Jr of Tennessee has been listening to the water cooler talk here at Remain Calm Global HQ, where, just three days ago, it dawned on your humble author that the only way to save the bacon of the current (ahem) "government" of the United States was to give Colin Powell the job. No, Powell is no hero for his role in lending his credibility to the current Iraq imbroglio, but that's not what I said.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Berlsuconi Trying to Avoid ProsecutionIf he concedes, or simply loses power, he can be prosecuted, according to the UK Independents John Phillips, reporting from Rome.
During his five years in office he spent much of his time passing laws to avoid going to jail. Many commentators believe Italy's richest man wants to gain an informal pledge of immunity from judicial proceedings from Mr Prodi's governmentAh, what noble Allies Dear Leader has acquired!
Friday, April 14, 2006
Defense Dilettantes' SloganeeringSee the post below. C-SPAN balanced the neo-con/con love fest with a follow up starring Generals. The program speakers are listed here. Lt. Gen Paul Van Riper gives us the title of this post, in reference to the "transformation" of the military. He compares the rush to Baghdad to the Blitzkrieg. He was the Chief of Training of the Marine Corps. Damnit, lots of sane humans have made of the same points, made rational points, but America tends to ignore anyone but the Generals. It's a blindspot, which is encouraging a military coup against the Government. Are other forces getting closer to that position faster, making the previous sentence excessive? Quite possibly. Not likely.
The Future Told From the Past!Neo-con die-hard and LOONY Charles Krauthammer, pseudo-con liberal-hater Dr. Satel and Newt Gingrich all spoke in April, 2003, right after the fall of Baghdad, hosted by the AEI, and aired on C-SPAN. Program description is here. Charles Krauthammer, three years ago, mentions how North Korea and Iran are totally afraid and now (i.e. for the last three years) going to back down and do what America wants! Woo Hoo! This amazingly prescient neo-con assures the audience that the Victory in Iraq is a watershed of amazing intellectual (mentioned first), strategic and military progress. Dr. Satel spends her time worrying that Iraqis will get too much psycho-therapy for PTSD. You see, some people aren't traumatized by war, and we really should not over-emphasize minor problems, and we better keep the UN and other NGOs out because that's their secret plan! I seriously wish I was kidding. Has her ass been kicked out of the public square yet? We must fear that western modes of mental health therapy might be "imposed" on poor Iraqis! Newt "Divorced His Wife In the Hospital" Gingrich fawns on George Walker Bush and damns the State Department. Cause we all know damn well that diplomacy is the damnable art and that war was the answer in Iraq. He cites Bush's lying performance before the United Nations as the HIGH POINT of US diplomacy. Newt relies entirely on the WMD argument, I suppose assuming that they would be found. The hypocrisy was astounding.
MONEY QUOTE: (close paraphrase) "Hans Blix had five months to find weapons, we've had five weeks. Come back to me in five months, if we still haven't found weapons of mass destruction, then we'll have a credibility problem."
Newt demands that the press investigate no bid Bechtel contracts as strongly as (he wishes they would) investiage the UN Oil for Food "scandal." I'd go so far as to suggest, and I think Newt hinted at this comparison, that the scale of press investigations into Bechtel be comprable to the UN investigation in proportion to the billions of dollars involved. The actual UN Oil for Food scandal could, at very worst, be considered to comprise of two billion dollars, at least a third of which was detected and cut off by the UN.
White Republicans vote to Segregate Nebraska Schools - UPDATE 2
Added third paragraph
Corrected authorship attribution in 1st Para, added sentence at end I'm not joking. Ernie Chambers proposed it. Ernie is an odd character. There is no more bussing in Omaha, and Ernie argues that the move will allow the black and latino communities more control over "their own" schools. Increased local control is one thing, and probably gained by sub-dividing OPS (Omaha Public Schools), but why must it be along "race" lines? Still, this is a totally stupid idea. Way to increase racial tensions, Nebraskans. <-- That is the good story on this issue. from the local Omaha news station, there is one other, available widely, from the AP's Scott Bauer. The Governor is an asshat, since someone called him to talk about "qualified immunity" and he called it a "threat" (as if he is some brave hero for racial justice and is facing the disgruntled KKK already). The Nebraska Legislature has a rather detailed discussion of the passage of the bill here.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
- LA Times on Iran. I don't think Ray Takeyh is perfect, but he's a much better than most people on Iran. Takeyh, of CFR, is quoted for the peice. Also, check out this quote "Through years of tough talk and veiled threats, Bush and members of his administration have"
- Joby Warmick at the Washington Post has this article, about how the administration knew that the "mobile bioweapons labs" were not really bioweapons labs. Stories emerged years ago that showed they were for filling artillery target balloons, so this should come as no surprise. What most people don't know is that Fox News (obviously) ran this story over and over... and used pictures of different trailers! Fox's pictured trailers looked high-tech and state of the art, just the type of thing that might hold a laboratory. The real picture is far less menacing, almost mundane. Fox did this with other aspects of the Snipe Hunt for WMD in Iraq, including using stock pictures of American WMD destruction (often carried on at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, my old base) to enflame the masses.